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Just a nice sometimes not consistently updated view of my running cycling and (fingers crossed) swimming


boomclarenby boomclarenAug 11th 2010
Wow, first iron-distance done. Really enjoyed the day, really well organised, pleased with my time... time for the breakdown.

Did the 1500m swim the day before which was helpful in getting me used to the water i was going to swim in, lots of weeds...lots. nice still flat water, and though there were only about 100 people doing the 1500m swim it gave me some inkling about how my first massive open water start the following morning was going to be like.

after figuring out what a "dry-bag" was for and checking my swim-bike then bike-run bag a minimum of 30 times, i then finally racked my bike, heard nothing of the race brief as i was out in the corridor somewhere but as i wasn't planning on winning the event i figured i could take a little extra time if the race got confusing.

pre-race nerves were very high, i'd eaten to massive plates of pasta the night before so no breakfast, and being a good boy i went to the swim start as soon as they asked us to, this meant i was perilously close to the front. as i realised there was very little time before the horn went off i slowly skulked backwards so as not to be crushed by a torrent of better swimmers.
anyway, very nervous and no time to back out the starter horn went and off we amount of training could've prepared me for the chaos that ensued. goggles off, inhaled half the lake, tasted nothing but goose-shit, swamped by weeds and clobbered from all sides by random limbs...after nearly vomiting i was genuinely considering quitting (i have never thought about quitting in an event ever) but after struggling for the first km i found some kind of rhythm and more importantly someones feet to follow. the rest of the swim was fairly smooth, at one point turning to breathe i saw someone rocket past on the bank on their bike and i was ludicrously jealous of them for being out of the water. anyway as i staggered out of the water i was shocked to look at my watch and see 1:08...fastest i've ever gone.

chilled out in T1, get heart rate down, calm down, make sure you've got everything, now cycle.

far too overexcited on first 30km of the bike, the course was inviting and i was flying at an average speed of 24mph, then decided to slow down for the sake of my health and my hope of running a sub 4 marathon at the end. really enjoyed the bike, apart from my incredibly numb undercarriage from crappy position (anyone else get this? tips much appreciated) nice conditions, little bit of breeze, chain came off once and needed a loo break but was happy with just over 6 hours, looking back on it now i could definitely have pushed much more on the last loop as i had more in the tank than expected...something to consider in next iron-distance.

T2 was fine, just looking forward to the run...

i think most people i know just look to get through the run, but i really enjoy that bit, pushing for as long as possible, i expected to have to walk at some point and was just trying to hold off that point as long as possible. found a nice rhythm early and stuck to it...picked off lots of people.
i loved the fact that you could see how well you were doing or how much more you needed to work as you doubled back on the runners behind you.

I had no expectations before the race, all i wanted was to finish, having never done this distance before i didn't really know what to expect, i wanted to get through the swim, stay comfortable on the bike and muscle through the run, i'd been discussing the night before that a good day would get me around the 14 hour mark...on the last lap of the run when i allowed myself a look at my watch i had this realisation that i was going to go sub-12, with the crummy end to my training this was beyond my wildest dreams and a huge smile cracked on my face which still hasn't gone, the run was great for me, stayed steady and ran the whole thing, lots of bananas and jaffa cakes. even managed a sprint finish to give me a final time of 11:23:59...

looking back over the whole thing i could've gone sub-11, with proper uninterrupted training i think i could push for year maybe.

i would love to have a long list of people to thank but this whole experience has been a relatively solo mission, with dribs and drabs of help, 4 swimming lessons with my mates Lena and Sophie (who taught me that "windmill-arms" are not particularly effective) helped loads though they're still baffled by my kicking style, i'm paying them back with running coaching.

anyway, a fantastic day...aims for the future: sub 3 hour marathon, sub 10 hour ironman. no timescale, i'll just enjoy the training and see what comes, maybe by my next ironman i'll be a qualified doctor...shit that's scary.

happy training
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