I feel like I’ve been neglecting my blog for a long time now. Truth be told, I went through a bad patch in the latter half of last year. My running continued to struggle due to injury. I caught campylobacter in the week leading up to RideLondon that I was doing to fundraise for the BHF in memory of mum. I had a shocker of a race at Weymouth, it went on…
I went into my winter training block with a new aim, to get fit and healthy so I could start the new year on the right foot. This went well, training times looked good, I felt strong, I smashed my 100 and 200m Swim PB’s on Christmas Eve… then the wheels fell off completely. During a ride on New Years Day I felt weak. The next day I felt a bit flu like. Thankfully it seemed to clear up pretty quickly so I only lost a few days training. Sadly, 3 weeks later it was back, with a vengeance. I ended up taking time of work, something I rarely do. I went through many stages of chest infection that culminated in my childhood asthma being declared back. In total I lost 11 weeks during which I did nothing, I couldn’t, walking briskly was an effort that had me wheezing.
With the help of inhalers, steroids and antibiotics, coupled with the enforced rest, I finally began training again in mid April. With Staffs less than 2 months away, it wasn’t looking great. I had already missed my regular season opener; the Halesowen Triathlon. I entered a couple of local races, the Worcester Double Sprint (an Olympic Distance with a 40 mile bike ride), on 13th May and the Upton Triathlon on 14th July. Considering my build up I was pleased with 11th overall (8th in AG) and 30th overall (4th in AG) respectively especially as I had entirely forgettable runs in both (but progressively swim PB’s too!)
Ironman 70.3 Staffordshire
Staffs was chosen due to the locality but it was more of a faff this year then 2 years ago. The split transition was even more split with a 2 mile walk from the recommended car park to registration! Sadly, the registration faff was the most memorable part, my promising performances in the shorter races proved that whilst I hadn’t lost my speed, my endurance had definitely suffered.
The swim was ok, but nothing more. The bike was going great until 35 miles where suddenly I felt weak, unfortunately this coincided with the arrival of all the hills in Cannock Chase. I started the run feeling ok and the first few miles were right on pace, then a combination of a recurring foot injury, heat, horrid twisty course and nutrition issues (I dropped my own and the on course stuff was grim!) meant a terrible result.
Thankfully I was able to dig deep within myself and a combination of thoughts of “if i can finish the half marathon in under 2 hours I should bet my previous time” and also that I saw a fellow coached athlete and was determined to not be beaten by him! Meant that despite it being an entirely forgettable race I did beat my time from 2 years prior by a few minutes.