I can’t believe its been a week since I finished this crazy adventure. For those who don’t know what a quin is, it consists of five ironmans. I did this in a continuous format so 12 mile swim, 560 mile bike and a 131 mile run over 6 days.
WOW what can I say. I was blown away by how much support I was given by friends and family. I really couldn’t have achieved what I did without any of you. Reading through the WhatsApp messages had made me come over all emotional again. It really was a team effort.
Tuesday – starting with the swim at the beautiful Swineham Lake – a massive thank you to Cheryl Weeks for enabling me to swim here and to Simon for putting the buoys out so I could sight properly and not go off course! Also thanks to Andy who provided kayak support throughout the whole swim and to Mark and Dave who came and swam a few laps each.
Most who know me will know the swim part for me is my favourite. I got a bit cold at the start but then the sun came out which was lovely. Towards the end my shoulders began to complain but what can I expect after swimming 12 miles!
Then it was off to Neil and Clare’s house for an amazing shower where washing my hair was interesting as I couldn’t lift my arms above my head! Thank you to Clare for rustling up a tuna pasta bake as my forgetful husband left my lasagne back at the lake!
Then I was on to the bike with Neil. It was quite interesting to start as my shoulders were so painful, every time I had to stop for traffic or a turning I would cry out in pain – poor Neil probably thought I was going to fall off each time! As it got dark we realised I didn’t have my bike lights – another senior moment as thought we would be back to transition before it got dark. So going through Arne with just Neil’s light was quite interesting. Got back to transition and my next cycle buddy was waiting – I felt bad as I thought I would have to go to sleep instead of cycle with John as the shoulders were just so painful, but after taking a couple of paracetamols the pain eased enough for me to complete 60 miles on the bike that night.
Wednesday – After an ok sleep (had to get up to pee twice over the 4 hours!!) and we are onto day 2. It was a cold chilly morning and I had the pleasure of Michelle riding with me. Shoulders were still a bit painful but legs felt good. I am glad I wasn’t the only one who was seeing things as me and Michelle thought we saw a massive hill coming back from Moreton but it was the mist playing tricks on us!
Onto the evening stint and the lovely Penny joined me, she did really well in encouraging me round when all I really wanted to do was sleep.
Thursday – Started an hour later today as didn’t finish until 1am the previous evening. Had Laurie join me for the first bit and then he had to leave for work so I was on my own which is when things went a bit down hill. I had already cycled 246miles and this wasn’t even half way. The enormity of what I was trying to do overwhelmed me, I was so so tired and just spinning my legs was an effort. Coming back from Moreton at a snails pace I found a lovely bench and had a 5 min power nap!
Unbeknown to me Martin and Brian had been racing to find me and this lifted my spirits and I started to do some pretty good cycling. Also the bacon bap back at HQ helped.
On into the afternoon and evening I felt like I was flying, partly because we had made a mini transition thanks to Culvin’s Mum Jenny. It was so much better not going back to main HQ where it was too easy to sit, chat and relax. Night time came and I had the company of John again – he kept winding me up so I would want to punch him and said you’d have to catch me first. I was going 20mph at one point which believe me after 400miles of cycling is fast! I finished that day with only 130 miles to go.
Friday – Another early start and a beautiful sunrise. With Penny again who is obviously a glutton for punishment (yes I know pot, kettle!)
A quick pasty back at main transition then off again. Steve came out to find me and cycled for about 1 min before I decided to stop at Velo cafe for a milkshake 🙂
After a quick power nap I had only 53 miles to go. For the last part of the ride I had my amazing son Eddie cycle with me and some of the Purbeck Peloton girls, it was lovely.
Saturday (Day 5)– After a decent nights sleep (5 hours) it was the start of the run. I was really worried due to a very swollen and crunchy achilles, therefore the run started as a fast walk with my best friend Claire. It was great to catch up with her as we often are both so busy. Got to 16 miles and achilles no better so put in an SOS to the amazing Vicky Weatherill who offered to come and give me a massage – what a bloody superstar – she really did save my race. After the massage achilles went down and I could carry on.
Had the lovely Tracey running with me (her husband John had done his fair share on the bike section). It was great to chat to so many friends all of which were so supportive.
Got to the evening and Penny was running with me we had fun and then my legs kind of gave up!
This coincided with a security car coming the other way who kindly stopped to ask if I was ok. Penny tried to explain what I was doing but I think he just thought we were crazy and looking for magic mushrooms!!
Sunday – Penny stayed the night in her tent and we set off again to see another sunrise. My feet were not feeling the love by this point and a request for some walking poles was sent out. Ann came up trumps and brought some for me, this really helped take some of the pressure off my swollen feet especially on the off road section. Michelle joined me again and we had a yummy bacon and egg bap delivered.
I had company for the whole day and you were all awesome – Sarah, Ann, Michelle, Zoe, Bev, Martin, Tracey, Aaron, Sim, Alex and my two lovely children Eddie & Isabel.
Aaron and me had a bit of excitement as some kids came off their bikes in front of us – administered first aid and off we went again!
Monday (Day 6) – On to the penultimate day, the amazing Bev had tried to catch up on sleep on the couch and Penny in her car but we were off again at 1.30am
It was coming up to 7am and Bev and me came across some very angry cows! I was contemplating having a power nap when we got back to main transition but the adrenaline carried me through and after a quick food stop I put some headphones in and starting running. The music was amazing, I was singing my heart out and moving my arms about and I just didn’t care. It really spurned me on.
Setting off on another circuit with my boy and he couldn’t keep up with me! I had found my mojo in the form of music – it was fantastic.
I really just wanted to get the run done and was craving a burger! So demanding! Luckily my amazing husband ordered me a wimpy and delivered whilst I was on the run. It was the best wimpy I have ever eaten. It did make me a tad sleepy though so another quick power nap on route was in order
Everything hurt now but I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. Bev stayed with me the whole time and then we were joined by Sarah & Ann which nearly set me off as I knew I was so close to finishing. I was hoping to make it back before darkness but the sun began to set, I had my music on and Bev, Penny, Steve – who was on courier duty for blister plasters and drinks, Sarah, Ann and Andy were all with me for the finishing straight.
And then all of a sudden I was there at the main transition, at the finish line with my husband and family and supporters waiting. Emotional is an understatement, both Culvin and me were overcome when we embraced at the finish.
Such an amazing journey and the support from all of you means so much to me.
I can’t believe I did it – 12 miles swim, 560 mile bike, 131 mile run
703 miles in total
And of course I have to say a huge thank you to the Fontana’s who allowed us to use their garden and house as our base for the week – we couldn’t have done it without your generosity. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.
Thank you a million times to my amazing family and my awesome, wonderful husband – without him none of this would have been possible – I love you so much.
Until next time…………..
Did someone mention a deca???????