Blog 4 of Shelly’s ultimate challenge

Shelly Beresford -

Training, training, training!

I’ve just realised that it’s been a whole month since I last checked in, but what a month! The training continued through the snow, wind and rain – although this morning its quite glorious in the capital!

Following my carpet swimming, I have been swimming at least two mornings a week and that hasn’t been easy during the snow, wind and rain! Leaving the house at silly’o clock has been a challenge in itself, and that’s before the swimming starts!

The swimming is coming along, ish, some mornings I think I’m getting somewhere, and then other mornings I feel like going to sit in the sauna for 30 minutes instead! Remembering that training so far has been in the relatively nice and safe environment of my gym’s pool, I haven’t even ventured outside yet! Who knows how that’s going to go…

The one thing about triathlon I didn’t actually think about before I signed up is the amount of actual kit you need! It’s so much more than a pair of runners and a bike! I have decided to hire a wetsuit for ’the season’ I feel it’s not wise to invest until I’ve completed the challenge and decided whether I am doing anything like it ever again!

And that said, until I hire a wetsuit there’s no way I’m going near the outdoors or open water! I live relatively close to Tooting Bec Lido, a unheated outside pool that is 91.44m long and is the “largest fresh water, open air swimming pool in England”. I will definitely be utilising the length of the pool, once I have my wetsuit sorted out and not before!

As for my running, I still need to get quicker. I have a regular Run Home Wednesday with my friend, but that tends to be running for an hour and catching up on all the news from the week before. This isn’t the short, sharp burst of running I will need following my 20k cycle!

With this in mind, I have enlisted the help of my colleague Hugh. Hugh currently runs a 5k in around 20ish minutes, and believe me that’s fast! Hugh has kindly agreed to help me with my pace, and this has resulted in us going out one lunchtime, a little warm up and then him asking if I’m ready before he cranked up the gear and took off over Blackfriars Bridge.

I lasted roughly 1k trying to chase him down, we have our second session booked in for this week! I think running with Hugh is going to help me; I’m hoping running with Hugh is going to help; surely running with Hugh is going to help me?!?!?! I guess only time will tell, but running with Hugh and intervals on the treadmill should help…

And finally the cycling. Now the snow has subsided I’ve decided it’s time to get back in the saddle. With that in mind, a couple of weeks ago I booked my bike in for a service, very important given the long hard cold winter we’ve had, and I was all set to go.

All set to go that is until I got a call from home with some bad news, the shed had been broken into and my bike had been stolen! The most amazing thing is, the shed hadn’t just been broken into, the front of the shed had been completely ripped off as the thief couldn’t get through the padlock! And my bike was the only thing to disappear!

Now being without a bike is a slight issue when taking part in a triathlon! Luckily I am insured and I’m currently waiting for my new shiny bike to arrive. So for the meantime its an increase in spin classes and running on the treadmill afterwards. 

The training continues to be a challenge, but I’ll get there. For inspiration I’ll be coming into town to watch the London Marathon this weekend, that always gives me a boost of determination watching the crazy amazing people run for all sorts of good causes.

But I’ve also had some inspiration closer to home recently, a very good friend took on his own challenge a couple of weeks ago for Save the Children, he cycled 300 miles to Paris, arriving on the Saturday and then got up on the Sunday morning and ran the Paris Marathon in 3h26 – his first 300 mile cycle and his first marathon, the crazy man decided to do both. Now if he can do something as amazing as that, surely  I can swim, cycle and run a fraction of that distance. I can I can I can…

If you’d like to sponsor me doing the London Triathlon and support Lifeline please go to my just giving page.

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