I'm a triathlete. Which is something I never thought I'd say about myself as I wasn't sporty as a child. It all started when I met my husband and became a cycling widow. I soon realised that if I didn't start cycling, I would never see him. One year later we did the Ride100 in London. A year after that, I did the London olympic distance triathlon. I planned to do a half-ironman the following year, but breast cancer scuppered that idea.

I didn't let cancer stop me training though. What follows is my sporting blog. I was initially reluctant to call myself an athlete, as I'm a 'back-of-the-pack' kind of gal, but I am an athlete, and I'm determined to get fitter than faster after cancer than I was before.


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London Classics

16 September 2017

It's fair to say I was quite tired after summer exploits, but I wasn't done. I'd seen on Twitter something called 'The London Classics'. If you have done the London Marathon, the Ride100 and a 2 mile swim in the Serpentine (basically an ironman in London on 3 separate days), you could get the mother of all medals and join the Hall of Fame. 2017 was the first year they were running it - I HAD to do it!

How to persuade the coach..
Tanja was awesome and said I should go for it. I was a bit concerned as I had done next to no swimming since the half-ironman in June. I was also taking on more responsibility where I was shadowing at work, and had an operation planned in the weeks afterwards. But Tanja said I'd be able to get round with my fitness base, and I trusted her.

Swim time
My time to swim was in the afternoon, so I got the train down in the morning, and was soon on my way to the Serpentine, following a trail of shivering swimmers who had completed their swim coming the other way. It was a COLD day, and the lake temperature was cold (just over 15 degrees, I think), and the thought of swimming for 1-2 hours amongst the swan poo wasn't appealing. But then I saw the medals…..

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The camaraderie at the start was amazing. I was shocked to see so many swimmers not wearing wetsuits. I had my gloves and booties and a neoprene cap under my swim hat, as well as a rash vest under my wetsuit, and boy was I glad of them. It was a two-lap swim which was fairly uneventful, apart from a desperate urge to get out after one mile. I did a mixture of breast-stroke and front-crawl, but breast-stroking got harder and harder in the wetsuit. I managed to find the odd pair of feet to draft from, and only got kicked in the face once when the men from the race after us went flying past.

It was a huge relief to finish and I had to be dragged out on shaking legs - straight into a hot tub! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! whoever thought of putting hot tubs there. Just what this doctor ordered rot warm up before she had to strip off again in the changing tent.

Medals!


I hadn't realised that I got 2 medals - one for doing the 2 mile swim, and one for completing the London Classics. And the Classics medal was huge!

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LC4 All in all a great way to round off the year :) Not a bad medal collection for my first year after finishing breast cancer treatment, don't you think?

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