So yet again I have been a while away from this blog. What has happened?
There is only 83 days to go until the main event!!! I keep having OMG moments and getting pangs in my stomach about it, even though I am quietly confident that I can finish the race. I have trained for a long time and I still think I’m improving. The last time I had that butterflies in the tummy moment was when the starting gun sounded for my first London Marathon. I was standing among the 30,000 people with my back to the start line looking at all the faces and not one of them seemed to have that “what the hell am I doing” expression that I was sure was plastered over my face. Looking back it only lasted seconds before the crowd started to move and it was a case of “right get on with it”.
I have also received the 3 months to go email from Ironman Wales which hasn’t helped with the anxiousness and questioning of myself about the amount of training I have don…like they said there is still 3 months to go!! Enough time for me to get fitter tweak my technique and nutrition and do the best I can do. Sometime it feel like the parts of the five stages of grief, maybe by the time the race comes I will have accepted that I have done my training and all I can do is do my best…we shall see.
I have had a few ego boosts over the last few weeks though. Having read Charlie Radcliffe blog about not looking like a climber (from the point of view of others), I have had a few comments from people I know saying that I was looking trim.
Todd a native Chicagoan and a former colleague of mine noticed straight away that I was looking trimmer than when he last saw me. Now usually I would have said “are you saying I was fat” but this time I took the compliment as intended. It’s nice to take the positives.
I am a usurer at a weeding the week before my ironman and having previously given the groom my measurements when I tried on the suit it was far too big. Great feeling for me but more of an inconvenience for Dave!!
I suppose when you’re feeling good and people are telling you you’re looking good it gives you and ego boost.
There is that theory that when losing weight or training it takes 4 weeks for you to notice changes, 6 weeks for your friends and family to notice and 8 weeks for everyone to else to notice. It may well be true as all of a sudden people where telling me that I had trimmed down.
So on to training.
So when I injured my knee I had to rest for a couple of weeks and even now I can only run slowly, no matter what my body is telling me to do. My physio told me that my mind will want to go faster due to my fitness and she was right. However I have been patient and doing what I’m told as I don’t want to see her again. Don’t get me wrong she is friendly and very good but the only reason I would see her again is if I injure myself again.
But here is the thing; I seem to have had a dip in my confidence in my running ability. I have spent more time swimming and on the bike in the weeks when I wasn’t allowed to run and suddenly my running, which I always thought was one of my strongest disciplines, has become my weakest. But is it all psychological? I think it is, as I have been running and nothing has changed in my approach or technique, it is just that I hadn’t done it as much over a two week period. I suppose this is what they mean when talking about mental strength. I don’t want to go into the ironman already thinking badly about the run section. It’ll affect everything that comes before and having hit the wall in the various marathons I have competed in, it’ll be that one extra factor for the voice in my head telling me to give up.
I’m not going to let this stop me. I have to look at all the positives of all three events. There is nothing wrong with my running; I’ll just be a bit slower. My aim is to finish the event not to win it. Time to carry on regardless and not let my head find any negativity.
I have bought myself a new bike which I like very much, and it’s half the weight of my previous one which seems to help me go a little faster. It has tubular tyres which I have to learn to change but no punctures as yet. It also sounds like a train as it has internal cabling which tends to ping against the tube at speed. I quite like it, as it reminds me that my legs are still working.
Last Sunday I was up to 96.58 miles in 5 hours 30 as my long ride, although this was mostly along the flat, previously my long rides have taken in the majority of the hills in the island. It was a hot and sunny morning and I also managed to avoid getting sunburnt so that was a bonus.
I also seem to be getting closer to my nutritional needs during the bike leg. After looking up a lot of different people’s plans and advice, it looks like I require around 90g of carbs per hour to keep up my energy. I have tested out a fair few products and I am happy with what I like and I think that as long as I keep eating on the bike and timing my gels I should be ok.
I know it’s easy to underestimate the course and overestimate my ability but fingers crossed.
My swimming has definitely improved, it helped that my leg had to be rested for running so I was in the pool a lot more. I have also been using paddles and gloves in the pool to try and improve my strength. It’s funny how your arms see to windmill through the water once you take the paddles off.
The sea swimming season has also started and I am looking forward to getting out in the open water. There is a group of open water swimmers that take a dip on Fridays after work and it seems like the perfect opportunity to get used to sea swimming.
I have also been doing a lot of research into what should be in my transition bags, other than what is required by the rules. A few people seem to have lists taped onto the inside of the bag so they don’t forget anything and that seems to be a good idea as I am a list person.
There are also lots of hints and tips about getting through transition as quickly and smoothly as possible. In Ironman Wales there is a steep climb and a 1KM run to T1 so that is a factor I have to take into account.
I have also been thinking about how to carry my supplies as I have a bag for my bike but it can only really carry my gels so carrying the other food I intend to eat will need some thought. I am planning of wearing a cycling jersey as this would be the ideal way to carry the extra food and what I currently do. However my current jersey is a little too big.
Support from family and friends:
I would like once again to thank all my family and friends for all of the support they have shown me over the year so far espicially Maria, who has been relentless in her support for me. There have been mornings where I have just wanted to stay in bed or not wanted to train and Maria has been there to keep me on track.
The both of us will also be riding in the Prudential London Surrey 100 miles event in August.
Annie was in the local Guernsey Press last week as she was also helped by Menfun.
Menfun has been helping local disabled people and those with learning difficulties to go on holidays or take part in leisure activities. They help Annie go on a trip of a life time to Florida and to swim with the dolphins.
For those with learning difficulties it is especially important to have the stimulation of a break from the daily routine. The cost of travelling from this island unfortunately prohibits this from being possible for many. This is where Menfun help by contributing towards these costs. Each year they help many local people whether living at home or within residential care have a break, be it an activity holiday or for the elderly a quiet break away in Jersey. For those more able there is boating on the English canals or the delights of Disneyland Paris. Menfun have also donated wheelchairs and vehicles so people are able to get out and about in the island, such as a trip to town which most of us would take for granted.
To find out more visit www.meunfun.org
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