The Final Straight

Posted on July 31, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Tickets, passport, race license, yellow and black lycra – yup, pretty much all packed.

In the morning I need to get the bike and wetsuit into the roofbox, Rory into the car seat and we’re off.  A short jaunt to Newcastle, overnight ferry to Amsterdam and then a leisurely couple of days chilling out travelling down Germany.  I am even very prepared and have just booked a hotel for Tuesday night – turns out since we’ve had a baby I am now doing some long range planning.

So the last two weeks have been taper weeks with another really, really light week to come and this academic precis of the taper that I found on another blog really sums it up for me.  Whether real of imaginary I have had a sore throat, sore hip, sore calf and sore shoulder this week.  It is amazing how quickly you can transition from feeling quite confident to being overwhelmed by the fear that something is going to get in the way of the big event.  Since I dared to dream just over 2 years ago that I could become an Ironman I have been really lucky with only one dose of flu, a torn calf and a dislocated and broken shoulder.  Admittedly the last one resulted in reconstruction surgery and a compulsory couple of month lay off but I think the docs were over-cautious because it wasn’t really that sore.

I had a last valedictory run with Shakey (who spectacularly failed to raise £1250 by this evening – I’ll keep up my side of the bargain with a 3 day extension but the tariff is now £1300!) on Friday and I felt like death on pretty much every step.  And for once it wasn’t Shakey’s droning chat but instead I was probably a bit dehydrated and a bit taper mad.  I actually had a nice 45k ride on Saturday morning and the sun was already out when I went out at 6am.  As a rare change I dumped my heart rate monitor and just rode to see where I got to without getting too puggled.  And then tonight I had another tortuous 9k run where I convinced myself for the last 3k that my achilles was on the verge of snapping.

Having had the bike serviced and a deep tissue massage I am now in my final fine-tuning preparations. On Wednesday night I went to the podiatrist to have my feet given the once over. I like to think I invested in race preparing the ironfeet, however, Shakeys text on the matter was a little more metrosexual – “you had a pedicure you big poof”. She is clearly just jealous because my feet are much prettier than hers.

On Saturday afternoon I foolishly ventured to Tesco.  Tesco, at some point in the past, decided to design it’s trolleys so that the wheels could effect a particularly evil little nick on the back of the ankle and then went about recruiting a bunch of monkeys as customers who walk around picking their noses and scratching their arses and pay no attention where they are pushing the trolley.   Normally, in supermarkets my defensive measures to protect my personal space are very effective with the loud bark being the game winner, however, the thing about the ankle nickers is that if you can’t hear them drooling or scraping their knuckles across the ground they sneak up on you from behind and take you down.  I used far to much energy in Tesco on Saturday afternoon making up for not having eyes in the back of my head.

I faced down another phobia last night when I attended my best man Scrub’s 40th.  I like to deny that I am going to be 40 but meeting up with guys from school  (who have all already crossed the threshold) and hearing The Specials and Echo and the Bunnymen  made it all too real.  However, despite my relative youth it was noted that my illness (having to always be the last to bed and normally forcibly stopping people going to bed so that we can have one last (bottle) of port) has been cured and that I was actually the first person at the whole party to go to bed despite staying at the Scrub’s Perthshire chateau and there being a hog roast and keg of Ossian still on the go!

Everyone keeps asking me when the extension will be finished and it seems that in my life now that unless I write about it on here it hasn’t happened.  The extension has, in real life, been finished for months and is now where we spend all of our time.  I have a photo of the outside but can’t find any of the inside.  Once back from Regensburg I’ll take some.

Its great having a blog because over the next couple of weeks I can put my holiday photos on here and save having to  get a projector and everyone around for the slide show.   However, for race day next Sunday I am putting the blog in Pam’s hands.  She has previous experience from last year, however, time will tell how her real time updates/photos/videos will develop during the course of the day.  If you can’t wait for Pam’s updates and you really have nothing to do next weekend then you can track me on Ironman Live which will hopefully by 6am UK time next Sunday have Regensburg live in the middle of the screen and then follow Athlete Tracking. Don’t worry too much if it doesn’t look like I am moving as it relies on transmissions from timing chips and is frequently referred to as Ironman Dead.  I can confirm that it was working today, however, when I followed a friend, Sean Collins who supported me at the Aberfeldy Half Ironman last year, for the last few hours to complete his first Ironman in 14:00:56.  Sean, you are an Ironman.

I am really looking forward to spending time with Rory while on holiday.  I was put to the test with our first “boys day in” on Saturday as Pam was going out and we had to stay in for a delivery despite the glorious weather.  He sat with me and smiled and chuckled for three hours until about 4 minutes before Pam phoned to see how we were doing and then he opened up the lungs.  2 minutes later he was fine again but wherever his mum was gallavanting she appeared home tout de suite after her suspicions that I couldn’t cope were falsely confirmed by what she overheard on the phone.

With one week to go I picked up the Feb edition of Triathlon 220 magazine which I found in the bottom of a kit bag and it promised ……. “Top Tips to Tame the Ironman”.  Handy, thought I – just what I need a week before an Ironman.  And then I read a load horse crap mumbo jumbo about acting like a champion and you will become one.  Thank you for that false promise Tri 220.  My approach seems simpler and far more effective – train hard and don’t disappear up your own arse.  Hopefully it will work next weekend.

One week to go……..


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Good Luck, will follow progress avidly!


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