Jan 14 2014

I am a very ordinary person in terms of fitness and athletic capability. I'm not being modest when I say that, it's just how it is. I have never won any races or set any course records.

So why take on such a massive challenge as the Brutal Deca? Well, I do this stuff because I seem to need to set myself big goals, the kind that wake you up at 2am and say 'what are you thinking??? You can't do this'!!!

In the past I have trained for a few big events and experienced a mixture of results. But to really succeed, I have to get serious with my training and work very hard. I have finally learnt that I cannot 'wing' anything! I just can't get away with it. So for the Brutal Deca Solo Challenge I have committed 100% to it and my life has already changed in so many ways.

Food: The first change is that I now have to eat more. As a woman, I have spent most of my life eating less to try and stay slim but when you start training twice a day, 1200 calories is just not going to cut it. So for my Deca training I'm actually having to make conscious decisions about food. Have I eaten enough? Could I have made better choices? Did I really need that massive bag of Malteasers? Another problem I have is that my appetite disappears when I start to train hard or during an endurance event, which leads to exhaustion and DNFs.

Drink: The second change is that I have completely given up drinking. I have always liked a glass or 3. but recently I have found it to be affecting my training and also my outlook on life. Making me less of a glass half full person. So I have removed the glass all together and I feel so much better for it. Not drinking has impacted on my social life a little, but as I now longer have much free time, maybe this isn't such an issue...

PMA: The last change is maybe the most important, Positive Mental Attitude. For someone who has struggled with low self-esteem, this is particularly hard for me, but self belief is vital for success.

Years ago, when I took on a solo challenge in Lanzarote, I completed the 45 mile run without any problems, but as soon as I had finished the run and prepared to start the 11 mile sea swim, I went to pieces! I just couldn't do it, so I bottled out. After the short-lived relief, I was filled with a deep regret. I was never going to get the opportunity to do this again, so a few days later I announced that I wanted to try once more.

This time I started the event in a completely different mindset, there was no doubt in my mind that I wouldn't finish and over 44 hours later, I did just that!