Ever started a race thinking you might win? Blogger and winner of the BHT 2017, Katie Proctor, tell

There’s a common theme with most of the things I sign up to, I’m crap at saying no.

I registered for my FIRST EVER triathlon with just three weeks to train after a colleague convinced me that it would be 'fun.' Fun? THREE WEEKS!? I didn’t even know what a triathlon was.

I was completely out of my comfort zone, I didn’t own a bike or a wetsuit! My last swimming pool experience was sat at the pool bar🍹! I did regularly exercise, but this was all gym based. But, in true me style I said yes…because I can’t say no .

In the end, not only did I complete the super sprint, I was the 5th female to cross the finish line. Hmmm, maybe this is my thing?.

In November that year (2016), still bemused at my achievement, I decided to make it my goal to finish 1st female in the Brighton & Hove Super-Sprint the following year. This both excited and petrified me. What if I don’t achieve it? Maybe I should set my goals lower? But what is the point of a goal if it doesn’t push you out of your comfort zone?

This time, I wasn’t going to train alone. I wanted to have people to share experiences with, to celebrate with and to moan with. There’s something so powerful in training with others. You keep each other going and you don’t want to let each other down. Plus, when you finish you can all go out for a beer, a well-deserved meal and give each other a big sweaty tired hug. I also started a video blog to help motivate me and to share my experiences of training and racing.

Hmmm, maybe this is my thing?

So, three of us signed up and thought it was about time we bought our own bikes. I’ve always been scared of road bikes, the curly handle bars filled me with dread and the thought of being clipped into the pedals and falling on my face was enough to make me want to pull out altogether. However, like most things in life it wasn’t as bad as I imagined, and I soon got used to it.

To get used to competing I’d highly recommend signing up to other events throughout the year. You will learn some very valuable lessons. For example, how easy it is to forget to bring essential pieces of kit! My partner forgot his running shoes and I forgot my cycling shoes for one of the local races. These are two of the most obvious items to pack but stress does funny things to your brain. Make a list of the things you'll need, you won’t regret it.

With regards to training, it’s easy to get bored if you don’t mix it up, which means you run the risk of doing less or maybe none at all! Change your running and cycling routes, change swim locations and switch your sessions from sprints, to hills to long distance. Variety is key!

It's easy to get bored if you don't mix it up.

When the big day arrived, I was very nervous, but the buzz from the Brighton and Hove event was brilliant! Everybody talked to each other and wished each other good luck. They fully prepped us on what to do and where to go and most importantly we were reminded to enjoy it!

The klaxon went off and we got into the sea, I kept my eyes on the buoys and swam closely around them. I was third or fourth out of the sea and at this point I thought, oh my god, I could actually do this. I ran to the racking area, clumsily got out of my wetsuit and jumped on my bike. I over took one girl, then another and then cycled past a steward who shouted “GO ON! YOU’RE FIRST WOMAN” I was buzzing! I racked my bike, swapped into my trainers and started to run. As you approach the finish line you hear the crowd cheering and realise it’s the moment you’ve been training for, you’ve finished!

I couldn’t believe I had finished first female, I set a goal, I committed to it and I actually achieved it. What an amazing feeling that was, you really can do anything if you set your mind to it.

Whatever goal you set yourself, don’t ever give up. Have fun, pick yourself back up when you have a bad day and keep going….you won’t regret it.

To hear more about Katie's Story you can follow her on youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYIlRqA9Bhg

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