It’s been far too long.

Posted on June 15, 2011. Filed under: baby, bike, cycle, geek spot, Half ironman, Half marathon, ironman, ironman regensburg, joggers nipple, knockburn, knockburn middle distance, Pentlands, regensburg, Rory, run, shakey, swim, Threipmuir, triathlon, wetsuit |

I am pretty sure when I made my last post that I said I would be updating the blog more regularly.  Sheer naivety on my part!  It turns out that combining being a dad, training like a demented monkey and my budding career as a serious sports writer stretches even my multi-skilling to the max.

I literally haven’t logged on to the blog since the last post and I have had over 100 hits – so I can only assume that either people are waiting with bated breath for the next installment or have a morbid curiosity to see whether I have actually managed to kill myself this year.  There is one other group of dirty pervs that may be dropping in to see if I am publishing the mileage charts and wish to wallow in my data but they will be sorely disappointed as I never seem to have my mileage records and excel charts in the same place at the same time.

The boyo is growing up fast and is now not looking like a baby any more and my daddy duties have now expanded from the nightly bath to the bedtime bottle.  I am up at 6 every morning to try and squeeze in some training but if I hear anything more than a murmur I take it as a signal to step in and look after my wee boy.  I get him dressed most mornings but I am pretty sure as soon as I leave the house he gets “re-styled”.  At the moment we get more smiles than tears but we also seem to get more than our fair share of wind.  Upwards, downwards and any which other way he can manage always at high pressure and damn near always at full volume.  I am pretty sure that no-one is buying Pam’s protestations that the noise is coming from that cute wee thing!

“So, how is training going?” I hear you say.  A mixed bag really but in summary ……. the swim – overly complacent (but at least I know it!), the bike – good (focus on your weakness they say), the run – fair (this is my biggest injury threat so I make a conscious decision to take it easy).

Firstly then, the swim.  It must be about 4 weeks since I was last in a pool which I know isn’t so smart.  Although swimming is my strength I have to finish the swim with about 12-13 hours of energy in reserve for the remainder of the Ironman so I really need to be getting my ass in the pool to build some mileage in now to make that a reality.  The good news, on the other hand though, is that open water swimming is now well underway and I am battering out about a mile once per week in rapidly warming water – tonight the penguins were even prepared to lend us their scarves.

I have included my GPS trace from tonight’s swim because although I have some swimming pictures you may be reading this while eating and my pics include people in shiny neoprene wetsuits which should never be combined with food.  It is really interesting to see my GPS trace as it gives me some reassurance that I swim straight and that I will not go one metre further than the 3.8k Iron distance.  I have actually swum into some people who have set off parallel to me and then shot off at a right angle in front of me – wherever they swim it will be a long day in the water!

This week I will get back in the pool for at least 2 sessions a week and I will now really start to up my wetsuit miles so that I finish the Regensburg swim bright and refreshed ready for a peddle and a jogette.

On the biking front the Sultry Temptress has now been unleashed on the world.  After  many hours on the Temptress on the turbo over the winter I decided that there was no chance whatsoever my ass could do 112 miles on that saddle so I bought a triathlon specific saddle and went all alpha male and changed it myself the night before my first “ultra ride”.  Remarkably, all went well although the new saddle has changed the set up of the bike so I am still tinkering to get a position that will be comfortable for up to 8 hours.  I now have two major rides in the bag – a 93mile drag from Dunfermline to Denholm in the Borders passing through 5 regions (Fife, Midlothian, West Lothian, South Lanarkshire and Scottish Borders) against a howling headwind followed 5 days later by a 97mile hilly route with 1800m of climbing to sunny Hawick.  Unfortunately it wasn’t sunny – the last hour of the ride was in persisting rain and intermittent hail – you may wonder why I didn’t power through the 97 and do my first century and the honest answer is that although I had it in my legs I had lost sensation in my fingers, hands and feet and I was starting to develop a shiver that could have knocked me off my bike.

In-flight entertainment options are limited in the Temptress’ cockpit

It is actually quite bizarre that although both of these rides were about 7 hours the time actually passed pretty quickly.  You watch the countryside passing by and you have to constantly think about gearing and nutrition.  Your chimp brain takes over in ultra endurance events for sure and you have no brain space for anything else.

There is actually a poignant story that goes with the 97mile ride.  It was one year to the day that I had taken the Temptress out for our first long distance date and in a blinding moment of incompetence had spread a substantial amount of my DNA down the tarmac of the B711, dislocated and broke my shoulder.  Having more interest in my appointment with a beer than the searing pain that would have floored a Navy Seal on morphine I jumped back on my bike and completed a further 10miles.  Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t some kind of pilgrimage – I was actually just going to the same place at the same time as I do every year (but not always on a bike) but I did get a chill down my spine as I passed the scene of the accident.  The main reason for that was the rain running down the back of my neck but it is safe to say that I went down the long steep hill with my hands on the brakes rather than my carefree descent yelling wheeeeeeeeee last year that left me one arm short of a hug.  The sorry tales of woe and the subsequent shenanigans were initially covered in these posts last year.



On the run I am doing just enough to pull off a half marathon in July and a walk/run marathon after a 2.4mi swim and 112mi cycle warm up in August without getting injured.  If Shakey manages not to forget her trainers we get some mid-week lunchtime runs in and then a long run on my own.

For those that were concerned I have now manage to locate some man-shorts which has made a lot of things more comfortable but I still do have two pairs of large ladies shorts that are a bit big for me and fit Shakey.  I have taken some advice (foolishly and against my better judgement) and got myself a cap  (OK, I should admit now that it is white and silver and Pam likes it – for herself, not me I suspect) for running the marathon.  Apparently it reflects the sun but, at the moment, I feel a bit gauche wearing the my shiny new chapeau.

Anyway, this weekend sees my first event of the year at the Lochore Sprint Triathlon – a mere trifle at 750m swim, 26k bike, 5k run.  Old Shakey is threatening to compete if she remembers her trainers/bike/goggles and may even make her first blog appearance of the year.  In a surprising turn of events I helpfully pointed out to the organisers that they had put me in the wrong category.  After several emails back and forth it turns out that I am actually a veteran.  Better get some wine gums for the bike…..


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2 Responses to “It’s been far too long.”

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Not long to go now, Dougie. Hope the training’s going well.


Cheers Gary – are you doing long distance this year or doing something far more sensible?


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