I’ve always considered myself to have a decent base fitness after years of trying to play football, cycling to work and the odd game of squash I’ve tried to keep myself fit and healthy. I thought I was in pretty good shape until a friend of mine introduced me to the world of Triathlon. I did my first sprint distance in September 2009 and was instantly hooked. Considering I could hardly swim at the start of my training I was pleased with my overall time of 1:21:55. From this point on I knew I wanted to train harder than ever for 2010 and set new challengers to keep me focused and motivated. I signed up for the Helsby half Marathon in the January with a target of under 2 hours; I did 1:57:19 and instantly signed up for the Great Lancashire Half in February which I did in 1:51:53. I joined North Cheshire Clarion Cycling club and was soon out clocking 40 miles plus on a Sunday morning and even got roped into signing up to The Cheshire Cat, a 100mile sportive in March which took me 8 hours 18 mins.
Training was going great, fitting it all in around work some days Cycling to work, swimming at lunch and running home!! Being in the Cycling club opened doors to compete in weekly 8.75mile TT’s which I always found myself near the bottom of the table with a PB of 25:47(AvSpd 20.38mph) but great training and experience.
The Triathlon season was fast approaching again and this year I’d set myself the target of the Liverpool Olympic Distance. First up though was Cheshire Sprint which I was disappointed with a total time of 1:18:39. Being disappointed made me realise how hooked I’d become and how hard Triathlons really where. This of course just meant more training!! Liverpool Olympic fell on my 2nd wedding anniversary 27/06 which I had to do some making up for. I’d had a “taster” swim the week before in the docks so I was slow but confident on the swim, the bike is where I feel most comfortable and made up a bit of ground until the run just drained me finishing in a total time of 2:51:08.
Soon after my first Olympic things came to a halt, not through injury, not through lack of motivation but from the biggest challenge of my life! My beautiful daughter Isabella was born on 18th July and took over my life like I never thought possible. As I wrestled with new family life and work, training was few and far between until one day in September when I received a letter in the post. “Congratulations Mr Meade, your place in the London Marathon 2011 has been secured” that wasn’t meant to happen. I applied through the ballot having read and been told it can take 2-5 years to get in; chances of getting in first time are pretty slim. I thought, apply this year, apply next year and hope the get in for 2012 if I’m lucky. Turns out I’m luckier than I thought and I was in… it didn’t take long before excitement took over and there was no way I wasn’t going to do it.
So to 2011 and I’ve been training for the VLM since the 2nd October clocking up 382.83 miles so far which works out an average of 22.52 a week. Some weeks have been better than others and I have had a few niggles and calf problems due to upping the mileage too soon and overtraining. Things are improving now though and I’m seeing the results of all the hours spent training. I’ve just completed my first Half Marathon of the year in 1:41:57 the same one I did in 2010 in 1:57:19 so motivation is high.