Well I think it’s safe to say the moral of the story is to not do it! I had been ill in the few days prior, night sweats, dizziness, headaches, cramps, dodgy stomach and generally feeling pretty rubbish, but having spent most of Saturday in bed, and gone for an easy hour on the bike, I felt ok and decided I should be ok to race. Sunday morning I felt ok, so headed off to Mikes for the race, having only managed half my breakfast, a sign something was up.
I don’t remember most of the ride really, I know that I was seriously struggling to keep up with Mike on the smallest of climbs and anything that got my heart rate up was causing me problems, so he went off ahead, and I carried on for what was to be a very long day! Le Terrier is only 125k, but with 3000m of climbing, its not an easy ride! I stayed in a comfortable pace for me, which involved going very slowly and being overtaken by most people, and just struggled round. The main problems I had were, I felt flat and tired, and couldnt sustain any power at all, and my stomach just didn’t want any food. I tried gels, energy drink, jelly babies, bars and all the food at the stops, but I just wasn’t hungry, and eventually stopped eating as I felt full and bloated, despite the small amount I had had.
It wasn’t a bad ride, I struggled through but I just wasn’t quick. It was basically good fat burning exercise, with some horrible climbs thrown in that sapped what little energy I had left. At around 95k I decided I needed to eat, so forced some Jelly Babies, drink and a gel down me. 5k later we hit a big climb, and I promptly threw it back up! My stomach was having any of it, so I was left to do the rest without food. Not bad training, but bad given my situation.
However, I finished it, and if I can manage 6 and a half hours on a bike feeling that bad, with very little food, at least I have some fitness. Fresh, I should be fine. It took me a while to notice, but once I had got home, showered, tried to eat a bit more, and got into bed to watch some tv and recover, it occured to me that I hadn’t actually peed that day! 6 and a half hours on the bike, and I hadn’t been to the toilet 2 hours after! Not good, turns out my kidneys weren’t too happy with the stress and went on strike for a bit! By the evening I had got my appetite back a bit and had a pizza. Mistake. I spent the night throwing it up! So I took Monday off work and slept, and have spent the last few days, trying to stay hydrated and get something into my body.
I have no idea what it was, maybe food poisoning, or a stomach virus but I seem to be over the worst of it now and I am eating proper meals again and they’re staying down! I went for a run this evening, and although I didn’t feel 100%, I am definitely getting better and it was nice to be back training.
Obviously this puts my Ironman build into a bit of a problem, given that I will miss at least 2 weeks of my main build. Not exactly ideal, though given the good base of fitness I’ve built up, I should be ok. I will spend the rest of this week easing back into training, and then start my build next week.
I don’t know if the race pushed back my recovery, probably not given my stomach didn’t really get any worse (or better) and I haven’t had any more fever since, but one thing’s for sure, I won’t be racing when I feel like that again!
So with this year having the focus on actually doing an Ironman properly, I have made a few changes to the training plan as I have gone along. The first of these was to drop Lymm Triathlon from the schedule, which was mainly due to the fact that I had missed 2 weeks of training and needed to log miles in my legs to prepare for the Fred, and smashing myself on a sprint the week before probably wouldn’t have had the best effect!
With the Fred out of the way, I have moved into concentrating on my running this week, running every day (except yesterday) and gradually increasing the length of each session. With the switch to the Newtons, I was told to expect lots of calf and foot pain as I adapted to running ‘properly’ but I haven’t had a single twinge at all! Personally I put this down to doing all my athletics at school barefoot on a grass track and wearing flimsy flip flops throughout the year, when it really probably isn’t sensible to! Looking at the tread pattern on the bottom of them, I’m pleased to see that there is hardly any wear on the heels, and most of it is on the midfoot lugs, which means that my technique is getting to where it should be, though I need a lot more miles before it really begins to flow.
With the Beaver Half distance coming up in two weeks, the focus is getting myself back into decent long distance shape. The Fred Whitton, and all the training for it has really helped pick up my bike shape, though I need more endurance work of this to last the full IM and still have good legs after. So I have entered Le Terrier and planning lots of big rides to get used to riding long.
My running is going well, and I just need to get myself into decent half marathon shape for the Beaver, so it will be a big week next week, which a couple of 2 hour runs. Finally swimming is going well, and I am feeling good in the water. I need a bit of speed work to pick it back up after the break, and then to just get used to the distance, by increasing the distances to 4k, and a couple of 4k swims!
So it is 10 weeks to go until the big day this weekend!!! I am geting ready, by heading off to the Peaks for a training weekend later today, which will consist of 3 runs, 2 long bikes, a swim and a core session. Then I have a two week period to get myself ready for my (first ever!) middle distance race, then the usual 5 week build, 3 week taper. Just need to put a training plan together to work out how to fit 25+ hours in a week!
Hope training is going well,