Well I made it.
It took my friend and I around two hours and 25 minutes to complete the 4km run, 22km cycle, 4km run challenge and we were both delighted with ourselves.
When we arrived it became clear pretty quickly that this was an event for ‘competitors’. These people took their performance seriously and, collectively, their bikes must have been worth a small fortune. It was both intimidating and easy to pull ourselves away from that mentality. When we got a row for breaking the rules – using my phone in the transition area, not showing the race number on my top, not dismounting our bike in time etc – we laughed at how anal the organisers were. In the end, when they realised we weren’t the average duathletes taking part in this race, they changed to be supportive and encouraging.
The weather was grim – cold and wet – but the setting – quaint Essex parkland and villages – was lovely. Most of all, the physical challenge wasn’t too strenuous and I really enjoyed the near 22km cycle. This came as a bit of a shock as I am used to cycling in the stop-start London environment. The thought of doing that distance uninterrupted was daunting. Aside from a bit of lactic acid on the last hills, I felt comfortable with the distance and look forward to building on that in the lead up to my 60 mile cycle in September.
When we crossed the final finish line, we were met with cheers. Although we had come in last, we found out afterwards that the person who had won had been disqualified for a technicality. I felt frustrated for that person but also glad that it wasn’t just us breaking the rules. Although I can’t say I’m massively keen on the anal attitude at these events from what I witnessed, I enjoyed the physical challenge and look forward to booking another duathlon soon. Now that I know some triathlons use swimming pools, I’m thinking about signing up for one of those too.
The combination of a poor sleep the night before and a couple of pints after the event meant that my right eye was a little heavy last night. The ptosis had set in. But after a good rest yesterday, I’m feeling great today. I held off taking my steroids down a MG this morning to give my body the best chance to recover, but physically it feels great. There were no shaky legs yesterday and they’ve stayed strong today.
All in all, it feels like another victory over the myasthenia and another triumph for my body working with me.