We have loved watching Jo’s training journey, from injury to triathlon and are so happy that she has shared her story with us today.

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I’m not sure I’ve ever been as nervous as I was this week, definitely not over a race day! Run race days make me nervous, there’s things to pack and remember, transport to sort out and then, of course, the actual running but that’s about it. Triathlon is 3 times the gear, 3 times the instructions and 3 times the nerves. I had to do so many new things on the day and there was no way to practice some of them. I just had to figure it out when I got there.

Luckily for me, Tri pink was so well organised. I went along to the tips and tricks clinic the day before and learned a lot about how to set up transition and the rules of the day. There was a lot to remember but a walk through the transition area really helped calm some of the nerves. This also gave me a test run at the drive to the venue (on which I got lost and learned how not to get lost on the day). It was definitely worth the time and effort!

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By some miracle I had my best sleep of the week and woke up feeling so excited and still nervous. I packed everything I needed and managed to get my bike in the car and set off early. I decided to arrive 2 hours before my event and I’m glad I did. I got to watch the kids tri and the ultra and long tri swimming and doing transition. This was so fantastic and I recommend it, even if you’re not racing. There were so many things to do in transition and most people make it look effortless (I don’t think I was one of those people but more on this later). Being able to see all this helped me know exactly what I had to do and where I had to go when it was my turn. It didn’t take long for that time to come!

One of the more nerve racking moments was having to take my clothes off and hang around for about half an hour in my bathers! My body image is so much better than it used to be but hanging out with so many strangers wearing only your bathers pushes the limits of self love! I can’t wait for the day when it doesn’t, it’s coming! Once we were called to the side of the pool, there wasn’t any time to think. One by one we jumped into the pool and swam our 100m. This felt really fast for me as I’m used to swimming in a 25m pool so it would be 4 laps, in this pool it was like a triangle to the middle of the other other end and then back out on the opposite side of the pool to where we got in. I felt so good but found it hard to run when I got out!

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I made it to my bike on wobbly legs and then found out that it is a little hard to get pants on over wet feet! Lucky they were stretchy. Helmet, clothes, socks and shoes on and off I went again. The bike leg was a bit trickier. My lungs were wondering what was going on and why they weren’t getting a rest yet. I’m an asthmatic so often they put in a protest but I managed to control it pretty well. My legs were getting tired by the end of the 3km ride and the jelly legs were back as I hopped off and went back into transition. Helmet off, running belt and hat on and I was off again. There wasn’t much time to think about what was happening because I was always focussed on what I had to do next so I didn’t run with my helmet on or something like that!

As I headed out on my run I saw Hilary, a fellow Op Mover, cheering me on. This instantly lifted my spirits and I was smiling like the Cheshire cat (there’s a photo to prove it!). The run was hard. Legs were tired and lungs were threatening to up and leave me. I was so proud of myself and knew that walking was absolutely fine. I ran and walked the 1km and managed a run over the finish line with that huge smile just getting bigger.

I finished in 29 mins and I have to say it was the fastest half hour ever! It just flew by and it was tough both mentally and physically but it was an awful lot of fun and I can’t wait to do it again! The swim was definitely my favourite leg and the run was the one that needs the most work after being injured for so long. Work begins on that next week!

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During the day I was constantly reminded that you don’t need to wait until you ‘look right’ before you attempt something like this. There were all shapes, sizes and abilities. Some swam with their heads out of the water, others any stroke they felt comfortable doing. There were bathers and bikes of all descriptions as well, even some Melbourne hire bikes which was a tougher ride than most of us had.

If you want to try something then just give it a go now! There is plenty of time to get fitter/stronger/better if you like it.

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Zoey Dowling

Written by: operationmove

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  1. I have such a girl crush on you. This made me cry again, you're very inspiring to me x

    • Zoey Dowling

      Thank you so much Treacy. The support it from you means the world! Xo

  2. Well done Jo - I think you are an amazing inspiration. I'd like to do a pink tri - just need to sort out my ear issues.

    • Zoey Dowling

      Thank you Trish. I'm sure you'd love the Pink tri. It was so fantastic.

  3. So inspirational Jo - I'm so glad you enjoyed it so much !!! Well done xox

  4. I loved reading this Jo! Awesome race recap. You are such a courageous person Jo, a leader. xx

    • Zoey Dowling

      Thank you so much Lee. I'm not sure I've ever been called a leader before! If only my school teachers could see me now ;) They'd never believe it haha.

    • Zoey Dowling

      Thank you Kinta! Thanks for being part of the awesome cheersquad! Xo

  5. Bloody brilliant Jo! Thanks so much for writing about your experiences and inspiring us all.

    • Zoey Dowling

      Thanks so much Jen. I love having the opportunity to share the full story. Hopefully it entices others to have a go with me next year!

  6. Jo I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks so much for writing and sharing. Its a great, great story. I hadn't heard of Pink Tri before - it sounds wonderful!

  7. Congratulations Jo, I loved reading your story. Well done on pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.