Ironman or bust…….the 2011 challenge

Posted on January 27, 2011. Filed under: aberfeldy, man flu, regensburg, swim, triathlon |

I am probably only writing this because I am sick.  And I mean proper sick – I went to the doctors today and ended up with pills that are yellow and red and about the size of AA batteries.  I must read the instructions on how to use them.  Illness is pre-occupying me so I may come back to it later.

So it’s back, it’s blue and green and it’s the story of a new challenge.  As I threatened in September I am now on the countdown to completing an Ironman before I am 40. I found the blog cathartic last year and touchingly Pam got it printed into a book for me as a Christmas present.  I now look on it a bit more affectionately than I did last year and it makes sense, therefore, to do it again as a record of the highs and lows and to primarily to keep my training honest.  As I am going twice the distance this year I can’t promise anything about the quality but I can guarantee there will be plenty of lycra and rubber, lube and chafing, blood, sweat and tears along the way.  As one further cast iron guarantee I am prepared to make now, I will stick to the orthodox but undignified lycra in my Ironman challenge and not follow the lead of last year’s winner in Regensburg who opted for the ladyboy lycra bikini combo.  Fast?  Yes, for sure.  Illegal? It damned well should be!!

The journey started a few weeks ago now on the 1st December and to be brutally honest the blog has trailed a bit behind because (a) I was absolutely knackered after a long hibernation and (b) I was in a state of shock at how unfit I had managed to become in my “recovery phase”.  The biggest pyschological challenge (apart from going to the gym, running, cycling and vegetables) was getting back into the pool.  If you are joining the blog late, here follows a brief synopsis of all the blah in the extensive archive below.  In early June last year I managed to demonstrate advanced roadside exfoliation and came off the Sultry Temptress (she is a bike) at high speed and dislocated and broke my shoulder.  At the start of October I had reconstruction surgery and between June and the end of December I only swam 4 times – a test plunge at Lochore where a man shouted at me for swimming in a huge empty loch because I might get hit by an invisible boat, a sprint triathlon in Ayr where the water had been especially piped in from the Arctic Circle, a Half Ironman in Aberfeldy where a polar bear stole my wetsuit and, the less said the better, the “Great” Scottish Swim.   Well, reassuringly I can still swim although I “click” and “crunch” a little more than I used to – in my first swim back I knocked off an easy 1200m and kept going back to the pool with trepidation waiting for a dislocation.  And everything was going perfectly until mid last week when I was struck down by a damned near terminal dose of the manflu.  As I recover I found the motivation to get this bloggist thing going again.

The biking has all been indoors in the garage on the turbo trainer.  The turbo really should have been deployed by the CIA to break the most hardened terrorists – it is truly the most boring thing you can do apart from cricket.   It is the human equivalent of the hamster wheel where you jack up the back wheel of your bike, peddle like a demon, sweat buckets and move not one inch.  A bikist on a bike that sits stationery in a sweaty slick can never look cool either – all lycra’d up with nowhere to go.  Look here, even the suave, debonaire and eligible Cav can’t pull off the turbo trainer with panache!

And running?  Well there’s a funny thing.  I eventually decide it’s time to get my ass in gear because IM Regensburg isn’t getting any further away and 3 foot of snow literally falls overnight.  So, I go to the gym and use the treadmill for just about the first time ever and guess what?  It’s just like a human hamster wheel!!  Eventually, I get outside and I find myself running in 8 miles in deepest Aberdeenshire without my tights (I can’t believe I typed that and then debated in my head whether it was better than leggings!!!?) which made me feel like a really stupid boy.

So despite all the setbacks I manned up and took it on the chin.  I was on fire.  For sure, after my first month of training I was heading towards a sub 10 hour ironman finish (OK, you do get really delirious on the turbo).  And then karma takes aim and hits me square on with one of the worst ever recorded cases of manflu.

The “A little bit about me……” link at the top of the page will lead you to an explanation of what Ironman is and an explanation of my “uncharitable” intentions this year.  I hope to keep this alive with at least a weekly update through to August and a race report afterwards for no other reason than to make Pam’s Christmas present shopping straightforward next year.  I will add bits and bobs as we go along and I have even thought about releasing the inner geek and maybe putting some graphs in. Feel free to leave messages of support, banter and abuse in the box below and if I contract another illness I may even respond.  If you want an email when it is updated you can subscribe by putting your email address at the top left of the screen.  I promise I won’t spam you – I won’t have the strength.

So last thing last – my totals so far are as follows (and don’t look like climbing until the doc is finished with me)….

Swimming – 9.6km

Biking – 329.6km

Running – 130,1km

Hankies – hundreds.


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7 Responses to “Ironman or bust…….the 2011 challenge”

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Good post – sounds like you’ve had an interesting few weeks. I know exactly what you mean about the hamster wheel….errr I mean the treadmill.

Look forward to reading more as you edge close to IMRgb.


Sat at my desk laughing out loud. Loving the return of the blog!!


Oh my god did your nephew give you his manflu??? He is on his 2nd dose of it now!


Ah the Silver Fox returns!!!! I’m thinking you’d suit the “tankini” and shorts combo as an alternative to the “mankini” option. Looking forward to hearing your training progress (especially in April when you have to combine with night feeds and nappy changes)
Lots of Luck xx


Tell you what Viv (loving your pseudonym though). Mrs C says she will cover for me until August. I keep telling people and they burst out laughing!


…it made me chuckle too ! You are so going to be in a major brownie point deficit situation by August mate!


“Jeeeeesus ! I had to do a double take at that first pic & then I thought phew! It’s it’s ok it’s not him ! (was about to fire off a food parcel!)

Some folk never learn do they! & it’s all about to get a lot harder to find that time…trust me !

Again, we all wish you the very best of luck!

P.s You don’t think our bodies are connected in any way do you. That 5 stone you lost, I seem to have found it, if you want it back”


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