Ambleside’s Ursula Brendling is training for her first ever triathlon to mark her 50th birthday. She’s chosen the world’s toughest event, Triathlon X. Here’s her latest training update
There are three things that worry me about completing my first ever endurance Triathlon.
- Not getting to the start line.
- My Mum finding out that I’m doing it.
- Being in the middle of Lake Windermere with a mouthful of water.
I am still waiting for my Eureka moment in my swimming training. The moment when you feel comfortable, relaxed, knowing you have the correct technique, gliding through the water and your breathing becomes natural.
It is fair to say I feel like a fish out of water when I am swimming. I am a Gemini after all, an air sign. I have no fear of hang gliding, via ferratas, Hardknott pass. Where there is oxygen, I’m happy. Maybe it comes from a childhood where I spent most of my days asthmatic and unable to breathe. Now that I can, why should I make it hard for myself again?
Hey, but I’m positive. I have a persistent swim coach (who’s losing patience), I have buoyant swim shorts (thank you Pete from Swim the Lakes) and I’m going to nail this front crawl to show myself I can overcome my fears.
So how is the training going with just over 100 days to go? I have reached some benchmarks. I overtook my first serious cyclist. You could tell he was serious. He had the gear, the tucked in elbows and a bike computer.
“Yes!” I said to myself, punching the air as I spinned past him.
One mile later, he pedalled past me. He didn’t punch the air.
I have run up Rossett Ghyll which leads to Scafell Pike. Wow, what a route. Loved it. Not fast but manageable and just hope there will be lots of marshals to direct me from Esk Hause, as knowing my sense of direction I could end up on Bowfell instead of Scafell on the day.
There is one other Ambleside mentalist I know that is taking part in Triathlon X. He is our local doctor. Another centurian. We have enjoyed our two bike rides together. Being with Paul is like having your own walking talking First Aid kit in tow. He is also incredibly fit. Whilst cycling on a 20% gradient, he talks continuously without taking a breath “What do you think Ursula?” he asks. I just nod and agree with everything he says. Half the time I can’t hear him anyway. He is an amazing guy and he will definitely reach the finish line.
I am still not sure I am up to the job, but I am really trying. People are asking if I am doing the Triathlon X for charity. Yes, definitely, but honestly, I am doing it for myself. My last ego trip. After that, I am dedicating my body to others so they can achieve their goals. Before I can do that really well, I have to know what it’s like to be truly challenged physically and mentally and how to train myself. I want to teach from a place of experience and not from what I read or hear from others.
I am entering my first cycling sportive this weekend. The Brathay Belter…just to see how it feels cycling in among lots of others. Whatever happens, this adventure is more fun that I thought it would be and I hope you enjoy reading about it.
Thank you for all your kind comments and all your support