As I sit here on the eve of my last day of being 50, I look back on the goals I set myself in the year of being Fun, Fit, Fab and Fifty.
I started with two goals - a half marathon and an Olympic Distance triathlon.
Over time, a few more goals crept into the mix.
I ended up completing not just one, but two half marathons, one in Sydney and one in Canberra. I doing so, it confirmed in my mind that running that sort of distance is not for me. I admire those that do it, and marathons, and kudos to them for having the mental and physical toughness to endure not just the race but the training. It's just not my cup of tea.
In coming to this decision, I found my love of running. Up until this point, running was a means to an end, necessary to finish off a triathlon. I didn't really enjoy it, it was a struggle and I would procrastinate big time over training! Since I've decided to stick to 5 and 10km races, my times have improved! I now look forward to getting out to run.
Goal number 2 - an Olympic Distance triathlon - twice the distance of a Sprint, 1.5km swim, 40km ride and 10km run. In the lead up I competed at Nepean in October (1/30/8) and Callala in December (1/30/7). I've found my favourite distance! At the moment it takes me longer to do this than a half marathon, but I enjoy it so much more!
I also ran on the Gold Coast (a new 10k PB), in Canberra (new 10k PB again). Got close to my 90 goal for the City to Surf. A PB the Blackmores Bridge Run. I also finally entered the Triathlon NSW Club Championships (1/30/8), a distance a year before I wouldn't even consider. Not bad for an old girl who's only been running for four years!
Whilst I was hoping to have completed my 50th parkrun while I was still 50, I didn't quite make it! Oh well, only 4 to go!
Through it all I've had the same work/life pressures everyone else has. Exercise though helps me cope. It doesn't make your problems go away, but it does help you deal with them better!
I'm grateful for the support my family gives me, putting up with my crazy training schedule, and my wonderful 'gear bitch' hubby, who pours his exhausted wife in the car after the big races and drives me home, after taking photos, cheering me on and keeping me supplied with chocolate milk and cokes post race!
Whilst I mostly train alone, I do appreciate every 'like' on a photo, every comment, every kudos on Strava or thumbs up on Garmin. It just makes me feel that little bit less alone.
Of course I couldn't have done it without my wonderful coach, who treats every athlete like an ironman, no matter what distance they want to do, or what level they are at. There is absolutely no pressure to aim for unachievable goals, just unwavering support. She's there to celebrate even the smallest achievement, and pick up the pieces when things don't go according to plan. Plus, she got me through a season without injury! How good is that!
Now to see what's in store for the next twelve months!