After 2 and a half very long years, I have left my well-paid job at Rolls Royce. Many people have been stunned by this decision, failing to understand why I can’t just go with the status quo and settle. For me Rolls Royce wasn’t everything I had hoped it would be. In fact, it was far from it. I by no means regret my time there but my heart burns for something more, something exciting and until I’ve found that I can’t stop searching.
It’s safe to say sport plays a massive part in my life, perhaps taking over at points when I struggle to cope. Steve (coach) has helped a lot with that and I can genuinely say 2018 has been a remarkable year with much to be proud of. I am back on my feet, have finally gained the weight I have been scared to and have got my eyes set on big and exciting things for 2019.
This had been a year of firsts for me. While 2017 had been an awful year (to put it midly) I had learnt a lot about myself. I started 2018 with a positive mindset, I had decided, quite literally, that 2018 would be a new me. I would no longer give in to my mind, I was stronger than that and I had to regain some control. It didn’t start as smoothly as I had hoped though. Drama at work from day 1 meant my life was very quickly unsettled as I found myself moving house and placements AGAIN.
I ran Sheffield half marathon early April, which I can honestly say is one of my favourite races. The support around pretty much the whole 13.1 miles is amazing! I was so impressed with my time and had a wonderful day with some of the guys I used to work with at RR. Coming off of the high of Sheffield, I continued my rather questionable training plan for Southampton marathon which I had signed up for on the back end of a whim the previous year.
I ended up overdoing it and hurting my hip. There really is no frustration like an injury, and I ended up having to miss the Derby 10k, even worse as a friend had come up to do it with me. I had a few weeks until the marathon and it honestly wasn’t looking good. I was still cycling into work every day and praying for a miracle. While I can’t say the miracle came, I did decide to run the marathon, but I had made a promise with myself; any pain at all I would stop.
The Southampton marathon was wonderful. I started right at the front, after making conversation with the fellow runners. Most people had opted for the half marathon or 10k and of the marathon runners most were male (standard). I set off at an easy pace, something I knew I could hold and something that wouldn’t antagonise the hip early on. The marathon flew by until about mile 20 when the pain really started to seep in. That promise about stopping long gone, only adrenaline pushing me onto the end. The sight at seeing the finish line was like something I can’t describe, and I managed a massive sprint finish with my Mum and Mark cheering me over the line.
I came 3rd Female in a time of 3:17, completely unexpected and without injury I am confident I could have done better.
After the Marathon, running was very much off the cards. In fact, walking even hurt for a bit. Shortly after I had a wonderful 10 days in Mallorca. I covered about 700 miles and went up some amazing climbs. Even though I didn’t get to do any running it was so much fun and I can’t wait to go back someday.
After Mallorca I changed jobs and moved house again. I was hoping this was going to be the placement that would change my mind about Rolls Royce. Fresh off the back of a brilliant holiday I was looking for something new and exciting and that’s how I ended up signing up for Ironman Wales 2018.
Unfortunately, the change on job wasn’t what I hoped it would be. But it was during this time that I met Steve and joined Team Keen 2 Tri. Much alike many teenage girls I have struggled with my body image and in turn my eating. I knew I needed to gain some weight and decided to go and see a nutritionist. Now while this wasn’t the most positive experience in terms of value for money, it kickstarted a change. The nutritionist had a chat with Steve to ensure he understood the effects of an eating disorder in sport, which in turn meant I had the support I needed to help myself. Steve had a chat with both of my parents and made me aware that unless I had gained x kg by September there was 0 way I was doing that Ironnan.
Having a coach was very challenging for me, especially in the first few weeks. I was no longer able to ride my bike to work everyday and was eating more. It all sounded completely counter intuitive to me. Either way I pushed through and the weight started to go on. I have to admit I also felt a lot stronger as a result.
I think one of the proudest parts of my year was going home for the weekend and both of my parents telling me how healthy I looked. Now for someone with an eating disorder it can be quite hard to differentiate between being healthy and being fat, but I took this all as a positive. The look in my dad’s eye said everything. It was soon after this that they both decided to come to the Ironman which I can honestly say made my year.
I on the whole really enjoyed my Ironman training, and even the swimming which I was now doing 3 times a week compared to 0 before. Ironman Wales was the most spectacular experience. The welsh people came out in their thousands and the support around the course was unreal. If you want to read a little bit more about it I wrote a blog:
I was over the moon to come 2nd in my age group and narrowly missed out on a Kona slot for 2019, but it just wasn’t meant to be that day. Steve did start selling me the benefits of a TT bike almost straight away, but unfortunately are not in my budget right now 😀
In July I handed in my resignation at Rolls Royce for the end of November and changed jobs roles again. I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed this job and could see the value I was adding in the process. When October came I was asked if I would like to stay on until the end of the year which was so rewarding.
Moving into 2019 I can honestly say I am excited for the possibilities ahead. Training for Ironman Lanzarote is just as challenging as I thought it would be, the cold weather and dark nights really playing havoc with my motivation. Just this weekend I went out on my bike for 3 and a half hours as my turbo is back in Southampton. It was bloody freezing and my I’m pretty sure I lost my feet somewhere after an hour. This being said I am a firm believer in the winter being a test of mental endurance as well as physical and it did make me laugh later that day seeing that the rest of the world had battled it out on Zwift.
I have also just started a full time personal trainer course and its already flying by. This week we had our practical assessments for level 2 and the assessor actually asked if I had done any coaching in the past as my communication, demonstrating and motivation skills were top notch 💁We all need a little ego boost every now and again right? So, if you are after a personal trainer/ motivator/ fitness coach in the future you know where to look! I might be small, but I have the energy and determination to get the best out of everyone!
I have also gained a little friend called Daisy (the sausage dog) who likes to walk as much as I do. My coach actually sent me a message to complain as apparently, I had beat him in the weekly step challenge 😂
As always thanks for reading (especially if you got this far 😂)
Pocket Rocket Rach