My triathlon journey began in late 2013 when I met David Cole. He was already an Ironman at that point and I began my triathlon journey as a spectator.
The first event I watched him race was Mumbles Duathlon 2014 which was his first ever duathlon. To think he would go on to represent GB in duathlon in 2015 and become European duathlon champion in 2016 just shows how quickly he progressed.
Anyway, back to me. That summer I watched David complete Long Course Weekend and win that famous fourth medal. It was definitely a case of completing not competing for David then.. again how times change.
Sorry, I digress, again. I loved watching Long Course Weekend. I especially enjoyed the fact that you could pick and choose your race distances and the fact it was similar to the Ironman Wales course.. it made the distance approachable somehow.
I started training – very little amounts. About an hour or an hour and a half per week. By 2015 I had entered my first super sprint triathlon and completed my first half marathon.
Surprisingly however, I can’t say I was really enjoying myself and in 2016 I only ran 2 races.. a 10km and 4 mile. My bike, a Pendleton Initial road bike affectionately known as Peggy had been in hibernation since the super sprint of 2015. This changed during that 4 mile race at the end of the summer of 2016. At the race I got chatting to another girl called Bryanie, I didn’t know her that well but she was the girlfriend of one of the boys who trained and raced with David. She was thinking of buying a bike and did so shortly after. That was the beginning of me really enjoying cycling and we would ride together often.
By 2017 I decided I wanted to give triathlon another go. In January I ran my first race for my triathlon team West Coast Tri at the team pursuit in Crymych followed by Neyland duathlon shortly thereafter. I upgraded my bike (soz Peggy) and invested in a Liv Envie.
My main event that year was to be Long Course Weekend here I was to do half an Ironman over 3 days. I loved it. That was me, well and truly hooked. Lots of go-tri’s, a sprint and a standard triathlon finished off the year.
That Autumn a very special magazine landed on the doormat. I had won a place in the London Marathon ballot. I had never run a marathon before and I decided to make 2018 even bigger by entering Ironman Wales.
And so in 2018, the training began for my first ever endurance event. It started well-ish with a bit of bursitis in my hip which I quickly recovered from. Even the Beast from the East couldn’t keep me from my long runs. However, disaster struck in the Mumbles duathlon where I picked up a hamstring injury. Having plodded through Jan, Feb and March I stupidly thought I’d do a sprint duathlon with no speed training. With the already big mileage in the legs something had to give and that something was my hamstring.
I managed to hobble around a sweltering London Marathon in a time of 4.36. I was hoping for nearer 4 hours but between the hamstring and the shock of the heatwave which was a huge contrast to my snowy training runs I was just happy to get my first marathon under the belt in preparation for the larger target of the year – Ironman Wales.
I had just under 4 months to get myself ready. A cycling holiday to Majorca kicked things off nicely but unfortunately had to pull out of the Slateman Standard distance triathlon in May as the hamstring definitely wasn’t ready for that brutal trail run at the end but I slowly introduced more running. Slow running, but I didn’t care as long I was able to get the miles in.
We had a sunny summer filled with long bike rides but more bad luck came when the half ironman I had entered, the Sospan Sizzler, was cancelled due to bad weather. I’d never done more than a standard triathlon and it was too close to Ironman by now to enter anything else so I decided I’d have to do it myself… I did my own half Ironman in a day. The thunder and hailstones certainly made for an interesting run that day but it was another tick in the box in the run up to Ironman Wales.
September arrived and soon enough the big day was here! It was certainly an experience I will never forget and I loved it! I successfuly tamed the dragon in a time of 14 hours and 16 minutes. I am now an Ironman! If you want to read my Ironman Wales race report you can find it HERE.
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