D Day approaches…

Shelly Beresford -

So, it’s just five days away. Five days. Where did the last eight months go? I can’t believe this Saturday at 3:30pm I’ll be jumping into the Docks with 521 other crazy ladies in the second wave of the ‘Female Sprint’ category. Just looking that up I realise the first wave of the ‘Male Sprint’ kicks off at 3:50pm. Rats. That means I’ve only got 20 minutes and I’m going to have to get a move on as I really don’t want to be in the water with boys…

The last couple of weeks have been rather rocky; I hurt my neck/shoulder again due to my appalling swim technique and didn’t swim for six days. This also hampered all types of training as I couldn’t look left or right! So that tapering thing everyone talks about, I’m not really doing as I’m panicking and making up for lost time!

I had my final lesson in the lake on Saturday morning, another beautiful day to be up and swimming at 7:30am, and although I was raring to go in my brand new and super cool goggles (I’ve become a kit geek of late) I could tell within the first five minutes it was going to be tough!

The realisation came when we had our practice 120m and Mark the Coach bellowed, “what’s the matter with you today?” to which I giggled nervously and spat out most of the lake! The next 30 minutes was hard going and reignited my fears somewhat, but we did do some great ‘bustling’ practice so my dear friend and I were having races and basically smacking into each other and swimming over each other and kicking each other – this time I didn’t stop and apologise, progress indeed!

This is all good practice for Saturday and hopefully it’ll help me not to panic when someone punches me in the head! This is mainly the reason I don’t want to be in the water with boys and I have to get my swim on!!

Rather dejectedly, I didn’t stick around at the lake after the lesson and took myself off to Richmond Park for a little run.

This was a much better idea and I felt a whole lot more confident after 30 minutes dodging other runners, dogs and deer! Better still I’d earned my brunch at Recipease in Clapham – the scrambled eggs are amazing! It’s very important to refuel, and yes, I am using this as an excuse to eat more!

Yesterday inspired by the last day of the Tour de France I had a lap of Richmond Park, this was mainly because I wanted to have a go in the heat of the day, and although it was glorious, those who know Richmond Park know there is a particular part that has its own Mont Ventoux! Phew! Hot stuff!

I did manage to practise some drafting on the flatter parts, but those with toe clips and race bikes had the edge, me in my runners on my hybrid, I was never going to win any medals! Apparently Froome and the like would do the Richmond Park lap (around 7.5 miles) in about 11 minutes, my 28/29 minutes was a little way off… saying that I’m not giving up my day job just yet anyway!

So that’s it, that’s me. The next time I check in I’ll be letting you know how I got on. The great thing is anything I do will be a PB, so my goal of survival is achievable for my first tri. I hope!

Oh and P.S. yes I know I look like Dr Evil in the photo…
One last reminder why I’ve been getting up at silly’o clock for the last eight months…

ABTA LifeLine, the travel industry charity that helps folk when they’ve hit rock bottom and have nowhere else to turn.

Over the last 20 years we have helped over 600 families making awards totalling some £600,000 – small fry when it’s compared to other bigger, well known charities, but real lifelines for those who have really needed help.

Recently, we made an award for a lightweight wheelchair for someone who was paralysed as a result of a motorbike accident. Another award was for eye gaze technology for a person with motor neuron disease who needs help with communicating. Amazing! ABTA LifeLine really does change lives. Who doesn’t want to get involved with that??!

If you can help out and want to sponsor Shelly, please visit her Just Giving page http://www.justgiving.com/Shelly-Beresford1

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