Hello everyone! It’s been a while hasn’t it? The last time I posted was way back in February and since then plenty has happened. I have been very busy trying to balance training around my work despite the fact I went part-time in January. Believe it or not, this has not led to much more free time than before. Since February, I have travelled to Paphos in Cyprus three times to be with the TriPezza squad (thanks to the sponsorship of ETE Tricamps which run at the same time). It has surprised me how tiring and stressful all the disruption and travelling has been but I’m hoping it’s all been worth it. DP World, my employers, have been really accommodating by letting me work full weeks to make up for the days I missed when I was in Cyprus. The problem with this though is that it just makes the weeks go even faster.
When I return from one of the camps, I often get comments from my friends or colleagues about how tanned I look and they ask “did you go anywhere nice on your holidays?”. All they know is that I’ve been off work and therefore (probably fairly) assume I’ve been on holiday. However, these trips are by no means a holiday! I often come back from them far more tired than when I arrived. Now that I’ve gone part-time, I consider my training as a second job, and I’m not sure my coach would appreciate me calling the camps a holiday either haha!
After these camps, I thought I was ready for race season but my body had other ideas. I somehow managed to contract shingles. I always thought it was an illness that only elderly people got, but clearly not. Or is 30 considered old these days? I hope not! This stopped me training for a while and meant I couldn’t race at the Grafman triathlon, which was meant to be my first race of the season. By the time I’d recovered, May was over and I still hadn’t raced, which was weird for me as I normally start competing way before then. Instead of racing, I managed to get out to Agros, situated in the Cyprus mountains, thanks to the continued support of Hireco Ltd. This was a perfectly timed training top up, especially for my swimming which unsurprising to those who have been following me, required it. I really feel like I’ve finally made the breakthrough with my swimming off the back of this last trip, but I guess the proof will be in the pudding.…
Once I’d returned from Cyprus, Perry and I decided that the half ironman event, as part of the Castle Triathlon Series at Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire, known as the Gauntlet, would be a good one to do. I hadn’t entered a Gauntlet event before but I had raced in half ironman distances most of last season, and had competed at this course in 2016, albeit at the Olympic distance. This was helpful because it meant that I knew most of the route already, and it certainly lived up to my memories of it. I’ve always loved entering the Castle Series events because of the buzzing atmosphere and it being incredibly family friendly. The organisers also really look after all the competitors, with the facilities and after-race care they provide for the Gauntlet distance race.
The triathlon itself was incredibly successful as I managed to finish as the fastest female overall and have the quickest bike split time as well! I was especially proud of the bike achievement because my rear brake was rubbing on the tyre all the way round the course. This was slightly annoying because I had really wanted to get as close to Lucy Gossage’s bike time from 2015 as possible. Whilst reviewing my performance later in the day, I realised that I’d never got the fastest overall bike time in a race before. It’s always great to see clear signs that all the hard work I’d put in throughout the Winter and Spring is paying off. However, I wouldn’t say there isn’t room for improvement so I will keep working hard on it. With it being my first race of the season, there were inevitably a couple of rusty moments. I had my Yonda wetsuit delivered just a couple of days before the event, which meant it came straight out of the packet on the morning of the race. Fortunately, I’ve had nothing but great experiences with Yonda’s wetsuits and this one was no different. I was pretty happy with my swim time, especially as it involved an Aussie exit, which is where you complete one lap of the swim, exit the water and run 400m to where we started the swim, jump back in, and complete lap 2. I haven’t quite reached the heights of last year with my run yet but there’s plenty of time left in this season to rectify that. Interestingly, based on this performance alone, my best discipline has changed AGAIN for the 3rd year in a row.
Looking forward, I have a very exciting, albeit slightly scary announcement to make. Next weekend I will be competing in my first ever full distance ironman (non branded) event in Spain! I’m sure some people will be thinking it’s a big step and might be too fast but I’ve never liked standing still, in every sense! Most of my training is based around preparing for the half ironman distance but how hard is it to just double everything…. right? I am hoping I can pull out a solid time for both the swim and the bike, but the run will be a bit of a mystery for me. Once I’ve passed the half marathon mark, it’ll be the furthest I’ve ever run, but I’m looking forward to seeing how I do. I briefly thought about keeping this news out of this entry due to not knowing how I’ll do, but I realised that the whole point of the blog is to keep you updated with what is going on, but also to take you on my journey with me. So here we are, T-1 week. Hopefully see you at the finish line (physically and/or virtually) 🙂
Thank you to my sponsors for your continued support and making this possible.