So, how did I get to the place where doing 50 events in a year seems like a reasonable endeavour ?
I’ve always been pretty fit, a swimmer as a child into my teens – training six days a week, and a gym bunny through my 20’s and 30’s. Also a big walker, easily doing 15000 – 20000 steps a day. Since having my children Zoe and Heidi I’ve not really worked – the odd part time job- so have lots of time to pursue my fitness goals.
I’ve never been able to run. I’ve had asthma all my life, often in hospital even in my 20’s. Although I tried hard not to let it affect my life, running has always been a challenge. Around five years ago when I was 45 – my scary age – the age I thought I would be old and finally grown up, I was put on a new drug – it changed my life (funnily enough the NHS have just decided not to pay for it anymore, but I will rant about that another time). It meant that I was not using my blue inhaler fifteen times a day. My breathing was much more stable.
Also around this time (think I was 44) my sister asked me to do a super sprint triathlon – 200m swim, 8 mile bike and a 3km run. How hard could it be? Quite hard actually – it took me just over and hour and I walked most of the run. But I loved it and lived off the high for days. I was hooked.
I decided the following year that I would enter the Sprint distance, with a 5km run at the end and I would run it all!
So, the drugs got better, my breathing got better – I joined a online running group to help me run that 5km. It was called Up & Running and was run by Shauna and Julia. Coach Julia had a new approach to running, the best bit being Free Form running – it involves walking 🙂 It also came with a forum where I could share my training exploits with other novice runners. It turned out to be an amazing community that still support me today – a world wide group of fabulous women, many of whom I’ve met in real life and who often turn up at my events.
I did well in this environment, no pressure to run with other people, but always feeling like I had other people with me (virtually). In eight short weeks I could run a slow 5km. I’m still slow in case you were wondering.
Back to triathlon. I completed the Sprint and was hooked, I signed up for the Olympic distance the following year also signing up for the 10k online course to help me on my way.
Well the years went by and each achievement and distance spurred me on to the next one. Finally completing an Ironman 70.3 in 2013 and then the full Ironman in 2014.
In four years I had gone from not being able to run to the end of the road to completing an Ironman. As Ironman would say – “Anything is Possible” and I truly felt this – not just in the athletic sense. Completing something that seemed so impossible five years ago has made me realise that anything in life is possible – if you put in the work.
And so to the 50th birthday year. 50 events. I think it will be a challenge but I think I can do it. I have the support of my friends and family ….and no job!
As for the “events” there will be big events, small events and some made up events 🙂 Gotta keep costs down.
I will include some Parkruns (keeping costs down) but I will try and make each one special – new Parkruns and dragging people along with me (watch out family members), there be will be an Ironman (costs going up), a 300km bike ride (in Sweden – costs going up yet again) a marathon or two and lots of other fun stuff.
It’s going to be a fabulous year. I can’t wait.