Name: Abi Wright
Goal: To finish in one piece!
Marathon history: First marathon
What I learnt this week: Never give up!
My fight for fitness has not come easily. In fact, it has been extremely hard work. But definitely, undoubtedly worth it.
To keep myself inspired and see just how much I am progressing, I enter a lot of fitness events. I find it really helpful to have a race or goal to aim for. That said, it doesn’t mean entering events gets any easier. I still find it scary and I know I’m not the only one. The questions and fears that go through your mind – can I do it? Will I do it? oh, and I really, really don’t want to be last!
But why do we fear this? Is it because we’ve been conditioned to think if we come last we’re no good? Someone has to be last, so what if it’s you? I had an experience of bringing up the rear last summer. Yes it was tough, but it was also a very positive experience that made me believe in myself even more. Yes, honestly!
I entered my first duathlon at Silverstone last summer. The distances seemed perfect for me – 3.3mile run 9.3mile bike 1.6mile run – achievable but challenging, call me crazy I like to get out of my comfort zone. When we arrived though, I realised this wasn’t the kind of duathlon I’d imagined. The car park was full of people with space age helmets warming up on turbo trainers. There were guys walking round with GB kit on and thousands of pounds worth of bike slung over their shoulder. Ooooh shit, everyone looked like a pro and I didn’t even know how to rack my bike up! I was petrified. The fear of being last is bad enough but knowing you’ll be last before you even start was a tough one!
I thought to myself, yeah everyone’s faster than me, but so what? How many of them started this race having lost 14st? Everyone has their own individual challenges in the race, just completing it is mine.
As I headed for the start line my heart rate was sky high with fear. Safe to say, within three minutes of the start gun I was running on my own. I always train with music but it was banned on the course, I had to dig so deep it was horrific. Then my mind set changed. I thought to myself, yeah everyone’s faster than me, but so what? How many of them started this race having lost 14st? Everyone has their own individual challenges in the race, just completing it is mine. When I saw the other competitors I could have given up before the race even started but I didn’t, in my head I was already winning.
I had my family to support me and there is no way I was going to give in. I got back after my 3.3 run, no need to worry about getting lost in transition, my bike was the only one left! Off I went legs burning, the wind was up and Silverstone race track is tough as it is so open. People flew by me on their last lap while I was on my first but still I kept saying to my self, ‘I cross the line I win’. I kept repeating in my head YES I CAN YES I CAN. I got back after 9.3 miles cycling and by this time the field had well and truly finished had drinks and some of them where probably home already. All I had to do at this point was run 1.6 miles I was so, so tired but when you want something so bad you fight until you get to that finish line. My dad came onto the track, shouted encouragement and ran the last five minutes with me until I crossed the line. Yes I was last but it felt amazing! Everyone had gone and there were just a few marshals left but they were so kind, congratulating me. I made my way to hand in my times and to get that well-earned medal. I was absolutely gutted NO MEDALS, I couldn’t believe it. After chatting to the marshals though I understood why. The Silverstone series is treated as a time trial for all the big races with a number of people battling to win. Ah, that explained it!
The winner came in at 48.08 minutes. Abi Wright was 1hr 32 and I was very, very proud of my time!
The reason I wanted to share this experience is because, as the preparation races take place and marathon day looms ever closer, there are probably a lot of people worried about not achieving their times or even coming last. I just wanted to say you should be proud you entered, have done the training and are trying to change your life. Never ever let other people put you off and remember you deserve a go too, you should never, ever feel ashamed about coming last. To me if you cross the line you are a winner!
Bring on 26.2!
Weekly training stats
Rest and roller/stretch
HIIT spin weights leg session
Sports massage and trigger points Ouch!
6 miles. Easier week after my 16 mile long run last week.
Read more about Abi’s story here lungesandlycra.co.uk/from-25-5-stone-to-26-2-miles-abi-rocks/ …
Follow Abi on Twitter @abiwrightonit
Read Abi’s earlier blogs here.