Refusing to drink the Kool-Aid…

…why I just can’t bring myself to join the herd. WARNING! Be prepared for lots of mixed metaphors and apologies it has been so long between posts. I got lost along the way…must have been running in the hills 😉

I was just thinking this over this morning, so I thought I’d see what everyone else’s thoughts and experiences are. It has been decreed a day for navel gazing, so please indulge me.

Do you throw yourself into a club or a group or do you always keep yourself apart? And what does it say about us and our choices? This intrigues me as it’s the one part of my personality that I don’t really understand where it came from. There is something in me that point blank refuses to be labelled as one thing or another, to the extent that if someone tries to it really irritates me. Don’t get me started on ‘Briggs Myers’!

Training for Celtman is a prime example of this. People assume because I want to swim 3.8k, bike 202k and run 42k that I am a triathlete, but I would never say I am. This is not because I don’t like triathletes. I love triathletes. They are some of the most positive, committed, engaging people I know, so why would I not want to be labelled as one? Being labelled a cyclist has the same effect. Although, their ‘rules’ has to be part of it…there is just no way I’m wearing the socks! Solely going to the gym doesn’t inspire me either, and I’m definitely not a runner (though I’m happy to go out and run in the hills for 2 hours), so why am I so reluctant to define myself?

I see lots of people throw themselves into triathlon 100%, total commitment. Everything becomes about triathlon, it’s an easy sport to get inspired by. They get so much pleasure by using it to define who they are…you just need to check out the IM tattoos to see how rightly proud of their achievements people are. So why not me? Why do I want to do the race, but not join the club?

It makes even less sense when you look at my background in team sports. I played rugby for 15 years and during that time it was a huge part of who I was. I loved being part of a team and all the training and playing together to reach a common goal. I know triathlon isn’t a team sport, but it does have a great community atmosphere, with everyone (okay most people) cheering on everyone else, so why not become a fully paid up member of the team? It makes no sense. Especially as by not committing you generally put yourself on the outside looking in. People sense your lack of commitment and withdraw, which is just human nature.

So what is everyone else’s experience/view on the matter…I am no clearer on this now than when I started typing so if anyone has any insight it would be most welcome.

Ps training is coming along fine and another set of progress pictures is due this weekend. Oh NO! xx

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The story so far…

So my previous triathlon/running experience is probably best illustrated through pictures. All the triathletes out there will realise that I will have to up my pace a bit to get round Celtman before the cutoffs…just another part of the challenge.

My first ever triathlon was a sprint event (750m OW swim, 24km bike, 5km run) at Lochore Meadows in Fife, Scotland.

Compilation of pictures of girl competing in triathlon.

Lochore Sprint Distance 2010
Overall time 1hr 40mins 16sec
Swim 17mins 4secs
Bike 53mins 23sec
Run 27mins 17sec
Position 238 out of 258 finishers and 264 competitors (still not last)

It was nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be.

Then on to Gullane for an Olympic distance (1500m sea swim, 42km bike, 10km run)…loved it! But again not as hard as I thought…no faster though 😉

Background picture of people in wetsuits running up a dune with 3 pictures inlaid of the swim, bike, run sections of the race.

Gullane Olympic Distance Triathlon 2010
Overall time 3hrs 14mins 6sec
Swim 34mins 35secs
Bike 1hr 34mins 50sec
Run 1hr 1mins 33sec
Position 148 out of 157 finishers and 163 competitors (still not last)

I still felt I could push myself a bit further after Gullane so I signed up to run the Loch Ness Marathon, for Save the Children…making the wise decision that 1month of training would be okay. It was for the first 32km, not so much for the last 10km, which took me an hour and a half…normal walking pace would have been faster, but I was successful (completed with no injuries). I count that as a win.

Girl running on road on the left, people clapping on right.

Loch Ness Marathon 2010
Overall time 5hrs 9mins 53sec
(not last)

In 2011 I pretty much had a year off (well cycled up Alpe d’Huez with the family but apart from that, not much). Did a few wee bits and pieces of training but no races, but that couldn’t continue, so I came up with a plan…and like all my plans it was good on the big picture planning by not so much on the details.

I decided I wanted to do Norseman (a bit like Celtman’s big brother, as Celtman was only a twinkle in some nutter’s eye at that point)…so in preparation I though I’d do 2 middle distance (1.93km swim, 90km bike, 21.09km rum) events in 2012, with the idea of doing the longer distance in 2013. What I’d forgotten to include in my plan was the fact that I would be volunteering for the Olympics and that that would eat into my training schedule some what, but I didn’t let that stop me.

I decided that as long as was fit enough to walk for 7-8hrs I would be able to get round the course…crazy I hear you say! That may be, but it worked.

First came Aberfeldy…straight into Loch Tay (13 degrees if we were lucky) after preparing in Hampton Court open air pool at 30 degrees…chilly!

Wetsuits, eating, cycling

Aberfeldy Middle Distance Triathlon 2012
Overall time 7hrs 22mins 33sec (no splits)
(4th last, but not last!)

Porridge for breakfast followed by jam and Nutella sandwiches were the key. I used Aberfeldy as training for the Highland Warrior…which must have worked as I knocked 15 odd minutes off my time and the conditions were much worse.

Swim bike run compilation triathlon image

Highland Warrior 2012
Overall time 7hrs 4mins 7sec
Swim 37mins 54 secs
Bike 3hrs 46mins
Run 2hrs 27mins 16 sec
Position 105 out of 112 finishers and 119 competitors (still not last)

Worst race freebee ever…a hat that covers everything with green fluff!

That brings me up to date with my triathlon experience so far. What also happened this year, that changed my mind from doing Norseman, was the introduction of Celtman to the world, with it’s inaugural race being held in the summer. The difference in the expense and the fact that I love the North of Scotland sold me straight away, so when the ballot opened back in November I was right in there…but that’s another story.

DISCLAIMER: In no way should anything I’ve done or said or written be taken as good advice. I have no professional experience in the heath and wellbeing sector and an unhealthy disregard for what people regard as good training and competing practices. So anything you do is all on you 😀 x