I had a thought this morning that I actually had to double-check on my own blog to make sure that it was true and that I wasn’t just imagining things. It goes as follows:
My last triathlon was Ironman UK.
I had to view my own blog to double-check, but it is indeed true – the last triathlon that I did was Ironman UK in 2016. That was about 16 months, 30,000 PhD words, two jobs and one newborn son ago. In my defence, I had made a conscious decision in 2017 to step back from multi-sport (in order to do more PhD and to be more Dad) and chose running to focus on. As a result, I ran three half-marathons and two marathons this year; which I would argue is not too shabby an effort. Here is the thing though – I do enjoy doing triathlons. I had reached a stage late last year when I was probably starting to burn out a little, and the thought of heading down the swimming pool for a time trial filled me with dread (on second thoughts, that has not changed at all).
Now, every time I see a big hill when I am on a train or driving by, my first thought is ‘I wonder if there is a paved road up that hill that I could cycle?’. I’m moving to Glasgow in a couple of weeks, and in amongst all of the many, many, many emotions that I am feeling at the moment – I’ve enjoyed using Google Maps to scour local areas and find some beautiful cycling spots to explore over the upcoming Scottish winter. Long story short – my head is telling me that it is time to look back to triathlon.
This is not to say that everything else will fall by the wayside. I have children whom I adore spending time with and they (along with my immensely tolerant and loving partner) will always be my number one priority. I also still have a PhD to research and write. And I have a new job managing the training for the upcoming European Games in Glasgow taking place in August that I want to excel at. So the ever-present need to balance everything will be there – in fact in 2018 it will be harder as I am re-introducing triathlon. Fingers crossed I can pull it off.
My current first race of the year will be Ironman Edinburgh 70.3 in July. I am immediately nervous about the prospect of a bumpy swim, but the opportunity to do an M-Dot race an hour’s drive down the road was just far too tempting for me. The deal was sealed when I realised that I could drive to drop my kit off on Saturday and then come home to sleep in my own bed, before waking early on Sunday and driving back again to race. #win
I am a bit concerned that I will struggle to get cycling training in, given that it is the most time intensive of the three disciplines (and also, I’ve barely cycled in a year), but I have about seven months to get up to speed on this – and hopefully getting in with Glasgow Triathlon Club will help on that front.
The other race I have planned is Ironman Dún Laoghaire 70.3 – the race formerly known as Ironman Dublin 70.3 . So I’m targeting half ironmans for 2018, as I really do think its the ideal distance for me; its a distance I find challenging but without completely turning your life upside-down in terms of time commitments. I’ve never been to Ireland before, and I’d love to go – so that is pretty much it for the rationale behind that one! It looks like a hoot, and it also gives me a bit of a celtic vibe for the year, which will be fun.
I’m hoping to volunteer at some club races during the year, and perhaps even race in some shorter distance events to build towards the two ‘A’ races. The shortest triathlon I’ve ever done is Olympic distance, so perhaps in 2018 I can try my hand at some sprints or super-sprints – we’ll see what comes up over the summer depending on other priorities.
So there we are. 2018 feels a bit locked in at the moment, but I just can’t really see how I’m going to fit it all in. Short term goals are to get my running shoes on and get out and about – particularly when I start exploring my local neighbourhood once I move. I haven’t mentioned it, but I’m around 30km shy of having run 1000 miles for 2017…
*cue The Proclaimers music*
Listening To: ‘Bang Bang’ by Green Day