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Day 29 – the warmth of the north

I completed today’s Olympic-distance triathlon in Preston. A warmer welcome I could not have had.

I was in the area for a work meeting but what kind and helpful hospitality I had. Thank you Colin Moore for hosting me, picking me up from the train station very late, getting up at an ungodly time and accompanying me for several hours as I completed this – the 29th in 29 days – triathlon. For the beautiful lunch, Mrs Moore’s yummy parkin and being my taxi again back to the station, I am tremendously grateful.

While it was blustery, I had gone from two degrees in the south to thirteen in the north, very weird. I feel like I have been on a short holiday.

Thank you too to the staff of Preston’s Nuffield Health gym, what great support and brilliant facilities! I have been to three other Nuffield gyms and this is the best so far. It made me want to move there just to be a member.

The rest of this update is in video format, the following clips are probably much better at explaining what is involved in this challenge.

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Day 28 – happy in control

Thank you to everyone who has sent good wishes for my challenge, today was the day they were most needed.

I could tell by the tiredness on the swim it was going to be a hard one. Then while cycling, I desperately just wanted to sleep. Because I was conscious I wasn’t feeling great, I expected and felt the ride to take forever, so I wasn’t disappointed. And the run was again so difficult to begin. After the massage the previous night, I knew how sore I was and if I carried on pushing the run as hard as I have been, the challenge would not last much longer.

I had twinges in my calves and hips, as well as the painful knees that have troubled me from almost the beginning. Despite the cold biting, I trudged through the run, around three minutes slower than the past few days, but very happy I had controlled it and possibly avoided further damage, and maybe even managed ‘active recovery’ as I now know it. The next milestones are a little closer.

Thank you for all your support so far, if you can donate to help build the memorial to fallen police officers and staff, it will give me a fabulous boost.

Today I remembered those who died on November 27, and their number is again similar to the normal amount after yesterday’s low, and many more recent deaths for which this anniversary will bring huge sadness to the hundreds of family members, friends and colleagues. They are:

1832 – Sub-Constable Richard Dawson – Ulster Constabulary

1882 – Inspector Joseph Hughes – Metropolitan Police

1927 – Police Constable Henry Walker – North Riding of Yorkshire Constabulary

1929 – Police Constable William Marsh – Southend-on-Sea County Borough Constabulary

1972 – Police Constable Michael Round – West Midlands Constabulary

1976 – Police Constable James Mason – Central Scotland Police

1982 – Reserve Constable (Retd) John Martin – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

1986 – Police Constable Deborah Leat – Avon & Somerset Constabulary

2002 – Police Constable Christian Parker – Metropolitan Police

2006 – Sergeant Alan Lovett – Hertfordshire Constabulary

2015 – Police Constable Sahib Lalli – Metropolitan Police

You can donate to the memorial trust by clicking here, thank you.

Day 27 – signs of the times

Day 26 – starting again

Today was like resetting the dial to zero and starting again. After yesterday’s milestone of being a quarter of the way through this challenge to complete 100 Olympic-distance triathlons in 100 consecutive days, it felt as if I was just beginning all over again, but with some valuable lessons having been learnt.

To summarise what I have learnt so far:

It is possible to complete Olympic-distance triathlons on numerous consecutive days, I had never done that before starting this challenge. In fact, one previous trial of just two days ended in failure.

The biggest difficulty is to ignore the time and go by how the body feels, staying in control of each effort and concentrating on the goal of finishing the 100th, rather than making every effort to finish this one as fast as I can, with no regard for the fact I have so many left to go.

There is a fine line between eating enough to sustain the effort and not having had enough nutrition to last the three or so hours a triathlon takes each day.

Recovery is so important, especially just after finishing each one. The muscles need time to absorb nutrition and be ready to do anything else.

Being prepared is vital, the stress of organising equipment and fitting in each triathlon while working more than full-time can be enormous. If you make a mistake or lose half an hour through forgetting something, it can add much unwanted tension to the day.

And support is incredible. The tiredness that comes with the continuous effort leads to heightened emotions. A word of encouragement, an update re-tweet or a donation really helps.

Control of effort to avoid injuries is the most important lesson and, as I started the second quarter of the effort it felt like I needed to learn this lesson again. So keen was I set out to conquer the next phase, warning bells were ringing in my head as I pushed my body to the limit of what it could do.

I know I will face more injury scares before I can complete 100, so I must quickly re-learn this lesson and focus on the bigger goal as once again as the effort today was probably too much and I am inviting parts of the body to go wrong.

Today, as every day, I paid tribute to the officers and staff who died on duty. On November 25, they are:

1862 – Police Constable Ebenezer Tye – East Suffolk Constabulary

1877 – Police Constable Archibald Cook – Bute County Constabulary

1877 – Sergeant Edwin Edmonds – Somerset County Constabulary

1882 – Detective Constable John Cox – Dublin Metropolitan Police

1921 – Police Constable John McHenry – Belfast Harbour Police

1940 – Special Constable George Bryant – Bristol City Police

1940 – Special Constable Gilbert Shortman – Bristol City Police

1944 – Inspector John Bateman – Air Ministry Constabulary

1944 – Reserve Constable George Routhorn – Metropolitan Police

1945 – Chief Constable William Edwards – Cambridgeshire Constabulary

1975 – Reserve Constable Samuel Clarke – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

1975 – Sergeant Patrick Maxwell – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

1982 – Reserve Constable William Moffat – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

1987 – Sergeant Gordon Brown – Metropolitan Police

1987 – Police Constable Geoffrey Collins – West Midlands Police

Please show your support for my challenge by sharing or donating here.

Day 25 – enjoying the turbulence

Waking up knowing that this day was the 25th of my challenge was a great feeling, a significant milestone – a quarter of the way to the total of 100 Olympic-distance triathlons  in 100 consecutive days.

A pain on the right hip bone dampened my elation as I set off to begin today’s effort. And when I climbed in the pool, it was a surprise that almost all of it had been taken over by the Aquarobics class. Fifty people jumping up and down made the effort like swimming in the sea during a storm.

I actually enjoyed it, partly as it emptied everyone else out of the one lane left for swimming and also because it added a bit of much needed variation.

The cycle was straightforward but when it came to the run my legs felt very heavy. I started the 10km pretty slowly and took the decision to just relax and feel my way into it. As each kilometre buzz on the watch passed, I enjoyed not looking and not knowing how fast, or how slow, I was running.

However, as I came to the end I felt I was running at a decent speed and when I stopped the watch on the tenth buzz it was pretty pleasing to see it was 48m43s – the first time under 49 minutes on any day of the challenge. I just hope I don’t pay for that tomorrow.

I am completing this challenge to do 100 triathlons in 100 days to raise awareness and funds to build a fitting tribute to all the police officers and staff who have died on duty, having made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the rest of us.

Next year, we hope to build a physical, digital and living memorial to honour all who have died to keep us safe. The physical memorial will be built at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

I am also doing this to create fitting tribute to all officers and staff who face enormous danger every day when responding to incidents and dealing with all manner of situations.

Today I paid tribute to the officers who died on November 24 in previous years. They are:

1865 – Police Constable John Purcell – Denbigh County Constabulary

1887 – Superintendent Thomas Birkill – West Riding of Yorkshire Constabulary

1906 – Sergeant John Kilmartin – Royal Irish Constabulary

1907 – Police Constable Brownlow Locke – Liverpool City Police

1920 – Police Constable Thomas Dillon – Royal Irish Constabulary

1939 – Special Constable Leslie Horsfall – Berkshire County Constabulary

1940 – Police Fireman Gilbert Vincent – Bristol Police Fire Brigade

1961 – Police Constable Stanley Cross – Surrey Constabulary

1987 – Sergeant Douglas Beggs – Merseyside Police

1989 – Police Constable Barry Saunders – South Yorkshire Police

Please support my challenge by donating whatever amount you can by clicking here

Day 24 – remembering the loved ones

Apologies for the late posting of this update but it was a long day at work after completing today’s Olympic-distance triathlon.

Today went staggeringly well, early in the pool, a steady 1,500 metre swim, solid bike ride, again joined by Head of Happiness (see day 22), and the run was again sub 50 minutes and just small reminders of the knee pains but nothing significant.

The main difficulty is maintaining motivation as the energy used leaves you lethargic.

Today (November 23) is the tenth anniversary of the Warrenpoint collision that took the lives of four Police Service of Northern Ireland officers. On their way to a call for assistance at 4am, their 4×4 crashed and burst into flames.

Behind each officer was a family. One officer’s partner was expecting his second child. It was another’s fourth wedding anniversary. The  impact on colleagues was also immense, who would contemplate having to attend funerals for four of your close colleagues?

You can read more about this tragedy here.

Over the almost three hours of completing today’s triathlon, I remembered their service and what it means to the families, friends and colleagues of officers who die on duty to have a tribute that befits the sacrifice they made.

I remembered all officers and staff who died on this day. They were:

1913 – Police Constable Samuel Smart – Liverpool City Police

1933 – Police Constable Albert Packer – Metropolitan Police

1940 – Police Constable Harold Lewis – Birmingham City Police

1940 – Police Constable William Mitchinson – Birmingham City Police

1957 – Police Constable Patrick Duignan – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC

1963 – Police Constable Robert Bell – Dunbartonshire Constabulary

1970 – Police Constable Keith Winter – British Transport Police

1972 – Police Constable Kenneth Fletcher – Lancashire Constabulary

1986 – Police Constable John Taylor – Staffordshire Police

2008 – Police Constable Kevin Gorman – Police Service of Northern Ireland

2008 – Police Constable Declan Greene – Police Service of Northern Ireland

2008 – Police Constable Kenneth Irvine – Police Service of Northern Ireland

2008 – Police Constable James Magee – Police Service of Northern Ireland

Please help us build the memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire by donating whatever you can. Visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Paul-Lander3

Thank you.

Day 23 – keeping happy

Today was another good day, all elements of the triathlon completed without pain and in what is a consistent time (1,500m swim – 29 mins, 40km bike – 1hr 12mins, 10km run – 49mins 35secs).

Although it was a cautious run on the roads with the coldest night of the year so far and icy pavements. I started the run when the temperature was -2 degrees but finished it as it reached a whopping zero.

But an empty pool and company on the bike from someone who has the title of Head of Happiness at a pork scratchings company made for a pleasant triathlon.

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/embed/3177490570

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/embed/3177594344

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/embed/3177680721

Sights are firmly on Saturday and the next milestone – a quarter of the way to the total.

Today I paid tribute to the following officers who died on November 22 protecting the rest of us:

1832 – Police Constable Michael Wright – Leinster Constabulary

1894 – Sergeant Charles Wilson – Glasgow City Police

1915 – Special Constable John Hornshaw – Kingston-upon-Hull City Police

1920 – Police Constable Patrick Driscoll – Royal Irish Constabulary

1920 – Police Constable Michael Fleming – Royal Irish Constabulary

1920 – Head Constable John Kearney – Royal Irish Constabulary

1920 – Police Constable Edward Roper – Royal Irish Constabulary

1924 – Police Constable Robert Pritchard – Anglesey County Constabulary

1929 – Sergeant  John Braithwaite – Burnley County Borough Police

1932 – Police Fireman Ebenezer Harris – Swansea Police Fire Brigade

1935 – Police Constable Joseph Diboll – Metropolitan Police

1948 – Police Constable Stewart MacDonald – Glasgow City Police

1949 – Police Constable Albert Hawkins – Metropolitan Police

1994 – Assistant Constable William Graham – Royal Ulster Constabulary, GC