by Hemant Parmar
It all started back in the month of December 2018 when I came to know through Facebook about Ironman Goa happening for the 1st time in India!
My mind started urging me that I should register for it and attempt it. I registered for it on 13th December. At that time I was training for Tata Mumbai Full Marathonl. My coach Atul Godbole was not entirely sure and enthusiastic at first about the idea, given my swim ability. But seeing my determination and confidence, he said “Lets do it!”. He told me to do a swim test to see whether I can swim 500 meters in 15 minute, which I managed to do.
The actual training started in the 2nd week of February, after the full marathon.
It was all new game to me from selecting a road bike to all the other equipment and stuff related to triathlon.
Our coach gave me the perfect plan for training keeping in mind my strengths and weaknesses. He helped me a lot; through this journey I called him up many times and always got a positive reply that boosted my confidence.
The workouts came one after the other relentlessly, but I did not miss a single training workout during all these months.
I worked hard on my diet and as a result managed to reduce my weight which helped me in running and cycling, both during training and on race day.
Two days before the race was a lot of nerves, especially with regards to swimming. About 900 people all going at the same time in the sea; there was too much chaos in official practice swim session so got more nervous.
But I kept a cool head during the actual swim on race day and was out of the water in 49 minutes which gave me confidence that I will finish in a good overall time. Coach and some other team members were there at T1 to cheer for us which boosted my spirits.
Though bike is my strength, I curtailed my speed on the coach’s advice so that I can conserve myself for the run. This strategy helped me a lot.
I was very strong till 70 km on the bike. On the 3rd and last loop, near Dona Paula, while shifting the gears, my bike chain slipped on the climb and I fell badly on my right knee. I was wearing cleats and was not able to unclip in time. 2 volunteers immediately came to help me and I was back on the bike within 5 minutes. Eventually, I completed the bike leg in 3.17 minute.
At T2, I racked my bike and again got some much need cheers and morale boosting from the coach and other team members
I started my run slowly but the knee was paining from the earlier fall. So I was determined to ignore the pain and run strong and steady. I avoid running too fast. Slowly and steadily, I completed the run and was happy to cross the finish line strongly. I felt very blessed and happy that 9 months of training produced a superb and satisfying result.
My heartfelt thanks to all those who supported me in this journey and to our coach for his systematic training plan and for always carrying a positive and supporting attitude towards all of us.