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Can I be an Ironman by 40 ?
Can I be an Ironman by 40 ?
Having taken part in several pool based sprint events since starting out in 2009, I wanted to celebrate turning 35 by completing the Vitruvian in 2011...with a long term goal of completing an Ironman by the time I'm 40. I'll keep track of the trials and tribulations here.

I did it !!!

tallguy76by tallguy76Sep 28th 2011
I realise that over the past season my blogging has been about as consistent as my training, but at 4am on the 3rd September I woke to my alarm telling me it was time to get up and prepare for the longest day in my life and The Vitruvian.

By 6am and the family had roused and slurped a qick mug of tea and we had arrived at Rutland Water in time for the race briefing in front of the cafe. Once the race briefing was over I headed into transition to check my tyres and set everything out ready for later in the day and then grabbed my wetsuit and headed out to squeeze into it.

At 6:30 the wave before mine headed off and around 150 men started edging into the murky water of the reservoir. The bottom seemed rather sludgy and my feet started sinking into it as I edged further in, trying to keep towards the back so I didn't get caught up in the washing machine effect as the horn sounded - I was never going to break any records anyway.

As the swim started I struggled to get into a rythym and once we cleared the headland the wind driven waves blowing from the west end of the lake made life very difficult - it was very different to swimming in the quarry at Vobster which is very sheltered. For most of the second lap I was sufferbg with cramp in my legs and was accompanied by one of the safety team in a kayak who seemed to be paddling alongside me.

Hauling myself out of the water and into transition I think that I looked pretty exhausted and I got a worried look from my wife as I trotted past her. In T1 every time I attempted to get my left shoe on my leg cramped up, so I took my time (6 minutes) had a sip of High5 drink and then got on my way.

The first lap seemed to take forever. I hadn't driven around the course before the event, but had driven over the "Rutland Ripple" on the way to where we were staying the previous evening. According to my wife I went very quiet and slightly pale...I have to admit to walking up the biggest of the hills on both laps and was overtaken by numerous other competitors - some who were probably lapping me !

Finishing the first lap at 9:30am I flew through the feed station and back out to the main road for the second lap which appeared to pass a lot quicker although.

Out onto the run which was thankfully pretty flat but the lack of training started to show as I started a run/walk strategy (more run than walk unfortunately). Half way through the first lap I was joined by my brother on his bike and he rode alongside until we got back to where his girlfriend was waiting with my parents and sister. I carried on to the turning point passing my wife and stepdaughter in view of the finishing line. I turned around and headed back out again, my sister came alongside for a while to keep me going and then my brother reappeared having fixed his girlfriend's puncture and they stayed with me all the way to the finish.

As I approached the finishing line I could feel myself welling up with relief at having finished - yes I was fourth from last and only just inside 8 hours (7:44) but I had completed the event.

Almost immediately I was trying to figure out how I could improve next season, wondering whether running an iron distance event in July would help with a half in September...

I've taken a few weeks rest and done absolutely nothing since the event, but met up with Frome Tri Club on Monday of this week to try out their run/swim training session. If I am to have any chance of completing an ironman I need to follow a proper plan and so I will be joining the club and investigating coaching through the club. I have also considered joining the "Pirate Ship Of Fools" - a group of triathletes who all have fun taking part in numerous events across the country and around the world. I saw many of them at the Vitruvian and they were always friendly and encouraging. In 140.6 miles I will need all the help I can get !

Roll on 2012.
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