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Ironman

  • A bit of an Introduction to one of our Weekend Warriors

    Back to basics.

    Wow, it's been a month since I updated this properly. Why? Well things have been real slack here and yet as busy as hell at the same time. Unfortunately work and all the other things that ruin your social life are the things that have been busy, so the things worthy of a blog posting have been very rare indeed.

    I planned a 40mile run for my 40th birthday back in Dec, but it was so freakin cold that day that I turned it into a 40k. God Bless the metric system ;-). Then 3 days later I went out for a nice gentle 7mile shake down run and pulled my calf, officially my first EVER running injury. I wasn't happy about it, or the way it appeared. If I'm going to injure myself I want it to be a full pelt hammering to the finish line of a race in a head to head, not while jogging steadily along the Tarka Trail. I've also had a diagnosis on my 'crunchy' chest that appeared shortly after Ironman Florida, it appears that I've damaged my Xiphoid process, hmmmmm maybe 5hrs in the Tri Bars squashes it a bit.

    Christmas and New Year came and went without any hassles or any training due to the calf pull. They were both great of course but everybody has them so I doubt very much you'd want to read about mine.

    A couple of weeks ago I got asked to write something by way of a blog post for Bideford People and/or Barnstaple People . I'm guessing that the best way to start this would be to introduce myself and as it's the start of a new year and hopefully the start of a successful Ironman Hawaii adventure. For those of you who know me you'd be better skipping the next bit ;-).

    So here goes. I'm Iain, I'm a lorry driver and I live near Barnstaple in North Devon which is in the South West of the UK. Coping with my sometimes lacklustre sometimes manic lifestyle is the long long long suffering girlfriend Shelly and our 3 year old lunatic but loveable Springer Spaniel Rosie. I've been pootling along in Triathlon for 15 years or so and was running on and off for a few years before that. I can swim pretty well, I can run pretty well but my biking is a bit of a let down by comparison. Biking is my weakest discipline hence it's the discipline I like the least need to train at the most but actually (of course) train at the least.

    Ironman is the daddy of Triathlon and takes a full day to complete. Comprising of a 2.4mile swim, 112mile bike ride and a 26.2mile run. To make the distances a bit easier to understand imagine popping down to Barnstaple Leisure Centre and swimming 154 lengths. After the swim you might hop on your bike and ride to Clovelly and back, just three times should cover it. Once back at the Leisure Centre for the 3rd time you could leave your bike, slip on your trainers, jump on the Tarka Trail and run to Instow and back, twice. The Elite athletes (who do this sport for a living) will complete this little lot in in 8-9hrs and those towards the back of the field will take twice that amount of time.

    In 2009 I raced Ironman Florida and after many messed up attempts I finally managed to put in a decent performance, finishing the event in 9h39m. This was not only a personal best time by over an hour but finishing 8th out of the 400 in my Age Group qualified me for the World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.

    Doing these races doesn't come cheap, the day after qualifying I had to hand over a full £360 just to enter the Hawaii race. My family as always have been a huge help though and with the amazing support of my Tri Club North Devon Tri helping out too (read about it here) I'm determined that come October 9th this year I will let no one down.

    After a couple of minor niggles over the holiday period the big build for Kona starts now and I'm happy to have you along. The more the merrier. Please leave me comments/ideas/thoughts too so that I know you're there.

    If you're a local (or not so local) business and you can think of a way we can mutually benefit each other then let me know. I'd love to be able to afford this adventure without becoming a drain on my family and friends, so if you can help and I can put a few hours in/get you some good publicity etc on the back of my training and my race then please get in touch :-)

    Thanks for reading, here's to a hugely successful 2010.

    This Weekend Warrior Report is contributed by Iain
    http://devoniain.blogspot.com/
    Follow him on Twitter www.twitter.com/devoniain
  • Weekend Warrior Report

    Monday, December 07, 2009

    The one that got away- Cow Chip

    Six days after Ironman Arizona I found myself standing on the starting line of the Cow Chip Cross Country race in Trumbull.

    Having won the race last year, I felt that I should go back and try to defend my win.

    I was not 100%. I'd limped around Arizona for two days before I felt ready to even put 20 minutes of running in on Wednesday. I'd spun an hour on Friday and I was psyched for this, but I was also not really fully healed or ready.

    When I went to sign up they told me they were expecting me to be there, but they'd put aside #1 for me, so I handed over my check (which Marty later ripped up) and pinned the number to my shirt- I'd forgotten my race belt.

    My warm-up was limited to run out to the starting line and doing a few sprints. I ran into Charlie Hornak and we talked a little about the Branford Thanksgiving race. He'd had a decent race but was talking about building his speed. It seemed like we were out there early even though it was only about 10 of, then suddenly the mass of runners that had been avoiding the cold in the school cafeteria came out, followed by Marty on his bike.

    Marty acknowledged a number of runners that were there- past winners and so on- and then we were off.

    I didn't take the lead early. I'd spotted a couple of kids/guys I thought might be a threat. I picked my line to the goal post (the race starts on the football field, just like my old high school days), got there and I was quickly in third. The course takes a right, then a left and by the time we got to the backstop, I knew I had to pull in front and take control of the race.

    Which I did.

    I felt- good isn't the right word. I was running strong, but not really fast or anything. I was chasing Marty but then we went into the woods and I was leading a few people. The front pack had already thinned out and I felt good. I always feel good running through the woods. I feel like if I'm in front in the woods, you're really going to have to work to take that away from me.

    We broke out of the woods. Marty's women's cross country team was supposed to marshall the course. Only two showed up. I came out at a point where you go right early in the race, and go left late in the race.

    I didn't know which way to go.

    Who's fault is that ?

    Mine. It's my responsibility to know the course.

    Bang, I was in third.

    I settled in a second time. We broke out of the woods and I was third behind a guy I thought I could take late in the race and a guy I wasn't sure about. We went around the front of the school, by the barn, into a short section of woods and back around again. I could not eliminate the distance and get back in front.

    We wrapped around the middle of the course and headed towards the stream/wall. the two guys in front of me went around it. I went around it. We were all within a few seconds of each other. As we went up a short hill, two of us made our move. The guy in second moved up to first and I moved up to second.

    We went under a pavilion of some sort and then we were headed back towards the woods. My goal was to stay close and make a move in the last 750 yards.

    This was the wrong strategy. I didn't lose any ground in the woods, but I also didn't gain any, and after we broke out the backside of the woods, I did try to pick it up.

    But in the end, it was too little too late.

    When the winner crossed the line, I shut it down and lost another 3-4 seconds, but my calf was hurting.

    I had not done my job. I could have, in my opinion, but I didn't.

    I warmed down with Charlie and an Australian guy who was also a previous race winner, then I hopped in the car right away and drove home so Margit would have some time to do some things.

    This one had gotten away.

    This Weekend Warrior Report is contributed by Alan MacDougal http://rochpunk.blogspot.com/
    Follow him on Twitter www.twitter.com/cyberdyne
    Tags: Arizona Ironman, Triathlete, vitalyte, Weekend Warrior
  • Weekend Warrior Report

    Arizona in November

    At 7 AM this morning, two days before race day, the temperature is 48 degrees.

    By any standard, this is cold for the start of the race. Add that the temperature of the water is only 64 degrees and you start to wonder what your thinking was that you were going to be racing in the heat.

    I don't like cold water. I did Muskoka one year- June in Ontario. The stated water temperature was 54 degrees and this was, if canadians are capable of such things, a lie. I was disoriented when I exited the water.

    This is nowhere near that bad, but swimming without a wetsuit yesterday, I wasn't too happy.

    Of course, the truth is there will be 'heat', which is to say that it will get up into the mid-to-upper seventies during the bike and the run. And with the stronger sun here, it will get hot. I certainly was sweating in the middle of the day while I was standing around waiting for my bike, which TriBike Transport did a great job getting here.

    Overall the village was very well organized and if everyone had not wanted to check in at the athlete registration at 10AM yesterday, which is no fault of the venue, things would have been perfect.

    But the four hours I spent at the village waiting for one thing or another did make it clear- it will be hot. Just not in the water or at the beginning of the bike...

    PS- the race does not climb that hill. It's just a cool hill. Maybe I'd place better if we did climb it

    This Weekend Warrior Report is contributed by Alan MacDougal http://rochpunk.blogspot.com/
    Follow him on Twitter www.twitter.com/cyberdyne

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