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TriHardAlan - Tales of an Age Grouper
TriHardAlan - Tales of an Age Grouper

An introduction

TriHardAlanby TriHardAlanDec 4th 2012
For my first Blog thought I would introduce myself and give some background about where I have come from, where I want to go to and how I plan to get there.

The personal stuff; My name is Alan Lightfoot, I am 45 years old and live in Staines-Upon-Thames (not Staines, innit). I work in Brentford as a Material Control Systems Administrator for WorleyParsons who have given me gainful employment for the last 20 years. I am a father to 7 mostly grown up children and a grandfather to 4. I am currently single and like a lot of triathletes struggling with the life/training, and now blog writing, balance! I am a little obsessive and feel guilty while resting and indeed recovering, something that I will undoubtedly be a recurring theme as my thoughts are transferred to the Blogging world¬....

The sporty stuff ¬- past; I have been running since 1994 and did my first race in 1995, the London Marathon in 4 hours and 50 minutes, only beating a guy (I presume he was a guy) in a Mr Blobby outfit in the home straight. The next few years there was only an occasional race here and there but in 99 submitted another London Marathon form and have run constantly since. Around that time I went from 4.03 in 2000, to 3.31 in 2001 and 3.18 in 2002, each time just missing the target I was after. For the next few years I stagnated in terms of improvement, half marathon stood at 1.30.57 for ages and 5k at 20.02 and never able to break these barriers (the mental side of this is one of my pet subjects and something I will come back to at various points) but this all changed in 2005. Change in living circumstances, loss of weight going from near 14 stone to a more, at 6 ft 3 in tall, svelte like 12 stone 2lb and the pb¬'s tumbled with a 5k mark of 18.02, a 10k of 37.38 and my biggest sporting achievement to date, a 2.59.37 marathon, pb¬'s that still stand today, all set in the last quarter of 2006. Since that period only my 10 mile pb (not often raced) and my half marathon time of 1.21.32 have been set. Also around that time I started practicing Shotokan Karate and I am convinced the extra flexibility (a naturally poor area for me) helped my running at that time. Was also one of my prouder moments to achieve my first Dan in 2009. Since then, and having joined Thames Turbo Triathlon club in 2010, I no longer have the time for the karate training which takes me up to¬...¬...

The sporty stuff ¬- present; After going through another period of stagnation, mainly bought about by injuries (small niggly ones admittedly, nothing life impacting) I decided to give Triathlon a go in 2008. This was done, in hindsight, with a woefully inadequate amount of preparation. First thing I did was enter a race so I was committed, the London Triathlon, Olympic Distance (1500m swim, 40k Bike, 10k Run). After renting a wetsuit for the summer I soon discovered that open water swimming was a harsh reality when you swam with your chin out of the water all the time! I took some lessons, learned to swim face down and turned up at the Excel centre with my Giant entry level mountain bike feeling both nervous and excited. The swim was fine, and at 34 minutes not disastrous (I have done worse since!) but the bike was the classic rookie mistake, no spare inner tube. A puncture 25k in ended my day. But that was it, hooked. A quick addition to the cycle scheme, a purchase of my first race bike, a Cube Peleton, and there was time for one more race before season end, the Orca Olympic Distance at Dorney Lake. This time the rookie mistake was in the swim, I started right in the middle, got swam over and just survived the ensuing panic attack. But no dramas on the bike and with splits of swim 32.34, bike 1.21 and run 41.10 and total time of 2.41 my Triathlon career had truly begun. In 2009 I stuck to Olympic Distance racing but in 2010 I went Long, and Short. Added Sprint racing to my repertoire but importantly entered my first Ironman, the Outlaw. I will talk about this and the rocky path to it that year, and my other two Ironmans, in more detail another time but finished in 13 hours and 37 minutes. In 2011 I entered my second Ironman, the now defunct Ironman Regensburg, and here I finished in 12.46. Was I happy with that? No. I was no longer a runner dabbling with Triathlon, I was a triathlete. Joining Thames Turbo at the end of 2010 was the beginning of a transition in to a more focused and serious athlete and my 2011 IM gave me a bunch of lessons learnt, and motivation to improve, for 2012.

The sporty stuff ¬- future; will have to be another day¬...¬....

I will first, in my next Blog give a review of 2012, which has been a pivotal year with lots of change and has helped shape my future aspirations.
Hope you have enjoyed and please feel free to leave a comment!
sarahleonardby member: sarahleonard, Dec 4th 2012 11:54
Hi Alan! Great first blog, lots of good details and your journey so far shows what you can achieve if you put your mind to it especially with your marathon times! Looking froward to your next update!

TriHardAlanby blog author: TriHardAlan, Dec 4th 2012 14:19
Thanks Sarah! I have another one drafted, going to play around with the backgrounds etc a little first :-)
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