I named 2014 the ‘Year of the Challenge’ and I’ve certainly not let myself down. I started with the Madrid Marathon a few weeks ago where I obtained a PB, not only overall but also for my half marathon time.
In less than two weeks I’m taking on the Zurich Ironman 70.3 with the Captain. Following this I’m signed up for the Fan Dance over Pen y Fan, the Adidas Thunder Run, Prudential Ride London and will potentially take on the Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest and Tough Mudder. Next year I aim to complete a full Ironman and in 2016 the Marathon Des Sables…’Year of the Challenge’ is definitely living up to its name.
The reason for taking on these challenges is to prove to myself that I can achieve so much more than I think and to quash the fragment within myself that attempts to convince me that these ambitions and goals are out of my reach. I recognise that I have barriers to be broken down, and I truly believe that what limits each and every one of us is our own mental capacity on how far we ‘think’ we can go.
These challenges are much more than just a physical test. Most days I go out of my way to put myself into situations that I know will make me feel uncomfortable because I know that ultimately I will benefit from that feeling which instantly appears. Just the act of talking to someone I don’t know can be difficult for me, I may appear confident on the outside but deep down I sometimes dread these moments and panic about small talk and what to actually say.
The 70.3 seemed like the perfect challenge to take me out of my comfort zone completely. I was inspired by my old rugby coach, Chris Garvey who completed the Ironman in Zurich last year, and my now boyfriend Tim, who at the time was a work colleague and completed an Olympic distance Triathlon. Both showed me that with training and a positive mental attitude you can achieve a challenge that to most would appear impossible.
I wanted to do what they had done for me, so I signed up without even considering what I was actually letting myself in for. Well, in truth I did look at the different courses to try and go for a more flat course. The Captain was in as soon as I told her I had signed up. Tim then signed up for the 70.3 in Exmoor, a slightly tougher course which I am not envious of at all! Although he will smash this course, I have every faith. My rationale for entering a triathlon was my belief that I am no good at any of the three disciplines, heck I don’t even like them, but I want to prove myself wrong again.
January 2014 rolled around and I felt confident, I had 5 whole months to train with a marathon thrown in for good measure to test me. It’s now less than two weeks to go; I’ve done one long cycle of 35 miles that felt hideous and I’m still shitting myself going down hills as I don’t like going too fast, luckily I have good brakes. I am also doing minimal running as not training for a marathon does mean you hobble away with a few niggles, and only last week I swam my first 1000m.
Sooooooo training is going well! It will all come down to mental preparation again. I have a feeling this will be slightly tougher than the marathon. I will keep you regularly updated as the date draws nearer as I feel this is another epic journey with quite a bit of learning to come from it.