35 Weeks to Ironman Lanzarote
I have a cup of tea in hand, Bacchus 2016 is nigh on done and dusted, the shop is four weeks from closure and the light at the end is less fag end and more torchlite. It must be time for a situation report!
In preparation, I’ve been out and bought books to read, booked a sewing class to keep my amused during the winter and somewhere in the back of my mind have started to ruminate on future plans. But nothing concrete just yet. Not even formative. I’m keeping that promise to myself to have some time off before I make any decisions.
I’ve finally stopped crying (almost!) Although, in a parting shot I managed to make the staff in Costa cry with me. Alex has been so incredibly supportive. In bad times feeding me coffee with a gentle smile. He left to go to university last week and so I had to go and see him one last time. It was important I told him how much those gestures had helped in those dark, dark times. It wasn’t until then I realised how much he had seen and we both ended up in tears. Humanity is alive and well and I wish him all the luck in the world, I’ll miss him.
Alex did a much better job than the staff at ‘Time to Talk’. The NHS counselling service got the wrong person three times then tried to section me, accused me of alcohol problems and using their services to seek help for my ‘business problems’. Sent me on unwanted group therapy by powerpoint then when I finally got one to one counselling didn’t turn up. I’ve had radio silence since so I’ve given up.
From a physical health perspective it could be better. I’m still a million stone overweight, have breathing problems every time I venture from my chair, something akin to plantar fasciitis in both feet and knackered hips. And have 35 weeks to prepare for Ironman Lanzarote.
We made a start a couple of weeks ago when Pen, G and I did Southwater relays as a team of three. Pen went first to enjoy the swim bun fight, I enjoyed the anonymity of going second and fed G a dead last place going into the third leg. He snatched glory from a desperate position by tripping up a bloke in transition and doing another lady on the run. Third last is better than third in my view – value for money certainly.
We had scoped the actual route the week before the race so knew what to expect. Sprints have a habit of being brutal but my only plan was to take it easy and get to the finish. We’ve been in Southwater lake a couple of times and it’s lovely. Although it was pretty warm, around 20 degrees, wetsuits were compulsory for safety. I dragged myself into mine and felt like sausage meat stuffed in a casing bursting out of both ends. I must have had the fattest ankles in history. G managed to shoehorn me in before Pen arrived in handover.
I was last at this point, waddled over the pontoon and plopped myself in. Used to mass starts or at least a line of people being shooed into a pool, it was a bit weird having the whole lake to myself. It took me a moment or two to realise I ought to be swimming and then off I went. Well, after 200m I was absolutely shagged. My arms were killing and I was still only halfway. I turned around and headed back to shore, for another ungainly hoiking out by the nice chaps stood on the concrete ramp.
14 minutes for 400m!! Yikes (I later found out it was closer to 500m so phew but still pretty rubbish!) I ran to T1 and then had to rest for a minute to get my breath back before getting on the bike. Pen beat me in T1 by over a minute and considering she normally has time to get the kettle out and have a cup of tea before doing her hair it gives you an idea of how much faffing there was.
I wheeled Piri to the mount line and having watched the comedy gold of the mounts of the first leggers I gently swung my leg over, clipped in and pedalled off up the hill in a sedentary manner.
By the top I couldn’t breathe again. Used to getting on a bike and flooring it, it was a strange experience. But I went with it and geared down, spinning until I could calm the breathing down. It took about five miles but I got there in the end and then picked up the pace a tad. In the end I averaged 16.8 mph which I was pretty chuffed with to be honest. It could have been a lot worse!
The run was carnage but I got round by adopting scouts pace and walking the hills (which were substantial in places). I was just trying not to set off a panic attack, but still handed over to G while hyperventiliting. Enough for Penny to get all motherly, sit me down, fetch water and carry my bags for me (I must remember that for the future 😉
So, in summary my swimming is shite, my cycling is ok and I need to go to the doctors and get a solution to the breathing problem. Of course 35 weeks will be enough time!