Deviating from normalcy, I signed up for Ironman 70.3 in February, 2018 at a time where my physical fitness and mental strength was puny.
Come May, I realised I am making only insignificant progress for a herculean task. Coming from a weightlifting and an athletics background in India, I thought embarking on a triathlon journey in England would be easy. But I was weighing a staggering 97kgs and had an even heavier weight of Ironman 70.3 on my shoulders.
Better late than never, I realised the need for a mentor who’d understand my current state and take me through the finish line in September.
My search for a good mentor ended when I met Rodger who further introduced me to Sarah. As appearances can be so misleading, Sarah startles you with her dainty persona. It was confounding to grasp; she’d be helping me to reach my goal in months to come.
As days passed into weeks, quickly escalating into months, I could see a substantial improvement in my physical fitness under Sarah’s training program. While I was rejoicing about my improved physical conditioning, it was important to not only understand the principles of triathlon as a sport but also implement it in the challenging time frame we were working on.
From my initial swimming sessions where I’d struggle to complete 10 laps of the pool at a stretch to donning a wetsuit in the infamous Blackpool sea to complete a 2.6km, Sarah was very instrumental!
Although, I already bought a road bike in April, I didn’t have any idea about the suitable seat post length, gearing ratios and the optimal cadence. From fixing my clip-less pedals to helping me acclimatise easily to the challenging pedals, she schooled me entirely through the basics, without losing any patience to my imbecilic questions.
Running with a heavy body weight was always challenging, but as the weight dropped and my fitness rose, I steadily improved my 5k timings and eventually covered distances hopeful of getting through a half marathon on the race day.
The training sessions in picturesque lakes and seeing the Racepace crew putting their best hearts and minds on the day under the direction of passionate Guru; Rodger is absolutely inspiring and sheer delight to watch.
Sometimes, through my self-conscience I feel a bit of an oddball in the company of such elite and arduous athletes. The crew is always quick enough to prove me otherwise.
From gifting me a helmet on the first day of her meeting to lending me a tri-suit and a wetsuit for training/racing, picking and dropping me from training sessions, servicing my bike, Sarah and Pete (the BEST companion) not only trained me but nurtured me as a child of theirs by constantly being solicitous about my improvement.
I am fortunate and really grateful to have been introduced to the essence of this fascinating sport by an inspiring athlete and coach such as Sarah.
I successfully completed my Ironman 70.3 Weymouth on September 2018, adjudged as one of the toughest 70.3 races this year due to the inclement weather.
Today, I am weighing 16 kgs lighter and all the more enthralled by the adventure this sport offers, thanks to my coach.
Like me, if you are planning to embark on an uncharted territory of triathlon, Racepace is your answer!
Through Sarah, I learnt and learnt well that striving for excellency is not merely a feat of physical and mental accomplishment, but a more important virtue of being humble. Thank you for making me a triathlete and a better human being.