Well what an amazing year it’s been. A silver medal at the World Champs and a gold at the European Champs. I compete in the sprint distance triathlon (750m swim/20K bike/5Krun). Not bad considering I also suffer from Multiple Sclerosis. But the question I always get is ‘How can you do all that if you have MS?’. Well in a nutshell it’s very difficult.
I train hard but not as much as my fellow competitors. But I also get LOADS of recovery, which I need, lots of. I also coach myself as only I know how I feel on a day to day basis, therefore only I know what my body is capable of.
It’s no good a coach telling me to do a fast 5K run when my legs don’t want to work properly or to go for a bike ride when my balance if seriously off. I wake up, think to myself ‘how do you feel today?’. Once I ascertain that I can then think about how I can train for that day. I also do all my training in the morning as that’s when I have my energy, the afternoons are a no no – the delightful MS fatigue comes knocking on the door then.
The Europeans where in Dusseldorf, a lovely city. The race was fast and hard and to be honest I’m sure the run was further than 5K. When I found out I’d won I was over the moon, the field had been a really tough one. Me European Champion!!!
The Worlds were in Rotterdam. Unfortunately my race was an afternoon start – I was nearly falling asleep before I’d even started. I knew it was a real test for my body and it was. The swim was good then onto the bike which was a really technical course. I managed to get in the lead then I got into the second transition where I made a major mistake – I went to the wrong place for my trainers.
When I finally found the right place I’d moved into third. The run was awful. My body was screaming at me to stop, not through lactic acid but through MS. I managed to move up to second but I just didn’t have enough in the tank to make it a gold. It’s one mistake I’ll never make again and I think the reason I did it was due to my MS cognitive/fatigue problems from racing in the afternoon. The field was a really tough one again so I’m pleased with a silver!!
My BAM clothes are lush for both training in as well as chilling out in the afternoon evening. My neighbours know now that in the afternoons my track bottoms go on. The baselayers are amazing to wear both running and cycling, I’d recommend them to anyone. Plus I’m so grateful for the support and love BAM give me – thanks guys/gals!!!!