Eileen's Year in TriathlonChallenge yourself in 2020!

Published: Tue 31 Dec 2019

I thought this would be a fitting way to end 2019 by looking at the highlights of a relative newbie to the sport and seeing how far they've come in a year!

We have such a wonderful club with a wide variety of athletes. Whatever your current level, whether a seasoned triathlete or never done anything before hopefully Eileen's story will inspire you to get out there in 2020 and try and improve at something and reach your whatever goals you set yourself... be it triathlon or something else.

Thanks for the write up Eileen and well done on your hard work and some fantastic achievements.

My first Triathlon was in September 2018. I wasn’t a very good swimmer and had only started learning 6 months earlier, when my sister dragged me to tri swimming. I had always wanted to learn to swim but I lacked confidence in the water and struggled to put my face under. I signed up for the Nairn Novice with the rest of lane 5. I came out of the pool in 33rd place, but then to my surprise I finished 9th.

That was me hooked!

Then I was lucky enough to get the chance to be coached by Sarah. I was so excited about this but at the same time worried I wasn’t good enough. One of the first things I had to do was write my goals for 2019, which at the time were Inverness ½ marathon, Loch Ness Etape, 2 x Super Sprint triathlons and a Sprint Triathlon.

Training started at New Year but stopped abruptly due to a stinking cold and chest infection. Once I was better it was all systems go.

March came round pretty quickly, with the Inverness ½ marathon not going as well as I'd hoped as I was still struggling with my breathing after being ill.

That behind me all focus was on Etape training. Long lonely Sunday mornings on my bike and long painful turbo sessions when the weather was bad. Sometimes up to 4hrs! Getting the chance to cycle with Jenny and Sarah was a real eye opener, they were just so fast and made it look so easy (something to aim for)!

April, with lambing just starting, it was time for the Etape. All the training paid off taking 24 minutes off my 2018 time and getting in under the 4 hours I had set as my goal.

Lambing done I got stuck back into my training. By this time I had finished my training with Sarah but she was still keeping a eye on me, and always happy to give me advice.

My swimming was coming along and I was getting stronger and a wee bit faster. After one training session I wanted to see if I could swim 750 meters non stop. I told Sarah about my achievement she encouraged me to push for bigger goals saying “do sprints, you get more race for your money”.

July Huntly Sprint, I was really worried about the swim because the pool was 3 meters deep. My friend Jen had being helping me get more confidence in the deep end during my training. I needn’t have worried as once I got in I just took it steady and enjoyed it. The bike was really windy and I finished the run on such a high.

August westhill Sprint, I got a PB in the pool and was delighted. The cycle was fantastic and I actually found myself getting a bit competitive when I could see people in front of me. The run was good, this was so far my favourite triathlon. I was enjoying the sprints so much I decided to push myself again with Sarah’s encouragement to go for a standard.

September Huntly Standard, The whole day from start to finish was brilliant. The cycle was beautiful it was easy to forget you were meant to be racing. I think this day was harder for Myra, because we have a rule that your not allowed to go to the burger van till whoever is racing has finished.

So all in all I’ve had a fantastic 2019. Met some lovely people, being encouraged by some great coaches. A massive thank you to Sarah for believing in me and gently pushing me out of my comfort zone.

Next I have to get my head round Open water swimming.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and may you achieve all your goals for 2020.