Yes that’s right, its now 12 days to go until ironman70.3 Staffordshire!
The question is, am I ready for it? 3 years ago, I did a local middle distance event (see my posts on that race) and I wasn’t ready. I suffered in the bike and, lucky me, in the run sections to finish in a time of 7h22mins! Ouch! Now let’s move forward to 2015, present time….
Training over the winter went really well but in the last few months has seen ups and downs, due to small injuries, tiredness, and life in general. Training for long distance Triathlons requires many hours of training every week and living the life as an everyday family guy, its not easy to get them in consistently. But the determination and will to train have and will always be there. Waking up early morning to go for a run or even an open water lake swim (since April) in the weather we’ve had over here in Britain has never been a problem. Well, it has on some occasions but I’ve pushed myself out of bed (not literally of course!) and got on with it. Once you get going, everything is fine!
Race wise, I only entered and completed two events so far this year. Exbury Gardens 5miles road race in February and Southampton Half Marathon late April. Maybe I should have done more races but I was more concentrating on my training.
Exbury Gardens 5miles was on a horrible wet, windy, wintery day but the event itself was great. This race only had around 300 starters, probably due to the weather but the organization and the camaraderie was perfect all round, which for me made it a very enjoyable race. Timewise, I crossed the line in 40mins. Happy with that with the conditions.
Southampton Half Marathon was my first Half. Tougher race than I and everyone else thought. I aimed for 1h50, followed and glued myself to the 1h50 race Pacer. Reaching Mile 3, we started running up The Itchen Bridge (400m long). Now, everyone was dreading the bridge as we had to cross it, turn around the other side and cross it again! But being at Mile 3, everyone was still in the party spirit, chatting, calling friends crossing the bridge the other side, waving at friends and family. It was great! Brilliant!
Until we reached Mile 8 and were about to start climbing Burgess Road and its surroundings! Forget the bridge, that was easy! Forget the party atmosphere within the runners! Everyone suffered! I stayed with my race Pacer until then. I had the unfortunate slip at Mile 8 drink station, lost my rhythm, got a stitch and fell behind my Pacer. I was so frustrated, tried to catch up but my stitch was too painful to do so, and ended up walking for a good 5mins trying to get rid of it! But the encouragements and support of the crowd helped me get back to a decent rhythm all the way to the finishing line. So, I didn’t achieve my target of 1h50 and finished in 2h05 but at least it gives me an easier target to beat next time!
This event was the first long distance race in Southampton for about 25years and the organizers, Trytri, should be very proud of it. 6000 competitors and already organizing next years race to reach 10000! I’ll definitely be there in 2016.
As mentioned, I’ve recently suffered on and off with a soar knee. I have treated it as I should, RICE and all that, and went to see a Physio. BUT this niggle is still troubling me and last week, I made the decision to rest my knee from pounding the streets and parks of Southampton, therefore stop running until race day in Staffordshire on the 14th June! Believe it or not, It has come with benefits as I’ve had more time to concentrate on my swimming and cycling. With open water swimming on since April and longer days finally here, I’ve been able to accumulate the Miles both in swimming and cycling.
So here we are, 12 days to go! Its now 1am and I have swimming training at 6am, which doesn’t leave me much time to sleep! Better go!