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In 2002, a friend suggested to me that we have a go at a local triathlon he had heard about and at that time I didn’t even know what a triathlon was!
I didn’t have any background in any of the three disciplines: I could do a kind of breast stroke style swim but was actually scared of deep water and of wearing goggles (I didn’t want to see what was under the water – even in the pool!), my riding experience was pretty much limited to when I passed my cycling proficiency test on my brother’s BMX, however I had done a bit of running alongside fitness classes to keep fit …so all in all, I was quite the novice!
Having survived, and thoroughly enjoyed, my first triathlon, I just did a couple of sprint and standard distances in the first couple of years and it was quite a steep learning curve as I learnt to do front crawl, became more adept on a bike and built on my running fitness.
In 2005 I decided to do the inaugural Ironman UK in Sherborne so although quite clueless, I embarked on 7 months of training for that and absolutely loved the longer distance training and racing. Then in 2006 I did the London triathlon and was completely shocked to win my age group so I guess this was the year that I realised that if I train more seriously, I could be competitive.
I am a very dedicated person and if I have a plan to follow, I will stick to it rigidly even if it means going out to train in the wind and rain, I will still go and do what I have to do so I see my dedication as a strength.
I would say that my weakness (besides pick ‘n’ mix) is that I am scared of failure and so hate doing any kind of test in fear of my result not reflecting my training. Louise Jones, Sports Psychologist from the TriLife, has taught me that we should always focus on the ‘process’ rather than the ‘outcome’ and this is something I now strive to do.