Three weeks ago, after 16+ weeks of dedicated training, alongside a marathon, finishing a Level 2 and 3 personal training course and coping with general life , I finally became a 70.3 finisher.
Now don’t get me wrong it was hard, nothing about it was was “hey this is just a rainy day out”, BUT I genuinely loved it. I smiled throughout the bike course (well about 95% of it) and chatted away to other runners during the 3 laps around the lakes. I just adored the whole experience and could not have wished for a better finish, crossing the line almost an hour sooner than I thought!
Crossing the line was one of the most exciting parts of this race and not because it meant I had done my exercise for the day, though obviously it was nice to finish ;D. It was exciting because I had worked so extremely hard and it had paid off. All those mornings of getting up at stupid o’clock to fit various sessions in whilst not wanting it to impact on my social life too much, all the beautifully colour coordinated spreadsheets making sure I was dedicating enough time to each discipline, the huge amounts of reading on training methods and talking to everyone and anyone who was going through/had done anything to do with a 70.3, it all paid off. I wanted to complete a 70.3 and enjoy it and that is exactly what happened.
I could give you a blow by blow account of the race, how horrendous the weather was, how incredible the marshals were etc but instead I thought I would share a few important things that I learnt on this journey … just in case you were tempted to take up the challenge …
– Really think why you are doing it. Ok yes so there individuals in this world that can just rock up to things and get incredible results – I am sadly not one of these people. A 70.3 is a LONG event, it takes a lot of dedication and training and if you go into something like this half hearted it is going to be a long and hard old slog! Now don’t get me wrong I definitely had my moments – tired, wet, cold etc – but I genuinely love training, I love being outdoors and I love how my body always surprises me!
– Surround yourself with incredible people who are both interested and totally couldn’t care less in what you are doing (to bring you back to reality) I could not have done this without the love and support of my friends and family.
– Enjoy the increased appetite and take of advantage of all the fueling practice on the bike. You need to eat LOTS to fuel the ride but also get you prepped for the run. Use your training to experiment, this is a great excuse to try every flavour of bars out there. I am now OBSESSED with CLIF bars.
– KEEP CALM – I have now become a total yogi. Granted I only do between 5-20 minutes a night but every little helps and I am pretty sure it helped no end with my daily recovery.
– Just keeping remembering why you are doing it. A couple of weeks before race day I had a bit of a panic about the whole thing and a good friend turned round and reminded how much I had loved the training, explaining “this is just training with a medal at the end”. YEP 🙂
The way I see it 2 years ago I finished my first marathon, one year ago I learnt how to ride a bike, 8 months ago I did my first super sprint triathlon. If I can do it anyone can it just takes a bit of hard work and determination (and if you are like me a multicoloured pen 😉)
Thank you again to everyone at Events113 for putting on a truly wonderfully event and giving me a day I will never forget.