Ironman UK Plan – Rediscovering My Dark Place
I go into my 6th Ironman in probably my worst ever shape and with 3 fractured bones…so not good! At Henley, I was extremely fatigued but had a massive base and was extremely fit. This time, I had a fairly good base, mainly due to 2 big training camps and as much training as I could as I adjusted to full-time work. But my plan of having a nice 6 week build were trashed with my crash and replaced by a week of nothing, 5 weeks of mind-numbing shorter turbo sessions, 2 weeks of running and 5 swim sessions… I haven’t ridden more than 120k since Malaga in April, and don’t think I’ve run more than an hour and a half since Challenge Henley!
My entire motivation for racing is to prove a point. When I first saw my specialist, and told him I had an Ironman in 5 weeks, he said “No you don’t” and that was the lightbulb off in my head to complete it. But for the first time I don’t know if I can physically complete it. Whilst I know I can drag my body through any amount of pain due to lack of fitness, if I cannot physically hold myself up on my bike, I can’t finish. I’m hoping that somewhere under my stubbornness is a sensible voice before I do myself any serious damage!
I had a swim this morning and it was quite promising, I actually felt pretty good in the water! My arm is slowing getting stronger, and there is a hope it might last the whole swim! Along those lines, I played a visit to the Rocktape stand, and they have taped my wrist and elbow up to give it a bit of support tomorrow, so a big thanks to them! I also got out on my race bike for the first time in 7 weeks today, and I’ve forgotten how different it is! I’ve only ridden on the ISM saddle and in my new position once out of the turbo, so hardly ideal preparation! But hopefully all of those hours on the turbo will have helped somewhat. My wrist was a little painful when sat up, but I think I’ve found a position to hold the bars where it doesn’t hurt, though I doubt I’ll be thinking that 160k in!
So the plan for tomorrow – well, there isn’t one really! With no time pressures, I am determined to try and enjoy my race, so if you’re out supporting and see me looking miserable, remind me that I am actually doing what I love! In an ideal world, I would like to be close to the hour for the swim, but I doubt my elbow will allow me, so if I make the cutoff, I’ll be happy! I guess the bike will probably be similar to last years 6:15, though I suspect at 120k in, things are going to go downhill! The run is anyones guess! I’m hoping that somewhere in my legs is the memory of 35 hour training weeks and years of endurance, and they come through, but I am mentally prepared to hit a rough patch and visit some dark places. If the crowds are anything like last year, that will provide a much needed lift! Speaking of spectators, if you see me, I’m number 123, but will be easy to spot with my colourful tape, double tubigrips and blue cast on in the run! You can also track me at http://www.ironmanuk.com or http://www.ironmanlive.com
Finally a quote, which has become something of a motto for me:
Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.