25th May was a day when I kinda decided to devote some spare time for blogging, having few topics on the list, until I got the confirmation that, on 3rd July, I will have a chance to participate in ‘Lavijas IV Olimpiāde’ (LIVO) in triathlon discipline. Well… On that day I changed all my just-born-plans with the idea to focus on training. Today, 10th July, is a day exactly one week after LIVO. There is no much to say – been there, done that – and that was amazing!
Where to start? After the last year’s trauma, all the season was, in general, doomed. Therefore, for this year I thought to slowly get into the rhythm of Sprint Triathlon. For that reason, I have been taking part in different competitions without having main competition(-s) of the season. But, once I had the confirmation about the participation in LIVO in Valmiera (Latvia city) on 3rd July, I defined this day as one of the important competitions of the season and, needless to say, I was going for it.
Although the start was on Sunday morning, for some reasons I went to Valmiera already on Friday afternoon. First of all, I definitely wanted to participate in the opening ceremony, because it’s just part of all that event called ‘Latvijas IV Olimpiāde’. Opening ceremony on Friday evening was excellent! And I remembered some old times when I was playing volleyball… Secondly, I really wanted to meet the rest of Madona delegation. And it was nice to meet my old coaches from volleyball and athletics, that I haven’t met since I moved to Riga. Thirdly, some practical reasons – not to drive back and forth from Riga to Valmiera (and back) all the time. Instead, to enjoy the atmosphere, have some light training, see my friends competing and just to live through all those emotions during the weekend.
Friday and Saturday were sunny and hot, but Sunday morning came with clouds and heavy rain… And stress. Time to time, during the weekend, I was having some stressful moments. Why? Because we were 18 participants (women) and I have had put this start as an important for me. In addition, I was worried to lose goggles after the jump from the ponton at the start, because I have never been practicing the jump…. Well, so far I have been competing with fewer girls… Also small stress is healthy. That indicates that something is really important for me!
People were asking about my expectations. And I had to say, that I know just few girls and their level, but the rest – more than a half of all participants – I had no idea where can I rank myself among them. And I would have been very happy to get at least into TOP 6.
And then it started.. With a jump from the ponton. I didn’t lose my goggles, but I got some water in them. It was not that critical so I thought to clean them before the 2nd lap. In the second jump, due to the pressure from the water, my goggles stuck to my face so hard that for the first moments I thought of stopping and adjusting them. And my inner voice told: “Don’t stop! It’s just less than 400m, you can handle that!” And they slowly got loose and I started to speed-up a little – well, that’s what I though! I came out as 8th (ok, at that time I didn’t know that, and I even had a feeling that I am somewhere at the end) and then I lost too much time in the first transition – and at least one position as well!
For swimming – wet is wet, but for bike – although rain was slowly ending, streets were not dry immediately and caution in turns had to be taken. After bike-leg, where I passed some 3 or 4 girls, I was 5th (I didn’t know that either – I knew only the number of girls I passed). And now I started to feel the importance of all the people being there and cheering-up! If on the bike, where the lap is longer, you hear them only passing near the transition area; then, while running, where the lap is much shorter, you have a feeling that they are everywhere. I mean – everywhere! And they scream, they motivate, teammates are shouting and even running with you saying “that you can catch that girl – just push it harder!” And then you start hearing voices. The ones into your head says: “Whyyyy?! Why do you do that?! Let’s quit! Let’s decrease the speed – it will be easier..!” But then the one on the microphone says that the leader is approaching the finish-line but you – you are stepping up to the 4th position… And then you get into the stage of autopilot and you put all into each step, because you might get to the 3rd position… If only there were another extra lap…
Yes, I crossed the finish-line as 4th out of 18. And I was soooooo happy about that result! Excited! I was hoping to get into TOP 6, but, seeing that I can compete even for higher places – that gives more motivation for me in this sport, called triathlon!
I was 58 seconds slower than the girl in 3rd place. And, when I saw the results, I immediately understood where I have to pay a lot of attention… And I am motivated to train even more clever!
You know – although in triathlon you are competing in three different disciplines – swimming, biking and running, sometimes transitions define whether you win or lose!
P.S. Thanks to everyone for an amazing support! Latvia Triathlon federation and hosting city – Valmiera – for great organization!