This is Frankie’s diary as she trains for an amazing half Ironman Triathlon challenge in September. Frankie is mum to Ella, who would have been two in September, and to nine month old Isaac. In her words, she is currently fat and unfit, yet she is planning on swimming a mile, cycling 56 miles and completing the Great North Run to raise awareness of and money for SANDS…
Because I want to honour my daughter in some small way, I want to raise awareness of stillbirth and the work of SANDS because they helped us enormously and do so for many other families. Too many people go through losing a baby and we need to keep talking about it. Ella is our daughter, she isn’t with us anymore but she is part of both our hearts. It would have been her 2nd birthday on the 14th September (the day I start my challenge) so it just seemed perfect timing. I want to keep doing things for her as much as I can and this is one way of doing that.
What is your training programme?
To be honest it is a little haphazard and hasn’t really had any structure so far. I’ve had the odd training plan for running, one which a friend tore out of a newspaper for me, and I started that in earnest but then life got in the way and I missed a day and it all went out the window. It is now pinned to my fridge taunting me!
Until now I have been trying to get my running stamina up because I felt that this was the one part of the three that I would struggle with the most, even though I haven’t been on a bike in probably 4 years. I have been swimming but, again, there hasn’t been much structure so far. So because of this realisation I have had to get my head round the fact that I have 16 weeks left and I need to get organised if I am going to complete this with some little bit of style rather than crawling on all fours.
I’ve finally joined my local gym and will be having a proper session with a personal trainer to focus me this week, this will mean I know exactly what I have to do to reach my goal. Although it is 100% more than I was doing I’ve only been exercising 4, sometimes just 3 times a week which is no-where near enough!
And how is it going and how do you fit in around being a parent?
See above for how it’s going but as I haven’t yet managed to run more than 3 miles you can be certain it is not going too well!! The fitting around a 9 month old is not so easy, he comes first and if I want to train I have to wait until all his needs are met. However I have a very supportive partner and he is doing more things so I can train more. I just don’t want to miss anything with my boy. The other issue of course is I’m still really tired! After 8 months of him waking every 2 hours I am only just beginning to gain back some sleep at night and I’ve just gone back to work. Other people do it all very well and manage to fit everything in but I definitely don’t find it that easy!
What do your friends and family think about it?
They think I am crazy, and to be honest I think the majority of them don’t quite believe that I’m actually going to do it. There has been lots of talk of maybe doing it over 3 weekends rather than 3 days in a row and there are even some people I haven’t even told yet probably because I think they will laugh at me!!
This challenge is not ‘me’ at all, in my eyes and everyone else. I am not an exercise person and I’m currently classed as obese so I think they won’t believe it til they see it, me too for that matter. I have to say thought that everyone has been very supportive especially my sister and partner Andrew who is totally behind me and has total faith… more than me I think.
What’s your training goal for the next week?
This week’s goal is twofold:
a) remember why I am doing this, it’s not just because I want to lose weight and get fit, it’s because we lost Ella and that needs to be my only motivation from now on and I think I got too caught up in the possible benefits which has never worked for me in the past. I never forget her by the way! She’s with me every minute of the day.
b) The second is to train 5 days this week, to run more than 5k by the end of the week either outside or in the gym and cycle 10 miles