URSULA BRENDLING IS TRAINING TO DO HER FIRST TRIATHLON TO MARK HER 50TH BIRTHDAY AND SHE’S CHOSEN THE WORLD’S TOUGHEST FOR HER DEBUT. HER TRAINING LOG CONTINUES…..
Two months to go….and do I feel ready to do what is billed the hardest full Ironman triathlon in the world?
Mentally…..yes, as I have that annoying positivity that comes with being a generally happy person.
I remember being in my mid-forties and feeling pretty invincible. Nothing hurt, no joints ached after exercise. I was lucky.
However, on the cusp of my 50th birthday everything hurts and honestly, how many colds can you get in a year before the Boots staff hide behind the counter when they see me coming? This year I’ve had one cold a month and they have gone on for weeks, probably because I am overloading my immune system.
Since the last blog, I have done my first sportive bike ride of 43 miles arranged by the lovely people of Brathay. It was an amazing route, fantastic weather and despite falling off to pull my pants up and having a streaming cold, I did it in a reasonable time, enjoyed every minute of it and hurray I didn’t hurt at the end.
However, cycling up Hardknott and Wrynose Passes after already doing 60 miles was a completely different matter. This is the route of the Triathlon X and frankly it is brutal.
I learnt a lot on this ride.
- I need to eat a lot more calories. Forget the blueberry and chia seeds and stock up on high calorie flapjacks.
- I need to lube up my pedals, as trying to get out of clipped in pedals on a huge gradient is like wrestling with a horse.
- I need to rest more. I am already doing over three hours exercise a day just doing my day job and my body is screaming at me to rest.
So, I have taken up 10 minutes meditation a day. I am also visualising each part of the Triathlon.
I have a mantra “I am a nutter. I can do this”
How about the swimming? Well, I have not had the Eureka moment that I was dreaming of in front crawl, so I have accepted I will do an efficient breast stroke. Better to be comfortable than stressed.
I did my first mile in a very cold Rydal water last week with my doctor buddy training partner.
Paul Davies is over 50 and is so much stronger than he looks. I can’t wait to see how well he does in this Triathlon as I am convinced he will beat many of the accomplished Ironmen. He is riding strongly out of the saddle and has the fitness and mental strength of a gladiator.
Talking about Ironmen, I have discovered that there will be 14 men to every woman in the Triathlon X. Now that’s a statistic I like. Shame they won’t be around when I need their help. They will probably be finished as I start my run.
I haven’t mentioned the running. My thinking is that if I manage to swim 2.4 miles and cycle all the major passes in the Lake District, I will crawl my way up to Scafell Pike. I like running, but as the years have gone by, it hurts more than any of the other disciplines as it recruits the most muscle power and energy.
I am hoping that many of my friends and clients will run with me on the last stage to keep me going. They can all get their own back and shout “Come on Urs, PUSH, harder, faster”.
Everything that goes around, comes around.
One of my biggest motivators would be to raise money for something that will really make a difference in the community. I am hoping to raise money for a local cause and I won’t start doing that until a month before.
I am training every week. I am going to be one of the slowest competitors but that’s not important. I am going to take part in a local event, from the YHA where I had my children and from a village I love. Of course I’m going to do it. After seeing the brilliant Eddie Edwards film, it kind of sums it up: It’s not about winning. It’s about taking part.