So it was time to start thinking about the Cotswold Classic organised by 113 events https://www.113events.com . A half Ironman distance triathlon set in the countryside and lakes of Cirencester in the Cotswolds. Carefully selected I might add because it is FLAT FLAT FLAT!! Not that it made it by any stretch of the imagination.
My training continued and my hatred of running remained. I worked hard however, by putting some decent miles in on the bike and continuing with my regular swimming.
On the big day, with some experience of competitive open water swimming, I was now full of confidence in the swim and had my game plan. I got in the water, headed to the front and stayed to one side. During the wait for the off, I swam and got warmed up, acclimatising to the water and calming myself down. I repeatedly told myself to swim to my own pace, “Don’t do off too fast, Steady for the first 200m and settle in before picking up the pace”.
The gun went off – swim started and I stuck to my plan. Exiting the swim I was buzzing with excitement. Stage 1 done, just as planned and quicker than predicted by a few minutes.
Onto the bike and away I went. Reminders on the handle bars to eat and drink, which I did. I settled down to a steady pace and worked my way around the 90km course. I was really pleased with my perormance and even managed to get the fella drafting behind me to back off (Its amazing what a squit of your water bottle over the head can do). Now I’m not one for cheating, but if you’re going to cheat and use me to draft, then at least pop in front every now and again, do some owrk and give me a break!!!
As I dismounted off the bike, it was timme for a quick high 5 with the kids and time to don the trainers. Now this was something I really wasnt looking forward to. 13 miles to do on foot. Not my best discipline, I built for rugby not marathons!!!
The Dreaded Run
My plan had been to run (or plod) as far as possible and when the time came for a walk, just accept it, recover and get running again. To my surprise, the street were packed with supporters around every corner!! NOW WHAT!!! I can’t have people see me walking, so on I plod and sooner than expected I was crossing the line with my kids running alongsode me. Smiles across all our faces.
I did it!! 6hrs 12mins and there I was hoping for sub 7 hours. I smashed my target. Could I really be thinking of doing a full ironman? Weirdly I was!
Time for a BBQ and a few beers. Next morning, I was up, feeling good and buzzing with my achievement, but then next day………OUCH. I couldn’t get out of bed, I was in agony and saying to my wife “Never again”.
The pain soon wore off and thoughts of an Ironam started again.
This is where my Ironman journey really began, but was brought to an abrupt halt when I firtst broke my ankle, then having recovered, my shoulder dislocated riding in the woods on my MTB with the kids.
2016 brought on a shoulder stabilisation operation and 12 weeks of no exercise. Ironman entered whilst sitting at home off work bored in a sling. No more rugby for me now I have 5 pins in my shoulder. Ironman Wales will give me the motivation to recover! http://eu.ironman.com