My Try at a Triathlon: 5 Unexpected Life Lessons

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Originally posted on The Official Blog of Connie Carey:
While enjoying lunch on a Thursday with my friend, Amy, she dropped this bombshell: “Hey, I’m doing a triathlon this Saturday.  You should join me.” “This Saturday?  As in day after tomorrow?”…

JP Morgan Corporate Challenge

Start Line at Battersea Park

So last week I joined my work colleagues and ran the London leg of the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge in Battersea Park.  The run itself went well but it felt harder this year. For starters the group I work in the majority of the guys entered and for weeks I had to hear about how fast each of them run as they would predict who would be fastest. Now I am not competitive as I never win and I have come to terms with that, the only person I compete with is myself, but still listening to them wind each other up rubbed off me and so when I got to the start line I just felt pressure.

Then the start line was annoying.  We had to get into our waves 30 minutes before the start gun for the first wave and when the start gun went for the first wave it would be another 20 minutes before our wave hit the start. The standing around annoyed me, especially as I had arranged to meet C at 19:30 and it was gone 19:00 and I still hadn’t started!  Also after taking a tumble on holiday the week prior my lower back has been very sore,  so the standing around just seized me up. When we did finally start the course was packed. Knowing from last year that everyone speeds off at the start, me and another girl from our team decided to start slowly and pick up the pace as we made our way around the course, but this was difficult as people would either stop right in the way or due to the sheer volume of people you would reach a slower runner and have no room to overtake. Also for those who did overtake quickly this mean’t being pushed, which again threw the stride and pace. By 3k I had lost my team mate  by simply being pushed by other the runners (although it turns out she was just a few seconds behind me).

The course itself takes you around the park with the last half a mile being a real teaser – you see the finish line and think yes I am done, that was quick, only to find you have to run a half mile loop past it before the home strait! The course was quite hard to run simply by the sheer volume of other runners and parts of it was very narrow meaning the pushing and shoving got more intense towards the end with people trying to aim for PB’s. After last year I was more prepared for the pushing but I was not prepared for the fact that even more people were taking part this year. I would say that while Battersea Park is great place to run and personally for me convenient to get home from if the organizers of this run want the same of volume of people again next year (or more) then perhaps they need to make parts of the course wider of find a new home. Also given the long gaps between the start waves perhaps they could provide start time estimates so first wave goes at 6:45, second 6:50 and so on.

All in all I completed the run (you cannot stop to walk with work colleagues running around you) and I felt faster than last year, I  even managed to sprint the last 600m but I was disappointed to find my time was exactly the same as last year – just six seconds faster- I completed the run in 33:53. Once over the finish line I collected my finishers t-shirt and then huffily waited in the long queue to collect my bag mulling over my annoying time and knowing that the next day everyone would be emailed with everyone’s result. Out of the company I came 37th out 55 and out of the females 14th out 26. While this is not bad, out of my team (which really counted) I was second from last!! VERY ANNOYING as I know I could have completed that faster.

Catch up / New York 5 mile Run Update

Eeeekkk wordpressers I apologize for the very long absence. I have found work and training quite time consuming and well the one thing that has slipped is my posting. On the positive at least its not the training!

So what has happened since my last post. Well quite a lot. As well as triathlon training at work I successfully managed a 560 person event in NYC that was bigger and better than last year. Boom!

This event over the past couple of months has taken over my life so whilst I have still trained, in the back of my mind I have been thinking of AV requirements, menus, logistics, sponsors, speakers etc. Crazy times. I am really pleased to have pulled the event off (its always good to get a work win) and even happier that is now over so I can concentrate on my training.

However, whilst in NYC to keep up triathlon momentum I took part in the New York Road Runners Portugal Day Run in Central Park which, went better than my efforts in last year’s run. I managed to knock 5 mins off my time and achieve a PB, completing the 5 mile run in 46.33. :)

After the event I went on a brief  holiday to Marrakesh and now I am back with 3 weeks to go until the London Triathlon. Eeeekkkk. Time is flying by and it seems scary to think I will be doing this so soon.  Its finally happening!

Here are some pictures from the run in NYC.

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Mayday we’ve lost spring…?

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Not happy – a very wet run!

Without sounding stereotypically British talking about the weather, I do have one question…where have the sunny spring days disappeared to? Last nights run home from work was very wet to say the least! From the moment I left the office to the moment I returned home the sodding rain did not let up. I was soaked to the point of leaving a water trail behind me. It was only after I had showered and changed that the sun returned.

The bad weather only added to what was already hard run. I stupidly added on an extra half a mile by meeting my run club mate in the wrong place.  I agreed to meet him at embankment but instead ran to Waterloo before having to run back on myself! Gggrrrr! For the whole run I was a good two minutes slower per mile and I found myself from mile 3 onwards having to stop and power walk for a minute or so as my legs and body felt really tired. It felt disappointing to say the least and I hate the runs where you doubt your ability and fitness.

For the remainder of this week I have decided to focus on some strength training, swimming and spinning and I will return to the running next Monday hopefully feeling a little more refreshed!

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The calm before the storm!

Training catch-up and then some!

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Richmond Park Run 5lk

Apologies for the weeks absence – I have been training but i’ve not had the time post about it. So to start in order lets go back to last weekend. Last Saturday I met my friend Ali in Richmond park to take part in the Park Run 5k and then for a lap of the park (or two laps for Ali) on the bike.

Despite the cold breeze the weather was perfect, really sunny which made the 6am start on a bank holiday Saturday all the more bearable.  I rode my bike from my flat to Clapham Junction, jumped on the train to Richmond and then rode to the park (and took on a nice hill on Petersham Road). Once at the park we parked up our bikes joined the park runners and set off for our 5k run in the glorious sunshine. Annoyingly I found the run hard after 2 miles and found myself on a walk-jog-walk-jog action for the last mile completing the 5k run in 31 mins. Which was slow, very slow. I could really feel it and felt tired which made me doubt the bike ride afterwards, never mind completing an actual triathlon! However, on reflection I had run everyday during that week as well try body pump for the first on the Thursday (which I was feeling on the Friday and Saturday) so I think my body was tired and actually needed some time to get over the shock of being worked out so much in one week (normally I only run 3 times a week and swim twice a week).

After the run, we collected our bikes and set off on our laps. Ali -who is beyond fit as she has her third triathlon in 3 weeks time and is attempting her first Olympic distance – rode off quite quickly and by mile 4 I couldn’t even see her in the distance. I decided that as this was the first time I was out properly on my bike, riding fast (for me) I was simply going to get used to riding at speed and get to grips with my bike. I enjoyed the ride and can see that I need to start getting out more on my bike as well as take on a spinning class during the week, as I really could feel it in my legs. My legs are more used to running so I need to start waking up the other muscles that I do not use regularly so I can increase my endurance.  By the time I completed my first lap I knew Ali was onto her second so I waited for her to finish. All in all the bike and run in Richmond park saw me complete 10 miles. I then had to ride another 2 miles back to the train station and then another mile back to my flat. So by the time I was home at midday I had done 14 miles (including the ride to the park in the morning too). I felt good and I can see where I need to improve, it was also great meeting up and training with Ali as she was really encouraging and motivating – a great triathlon guruNow we just need to get the date in the diary for the next training session!

 

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A slow 5K Run! Boo!

Nike Women 10K – We Own The Night

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Nike Kit

Last night I completed Nike’s Women’s only 10k run in London with my lovely friend Esther. Despite the cold rainy weather, the atmosphere at the park was electrifying and I have to say it was one of my favourite runs. The run saw 10,000 ladies take on two laps of Victoria Park, a park I have never run around, so it was good to explore a new area of town. The course was full of lights and music at every kilometre which was really motivating and the supporting crowd were out in full force so the energy around the park was amazing. My first 5k went really fast and I felt on fire, quite literally as I had to take off my jacket by 7k, which slowed me slightly as I struggled to get it off and around my waist. This then threw my pace and it took me until 9k to get back on track to the pace I had set for the first 6k. However, with enough energy for a sprint finish I managed to complete the run in 58 minutes, so I was very happy to finish it in under hour!

On finishing the run, the usual medal was replaced by a glamorous Alex Monroe finishers necklace – enough to make any girl run faster to end! The night then continued with a DJ set by Nick Grimshaw, champers and beauty treatments in the ELLE magazine tent, although with the weather being really cold, I simply collected my bag and went back to the station as it was freezing!! Also I had to be up early to meet my friend Jackie at the finishing line of Walk the Walk’s London Moonwalk. (It was all happening in London Town last night)!

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Alex Monroe Finishers Necklace

 

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Finisher’s Swag

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Start Line