The Triathlon Plan

Sunday 7 December 2014 by

Sport number, Fitness, Running, Half marathon, Triathlon, HoBFitness, Medal

A couple of years ago, my mother and I got into running via a ‘Beginner’s Program’ run by the local Running Club. They were a really friendly, encouraging bunch, and spurred on by their enthusiasm, and a little leftover Olympic buzz, we went from gasping for air after running for a minute, to running thirty minutes non-stop.

The program culminated in a 5k Challenge – further than we’d ever run continuously before, as we weren’t quite at 5k in 30 minute pace. We did it in around 37 minutes. We were elated. We were runners.

Parkruns followed – weekly free timed 5k races. We got better. Seconds, then minutes started coming off our times. We started thinking about increasing distance.

We signed up for the much lauded local 10k – more inspired, I think, by the thought of a free pack of Müller yoghurts for finishing, rather than the challenge of the distance. We started running four miles, and then five. Race day came, and we finished together at about the 1hr 13min mark. Slow, but proud to have survived. We’d never run continuously that far before.

Then came the slump. We had injuries, illnesses. Physios were seen, stretches were done, and meanwhile the long summer meant that we were busy doing other things. Our running career looked to be over before it had got started.

Then early entry for the 10k opened, and we signed up again. We’d done it before, we could do it again. We’d run regularly, mix up distance with a bit of speed work. Keep things interesting. We did the Jantastic Challenge. We fell in love with running again.

And did something stupid and brilliant – we signed up for a half marathon.

We had these grand plans to train, but it never really happened. Dedicating the time to train for two hours is so difficult when you’re trying to balance work commitments, children and life in general. We started the race with no real expectations. Our aim: don’t die. I finished in 2hrs 44mins, Mum about five minutes ahead of me. We could barely stand up for a week.

Much like that first 10k, another slump followed. We didn’t run for about three weeks – first to recover from injury, and then because we got ill. Confidence was knocked. We started to wonder how the hell we could run three miles, let alone thirteen. The nights darkened, the days grew colder. We both started to feel a bit depressed about it all.

We needed a challenge. The thought of doing another half marathon wasn’t really getting us excited. We knew we wouldn’t train properly again, and the thought of putting our bodies through all that again – well, the memory was still a little bit too fresh. Ask us again in another couple of months. So we went out to dinner, then back to the pub and I offered a suggestion that was a little bit out there: Why don’t we do a triathlon?

Our partners are both experienced in the triathlon field. Mother and I have experience of watching them while eating picnics and swearing that we will never be that crazy. But I needed something to get me through the next few months, exercise wise. I needed a target. And I was starting to feel a little crazy.

“Not one in a lake?” Mum said.

Definitely not one in a lake. A civilised swimming pool, thank you very much.

This little detail cleared, we shook on it.

“I can’t swim,” Mum said.

“I don’t have a bike,” I pointed out, “you gave it to my sister.”

“This is going to go so well,” she said.

“I’m going to write about it on my friend’s blog. That way, we have to do it. We’re committed. People will know.”

And here we are – a commitment. I have now stated in a public space: I am going to do a triathlon. So is my mother. We’ going to be doing one at Nantwich in late May. It’s on House of Blog. There’s no turning back.

You can follow Loralei on Twitter: @LAHaylock

Related Posts

Share This

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *