My first triathlon, and one which I was extremely nervous about. I had so many questions about my bag - would it leak, would it rub, would it need emptied, would there be time to empty it during the race, what if there were no toilets? I didn’t know anyone else with stoma so I didn’t have anyone to answer my questions, although I plagued the poor organiser with all my worries and he was very kind, assuring me that allowances would be made if I needed to go to the toilet at any time.
I had no sleep the night before, extremely anxious about the event the next day, and i set about 5 alarms to make sure I was in Ashington on time for the 6:15am registration. Triathlons are always at an ungodly hour so all the competitors are through the course before the roads are busy, and the swimming pool is required. I had arranged for a spare bag of my colostomy supplies to be at transition (where you get your bike after the swim, and where you get your running shoes after the bike). Waiting at the poolside is the worst thing of all, my bag was all over the place, and I must’ve rushed to the toilet at least 10 times before it was my turn in the pool. No going back now. I completed the swim, although for the first 2 lengths or so I was struggling to relax enough to breathe properly. Oncce Iis got going it was fine, I was out of the pool and running down to my bike before I knew it. Onto the bike and around the course, although it was really cold, my wet skin suffering with the wind chill of the morning. I got off the bike and staggered around the run, my legs on fire and my lungs bursting. My face was the colour of a tomato and I was so hot you could’ve easily grown a whole crop of them on the surface of my face. I could hear my husband shouting and encouraging me along the run, and saw my son, aged 2 and a half, shouting too. What a boost!! I eventually made it over the line, utterly exhausted but elated. My first ever Triathlon done! No bag issues either!! It was possible after all!!!!