Innocently bumbling along, not really focusing on anything, not really training for anything with most of the key 2016 races binned off due to the knee. Weight had dropped a little and is back to being stable and my mind was wandering thinking about what to sign up for or what to do this year.
Innocent tweets get you into trouble.
Innocently asking about if others fancied coming to ride the Lakesman route at the same time as the event, then support the other loons I know doing the whole thing, turned quickly into me being back on the race entry list and due to be back at the water’s edge on the 19th June in Keswick.
You see often, things just happen for a reason, things just click, things draw you to an event like a triathlete to the latest gear at an expo.
It just happens and before long you can’t do anything about it and resistance is futile. Since signing up for Lakesman before Ironman Wales I have always viewed it as me getting back in love with long distance, that died with the knee op and it instead turned into another event I had to withdraw from.
However I kept looking at the website, kept looking at the route and kept attempting to convince myself that I could still do it. I kept dropping not so subtle hints to Sue, I kept talking to the race organisers and then I had a great Wednesday.
A really great Wednesday.
I have, since March being attempting to get a curtain nice new job, moving from the wonderful world of Muller and the dairy industry and instead moving to a new role in the fantastically marvellous world of CAKE! That’s right CAKE! How perfect is that for someone of my err…… build and fondness for CAKE. I have had numerous interviews including a lovely long drive down to St Albans and finally had the confirmation on the wonderful Wednesday. Literally about an hour later and still giddy on the prospect of staff freebies of CAKE I received a message from the organisers of Lakesman.
Having seen my tweets seeing if folks fancied a bike bimble they offered, despite the fact that entries had officially closed, to allow me to sneak into the race via the back door. Granted at that point my furthest ride was 35 miles and furthest run was a 10k, I had nowhere to stay and no buy in from the boss at home.
Needless to say I handed over my credit card details without a second thought.
Sometimes things just feel right.
My wife was as ever wonderfully understanding and although not happy with it is resigned to another day of standing around waiting for her stupid husband to finish beating himself up for his own pleasure.
After the reality hit home I reread my Ironman Wales blog, almost made myself cry and then settled on some sort of 3 week training plan to get myself to the start line in the best possible chance of finishing it. I don’t have any preconceptions about posting a decent time, I just want to finish (ideally under the Wales time) and in daylight if possible, but I will take a finish first and foremost.
I have been massively lucky and special mentions to Rach for helping on the accommodation side of things, although I am still not that comfortable with essentially stealing her room to house Team Jude.
So after the reality set in the plan became to bike as much as possible in the interim period to ensure that I at least get off the bike with the potential to walk the run leg if required. So since Thursday I have managed to bike 240 miles, split into chunks of 45 miles, 25 miles, 60 miles, 40 miles and 75 miles yesterday. My ‘bit’s hate me but my legs feel surprisingly ok, especially considering in May I completed my biggest ever training month.
The plan this morning was to attempt to run for 90 minutes, utilising some sort of run / walk strategy to stick with going forward and use on the day – something I have never mastered before and something which always hinders me.
Generally once I start walking I stay walking as I find it extremely difficult to get going again. Apart from dodgy guts for myself and the pooch the plan worked fine and I did 10 miles in the 90 minutes and felt ok throughout. How far I could keep this going is another thing, but least for the first time since Tenby I have on foot got to double digits.
The bike is not as hilly as Tenby, but hillier than Outlaw, the water is not as salty as Tenby and the run is certainly not even remotely as hilly that run course. With that in mind and with the prospect of me having to walk a substantial chunk again I think it’s probably likely to give me an overall time somewhere right between the two previous races. I seem to remember walking massive chunks of Outlaw (shockingly due to the knee) so hopefully my time might be on a par with that – but really, who knows.
The interim period will now involve some further decisions – its only 2 weekends till I am in the Lakes. This weekend I am supposed to be doing Bala 70.3 and the following weekend Leeds ITU. Leeds ITU will definitely happen and I cant wait to charge around the streets I used to drunkingly live on, despite the seeming logistical nightmare.
Bala is another issue, I have a free Saturday and Sunday this week as the family is busy doing birthday parties and girly catch ups. So do I ride long on the Saturday and attempt to reach a confidence boosting ton and then run a confidence boosting half marathon on Sunday.
Or do I ride 50 ish miles on Saturday, run for an hr off the back and then go experience the fight at Bala in the water, do the hilly bike leg and then pull out of the run on the Sunday?
Either way 151 days after my op I will be clad in rubber, probably weeing down my leg, waiting on the shores of Keswick to put myself through the first Lakesman.
To be honest I am in the perfect place of fear and excitement right now.