Two months ago, along with 50 other members of my triathlon club, including my husband Paul, I signed up for Ironman Wales and frankly have barely slept since. This is not something that has always been on my bucket list – I ran a marathon in 2015 for charity and vowed categorically never to do one again. I am not a hardened triathlete. Having tentatively dipped our toes in the world of triathlon in 2016 we have certainly embraced the sport with gusto, but until now we have essentially managed only short distance events – novice distance in our first year, sprint distance in year two, and this year we managed our first (and only) standard distance event (it nearly killed me). So what could possibly have possessed me to even attempt to make the great leap from standard to Ironman distance?
Well I blame my fellow club mates. I belong to the most marvellous Glasgow Triathlon Club. Actually, our two children were members of the youth section before we joined the adult section. A friendlier, more welcoming and supportive club I challenge you to find anywhere. We have members of every age and ability, and every small, or large achievement, is equally applauded. In September 2018 a group of hardy members completed Ironman Wales in Tenby and really inspired us all with their grit and determination, and their own personal journeys to the finish line. My good friend Viv, a similarly busy working mum of two completed the race in an excellent time, making me think maybe it might just be possible, and then Alan, our club comedian (he is actually a comedian), who overcame a number of personal battles (physical and otherwise) to finish, fully glittered up and wearing a tutu, embarked on a recruitment drive to make 2019 the year ‘GTC does Tenby’. And Paul and I were swept along in the wave of excitement/enthusiasm/hysteria/inspiration and signed up.
We’ve got a year, we thought. It’ll be fine. In the two months since signing up, we have essentially spent all the money we earn on Ironman related ‘essentials’, I walked the West Highland Way with my daughter in half term (a fabulous experience – memories made for a lifetime) and picked up achilles tendonitis and have not been able to run since, and we have realised that (assuming we don’t get further injuries) we essentially need to train almost every day until the race. Did I mention I’m already not sleeping?
And so to the blog. In 2014 when I turned 40 I embarked on a ‘year of running’, where I took part in a number of events for charity, culminating in the Edinburgh Marathon. I blogged about my training/experiences which I found a nice way to remember what I did, and a few people seemed to enjoy it. So I’ve decided to do the same thing again. It will really just be following my progress towards Tenby, with stuff about training as a novice for this sort of event, and I suspect many anecdotes about things not necessarily going that well. It would be lovely to have you come with me on that journey!