Team SportPursuit – Ironman UK – Lee Hill – Post-Race Round-Up

7th August 2013 – 3 Days After

Well my walk is back to normal today! It took me 2 days to get over it. I also have post Ironman blues and miss the excitement and buzz of the race!

What can I say….what an amazing day, I was so nervous for the race, especially the swim; having never done anything like that before I didn’t know what to expect. With only learning to swim 5 weeks ago I would have been happy to just beat the cut off, I couldn’t believe it when I heard my time on exiting the water – 1:22!

The bike was amazing, the support out on the roads was surreal at times, the supporters just kept me going and it felt like I was floating up some of the climbs where the spectators were shouting and cheering! I have done a lot of riding but nothing could have prepared me for the emotions I experienced – the highs and the lows. I think I experienced every type of emotion during that 6 hours.

I held back on the bike and listened to my Garmin, keeping my average speed at my target of 29.5km/h while maintaining my heart rate below 150 bpm for the majority of the ride. I was apprehensive about the transition to the run as I hadn’t done any brick training or any running for 3 months because of a knee injury, and I knew I would soon be in the hurt locker!

The first 10k or so of the run I felt good and was sticking to the tips I had been given – “don’t go off too fast”, “walk through the feed stations”, “nutrition”. However the lack of running training soon hit me like a sledgehammer – the pain in every muscle in my legs became borderline unbearable; my legs just weren’t conditioned to the impact they were getting! Every step felt like someone was slowly pushing knives into my quads,calves and hamstrings. That was it – I knew I had to keep going but my 4 hour target would be gone. I originally hoped for a finish time of 12:30 with a 2 hour swim, 6:30 bike and 4 hour run – I thought these were realistic targets. Having done a 1:22 swim and 6:08 bike things were looking good for a sub 12! Unfortunately my legs couldn’t keep the pace, and although I fought through it I could only manage a 4:39 run (which wasn’t disastrous), and with the time I had stole on the swim and bike disciplines it still gave me a great time of 12:25 on not only my first Ironman but my first ever triathlon…with only 5 weeks of training! 

Overall I was very pleased I said I would never do it again…but now the pain has subsided I have reconsidered and am already starting a long-term training programme for next year, where I want to aim for 11 hours!

Congratulations to all members of Team SportPursuit – Graeme, Troy and Allie who I am sure all had their own tough challenges on their journeys to becoming an Ironman.

Now for a few thank yous – firstly to my friends, family and girlfriend Amiera Ariane – who deserves a huge thank you  for putting up with my pre-race mood swings and was up from 3am on race day, cheering me from the top of sheep house next to the naked nutters and was there at the finish in the cold and wet…..truly incredible!

Also thank you very much to Julia and the SportPursuit team, who not only made this possible after an out-of-the blue email inviting me to be part of Team SportPursuit at Bolton, but gave me the support needed in the build up and followed me round all day to capture this special event for me where I became an IRONMAN!!  You guys are amazing!

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