Daring to Tri

Since I stopped work to have the boys, setting and achieving personal goals has been hard.

And I don’t mean finally emptying the laundry basket or single-handedly building the Death Star out of match sticks.

When you work, there are tasks to master, recognition for a job well done and a sense of purpose.

In parent-land it’s groundhog day most of the time. Same chores, different days. No pay rise, no ‘well done!’.

It was my choice to stop work and on the whole I’m glad I did. I need to be there to advocate for BW and he needs me to be around.

A few years ago, a tragic event shattered our family. I put on weight. A LOT of weight. I stopped caring.

One day, I realised the need to be a healthy role model for the boys.

Running became my new jam. It didn’t help me lose weight initially, but mentally it was what I needed.

I had a new goal. Times to be beaten.

Personal Bests to accumulate.

Being a novice and all, I didn’t do it properly, so got injured and had to think of other forms of exercise.

Surprisingly for a lazy cow I actually like being outdoors. Gyms bore me senseless.

I love swimming so switching to triathlon seemed the obvious choice.

In tri, you are running your own race (nothing like watching all the elite athletes sprint past you in a half marathon to make you feel like a snail).

Competitors come in all ages and shapes. And there are lots of women competing too.

I entered a few sprint triathlon (400m swim, 10km bike, 3km run), but naturally it wasn’t enough of a challenge.

So six months after we arrived in Melbourne, I signed up for The Murray Man.

The only long course (2km swim, 80km cycle, 20km run) triathlon in South Australia.

I knew I’d be among the slowest, but I didn’t care.

To finish would be a massive achievement.

Then this happened. I was devastated.

All that hard work. For nothing.

Luckily, I have a knack for picking crazy friends.

S and J were originally coming along to cheer me on, but decided to form a team with me.

I was doing the swim, J was doing the cycle and S was doing the run.

The swim may not seem a big deal, but I HATE open water swimming.

Oooo, the glamour!

I am TERRIFIED.

Of everything that might be in the water.

I get  seasick when it’s choppy and I don’t like being out of my depth.

As my mate Kim would say I am that “sooky lala”.

But I did it and knocked 14 minutes off the time I expected. Barring a migraine from looking at the sun, I felt amazing.

S & J both came under their estimated times.

We came 3rd in our category with a time of 5 hours 41 seconds.

I thought I would feel sad that I hadn’t had the chance to do the race solo, but being part of a team was fantastic.

Team Anglo-Viking

The most fun you can have without drinking.

And for a gin queen, that is saying something.

Do you like to set yourself challenges? I’d love to hear from you!

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Sleep Deprivation – Where The Hell is Mr. Sandman?

Oh god I miss a good night’s sleep. Before the boys arrived I could always catch up at the weekend, but now? No chance (although I am quite good at a nana nap on the couch).

We all know how much sleep you get with babies (if your kids slept through I hate you), but as they got older I thought it would get better.

Sadly not. There are night terrors and nightmares to deal with, plus the fact that we seem to have bred early risers.

Sometimes, it’s just me. I wake at 1 or 2 with a nagging bladder to play “Shall I or shan’t I get up for a wee” game. Or to go over my to do list again. SHUT UP BRAIN!

Or at 4am for no reason (except maybe the birds. Australia your birds are so darn noisy!). TS invariably gets up as I am dropping off to sleep again. Gah.

In an effort to shut out external distractions (kids, birds, TS breathing SO BLOODY LOUD) I wear ear plugs and an eye mask.

In my head I look like this

Ha!

Valerian was suggested. Herbal. Non-addictive. Great.

Oh deary me!

The Walking Dead wanted me as an extra. I was so buggered I didn’t dare drive.

Now I self-medicate with chamomile tea (mixed results), gin (awesome, but not sure about sedative qualities) and wine (see gin).

Forget baby sleep clinics, I’d pay top dollar for a grown-up one for shattered parents.

What are your tips for a good night’s sleep?

Pressing Pause

I think I’ve been running from something for most of my life. Memories, shitty home town, relationships, reality…you name it. The move from the UK to Australia is testament to how far I will run!

Motherhood changed that. I had to focus on raising the two beans. I couldn’t run, I couldn’t hide.

Presented with Joseph’s diagnosis and the challenges and stresses it put on our family, I found myself with the urge to run again.

Of course, I couldn’t run away. So I did the next best thing. I took up triathlon.

When we moved here I joined a club and I set myself a serious goal.

The Murray Man. A long course triathlon. 1.9km swim, 80km bike, 21km run. Not for the faint-hearted.

I threw myself into the training. I had a PLAN.

I was happiest when I was out on the bike, running long or thrashing out laps in the pool. I was out of the house at 6am for pool sessions, then running during the day. On the weekends I was away for hours on the bike.

The Saint looked on. Supportive, but as time went on, concerned.

And then.

An iron infusion. My levels were so depleted there were negative numbers in red on the Doctors screen. Apparently, I am secretly Wonder Woman as I shouldn’t have been able to walk around, let alone anything else.

2 weeks later…

A simple case of road rash after being knocked off my bike. Which 5 days later was actually a fractured elbow.

4 weeks later…

A chipped talus.

Yes, Calamity Jane had ridden into town.

I was forced to stop.

My pause button was well and truly pressed.

The Universe had spoken.