So unlike my brother I have never had a burning desire to do an Ironman until this year. Inspired by my friends Emma and Julie who smashed it last year and together with the need to keep myself mentally and physically fit and wanting to raise awareness and money for the Azheimer’s Society – I thought I would give it a go! I love triathlons, I love a challenge and hopefully my tenacity, my gorgeous family and all my lovely training buddies will see me through! Although I still can’t believe that in my 48th year I am actually going to do an Ironman!!
I surprised myself last October by completing a 70.3 and quite enjoyed it! It’s amazing what your body can do when you put your mind to it! However, the full Ironman may be more of a physical and mental challenge than I initially thought as it seems that since I signed up I have discovered that I am at the age where my body is doing crazy hormonal things that have left me struggling with anxiety, sleepless nights, mood swings, night sweats and a complete lack of, what us welsh call, ‘hwyl’! In fact I have actually felt like a complete different person- not myself at all! I so wasn’t expecting this! I haven’t been able to seek advice from my mum and generally didn’t really know much about the menopause until now. But the advice from those around me going through the same thing and talking about it has really helped me and has prompted me to seek help and share my experience. So after extensive online research, numerous visits to the GP, and talking to friends I have come to the conclusion that I will give HRT a go and I will not let this hiccup stop me reaching my goal. Peri-menopausal symptoms for some women can be a challenge- but I am hoping I can overcome those challenges! Watch this space!
The training so far is going well, I’ve kept my fitness levels up through the winter thanks to my lovely turbo trainer, a few sessions in the pool a week (my personal swim coach/husband, is keeping me busy with drills and endless technique videos) and the fabulous trail runs around the Gower, which are just a pleasure! To be honest no matter how tired I might feel before I start a training session with all my weird physical symptoms, anxiety and low mood I feel at my best and symptom free when I am training. I don’t think I am firing on all cylinders yet but hopefully as my symptoms ease and I get more sleep that will come.
I have also been trying to eat well and fuel my training efficiently and economically- those nutrition bars are soooo expensive! I recently made some ‘powerballs’ to eat on the bike/ run.
Here is the recipe.
- 1/2 cup raisins or pitted dates or cranberries, any dried fruit is good
- 2 Tbsp peanut butter
- 1/2 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 Tbsp of porridge oats
- 1 Tbsp chocolate chips
- 2 Tbsp honey
- Desiccated coconut to coat
- Soften the peanut butter and honey in the microwave
- Add the dried fruit, oats, chia seeds and chocolate chips to make a thick paste
- Roll into bite-sized balls
- Roll the balls in the coconut to coat them completely
- Transfer into an airtight container and put in the fridge, they should keep for up to 2 weeks
So the Ironman journey begins! Bring it on!
For you mum.