Here I was, finally participating in the Triathlon. A dream was on the verge of getting fulfilled. With Mixed feelings and tremendous anxiety, I dived into the waters, the first stage of the triathlon. As I started to swim, I was only thinking about the journey I had undertaken for overcoming my fears about swimming. I had learnt to swim only 4 months back and today I was actually participating in an international event! I was overwhelmed but continued to swim. Strong swimmers were overtaking me but I was telling myself that I at least deserved to finish, which eventually, I did.
After I got out of the waters, I hopped onto my bike and started cycling. The first leg of about 45 km was smooth and I didn’t even wear the cleats, probably because I was thinking too much about the delicate carbon wheels, borrowed from a friend. Cycling was my forte and I was feeling relaxed and eventually finished it without much difficulty.
After finishing the cycling part, I dropped off my bicycle and started to run. I had practiced extensively on a treadmill but being made to run in a humid environment after cycling and swimming was different. At this stage, I realized that my mind was still focused and cooperating well without getting affected by the tiredness. The only thing I was praying for is not to get affected by cramps, which fortunately never happened and I reached the finish line.
I was pleasantly surprised to see my Triathlete mate, Nupur with his mother, waiting for me at the finish line with an Indian flag. As I crossed the finish line, tears rolled into my eyes and in my mind, I thanked my family members and my coach.
Participation in 70.3: The Genesis of an Idea
Bangalore is a metropolis with a prominent cycling culture and I was a part of it for the last 3 years. I had actively participated in almost all of the major cycling events in Bangalore and had managed to earn a few laurels too. Having cycled for a considerable period, an athlete like me is always in search of newer challenges and I was now getting interested with Triathlons. I did a lot of research about Triathlons and realized that these were much better organized international events. Moreover, the challenge of three sports combined into a single event excited me and I decided to participate.
To begin with, I started taking lessons from my coach, Deepak Raj, who prepared a very comprehensive training schedule for me. The training schedule was extremely rigorous (8-10 hours / day) and I would have to complete all the activities with the available resources. I did miss a few deadlines, occasionally got reprimanded by Deepak Raj, and managed to complete at least 80 % of the training schedule.
The most important advice for an aspiring triathlete is to banish all the negative thoughts during the training period. Here I must admit that I was almost on the verge of succumbing to these negative thoughts, but somehow I survived. During the training phase, the enormity of the Triathlon challenge was putting tremendous pressure on me. There were also issues about my bike, my health, my family requirements, but somehow I fortunately managed to overcome all of these. I was also lucky to have lived in Prestige Shantiniketan, an apartment complex in Bangalore, which has all the modern facilities that would be required for such kind of training.
Finally, I was going to Malaysia!
As the D-date neared, I was purposely getting into conversations with friends, whom I knew would only encourage me for the big race. For an athlete, it is very important to keep the thoughts positive. My friend, Ravindra needs a special mention who would assure me that I would definitely finish the race. His support for accompanying me during rides to Kolar, that too after his office hours will always be remembered.
Now, I am 70.3 finisher
Somebody who trains athletes in India once commented that particular athlete is my first failure . I had personally experienced Deepak Raj’s commitment and hard work for my success and I wanted to finish for that reason also. I managed to become the Finisher of 70.3 Putrajaya 2015 Triathlon. I always think that the joy of becoming the 70.3 Triathlon Finisher was similar to the joy of becoming a mother. In both cases, before joy lies severe pain!
I want to thank my sponsors , Merida , Nike, Tour of Nilgiris, my friends Ravindra, Shyam, Anand, Suma, Ravi, Gana, Venky, Anil, Chetan, Shukla, Ratheesh, Dipankar, Sanjay and many other supporters , special mention Candence 90, Baswangudi aquatic center , Kaustubh Radkar and Mihir Divekar.
I always think that the joy of becoming the 70.3 Triathlon Finisher was similar to the joy of becoming a mother. In both cases, before joy lies severe pain!