With just two more nights before my first Ironman attempt I find myself going over how I got here.
I have always found myself looking for the next challenge, and I want to push my body to its limits, for nobody else but me. I don’t want to be able to say
“I can do that…”
I want to know…
“I can, and have done that”
The only problem with this logic is that I am always seeking that next thing that’s a little harder than the last. My Ironman journey started many years ago when I heard about it on TV. However, unlike many that would traditionally start training for it, all I got was a sense of desire to achieve without the training to make it happen.
About three years ago I changed work locations and decided to buy a bike; the first time I had been on a bike for about 10 years. I got my first ever road bike to ride the large distance of “3 miles” to work, all with the plan that I could use this as an entry bike to racing, for an Ironman.
So let’s fast forward two years, and the furthest I had cycled was still the three miles to work. Last year in August I was playing with my boy in the park and stupidly landed with all my weight on a plastic kids ball. My ankle gave way and there was the loudest crack, I hit the ground hard and genuinely thought my ankle was broken. I’m not one to make a fuss and never go to the doctor, but for this I went to A&E, I was devastated to think my ankle was broken, just as my running season was about to begin.
It turned out that it was a serious sprain, but not broken, but I’m glad I went. I was told that as far as possible I should try to walk as normally as I could. I would have completely rested, but instead I walked on it. Pretty soon I realised that I could do more, as long as I was careful and did not twist.
When I started to recover, and knew I could not run fast I started to think what I could do instead… And for some reason I thought IRONMAN. I could not run much, but I could cross train.
Shortly after I went for my first swim in years, and the furthest I had done in one go was about 10 laps of a pool. At this point I entered my first Ironman!
I said I like a challenge.
I started trying to swim more regularly and add some longer rides, but with two young children this Is not a story of glorious miles of dedicated training. On average I have swam about twice a month, and I have two 56 miles and a couple of 20 milers to my name. So how can I possibly achieve this? Well I can run, and I am determined… I want to be an ironman, so I will!
Leading up to the big day I am thinking about how much more I could have or should have done… I question whether I will get through the swim (baring in mind the last time I swam in the sea was about 8 years ago with a snorkel and mask). I wonder whether I will meet the bike cut off considering I have never gone more than half the distance… I wonder how I will feel going into the run, and how I will get through this!
But I remain positive… I can swim ok, not fast, but have a target of about 1:30ish… I have determination for the bike and hope to achieve in 6:30… This will be the hardest bit for me, and I hate hills, so I will be riding just to get through and using pure grit and determination… Then the run. A nice 3:30-4 hour marathon will do me nicely. The run is my strong point and I would think if I meet the bike cut off I will ace the run, and it will be motivating to overtake people on the final stage… So that’s about 12 hours, so I’m realistic that I may not achieve this great time, but we all need to have a target in mind… Plan b is just to finish!
This leads me to my next challenge… If I think I can finish with limited training, how can I do with more training on the bike and in the water, with the knowledge that I am already an IRONMAN… For that we will have to wait for Ironman kalmar 2017 😂😂
Will I be an ironman… We will find out on 11th September 2016… Wish me luck