From the Classroom to Canada……
For those of you that don’t know me, let me first introduce myself…..
My name is Emma and I am a Science teacher from Brigg. In the last couple of years I have realised I am quickly getting old and needed to try and achieve something awesome in my life before it’s too late. This story is a brief glimpse of the journey I have gone through in my quest to be the best I can possibly be…..
ITU Qualification Attempt 1 – Dambuster Duathlon – March 2012
My search for an ITU qualification began at the Dambuster Duathlon in March 2012. This went horribly wrong and apparently it’s not possible to run or cycle successfully on the following ailments of the knee:
• Hamstring fibula insertion tear
• Numerous blood clots
• Bone marrow oedema
• Floaty cartilage
After surgery and 3 months off I gradually got back into training. I decided to join the www.Offthatcouchfitness.co.uk “racing yard” with the guidance of Steve Clark, in January this year. The training plans were always thoroughly planned and well thought out, taking into account all the training sessions I already enjoyed doing as well as any work commitments. Despite this, the training was not always smooth running and slick. The 5 months of training between January and May, saw me completing the following events:
• Crying hysterically halfway up hills
• Running in knee deep snow at various hours of the night
• Skidding down the road on my head in the middle of Lincoln and taking a good proportion of skin/flesh off my face.
• Falling off my turbo in attempt to switch the light off without getting off the turbo to get a disco effect in my hallway
• Attempting to remove a cow with MASSIVE horns from a hole in the fence
• Getting so “in the zone” and forgetting to turn around on a run, Forrest Gump style
• Asking people to not buy me birthday cake as it was 3 days before a race.
(Anyone who knows me well, will identify that the last on the above list was by far the most painful, commitment testing event to ever happen in my life)
ITU qualification attempt number 2 – Cambridge Duathlon – April 2013
Unfortunately, the Cambridge race did not go to plan. The following events are explanations for my poor performance that day…..
• I got locked out of my friend’s house in the rain for hours
• My alarm did not go off on the morning of the race
• I shamelessly kissed James Cracknell (that’s enough of a distraction for anyone, especially when he is donning the lycra – much to my delight )
• I helped to dress a random man into his tri suit (not James Cracknell unfortunately)
The results of this race are best kept under wraps and not published in any way. This is the end of the story for attempt number two.
ITU qualification attempt number 3 – Clumber Park Duathlon – May 2013
So a good start to the day, with my alarm deciding to wake me up this time and a nice little 5am start saw us driving off to Worksop with no hitches. The beginning went smoothly, with no eventful happenings and so it was looking promising for a good performance.
The 10K run is an out and back course which went without any problems, I felt comfortable all the way round and ensured I held a little back for the rest of the race. It was also really nice to see all the other Lincsquadders on the route which gave me both comfort and the incentive to look like I was working hard!
The 40K bike was also blissfully uneventful and I managed to pick off 5 girls on the way so on the last 5K run I knew they were hot on my heels and I had to get a shift on! (Kindly reminded by the transition troll AKA Mr Binch) I used the out and back course to identify my position in the race so on turning point I knew I couldn’t slack off or allow anyone past me! In the end, I completed it in 2 hours and18 minutes- which is 28 minutes better than my last attempt at Clumber Park 2 years ago! With a big smiley face, a nice bag of minstrels and chocolate milk we made our way home.
In the knowledge that I was 2nd in my age group (F30-34) it made me realise I might be in with a chance of qualifying, but I managed to keep a lid on my excitement until I received some confirmation.
This confirmation came about 2 minutes before having to teach a 2 hour Chemistry revision class on Thursday 16th May in which I then had to try and explain to 35 year 11 students why I was acting slightly bonkers and had a habit of breaking into dance at inopportune times. I really had done it! I had achieved what I deep down thought was well out of my reach. I had qualified for a place at the ITU World Championships in Ottawa, Canada, August 2013!
The cheesy bit…
It has been a crazy, intense few months, but I have loved all the achievements along the way. It really wouldn’t have been possible without everyone’s input from the club. Lincsquad really is fantastic and 3 years ago, I made the best decision, to become a member of this great, friendly, all inclusive club. At the risk of sound really cheesy I just want to just give a special mention to the following people:
Steve Clark – For being an ace coach who has the answer to every stupid question I ask
Paul Fytche – For recommending “off that couch fitness” training plans and bullying me into numerous hill sessions
Phil Binch – For looking after me on so many rides and shouting at me in races
Sheehan Quirke – For making those winter kilometre reps a little bit easier
Dave Hinch – For the stern talking to and virtual newspaper beating
Alan Woodcock – For all the good advice
James Cracknell – For allowing me to kiss him whilst looking horrifically bad and sweaty.
Chris Wright (The Husband) – For putting up with all the times I’ve been home late, the alarms going off at stupid o’clock in the morning, the moaning when it doesn’t go according to plan, but most importantly for not divorcing me after my illicit kiss with James Cracknell…
Canada here I come!
Did I tell you I kissed James Cracknell?