Archive | January, 2011

Exciting News!

31 Jan

So, my exciting news is:

Ellasport are very kindly sponsoring me for all my running and triathlon races! Ellasport are an exciting US brand of women’s technical apparel which both look and fit great! Can’t wait for my lovely new running outfit to arrive and try it out on the seafront.

You know the feeling that everything is fitting into place? I have that now. Today I ran 11 miles in 1:46, not super fast but the best I have ever run! I am so pleased that my newly fixed heart is allowing me to run sub 10 minute miles and feel so good at the same time. I can’t believe I had been running for 4 years previously, not understanding why I had never improved. I have a lot of gratitude for all the things that are going right in my life, but also am a firm believer in positive thinking. Determination to succeed cannot be undermined.

2011 is so far proving to be the successful year I had hoped for. Not only hoped for but have been working very hard at! After an extremely busy December, I found it difficult to prioritise what I would like to achieve in 2011. After much discussion and consideration, things are becoming clearer!

The 4 main areas in my life that I am aiming to improve are:

  • Sporting goals – running, triathlon and general fitness
  • Personal career goals – launching success coaching website and training
  • Business goals – Continuing to build the empire!
  • Ongoing life goals – Material possessions, experiences, travel etc

In each of these areas I  have made headway this month. With my running, I am now on track with my marathon training and achieving the distance and times I hoped for.  The majority of my triathlon races are booked in and I can’t wait for the summer. Business is going well, but is absorbing a LARGE proportion of my time. Improvement of my time management is much needed. Of all the areas, my life goals are suffering the most. I can’t remember when I last had a day off!

Exciting news, exciting times!

9 Miles – First Long Run Of 2011

16 Jan

Supposedly 3 weeks into marathon training, today was my first ‘long run’ of the year. After a slow but successful 7 mile run last Sunday with no gliches, I felt up to the challenge of a 9 miler today. After working until 4am last night, I expected to wake up groggy and not all motivated. But, ping! my eyes were open at 11am and I was raring to get out. Having run round Bournemouth and Poole a LOT in the past, I didn’t bother to plan a specific route but took  my Garmin. I also made the effort to strap up the heart rate monitor, despite having problems with it rubbing on my scar in the past.

I set off at a steady pace, with the aim of maintaining 10:00 – 10:30 min/miles. As a glanced down at the Garmin, I kept slipping back to 9:30! Pre heart op, this just did not happen. I am almost in disbelief. As I ran down the beach at Bournemouth, I was feeling great. I had my iPod on after several runs without music. My mood took a turn for the worse as I turned onto the seafront and faced a hideous headwind, blowing sand and rain everywhere! It was one of those stretches of a long run that tests you to the limits. For the next 4 miles, I looked down, dug deep and fought the elements whilst trying desperately to maintain my pace. Finally, at the end of the beach, I headed through Poole and back home. Again, the endorphins kicked in and I felt on top of the world. I finished in 91:00, an average of 10:07. So pleased.

With many more weeks of marathon training ahead of me, I am determined to keep my commitment and focus directed towards the sub 4 goal. Some might say this is ambitious after having a long stretch off after my operation but I believe if I am careful and sensible, I will reach my goal. As I have been reading about recently, it is mental strength that often leads you through difficult times. In an endurance race, whether triathlon, marathon or anything else, your passion for succeeding will carry you to the finish line. My tactic of focusing on how fortunate I am to be out running when others can’t, is the ultimate kick up the bum when you physically start to tire. Try it! Sometimes, guilt is good!

I celebrated my small success with a delicious cinnamon and raisin bagel plus a banana milkshake. Next week I have a photo shoot for a piece about me running the Brighton half marathon – my first race since my heart surgery. I am also getting some shots of my scar as I feel it is important to share my experience with others (male and female) who might be going through something similar. Pictures coming soon!

Happy Sunday :)

Heart Surgery To Ironman – The Next Chapter

3 Jan

So then new year has finally arrived – for me, 2011 signals the continuation on a journey to the ultimate physical and mental challenge of an Ironman. Reminiscing about 2010 today has made me realise the strength I gained from a trying year inspite of the obstacle of being diagnosed with a heart condition. The experience has made me even more grateful for the ability to exercise and the excitement of entering races to push my physical boundaries.

I started 2010 bursting with enthusiasm for exercise and had entered many races; running and triathlon. I was enjoying being part of the local triathlon club, had huge plans for new business and generally felt great…apart from a few nagging symptoms. I had been to see my doctor on new year’s eve as something told me that was a serious condition underlying. Lucky that I did as 2 weeks later, I was diagnosed with a hole in the heart. On new year’s day 2011, I sat discussing that year that has passed and tried to pinpoint the positive parts that stood out. I identified moving house, employing a first member of staff, enjoying having family over in the summer, signing up to a coaching course. I was a little sad to not have achieved the sporting and business aims I had set out in January 2010.

Aims from last year are now being carried over to 2011, with an added few, including a half Ironman in September. My journey to Ironman is not only following heart surgery but  also as a novice triathlete. I had just a year of training in the 3 disciplines before doctors told me to stop all exercise. This was a frustrating time, leaving me feeling helpless. My focus on the future kept me going, as it does now. When I lack the motivation to run, bike or swim, I imagine myself back in the hospital speaking to the consultant who told me my heart was failing. The previous day I had run 16 miles!

Speaking of heart failure, my grandfather has recently been diagnosed with this condition after a history of angina, heart attacks and coronary artery bypasses. We share stories of scans and consultant visits , laughing about the similarities. Coronary heart disease is all around and this makes me passionate about spreading the message about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. The cardiac history in my family has always been a concern to me, and maybe was one of the reasons I started running regularly. When studying to be a nurse, I chose to write  my dissertation on cardiac rehabilitation and found it amusing that I ended up attending these classes myself, age 27!

Now that 2011 is here, the long term goal of an Ironman in 2012 feels that much closer. I just can’t wait!!

Happy New Year! :)