Last week I received a parcel that I had to go and pay custom duty on. I didn’t have a clue what it was going to be. Then I remembered – a night after doing my first ironman I decided I wanted a keepsake with my first race time on it. And that is what arrived from America – my first Ironman memories as a lovely necklace.
The #TEamsportpursuit video is here!
Blog from SportPursuit;
“Typically, most sports businesses choose to champion the elite athlete, sponsoring a team of pro athletes in order to endorse and lend credibility to their product. There is no shortage of perks for the modern pro-athlete.
What there is a shortage of is people championing the everyday athlete; the unsung hero. That’s what Team SportPursuit is about – giving unsung heroes the opportunity to feel like a pro-athlete for the day. Our heroes are our members – they are why we do what we do – so we choose to champion them.
We selected four members who applied to be a part of Team SportPursuit at Ironman Bolton 2013 and gave them each a spot in the sold out event. The team was made up of everyday athletes, chosen not just for their physical abilities but because to us they represent what sport should be about; commitment, passion, determination and involvement for personal enjoyment and achievement, not for money or fame.
In the lead-up to the event we followed their journey through the blog diaries, before bringing a film crew to track them through the race weekend. Their skills and abilities were varied, with some having never attempted a triathlon before the big day (even overcoming an inability to swim), and two team members who hoped to qualify for the World Championships in Kona – the mecca of Ironman – one on his seventh attempt.
What resulted were four incredible stories of determination – all with individual goals but each with the same sense of achievement.”
Many thanks to the film crew and producers at Dimension2.
See more from our time at Ironman UK or check out our photo album from the event
BACK DATED FROM 30th JULY;
So it’s the final countdown.
I’ve been treating my followers to a pictorial countdown since day 6….it’s fair to say I’m more than a little bit excited/scared/nervous now!
My last week’s preparation has involved many short very low intensity training sessions and today I’m off for an all over sports massage to keep me nice and supple. Like everyone says, the hard work has been done and now is the time to relax, stretch, eat well and look after yourself as best as possible – oh, and sleep!!
At the weekend my new race wheels arrived, so that was the highlight of my weekend (as well as supporting my club mates at the Milton Keynes Olympic distance race and club BBQ on Sunday). Bike now looks and feels a little bit more ‘racy’, can’t wait to have my full-on ‘bling’ race bike next year, but I guess we cant have everything at once…and tri is definitely not a cheap sport!
So from now until I drive to Bolton on Friday it’s all about the planning. Lists, lists and yet more lists!
The last 48hrs is going to be pretty manic – my timetable looks something like this:
Travel to Bolton and Race briefing / registration at the Reebok stadium (and no-doubt spend some money in the expo).
Practice swim , cycle, and run (all very short) at Pennington Flash (complete by 10am, sort out final details to transition bags)
11:00 – Racking at T1 open for numbers 501-750
12:00 or earlier – T2 racking at the school
Back to hotel for chill out / spa time.
15:45 – Join #TeamSportPursuit at Reebok for interviews, coffee and meeting the team.
Sunday – RACE DAY!!!
03:00 Alarm call
04:30 latest – At Pennington flash to walk transition area again and ‘relax’!!
06:00 Race Start
The last 24-hours is all-important and I have a nutrition-plan that I stick to religiously – my lunch, evening meal and snacks are all planned out and my breakfast on race morning is always the same – I practice this during my long training sessions too. Breakfast is always porridge, a bagel, and a protein shake. I then have a carb-energy drink that I sip up until 20mins before the race, then I have a caffeine gel 5-10mins before getting into the water of the swim.
So on that note – time to start writing more lists…See you at the Finish line!!
BACK DATED FROM 23RD JULY;
Well what a week – the last full training week before taper kicked off with my longest ever ride a week ago on Sunday – a 125 mile sportive. I loved it, it was a beautiful day and the ride was in a lovely area with some amazing views. I used this as a race practice to practice my nutrition again, although I did sneak some extra cake when in the later food stations too! ;o)
The lovely mobile marshal on his bike (above) was chatting to me at around mile 90 and even offered to go ahead to refill my bottles and bring them back to me, bless him! I didn’t take him up on the offer though as I wanted an excuse to have a stop-off! Everyone there (including the two guys I traveled with from my Tri club) looked at me like I was mad when I stuck my trainers on and had a run just after the 125 miles…
My feet were killing me from after around 60 miles, so I’ve bought some new cycle shoes a size larger. I think the extra warm weather and swollen feet were responsible for the pain I experienced, still the pain in my feet took away from the pain in my legs, so I felt ok when I finished the ride and put my lovely comfy running shoes on!
The rest of the week was quite low impact and low on hours really, but then I had my final big day this Sunday, which was a race rehearsal. After a 4am wake up call, my friend dropped me off at Datchet water for a 1 hour swim and then on to T1 at the car and off on a 54 mile around the lovely lanes of Bucks/Herts, ending up at home for T2 and brick session – a painful one at that – 40min run with 30sec pick ups!
Tapering this week means 2 full days of rest, so I’m now twiddling my thumbs and wasting time on the laptop searching for my new race bike for next season – I’m actually tempted to buy my race wheels now so I can get use of them on my current bike at Bolton; everyone keeps telling me the wheels are what makes the most difference, so it couldn’t hurt to put them on the bike I have and then have them ready to go when I buy the new bike in the coming months….
I wonder if SportPursuit have any Tri bikes coming up…
BACK DATED FROM 2ND JULY;
This week has been mad! Last week had been fairly busy trying to juggle the usual work demands, looking after my dog and trying to keep up with friends. I went out with my closest friend on Friday night – fish and chips under the excuse of ‘carb loading’ for a heavy weekend of training (well they do say nutrition is the fourth discipline)! Its got to be said, my weekends are very different now to what they used to be, gone are the booze and late nights and in their place are early nights and 4-5am alarm calls!
Saturday was a long swim at the lake early morning and then my last long run; I did a lovely run along the canal in the sunshine and thankfully lots of sections were shaded, otherwise it could have been a long hot session!
I went to Bolton for the day on Sunday with my friend Tom from the tri-club who is also doing IMUK (top photograph). We did the long ride out to the bike circuit from Pennington Flash and then one loop of the course before returning to Pennington Flash for a brick run – again it was red hot, in the high 20’s all day – loved it!
My race photographs came through from Wimbleball this week too so I pleased to have my hardwork and efforts caught on camera as permanent memories of the day.
I’m still finding the hardest part of training is juggling everyday life, and that planning is the biggest part that can help ease this. My coach gives me my plan 5 weeks in advance so I have to check this against my work diary for any obvious clashes and then try to plan around them. I find that by making my longest training day match with my home admin day helps as I can get an early morning session in, still be at my desk from 9-6 then get an evening session in too. My most demanding work day I will try to match up with rest day so I don’t have to worry about training if there are flights to catch or a very long day in the city lined up. Weekends for me now are all about training – I guess pros can still have a bit of a life outside of training, but to us mere mortal age groupers the weekend is all about training as its the only time we can fit in endurance sessions. Even getting up at 5am on a Saturday you’d be surprised how quickly 9pm comes around and all you’ve done is a swim, a run, a dog walk and maybe a load of washing!!! The garden certainly is not looking at its best!
Right then – for now that’s it; another long weekend ahead with my first ever 100+ ride; I’m doing the 125 mile Wiggle Magnificat!