It’s that time of year again…

I know I’ve already done a triathlon this year, but that was just a little one, a warm-up if you like. The real season for me starts on Sunday, with the Slateman. And guess what? I’m injured. My shoulder is still not better, I have a potentially fractured wrist and I’ve got TFL syndrome* which has been stopping me from running for about 3 weeks now. Of course this isn’t going to stop me doing the damn thing, it just means my training has gone out the window. I’ve been swimming twice in the pool and once in the Lake this year, although I’m off to the lake this afternoon and I have a swim analysis test tomorrow. I’ve not really been out on the bike, certainly not like I was last year and, as I said, I’ve not run for 3 weeks. Doesn’t really bode well for a PB but never mind. At least I’ll see where I’m at and where I need to work (probably everywhere!!).

*The TFL is the tensor fasciae latae, in short a hip abductor muscle that links the ITB (iliotibial band) to the hip. TFL syndrome is when this muscle gets tight. It’s pretty painful. You can read more about it here.

Having said all that, I’m feeling pretty good (I know it doesn’t sound like it), but I’m feeling strong. I’ve kept at the Crossfit, obviously avoiding movements that aggravate my shoulder, and I’m down to 70 kilos which is the lightest I’ve been in a very long time. I’m hoping I might be able to wing it… Famous last words!! I’ve also become a brand ambassador for Just Strong Clothing. If you want to get 10% discount on their stuff, just click here and the discount will be applied at the checkout.

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In other news, we have bought a van. It’s a red Vauxhall Vivaro SWB and we are in the process of converting it into a campervan. Project van is great – it is taking over my life in a good way!! So far I have managed to insulate the floor, ply-line the floor and carpet the floor. Next stage is electrics and then I can get on and insulate and line the walls. We also need some windows putting in but having discussed this, we’ve decided to get someone else to do this. Far too delicate a job for either of us.

 

Both of us have been away in it, together and separately for work, just as it is at the moment, and it’s great. So handy not having to put a tent up! I can’t see that I will ever go back to having a car. After Easter we went up to the Lake District for a few days with the dog and we managed fine. It was a bit of a pain having to take everything out to organise each day but it was definitely better than having to put up and take down a tent each time. I’m going to start building the bed too because I can’t decide where the best position for it is. If I build it outside the van then I can move it around a bit to decide.

In more other, different news, a good friend of mine is pregnant. I’m super happy for her, for them both, but I have to say it completely floored me. I’m not sure why exactly, although if I’m honest I just didn’t think she wanted children! I don’t know why I thought that, maybe because we’ve never talked about it, I’m not sure. Maybe I just decided that so it was easier for me. I don’t know, but it hit me hard. This is the first person I am close to that is having a baby since I’ve been told I can’t. And they are close to me, as in she lives in my village and we do a lot together. Some days I’m fine and then some days I’m really not. I guess I’ll just have to roll with it and see how it goes…

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A year ago today

So apparently I joined WordPress a year ago today. That must mean that my whole (short) journey with IVF started around this time. I’ve been meaning to write a post for quite some time but I just haven’t managed to motivate myself enough to do it. Way too much going on in my head to get it all down in a meaningful way. However, this reminder from WordPress that I have been here a year is a good kick up the arse to get going, so here we go.

We went away. The trip of a lifetime for us. Nepal and India. Trekking in the Himalaya, seeing Everest from afar, soaking up the Buddhist and Hindu culture, watching amazing sunsets, visiting beautiful historic sites, eating amazing food. Funny though how now it all seems like something I read in a magazine rather than experienced for myself (ourselves)…

I keep bumping into people I haven’t seen in a while and they ask me, enthusiastically, ‘so how was your trip?’ My go to reply now seems to be, ‘yeah, it was great, thanks, seems like a lifetime ago now’. It’s true, it does. Life just gets back in the way doesn’t it? Suddenly you’re back in the rhythm of work, of chores, of trying to make ends meet. I wanted the trip to be something to take the sting out of not having children. Realistically I know this was never going to work. The benefit last year was it gave me something to look forward to. I could plan. I was distracted. Now what? I still can’t have children and now we probably won’t be able to afford to go on holiday again for years. It’s almost like a massive sucker punch instead of being something wonderful.

Don’t get me wrong, we did have an absolutely amazing time! Nepal was incredible. We completed the Gokyo Trek in the High Himalaya over 14 days from Lukla where we had to fly in and out in the tiniest of airplanes ever :O

 

That was pretty exhilarating! As soon as we landed we set off on our first day of trekking to Phakding. It was a pretty easy day and, in hindsight, we probably should have aimed for a little further along the route, but it was a nice day to ease into the trek. As an aside, if you want to see all the routes we walked, they are all on my Strava account ๐Ÿ™‚ There’s also loads of pictures on my Instagram account.

The next day we headed up to Namche Bazaar which is the resting place for many before they embark higher into the mountains. It’s a beautiful little town set in a natural amphitheatre in the hillside with stunning views back down the valley. We stayed here for three nights to acclimatise and on our second day we went for a day’s walk to acclimatise further and got our first proper views of Everest and Ama Dablam ๐Ÿ™‚

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Namche Bazaar
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Tabuche, Everest. Lhotse and Ama Dablam, oh, and me, obviously ๐Ÿ˜‰

I could write for hours and hours about what we did each day but I’m not going to. I’ll do a quick summary instead. We spent the next 3 days working our way up to Machherma where, unfortunately, we both got food poisoning ๐Ÿ˜ฆ That meant an extra night there to try and recover. From there it was up to Gokyo but neither of us were feeling great as we were running on empty. This meant that, unfortunately (again) Elton came down with altitude sickness and we weren’t able to attempt to climb Gokyo Ri (5357m) and instead Gokyo was our highest point on the trek at 4790m. It didn’t matter, it was more important to get Elton back down so that’s what we did.

We spent the next 3 days making our way back to Namche via Phortse and Tengboche and got the most amazing sunset over Everest on Christmas Eve while in Tengboche ๐Ÿ™‚

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Incredible light show over Nuptse, Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam

We spent Christmas Day in Namche and then trekked back to Lukla to fly back to Kathmandu, on an even smaller plane (!!) on Boxing Day. An amazing time was had ๐Ÿ™‚

After the trek we decided that rather than heading straight into India we would go to Pokhara for a bit of a chillout. This hadn’t originally been on our itinerary but we needed somewhere to relax for a bit and it looked like the perfect place. After a night in Kathmandu we caught our first (of many) long distance bus. The roads in Nepal are not good. In fact, they are nowhere near good. The journey itself is not that far but there is no way you can travel at much more than 20-30 mph at any one time, that’s if you’re moving at all. It was an experience, that’s for sure.

Pokhara was great. Chilled out, on the lakeside with beautiful views up to the Annapurnas. We stayed in an amazing hostel called the Sacred Valley Inn which had a roof terrace where we could lazily eat breakfast in the sunshine. Perfect. We decided to stay until New Year’s Day before heading south to India.

Wow. India. What can I say about India? We barely scratched the surface of India but boy was it an experience. Because of our unplanned four day detour to Pokhara we were suddenly running out of time. This meant buses. A lot of buses. I’m not going to say much about it (I could actually go on all day) except these two things: a) we are lucky to be alive to tell the tale; b) don’t travel by bus at night. The only other thing I have to say is DON’T EVER GO TO GORAKPHUR.

In our very short time we did manage to visit the Taj Mahal, although it was pretty foggy, and Amer Fort just outside Jaipur, which were both stunning in very different ways. We also managed a few days chilling out in Udaipur which was lovely. From there it was an overnight train back to Delhi (me with food poisoning again – that was a fun journey) before flying back home.

 

 

 

And now we’re back. In fact we’ve been back for nearly six weeks. And it’s taken me this long to write about it. Hmmm. Like I said, life gets in the way. Anyway, I needed a new focus, new goals for 2018. So here they are…

Having been vegetarian for over a year now and seeing the benefit of trying to eat mainly plant-based food, I am now trying to go at least 95% plant-based by the end of 2018. I won’t eat meat again that’s for sure but I am going through a process of cutting out as much dairy as possible and reducing my egg intake. So far, so good. Where I’m let down (especially at this time of year) is chocolate :O Having said that I have made some amazing gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, egg-free chocolate peanut butter and jelly cups using a recipe from Eli Brecher – seriously check it out here!

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These are the best things EVER ๐Ÿ™‚

The other things I have been doing (alongside trying to rehab my shoulder which still isn’t fixed) is following a bit of a plan from The Natural Edgeย which concentrates on plant-based eating but also on intermittent fasting and getting good quality sleep. It’s been amazing. Yesterday I completed my first 24 hour fast and felt great for it. I’ve also invested in a sunrise alarm clock so I wake up to light, rather than an annoying alarm that jerks me awake. I’m down to 70 kilos which is the lightest I’ve been in a long time and my performance in training is improving. Good job as the Harlech Triathlon is just around the corner… :O Little video from towards the end of my fast yesterday.

 

Anyway, I’ve rambled on enough. I am going to update this blog more regularly now though as I’m going to document my progress this year working towards my fitness and nutrition goals. Thanks for reading if you made it this far!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Let the adventures begin :)

Wow, roll back 10 months and things were a little different. There we were, balanced on the edge with our heads above the parapet, waiting for science to gift us with a child, or not. It seems like a really long time ago, and yet, it also feels like yesterday. I always said that I would find my way of dealing with it and I did. I do. Sometimes. I suppose what happens is you become settled in the life that is rather than dwelling too much upon the life that could have been. Well, most of the time anyway.

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Things have definitely moved on. I completed all those triathlons. My plan B. I got a new tattoo!! Other things have changed – my job for instance has become more permanent, albeit more part-time, but that’s good. It works for me. It gives me the freedom to do other things. Next year is going to be more about other things. Other work too. But mainly other things. Visiting friends. Spending time with my family. Getting out and living life to the fullest. This is the stuff that is important. This is what keeps me happy, keeps me on an even keel.

I’ve managed to spend some time with friends and their young child recently. I thought I might struggle but actually it was great. Obviously there were times that I felt a little choked up, but all in all I think I handled it pretty well. I need to be able to visit those friends of mine that have been lucky to have children. And deal with it. As well as improving my relationship with my step-daughter. This stuff is important too. Very important.

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November has been a funny month. I had a shoulder niggle that, if I’m honest, had probably been going on since the summer. Turns out I should have had it looked at a long time ago. And it’s not a shoulder injury, it’s bicep tendinopathy. So that put a stop to any lifting of weights and riding my bike or swimming (not that I was doing a lot of that anyway). Running it was then. My running partner had run every day in October and was planning on keeping going, so I joined her. Today I completed day 34 of running every day and I plan to keep going until Saturday when we head off to India and Nepal. I never really enjoyed running before. It’s always been something that I’ve done as a means to an end. Oh, and it comes at the end of a triathlon. But I have to say, I’ve rather come to enjoy it. I don’t think I’m one of those people that gets the ‘runner’s high’ just yet, but it’s been a good month. And I keep beating my time at Parkrun so I must be doing ok ๐Ÿ˜€

I also seem to drunk a great deal of gin in November . I haven’t been on the lash permanently but somehow I seem to have gone through rather a lot. Oh well, I have enjoyed it, especially finally getting to sample the new Blue Slate Gin from Dinorwig Distillery, the gin that I was part of the tasting crew for (see previous blog post).

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The sad news is that my grandmother died. That was a complicated relationship as I am adopted. She was the mother of my biological father who I have known since I was 19. She was a fantastic lady, always welcomed me into the family with open arms. She was a Scot, and a proud one. I feel honoured to have met her and to have had her in my life. Unfortunately she had been horrendously depressed since the death of my grandfather two years ago. I think, in reality, she died of a broken heart ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

The happy news is that my little sister (half sister on my biological father’s side) got married. It was a really beautiful day, down in Gloucestershire, at Berkley Castle. They both looked amazing and I am so happy for them ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, enough of my rambling (I’m not even sure what this blog post is about anymore…) six more days and we’re off. Off on our big adventure. I’m getting super excited now. Plans have changed as they inevitably would but they’ve changed for the better. We’ve had our flights booked to Delhi for ages now but having finally decided on what trek we would like to do we are now flying out of India two days after we arrive and heading straight for Nepal. Two days in Kathmandu and then we’re flying into one of the scariest airports in the world – Lukla – the starting point for treks up Everest and other mountains in the Khumbu. How exciting is that??!!

We’re not going to Everest, or even to base camp. We’re heading to the quieter valley to the west. The Gokyo Valley. We will be hopefully summiting a mountain called Gokyo Ri which is 5357m high and offers superb views of Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu and Makalu. I’ve never been above 5000m before and Elton has never been above 3000m so it’s super exciting for us both.

From there we should, all going well, have a couple of weeks to then travel around Northern India and take in some sights. When we booked this, five weeks sounded like such a long time, now it seems like nothing at all. But I mustn’t complain. We are incredibly lucky to have this opportunity. And we’re going to make the most of it, blog post to follow I’m sure ๐Ÿ˜€

Just had to share

This evening, following a good workout at Crossfit and while enjoying a gin and tonic in the bath, I came across this article. For anyone in the same situation as me, i.e. involuntarily childless, it’s a good read. Actually, it’s a good read for anyone. Might make you think a little. Take some time to read it.

End of the season

So this time, seven months ago, I was just setting out on the IVF journey. It was a short-lived journey, but it was a journey nonetheless. In fact, I’ve just been re-reading that first blog post Motherhood… or not and it’s reminded me just how much I’ve, sorry, we’ve, been through in quite a short space of time. Actually, in reality, I didn’t start the journey seven months ago. It started long before that. But the sciency bit started then. The drugs and the needles started then. The short-lived hope started then. But I always had a plan B. I had to have a plan B. I knew the odds. They were stacked against us from the start.

Plan B was to get fit. To train. To complete three full distance triathlons in 2017. Well here we are, at the end of the season and I have done it. In fact I have spent 13 hours, 55 minutes and 23 seconds racing in full distance triathlons. But that’s not all. I’ve also completed a 10km trail race, a sprint distance triathlon and I’ve started doing Yoga and going to Crossfit. Oh, and I’m taking part in a 100 mile cycle sportive on Sunday… Yep, you got that right, I have become an exercise junkie!

Don’t get me wrong, I still like drinking cider and gin (not together, might I add) and eating cake and I still find running more of a means to an end than something I actually ‘enjoy’ but I’m loving the endorphines that I am getting from it all. The sense of achievement. The focus. The community. It’s what I need. There will always be a huge hole in my life, one that can never be filled with anything else, but this helps. It definitely helps.

So what now? Well, now I’ve proved I can do it, I need to do it better. I want to train properly. I want to improve. I want to get stronger, fitter, better. I want to eat better (that’s going to be the toughest challenge) and I want to feel good about myself. I’ve already signed myself up for a sprint triathlon in March, the Adventure Triathlon Series (same as I’ve done this year) and a trail half marathon. I also want to go out to France and cycle up Mont Ventoux and Alpe d’Huez (I’ve done this one before on our honeymoon but I want to do it properly). I want to get better at lifting weights and I want to improve my flexibility and my core strength. I want to be happy in myself and happy in the life we have without children (obviously Elton has a daughter who I love heaps but you know what I mean) and I want to get joy from the simple things.

I seriously believe that without the training, without the hard work, I would have slipped into a depression. This has saved me and now there is no going back ๐Ÿ˜€

So that’s the summer over then?

Blimey. I mean where did it go? Oh to be a child again when summer actually meant something. Time off. Hanging out with friends. Indulging in some freedom. Not the case for us. I suppose it’s our own fault for planning a big trip away at Christmas. Summer meant work. And more work. Although I did manage to squeeze in an additional triathlon ๐Ÿ˜‚

It was great actually. It was a sprint tri in Llanrwst run by a local triathlon club (who I never knew existed but do now and have joined) called GOG Triathlon Club. GOG stands for Great Orme Goats – it’s based in Llandudno, home to the Great Orme and its goats ๐Ÿ˜€

Previously I have always been put off by sprint triathlons, purely because of the word ‘sprint’, but I thought I’d give it a go. It was great fun, very friendly and I even got my fastest average speed on the bike, managing to overtake 3 people in my wave. They did, of course, take me on the run but I can live with that.

Nice bit of bling ๐Ÿ˜

It’s now just 10 days until the Sandman Triathlon, the final one of the Always Aim High adventure series. I’m feeling good and hoping to beat last year’s time but I haven’t done that much specific training. I have, at least, managed to get out in the sea swimming a couple of times which is better than this time last year! Got freaked out by the jellies last time though ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

GOGs swimming in the sea ๐Ÿ˜€

Moving back to my health and hormones and stuff, I finally managed to pluck up the courage to see the doctor. He sent me for a full whack of blood tests and they all came back normal apart from a low iron count. Went back for a chat and saw a different lady who has put me on HRT. She said it sounds like I am premenopausal. Great. I knew but I was dreading having it confirmed, which I haven’t really as it’s all speculation. I suppose I’m no better off than I was before ๐Ÿ˜• Reading the common side effects of the medication was fun. I may even be worse off…

I haven’t started taking them yet. I’m scared to. I just keep looking at them and feeling a sense of utter sadness. It kind of signifies the end for me. An end to any slight chance that I still might of had of getting pregnant. Even though, realistically, the end has already been and gone with that line in the sand.

To that end it’s been a bit of a g&t month. I’ve been tasting some different gins but my favourite is still Opihr with Fever Tree Elderflower tonic and a slice of orange. Oh yeah ๐Ÿ˜€ The hubby has been good too and bought me some beautiful flowers. It must be difficult for him. I’m terrible at just cracking on with stuff and filing away my emotions. Don’t listen to my own advice at all.

Lovely roses and lilies – my favourite โค

It’s been a while

I’ve been wanting to write another blog post for a while. After all, it’s been a month since my last one. Problem is I’m not sure where to start, how the middle is going to work out and I’m definitely unsure of the ending. There’s an advert on TV at the moment, I can’t remember what for – internet or mobile phones or something – anyway, there’s a moment when a woman turns on a blender and the top isn’t on it and her smoothie goes all over her face. It always makes me giggle. Problem is, I’ve been worried that this blog post is going to end up a bit like that. A kind of uncapped explosion from my brain that ends up in a big mess all over my face. But without the comedy. Hmmm ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

I’ve been sat staring at the screen for a while now since writing that first paragraph. I hoped that once I got started it would just flow. I was wrong. It’s not even that I’m feeling low or having a particularly bad time, I just have a whole heap of stuff in my head that I feel like I need to get out. But now I’ve come to get it out, I can’t quite verbalise any of it. Very frustrating ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Well, I’ve got to start with something so I’ll start with babies. I’ve now managed to get up close and personal with a baby. In fact, it was the same baby that I deliberately avoided during a friend’s hen weekend (see a previous blog post). That friend has since got married and, at the wedding, I managed baby cuddles. The first since IVF fail. It was fine. Well it was mainly fine. It was fine until someone said to my husband ‘watch out, you’ll be next’. That wasn’t fine. Still, I wonder how many times I have said something to someone without really thinking about whether or not it could stab through their heart like a knife. Do we really know anyone? Do we really know what could be a trigger? Of course not. It’s just one of those things. I’m sure it won’t be the last time.

I’ve also managed good friends of mine having a baby. I haven’t met said baby yet, but I am super happy for them. Genuinely. I can’t think of two more wonderful people to bring a child into this world. That does bring me onto a slightly different topic however (see, it’s flowing now). Friends. I feel like I’m slipping away from my friends. Not all of them obviously, but certainly those that are far away from where I live. Those that I have considered my closest friends for the last 12 years or so I just don’t see anymore. I feel like we have less and less in common although in reality there is just the one thing. Children. Wow. I didn’t realise how upset that is making me. Just writing that down is making me cry. Ok, time to move on to another topic.

My garden. I am completely and utterly in love with my new garden. Sorry, our new garden (it’s mine really, it came out of my head!) ๐Ÿ˜€ I love sitting in it, I love eating breakfast in it, I love doing yoga (badly) in it, I love watering the plants, I love watching the cat roll around on the paving and I love the dog curling up on the small section of luscious grass. Did I mention that I love our garden. It has become my solace. When I look out of the window at it, I smile. When I get back from work and walk down through it, I smile. It’s the tiniest of gardens but it’s ours and it’s beautiful.

Work. I’m currently covering someone’s maternity leave. Ironic? Maybe. Anyway, I love my job and I love where I work and the people I work with. I’m super lucky. I was working there for a year and a bit on supply before I got the maternity contract. I don’t want to go back to supply. I like being permanent. It’s nearly July. That leaves me with around 4 months of stability before things suddenly get out of control again. I’m worried. I’ve got used to having a stable income coming in. As much as I love working freelance, I also quite like the security of permanent. Part-time permanent would be my ideal situation but then I can’t choose. My husband is self-employed. Winter is never good for us work-wise. I feel like my future is a bit out of my hands at the moment which is just another thing rolling around my head.

Training. I’m back training. Ridiculously I have got myself into exactly the same situation. I now have only 6 weeks until my next triathlon. Training had to go on hold for two weeks as I slipped at work in the mine and gashed my shin really badly on a slate boulder. My leg then got infected and I was on antibiotics for a week and a half, unable to run and cycle and not allowed to get my leg wet (not great for swimming). Thankfully I have kick-started although my body is aching right now. Run on Tuesday morning (where I managed a couple of PBs no less), open water swim on Tuesday evening, yoga on Wednesday morning (this is where the aching has come from), a cycle to work and back yesterday (back nearly killed me as the wind was so strong) and a pool swim this morning. I’m feeling quite good but nowhere near ready yet.

Things are going to slip a little next week as well as I’m away working in Austria. I might be able to get a couple of runs in (I’m definitely packing my running shoes) but everything else might have to go on hold. Problem is the next triathlon, the Snowman, another classic from Always Aim High Events, is a real toughie. 1km swim in the lake, 70km bike ride around Snowdonia and 10k run up and down Moel Siabod (that’s a mountain for those of you that don’t know the area). It’s a beast.

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The Snowman Run (I think it might be a walk up, roll down for me…)

Right, that’s enough head mess for now. I’m knackered just talking about it all. Hopefully that means I’ll sleep like a brick. Luckily, I usually do ๐Ÿ˜‰

One down, two to go :)

So it’s fair to say that this year has been a mixed bag of emotions and stress and it’s only May. Still, life goes on and our childless future is becoming more bearable day by day (see previous blog posts if you have no idea what I’m talking about here). There are lots of things that have helped including planning for a big trip to India and Nepal in December, being busy with work and training for three triathlons!

So today was triathlon number one. The Slateman Triathlon in Snowdonia. It’s organised by Always Aim High Events and is one of the toughest out there with a 1000m swim in Llyn Padarn (that’s a lake for those that don’t speak Welsh), followed by a 51km bike ride over the Llanberis Pass and through the Ogwen Valley and an 11.5km run up through Dinorwig Quarry (not for the faint hearted…). Because of the IVF treatment happening through February and March and then me having a nasty virus, my training was limited to around five weeks. Not ideal.

It’s been a tough five weeks where I have felt both not ready and completely ready at various times. I was mainly terrified of the swim as this was my nemesis in the triathlon I did last year and I was definitely not looking forward to the run – way too much uphill ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Training intensified over the last couple of weeks, especially with swimming, when I could fit it in around work.

The weekend started well with my mum and dad coming up to stay and us having a ‘garden opening’ BBQ on Saturday evening with a couple of close friends. Of course, in true North Wales style, it rained, although the sun did come out eventually ๐Ÿ™‚ The garden has been an ongoing project for a few months and was finally finished on Wednesday so it seemed right to open it officially! Mum and I also had the task of completing some gin tasting for a friend who is starting up their own distillery locally, Dinorwig Distillery. Possibly not the best thing to do the night before a big event but hey ho ๐Ÿ˜‰

This morning I was up at 6:15am, fixing my race tattoo, filling up drink bottles, having breakfast and finishing my bag packing. Then, at 7am, it was off to Llanberis to get the closest free parking space I did. It was raining and the wind was blowing. Not a great start. By about 8am the rain had stopped which was fab. I bumped into a friend and her boyfriend (he was also taking part) and then the hubby and mum and dad turned up around 8:45.

I was in the 4th wave of swimmers and started at 9:15am. I had a strategy and that was to stay out wide so as not to get kicked by any other swimmers. The water was chilly but seemed warmer than on training days. Perhaps everyone was peeing… ๐Ÿ˜ฎ The buzzer sounded and we were off. The first buoy seemed a really long way off but I managed to get into a rhythm and cracked on. I actually felt pretty strong. The first buoy came and I took it wide so as to avoid the crush on the corner. Then it was on to the second. Again I took it wide and then it was the home straight. We were into wind at this point and I did take on a few mouthfuls of water but it was all ok and I had a feeling I had done a reasonable time.

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Battling against the wind on the home straight

Out of the water and off to transition. The difficult task of removing my wetsuit was upon me. I had prepped with baby oil but it still stuck a bit. I eventually managed to get it off, get my socks and bike shoes on with the rest of my kit and set off. My feet were completely numb but otherwise I felt ok. Out of Llanberis and up the Pass was straight into a headwind. It was hard work but eventually the top came and then the long downhill to Capel Curig, with a tailwind, was there to be enjoyed. It’s a bike route I’m familiar with – it’s my ’round the block’ ride – so I was happy and felt good on the bike. On Wednesday I had got new wheels, much lighter than my old ones, and my bike was running well. I felt fast.

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The new wheels and the new garden!

Managed to complete the ride in just over two hours which I was pretty pleased with, especially with the wind and then it was the bit I’d been dreading, the run. Having done the run a couple of weeks previously, I knew it was going to take me about 1 1/2 hours. And it did. This is mainly because there was no way I was running most of it. To be honest, it was a hard enough task walking up some of the hills!! The ups were steep, the downs were technical and the flats were few and far between. Not really my type of run. Still, I managed to keep going despite feeling like my legs were going to give way most of the way round. I made it across the finish line in 4 hours, 9 mins and 33 seconds. I’m pretty chuffed with that, especially after only 5 weeks of training and a cycle of failed IVF. Actually I take that back, I’m not pretty chuffed, I’m super chuffed and very proud of myself.

My mum and dad bought me a super duper Dryrobeย to congratulate me and my lovely husband took me out to dinner to have a well-deserved pint of Crabbies and a delicious gluten-free pizza at our favourite pub, the Tyn-y-Coed ๐Ÿ˜€

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Ice cold pint of Crabbies with Moel Siabod in the background

All in all a great weekend. Now it’s time for a week of relative rest (I still have to work) before training re-starts for my next triathlon in July!!!

Slateman imminentย 

So those of you that read my blog will know that my life plan B for this year is competing in 3 triathlons. The first one is in 12 days. Well 11 really, as it’s now nearly Wednesday. 

I’m not ready for it, physically or psychologically, but I’ll do it anyway. That’s because I’m a stubborn bitch. I’ll be in agony because I haven’t trained enough (the IVF is mainly responsible for this) and my back is currently playing up (I have a long history of lower back problems) but I’ll get round. I can’t not do it. It’s my life plan B. That’s what you do when plan A fails. You go with plan B.

This triathlon that I’m doing on Sunday 21st May is called The Slateman. It’s run by a company called Always Aim High based here in North Wales and it’s a toughie. 1000m swim in Llyn (that’s lake in Welsh) Padarn, a 51km bike ride with over 500m of ascent and an 11km run with over 300m of ascent. And I’m not great at hills ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

On Sunday I had a bit of a trial run. My boss came out and rode the bike route with me and then I ran the run. Actually I’m lying. I walked quite a lot of the run and ran some of it. Meant I could take some photos ๐Ÿ˜‰

At the top of the zigzags looking back at Crib Goch
Some of the downhill is quite pleasant through the woods

Anyway, I survived. I managed the bike and the run. My legs were hurting after and I had to sleep with a hot water bottle between my knees to stop my adductors cramping but this morning I managed a 4.5km run and this afternoon I swam 1200m in Llyn Geirionydd so maybe I am ready. Bring it on ๐Ÿ˜€๐ŸŠ๐Ÿšด๐Ÿƒ

The IVF hangoverย 

So it’s now Thursday and I suppose things have settled down a bit and got back to normal. The cough has finally said its goodbyes and yes, the gin and the Nightnurse certainly played their part in that. I’m back to hauling canoes and children about at work and I’ve had two long hot baths. 

Training has re-started with two runs: one lovely one around Cwm Idwal in the sunshine on Tuesday morning (see main picture) and one in the absolute pissing rain in Capel Curig yesterday afternoon. So things are moving on. Except they’re not.

Today I have been bleeding. Heavily. Sorry fellas but it’s period talk. It has been so heavy that I have been incredibly dizzy and have actually lost balance twice. It has stirred up a whole heap of (possibly bottled up) emotions. I’m sad. I’m incredibly, almost overwhelmingly, sad. I can’t really describe it any other way. 

I’m also tired. Despite sleeping better these last few days than I have in months, I’m knackered. 

This is what I am calling the IVF hangover. Too many hormones. Too many emotions. Too much stress. Too much strain on my body. Too much rain over the last few days! It has all led to today. I’m hoping that, like a hangover, it will pass. I’ve said before, I’m not good at not coping. But tomorrow is another day. Hopefully the sun will shine.