What a year 2009 was for me, I met Colin and decided to take on my own 365 challenge after seeing his posters in the gym and then I was off! Initially with the idea of only completing the equivalent of 2 tri-athlons broken down in the gym each week (oh how easy it would have been if I'd carried on at that pace ;-) !!) but oh no that was too easily achievable so I then upped it to 3 tri's a month. But as soon as the summer months hit and Colin had his idea of climbing the actual 3 peaks I decided to join in, in hindsight probably not the best idea I've had since my hips didn't enjoy the hours climbing but what an achievement! Reaching the final peak on a sunny day and having such an amazing view made it well worth all the pain (I won't mention the bad weather that we faced to save Colin, he chose the dates and I'm sure he looked for the days with the worst weather forecast!)
After the climbs I'd started to get the bug for fitness challenges outside and my mum managed to sweet talk the lovely Vick into giving me a free place in the Nantwich tri-athlon in September. With this goal in sight I set to work on my swimming my weakest of the 3 and with the help of the Swimming Coach - Chris at my local gym Total Fitness and after lots of classes and lots of training I had learnt to swim front crawl and managed my 500m in just 13 mins, which I still can't quite believe! I'd decided that in my head the swimming and the running were going to take the most out of me so I was going to take the bike slowly and after transitioning from swim to bike with my mum shouting "don't forget to dry in-between your toes" I was off for 20km on my bike, which as planned I took slowly perhaps a little too slowly looking back! I reached the end of the 20km to my crowd of supporters who I couldn't have completed the tri without, they were my boyfriend Oli, my mum, two sisters - Amy & Tasha, brother-in-law Joe, beautiful niece Lucia, and friends Scoopz, Kim, Colin and Donna.
Now for the run, 5km, 4 times round the barony park with even more supporters cheering me on (Chris the swimming coach & the guy from the tri-athlon shop in rufus court) and bumping into a few neighbours around the course! The supporters cheered me on when I was obviously very tired and my mum even ran some bits with me!!
But what a lovely feeling it was to reach that finish line in a very respectable time of 1hr
After the tri-athlon was over and a new bug for running developing I decided the ultimate way of finishing my 365 challenge was with a half marathon, a huge ask of myself but I was determined enough and even tried entering the London marathon (I couldn't get a place which is probably a good thing!) I set about planning my training from getting myself from running 5km to running 22km and decided to join Colin again in a 10km race for life in Rhyl as a shorter term goal and to get myself more used to the race environment. I told my Grandad and he said my cousin and his friend had entered too which meant there were 4 of us racing on the day which was really nice! Yet again we had trouble with the weather which left me a touch disappointed with my time of 1hr 4mins, but hey I did it and at the time the furthest I'd run!
I stepped up my running and enlisted the help of a couple more friends to help motivate me to run 4 times a week, my usual training was 1 swimming class on a tuesday, 1 running session in the gym doing intervals of slow jogging and running as fast as I could, 2 runs with my friend Sophie outside and 1 long run a week with my boyfriend Oli who would cycle along the side of me and keep me going, our favourite route was the Chester to Hawarden cycle path. And sure enough in time for the Bedford half marathon on December 13th I had already run my own practice half marathon and was as raring to go as I could be minus two toe-nails (apparently common in runners, I wish someone had told me) and with a bad knee, apparently from lack of hip and glute strength!
The race day soon arrived and I was very nervous, I hadn't paid too much attention to the pack they'd sent out which had a map of the route along with a diagram of who hilly it got. Apparently I should have as the run was soooooo hard and not having my usual support crew besides me to keep me going, but I got through it, up and down all the hills even with my hip pain flared up and just made my target of under 2 and a half hours!
I finished off the last bit of the year continuing with my tri-athlons in the gym and before I knew it it was all over! Lot's of running, swimming and biking, lot's of taking part in events and travelling all over the country and lot's of fund-raising later reaching a huge £2000 all for my Step-daddy Archie Thorley and I am immensely proud to be in the position to donate at least three chairs in his name! A huge thanks to all the generous friends who donated!
But what next... I'm a changed girl and have to admit I cannot wait to get running again, (a cold and the cold weather have made me take a rest) I'm planning at least a couple of half-marathon's, maybe even a marathon and another tri-athlon. As for the charity - Archie's Chairs we've raised enough money to register Archie's Chairs and register it in it's own right! A huge bonus and one that I hadn't planned for... so lot's more work to do!
So that's it for a hugely eventful 2009 and hopefully lot's more fitness in the future and here's to a successful Archie's Chairs, I know he's be proud even if I do say so myself!!
Much Love xxxxxxxxx
P.S As for the Blog I do plan to continue x x