How and why did you get into triathlon?
Myself and Phill started running together and got our son Max to participate in the park run to get him a bit fitter and off the Xbox. As we did body boarding Phill started swimming again to improve his swim fitness when in the sea and we had always taken the kids out on bike rides. I had also joined Bannatynes and was working out and swimming there. Phill had seen the Beccles Triathlon kit at the park run and liked the look of it and he then came across Suzy’s blog and wanted to try one. I was adamant I didn’t want to and so watched him participate in the East Coast Tri. Phill then persuaded me to enter the Waveney Spring Triathlon.
What was your first event?
My first event was the Waveney Spring triathlon. I bought a secondhand road bike and didn’t even have a trisuit. I was very nervous and practiced transition in the garden with two dustbins and a broom for racking the bike. After the swim I spent ages trying to get cycle shorts, a t-shirt, jacket and gloves on! Luckily T2 was quicker as I didn’t have to change shoes, just ditch the jacket for the run. I absolutely loved it and was hooked.
Which is your favourite discipline?
I love running. I started running years ago and ran the London Marathon in 1999. I am enjoying cycling a lot more as well now, but it is a struggle and hills are not my friend.
Greatest achievement to date and any PBs you are proud of?
Holkham Outlaw half is my greatest achievement. I never would have thought I was capable of racing that distance. I trained hard all year and was very nervous about making the cut off times. I had a panic attack at the swim start due to the amount of people and being bashed about a bit. I had to swim breast stroke for a while to get my breathing under control. I nearly gave up there and then, but then told myself I had trained too hard to give up. Luckily, I love the heat and didn’t suffer as much as some, especially on the run.
I have surprised myself with running race times this year and have already achieved the Waveney Valley Athletics Club gold standard for 5k, 5 mile and half marathon distances. I am really chuffed with that.
Best, worst and funniest race moments?
Best moment was crossing the finish line at the Holkham Outlaw half this year. It was very emotional knowing I had completed it and beat the time I had set myself (7 hours, I completed it in 6:18:01).
Worst moment was the bike section of the Waveney Spring triathlon this year. It was cold and I didn’t put a jacket on (most people know I suffer from the cold and this was a hardcore decision for me). I froze the whole way round and couldn’t unclip my helmet as I couldn’t feel my fingers. I had to rip it off without unclipping.
Who motivates/inspires you?
All the ladies at Beccles Tri Club are inspiring. They push themselves, encourage others and we all have fun. Jo Fisk was an inspiration for me to enter Holkham and Michelle Sayer likes to beast me on the bike (I would like to ride up a hill as quick as she does one day).
Phill is also a great motivator. We push each other to train, especially when one of us is not feeling the love for a training session. There is also a little bit of competitiveness between us (or mainly me).
Describe a typical training week.
I train 6 times a week. I do not have a set plan, but it is dictated to a point by club training times. This summer I have been swimming in the river and the sea at least once a week. I tend to run two or three times a week. I ride with the club on a Sunday, maybe once or twice more in the week and I bike to work and back three times a week. I also do a body combat class once a week at the gym and try to fit in some strength work if I remember.
Any special pre race routine?
I don’t have any special routine. I just tend to have a rest day before the race or keep the training light. However, I did go on a low fibre diet for three days before Holkham as I was worried about stomach problems on a long race and I had read this was a good way to avoid them. It was a bit strange and I seemed to live on custard creams, much to the amusement of some friends, but it worked!
Races on the agenda and future ambitions.
I only have one relay tri left this year – the Aldeburgh relay – and I am doing the run leg.
I am planning on some cross country races during the winter, but haven’t booked any yet.
Next year I would like to try some different events and have seen an off road bike from London to Brighton that I am interested in.
I have also entered the London marathon ballot, so we will see if I am successful.
Phill has jokingly mentioned competing in an Ironman full distance, but I am not up for that yet. Maybe when we have retired and have more time to train?