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Operation Abba - The Reunion (Just #believe)
"Are you limited by your Challenges" or "are you challenging your limits"

I Live with a Neuromuscular / Spinal Condition and plan to 'Challenging My Limits' by undertaken a Swim, Bike and Run (well jog, well shuffle) at Ironman Kalmar in 2016.

In doing so trying to raise a few pounds for the Brain & Spine Foundation.

"Success" or "Failure", how do you measure either of them?

DragonRunnerby DragonRunnerSep 30th 2012
Failure for me can only be failure if you allow to be. Even though I did not make it to the finish line for Ironman Wales 2012, there were so many areas that for me were successful on the day, so for a start that was a success.

Standing at the start line of North Beach, Tenby (success), just before 7am looking at the crowd and listening to the Welsh National Anthem, followed AC/DC's Thunderstruck (which was still sounding out on the swim out to the first turn buoy), was the start of what would have hopefully be a long day.

Managed to miss the bun fight at the first turn buoy, but got caught up a little at the second, after that it was fairly clear water for the rest of the swim. Another goal was to have a smooth run between the two swim legs, so again there was also success there, before legs have given way a bit.

Swim completed in 1:09:19, a PB for the distance so guess what - a successful swim. Now onto T1 which included a 1k run through Tenby, the run started with a little bit of a speed bump up out of North Beach. This is were the support is at least 4 deep each side of the road,this turn out of people to cheer everyone to T1 was on par with the experience of the last mile of the Great North Run (will going back to Newcastle in 2013). Getting through T1 over 5 minutes faster than the previous year, my start to Ironman Wales had gone to plan, so it was off on 112 mile ride around Pembrokeshire.

This course has given me problems in the past, were I have struggled in the hills. However in the last few weeks riding various sections there was a big improvement in my performance, however in the back of my mind, i have to be realistic it was going to be close to meet the cutoff time of 10.5 hours, but was not going to go out without trying.

Going on the day I was probably feeling the best I had on those hills, the course had a headwind especially around the Freshwater / Angle area (still not as bad as 2011), with the first section done it was a loop of Pembroke Town before heading out on the the section that would have to be completed twice. Eventually getting into Narberth (good support from Celtic Members, hearing John's encouragement was enough to get anybody going - thank you) my climbing was good for me and most of all, on track for me. So onto the next dreaded section of the course of Wisemans Bridge / Coppers and Saundersfoot which for me the climbing was made easier once again by the support going up the hill. A quick decent into Tenby (only to be meet with more loud encouragement from the Celtic Tri Crew (could once again here the likes of Rob G and others shouting for me, and my Iron Widow Karen shouting for my bike), got there within the cutoff (success). Now head down on to get the second loop completed. I was feeling good even there now not many riders to be seen, I was making my targets.

Covering the hills in a steady pace and meeting my time targets, when I was stop at the bottom of Narberth (it must have been close to the cutoff, made it out later to be 15 mins to climb the hill) as I was outside the cutoff, I knew I would be close and so I must have dropped behind my plan, so my 2012 Ironman Wales experience was over. Looking back I was happy with how the day had gone, there were a number of goals that I had set for myself, and all meet to that point. Therefore can only be regarded as a SUCCESSFUL DAY.

A long delay before been picked up by the Broom Wagon, as we were not going to be allowed to continue on the roads. I think here a note to the organisers, have designated stop point for riders to go to we're our Welfare may catered for, as to being told stop here and wait, I was start to get cold and a hot drink would have been welcome.

So back in Tenby it was get my kit and go for a shower etc, before going back into Town to see the finishers and meet up with the Celtic Crew who were still cheering on the triathletes. On the finish line at Heros Hour the support was still strong as at any point in the day, just this year again, I was not part of the final run in.

Ironman Wales for me was full of positives, which I can take forward onto my next challenge, CMT is not going to stop me from pushing myself to my limits even thou these limits are getting smaller, my mind says the distance is in me, so it is onto a different Ironman course for 2013, Kalmar, Sweden is already book and they planning begins, a different type of course so the challenge of hearing those words "you are an ironmannn" is still on track.

I cannot put into words the support and encouragement from fellow members of Celtic Tri (and those outside Tri World as well) that I have recieved in the run up and following Ironman Wales, thank you all for reading, and please join me on my "Kalmar 2013 Experience"

But before that starts I will finish the year off with 5k OW swim, and tow runs Cardiff Half Marathon the Great South Run.
 
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