LAURA'S ROAD TO HALF-IRONMAN

Duathlon Edition

It feels right to be writing part 3 of my blog series this week because these last few weeks have been about change, focus, progress and moving forward.

Next week I finally move house and for me this symbolises letting the past go and starting a new and exciting chapter in my life. Now this isn’t to say it’s been easy. It has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, sitting with the person I once thought would be a part of my life forever and separating everything that was once ‘ours’ into two separate piles. But this process has really made me consider what is important. What do I really need and what is just ‘stuff’ that I will throw away to make room for the future?!

It has given me closure, clarity, an appreciation of my own strength and an appreciation of those around me who offer nothing but love and support.

Those of you who check in with how my training is going may have noticed a change in my response lately. A few months back, I would have tried to change the subject after sheepishly saying that training is going ok. That first ride home on my bike from Canary Wharf back in November had massively knocked my confidence and rather than persevering, I let fear and self-doubt get in the way of doing what I wanted and, to put it quite simply, this was not ok.

I had to make a decision and it’s something I often ask my riders to do. You either give up, give in or give it all you’ve got. Always, ALWAYS chose the latter and fully commit to it. I chose to commit by signing up for a duathlon last month at the Velo Park. The half-Ironman is such an overwhelming goal that I thought I should set some achievable challenges in along the way to build my confidence. Every day at work I look at the Psycle slogans and after every class I would read the following:

‘You don’t have to see the whole staircase to take the first step,’

and this began to resonate with me more than ever.

The duathlon was a little daunting at first with so many experienced people there and then me — the one that couldn’t even work out where to put my competitor number or how to attach the chip to my foot! I now fully appreciate you first time riders who look around at everyone setting up their bikes when you’re still desperately trying to walk in the cleated shoes!

But it’s ok not to be the best in comparison. All that matters is that you’re the best version of you. You breath, you smile, you relax and enjoy. When I completed the race there was a huge part of me that felt beyond happy at what I’d achieved but equally another part of me that was annoyed that I had spend the last 2 months doubting myself and halting my progress as a consequence. I made a promise to myself right there and then that it won’t happen again. No matter how big or scary something may seem, I would trust in my ability, my strength and my determination.

I have now signed up for another longer, tougher duathlon in May before heading out to Barcelona.

Just think where you want to get to and, no matter what, just keep putting one foot in front of the other. It may take longer than expected; it may be tougher than you ever anticipated but so long as you keep going, you will continue to move forward and you will get there in the end.

So here’s to the next chapter. To leaving things behind that were holding me back and to embrace future challenges that will ultimately allow me to grow and find my strength.

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