So I did a 10k swim the other day.
I know! A 10k swim! In a pool! 100×100’s!
In case you’re trying to work it out that’s 400 lengths of a 25m pool. I’d been talking about doing this swim for probably a year or more and Patrick my swimmer mate had been keeping the pressure on me.
Click on through to read how it went…
I was just along for the ride in this Ironman. This was Aislings target race for the year and I had jumped in at the last minute via an entry with Nirvana so I had more invested in Ais’s performance than in my own but if I’m honest I secretly thought that with my swimming coming back to me much faster than I expected and my biking being strong, probably the strongest I’ve been after almost a year of just riding with no running or swimming. I would only have to run an ok marathon to scrape into a decent time and maybe, if there was a roll down, then there was the slim chance of a Kona qualifying slot.
I thought with about 8 weeks of running I could get in shape to run a decent 15k maybe 20 and surely history would get me through the last 20k…
Famous last words. Famous last stupid words…
There have been few marathons in the last couple of years that have exercised opinions or attracted as much attention as Nikes breaking2 attempt at Monza last Saturday. Rarely does a marathon result register in the mainstream media in the same way that Eliud Kipchoge’s 2:00:24 did.
One of the most interesting things about it though is not how close he came to breaking that elusive 2 hour barrier rather that it divided opinion so much amongst runners.
Ask most runners what they think about how how some of the biggest marathons in the world, London or Boston or were raced or won this year they probably wouldn’t have an answer. Ask them who had stood on the top step of the podium and they also couldn’t tell you.
Ask them what their thoughts were on Nikes Breaking2 attempt and you are almost guaranteed to get an answer that is either gushing excitement at how close they came to making history or a negative reaction that it was just a marketing stunt, wasn’t a real marathon or that the use of pacers or some other factor was all wrong and against the ethos of the sport. Either way most have an opinion and are at least aware that it took place.
This months Ironman news has been almost all about Ironman Texas. I’ve found a couple of really good race reports from female pro Jocelyn Gardner McAuley and fast Irish age grouper Ian Farrell.
Ironman Texas also saw an incredible return to racing for big yank über biker Andrew Starykowicz who, after a horrific crash where he was dragged along under a truck ended up with a back brace and leg in a full cast. Texas was his first Ironman since the crash and his bike and run splits are pretty impressive considering his accident was only eight months ago.
IM Talk also have a really inspiring interview with an athlete called John Young who’s the first person with dwarfism to complete an Ironman.
Click on through for all of the stories. Read More
A race normally warrants a race report but in this instance it doesn’t. When we started training properly for the Boston Marathon I thought that a low 3 hour finish was possible. Especially after my half marathon on New Years eve where I was quite a bit fitter than expected at that stage. In fact Ais commented afterwards that she had no idea where I had pulled that run out of given our lack of training in the preceding month and if Ais was impressed then I was happy that I was starting out in reasonably good shape.
Anyway the training went well for the next couple of months and for the first time in a long time I felt like it was working well, the body was handling and absorbing the increasing load. I was seeing constant steady improvements as the year progressed. At some point along the journey my aim became to go sub 3 which I haven’t done in a number of years. The numbers I was seeing in training indicated that I was close and we reckoned that with a good day I had a really good chance of a finish time starting with a 2. Read More
This is one of my favourite races (that’s probably got a lot to do with the fact that it’s one of my very few race wins back in 2013) That was three years ago though and I was in better shape back then so this time around I didn’t have any real expectations going into it. That being said there’s always a little part of you that hopes that no one fast will show up, or if they do maybe they’ll get lost or slip into the canal or something… Anyway that’s enough of a glimpse into the nasty side of my mind. Lets move on.
I was asked a while ago if I had old race reports and if I could pop them up on the blog. Here’s my 2011 Ironman Florida write up. A good day and a PB and quite a few lessons learned. Click on through to check it out.
One thing that kept on coming back to me over the 24 and 48 hours afterward the race was how ridiculous it seemed to be chasing tiny gains like trying a new aero helmet or a faster chain or wearing a swim skin in the hope of gaining seconds or minutes when in fact what I needed to be competitive is almost an hour. It feels like putting the cart before the horse. I’ve always said that I didn’t want to lose out on a Kona slot by seconds or minutes for the lack of investing in the best equipment I could afford. But I think I first need to be in the right ballpark before chasing those gains.
Given both of our results it’s by far the worst I’ve ever felt after a race. I crossed the line feeling I’d failed myself, failed Aisling and all of the people who’d helped and supported me.
It feels selfish to write a race report given how badly Aisling’s day ended up. She was taken out of the water after getting into trouble early in the swim. I had one DNF in a race a couple of years ago and I know how sick I felt and how utterly disappointed I was.