Broken Promises

May 5, 2017

I like to think I am a trustworthy and honest person, someone who keeps their promises. But this year I have broken three promises I made to myself over the last few years.

True, they aren’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things but it does show up my biggest flaw — lack of self control!

Many people having done an ‘extreme’ sporting event like a triathlon or open water swim say “I am thrilled to have finished that but I’ll never do it again”. Others are totally hooked and just can’t get enough, bet you can’t guess which camp I’m in ;)
So my promises were’t “Never again” but more “That’s the furthest I can go”.
There are four main event types I enter: Swim, Bike, Run and or course Triathlon. And I had made a promise about each.

Swimming 10km
I did the Henley Mile in 2014 and though I struggled I also loved it. I remember watching the awesome Olympic open water swimmer Keri-Anne Payne and being amazed that she does 10km open water competition swims. I promised myself that while I was happy to do more open water swims I would never attempt such a long distance. If I was worn out and in pain from the wetsuit chaffing my neck after just 1 mile then there was no way I would put myself though something of that distance. Instead I set a goal of doing the Henley Classic 2.1 km swim in 2015.
Report card: 1/10; promise broken 9th of August 2015.
Not quite zero as I did complete the Henley Classic. Problem is I also entered ALL of the Henley Swim events. This included the Bridge to Bridge marathon swim. I swam 14.1km from Henley to Marlow.

Cycling more than 100 miles
In 2013 I did the Zappi Gran Fondo. A 100 mile bike ride round Oxfordshire. The route was lovely, the hills were killer and my feet hurt more than i can ever describe at about the 85 mile mark. So I promised myself I would never attempt to cycle any more than 100 miles.
Report card: 5/10; promise broken 19th/20th of September 2015.
I think I deserve a bit of credit for this one as I did take breaks and had a bit of a sleep in the middle! I signed up for a 24 hour endurance race called Revolve24. I spent a beautiful sunny weekend cycling round the Brands Hatch race circuit 83 times — racking up over 300km of cycling.

Running more than 10km
Thanks to ParkRun (a free weekly 5km race series) I now really enjoy running — up to a point. My knees are not what they were and after the 10km run in the Olympic distance London Triathlon in 2014 I vowed that 10km was pushing my luck and I should never dream of going further.
Report card: 3/10; promise broken 4th of October 2015.
This one was’t my fault. Honestly. I did the Blenheim 7km run early on in 2015. My friends John and Mairead had given me a lift from our open water swim session to Blenheim. They said that as i had enjoyed the 7k I should look at the half marathon also held at Blenheim as the course was lovely, running through the rolling parkland. Now if I was a bit more intelligent i would have realised that the reason I enjoyed the 7km so much was that it was only 70% of a 10km and therefore was under my maximum. Anyway, they really sold it to me and so I signed up. As it happens I don’t have any regrets about this one. It was indeed a lovely course. I peaked a bit early at 10km going way too fast thinking “only a parkRun to go”. As the palace came into sight I was ready to sprint to the finish then realised the course actually went back down to the lake round it and back up the main hill. Oops. I was shattered but had the best run of my life. It’s inevitable that I’ll sign up for a full Marathon.

I will never do an Ultra Distance Triathlon
This one is safe for the time being. Ultra Distance is commonly referred to as an “Iron Man” though that is the name of a specific race series not the distance. An Ultra Distance or “long course” triathlon consists of:
2.4 mile / 3.9 km swim
112 mile / 180 km bike ride
26.2 mile / 42.2 km run

Three out of four is not to bad.