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Friday 29 April 2016

Is an update still an update if it's late?

I had some exciting news. It turns out that I qualified to represent Great Britain at the European Championships in my age group in Austria in September. Understandably I was over the moon! My first year in triathlon and my first go at a middle distance event and I’d qualified to wear GB kit! I told everyone I could think of and considered getting it tattooed across my forehead (although did I get it tattooed the right way round so everyone could read it or backwards so I could read it in the mirror?) I chatted to some friends on twitter and we decided to book a chalet together and arrange our flights so we were all on the same one. Perfect. I’d panic about the trisuit ordering and how to get a bike into a bike box at a later date.


Then some terrible news. My beloved father-in-law - the man who got me into running passed away after running parkrun with myself, my husband and daughter. We were all with him (except my daughter) when he passed away but it was shock and a sadness and none of could believe it was quite real. People we know go into hospital to get better, not to die. Isn’t this how the world works? It can’t keep working, things can’t carry on as normal without Julian. He was a big part of it all. 


We carried on in that void between death and funeral. And in between I got an email confirming that I had been accepted to try for a Guinness World Record. And another email confirming I’d qualified to represent GB in Lisbon in a month’s time. It was completely unexpected. I’d submitted the record attempt not convinced they’d come back to me and I didn’t think I’d done well enough in the race to qualify. Completely mixed emotions and guilt for feeling excitement about it.


I’d missed a couple of long runs and my training had been a bit sporadic over 2 weeks while we went between hospital and homes but I was worrying about it more than I should. There are always bits missed in a marathon training cycle through injury or a cough or cold or sometimes it just doesn’t fit in life. Also a friend who had been training hard for her marathon pulled out at 8 miles due to injury. It was a sensible decision but still so disappointing as I’d been looking forward to celebrating her achievement. A family bike tour had to be cancelled. A skiing lesson I’d been planning. But worst of all was not knowing what to do for close family and not being able to phone up Julian and say “Guess what’s happened! My Guinness World Record Attempt has been agreed!” or “I’ve qualified for Lisbon!”. It’s the gaps that are left. The news you can’t share and the phone calls you can’t make. 


In the meantime, I had another lovely ‘high’ – the purchase (raiding savings) of a new carbon bike and 2 lows – Dad’s cancer has come back and he has an op scheduled and Mum needing to go in for a brain scan. Good news about the cancer is that it appears to be slow growing although we’ll have more news after the op and good news about the scan, a brain has been found and no serious problems were seen although mum can’t drive for 3 months. She suggested cycling to dad’s op but I queried how she was going to get dad there ... in a cart on the back possibly?


In the meantime, everything else is carrying on. London Marathon is getting closer – only 4 days away now. I need to pick up my number this week and the week after I have my first triathlon and competitive open water swim of the year. Things move on. So I have to as well.

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