Thursday, 26 May 2016

Three challenges for Pregnancy Sickness Support - 1 down, 2 to go

It was my son who first inspired me to enter a triathlon after he took part in one to raise money for the RNLI when he was just 7. I'm constantly amazed at his eagerness to give anything a go and the fact that he always does it with enthusiasm and a big smile on his face.

So, a few days before the first of my three challenges, as the nerves really started to kick in, I decided that I could learn a lot from my son's attitude. I decided that it didn't matter how fast or slow I was, that my mountain bike would look a bit rubbish next to all the fancy road bikes or that I would probably be older than most of the competitors; the most important thing for me was to smile as much as possible and to enjoy it.

And that is exactly what I did.

The Lichfield Triathlon took place on 24 April and consisted of a 400 metre pool swim followed by a 20 kilometre cycle and then a 5 kilometre run.

It felt a long way and I found it tough but I'm very proud to say that I did it!

And as I had promised myself I would, I kept smiling and enjoyed every single minute.

I certainly wasn't one of the fastest competitors - in fact my children's favourite shout of encouragement was "hurry up mum"! But it didn't matter to me that I finished way down the field. I was pleased with my time (just over 1 hour 45 minutes) because I know just how hard I have worked over the last year or so and how far I have come since my knee surgery.

The triathlon was the first of three challenges I'm taking on to raise funds and awareness for Pregnancy Sickness Support, a charity that supports women with severe pregnancy sickness and, particularly, hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition I suffered from in both my pregnancies.

My next challenge is the one I'm dreading the most - a 1 kilometre open water swim on 9 July. It will be a real test of my physical as well as mental endurance but, if I managed to endure nine months of hyperemesis (twice), then I figure it should be no problem. At least that's what I'm telling myself!
If I'm honest, I'm quite scared. The distance itself is daunting and will involve me swimming out a long way into the middle of the lake. I will also have to deal with cold and potentially choppy water, weather conditions and other swimmers around me. My biggest fear is panicking and so I'm planning to get in as much open water practice as I can over the next few weeks to help me overcome my fear.

I've made a start on open water training but it's early days yet. Watch this space for updates on my progress ... and wish me luck!

I'm taking on three challenges in 2016 to help Pregnancy Sickness Support raise enough money to put its information leaflets in Bounty's Pregnancy Information Packs. This would enable it to reach every single mum-to-be in the UK with details of the vital support the charity can provide to sufferers and their families. You can read about my three challenges here.

If you would like to sponsor me, my fundraising page is here. Thank you.

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