The week of the 17th of June was a busy one:
• Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday involved me going to work, 1 and a half hours of commuting each way. Getting home in the evening and making tea, and then packing boxes ready for a house move.
• Thursday involved an early morning commute on the train to Kettering for a Brain Injury conference – then getting home, having tea and packing boxes before an hour drive to Lincoln.
• Friday involved me moving boxes from both Lincoln and Nottingham to our new house that we’ve bought in Leeds.
• Saturday involved building furniture, moving boxes up 3 floors and registering my participation at YorkshireMan Triathlon up in Ripon.
• Sunday involved a 5am start, travelling back up to Ripon and then a 1.9km swim in a dirty river, a 90km hilly bike ride and then finally a half marathon run.
A busy week with no rest and plenty of stress. But a week where I finished a half distance triathlon. My biggest triathlon yet, one that [except the branding and price tag] is an half IronMan – something people often train for years to complete alone.
I certainly didn’t feel my freshest as I hopped into the murky river water, which given the last few days is understandable, but after sprinting across that finish line I’m the proudest I’ve been yet for mine and Massey’s accomplishment. We made the ridiculous decision a month back to enter this race because of the sheer size of it, it would be the event closest to the actual IronMan distance in July and a real test for how far we’ve come. It was a decent price for a triathlon (a very expensive sport may I add) and relatively local. And I’m pleased to say it’s filled us with confidence.
Without the 5am starts and late evenings of training we’d have never managed to accomplish what we have on this Sunday. Without the constant moaning to my other half, the travelling support from her and my family and the motivation from my fellow IronMan trainee and partner-in-crime We’d have never been able to complete what we now have. We’ve swam, ran and cycled together. We’ve supported each other through house moves, broken bones, tough hill climbs and aching arses. We’ve even lubed each other up and slid each other into our wetsuits (much to my grandads dissatisfaction). And now here we stand, half distance triathlon medal holders.
6 months ago I didn’t own a road bike, I hadn’t really cycled on the roads at all nor did I enjoy it. I ran (more of plodded) occasionally around a lake on my lunch at work and although being a comfortable swimmer, I’d only swam on holiday. I’d have rather shit in my hands and clapped than even thought about combining the 3 disciplines together. How far we’ve come.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s still work that needs to be done. In fact, the actual IronMan distance is double what we did on Sunday, but we’ve already put 80% of the training in. I’ve planned to run an 18 miler, a 20 miler and maybe a 24 miler before the big race in Hamburg. I’ll do a few more cycles with one being a 100 miler and I’ll swim the 2.4 mile distance twice more in a lake or river. But these are all distances I’ve done before, that I can control and I can manage. The biggest difficulty now is the fact that the sun is finally coming and rather than training I want to be boozing, but after this weekends ale trail there’ll be no more of that for a month (I admit I have been saying this since January so don’t hold your breath). I do also need to work on the faces I pull for the camera during the races, I seem to look like a squirrel that’s had its anus probed.
We’ll continue to keep you up-to-date before the big day, we’ll be training hard and having a final push to raise money for charity too. And that reminds me to remind you, remember all of this sacrifice, this pain and this exhaustion is to raise money for Movember charity. If you haven’t already please do donate, it doesn’t matter how much or how little, it all counts!
And for those asking, or who haven’t read the previous blog, Marc did pick his first win up of the series. We both managed to complete the half-distance in under 7 hours, an incredible achievement as it is, but Mr Massey finished in an incredible total time of 6 hours 10 minutes and myself in a gentleman’s m 6 hours 49 minutes. That makes the score 3-1 to me, and don’t get me wrong, it kills me to say that, but to me the fact we completed this latest triathlon against all the problems and doubt we’ve faced overshadows any friendly competition that we have between us.
IronMan Hamburg – we’re coming for you.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/theroadtohamburg – our link for your donations!
And another huge thank you to our corporate sponsors who have donated to our cause and provided products that’s ensured we can succeed. Thank you Reynolds Associates, Minster Law, Premex Group and Mobile Doctors.