I've been a bit tardy in keeping this blog up-to-date recently, so here's a quick update on things over the last few months in the build up to Ironman Estonia: -
9th June - Old Buckenham 10k: After just about making it around the 5k run leg of the Paratri national champs at the end of May, this would be a bigger test of my dodgy sprained ankle. I went OK for the first half but was finding it a bit tough going due to a combination of poor run fitness and the discomfort I was still feeling. I got round in a few seconds over 49 minutes. It wasn't fast and it wasn't pretty but I was pleased with how my ankle held up, especially as I jogged the 4 or 5km's home too!
23rd June - Diss Cyclathon: With long time tandem parter Bobby De'Ath we covered the 25miles of the Diss event along with the ride out and home for a chilled out Sunday spin. I got in a few extra miles in the afternoon with Tom ahead of the following weekends 100 for a good day's training.
30th June - British Cycling 100 Mile Sportive: Tom Levy (Beacon Tri) had kindly agreed to pilot the tandem for this challenge ride as part of the national cycling championships being held in Norfolk. We were lucky enough to be invited to a gala dinner on the Friday evening at the University of East Anglia by virtue of being part of the UEA team riding the 100 miler (Tom works on campus and I am part of the Norfolk Sports Academy linked to the Uni).
Our free feed set us up nicely for what was ahead, which for me would be great training for the Ironman bike leg. Tom on the other had just completed an Iron distance race in France, but was still well up for it.
The route took us out of Norwich city centre, to Wroxham and then to the coast taking in Cromer and a feed station at a Holkham Hall before winding it's way back through the lanes until we eventually made it back to Norwich. We had a great ride with lovely weather and pleasingly the old legs felt great! Thanks to Tom for piloting (100 miles on a tandem definitely means he's graduated from novice to experienced tandem steerer now!).
7th July - Outlaw Middle Distance Tri - I've always wanted to do this half-iron distance event held on the North Norfolk coast at Holkham. 2019 was ideal as build up race and final major test of for ankle (and fitness) before going to Estonia. If I couldn't manage this the long course was off.
It was certainly a good test! The swim was straight forward enough, although the water was quite dark and silty making it hard to spot Guide Duncan Shea-Simmonds (or even the tether rope right in front of my eyes!) No matter, we had a good solid swim coming out in 32 minutes. We had a strong bike leg too covering the undulating 57 miles in 2:27 hours before Duncan handed me over to wife Claire Shea=Simmonds for the run due to an injury niggle. Claire is a class runner so had me working hard, and a little above my planned schedule. The run was quite tough in places due to long drags and off road sections, with me making an attempt to go over on the other ankle for good measure at one stage. I just about survived to the end to post 1:54 hours for the 13.4 mile run. Thankfully I didn't need to take Claire up on the offer of a gel she had stashed in her sports bra, much to the amusement of fellow competitors in earshot at the time!
Over-all we posted 4 hours and 57 minutes and as I passed the test, Estonia was definitely now on!
21st July - Run Norwich 10k: My last event before travelling out to Estonia and was keen to put in a decent time. On the day I didn't feel amazing and although I covered the first 5km in 22:03 I decided to back off a bit in the second half rather than push it and risk injury or illness given I wasn't really feeling it for some reason. Still, I enjoyed the run over-all and was nice to catch up with a few familiar faces from Tri-Anglia and other local clubs.
22nd July - Bury Women's Guild Talk: It was really nice to be invited to meet the group from Bury. Jill and I gave a 45 minute talk about my sporting career, how It evolved, plans for the future and a few other things we are involved with. It seemed to go down well as they were keen for us to come back in the future which would be our pleasure.
Next up it would be Ironman Estonia, and, possibly one of my biggest challenges to date!