Monday, 25 April 2011

Getting down to it...

Ok, so it seems we're off to Florida again, so what are the conditions? Well mostly it just concerns racing and the cost of racing. In short Florida will be the only race I'm travelling more than an hour for this year. I've already entered two Burham-on-Sea Triathlons and Taunton Sprint Tri, then there will be Bideford Sprint Tri and the first ever Ilfracombe Sprint Tri which are just around the corner. The only race I'm likely to be doing outside of that is Wolverhampton Marathon as it's just 3 miles from my parents house. This year there will be no White Peak Marathon, no Dorney (or Nottingham) Tri Relays, no Penzance or New Forest half IM distance races as Ironman preperation. There will also be no flashy bike upgrades or coaching, not that any of those were likely anyway. What I've already entered is what I'll be doing and what I've already got is what I'll be doing them with.

Then there is work :-( Last year ahead of Hawaii my training at times came first, this year paying for the trip comes first and if that means working 13-14hrs on my normal Thursday off work when I'd normally be getting a long bike ride in then it's the way it has to be.

So why did I decide to go for it in the end when there are so many financial issues around it? Well firstly I hate wasting money and the race entry is paid for. We'd get some back of course, but nowhere near what it cost. Then of course I decided that whatever I did I'd regret it at some point and if I'd cancelled the race I'd be like a bear with a sore head over the first two weeks of November. Besides that I bought a rediculously expensive bike before Hawaii (which isn't paid for yet!!), what sort of a waste would that be if it only got the opportunity to do one Ironman?
Finally there was the training! It was the whole injury/illness thing that put doubts in my mind. My only training objective of the year was to exceed my monthly training totals for 2010 and for the first 3 months of the year I got nowhere year. When I compare those totals to 2009 though when I qualified for Kona, I'm actually not far away. In fact, if I take the all important (for me) bike time then I'm ahead of my 2009 totals.

The biggest deciding factor was actually this months training. After the troubles of the early months and all the stories you hear about how it takes sooo much longer to recover from anything once the years start piling on I was genuinely worrying whether I'd be able to get fit enough to go reasonably well in Florida. I don't mind going there and blowing up, I'll happily go there and NOT qualify, I don't however want to go there and 'just' go round because I know I'm not in shape to have a decent crack at it. If that's the deal I might as well save myself from the debt.

Finally there's the social side. We've made some friends over in PCB we'd like to catch up with, other crazy friends from Twitter and DailyMile are threatening to come and watch. Heck, why not have a blow out with them one last time before I'm forced to hang my Ironman shoes up.
Now it's just a case of training and so far this month is going well. I'm getting put in my place by my training partners far too often at the moment, but then again I've been putting some hours in (work and training) so I'm fairly tired most of the time. Occasionally though I'll do something which shows there is life there, like Thursday night when I raced the local 10 mile TT.

I'd had hardly any sleep over the previous two nights and had been up since 1am that morning for a 14hr day at work. I literally came home, grabbed some food, put my ZIPP's on my race bike and rode over to the TT. I was a total wreck and when I started I rode 10miles feeling like my quads could tear away from my legs at any point. To add to the fun my saddle came loose after 8 miles and for the last two it was hanging down at a 45 degree angle. For all that I was only 9 seconds off my pb and I beat some good cyclists. It kinda makes up for today when I got totally hammered, I really can't climb hills - I never have been able to though.

So that's it really. Ironman Florida is on and I've got two 11hr training weeks in the bag to build on. There will be low weeks when working 65hrs from Monday to Friday will screw training plans and there will be a lack of racing (and race reports) this year. We just need to get sorting things out now and hope that I can bring some Ironman Fireworks to PCB on the 5th of November.


Rosey said...

Nice work Iain, good luck with the injury free training.

Iain said...

Thanks Nick. I keep scaring my self though and realising I'm not doing anywhere near enough when I see your stats ;-)

Justine Lam said...

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Justine Lam
Community Outreach