Call it going out on a limb, but triathlon is very much like the fashion industry; once one season is over, the next is eagerly anticipated. However this one was a bit different. The World Champs in the iconic and well-kept Hyde Park was pretty special; it has already been 2 weeks since I dipped my manicured toes into the beautiful waters of the Serpentine, and I still get excited just thinking about it.
What an amazing adventure! It all began 2 years ago when I was told The Triathlon World Champs were to be held in London 2013 after the spectacular Olympic Year. Oscar Wilde, one of my son’s favourite writers, famously said: “He who can dominate a London dinner-table can dominate the world”. While I’m trading in a socialite’s dinner table for the algae-encrusted pontoon of the serpentine, I suppose the quote is still applicable; dominating the course at London this year really would have meant competing at the top of the world. And so my goal was set. I wanted to try and qualify for my age group and race in my hometown, London, in front of family and friends. Here is the précis of my journey…
I accepted that the pressure of wanting to race in London as a GB athlete would mean that the competition would be incredibly hard—who wouldn’t want to race for their country in it’s capital? My training leading up to the race went as planned; I had a solid training program which I was going well on and John, my other half, was happy I was progressing in each smaller race I did. Then the unthinkable happened… No, I wasn’t caught at the tills in my local Primark on a Saturday, but I DID get injured.
At first it didn’t seem like anything—just a little strain in my foot, and I thought the tightness was merely massage-worthy. Wrong! It turned into the worst planter fascitis (razor blades stabbing into my foot when running or walking) I have ever had. I have only had it once before, many years ago, but it passed quickly and didn’t disrupt my training too severely. When, however, it didn’t seem to get any better even when I was doing all I could to elliviate the ever increasing pain, I knew this was a big problem.
So I had to manage my run training best I could. I wasn’t able to run long or fast, which is when it felt its worst, and actually just walking was becoming painful. This was not ideal! So I just kept running to a minimum, and once again this was not ideal. But, as athletes, we have to manage our injuries as best we can and try not to go too crazy over them.
Here were a few problems/challenges I encountered before and during the race and how I got round them:
1. Loosing my water bottle at the 1st speed bump……… SOLUTION: Realising I can ride an hour with no water or MTFU which I did. (That honestly is my water bottle in the picture…as my youngest would say, “ALLOW!”
2. Mentally giving up a bit after I lost my bottle on bike. SOLUTION: Re-focusing my head (the mental discipline thing again)
3. Managing running with an injured foot…………………. SOLUTION: Remembering how thrilled I was just being IN the event.
4. Bad weather leading up to the event……………………… SOLUTION: Trained in it so I was happy to race in it.
Here is a list of my PROS which is why I race.
1. Racing in front of my family and friends….an atmosphere which was just electric.
2. Racing a course that was equally as iconic as the Olympics….with closed roads to boot.
3. Not having to stay in a hotel cause my house was just as close AND having a delicious dinner made for me the night before by our wonderful boys….surprise, surprise!
4. Representing GB…against one of the strongest fields you will ever see…OMG!!
5. Being able to grab a BIG FLAG on my way to the finish from my friend Rachel…not just a little plastic one…hate those!
6. Having my sons get some fantastic photos…much better then the official ones…no really!
7. Getting my super cool medal and t-shirt at the end….ALWAYS important!
8. Finishing with the biggest sense of achievement regardless of how my race went!
9. Seeing how proud my boys were of their mother…really was a moment.
10. Had a great time!
After reading these I don’t remember any CONS….
What now?? Will it be another Olympic distance or will it be longer maybe Ironman?? Not too sure yet on which races I will be doing in 2014, but what I do know is that metallics are the must-have accessory for the next Spring/Summer collection. So for me its time for makeup, high heels, metallics and and as many lie-ins as I can manage.
WORLD TRIATHLON CHAMPSIMAGES
This blog is a place for me to share what I do with you. It is about my love for racing, family and fashion. It is also about being an older athlete and how I manage to keep my training balanced and, most of the time, injury free. I hope to inspire other ladies, regardless of age, to get up and get healthy...just try it!