Nearly 35

Person looking off into the distance

In 9 days time, I will be 35 and I’m dissatisfied with my life. Despite losing weight before my 30th birthday, I’ve put nearly all of it back on and I’m not as fit as I’d like to be, so I’ve decided to set myself a five-year challenge:


2018 - fireworks
Photo by Steven VanDesande Jr on Unsplash

Iron distance

This is going to be a massive challenge for me. I will have 17 hours to:

  • swim 2.4 miles
  • cycle 112 miles
  • run 26.2 miles

I’m already a runner, so the marathon seems like the easy bit at the moment. I run most days and have completed two marathons. I’m currently training for Paris Marathon in April 2013. However, I am not a good runner; I’m just enthusiastic. My RunBritain ranking is on the slide from a high of 16.9 in April 2012 to today’s low of 17.9 – exactly where it was a year ago 🙁

I cycle to work every day… BUT that’s only about 5k/3 miles. I’m not sure that I’ve ever really cycled further than 10 miles before. I have entered Winchester Duathlon on 17/03/13, so I’d better get on my bike!!!

I try to swim before work at least three days a week… BUT until December, I had never put my face in the water and I can only do breaststroke and backstroke. I had a swimming assessment this week and am going to start swimming lessons on my 35th birthday. I was told to go into the intermediate group, but it’s full, so I’m plunging into the advanced group – eek!

Another facet of this challenge is that in order to swim/cycle/run well, I need to eat more healthily and lose weight. I currently weigh 10st 13lb (69.4kg). I want to get back to weighing 9st (57kg).

My motivation for this five-year challenge

I was motivated to attempt this challenge by going on an amazing running holiday in The Algarve led by Embrace Sports. I am hoping that I may be able to go on a triathlon holiday in October/November, but I need to work on my swimming ability and confidence by then.

Interim goals

I may enter a triathlon this summer. It will depend on whether I can improve my swimming to a good enough standard. I will also need to learn to swim in open water. I hope that I can enter Ferndown try-a-tri. This triathlon would be convenient as it is where my in-laws live and the short distance means that I think my husband may be persuaded to enter with me. It’s a 400m pool swim, 11.5-mile bike ride and 5k run. My nieces and nephews may even be interested in entering the children’s events.

I currently record all of my running on my Garmin 405cx. Occasionally, I use it on my bike. I upload all of my data to Garmin Connect – I’m listed as Tamsyn Smith.

I’m hoping that along the way I will run a sub 25 minute 5k and also complete an ultramarathon. I’m tempted by the Classic Quarter as it is an ultra that is close to where I’m from.

I’ve taken out a trial subscription to 220 Triathlon in the hope that it will keep me inspired.

I’m ladies captain of Lordshill Road Runners (Southampton’s friendliest running club) and I receive running coaching from Ant Gritton a triathlete who runs Run Camp.

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

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