Let’s get the confessions out of the way first: it is going to be VERY difficult to stick to purely a ‘race’ report here, so if I go off track I apologise. It’s only because this was so much more than just about a race. The entire weekend was incredibly special – from the company, the environment, the people, supporters, food … to be honest I think all this together made the main event that much more memorable. I’ll try and stick to facts, though, I promise.

First, however, it’s important to clarify that EVERYTHING here was going to be special, primarily because my No. 1 Triathlon fan who has followed me around tirelessly at every long-distance (and occasional short) triathlon – to Australia, France, Sweden … – was for the first time going to compete alongside me. My daughter Caitriona, not only competing, but competing in her first ever triathlon. No, really. She had never even done a sprint! Nutter, but then again why not?

Sankt Poelten welcomed us with open arms. We arrived at our hotel to the easiest check-in ever, which went along the lines of ‘Ah, you must be Amanda. You’re on the second floor. Key is here. Just press 9 if you need anything.’ This friendly, unflustered and informal greeting, in hindsight, summed up everything about our Austrian experience over the whole five days.


Apart from the bit about ‘rest’, the two days prior to our race went pretty much to plan. I’d done my usual time-tabling; I just didn’t allow for parking a fair distance from the venue and then spending a good hour searching for the TriBikeTransport van to retrieve our bikes. Ah well. The race briefing was clear, to-the-point and highlighted by an extremely inappropriate (if funny) joke about the water temperature (cold, cold) which a young man sitting beside us proceeded to attempt to ‘demonstrate’ as he thought we hadn’t understood? Enough said! Best laugh of the day. Water temp 14.9C. Erm …

Registration, bag collection, bike transport van ‘hunting’, race day fuel-sorting and much back-and-forth texting to and from my husband in an effort to quickly learn enough Austrian German to order food – was all done Friday. Food, I hasten to add, was fabulous – perfectly cooked and normal human portions – ideal for racing. Even better, the rain and storms which had been threatening for the weeks before had suddenly moved on and we had sunshine with us all weekend.

Saturday was bike day and we spent quite a lot of time walking through transition several times over until Caitriona was comfortable with where to go and what to do. After that it was time to greet our two most extraordinary supporters Amy and Christine – Caitriona’s friends who had flown all the way to see her through her first big race. I was so thrilled for her. Everyone needs friends like that. I’m so lucky to have several and as her mum it meant the world to me that she has them, too.

Energy boost an hour before the swim, they said. These bars are delicious, they said.

Race Day

Although we weren’t in the water until a very respectable 8 a.m. transition was only open until 6.30 a.m. so we were breakfasted, out the door and setting up bikes by 5.45. Nerves and adrenalin were a-plenty but all in all it was the most relaxing race morning I can remember. We spent an hour sitting with our two lovely supporters and giggled as we demonstrated just how crap we both are at putting on wetsuits.

The struggle is real

Our time to line up came all too quickly. Thankfully the water temp had increased to a balmy 18C so we didn’t dread the swim quite so much. There was the possibility of a warm-up swim but everyone had to clear the water by 6.45 and we were worried we’d get really cold hanging around until 8 a.m. so the best we could come up with was to pour a couple of bottles of cold water down our wetsuits just before lining up. At least the ‘initial’ shock would be somehow dampened (excuse pun).


Style is everything

Water entry was either by steps or a dive off the side. We had already separated to take our own ‘time’ before the race start. We both chose to dive in and oh my goodness that water – BEAUTIFUL! Couldn’t have asked for better. Clean, clear and gorgeous. And so went the swim. About 2/3 of the swim was in one lake, then we had to get out and run across a bridge (c. 300m) to another lake for an out-and- back to the swim finish. The rolling start on a narrow pontoon meant that clear water was easy to find the whole way around. By far the easiest swim I’ve done, if not the fastest. I think I might have enjoyed it a bit too much.

Support crew is ready – outside the pub! Good plan 🙂


In the interest of brevity the bike could possibly be described in just one expletive (or many ten). However, I suppose it deserves more than that. The views, the views, the views – simply stunning the whole way around. There was never nothing to look at. Mountains, castles, lakes, trees, green, green … truly gorgeous. Fast, too – for the first half. Averaged c. 40 kph over the first 20km and after the first hill (which I’m just going to ignore because it was frighteningly evil and the sudden 3-4 km of it took my body by surprise) but I will forgive it (a little) because the other side was AWESOME! Hit an exciting new PB for me of 56.4kph. Wow, this was going well.
And then … and then … yes, we knew it was coming – but that 9km climb was far far more relentless than I’d thought. Sapped body AND mind. ‘Hills don’t go straight up,’ they’d said. ‘Steep hills always go up and level out a bit, then climb, then level etc. etc.’ they’d said. I have news for you. Some hills don’t – like this one. 4-5 km it climbed just enough that after about half I stuttered to a halt and was forced to walk. Cue the mental demons. I wasn’t alone, though, which at least was slightly comforting. I decided I’d just walk around a couple of corners until it levelled out a little. It didn’t happen. Another corner. Nope. This one? Nope! Finally, I thought I’d just have to battle with that embarrassing feat of attempting to clip in on an incline, suck it up and get on with it. Slightly freshened legs helped and I got to the water station where it flattened out nicely, I switched bottles, took a deep breath and looked forward to an equally long downhill …. which never came! Well, ok, there was one amazing stretch but then … more hills and sneaky sneaky little climbs – you know where it looks flat but your legs know you’re climbing? Yeah, that!

I heard a shout of ‘Mum’ behind me and realised I’d just overtaken Caitriona. I climbed to a ‘level’ bit and waited for her. She was struggling as I was and I could tell the mental demons were in full battle mode. Oh my, we were SO lucky! Or unlucky! I mean, we cycled side by side for, say, about 3 minutes – just enough time to compare notes, swear, curse and boost each other up and in EXACTLY those 3 minutes along came the drafting marshalls!!! Yeah! All we needed, really. Five minute penalty – Ha! Thankfully, bless them, they were kind and gave us a firm and clear warning instead. Phew!

I had really hoped I was going to whop this bike course and do better than my race last year. Unfortunately, the course had other plans and whopped me instead. I rolled into transition with very little energy left but was lifted to a new plane of enthusiasm by the screams and roars from the two best supporters ever!


A misnomer, I think, but whatever. ‘Run’ was a bit optimistic but I did everything I possibly could. There were tears, there were tantrums, I felt like a lost child at one point (ok, lost adult (I really was lost), but behaving like a lost child), there was a lot of swearing and yes, puking too.

Not even all that could detract from the beauty of the course, though. It was simply wonderful. A flat river-side path along the Danube, crossing pretty pedestrian bridges, a little foray in an around the town, through the main square, around the church and, in case you were short of a bit of spectator support there was the Iron Mile – an out-and-back few hundred metres around the finish line that meant you went past the jammed spectator stands a total of 5 times by the time you took the red carpet at the end of the second run loop. Only the most spoiltest of bratses could find anything to complain about this run course. I was just so exhausted my brain wasn’t really working (not enough fuel, I know, I know …….). Water stations were amazing with soaking sponges galore and all the drinks and fruit you might want. I usually stick to water until the last 5k and then will basically drink anything and everything. I was so tired, though, that I decided I needed an early energy boost AND I was probably dehydrated, so I opted for the energy drink and a shot of coke near the beginning – and continued to boost these every second station etc. All ok and sticking to plan (run 15 mins walk 5) until Loop 2. I passed the 12k sign and then the next one was 19k!! Cue the tantrums as I frantically tried to ask where I’d gone wrong, how to get back and also make them understand that I’d already completed the first loop! Frustration. Heaps of frustration. FINALLY, backtracked, took another wrong turn, found a helpful finisher who put me back on track, take a deep breath Amanda, let’s do this! Best part of an extra mile. I really needed that. It’s what happens when you have head down, focussing, peaked cap, see a cone, take it as a directional cone (it wasn’t – it was actually indicating the opposite). D’oh! Rookie error Number 10 billion and something.

Yay! Photographer! I’m loving this. Really, I am! This is my ‘Loving it’ face!

Frustration, tears, stress, realisation I wouldn’t make the cut-off, fear of failure, more stress … all led to yet another five minutes at a standstill doing my best to remain standing at the side of the path and chucking up all that sugar! Jesus, Amanda, will you EVER learn???

Wow! Felt sooooooooooooo much better after that, though – and look! It’s déjà vu! There’s the 19km sign! Again!

Best of all, along comes a finisher with his bike, walking the opposite direction and shouting encouragement. ‘Thank you,’ I say, ‘but too late for me now. I won’t make it.’

I pass him.

Suddenly, footsteps running behind me. He’s ditched his bike (carefully I hope). He’s got his phone open and he’s calculating times, running alongside me. ‘You’re wrong,’ he says, ‘you’ve got this. Come on. Pick up those knees. It’s (whatever time he said). You’ve got 23 minutes. Now GO!’

Bless his heart, his timing could not have been better. THANK YOU, whoever you are.

Finish line

Got to have a little paragraph all of its own because it was just the best finish line. I mean, usually there’s no one left when I come in, but this time I was deafened. Bernie was introducing me, I was Caitriona’s mum etc. etc. I had to put my hand over my ears at one point because lo and behold he was standing talking to Caitriona, Amy and Christine who were all screaming directly into the microphone as I made my way up that Iron Mile and back down through the finish line. How could I not be smiling? I had high fives from him, from the other German-speaking commentator, a line of cheerleaders AND finish line tape to run through. Fabulous fun.

OK. That’s it. Hope it didn’t ramble toooooo much. I would say I would HUGELY recommend this 70.3 but sadly that was their last one in St Poelten – for now, anyway.

So TA-RA St Poelten. You were evil but stunningly beautiful, friendly and very very special.

Things I learned

St Poelten likes cash, not cards.

Pizza and kebabs are a favourite, not pizza and pasta.

La Dolce Vita – best restaurant.

The Greek restaurant in the main square – highest score for rudest waiter.

Stunningly beautiful.

Avoid Enervit.

Avoid sugar before the final 5k.

For God’s sake fuel on the bloody bike! How many times ……..

Matt Fitzgerald’s Training Peaks plans are fantastic. No DOMS! Perfect training.

Shipmytribike – still the best bike transport.

Don’t book fancy restaurants for celebrations. Appetite didn’t come back for 3 days. Gin, however, was perfectly welcome 😊

Any time before the cut-off is a great time.

Post race blues are shit.

Supporters can never be thanked enough.

Steve McMenamin can never be thanked enough.

HUGE HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to my amazing partner in crime Caitriona. What memories! I hope you’ll forgive me for dangling this massive goal in front of you – but WHAT AN ACHIEVEMENT! You are amazing. #anythingispossible

Cait – Swim: 00:46:25 – Bike: 04:13:53 – Run: 02:33:47 – Total: 07:50:13

Me: Swim: 00:47:01 – Bike: 04:02:02 – Run: 03:01:15 – Total: 08:07:21


With apologies to all the PTs out there who are close to perfect (in PT terms, that is (I know a few of you – am dead jealous)) I’m feeling the need today to rant a little. With health and wellbeing at the forefront of pretty much everything these days the personal training (PT) industry is booming – and with it the judgments, oh, the JUDGMENTS!

Obviously it still remains to be said that personal trainers are, in the main, NOT PERFECT! **oh horror** Fairly confident most of you know that already, but after a comment to me this week along the lines of ‘you need to do a few of your own workouts’ I’m on the defensive. I never thought I’d have to say it, but apparently so, so here it is: PERSONAL TRAINERS ARE HUMAN, TOO!

In the interest of total honesty and to remove any doubts, I’m going to put it out there:  I constantly …

– watch my nutrition just like you do;
– lose the plot;
– have cake-and-biscuit days (maybe peanut butter days or kilo of chocolate days);
– lose the plot;
– find it hard to get out and exercise;
– have duvet days/maybe weeks;
– have weeks when I can’t be arsed to move;
– lose the plot.

The comment, I have to admit, made me really angry, although I ignored it at the time. I’d love to say I brushed it off but obviously not or I wouldn’t be writing this five days later haha, but it did make me realise how often we are judged as PTs and expected to be a ‘perfect’ weight (whatever that is), a ‘perfect’ shape (?), stronger than our clients, faster than clients??

I have news for any of you who may be in doubt: our physiology is not enhanced such that we don’t put on weight. We, too, have to work our backsides off to get and stay fit, we struggle, we have up days and down days … we are completely human (most of us, anyway). We are not gods. Not all of us can do pull-ups (I speak for myself at least), we don’t all run sub-25 parkruns, we lose races, we fall off our bikes, drop kettlebells on our feet, face plant at the end of the renegade row set and can fail spectacularly at challenges. Sorry for disappointing.

Good, then. I’m glad that’s sorted. Now it’s time for you to go smash some new goals. As the saying goes, it won’t be easy but it’ll be worth it.

As for me, I’m off to eat some more cake before I plan for my next 70.3 #human #balance #living


Sunday 26 August 2018 – Olympic Distance Triathlon 
1500m swim
45 km bike
10 km run


Another weekend, another 5.30 a.m. alarm, another skirmish with wetsuit awaits. It’s pitch black outside. I’m beginning to wonder if they’re going to floodlight the turn buoys. Never mind. By the time I get to the castle dawn has well and truly broken and my only quibble is that it could be a damn sight warmer, seeing as I’m in France and it’s August. Ah well, could be worse. Here I am in the most stunningly beautiful venue in the grounds of a majestic castle with acres and acres and acres of glorious gardens and countryside. How incredibly lucky I am to be able to be here, to do this.

I’m relaxed as I have zero expectations. Six weeks on the sofa is not a recommended training plan. I’d meant to train. Honest. But once I finished my 70.3 my body and brain, mojo ‘n’ all simply got up and left. And you know what? Zero expectations is a fabulous place to be.

My swim start is at 7.30. I saunter down to the line and stop halfway to … erm … take my wetsuit off and attempt to put it on the right way around!! Like I said – zero expectations. Just as well. I took it as a sign of good luck.


Well, nobody was going to drown. The brief included instructions such as ‘if you get into trouble and get fed up lying on your back with a hand in the air signalling the marshals, just stand up.’ Yeah, it was that shallow. Not that you could see the bottom, – or your hand, or anything else for that matter. This was a swim that was blissfully current-free, but if you were prone to letting your imagination run away with you this was probably not the most relaxing swim for you. I’ve not done that much gardening in years – an hour of weeding 😊 From surface to floor it was weeds – and not weeds that you could see … some were frondy, some were flat and weird and it was quite entertaining. Some were large and moved past very quickly. Oh. Wait. No, that was a fish – nothing under 18 inches in length! Aaaaaand … stand up if you dared! Who knows what was lurking in that squidgy mushy sinky slushy mud below haha



Apparently the French like to do half the run again BEFORE the bike! Out of the laKEW, across the path, around the pond, up the steps, around to the far side of the bike racks ….. hilarious. Still, plenty of time to untangle the weeds from under arms, caught in watches, goggles, wrapped around ankles …

No wonder T1 took me so long! I also struggled with freezing hands so it took me forever to try and get socks and shoes on, clip helmet … all requiring functioning fingers.


Not a lot to say about the bike. It took me a long long time to get going. I felt like I was pedalling through glue. However, I hadn’t been on a bike in 6 weeks so can’t complain. The course itself was great. Enjoyable when you had no expectations. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone wanting a fast race. Although there were no hills to speak of (nicely undulating), the first half of the course was very stoppy-starty with so many 90 degree turns in and around villages and no real opportunity to settle down. It didn’t help that there were also stretches of bone-shattering cobblestones, over which I lost my water bottle and the lack of water after the swim affected me quite a bit. Second half of the course was amazing and a combination of salt tablets and a newly acquired bottle meant I could look up and enjoy it. Shame is wasn’t terribly friendly. Being used to multiple shouts of encouragement by athletes passing me/lapping me … of which there are ALWAYS many (and today even more than usual), it was disappointing that not one athlete had a word of encouragement, even though I did my best to cheer on as many as I could.

T2 and THE RUN


The run was the best and the worst. I was happy with my transition considering I didn’t have triathlon races in my trail shoes so had to tie knots. I also realised very VERY quickly that this was where the lack of training had caught up. I started slow slow slow and it didn’t take long to realise that no other gear was available. However, the run was GORGEOUS! How lovely to have a trail run instead of road – and through and around these stunning castle grounds. Fabulous! And even though any self-respecting tortoise could have lapped me I won my own little battles. After the first 5k I was more and more tempted to do a bit of run-walking, but to be honest I could NOT come up with a good enough excuse the whole bloody way around. All I could think was tired legs, jelly legs, general fatigue – were simple not acceptable excuses to start walking, so I ran (using the term loosely) the full 10k and ended on a high if only because of that. It’s the little things, innit?

p.s. My sole injury: sore heel. I thought it was the result of running on gravelly ground in trail shoes, since I hadn’t run for a while, but no …. I’ll admit – just for your amusement: it was the result of running on two panadol which I’d snuck into my shoe in case of emergency after the bike. (Feel free to roll your eyes) 🙂


My laughable results:

Swim 00:45:13
Bike 01:51:27
Run 01:08:22

Total: 03:55:45


It’s that time again. The time when I find myself staring at the three race bags on my hotel bed, wondering if I’ve put the right kit into the right ones, what I’ve forgotten, what things need to be taken out in the morning, what still needs to be put in. Argh! No matter how many times I do this it never gets any less stressful.

And rightly so. As I do my triple-check I realise my goggles are not in my pre-race bundle. In fact, my goggles are nowhere to be found. Rookie Error No. 1. Cue an extra trip via the Expo on the way to the bus to leave my bike in T1. Or is that T2? My brain is already hurting. Just as well my daughter’s with me. Even more confusing is the fact that there are TWO T2s – T2.1 and T2.2!! Just what I need. Thank you Caitriona for working that one out for me!


As always, the actual ‘doing’ was far easier than the ‘thinking about’. We were in a super hotel in the gorgeous Vitoria-Gasteiz, about an hour north of Bilbao and priding itself in being the ultimate in ‘Green’ – and boy, could UK Green-wannabes learn a thing or two. Open motorways with not a single car passing the speed limit; cars cut out engines at ALL traffic lights, streets totally spotless … Delightful.

We quickly became experts in the tram system – priding ourselves after the first day in being able to order our tickets in Basque! So much fun. Registration was super-efficient, marshalls incredibly helpful and general organisation superb.

The briefing was led by a team of marshalls who tried so so hard in English and it was soon apparent that this was a room of serious athletes who were immune to the little language ‘mishaps’ which had Caitriona and I in complete hysterics (we were very much alone – weirdoes??). The briefing would’ve been far ‘briefer’ had they called a bib a bib, for example, rather than a bee-ai-bee? After the 100th time it, well, from now on it will forever be a bee-ai-bee number 😊 Our favourite was the acetate informing us that whilst some athletes would use of ‘personal aid’ bags, most athletes ‘couldn’t be bothered’ (exact wording)! You’ve just got to love English translations!

Enough of that. Race morning breakfast at the hotel was the best I’ve ever seen – just WOW!. There was absolutely nothing missing. My sole mission was to avoid the Doom Fruit (see report of IM Cairns). After, while I faffed around fighting with my wetsuit, Caitriona tended to my Rookie Error No. 2 – namely that I’d left the attachment for my bike computer at home (with my goggles, apparently). Those battles fought and won, time for the start.

Oh. My. Sweet. Holy. Mother. Of … I remain speechless. And bruised – head, ribs, shoulder, legs! I honestly don’t think I’m a wimp when it comes to the ‘washing machine’ of mass starts – but this was brutal. GORGEOUS lake with beautiful clean water was assaulted by 1000 athletes all at the same time, all heading for the same first buoy. Cue a panic attack after 50m which sent me reeling and thinking about IM Cairns and DNFs and, if it’d been a possibility I might have turned around and headed back for shore, but there was no way out. I was in the middle of 4000 flailing arms and legs (total). If I had a proud moment in that whole race, I think it was probably right then. I treaded water for a few moments, still being knocked around, then decided to start forcing my breathing, refusing to be beaten at the first hurdle. I got my head down and turned thoughts completely inwards and literally ‘yelled’ the Bubble Bubble Breathe swimming drill for a good 100m or so. I was elbowed in ribs and head, legs were grabbed, I was kicked in the side and in the head – I guess it’s pretty much normal but I’ve always managed to find some clear water and there simply wasn’t any! By the second buoy (500m) I’d found some space. Woohoo. I lift my head, sight, and hear the horn blowing again. Effing bloody marvellous. Guess what? Here come another 1000 FULL distance (140.6) athletes – all strong, aggressive and 800 of them men. Round 2. At this point I’d developed a whole new style of swim stroke and was holding my own much better in the elbow-strike, don’t-fucking-dare-swim-over-me stakes, my breathing was under control and I was getting this done. And so it went. 45 minutes, including panic attack and faffing. I was happy with this when I found out afterwards (never looked at my watch). I’d been aiming for 50.

Everyone who knows me knows that the bike leg is my nemesis. My strategy was not to faff but not to ‘race’ here. Managing to get my wetsuit off without entertaining the other athletes was already a win. Salt tab at the ready and out I went.

What a gloriously beautiful course. Although classed as flat – and it certainly was in comparison to most other courses, there was a clear 10km gradual ascent which I thought might be a problem, but I didn’t even notice it. It really WAS flat (kinda). Little rolling hills all the way around with some long flat stretches in between. There were just two ‘kicks’ which required a bit of out-of-the-saddle and gear change but apart from that, to be honest, there could be NO excuses here for not finishing other than my own head – and I kept my head in a good place with my usual messages taped to the bars. I was a little worried about my bike handling on a rental bike (it’s already crap on my own bike, for goodness’ sake) but the magnificent Oscar (known as ‘O’) from the rental shop in Bilbao did the most amazing job with my five-min set-up and saddle change and I have to tell you now I am sold sold SOLD on electric gears! Bloomin’ Heaven! When I win the lottery ….


I am totally rubbish with nutrition on the bike so I really made a concerted effort. My main problem is usually dehydration combined with water sloshing in my stomach so I can’t drink any more and I’ve finally sorted this out with salt tabs. I had 3 nutrition bars at the ready but only ate one (that alone is pretty good for me). I alternated between bites of bar, the local electrolyte drink and water (which I drank least of). I’d ordered the electrolyte drink Finis Sport and used it in training so knew it would work for me. I think I drank about 1 ½ litres of this, my oaty bar and a litre of water.

Took me 3 ½ hours. I FINISHED! I’d already won! I made it to the run.


Rookie Error No. 3 – I always run with a running belt, but wasn’t going to carry anything here, relying entirely on aid stations, so when I had to fumble around looking for my inhaler (recently diagnosed with asthma) I realised I’d forgotten to practice carrying stuff in my tri suit pockets. Could I find the damn pocket? So stupid. Extra minutes lost. I didn’t spend too long in T2 but what did take time was a much-needed toilet break and that delayed me somewhat. That done, I was THRILLED to realise that while I’d come in off the bike thinking ‘Oh my God, I’m achey, I’ll never get through this run,’ once I was on my feet I felt fab!

Warm, completely flat, pretty and very very twisty so no chance of getting bored on any long ‘straights’. There were no ‘straights’. Two loops of 10.5 km for the 70.3 distance. I had planned run-walk strategies of various kinds and I did this for the first couple of km but after that if I felt I could run, I ran. After all, my run is not much faster than I walk. People think I’m joking. Really! There is a reason I don’t run with people! But in my own little running world I was running, not walking, and proud and so SO happy to be on this course and ‘running’. So much so, that the first loop went by without a bother. Setting out on Loop 2 I needed a reset so I started dedicating miles. THANK YOU to my dedicatees (my word?) for entertaining me and I hope you don’t mind.

Kilometre 12 – Sebastian: You go out too fast and you crash and burn so we did a few 4:1 walk-runs on this stretch while I congratulated you on falling 6 times and getting up 7 – and that’s what I would do!

Kilometre 13 – Chris: You ran your first HM without any training (or warning – emergency team member required lol). If you can do that, I can run another km. You make your own success. So would I.

Kilometre 14 – Rebecca: Bless you, my darling, you hate running probably as much as I do at this particular point in the race. Let’s walk a bit – a couple of 4:1s over this bit.

Kilometre 15 – Karim: Your running’s getting better and you can go for longer with adequate rest. We did a couple of 9:3s and ran the rest. Whatever happens, you keep moving forwards.

Kilometre 16 – Issi Doyle: No matter how bad you feel, how injured you are and in spite of a mountain of medical issues you just battle through and keep crossing those finish lines. If you can conquer all of that every day, I can bloody well conquer one kilometre. Slow and steady.

Kilometre 17 – Becky Taylor: Any excuse not to run. Ha! Ok. I can do with a bit of that right now. A bit of 1:1 walk-run here.

Kilometre 18 – Jo Andrews: The woman with the strongest ‘finish’ I know. Inspires me every time – always pulls it out of the bag. In my ear ‘Get a f***ing move on!’ Focussed on my cadence, picked it up and did my best to push out faster kilometre. Almost did it. Managed 950m before I failed you. Dammit. Next time. I was chuffed to do my fastest km here though 😊

Kilometre 19 – All for me. Focus inwards. Everything seems fine. No injuries, no niggles, bit bloated (not surprising with the concoction of water/coke/Aquarius and orange segments), head in a good place – no excuses available!

Kilometre 20-21 – Caitriona: My never-failing supporter at every race, at every finish line, in between races … on my shoulder the whole way. Saw me into the swim, out of the swim, onto the bike, onto the run and several times around the run. For you. THANK YOU! Strongest finish I could manage.

Big thanks to FABULOUS support all the way around. I particularly got SO MUCH motivation, amusement and energy from the older generation dotted around cafes who got up from their chairs specifically to applaud and encourage this ‘older generation’ runner on the course. Definitely the Granny vote but hugely appreciated.

Finish line was low-key apart from the stronger athletes but didn’t bother me one bit. Across the line there was …. Beer or coke – and melon. Local event 😊 Fab. Got my medal, tee-shirt, towel – and hug from my biggest fan, my daughter.

She had a celebratory G&T for me. I had a celebratory smoothie – after about an hour 😊 Oh, how times have changed.

Nothing more to bore you with. Purely by chance we went to the medal ceremony the following day – where I found myself on the podium. I think my words were ‘Oh My God, second place and there were more than two of us!’

Finish lines, not finish times. I am thoroughly pleased with my result and so happy with a training programme that suited my needs, my head, my body, helped with race without injury …

As the words on my tee-shirt said (that I’d saved especially for the run):

‘There will come a day when I can no longer do this. Today is not that day.’

It wasn’t.

Lots to ponder and improve on, but for today – HAPPY!



Swim: 45:44
T1: 08:17
Bike: 3:33:32
T2: 05:53
Run: 2:50:30

Total: 07:21:00


BUT Management April – Putting ‘me’ first

Oh my! Easter! BUT Management took a bit of a hit, needless to say. I really did wimp out and fall for every trick in the book, but I’m BACK and I’ve taken steps in the right direction and those BUTs have been locked firmly into a cupboard (although at least one seems to squeeze out through the keyhole on a daily basis – oops).

Two major changes since my last post have led to a much more positive-looking few months ahead. From mid-2017 up until January of this year my headspace was in an extremely undesirable state. Much as I was trying to fight my personal battles and keep cheery for friends and family as much as possible, low mood was affecting everything to the extent that I finally had to seek out the help of my GP. Nothing huge but that prescription has been pretty life-changing within my own little bubble and has allowed me to stop stressing over all the stuff I couldn’t control and focus on stuff within my control. That’s a win for me.


Change No. 2 followed nicely from my headspace change. A lot of my difficulty in getting off my backside to do any training came with the captions ‘BUT I’m tired’, ‘BUT I’m depressed’, ‘BUT I’ve no goal so it doesn’t matter.’ My new perspective on things accompanied the realisation that perhaps not having any sporting goal wasn’t going to be as relaxing or stress-free as I’d thought. I need those goals. I need that pressure to get out and do ‘sporty’ work … run, swim and, dare I say, bike. I suppose part of the battle is discovering the kind of stresses you can do without and the kind of stresses that are ‘needed’ – like the motivation to get out the door and run. The stress ‘release’ follows. And thankfully, that’s been something that’s been easy to fix.  Cue ‘Hit the Registration button’ and my ‘BUT I haven’t got a goal’ is no longer. I’ve compromised, though. I’ve entered a couple of triathlons late in the season and they’re both short (sprint and standard). Goals are in place … BUT 5 months is a bit long to train for a sprint tri (at my level, anyhow – I’m not going to be ‘shaving off seconds’ lol) so I’ve sorted out my training and safe to say I am now getting off my backside. I’ve been working pretty hard, I’ve battled a few ‘BUT-I’m-tired’ excuses and got the job done and injuries are staying away *touch wood*. My plan is this: I’m currently following a 70.3 training plan. This is enough to keep me working hard, keep my endurance, keep me out long enough to clear my headspace each time and I’m working on some speed stuff, too. Best of all, there is no STRESS with the training, I’m already seeing improvements in my fitness and it’s challenging enough to keep me motivated. Another win! Eight weeks or so before my races I’ll switch to a more race-specific plan and take it from there. Meanwhile, the build-up from injury both inside and out has been positive, interesting and feels great.

All in all, I think the last couple of months have really challenged my BUT management … but for now, I’m winning.






BUT Management January #callthemidwife

It’s true. Some BUTs are more easily managed than others and this BUT management in January has been a challenge. Or is that me diving into Excuseland once again?

January is drawing to a close and it hasn’t been a whole lot of fun. I came back from skiing and the Aussies picked on me big time, driving me to my bed with the brutality of their flu. Ugh! It’s been years since I was last bed-ridden with an illness like that. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time, so it was a bit of a shock to both mind and body to find myself void of enough energy to do more than reach out for the next dose of paracetamol. As a consequence, my BUT management focus for the remainder of this month has been …

Far FAR too easy to succumb to that ‘but’ for days. or even weeks: I should/could go to the gym and work out BUT I need to give my body time, I don’t want to get ill again, I’m still coughing, I’ve got no energy, I’m not fully recovered, blah blah blah. Fortunately, from the safety of my living room I had an episode of SAS: Who Dares Wins to watch, and as those men pushed themselves way beyond comfort zones getting up that mountain all I could hear was the DS yelling ‘GET UP! MOVE! YOU WANT ME TO CALL THE MIDWIFE? GET OFF YOUR ***ING ARSE’ (or words to that effect). Humiliating as it was for the relevant contestant (it is reality tv, after all), the reference to the midwife made me laugh out loud – until the penny suddenly dropped and I thought ‘Sh*t, that’s me right now. Not moving, making excuses about being tired, exhausted, aching …’

And there it was: the perfect time for some BUT management. It was all the motivation I needed. Thank you, DS. The very next morning I hauled myself out of bed and headed for the gym with a kill or cure attitude – and pretty much nailed a decent session. I’ll even admit to hearing that little voice in my head (‘Need a midwife??’) while choosing my weights and yes, it worked. I put back the 8kg and took the 16kg.
‘No midwife for me today,’ I thought. ‘If I’m here I might as well make it worthwhile.’ Felt good.

Kettlebell swing tabata (16 kg)

It hasn’t all been easy, though. I’ve been back working out for a good ten days now and I haven’t wimped out BUT (there it is!) I’m struggling with energy and motivation. Coming up to Christmas I felt driven and couldn’t wait to get to the gym, I was smashing goals and seeing results. This month? Nada. Zilch. Ugh.

Still, I’ve beaten the ‘but I’ve been ill’ demon and even managed to complete‘s virtual indoor standard distance triathlon last weekend (to be done within a 48-hour period) – 1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run. So I haven’t been sitting on my butt BUT I am looking forward to February and I’m trying to come up with some strategies to rediscover my motivation and enthusiasm. There could be a strong case for managing ‘BUT I DON’T FEEL LIKE IT’ over the next week or two. I’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile, I’ll be catching up on the latest episode of SAS: Who Dares Wins and frantically dodging midwives.

Kettlebell goblet squats - 16 kg


(For more about BUT Management, see here)

BUT Management – 2018 Fitness Goals

But Management 101

Yes, it’s decided. 2018 is going to be The Year of the But. It’s taken me longer than usual to think about my fitness/sports focus for this year. I’m not a great believer in New Year’s resolutions for the same reason I never start anything on a Monday or the first of the month (too easy to quit), but I am a huge supporter of goal-setting and I’ve always had a few to reach for and keep me moving onwards and, hopefully, upwards. Until now, that is. It’s a very strange feeling but for the first time in as long as I can remember I simply don’t have a single fitness or sporting goal. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? To be honest, I’m not sure, but it’s been interesting taking a big step back and attempting to assess why that might be. For somebody who is so driven by goals and competition (I admit I’m a tad competitive – even if mostly with myself) I crossed into this year without a single target and it’s the oddest sensation for an habitual goal-chaser, so while I’m taking an objective view of possible reasons for this life anomaly I’ve decided I’m going to experiment with an all-new so what philosophy that I heard about recently and will be reporting on anon. I shall henceforth leap onto my life-in-2018 snowboard (regular stance, please) and swoosh down that goal-free slope, accompanied by a chorus of groans over these sickeningly dreadful analogies from despairing readers (job done haha). Just two eensy little problems: (1) I can’t snowboard; and (2) at the crest of my 2018 slope there is already a sizeable gathering of BUTs!

That’s where the management comes in, and my focus for this year. Perhaps the reason I have no 2018 goals set is to surreptitiously relieve myself of the stress of all the BUTs that have plagued me for the last two, presenting me with excuse after excuse after excuse for stresses and failings (I can feel a ‘but’ coming already – as in ‘but you did it’ …) in my life, sport, family, friendships … whatever! There’s a lot of personal stuff that I’m not willing to share, and which ultimately contributed to struggles in my public sporting endeavours, I’m pretty sure, but the competitor in me has not really escaped the BUT-stalking and it’s time, I think, to savour lessons learned, roll with this new experience and give body and mind a wee rest from batterings of self-recrimination and hauntings of not-good-enough, not-strong-enough, giver-upper, etc. etc. Here’s to some frank reassessment and improved accountability.

I’ll keep you updated as I go along. Meanwhile, do please feel free to join me and post your own BUT management goals below. Let’s kick BUT together! 😊

                         Sample of BUTs I’ll be working on:

I got to the end BUT

I’m proud of myself BUT

Everyone says I can do it BUT

I started off really well BUT

… BUT I thought I’d done enough

… BUT I failed, didn’t I?

… BUT …


#sowhat #BUTmanagement


The Cotswold Way 100 Mile Run

It wasn’t really in my plan to bore anyone to tears with yet another ‘race report’ that’s only really of interest to the person writing it, but I suppose that since the Cotswold Way 100 Mile Run is/was my ultrarunning swansong I should write a few notes.

Now, for anyone contemplating a 100-mile race this is not for you. Much as I would have loved to have raced 100 miles I never had the courage and most certainly never had the self-belief that it would ever happen, hence I opted to tick the 100-mile box with a multi-day challenge option: 100 miles over four days, fully supported, with set mileage and camping overnight in runners’ villages and, best of all, no cut-off times to stress over. Many thanks to for organising this challenge and looking after us all throughout. The route, of course, was the official Cotswold Way in its entirety – starting from Chipping Campden and finishing in the beautiful city of Bath.

Daily mileage:

Day 1: 16 miles. Elevation 2,000 ft. (Chipping Campden to Hailes)
Day 2: 30 miles. Elevation 3,633 ft. (Hailes to Cranham)
Day 3: 23 miles. Elevation 3,170 ft. (Cranham to Wotton under Edge)
Day 4: 33 miles. Elevation 2,930 ft. (Wotton under Edge to Bath)

Random thoughts:

I always ALWAYS doubted I could do it, purely on the basis of how I felt every time I ran a trail of anything over 15 miles. I was in pain for three days afterwards, so how on earth was I going to do four in a row? The answer is simple – and purely psychological. You go out to run 10km you’ll be tiring by 7 km. You go out to run 20 km, you never really feel that same tired until around the 14km mark or thereabouts. It doesn’t enter your head to feel tired before then, so although my legs were always trashed after 15 miles this was not an option to ‘succumb to’ when I needed to do the same another three times. Simples.

Before I get slammed for not appropriately acknowledging my 100-mile achievement (something I’m not very good at), I am going to admit that I am very proud of:

(a) my training, and

(b) I ditched my ‘walk one day’ option.

Did I walk? Well, of course! Who doesn’t walk during an ultra (elites excluded)? But my strategy had been to walk at least one of the routes in an effort to save my legs for the final ultra on Day Four. Didn’t need to. I’ll put this down to sticking like glue to my training plan, on top of an amazing training base – gleaned over the winter and all thanks to the BTRS Trail Series ( ). Without that trail series, and the support of the BTRS friends and athletes, I would never have got out of bed and put in those miles on all those stormy, freezing and unsavoury days.

And as for my training plan? Those peak three weekends of a 5-hour+ run on Saturday followed by 3-4 hours on Sunday were NOT FUN! I really did almost lose the will to live, but it’s all down to those toughies that I finished the 100 miles injury-free (apart from the obligatory loss of a few toenails). My most vivid training memory, however, was my delight at heading finally into the taper phase, a delight that rapidly evaporated when I looked at my first taper weekend – a run of THREE AND A HALF HOURS! For crying out loud! Did they misunderstand the word ‘taper’?


Day One – The Cotswold Way: Chipping Campden to Hailes

Shortest run. Three big consecutive climbs. Job done. Took it very easy (although I only have one gear so you could say the same every day haha). I spent today with a young girl called Kate and we had a lovely few hours together. Scenery? Hilly and green. The villages were stunning – so much love and pride in those gardens – gorgeous.

First night in a tent. Pretty much first night EVER in a tent. I claim the hashtag Born to Glamp. Definitely not born to camp. Now, just a few souls are privy to the story surrounding my first introduction to a tent and you’re not one of them. Sorry. There are some things that I just don’t want to go viral! I’ll save it for a drunken evening. That said, my lighter-than-light self-inflating air mattress was/is the best thing since sliced bread. Many thanks to who were in charge of all our accommodation needs.

Special thanks to The Orchard tea room at who saved my sanity with tea and served a fabulous dinner, too. Bravo on every level. Trip Advisor, here I come.

Day Two – The Cotswold Way: Hailes to Cranham

After a great night’s sleep and a super breakfast I set off with Kate but soon found my legs and pulled away, making use of any ‘free’ miles that I could. I was nervous about a long run the second day and this was not an easy one, either.

Today was physically the most challenging BUT … I made it. No villages today. Just trails. And a whole lot of green! Pretty and green. Greenly pretty? Whatever. You get the idea. I experimented with trekking poles today in a bid to save my legs a little. Did they do the job? Yes. Were they worth the effort? The jury’s still out.





Today’s run was further enlivened by hundreds of runners from Race to the Tower – who were all running the same route as us but backwards (well, they weren’t running backwards – you know what I mean) – towards the first tower we reached on Day 1 (see pic). It was lovely to have so much company out on the course.






Day Three – The Cotswold Way: Cranham to Wotton under Edge

Sleep was not particularly plentiful last night. I fully expected to wake up in a lake, since it rained torrentially all night and I think most of it came through my tent. Thank you Magnificent Air Mattress for saving me again.

Shorter day today. I battled with trekking poles v. no trekking poles. I put them away and then missed them so I took them out again. Hmmmm. If yesterday was the most physically challenging then today was the mental challenge. So near and yet so far. Fortunately, I enjoyed the route today. No villages, but so much variation in terrain it helped boost interest and enjoyment. This was the day I’d planned to walk and I walked the first few miles but after that running was just easier (even if it was a jog). I spent quite a lot of today by myself. Because I ran more than walked today I was perplexed when I saw my Garmin stats – which were little more than crawling speed. It took me forever to remember that the final five miles or so I’d hooked up with a trio of entertaining Scotsmen (one of whom was injured so they were walking) who then dragged me kicking and screaming into the pub for a pint a couple of miles before the finish – and I forgot to pause my Garmin! Oh woe is me!


Day Four – The Cotswold Way: Wotton under Edge to Bath

I had an awful night, mostly stressing about today’s ultra. I didn’t think I’d make it, my toes were throbbing – bruised, battered, black and blue. The Negative Committee was out in full force. I woke up and cried, then cried when I put my trainers on, picturing myself hobbling 33 miles. Then I discovered that breakfast, which was supposed to be at 7.30 a.m., had opened up early without any announcement. The queue was already mile long (no exaggeration at all there!) and I decided to skip it. So while I was sitting on a bench with a face like thunder and wallowing in my own misery and levels of pathetic that humanity has rarely witnessed, a lovely lad (who just happened to have run across Canada the previous year – as one does) sat down beside me and said he’d noticed me hobbling and could he suggest I take out my shoelaces and do them up a different way? As only the best Borgs do, I complied.

I had the BEST RUN OF ALL! Not only that, I think I ran (mostly due to the loveliest and wonderful-est running buddy Lisa) the entire route – barring the obligatory walks on hills. The sun came out and thankfully there were lots and LOTS of free miles to be had today. We crossed that finish line together and oh did that feel GOOD!


Best bits:

The finish line;
That cup of tea at the end of Day 1;
The medic who MADE me a cup of tea at the end of Day 2;
My tent revelations (undisclosed) 😊
Discovering that I am capable of more than I thought;
That air mattress – YES!
It only rained at night – yay! (Is this a Cotswold way thing???) lol
Master lesson on how to lace my trainers;
Dry-roasted peanuts and salt and vinegar crisps (aid station lifesavers);
Lisa (best running buddy ever);
Spotless portaloos and general bathroom facilities.

Less best bits:

Annoyingly random meal times without announcements;
No electrolyte drink options (mercifully not a problem for me, but needed by others);
Would really have appreciated a bottle of water at the finish line;
Green overload 😊 (up for debate)
A notice board with timetable of events would have made life easier.

Would I recommend? Yes.

Fuel per run:

2 litres water, approx.
1 GRENADE bar @ 10-15 miles
Handful dry-roasted peanuts (or 2)
½ packet salt & vinegar crisps (full packet Days 2 and 4)

Final day deviation: Banana (making up for skipped breakfast)

All that remains is Goodbye

What a way to finish. I’ve done a few and seen some glorious places I would never have otherwise visited. Now it is time to bow out graciously (with a few battered toes). With thanks to the world of Ultrarunning for the adventures and proving time and again that finish lines really are more important that finish times (thankfully) – and I am capable of more than I think. For this lifetime, however, I bid you adieu.

thetrilife Masters Programme – Month 2

It’s been a more intense four weeks and my goal has been to stick firmly to the plan and focus on running cadence, bike cadence (rather than pushing gears) and anything and everything to do with swimming.

SWIMMING: Drills this month have focussed on hand placement. I feel fairly confident that I’m not too far off here. And remember I chickened out of finding ‘gears’ last month? Well, I really REALLY tried this time. Of course, finding 6 gears to swim 6 x 75m progressive meant that I was close to swimming backwards for the first one – but try I did and I did my best. Interestingly, my ‘progression’ in terms of stroke rate was always the same. For 5 of the 6 I simply upped my stroke rate, but for the final one I dropped stroke rate in favour of power. So did this mean my final 75m was the fastest – as it should have been? I DON’T KNOW!!! Lol Since I didn’t pause to press the ‘interval’ button every 75m my watch didn’t record them. Note to self: I need to play around with this a bit and find out!!

BIKE: A couple of these sessions I substituted with a SPIN or RPM session and simply add on the isolated leg sections (usually beforehand). Although I’m good at pushing myself on my own and I do complete every set, I still work harder in a class and get a good mix of climbing and sprinting so I think it’s working well. The longer rides have been fine. I’ve been lucky with the weather because I’m a wimp if it’s raining or cold. I’ve really focussed hard on maintaining cadence and am learning that if I focus on that then my speed creeps up gradually to that magical 14.5 mph whereas if I keep pushing bigger gears my pace fluctuates wildly and in the end I get tired quickly and my final average speed is slower!! It’s hard to get my head around this but I’m going to 100% trust the plan!

RUN: Not getting any faster. In fact, I think I’m still getting slower – but still focussing on cadence and I’ll stick with it. Have to admit, I still do do DO enjoy my running – whatever the pace 

OFF-PLAN ROUND-UP: I juggled a couple of weeks and threw in TWO sprint triathlons this month – Steyning Tri and Uckfield Tri. Both were pool swims – not very fast but steady. Both times I was pleased with the bike – at least reaching the minimum mph I was looking for – and I was chuffed to bits with the runs – both times averaging under 10 min miles. Yes, they were short distances but all boxes ticked and good chance to kick in the competitive spirit and get a great workout.

Finally – my test results this month compared to last month:

Month 1 Swim – 300s: Avg. 6:55 mins/13 spl – and 2.18/100m
Month 2 Swim – 300s: Avg. 6:37 mins/13 spl – and 2.12/100m

RUN TEST: Month 1 – Avg HR over 20 mins @ 90 rpm: 129 bpm/Avg 10.53/mile
Month 2 – Avg HR over 20 mins @ 90 rpm: 135 bpm/Avg 10.41/mile – a little further, a little faster; weather a lot warmer


It’s countdown time, your Facebook page is filled with running posts, injury posts and article upon article about what to do, what not to do, what you should have done, what it’s too late to do now and oh-my-god-you’ve-done-everything-wrong posts. Right? Yeah. ‘S’ok. Anyone who’s run a marathon has been there and heard most of it and I think I’m right in saying that you need to treat the advice in the same way that you treat all the suggestions about how to live your life, how to bring up your child, how to fold your laundry …… blah blah blah! Listen to all of it, nod, respect every viewpoint and then take the bits that are going to be good for YOU and run with them. In this case, literally!

For what it’s worth … here’s my list. Ignore at will or take what’s useful. Whatever you decide will be the right decision for you at this time.

– Whether you’ve done the training or you’re taking the ‘it’ll-be-alright-on-the-night’ approach, too late to dwell on should-haves and could-haves. Focus purely on the day that’s coming and getting yourself from start to finish. Remember – it’s all about the finishing photo!

– Don’t wait till you’re stressed out the day before your race to iron your name on your shirt. Do it a few days before so you have time to resort to Plan B without hysteria!

– You’ve heard it time and again but PLEASE don’t ignore it. NO NEW CLOTHING ON THE DAY! Nothing. Nada. Not even nail varnish!! God forbid – what if you find your new colour clashes with your laces????

– TOE NAILS. Cut them, file them … Brighton marathon is flat so little chance of you losing any – but why take the risk, eh?

– Double check your breakfast ingredients are all ready. Nothing worse than waking up to find Mum’s bought the wrong oats by mistake or forgotten to buy the all-important bananas!

– NO CARB-LOADING! You know that post-Christmas-dinner feeling when you can’t move because you’ve eaten so much? Why on earth would you over-eat the night before a big race – ensuring you arrive at the start line sluggish because your body’s still trying to cope with all that pasta! Stop it! By all means increase the carbs a little in the couple of days leading up to race day – but by ‘increase’ I mean perhaps a baked potato with your usual chicken and salad, maybe extra oats in your smoothie for mid-afternoon snack! Yeah, really! THAT is ‘loading’. No ‘double portions’. Double portions will merely lead to double trouble.

– I would love to know the percentage of marathon households emitting the familiar sound ‘OMG SAFETY PINS WE HAVEN’T GOT ANY SAFETY PINS’ on race morning. They’ll be in your race pack but invariably there’ll be a mishap. Just dig them out of the sewing box NOW so you’re not searching on race day and getting stressed. Besides, you know that if you have loads waiting you won’t need any because that’s just sod’s law!

– Charged your Garmin? #justsayin’

– Couple of wet wipes tucked away somewhere (they fold nicely in a mini sandwich bag) will see you comfortable if you get short-taken!

– Prepare for THE WALL! If (more likely ‘when’) you hit it you will feel that it’s affecting you far worse than any other runner. It isn’t. The wall is about perspective and strategy. Plough through it, leap (mentally) over it, go (figuratively) around it … but it DOES help to have a plan of action. Write a mantra on your hand and start chanting it to the rhythm of your feet (‘Nearly there, I’m nearly there’ or ‘I can do this, I WILL do this’ … or anything positive and ‘rhythmical’). Avoid phrases like ‘Don’t give up’ because they use negative words even though the meaning is positive. When you hit that wall your brain will only hear the ‘don’t’!! Maybe this is the time you can start counting strides? Pick a number, count, look up, take a drink, repeat, etc. I know somebody who wrote a few friends’ names on their hand and as they hit the wall they started having individual conversations with them (in their head). Whatever you do, it’s up to you. It’s never easy. You’re running a marathon, for goodness’ sake! There’s a reason very few people ever accomplish it. This is one of them. Give yourself the BEST advantage. PLAN your assault of that wall and remember … on the other side it’s time to run for home!!

– The expo ……… It’s exciting. It’s full of marathon fever. You can get lost in there. You can spend hours ……………… ON YOUR FEET! GO HOME! Feet need to be UP!

– Finally … marathon week … expect flu symptoms, bronchitis, IT band playing up, that old ankle injury will come back, you’ll feel ill, knees are aching a bit, that cough has returned ….. etc. etc. etc. You are not alone. Even better, for the vast majority of you these symptoms are all in your head. I can hear you right now: ‘Are you kidding? This sore throat/(insert appropriate symptom) isn’t in my head. It’s real.’ Yes, it is. Sorta! But it’s only a ‘temporary real’. I PROMISE YOU – a mile across that start line those symptoms will have disappeared (you’ll have a whole new set of things to think about haha). For now though, this is your body’s way of making you take notice. It’s merely saying ‘Time to compromise! You want me to carry you for 26 miles? Then feed me, give me water and get these legs on the couch!’ The least you can do is listen. It does have a point, after all.

I AM EXCITED FOR EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU. A marathon start line is an incredible achievement all by itself. Look around, feel proud, feel the buzz, ditch the excuses and do what needs to be done. The magic only happens outside your comfort zone. Go chase it.

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