Wednesday, 30 June 2010
I do keep promising a more in-depth reflection on my Lanzarote experience but still don't really know how I feel about the whole Ironman thing. Not qualifying for Hawaii still plays on my mind pretty much every day, much more than I thought it would... perhaps a good performance at The Outlaw on August the 8th will quiet the frustrations that I'm feeling? In 2009 I wasn't prepared mentally for breaking nine and a half hours only to be cheated out of my slot and in the same way I hadn't really considered this year that I'd fail to deliver on the run when 'only' needing a 3:30 marathon to book my plane ticket.
I have, of course, considered having another crack... either at a race later this year or sometime in 2011... but I only have to remind myself of the unacceptable sacrifices that I repeatedly made this year in order to get into Kona 'shape', for those thoughts to rapidly be over turned. My time as a competitive Ironman athlete will certainly come to an end on August the 8th where a great run off a solid bike will hopefully leave me happy that throughout my short triathlon career I placed all my multi-sport eggs firmly in the Iron basket.
So... how's it looking...
Well, last year I came back from Lanzarote a little too soon and despite some good performances between then and Switzerland I never quite felt recovered. This time I've taken things a little easier and as such am a little heavier and not quite as 'match-fit' as I was but there is certainly a good level of base fitness which with a little sharpening over the next month should see me hit the start line in Nottingham ready to rock.
My chronic nerve issue which was hugely affecting my swimming seems to have calmed down significantly and yesterday I managed a set of 10 x 300m at an average of about 4:35... pb shape would be 4:20-4:25 off a little less recovery but certainly a step in the right direction.
On the bike I've hit a 30:01 at the Pool Triangle TT which is my third fastest time ever and only five seconds off PB and this weekend gone I hit 1:58:54 for a 50 mile TT which although not quite a PB (seven seconds short) was the result of perhaps the worst my legs have ever felt in a bike race so on a good day I'd expect to knock a couple of minutes off that... 1:56? We'll find out on Saturday when I have another crack at the same course ;)
Running? It's running off the bike that matters really, as I found out in Lanzarote... at last weekend's Allerthorpe sprint triathlon I didn't exactly set the world on fire with my 19:19 5km run but I'd hit the 20km bike as a full-on TT effort and for the first time in a long time (perhaps ever) no-one came past me on the run, where I moved from 7th to 6th overall... and felt great.
Overall, things are gathering momentum as The Outlaw draws closer... I should hit my first 20 hour training week this week, running off the bike will become the norm and my swim volume is returning gradually to pre-2010 levels. I've got more of an intensity based focus this time with at least one race per week scheduled for the next month and fingers crossed my weight will start with a '6' before too long ;) This weekend I've got another 50 mile TT, the 10th is Ripon Olympic Tri, the 18th is the YCF 100 mile TT (where I'll be giving it everything to get close to four hours), then on the 24th I'm doing an Olympic Triathlon at Castle Howard. In between those there's a mix of Pool Triangle time trials, LBT aquathlons and perhaps a ten mile TT plus the odd parkrun thrown in for good measure.
It's great to be back... but even greater to see the light at the end of what has been an amazingly exciting, challenging and life-changing adventure...