Since hearing the amazing news that I’d been selected for Team SportPursuit, it’s been all systems go.
I’ve only just returned from a 3 month stay in Mallorca where I’ve been working at a triathlon camp. My season kicked off with a perfect start as I was fortunate to qualify for the World Ironman 70.3 Champs having secured a spot through roll down at the Mallorca Ironman 70.3. The pipeline dream is to qualify a Kona slot at Ironman UK (Bolton) and ‘do the double’.
As we all know, triathlon can become a rather expensive sport so finding work on my return became priority number one. As I write, I’m currently working on the Deloitte Ride Across Britain (RAB), helping set up each of the overnight stops for 650 odd riders. We’re on day 4 of 9, having spent the past few days in stunning Scotland.
RAB day 2 finished in beautiful Fort William at the foot of Scotland’s highest peak – Ben Nevis. Only being able to run while here working, I decided to make my way up Ben Nevis and see how far I’d get in 45 minutes. As this time approached, hands on knees marching up the gravel switchbacks, I asked a group of hikers how far it was to the top. I was at the halfway point. Then and there I knew I wanted to reach the summit. I was extremely lucky as the weather was absolutely perfect. No wind, clear skies and relatively warm.
1 hour 28 minutes later, standing in shin deep snow, I was at the top of Scotland. Breathtaking.
The descent proved loads of fun having to cross a few snow fields. I was still manically excited about what I’d just done which made me bound down with an extra spring in my stride.
I reached the campsite with 2 hours 35 minutes on the Garmin. The smiling still hasn’t stopped.
Well a week of mixed emotions.
I received the email last Monday asking if I would like to be part of Team SportPursuit at Ironman Bolton. I made a few phone calls to a) understand if I could possibly get around the course on 9 weeks training, and b) try to get someone to talk me out of it. Unfortunately nobody talked me out of it and my questions were answered with positivity and an air of trepidation. Lee Smith, a fellow triathlete (I beat him by two minutes in our last race – he would like this as part of my blog) explained what a great opportunity this would be. This was, however his cunning plan to get me to actually enter and as soon as I confirmed he spent all day putting the fear of god in me for the bike leg. Apparently from my house in Lytham St Annes if I cycle south I get to Wolverhampton or head north and the bike leg gets me to Lockerbie. Brilliant. Many thanks Mr Smith.
I have to admit I have been in some dark places in my mind this week and need to switch the negative energy to positive. Reading my friend’s blog – who is recovering from cancer – put things into perspective and that this should be treated as a journey with a short term goal. I should be thankful that I am well enough to take on this challenge.
Training went well Monday to Friday. Some decent work on the bike and some longer steady runs; unfortunately the swimming is a worry at the moment. I am cramping in my calf at about 2km. This is eating away at me as the swim should be the easy bit – I think I have read every forum known to man on calf cramp during swimming. I am now eating significantly more bananas and hydrating better and at lunch I managed a 2km swim with no sign of cramp, so fingers crossed.
Saturday and Sunday were supposed to be my long bike long run days, however I coach my son’s football team (The mighty AFC Blackpool) and they had a 2 day tournament. I managed to take my bike with me and did a few bike loops between games but nothing like the miles I had planned.
Apart from that a normal week for myself, other than being knocked over by a mobility scooter in Tesco on Friday evening. I think he was doing about 10mph when he rammed me into the Haribo’s. I wouldn’t have been happy if he had ended my Ironman quest before it even got started.
I’m currently having a coffee on the terrace of our hotel at the top of Alp d’Huez. One of the most amazing views I’ve ever seen! Yesterdays climb was stunning and a massive tick off my bucket list. Over the last 7 days we have climbed 9 Col’s with a couple more to tick off before we arrive back to our chalet this afternoon. The French Alps is the perfect place to be training for Bolton. I’ll be based here for the next three weeks so more updates to follow 🙂
So yesterday the real hard work started! Last week was a recovery week having been on a training camp in the Lake District with my tri-club the previous week for a ‘holiday’. We managed to rack up about 25hrs training and me and 2 of my friends ended the week by taking part in the Coniston epic swim series race. The race was my first ever 3.8km open water swim so a good step to take as it now means I’ve done all the individual iron man elements so now i just have to put them altogether – on one day – what could go wrong??
The so called ‘recovery week’ involved over 10hrs of training, but all under a HR cap. It was a good week and had some OK weather for some of the sessions but I’m still left wondering where our summer is…..
So, the hard graft! So far this week I’ve had a muscular endurance swim set, a 15mile run, a turbo session (bad weather) and my usual Pilates class. The week is only just starting though and I have an epic day on Thursday where i have to do a 3.5hr ride and brick session before i start work – i am then taking part in my first IM70.3 on Sunday at Wimbleball. As I’m taking advice on my training now from a coach that trains in my club, i have been given a personalised race plan, which pretty much means I’m using Wimbleball as a practice for nutrition strategy, HR limits and to find any problems that may arise before Bolton. As i’m incredibly competitive by nature, this is going to be difficult to stick – but i will as i don’t want to jeopardise my big day in Bolton…..
It’s got be said, the excitement is really setting in now!