It’s time to put all that training into good use. In Hannah’s last blog before the big day, she tells is all about her final weeks training on the West coast of Scotland – pictures look awful! – and reveals why she needs to say ‘sorry’ to her friends and family.
The race: Ironman UK, Bolton, 20 July
Ironman history: The first of hopefully many
Goal: Finish in 12-13 hours
Race week is here! That’s a sentence that both terrifies and excites me. Having signed up for Ironman in August last year, it seemed like it would never come round but how wrong I was, the time has flown by and now all there is left to do is try and relax a bit before the race and then – just do it!
Since my triathlon I have spent some time on the west coast of Scotland enjoying the change of scenery for my training. Not sure I enjoyed the hills quite as much but to get the best views you have to cycle the biggest hills – including one 90-mile cycle with over 2000m of climbing. Having not expecting to do quite such a long cycle (or quite such a hilly one, the boyfriend told me it was flattish) I ran out of food and more importantly fluids. Thankfully you can get some free Highland Spring water straight from the waterfalls beside the road (Bear Grylls eat your heart out).
Being right beside a sea loch, I managed to get some practice in the wetsuit. That was until I came across several blooms of jellyfish and got chased (some may say followed but I claim it was chased) by seals and then the wetsuit was relegated to swimming around in the bay outside the house and not venturing past the boat mooring.
I feel fine about my running. Running for long periods of time has never been a massive concern of mine. Although I have always hated the first four miles of any run, with or without a cycle before it, after that I find a nice rhythm and I just settle in and plod on. Admittedly my hate for the first four miles is amplified ten fold if there’s a cycle before it but in the race I just need to remember it will get better, then probably worse again and then it will probably only get better 100m out from the finish line.
On the whole I feel ready for Ironman. I think given the fact this is a hobby for me and I have to try and balance a fairly busy non-Ironman life too, I think I have done all I can to prepare for it. Yes, you can always do more but at what cost? I no doubt already owe apologies to my friends and family for either neglecting them, being grumpy, stressed and tired or for just talking their ears off about it. Any more obsessed and I may find myself single and friendless, unfortunately for my family they don’t have a choice and they have to love me regardless!
Training for this has been an experience in itself and I cannot wait for next week when I get to say “I am an Ironman”, only if I pass out, drown or die will I not cross that finish line, failing has never really been an option in my opinion.
Things I have learnt about training for an Ironman
- Remember what you’re training for and when you forget remember how good it will feel crossing the finish line.
- Try not to take your stress out on your friends and family; it’s not their fault you’re insane enough to sign up for a ridiculously long triathlon.
- Get used to eating gels and energy bars and tell yourself you really do like the taste of them, if you lie enough to yourself you might start to believe that a chocolate/caramel/peanut protein bar is just as good as a Snickers.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. At the end of the day there is nothing glamourous about putting Compeed blister pads on your nipples to save from chaffing, talking at length about which chamois cream is the best or wondering whether two Immodiums will be enough to stop you digestively disgracing yourself in public.
Find out how Hannah got on with her first blog as a bonafide Ironman later this week! (Ability to lift her aching muscles to type dependant)