Tag Archives: friends

Ironman 2013!

14 Dec

After Austria this year, I was so pleased I had two other big races lined up for the rest of the year. If I could have done another Ironman, I would have! These thoughts lead me to considering my plans for 2013. With Challenge Roth already in the diary, I began to search for options for another race. Having reached a point in my life where fun has priority, and having the go-ahead from a knowledgeable sports cardiologist, it was time to add another race into the mix!

Australia had always been on my life to-do list and what better reason to go than for an Ironman? IM Western Australia takes place on the second weekend in December, meaning two things: 1. A healthy gap of 5 months with Roth and 2. The race takes place in their summer!

Why 2 races? Some might say this is greedy, excessive even. The costs of racing this distance are certainly not cheap. However, given that the chance to compete in ironman will not be there forever for me, I can honestly cease this opportunity without feeling guilty. Sacrifices will be made and I will make it happen!

What will two races mean on my lifestyle? Whilst work will always have to happen, I would like to avoid an unhealthy work/life balance that I previously had. Training for an ironman has a huge impact on your life but I am extremely lucky to be surrounded by incredibly supportive people. I am touched by how the closest people to me encourage me with my choices and value my commitment to doing what I love. Without a strong support network, the experience can become more difficult and even a little lonely. After Roth, I will have a break before resuming training and building on my fitness ready for Australia. My body will have a lot to cope with and finding the right balance for training, nutrition and rest will be essential. Listening to my body will be priority or I could be headed for an almighty crash and burn!

Sharing the experience of training for an ironman is something quite special! I became close to friends during this year, doing long rides, swapping stories and sharing landmark moments such as the first 3.8k swim!

Next year, I will sharing the Roth experience with several good friends and I just can’t wait. The icing on the cake to that is that my best friend since I was 18 has slowly but surely been converted to triathlon after a great year of running marathons and first few tri’s. After a little encouragement / persuasion, we both entered Ironman Western Australia yesterday – a happy moment, even though it was 1am!! As previous party girls, it is a bit surreal to be doing this together but also massively exciting. 2013 is without doubt going to be an adventure!

When looking to make New Year’s resolutions, most of mine will be based on sports goals, swim efficiency, getting stronger on the bike, faster running, commitment to a healthy diet, getting enough sleep. But most importantly is the determination to stay happy, keep doing what I love and not losing sight of the reasons for doing what I do. Behind every successful completion of a goal is a strong reason to want to do it, the determination to see it through, the motivation to keep going when it gets tough.

First Race Since Heart Surgery

22 Feb

So, after much training, heartache and frustration, the day finally arrived for me to race again. The Brighton half marathon was my first ever race when I was very new to running back in 2007. It seemed a fitting race to aim for this year, given that I had to cancel my place last year.

I felt my training had really come on in the last few weeks when I had commited to regular runs, upped my long run mileage and had been back to my triathlon club runs once a week. If I wasn’t ready for the half marathon now, I never would be. On a recent study day, I was coached by a fellow coach who is also a runner / triathlete. He made me think about my nerves about racing, address my limiting beliefs about achieving my target goal and put together a strategy for the big day. This involved visualising the finish line, taking my iPod with me, running with a friend to pace me, amongst other things.

The day before the race, I spent the day in Brighton with friends, trying very hard not to get nervous. Butterflies were flying everywhere in my stomach and I just couldn’t relax. After an lovely pasta meal, we headed back to our hotel for an early night. I struggled to get to sleep and when I did, I dreamt I died and was floating round as a ghost! Disturbing!

All went to plan in the morning, with a good breakfast and arrival at the start line in time. My focus was on maintaining a steady pace – 9 minute miles for the entire course. I was determined to say the least.

Once the gun went off, I held back slightly, not being tempted to lurch forward with the crowd of eager runners. Running with my friends, we soon found our pace and I felt surprisingly comfortable at 8:50 min/miles. Around the course, I had several moments where I battled with tiredness but I soon shook these off when friends waved at me in the crowd. Knowing the course and area helped me and I reminsced about running in Brighton whilst training for my first London marathon. I felt overwhelmed at how much things have changed in the last 4 years.

At 12.5 miles, fatigue really kicked in. The first doubts about not finishing strongly came over me. My friend pep talked me to the max and I somehow continued my pace…all the way to a 1:57:04 finish. I couldn’t have been more pleased! It was the most incredible feeling to have achieved my goal, having never experienced this before. Whilst I had completed a marathon and felt ok, I had never achieved a time I was proud of. Until now!

A day later, I am still glowing and get little bursts of happiness when I think of what I’ve done. 8 months after heart surgery, I am feeling stronger than ever. I just can’t wait for the London marathon and an exciting summer of triathlons. I am now the proud owner of my ellasport outfit and can’t wait to try them out – photos coming soon!

Bring it on!!! :)

Brighton half marathon

Brighton half marathon

Brighton half marathon

Brighton half marathon

Brighton half marathon

Brighton half marathon

Ban A Word

21 Feb

So often I hear this word from close friends and family. I confess to being guilty of using the word when at my lowest. We all do. What is this word? Can’t.

Of all frustrating habits in life, a lack of self-believe is perhaps the most destructive. To believe you cannot achieve, is setting you up to fail.

Excuses for the word ‘Can’t’ include: you don’t want to, you are afraid of failing, you rather do something else, something easier, you lack belief in your ability, others have knocked your confidence or pride. The list could go on and on.

Make a simple but powerful change today. Ban the word ‘can’t’. I have suggested this with a friend today, during a run. Despite momentous achievement to date with marathon training, my friend still believes she ‘can’t do it’. My speculation suggests she fears failure, lacks self-confidence. My experience of running with my friend and through my own running, tells me she CAN do a marathon. The simplicity of pschologically encouraging your body to achieve is extraordinary.

I have made it my mission to ban the word ‘can’t’ from my own life and from those close to me. Through this, I hope to open people’s minds to the power of positive thinking.