The krazy life of triathlon

Reflection

Well now that I have had time to recover and reflect on my finish at IMUK, I thought I’d put some thoughts done about the race, my body and the future.

Firstly the race. I am so glad I finished it! I know if I had dropped out, I would never have forgiven myself and it would have constantly worn me down. Stubborness pays out at some point! It’s nice to be able to say I do Ironman triathlons, rather than I am training for one, though it still hasn’t really sunk in that I have finished, and to be honest I don’t think it ever will. The 2 reasons for this are first, I didn’t physiogically push myself to the limit because of me knee. I know I could have pushed harder on the run if I had been able to, and so I don’t feel like I gave it everything. But I finished so I can’t complain! The second reason is I don’t think I’ll have my PIB Post-Ironman Blues/Depression) pick up where I finally realise what I’ve done. This usually happens after an Ironman when the athelte has been training constantly for however many months and then all of a sudden they have this void. Once the elation has dropped off, you can get quite depressed. This is also partly physical as your hormones return to a new normal which can cause havoc to your mood. Once your hormones have stabilised and you have got used to the lack of training, you feel normal again and come to terms with what you have done. However, for the last 9 weeks I haven’t had any structure to my training, and have had a lot of time off due to my crash. I had my massive mood crash after this, and never got back into proper training due to my IM being too close, so I’ve already had mine, which also makes it feel like I haven’t done my race. But I will realise soon enough, and when I have my tattoo done, I’m sure that will help as a constant reminder! The race itself I was quite happy all things considering. The swim was quite a bit slower than I expected, but I have heard that it was substaitally longer than 3.8k so I managed more than that and still no problems with my shoulder, which makes me very happy! The cycling was going well til my knee went, so I can take a lot from that. I do need to practise my pacing though, as I would have blown up if my knee hadn’t have gone I suspect, so that is something to learn from it. I also need to improve my descending (*eek!*) and general endurance for holding a good pace. Finally some extra power to give me that speed boost would be nice too! To run a 5 hour marathon on a busted knee I was actually very surprised by, and was expecting more like 6 during that race. However, I really need to work on my running off the bike, and running properly than just shuffling. My endurance is good, but I need to do speed work to get a good marathon time.

Right well my body is not too bad! My legs are still quite tired, though starting to recover fairly well, and I feel fine in my upper body. I haven’t really slept enough due to making the most of being able to go to bed late, and then realising I have to get up for work, but that should improve. I am certainly making the most of no restrictions on my diet, so am eating anything and everything! I have weight to loose anyway, so what is an extra kilo or so…
My knee on the other hand is ruined! As a result I can’t stretch my right leg, so my calf feels like it has been actually halved in length, so I think baths and a massage are in need. The knee itself is slowly starting to heal up. I have never had a knee injury that has lasted this long, so it is a new experience. The swelling has now gone down, from having it nearly double to size to looking remotely normal, though there is still a lot of liquid in the knee, so it doesn’t bend or straighten very well, and I have a ROM of about 30 degrees. However, I can now sort of walk on it, with the help of my crutches, and it is very, very weak, and I still get the pain in the back of my knee that I had during my IM. So hopefully, the specialist will be able to tell me what is wrong with it on Monday. Though I am not too bothered, as I have a long time to recover and it is not getting in the way of any major races, so I am perfectly happy to let the body do it’s thing, rather then when I did my collar bone.

So the future. Well first I am hooked! Next year I want to do 2 IMs if I can, finances and logistics permitting, and then actually do some local halfs, especially Weymouth, which I hace some unfinished business with! I would also like to do a stand alone marathon and see how I do. Long term, I want to break 5 hours for the bike, though may need a tt bike for that, get close to an hour or break it from the swim and break 3.30 for the IM marathon run, and 3 hours for the very long term as a standalone.
In terms of the next 6 months or so, it all depends on my knee. If it is better in a week, then I’ll do a couple of sprints in September and the Manchester 100 bike ride, to have a bit of fun. Over winter I will then take a bit of a break for triathlon itself, and split the 3 sports up. I am hoping to join a swimming club up here, to get some proper lessons and this will drastically improve my swimming, although will be a killer at first. You never know, I might actually be able to do tumble turns consistenly by the end of the winter! Cycling over the winter will all be about logging the miles, and I’ll go out with the local cycling clubs to get some company and push myself a bit more, and hopefully the same for running. So hopefully by next year I will come back fitter and stronger and faster than ever! Plus I also need to get back down to racing weight, which I never lost since my crash. I’m sure all the long weekend bikes will help, I really need to get used to doing 4+ hours on a bike.

I know people usually treat themselves after they do an IM, but I am going to hold off. I will certainly get some new cycling kit as I need it, new trainers as my are worn and some new sunglasses, because although mine are great, I look a complete twat in them! They are too big and too flat for my face, so stick out far too much. But I really like the Specialized glasses so will get another pair of those, just a different design. The adaptalite lenses are fantastic and mean they can be worn are day and all year. However, I am holding back as next year I am planning on building a tt bike. Come feb/march I will start to test ride some tt bikes to decide what to have. I am probably going all out, so looking at the P3s, transitions, Boardman elite if I can summon up the courage to turn up in that, or another high end one, and then will build it up with SRAM red, and probably get a disc wheel and aero helmet. My 404 front is great and I will probably stick to that, though if my speed improves an 808 front may need to be brought…

In terms of races for 2010, I am looking at lanzarote and switzerland as possible IMs, though I need to sit down at some point and decide. We shall see. However, my 5 year plan is to reach Kona, ambitious but I have 4 years left in my age group, so aim high! Remeber, anything is possible…

That’s enough from me now, my blog will become more sporadic, but plan to keep it updated as I recover from my knee and go for more Ironmans. Plus it gives me something to do when work is slow….

Tim

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