Last July my friend Louise and I decided to take on the challenge of completing an Ironman – a 3.8k swim, 180k cycle, 42k run, raced in that order and in one day. We were both members of the Galway Triathlon Club but I hadn’t yet completed any triathlons and Louise only a few short distance ones. However the idea of a challenge appealed to us both and the fact that it would be held on our doorstep sold it to us. I remember doubting whether I would be physically able to complete such a long event. We did some research, talked to some other more experienced triathletes, and picked out a 30 week training plan which we began in November.
If I had to pick a few words to describe the last few months of training they would have to be determination, patience, resilience, positive mind-set, and fun. We learned a lot, we came a long way from the level of fitness we started at, and overall, although challenging and time consuming, it was great fun training together and working towards such a big goal.
Sunday June 26 was the day we had been working towards for so long. It’s hard to describe the day without writing an essay. It was an incredibly long day — so much happened for both of us. It was tough going — challenging both physically and mentally, but the feeling of crossing the finish line over 14 hours after we got into the water was unforgettable! All of our hard work had paid off and we had completed the challenge we set ourselves almost a year ago. To be able to share this with our family and friends at home in Galway made it extra special.