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2012-08-31 1:44 AM


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Subject: A personal challenge

Hi,

My name is Olly, I'm 29 and I am from, and live in, London.

I am new to the world of triathlon and was motivated to tackle the London Triathlon (Olympic distance) in September, and to raise money for charity, after losing my mum to cancer 2 months ago. I have found tremendous focus through training for such a personal cause and my training regime has helped to keep me sane at this difficult time. I have been writing a blog about the experience which you might like to read http://ollydavytriathlon.blogspot.co.uk/ 

I would be interested to hear others experiences of taking on a physical challenge as a method of coping with and processing grief. 

Thanks.

Olly

 



2012-08-31 11:31 AM
in reply to: #4389255

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Subject: RE: A personal challenge

Welcome to BT. Ollie.

I lost my father to cancer in my first year racing.  I think of him a lot when I race.

Best of luck to you.

2012-09-02 12:19 AM
in reply to: #4389255

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Subject: RE: A personal challenge

Hi Olly,

Welcome to BT!

I'm really sorry to hear about losing your Mum, cancer is a truly horrible disease.  However, what a fantastic thing to do, both for yourself, the memory of your Mum, and for others via the money you fundraise. 

I totally agree with you about the training helping to keep your sanity, as I very nearly lost my own Mum last year.  For the 3 weeks I was in the UK, I either ran or swam nearly every day and I think that it was the only way I kept my wits and sanity about me for my Mum and family. 

I remember doing a cancer fundraising 12 hour group continuous walk/run event.  I decided to take part in the event in honour of my oldest and best friend, who I lost to brain cancer about 5 years ago.  I mostly did the midnight/early morning hours and one of the most amazing things I found was talking to strangers also taking part in the event.  We cried, we laughed, we shared our stories, but when the sun came up, we somehow felt cleansed and a bit lighter.  Our group also raised about $1,500 for the fight against cancer. 

Good luck during your London Tri (I would love to do this event one day), remember all the good times with your Mum, and cross that finishing line with a huge and proud grin on your face. 

Cheers, Jo

2012-09-02 4:20 PM
in reply to: #4391778


6

Subject: RE: A personal challenge

Hi Jo,

Thanks for your lovely message. It is a comfort for me to hear other people's experiences of difficult situations as, sadly, we are all affected. That is life. I hope that your mum is now okay. It is does make me wonder how people who are not active cope with these circumstances.

Your 12 hour event sounds fantastic, congratulations. I look forward to sharing more with others as all the training has kept me quite isolated.

My peak week of training pre-event begins tomorrow and, with all the administration that has accompanied mum's death as well, it is requiring a good deal of focus. A month off alcohol is not helping the winding down in the evening either!

I will certainly think of mum throughout the race, just has she has been urging me out of bed and up the hills these past few months!

Best wishes,

Olly

2012-09-02 4:23 PM
in reply to: #4389861


6

Subject: RE: A personal challenge

Thanks QueenZipp. Sorry to hear about your father. I'm glad you also have triathlons as a tonic.

Best wishes,

Olly

 

http://ollydavytriathlon.blogspot.co.uk/

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ollydavy

2012-09-03 2:40 PM
in reply to: #4389255

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Subject: RE: A personal challenge

Hi Olly,

Thanks for the reply.  My Mum suffered some brain damage (her heart just stopped for no reason or with no warning), so she has suffered some brain damage, therefore she has symptoms similar to dementia.  However, we all take it one day at a time, my Dad, sister and NHS helpers are great working with her, and she fights tooth and nail to get better (she is a damned Yorkshirewoman after all ).  I really enjoy my weekly talks with her despite her problems, and I'm hoping to get back at Christmas or early spring to see my family again. 

Ironically, I'm also starting my peak-training week as my first Oly distance race is on 23rd September here in Tempe, Arizona.  27.5 miles on the bike today, which should be fine, but I'm sort of dreading my 6.4 miles run on Thursday!  When's your race? 

Good luck with your training, and remember to have fun, even when you're grimacing and swearing over those hills

Cheers,

Jo



2012-09-04 8:55 AM
in reply to: #4393247


6

Subject: RE: A personal challenge

Hi Jo,

Sounds like a tough situation. I am glad that you and your family are working through it and ultimately, despite her problems, she is still your mum. My mum was also a Yorkshirewoman, born in Bradford, and stubborn and battling until the end. 

My race is also on 23 September! I race in wave 17 at 2.05pm. Received my race number the other day which made it all seem real. 15,000 people taking part in the London Triathlon, but luckily not all in the same wave, as that would make for an interesting swim. The first leg is the section I am looking forward to least I must say, because of all the bodies jostling for position. I will keep out of the scrum as much as possible and swim my own race. 

It's my rest day today but back in the pool tomorrow morning and then running at lunch during work. Difficult to squeeze 45 minutes of pavement pounding into my break, with shower etc, but luckily my boss is supportive of what I'm doing.

Good luck to you too and I hope Yorkshire is beautiful for you when you go.

Best wishes,

Olly

2012-09-04 10:31 AM
in reply to: #4389255

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Subject: RE: A personal challenge

Olly, Gr8 2 hear from ya!!! A few years back I had a T-Shirt made w/a few names of pets, family, & friends names printed on it. I wore this shirt during the running portion and now I have a few more names 2 add. Maybe this helped me, maybe not. 

I am pleased that you are focused and raising money 4 the cause. Keep running in what daylight is left, swim w/positive energy, & riding 2 work ROCKS!!!!! And just 4 the record, I also have the Garmin Forerunner 350.

Good Luck & Stay Strong

2012-09-05 3:19 AM
in reply to: #4394289


6

Subject: RE: A personal challenge

Thanks for your message Padre. Good to hear from you.

I like the idea of a personalised running vest, although I will have to buy some more iron-on letters as I lost the ones they posted to me almost immediately.

The weather is getting cooler here in England but there is still enough light to train in the evenings. Autumn is on the way. And the Garmin 350 keeps going strong. Think it might be time for an upgrade after this race, the reduced weight of a newer model would probably knock minutes off my time.

Best wishes,

Olly

2012-09-06 2:40 PM
in reply to: #4394078

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Subject: RE: A personal challenge
ollyd - 2012-09-04 6:55 AM

Hi Jo,

Sounds like a tough situation. I am glad that you and your family are working through it and ultimately, despite her problems, she is still your mum. My mum was also a Yorkshirewoman, born in Bradford, and stubborn and battling until the end. 

My race is also on 23 September! I race in wave 17 at 2.05pm. Received my race number the other day which made it all seem real. 15,000 people taking part in the London Triathlon, but luckily not all in the same wave, as that would make for an interesting swim. The first leg is the section I am looking forward to least I must say, because of all the bodies jostling for position. I will keep out of the scrum as much as possible and swim my own race. 

It's my rest day today but back in the pool tomorrow morning and then running at lunch during work. Difficult to squeeze 45 minutes of pavement pounding into my break, with shower etc, but luckily my boss is supportive of what I'm doing.

Good luck to you too and I hope Yorkshire is beautiful for you when you go.

Best wishes,

Olly

 

Hi Olly,

Yes, I am blessed to still have my Mum around, so I'm incredibly thankful for that.  The rest, we just cope with, including my Mum.  Even though she gets frustrated at times, I still make her laugh and somehow she still manages to nag my Dad! Smile  Yorkshire women, they are very special aren't they, in every possible way?!!!!  My folks live just outside York, so my Mum would consider Bradford as "southern"!  However, I have very fond memories of Bradford as I studied at the University of Leeds, and would often go to Bradford for a great curry and visit the Photography Museum/IMAX and theatres.

15,000 people, wow that's a lot, and 17 waves no less!  My much smaller south-west USA regional race (usually about 1,000-1,500 taking part) currently has 9 waves and I have a tentative start time of 7 am (the last wave).  Very early morning starts here as it's still the burning hot summer in Arizona (temps are currently in the low 40's (yes that's °C!), but I'm willing it to cool down to the mid-upper 30's before the race).  However, the race organisers announced a couple of weeks ago that paratriathletes would also be racing for the first time in this race, so the waves and times will be adjusted.  This is just going to make it an extra-special race, especially as I'm avidly following the Paralympics online at the moment (Go Team GB). 

No race number etc for me, hell I haven't even registered yet!!!!  I always register the day before at the bike check-in to: (1) check the weather (rain the day before can wipe out our races, due to potential E. coli in the lake water), and (2) check the condition of my body (I've had some injuries this year).  I know that the London Triathlon registration fills up very very quickly though!

Ha, the swim is my strongest leg, I do okay on the bike, but the run part just kicks my butt/a**e!  I used to be an ex-sprinter (swimming and running), and when I was young my coach wouldn't let me do anything longer than 200 m.  So this 5-10k running stuff is hard for me, but I consider it my own challenge!  Your swim plan sounds a good one, I stayed well out of the way for my first tri, near the back and on the side furthest away from the buoy turns.  Turns out I didn't need to as I ended up near the front of my wave, but I still got swum over by a wayward guy near the end!  I always check out the swim course before, look at the positions of the buoys and then look for big sight-markers (bridge spans, buildings in the distance), and this makes is much easier for me on race day as I know exactly where I'm going, even when I'm swimming into the rising sun. 

Good luck on race day, I hope for once it doesn't rain in London (hey, I spent 4 years in London as a poor undergraduate and a slightly less poor scientist), so I know what London weather is like.  Why do you think I now live in a dessert! Laughing

Cheers, Jo

2012-10-03 1:27 AM
in reply to: #4389255


6

Subject: RE: A personal challenge

Hi there,

So, I completed my first triathlon on Sunday 23 September. It went better than expected and I finished in 2 hours and 24 minutes (Olympic distance). I have been writing a blog about the experience of training for a triathlon and using sport as a method of coping with the death of my mother. You can read it here http://ollydavytriathlon.blogspot.co.uk/

Thanks.

Olly



2012-10-03 7:25 PM
in reply to: #4389255

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Subject: RE: A personal challenge
Wow!! Very impressive time!  Good job~  I'm sure your Mum would be proud!
2012-10-05 6:15 PM
in reply to: #4389255

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Subject: RE: A personal challenge

Hi Olly,

2 hours and 24 minutes for your first Oly....okay I'm suitably impressed, in fact, WOW WOW WOW!  I have to tell you that you were considerably faster than my first Oly on the same day (3 hours, 30 minutes, and 54 damned seconds - the "damned" is because I was trying to get under 3:30!).  Unlike you, who was battling the typical inclement British weather, I was battling the Arizona heat, with an unseasonably hot day that hit 38°C during the run, and later got up to 42°C.  I think I discovered the actual physical location of Hell during the 2 loop run Embarassed  At times I felt like the Wicked Witch of the West, muttering "I'm melting, I'm melting...."

I'm glad you made it, I extremely impressed how much money you raised, I'm so happy that you had fun during the race, but also remembered why you were doing the race and all that training.  Your Mum would indeed have been extremely proud of you, and I'm sure that she would have thought you are a "right champion" (please insert Yorkshire accent)  

So flapjacks are your secret weapon Laughing, I may have to try that! 

Cheers, Jo

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