A lot of thoughts continue to dog my mind in regards to all things ironman – am I good enough, will the knees hold out, will I look good in line green and more lately am I mentally tough enough for tenby again.
Having watched from afar the heroics in Lanzarote and toyed with switching my tenby entry to mallorca on the basis that it’s flatter (and not in Wales) I have been broadly in a grump surrounding anything swim/bike/run.
Sea swimming is the common reason I have given for dropping out of tenby last yr, thanks to swallowing half of the water in the bay that morning and it proceeding to exit my body from every hole for the next 70 miles on the bike. But the more I read about other peoples performances at different events and how they have over come issues in races the more I think I just wasn’t fit enough physically but also mentally to achieve anything other than a DNF.
After limping my way round outlaw to a 12:43 finish, after not running for 4 weeks prior, I didn’t train properly for Tenby. I didn’t focus on the scale of the task, we had other things going on. I celebrated finishing something I never thought I would manage (having been told I wouldn’t be able to do a 10k at the start of the journey) for to long. Which didn’t leave me with enough time to focus on tenby. But it didn’t matter it was a freebie entry – who cared if I finished or not.
Turns out the outcome that day has haunted me ever since – I entered almost immediately for 2015 to right the wrongs. I lost friends on Twitter over arguments surrounding the outcome. Probably borne out of my stubborn personality and not liking to think that anything could beat me (it is my first tri dnf ever) by not accepting anything other than excuses at that point I sit here now and in all honesty I haven’t progressed at all and I am nowhere near ready for sept.
Granted I have had knee issues which destroyed the first 2 months then surgery which has destroyed the next two, and annoyingly is still not 100% right but have I trained my arse off when I can? Probably not, certainly not hard enough in times of effort but not time. Have I eaten correctly? Well no. I am still bigger than this time last yr. but things are more under control in that regard, but I have almost a stone to come off to when I raced outlaw weight. My running speed is improving but I am still well over a minute a mile down on where I was at my ‘peak’ (if u call 7:30 miles a peak) any quicker at the moment and my knee lets me know, even before checking the garmin. my swimming I still ok but I continue to be shockingly slower in the sea and even in some flat water in mallorca I have struggled to not swallow more salty juice than Debbie in Dallas.
I am still in for Tenby this yr, despite frequently looking to switch. I am doing the long course swim and bike (I figure if I finish the bike I can potentially crawl 26 miles if needed) to attempt to establish some confidence. That said I have no free training days to do anything approaching 112, flat or otherwise, miles before then. I have some races which at present are terrifying me – bala 70.3 as my first Tri this yr and then the castle 70.3 three weeks later. So at present I am thinking it won’t bring much of a confidence booster.
So far this yr I have run 10 miles once, cycled 60 miles once and everytime I go near the sea I turn into the fat kid at school (which I was) looking for a sick note to not take part,
I have a countdown timer on my phone which everyday remains me how long it is till tenby (110 days) and at this moment in time it seems to be haunting me.
Being on holiday does focus the Mind – the fact that I am getting up before everyone else in the hotel to run means I am either stupid or committed I guess (probably stupid judging by my 50% falling over vs run rates), but spending so much more general time with sue and zoe shows to them just how much I am thinking about tenby. Literally every second conversation is tri related and everytime a bike goes past (which is every 3 mins here) I am thinking of the bike vs mine and if I could go quicker than the rider and my daughter pipes up ‘don’t get jealous dad’
This whole tri thing has evolved and development but at the moment it is very much all consuming my thoughts and actions (other than saying no to free beer and ice cream) and I am not sure I like it