Hello and welcome to my blog!
My name is Lesley Wallace, I’m 47 years old and I am very lucky to live in Kendal, Cumbria on the edge of the Lake District. I am married with a Son, James, 21 who is studying at Northumbria University and a daughter, Jessica, 18 who is studying at Reading University. I am a HLTA in the Reception Class of a local primary school so I am lucky in as far as I get weekends and schools holidays in which to train as well as after school and in the evenings.
I will be blogging about my own thoughts, feelings, achievements and set-backs whilst training for my first Open Water Triathlon, which is The Keswick Mountain Festival Short Triathlon on Saturday 16th May 2015.
I hope by reflecting on what went well and what I would change will go some way to helping others to learn from my experiences and to reach their own goals.
I think it is important you appreciate where I am coming from and where I am heading so here is a little bit about myself.
I have always been keen to keep fit and up until a few years ago I did this primarily through walking and exercise classes such as Steps, Aerobics, Circuits and Pilates.
Then … 3 years ago things changed!
I invested in a road bike through the cycle to work scheme and very quickly discovered the love for cycling. That same year I did my first cycle sportive and I cycled the Coast to Coast. As if this wasn’t enough to keep me occupied I also took up running and ran my first Half Marathon completing The Great North Run.
Since then running has taken over my life somewhat and unfortunately cycling was put on the back burner. Since taking up running I have competed in three Marathons, one 20 Miler, Sixteen Half Marathons, five 10 Milers, ten 10K’s and three 5K’s.
In April 2014 I competed in my first pool sprint triathlon which I really enjoyed – that is once I was out the water and I was safely back on dry land! Unfortunately, even after all my hard work trying to improve my front crawl, nerves got the better of me and I had a really bad swim!
Determined to conquer my fear of “the swim” I bravely (or stupidly?) decided to have a go at Open Water Swimming!
So in May 2014 I enrolled on an “Introduction to Open Water Swimming” session and found myself in Lake Windermere at 9am one Saturday morning wondering what on earth I had let myself in for!
I won’t pretend I wasn’t scared … I have never been as petrified about doing something in my entire life!
However, under the calming influence of Emma at Activeblu I survived this first session and although I can’t say I enjoyed it I was determined to persevere. After just 3 additional dips in the lake I found myself swimming the 1 mile Great North Swim in June and was delighted to finish in 40 minutes! After this and throughout the summer I attended Thursday evening swim sessions with Emma in Lake Windermere. My confidence increased marginally over the summer, but once the sun went I hung my wetsuit up for the winter!
As the dark nights drew in I found myself pondering what events to enter in 2015. With all my training being marathon focused in the past couple of years I decided I wanted to move away from the dreaded long Sunday morning run and after a glass or 2 of wine one evening I entered not 1 but 3 triathlons. The KMF Tri will be my second of the year but my first EVER Open Water one!
This will be a huge challenge for me and after several sleepless nights wondering what on earth I had done I decided to get a grip and put a training plan in place!
Over the coming weeks you can follow my progress trying to juggle life, work, holidays and training, whilst trying to improve my front crawl and conquering my Open Water fears, trying to master a road bike without pulling on the brakes as soon as I pick up speed and trying a few “brick” sessions in readiness for the triathlon!
I hope by sharing my training journey I help to motivate others to take on a new challenge however daunting it may first appear.
I am currently trying to do 6 workouts a week consisting of 2 swims, 2 rides and 2 runs.
Keep checking back to see how I am getting on! Any words of wisdom or comments would be gratefully appreciated!