I am 52, a management consultant, married to Matthew, mum of three fabulous children and have spent almost my entire adult life battling with being overweight. Five years ago my eldest son Benji, died suddenly which turned our lives upside down over night. Following a period of depression and having been recommended anti-depressants by my GP I decided that medication wasn't for me. Oscar and Hope needed a proper mum and I needed to find a way to cope that was more healthy. Unbeknown to me Matthew had entered us into the London Marathon ballot and aged 50 I was "lucky" enough to get a place. And that was it - the catalyst for change.
I was introduced to Simon, my personal trainer who has stuck with me through thick and thin (literally!). Over the following 18 months I lost 30kgs, ran 2 marathons and lots of others half and shorter distance runs. Finishing London in 6:31 was amazing and something I could never have predicted when I dragged myself up the stairs to my first PT session, obese, miserable and in pain.
Matthew then decided tri's looked like fun and the sprint distance at Blenheim, was quickly followed by Olympic and Olympic plus distances in London and then straight into the 70.3 in Zell am See.
We love the little trips and all the gear and it gives us something positive and constructive to do and worry about as a couple. I don't mind the longer distances as I wasn't built for speed and there is something about the idea of endurance that resonates with my grief.
It's always a struggle for me to train and keep my weight down, but the good habits are starting to embed themselves now and I know that I prefer feeling well and strong than depressed and ill.
I didn't really plan any events this year as I want to lose that last stubborn 10kgs. I've kicked started my training thanks to Kate's motivation and would really like to get fit enough to complete a full IM next year, comfortably within the cut off times.
I ride a Boardman bike which was a bit of an impulse buy a week before our first tri as I thought I probably would look a bit silly on my mountain bike. My trainers are usually Brookes; they seem to be the only make that make large ladies sizes and don't give me blisters.
My wetsuit is a blueseventy reaction, ordered from Ireland. It's really comfortable and stretchy with blue arms which I liked. ( Matthew always hires his but I didn't want the responsibility) I like my gadgets so I've got a Garmin 910 which keeps a great record of progress and maps of places that we've trained in and my portable scales which are fantastic to keep me on track wherever I am.