Earlier this month we heard from Olga about her inspiration for doing triathlon and why she’d decided to sign up for her first ever triathlon (you can read the article here). And so, along with nearly 20 other intrepid WITC’ers, Olga lined up on at the start of the Nieporet Volvo triathlon to take on this challenge and maybe just start a new chapter in her (sporting) life ;). Here’s her inspiring story of perseverance and will-power…
Taking the plunge Part II – by Olga Kulyna
or a complete lack of self-preservation instinct!
So, the morning of THE Sunday, 13th July had arrived. Surprisingly, I felt very relaxed (now I know it was an omen :)).
11:30….off goes the gun and all these 500 people rush into the water, each of them for their own personal reasons. Mine is to conquer the lake…
The very moment I started swimming I felt pain in my chest which impaired my breathing. Trying to relax I flipped on my back to catch a breath but the waves were splashing me – it was a vicious circle I couldn’t do anything about. Suffocating, not seeing where I was going I somehow made it to the shore. But there was one more lap to do. So I stood there for a few seconds thinking whether I should go into that again. As soon as I put my head in the water the suffocation feeling was back. In sheer panic I decided to hold onto the boat for some time. The lifeguard, the unknown hero of the day, without whom I wouldn’t have completed the swim, was talking to me, trying to calm me down, asking whether I wanted to be pulled out. And there I was, floating, not being able to breathe and thinking… half a year spent on preparation and that’s how it’s finishing now??? Hell no!!! Slowly I started making my way around the course and back to shore. When my friends saw my face upon exiting the water, they thought it was the end of the race for me. Good it wasn’t documented. Well, at least I had the whole lake to myself, without people pushing and kicking me
In the transition zone I had no problem to find my bike – all the others had long been gone… another trauma for my overly-competitive mind. So I got on the bike still feeling pain in the chest to ride alone most of the distance, all the other cyclists going in the opposite direction. Well, at least I got to ride in the blaze of glory with the leaders for a few seconds when they lapped me and whom I followed to the finish line because some cretin had shouted to me to turn where they were turning J. And then there was the run on the rubber legs… By that time I was feeling sooo sorry for myself that I decided to take it easy and run my comfortable pace. So I somehow completed the race which for me turned out to be about the struggle in the water. I finished it in a state of complete mental devastation, having experienced probably the biggest shock in my life. But guess what? Someone told me before that triathlon is addictive. Like hell it is! Counting the days till the next race!———————————————————————————-
Olga, you’re one tough cookie – congratulations on finishing the race despite the difficult swim And best of luck in your future triathlons!
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