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When age is just a number

That tummy has never been so wrinkly (yes I posted a picture I would never have let you see before) and that skin will never be as tight as it used to be (hello abdominal separation) but it gave me babies and for that I will take the shift and be ok with it.. Putting a Mum body to the test on a purely plant based diet was something I was excited about but very curious to see the results.

And it’s done.. Ironman 70.3 Hawaii, done and dusted.

I loved the power, the pain and all the people. The power of the human body, the pain only mental strength can overcome and the people that fill you with emotion through their words and actions.

I recently completed my first Half Ironman in Hawaii having had a 12 year gap from racing (kids and life kinda got in the way, as well as hubby doing Marathon de Sables).

My previous Half Ironman times were around the 5.30 time. Hawaii is said to be half an hour slower as the course has massive crosswinds and is hideously hot so my finish time of 5.45 comparatively has me finished 15 minutes faster than I did back in the day BK (before kids).

Whilst fitness is not new to me racing has been missing for 12 years, thanks to the joy of raising children, and it was nerve wracking putting the training to the test. I had done the training but not 6 hours straight, all 3 disciplines and with 1500 people in your way whilst pushing as hard as you can.

My swim was bliss and one day if I find goggles that don’t fill with water literally 20 times I will be able to go sub 30 (I did 33).

The ride was stunning, windy and hot. My chain came off mid hill and at dismount had some dude brake hard in front of my which had me over my handlebars as I broke with the only hand I had free rendering my front wheel motionless and the rest of my bike and I catapulted over said front wheel (say goodbye to another 5 minutes Tessa). On a side note my helmet saved my life as I literally hit the tarmac with my noggin from at least 3ft up..

The run was a million little hills over the golf course and an out and back in the lava field.. brutal but everything I wanted to test my mental strength. I had heard that after having kids you race tougher and I think I am going to say hell to the yeah, yes you do.. The brain is the most powerful muscle in our body, it told me to stop a million times but it told me to keeping and that I had this a million and one.

My support crew (Marcus and the kids) were on each leg and totally kept me running on the last lap as I HAD to do them proud. I did and was 7th female on the run.. 13th female in AG (with professionals racing) and 259th out of 1500 odd field. Not too bad for a 12 year gap .. I was desperate to have them see training come to fruition so I can now do it WITH them. 

I am happy with my race and finished with nothing in the tank so that’s what it’s all about.. I did what I set out to do, not embarrass myself and enjoy the day. I would have liked to have raced faster but the training certainly meant I enjoyed my day which I can’t say was the case for everyone out there

I know some people just think ‘oh you are a freak and just super fit’ and yes it takes some focus (and training time) but I can promise you everyone can do it.. my kids even said at the end that they were amazed at all the shapes and sizes racing. I proved a lot to myself yesterday.. mainly that age is NOT a factor. I am proud of what I now know my body can still do.. I can do more and I will

As for being play based.. I was told your recovery is always better as plant based diets reduce inflammation. Well I had found that in training but what about post race? I used to have issues sitting down after racing and yet my only aches after this race is a big fat bruise from my bike stack and a stiff neck from holding my bike so tight in the crosswinds. I went hiking up an mountain the next day!

It’s kinda weird finding the person I was before kids again.. she’s a bit more creaky and sore in general but she’s stronger in the head.. I quite like her. It have so much room for improvement but considering the long break I feel fitter and stronger than even before which is a pretty good buzz.

What amazing thing have you done with your body you never thought you could?

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