24/06/23 – Celtman Solo 0.5 extreme triathlon. Basically a half ironman but harder. Registration was the day before in the hall at Torridon. I looked at everyone registering and felt like such an imposter. I kept thinking that there was no way I’m good enough to do this. I felt comfortable with run and bike distance but not the swim. What had I signed up for?! I was starting to question my life choices although I did manage to buy a really nice zippy top in my favourite pink and blue colours (bonus).

So, what happened…I survived and didn’t drown. I never thought I would take part in Celtman solo but today I did. Following my accident, I had to learn to swim again (I wasn’t that good before) and it always hurt. Lots and lots of practice, Mary getting me into Abies and physio working on my arm meant I made it to the start…at 0500hrs!!!

Swim first, in the sea from Shieldaig, with jellyfish! This was the bit I was worrying about, I knew there was a cut-off and I’d be close to it. I’d never swam 2.3km before or a sea swim. I just took it easy and did my 4/2/2 breathing. Pushing jellyfish away when they got near and enjoying watching sea creatures. I got to the end in 59mins and needed dragged out. I was still alive and survived cut off. Into transition and due to my hand not working in the cold I was allowed support to change. I’ve trained my eldest well and she did a fab job at quickly getting me sorted and off I went.

Bike next and 85km / 1670m elevation taking in the Bealach Na Ba. It was a long climb, taking 50min to cover 10km and just went up, up, up, up… Unfortunately, after that the climbing wasn’t over. It then turned into continuous ups and downs. I just kept focusing and pedalling. Done in 4hrs 5min. Straight into transition at Torridon where I did a full kit change and headed out.

Run 24km and not flat. It started off along the coastal path, working its way through the trees when I found the family and a checkpoint with coke I was so needing then along the valley and the rocky trail. Gaining 533m elevation it was a lovely (except when driving rain started) route. Eventually popping back out on the road at about 17km for a final headwind road run in. I was so glad to see the finish line, get the blue t-shirt and know that I had conquered it and defeated my imposter syndrome. Full race done in 8hrs 11min and 16th female. Now, shall I do full Celtman next year…hmmm decisions.