Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Catch up

I feel I own my regular reader (hello @Runr795) a bit of an official catch up on everything before moving swiftly ahead with being a blog about running (and now swimming and biking) for people who aren't very good at it!

We last saw our hapless heroine, attempting to convalesce from two A&E episodes whilst in the Pennines, having made some big decisions that were not yet public...

And so, of course they are very public now. I left a brilliant job at Cancer Research UK after which I could have got a nice high paid exec job selling toothpaste or cars or something. I left London, without nary a backward glance. And I have moved to Manchester. And what a move...

I have not just moved physically, I've moved spiritually! For starters, this is a great place to get into tri: rolling hills (if only I could brave the terrible city drivers to get to them), open water swimming twice a week in the Salford Quays with the excellence Dave at Uswim; and running in the hills with the fabulous encouragement of The Beardy Guy. I have moved to somewhere where a random visitor to my building will chat to me in the lift, where I know the name of the guy who makes my coffee, sells me milk and maintains the building! And I have moved to somewhere where my mind has stopped whirring and my heart is at peace.

I hope to not be disingenuous nor disrespectful to say that the last three (was it three years?) were not meant to be. I simply made the best of a trying situation and in doing so did not realise that gradually day after day, I learned to live with suspicion, fear, and an expectation of the worst at worst, and at best, indifference. In moving to the North, I in fact moved somewhere where I was more myself, celebrated and adored for who I am, supported and motivated to be who I could be. So how does this outpouring of such candid emotion have any impact on my training, I hear you ask, cringing? Oh it's very simple.

It's all very well to say you're going to do an Ironman when the idea of being out of the house for 24 hours a week of training is escape. When it's the only place to be the person you want to be. When you have a point to prove. Early mornings, late nights, exhaustion, slave to spreadsheets - bring it on. But when you're not just happy but content, when you've no longer got to escape and you're revitalised by the stunning variety of things life has for you to experience, Ironman becomes a chore.

And you lose that reason for doing it. And without an ability to articulate why you're doing what you're doing, I feel you've set yourself up to fail.

So, after much soul searching, sleepless nights and long hypothetical conversations I woke The Beardy Guy one morning to the news - I was withdrawing from Ironman Lanzarote 2013.

This was not an easy decision to make but it feels like the right decision to make. I have made some alternative competition options but I am not sharing them at this stage. In the meantime, I'll be delighted to share my interim little races for fun and how I get on in them. Because the goal for the next few months is fun while swim-bike-running! And enjoying the peace in my heart.

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