It’s that time of year again. During the summer I reduce the number of events I take part in, have a bit of downtime with family, but also add in a challenge or two. I spend most of the year in my comfort zone pacing others to hit PB’s, which I absolutely love to do. I don’t want to risk overdoing it and risk my ability to hit desired times, so I am careful throughout the year not to over do it. During my down time I take the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and really push myself, and for me that is Ironman.
We all have our own challenges, whether that is running your first 5k or marathon (see blog about running your first marathon HERE); taking on your first Triathlon or heading out to do an Ironman. Our journey is different for us all. I enjoy taking part in Ironman as it takes me to the extreme of endurance, it is bloody hard work. I won’t be breaking any records, and I won’t be threatening a Kona slot any time soon (which is a long term ambition), but for now I will be completing another Ironman.
Every Ironman I have taken part in has been a fantastic experience. The whole atmosphere and support is just incredible. It is good to be alongside both elites, and those hoping to escape just inside cut offs. It really doesn’t matter if you are fighting for a Kona slot, or if you are the last person across the line, each person who completes an Ironman is amazing in my eyes, and I can’t wait to go and do it all again.
After packing my kit to make sure I have everything (I’m hiring a bike), I’m feeling very nervous. I’m not the strongest swimmer, and will be towards the back. I can keep going on the bike, but I’m not the most powerful. I am fairly good at the run at the end, but by this point my body will be tired and beat up. I know I’ve not trained enough, I know it will be hard, but this all adds to the challenge. I can’t wait to see where my body is at.
My first Ironman was in Weymouth and I really struggled on the bike. I was so scared about not meeting the cut off, but I did it. I was in agony for the entire run, but I kept going. You can read more HERE.
In Kalmar for my second Ironman I was a little more prepared. The atmosphere in Kalmar is amazing and I definitely want to go back again. It was particularly windy in 2017, and this made the bike harder than it needed to be, but I took over 40 minutes off my time, so I was happy with this. Read more HERE.
In Hamburg I felt good. But after thinking it was going to be non wetsuit swim, I was frustrated that the swim was cancelled. Some would say this doesn’t count, but actually having a 5.5k run at the start made it harder on the body in the end. I had mechanical issues with the bike, but came in with an hour PB. It’s hard to tell what that would relate to with a swim, and no mechanical issues. You can read more HERE.
After being nervous about a non wetsuit swim I embraced it and entered Ironman Vichy which often is non wetsuit. I’m just as nervous now, but I wanted to confront the fear. My training hasn’t been great once again, but now it’s time to see what I can do.
First goal is just to finish and make it my 4th Ironman finish.
Second goal is to beat 13:30, which will be a PB for full Ironman (including swim).
Third goal is to get sub 13, I really want to be here at least here.
Forth goal is to get a PB, so sub 12:30, I know I can do this, but it will be very tough.
Fifth goal is to get sub 12, this is my gold target. To be honest I don’t really expect to achieve this, but it’s good to have a stretch goal.
I could go on, all the way to Kona slot, but I know it will be a fair few years, and a lot of training later before I can even consider this. For those that dont know about Kona, it’s the championship race in Hawaii, and to get a place you need to qualify as top in your age group. The day after the event the place is offered and is rolled down untill someone takes it, so really Anything is Possible.
Just one week to go and I will be there, wish me luck. What’s your next big challenge?