Today I raced my first open water swim event.

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I signed up for the 1500m race, borrowed a wetsuit and made my way to Dorney Lake for the race.

I found out about the Eton Open Water Swim after speaking to a few members of Tri London at the Crystal Palace Triathlon a few weekends back. It seemed like the perfect segue from pool swimming to open water swimming – without having to worry about transitioning, cycling and running after.

I thought I had prepared myself quite well earlier this week by going for a swim in an open air Lido to test out the wetsuit and get familiar with the cold water… well it definitely didn’t hurt but I was still completely and utterly shocked 100m into the race today.

Shocked by… the cold. the compression. the commotion. and the conditions.

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My First Triathlon [Sprint Distance]

She can swim!
She can bike!
She can run!

First triathlon – check! By the time I crossed the finish line of the Crystal Palace Sprint Triathlon I felt a little underwhelmed… ‘that’s it!?’ 

Dan’s been racing in triathlons for over three years now and I had actively avoided it until this year. I’m not saying Triathlon is easy (by any means) but it is certainly not scary like I expected it to be.

Overall I finished the race in 1hr and 25minutes and placed 8th in my age group! Really pleased with that!!

Here’s a short synopsis of my experience leading up to and during the race… I definitely had some awkward and challenging times…

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New to triathlon? Try a pool-based race first

2013 Crystal Palace Sprint Triathlon Traditionally, triathlons involve an open water swim… so for a non-swimmer like me, an open water course is REALLY intimidating. It’s one of the main reasons why I didn’t try triathlon sooner.

My first triathlon is this weekend and I am so thankful that it is a pool-based swim. I’m finally feeling confident with swimming, but swimming in open water seems like it’d be a totally different ball game.

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5k and 10k Running Events in London UK

handrawn-london-map02 2With the world famous London Marathon coming up over the weekend, let’s get inspired and check out what other races are available here in London.

With a population of over 8 million… we can’t be too surprised that once an event gets featured in our Tuesday Timeout mag that there’ll be a queue for DAYZ or it’ll be completely sold out. For this reason, I’ll avoid the highly publicized one-off races so that by the time you read this and think, ‘hey, I might sign up for that one…’ that there will actually be spaces available for you to do so.

Here are two amazing options for 5k and 10k running series in London — these are trusted events you can count on and which are suited for runners of all levels.

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Dealing with pre-race Jitters

Berlin Half Marathon - Dan and I at start line

You’d think that after 7 years of competitive racing, the pre-race jitters would begin to disappear, eh? Well, sorry to tell you that this is so NOT the case… What I have learned though, is how to turn those jitters into excitement and drive… rather than negative thoughts like doubt and fear (which jitters can easily turn into if you’re not careful!).

Here’s how…

When I start to feel the pre-race jitters… In order to turn them into excitement and drive, I’ve learned to simply not entertain any negative thoughts.  They’ll come through my mind constantly but I just watch them leave again without being effected, considering or debating them. 

Here are a few of the thoughts that went through my mind before the Berlin Half Marathon

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Berlin Half Marathon

Berlin Half MarathonDaylight savings in Autumn 2014, the clocks fall back and we have an extra hour in our day. My roommate Kailee and I decide to make the most of this extra hour by signing up for the Berlin Half Marathon, which our friend Ash planned on racing. Little did we know we’d lose that hour literally the day before racing, when Spring daylight savings came around…

We flew out to Berlin last weekend and raced our first half marathon ever.

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What have I just done? Officially registered for a Half Ironman

Signing up for races

I’ve taken three days off of training because of this chest cough I’ve got. Today is day 3 and lets just say, I’m getting a little restless. The weather has been absolutely stunning and it is killing me being stuck indoors, so I figured I better put this downtime to good use…

Since I decided my major goal this year would be to complete a middle distance triathlon (2km swim, 90km bike and a 21km run), I have had my eye on a specific race that interests me. I’ve never done triathlon before so it’s taken me a while to muster up enough courage to even think about actually signing up for a middle distance race. I guess this whole restless thing was my tipping point!

Any second thoughts? YUP – many!

But… here we go…I’ve signed up for it!! OMG, WHAT HAVE I DONE?!

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Reflecting on my first 10k of the year

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Quite quickly, I went from being grateful and excited to cold and worried… hence my expression above! It was a cold and windy morning but all-and-all I really enjoyed the Regents Park 10k. This was a true test of my winter fitness and I was so pleased with the result… 10k in 46:45! Woot! Very close to my personal best at this distance and I walked away without shin pain!

RACE REPORT: The start was delayed slightly which threw a curve-ball in my warmup plans. I was starting to get nervous at the start line that my shins would play up after going from cold and stationery to high intensity running.

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