So, if you have been keeping up with my ramblings, you will know that Sunday was my last race of my first triathlon season. It has been one hell of a summer, I have loved (almost) every moment.
I topped it off with a 3rd in my age group (25-29) and 12th overall female. The swim was tough and I ended up well off course (my first sea swim), the bike was flat and fast (with 16 dead turns) and the run was full-steam ahead until 6.5km when everything got a bit wavey. It was hot and 4 laps up and down the Brighton seafront was mentally draining. I was glad to cross the finish line and pleased with my time and placing (although 2nd place was SO near, yet so far – why did I go so far off course in the swim. Live and learn!).
This season, my maiden season, has been my best summer yet. To summarise, I have completed 5 triathlons (3 standard distance, 2 sprint distance), achieved 4 ‘podium positions’ in my AG (1 x win, 1 x 2nd and 2 x 3rd), one 5th place and automatic qualification for the 2020 European and World Triathlon Championships. Not so bad for a bit of beginners luck!
Joking aside, this has not been just my doing. I am incredibly lucky to have such a dedicated and patient coach, Sam from Amphibian Triathlon Coaching, who has put up with not only my continuous chat but my persistent messaging over all platforms (Whatsapp, text, iMessage and Training Peaks). He goes along with my grand plans and has helped turn them into reality. Just this January I decided that I wanted to qualify for the European Championships. Instead of laugh and tell me not to run before I could walk, he put together a plan which has enabled me to more than achieve my goals. Not only have we qualified for the European Triathlon Championships but also the World Triathlon Championships. He takes into account that I am a 26 year old female who wants (attempts to have) a social life, who has a full time professional career and who can be slightly irrational and stubborn. There has been no pressure, just a lot of support, guidance and patience (with the occasional eye roll when I push my luck!). Thank you!
Furthermore, my family who have backed me from the beginning when they drove 200 miles to support me at the Shrewsbury Sprint Triathlon back in 2018 and who have attended every race since. Not only are they there to support me during races but they are at the end of the phone both day and night. My Mum who has put up with me ignoring phone calls for weeks on end to then be inundated with missed calls when everything seems to go wrong at once and I need help picking up the pieces. My dad who keeps me in the real world, who is leaning to become my professional photographer (work in progress), who has the patience of a saint to put up with my mum and I and who is possibly the kindest man I know. My Nan who talks incessantly and fills me in on all her gossip. I always come of the phone with a smile on my face. Thank you for coming to all my races and being my number one fan. Grandad, I have no idea how you have coped with this constant chitter chatter for all these years!
Owen, my brother, you are ok but I intend to become a faster cyclist that you. Thanks for helping me buy my first bike and for not being so annoying anymore. You’re ok.
I am also incredibly lucky to have some amazing friends. I am sorry I can’t speak to you all as frequently as I would like. Sometimes after a mornings training session, a full day of work followed by another training session, I just don’t want to talk to anyone. All I want to do is eat, sleep and read a book. Despite this, you have all stood by me and understood. I was warned that in this world of triathlon training, friends drop like flies but you have all stuck around, despite my dwindling communication skills. A massive thank you for this, for being there and for supporting me. Going forwards, I will try to be less selfish.
I have also made some great friends who put up with my nattering through training sessions; Beckie and Tim, sorry for messing up all your rest intervals during swimming. I try to cram as much chat into the 10 seconds rest as possible, I occasionally over-run. Thank you also for (trying) to educate me on my bikes – in terms of riding them and also looking after them.
Without this support network around me, I would not be able to pursue this ‘hobby’. Without triathlon I wouldn’t have realised how loyal all these people are and for that, I am incredibly grateful and feel very loved.
Now to a month of no structure before knuckling down for the 2020 season ahead and boy, I cannot wait! Safe to say, I am committed.
Aeroplane mode is on as I head to Verona with my Nan. Laterssssss.