Given that I’m not averse to excessive purchasing at the best of times, new hobbies more often than not lead to a serious spike in my spending. And it turns out that triathlon offers up more kit-coveting traps than most other past-times. Maybe it’s because it’s effectively three sports in one (mostly it’s because everything just looks so shiny) but I just haven’t been able to help myself. And now that the Vachery triathlon is only two days away, it’s definitely time to stop.
Although it’s not my first triathlon – I did the sprint distance at the London tri last summer – last time I managed to avoid spending too much money. I wasn’t sure how much I’d enjoy it so I mostly borrowed kit from generous friends. But this time it’s definitely different. I’ve got the bug. The kit bug.
I did a bit of a mental ‘new stuff’ inventory this week (in a concerted last ditch training-avoidance effort), and the list was long. In the four months or so since signing up, I have acquired (in no particular order): a new wetsuit, tri-suit, trainers, goggles, sunglasses, visor (a very recent purchase, to combat the sweltering temperatures forecast for Sunday), running shorts, running top, bike helmet… the list goes on. I’ve even purchased – much to my flatmate’s amusement – some distinctly unglamorous anti-chafe balm (it’s to prevent the wetsuit burn I’ve been getting on my neck, but that didn’t stop her laughing).
I’m not sure how much all of this stuff is going to help me though. I’ve trained, but definitely not as much as I should have. A couple of swims and runs a week; cycling to uni or work every day – this is not the stuff successful triathletes are made of. The recent spell of hot weather hasn’t helped with the last minute cramming either – a ‘training’ trip to Brockwell lido in south London last weekend mostly consisted of a few lacklustre laps, followed by some prolonged lounging in the sun and scoffing of crepes smothered in nutella (a reward for the swim).
But I feel like it’s too late to make a difference now, so I might as well just go with it. I think I’ll get round the course, and I’ve roped in some family members to cheer me on, which I’m so glad of. I’m not going to be breaking any records (except perhaps the new kit: slow time ratio), but I don’t mind. I just want to try and enjoy the experience, and am looking forward to the satisfaction of having completed it in one piece. Hopefully. Wish me luck…