Thursday, 26 May 2011

Float like a butterfly, stung by a bee.

Just a short post this time, to update you on the training situation mainly.

This week, whilst training, I cycled in to a bee and it got stuck inside my t-shirt. Whilst it was stinging me on the collar bone, did I panic? Did I stop cycling and flap about like a big girl's blouse? No. I kept on going. (Well, OK, so I panicked a small amount. What do you expect? I am only human!) I was timing myself and was not going to let anything stop me. Even an angry bee trapped inside my t-shirt did not put me off. I just cycled on and tried to flick it out of my t-shirt in a rather ungainly fashion.

In just getting back from the hairdressers I have given myself even more of a scare. I realised that I had asked him for a haircut very specifically. I did it without even thinking. The words just came tumbling out of my mouth before I could think. "It needs to be short enough to go in to a swimming cap, but long enough to be pinned back for running." What on earth am I saying?! Normally no such things even enter my mind. Am I deranged or just triathlon obsessed?

The answer is simple. I am taking this triathlon far too seriously and it has to stop!

I am cycling through the pain. I am doing interval training in the gym. I am worrying if I have not done enough training and if I do not hurt the morning after a training session, I feel like I have failed. Surely this is some kind of triathlon monster, not the real me. I even considered stopping drinking, but before that madness took control I gave myself a sharp talking to that seemed to work wonders.

Perhaps when this is all over I will be able to go back to being a normal person who goes to the gym three times a week and feels proud of that. Perhaps I will look outside and think 'Oooh, that rain will be good for the garden' rather than 'Hmmmm, is it too rainy to go for a bike ride'. Perhaps I won't spend a few minutes of each day thinking about what a difference the money we have raised will make. But I hope not. I hope that these trials and tribulations will have changed me a little, but changed me permanently, and reminded me of the big difference that these small changes can make to everyday lives.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer

Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research


Sunday, 22 May 2011

Running between lamposts.

Well, I've done it! I have done a run through of the triathlon distance and... survived! I rewarded myself with 3 bottles of cider and a cooked breakfast (nothing fried though, I've not let myself go that much!). I am on cloud nine and there are several reasons for this.

First of all, the run was the fastest I have ever done it AND I had done the swim and the bike beforehand. It felt like such an achievement. I finally feel like I am getting somewhere and was running round town with a stupid grin on my face. All I was thinking as I ran along was "I can do this. I can actually do this!". My legs are still like jelly after the bike, but I am informed that this will always be the case, and learning to cope with it is part of the training. I am so glad that I have friends and a boyfriend who have done this before and can tell me what to expect from my body. If I was totally alone on this I think I would have given up ages ago. As always, I am incredibly grateful to people for their help and support. Words of wisdom at this stage are worth their weight in gold.

Speaking of weight, that is another reason I am happy. I have been merrily doing all this training and losing no weight at all since March. This was really starting to annoy me. Although weight loss has not been on my list of goals, I had thought that it might be a perk of the training; I was very disappointed when it seemed not to be. Then, all of a sudden, another half stone has disappeared. Brilliant! Another reason to grin all over the place as I run and cycle and swim along!

An obvious reason to be happy is that, with two weeks to go until the 'real thing' my dress rehearsal triathlon has proved to me that I will be able to get round the course and not utterly collapse. This gives me 12 days as of today (not including race day itself) to get even fitter and to try harder. I need to try and take 7 minutes off my time if I am going to reach a mental goal I have set myself for time. I will give you no more clues than this, as there is a sweep stake going at work and I don't want to unfairly advantage those who take the time to read this rubbish... Although those who can be bothered to read this should have some sort of reward for their faithfulness I suppose. However, it is such a weight off my shoulders to know that I won't be letting anyone down.

I now have t-shirts from both of the charities I am supporting - and you are supporting too if you are sponsoring me! - and have to think of some ingenious way of showing support for each charity throughout the cycle and the run. I am thinking of fashioning some sort of Jekyll and Hyde style t-shirt from both of them.

The worst thing of the past two weeks has been the 'Pool Rage' I suffer from whenever those who ought not to be swimming in the medium lane insist and swimming backstroke, slowly, down the middle of the lane, and blocking up the 'flow' of traffic. It seems so selfish to me, and I find it hard to "tut" or "harumph" when I am attempting to front crawl, and so I must content myself with a mild moan on here instead. I hope, dear reader, you share my views and do not think I am some kind of lane snob!

I would mention that I have been  made to cycle in to work several mornings by my boyfriend. However, since my last blog, where I apparently made him sound like some kind of evil, monster boyfriend, I had better steer away from that. Rest assured he did not literally throw me in to the North Sea and it wasn't all that cold. We have cycled in to work in a head wind though ( and at a distance 1/3 further than I have to do in the triathlon itself), but as I have improved a massive amount since we began to do this, I must not complain about it too much.

Overall, I think I can now do this thing. I would really, really like to meet my fundraising targets. I must not lose sight of that goal in my excitement about the other.

And so, if you haven't already done so PLEASE SPONSOR ME! (Breakthrough Breast Cancer) (Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research)

Friday, 6 May 2011

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside!

The wetsuit has finally had its Christening, and it held up very well in the North Sea! My beloved has decided that I need to try the wetsuit and make sure that it moved well, had no holes, wasn't uncomfortable... you get the idea. The way he decided to do this was to take me to Scarborough, give me a body board, and let me loose on the waves. Needless to say that he was comfy and cosy in his winter wetsuit complete with gloves and a snazzy hood to keep his face and head protected from the cold, cold waters. On the other hand, there I was flapping about, being bundled by the waves in my 3mm thick, little, girly attempt at a wetsuit. I got out of the water after an hour.

The upside of this is that I now know the suit fits, I can swim in it (If I can get by in the North Sea in April, then the Palace lake in June will be no issue - fewer waves, mad seagulls, seaweed...) and I can cope with the inevitable splashing around that I will have to face in June. One thing ticked off the list. Front crawl will be a problem though as the wetsuit restrict my movement and I also cannot see where I'm going when I do front crawl, ending up travelling on a diagonal course. There must be a gadget to help me with this, surely?!

I have also gone more public with the fundraising efforts, trying to get those at work involved in the efforts. We plan a cake sale in a few weeks and in the meantime many generous people are offering me money. I hope they are doing this for the right reasons and not just because they want to pay me to be in pain. Time will tell!

On Tuesday I plan to cycle the 9 miles in to work - and, of course, back again - to see what it is like. Last night I did the cycle and then the run straight afterwards. I am still alive to type this, although I admit at one point on the run I stopped and said out loud "I can't be bothered with this.", realised I must sound like a mental, and jogged on in a sprightly fashion. Other than that, and the obvious pain associated with my wetsuit's christening, the training is going well and I remain confident that I shall make it round the course without looking like too much of a fool.

And another positive is how open people continue to be about the charities I am raising money for and their own experiences with Breast Cancer and Leukaemia. One lady said to me that she thinks people 'forget how important charity is, until they need it' and this really went home to me. I know that support for sufferers and their families is desperately needed, and I hope that what I am doing will go a little way to reminding people how important charity is.

Breakthrough Breast Cancer
Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research