lesson 1 applied. as soon as i get confirmation of a place next year, its on everyones diary and clear on the context so no surpises. get the weight gone so the fear is managed. get the fiz up so the long is doable at pace. *not racing snails here
lesson 2 in progress. 60lbs lard to be exited by christmas ( see lesson 1 ); proper century outdoor riding by october. proper marathon distance running by march . plenty of brick sessions. etc. all before we get to april next year and the pirate DIY as quality control. evidenced by the weight, the sessions outside and activities to prove readiness long before being ready is too late
lesson 3 - no more kit needed till a medal is earned. its not about the money. even if its pretty, pretty cheap, free. well maybe another bike. but just one. not expensive though. simple road bike. eBay even. so the race bike can be rested.
lesson 4 - something long to work on nutrition. cramp sucks worse than everything else. century sportives? long distance TT ? half marathon before winter ? something longer tougher then olympic tri.
back down into rugeley and then along, past the wolseley arms ( a pub I've done too much dating in ) and then I'm at T2.
hop of the bike and bugger me, my legs are lead.with nails in. walked from racking to T2, changed. ( sat down and shorts/tshirt/stretch/socks/shoes/ )
Lesson N+++ : don't sit down, run in your bike shit IDIOT.
hobbled out of T2 and thought, right, walk the first flat bit - get some life back into the legs.
tried to run/jog and no life in the legs. cramp and leadness persist. kept walking. walking. lots of encouragement from supporters and competitors alike. kept walking.tied running. failed. kept walking. I've got 3hours to walk 13 miles. reached the hill and slowed down. kept walking. its embarrassing now. need to run. can't get any response from the legs.
walked into shrugborugh. realise I've walked 4miles in 90 minutes. so thats another 3hrs and a 930 finish. i promised the OH/Family I wouldn't run. I can't hide ( explain ) another 3hrs before calling home.
pyschology is shot. I'm into excuse mode .( i promised the OH/Family I wouldn't run. I can't hide ( explain ) another 3hrs before calling home. I can't finish now anyway. Ill not possible make the 9mile cutoff in an hour and will be stopped anyway. ill just be more crippled if I keep going and that will be a 'never again' conversation with OH/family. I have an important interview on tuesday so must not be crippled for that........and i stop .
and its over. and ...... well. its a tad shit. and i want to disappear.
I don't want to collect my stuff. and I really don't want to go into the finishers tent to get rid of the timing chip and see the t-shirts and medals and the smiling faces. and i don't want to be sat in the car in the log jam for an hour.
Lesson N++++++ : Never, Ever stop when you don't have too. ever. you arse.
and I will be back. And next time, i finish or die trying or get arrested for fighting with the marshals who try to stop me.
I'm 20st 1lb. i just managed to survive most of a 70.3 ironman and Im not afraid.
so Id done the swim on about 48 minutes. and 13 minutes of Transition and so had 1hr45 or so to get to the bike cut off.
first 10k is crappy surface, couple of short hills and sharp turns. took time to negotiate speed bumps, grit on the path, potholes and allow everyone to go past. i mean everyone. by 10k the women who started 20 mins after me started appearing. i was that slow ). realised the front mech is not engaging properly. can't shift to the big ring. (* started praying that this was not a mechanical failure that would stop progress )
couple of folk actually walking up the last nasty hill - and i ride up it. so far so good. ( did not get cocky ). great marshalling. great support was very evident also - ( something that was repeated along the entire course - that was a surprise - being a virgin triathlete - but people actually put chairs outside their house and cheared etc. amazing and brilliant ). stopped after the hill and adjusted the mech with brute force. its almost working properly and changes although is rubbing a little on the chain.
down through longdon and out on to the road to abbots bromley. 12 miles approaching, and well inside the cut off. started drinking water and had a gel. loving every minute. smiling at the fans. waving everyone past. drink some more water. fuel station , miss bin with bottle, grab replacement water. grab a banana. grab a gel . keep going
course is nice and clean at this point, brilliant support along the route. well marshalled at junctions, plenty of drafting going on - hard not to really ( for those moving above walking pace ) . loving it.
and the course goes on out to yoxall and into the countryside, rolling is a kind description.
about 2hrs in and the cramp starts. If I attempt to stand and push the quads lock then the calfs and hamstrings. I have to go easy to keep moving but another 30 minutes I'm lying down at the side of the road trying to bend the legs. and start drinking electrolyte.
Lesson n++ : drink electrolyte straight out of the swim THEN water. not 3hrs into the event.
a couple of pirate's go past. competitors are now encouraging me to keep going.
next hour and a half is a mix of keeping going and drinking electrolyte and stopping to stretch cramp out. 'love is a cruel mistress' . I make it though cut off two and up onto the chase . both hills are evil. the long drag onto marquis drive particularly slow and painful with cramp. but at the top - psychologically, I'm through the cut offs, and no more hills. infact its downhill for a while. so actually, I'm not dead, and I'm making progress and life is good ( even if a little crampy ) - I'm going to be able to finish?. chase was empty - but perhaps that my fault for taking so long to arrive.