2019 in a Nutshell
Now only those of you who know me well or have been following me from the beginning will know this, but for a number of years I suffered from an Eating Disorder. I spent years in this permeant state of depression and tiredness where my only outlet was cycling and being outdoors. While to the outside eye I looked like I was coping, behind doors I spent most of my time in tears and my moods were up and down like a yoyo.
My properly forever recovery journey started in 2017, after I got heat exhaustion on a bike ride through the Peak District. I was very ill, and it made me realise how much you can’t take your health for granted. An additional challenge for me, I lived 200 miles from where I once called home, so for my recovery journey I was entirely on my own.
So 2018 was a big year of recovery for me, I gained a lot of weight and life, and controversially used competing in IRONMAN Wales as my motivation for ‘getting better.’ Now this isn’t something I would recommend for most people, my ED was slightly different to the extent I was eating, but not enough for the extreme level of daily sport I would do, if you are in a similar position please let someone help you on your journey.
People often ask me what I’m most proud of in my life. Honestly, its recovering from my Eating Disorder and depression, and I really hope that one day I can encourage, inspire and help others to do the same.
Having just left Rolls Royce, I started 2019 unemployed, a world of opportunities in front of me. Very luckily for me I have a very supportive family who only want to see me successful and happy, and this has helped a lot in me having the confidence to follow my dreams.
It was at this point I had decided to stop working with my current coach, and this is when I came into contact with Steve my current coach, from Off That Couch Fitness. The plan was to target a Kona slot at IRONMAN Lanzarote, but to reduce the pressure on myself I didn’t promote this.
I completed my Personal Training qualification and for an albeit brief period, worked at David Lloyd. Working there had its benefits but I quickly learned the lack of mental stimulation meant I got bored very quickly. Finishing at 11pm most nights I quickly found myself getting tired through lack of sleep and while I had extra time in the days to train, the quality was perhaps lower.
While I was there I met a lot of people, some that were meant to be forgotten and many that went on to be friends. This led to me keeping my memberships once I left, I can honestly say I never thought I would pay that much for a gym. I now love training there and I think is why I still opt for the Watt Bike over my turbo. An added bonus: the pool is always open for lane swimming!
IRONMAN Lanzarote was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, a very different atmosphere to Wales, and for anyone thinking about giving it a go, do it, it’s a very special race.
I felt so strong and ran the whole marathon, something I didn’t manage to do at Wales. All the long winter training had paid off and I picked up a qualification spot for the IRONMAN World Championships in Hawaii in October along with some banging tan lines.
I left David Lloyd in July and started working as a Buyer for a smaller company called Alpkit. Alpkit is still a growing company and if you haven’t heard of them, definitely check them out, we sell the most amazing outdoor clothing, cycling clothing and camping equipment. Oh and also bikes!
I have never felt so valued in a job before and while training while working full time again was exhausting, I was sort of loving it! The only slightly annoying thing, we don’t have a shower at work, so all those lunchtime runs, yes you guessed it, wet wipe wash..
Hawaii was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and while I didn’t do as well as I’d hoped (a bit too much sightseeing I think) I had the most amazing time and felt so blessed to have my whole family there with me. I have written a separate blog post on my time there if you would like to read more.
I had picked up an injury at the end of 2018 which took me out of the running game for a few months at the beginning of the year. During this time, I frustratingly lost a lot of running fitness, and even now I am not back at the pace I want to be. I have struggled with this a lot as I feel slow and uncompetitive, however with a big focus on injury prevention, hopefully I can get this back going into the 2020 season.
I also did struggle with a little bit of a burnout. While it wasn’t severe my mind was calling for a break but with Kona looming it wasn’t really an option. I did find that in the months before Kona my life became a bit of sleep, train, work, eat, work, train, eat, sleep, repeat, meaning my non-existent social life really was non-existent.
Finally, being someone incredibly used to training on my own I didn’t make as much effort as I should with regards to joining a triathlon/ running/ cycling club. So that is something I will be doing this year and hopefully meet some more crazily fantastic people.
In terms of sporting goals for the year, for me it’s all about enjoyment and not putting too much pressure on myself. The dream would be to win my age group at the three big triathlons I am doing this year, but I have a lot of work to do before then, especially as I have gone up to a very competitive age group. I am also super excited to be racing in a GB trisuit for the first time this year!
I also really need to invest a lot of time in finding some sponsors for the future, as while I love being able to do what I do, it is a massive financial investment at the expense of a lot of other things in life.
I would love to start using my Instagram to meet new people, promote the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and continue to make people smile. I cannot believe I am nearly at 6000 followers; it’s is absolutely mad. I often sit there and think, who is following me I am crazy and annoying!
I am going to get my Youtube account off the ground this year, to provide inspiration, advice and also capture many of what hopefully will be great memories.
I want to say a MASSIVE thanks to my family, friends, my coach Steve and my sponsor who is yet to be named for all of the help this year, couldn’t have done it without you!
Race Calendar 2020:
Feb 9th: Llanelli Half Marathon
April 25th: Mallorca 312
May 3rd: Derby Half Marathon
May 17th: IRONMAN 70.3 Barcelona
June 28th: ETU Challenge Austria 70.3 (GB)
August 1st: IRONMAN Tallinn
If you have any questions, comments or would like to work with me, please drop me an email: email@example.com
Thanks for reading,