13th June 2016 

TRACE GOODHEW

 
 

I’ve been hitting the pool and doing the laps, conquering my fear of not being able to run 5km, and clocking up the distance on my bike, but it was only when I purchased my wetsuit that it finally hit me –

...I’m going to be doing a triathlon.

Comfortable kit
I am a self-confessed gadget person so the opportunity to purchase a new bit of kit couldn’t be passed up.  I think I always knew I would purchase a wetsuit but before taking that leap there was a fair bit of research to do and questions that needed answering.  One of my biggest concerns, and perhaps other women can relate to this, how do I do the run without hurting myself when nipping into a change room to put a bra on isn’t an option???  As none of my female friends has ever done a triathlon it wasn’t something I could ask over a drink or dinner.

Luckily there are a lot of on-line forums where these sorts of issues and more are discussed.  So armed with information I headed off to a triathlon show and after talking to some very helpful sales people I settled on an Orca equip wetsuit.  I dreaded the thought of trying it on in a small changing room and feared I would look like a duck out of water.  But I was pleasantly surprised at how flexible and comfortable it was, even with a tri-suit and bra underneath it.  

Jumping in the deep end
It’s one thing to buy the gear it’s another thing to actually use it. I started off by trying it on at home, the first time I thought it would take me days to get into it.  I soon learnt perseverance was the key and once I was comfortable getting into and out of the wetsuit at home the day came to go to the pool and test it out. On a cold, overcast Sunday morning, I found myself at an outdoor pool.  Not my usual outdoor, training pool that’s 50 metres long and heated to 25 degrees all year round.  No. This pool was 16 degrees and 91 metres long.  It was cold and I certainly wasn’t prepared for just how cold it was.

The verdict
The wetsuit was great.  It provided buoyancy, plenty of flexibility to swim in and, most off all, it kept me warm.  Well, almost warm, my feet, hands and face froze.  The next step?  Why an open water swim of course.

27th April 2016

Triathlon - an athletic contest consisting of three different events, typically swimming, cycling, and long-distance running. 

"....It sounded easy enough when I signed up to do the AJ Bell London Triathlon." 

I’ve been swimming for more years than I care to remember, I love cycling so much that I have three bikes, and as for running – well, that’s one foot in front of the other – like walking, only quicker.  What I hadn’t factored in was how challenging and revealing it will be to train that big muscle, the one that will get me to around the course in one piece, my brain!

WHITE NOISE
I spent today in a meeting.  9:30am to 4:15pm in an airless room with horrible coffee and listening to people talk to the point where it all sounds like white noise and I felt as if my ears would bleed.  As I headed home, the sun was still out and given the day I had you would think I would have been looking forward to putting on my running gear and heading out the door.  But my brain had other ideas.

During my hour commute home I had countless conversations with myself about whether I’d go for a run.  There was the conversation about how it was too late in the day and too light.  I prefer running in the morning, preferably in the dark (the dark gives me a degree of anonymity and no-one can see my body wobble).  

LOW ENERGY
We (me and my brain) then had the discussion about how tired I was feeling and didn’t have the energy.  Yes, it had been an exhausting day at work but hey, I sat on my butt all day. Finally, there was the discussion about logistics, what route would I do?  A long run, a short run, flat or slightly hilly?  Which route would have less people on the pavement?  Would I listen to music or a podcast?  So many decisions to make and underlying all these discussions/arguments and conversations in my head, the overriding thought: ‘can I be bothered?’

THE BEST BIT 
The outcome?  I listened to music for 24.33 minutes while I went for a flat 3.16km run.  Yes, it was hard (you can tell by my time) but I got some time to myself, the footpaths weren’t too busy and not many people saw my wobbles, I had chosen the right route.  

And the best bit?  The brain and body training is on track. 

3rd March 2016

"What if I really enjoy it...?"

EXCUSES

Back home in Australia I spent years watching triathlons and ironman competitions – from the comfort and safety of my sofa. That didn’t change when I moved to the UK. And over the years, every now and then, my partner has said: ‘Why don’t you do a triathlon?’ The suggestion usually came after I commented I needed a challenge or while I was watching a sporting event on TV. But I always had a range of excuses: ‘I’m too busy’, ‘I don’t swim in brown water’. What was really at the back of my mind was: ‘I’m not fit enough’, ‘I’m carrying too much weight’, and worst of all, ‘what if I can’t do it?’

NO MORE EXCUSES

Having discovered England does have blue water to swim in, managing to stop smoking after 30 plus years and realising I wasn’t getting any younger, I figured I had run out of excuses. So one evening, when sitting on the sofa discussing the schedule of sporting events ahead, I was asked if I wanted to do the AJ Bell London Triathlon. I had to say yes!


And here I am: just turned 55, training for my first triathlon.

SUPPORT

Of course before registering there was a lot of discussion and research into which triathlon to do and which distance to choose. I finally settled on the sprint distance at the AJ Bell London Triathlon.

I have since found myself picking people’s brains for any tips and advice when I discover they are into triathlons. At a friend’s Christmas party I took someone hostage in the kitchen to get his thoughts about open water swimming and the need for a good triathlon wetsuit. A few days later, true to his word, he sent me an article on wetsuits.

Two weeks ago, during a teleconference call at work, I mentioned to a colleague I would be doing the London Triathlon. He got really excited and kept saying how great it was that I was training for a triathlon, while I was thinking: ‘Yes. And you’re 20 years younger than me and have no body fat.’ Anyone and everyone should be doing it!

WHAT IF?

There is a part of me that’s very nervous and worries about: ‘What if I can’t get my wetsuit off?’, ‘What If I can’t run the distance?’, ‘What if I get a flat tyre?’, ‘What if I muck up the all-important transition?’

Well. I figure the world won’t come to an end if any one of those fears becomes a reality.


The ‘what if’ that excites me the most? What if I really enjoy it… and there’s a little part of me that thinks that might actually happen