so I can say I TRIed
so I can say I TRIed

A Saturday in the life of a trying triathlete

charlieeliseby charlieeliseApr 22nd 2013
I planned to head out to Richmond Park for a bike/run brick session on Saturday. It struck me this is what most of my Saturdays look like this time of year...

8.30am Struggle to wake up. Only got myself to blame as I stayed up until 2.30am to watch Gwen Jorgensen (a US work colleague, believe it or not) win in San Diego. Even sweeter was little Non Stanford, Welshie, who got silver - amazing work. And Emma Moffat really deserved her place on the podium. So it was worth it, but getting up was a real struggle.

8.45am I've checked Facebook, I've read emails, messed about on Twitter... I'm really running out of options. Will have to get up. Just five more minutes...

9.07am Having breakfast. Lemon in warm water first. Granola, soya milk, as much as I can get down while running around my flat grabbing things.

9.20am Spend 10 minutes looking for cycling shoes. Remember they are 'airing' on the windowsill. (They absolutely reek after two years of training and racing but do you know how to wash them?)

9.30am Spend another 10 minutes looking for chest strap for heart rate monitor. Unpack and repack everything. Remember it is also on the windowsill, 'drying'. Also needs a wash but fat chance of that today.

9.40am Finally in some kind of shape. Think I almost have everything ready. New sunglasses have orange tinted lenses in for greater 'contrast' and definition. Fill water bottles. Deliberate over which gloves to take. Decide to stick with AnaNichoola Sorbets as I think I'm too cold to switch to her 'naked' ones.

9.45am Look outside. Sunshine. Put water bottles in bag, retrieve glasses and spend 15 minutes trying to work out how I changed the lenses yesterday.

10.00am Glasses finally in one piece. Time to get dressed. Spend two minutes selecting the correct socks which I can run in without blisters and cycle in in comfort. Decide on functional but ugly Nike blister-free socks which used to be white but are decidedly blue/grey now. Make mental note never to buy anything white, ever again, even if it's cheap.

10.02am Spend another five minutes trying to find a suitable sports bra which will cope with running and cycling. The Shock Absorber D+ Max is too big, the ultimate dry ones aren't supportive enough for running... grab a very old one I keep meaning to throw out. (I mean, fours years is probably too long, right...)

10.07am Wriggle into trisuit.

10.10am Remember I need to pee. Wriggle out of trisuit.

10.12am Wriggle top half back into trisuit post 'comfort break'. Secure chest strap and check blister plaster is in place (my new Garmin strap cuts my skin when I run so I've taken to wearing a blister plaster under it. It looks hot.)

10.15am Grab 'nutrition' from cupboard. Make sandwiches for after. Only have fruit bread. Have ceased caring.

10.25am Check on bike. Squeeze tyres. Decide they are ok (and that I don't want to risk them deflating - I have new deeper rims and getting air in through the short valve is a complete pain. Make mental note to change inners for long stems.) Front brake pads are probably going to die soon but I figure they'll survive a few more miles.

10.30am Throw trainers awkwardly into bag on way out of the door. Steer bike clumsily through narrow corridor with one hand and hold giant, bulging, overflowing bag in other.

10.32am Lean bike precariously against white wall. Check the chain while I'm at it. Looks ok thank goodness. Lock door.

10.33am Call lift using spare elbow.

10.35am Navigate double doors and glass-strewn carpark. Open car. Arrange seats. Wrestle bike into boot. Open passenger door, fiddle around with bike handlebar position. Go round the back and do the same thing to the back wheel. Go round to the passenger door and try to click seat into place. Won't go. Try to move seat forwards. Won't do it. Squeeze self, bent double, into folded chair and scoot forwards. Extract own body from car, seat clicks into place happily. Move old sun protector under pedal to stop it rattling all the way to Richmond.

10.43am Shut boot. Ram enormous bag in passenger footwell. Realise I can't get anything out of glove compartment. Prise bag out. Remove things from glove compartment. Wrestle bag in again. Rummage in bag for sunglasses. Line up drink for journey. Set up SatNav. Start engine.

10.45am Leave for Richmond.

10.46am Sing along to No Doubt's greatest hits. For nearly 90 minutes (traffic is terrible). Take wrong turning. Go round complicated junction twice.

12.12pm Finally arrive at Richmond Park. Pray for a space in car park. Bingo!

12.15am Get out of car - head to the loo.

12.18pm Go back to car. Take asthma inhaler. Triple check I have keys, asthma pump and phone in saddlebag. Faff about trying to decide how many layers to wear. Go with trisuit only (with sorbet gloves, quite a look). Good decision on trisuit, not so good on the gloves.

12.22pm Helmet on, glasses on, Garmin on, ready to go. Lock car.

12.15pm Leave carpark on bike. Start Garmin.

12.16pm Stop at roundabout. Realise Garmin is on 'swim'. Change to bike. Press buttons at random until I see screen I want.

12.18pm Start bike training. Do four laps.

2.01pm Arrive back at car. Wedge bike in car (see earlier). Do quick change to trainers. Start running.

2.04pm Stop running to mess around with sodding Garmin again. Must learn how to use multi-sport function with auto change. Dammit.

2.05pm Start running again. Wheeze continuously and frighten a small child into falling off their bike. Provide free entertainment for picnickers.

2.34pm Return to car covered in sweat and own snot. Stretch.

2.45pm Eat sandwich. Drink lots of energy drink.

2.50pm Decide to change top for journey home as stupid old bra has rubbed two matching holes in my back. Head back to loos.

2.51pm Loo queue about a mile long. Hover around the old golf clubhouse building trying to get out of the eyeline of a middle aged paunchy gentleman who has clearly never seen a red sweaty girl wearing a skintight trisuit carrying a Victoria's Secret bra and a Palm Springs tourist t-shirt (did I tell you I'm all class?).

2.52pm Hide in shade and undo trisuit. Put on t-shirt, whip Garmin strap out from underneath it like a magician and do the 'bra trick' (girls, you know what I mean).

2.53pm Re-do 'bra trick' as I've managed to put my arm through the wrong bit (how??!) and get a twist in the elastic right on the bit where my skin has rubbed off. Owwweee.

2.55pm Venture out from behind old club house.

2.57pm Get in car. Set up sat nav. Exchange No Doubt for radio.

3.00pm Leave the park.

3.28pm Stop for petrol. Impulse buy flavoured water and Calippo.

3.30pm Eat Calippo.

3.35pm Continue homewards. Offend myself with own sweaty stinkyness.

4.03pm Arrive home. Unpack bike and bag. Rearrange seating in car for no real reason.

4.05pm Drag into lift. Navigate into flat. Dump stuff in corridor.

4.07pm Jump into shower.

4.07pm Jump out of shower - hot water stings my back. Discover slight sunburn along with red rub marks. Garmin strap, incidently, has managed to cut my skin in some new places round the front.

4.08pm Turn water temperature down and have a nice shower.

4.30pm Clean and ready to take on the world, I can think about the rest of my day. What's left of it.

Same again next week then?
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