I came back to triathlon or more accurately to Ironman in 2015 after an almost two year break following back surgery. I discovered that year, twice in fact, at Ironman UK and Ironman Maastricht that remembering being fit does not equal being Ironman fit. In 2016 after talking to Ais about trying to make a proper return to Ironman racing with a realistic view on getting back to Kona I started training properly.

2016 proved to be a difficult year training wise and by the time I got to Ironman Mallorca in September I was close but alas there was to be no cigar. Actually I wasn’t even that close in the end.

If you want to follow the numbers more closely I’m on Strava as Rob Cummins Wheelworx or if you’re more of a pictures instead of reading type I post on Instagram as wheelworxrob.

 

Chasing Kona eBook available

From smoker to back of the pack triathlete to the Ironman World Championships.

Read about how I overcame all of the odds and discovered what it would take to get to the Ironman World Championships – my eBook is now available to buy as an eBook on Amazon UK, Amazon US, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes

It is also available as a paperback at Wheelworx.

We also had the small matter of our wedding coming up after Mallorca and Ais suggested that we take in a race somewhere exotic during the honeymoon. Perhaps an Ironman? I did not need to be asked twice and I entered us both in Ironman Fortaleza in Brazil sharpish. 

Unfortunately Brazil did not go well, for either of us. Getting back to Kona was not going according to plan at all. I spent the next six months completely at a loss for what to do next. Feeling somewhat sorry for myself. I thought back to the beginning of 2016 when this all seemed like such a good plan…

I’d had this great idea…

“I’m going to write a blog about qualifying for Kona” I thought.

“I’ve done it before and know what to do” I thought

It turns out that knowing how to do something and actually doing it are two quite different things. This was proving to be a lot fucking harder than I remembered.

Anyway I eventually got my shit together, stopped feeling sorry for myself and entered a race for 2017. We settled on Ironman Florida. Ais had a different approach in mind and changed my training entirely for the first three months. It worked and by the time I got into the meat of the training for Florida, the last three months of the program, I was trucking.

In Florida the swim went as well as I could realistically hope for. Transition one was smooth and quick. I knocked the bike OUT. OF. THE. FUCKING. PARK. Transition two was one big fat embarrassing amateur screw up after another. The run went well. Until it didn’t. In the end I missed a Kona slot by about seven minutes. Four of which were spent faffing around like a toolbox in T2.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time asking myself if knocking the bike OUT. OF. THE. FUCKING. PARK. maybe cost me some time on the run. Like maybe twenty minutes. I know whenever I hear someone say they knocked the bike OUT. OF. THE. FUCKING. PARK. and that they then fell apart on the run I tend to think “maybe if you didn’t hit it so hard OUT. OF. THE. FUCKING. PARK. you mightn’t have ended up spending as long on the marathon as you were on the bike?”

But it’s hard to know. Still, maybe next time I’ll hit it just a little bit easier on the bike. You know, just in case.

But it was an epic bike ride. A seventeen minute PB!

Like I said, maybe just a bit too hard. Who knew?

So in my reality in my mind I missed a slot by three minutes (I’m back to the wasted time in T2 in case you’re a bit lost, remember seven minute transition, four spent farting around like a tool?) Seven minus four equals missing a slot by three minutes.

Three minutes over close to ten hours of racing is nothing. Funny logic, I know.

Anyway the relief at being competitive again was massive and it mostly overshadowed the disappointment of missing out on a Kona slot. When Ais asked me a couple of days after the race what I wanted to do next. I immediately answered that I wanted to race again. Not in an “on the rebound” sort of way, not the following week or anything (although that did end up happening too. I’ll get to that shortly)

I said that I thought that both my swim and bike were now good enough and that my run was close. I thought that with another four or five months decent training I should be there.
She asked which races fitted in timing wise. I answered South Africa and Texas. She didn’t seem at all surprised that I knew this information straight off the top of my head. Just like that. Her response was to pick whichever one played to my strengths and forgave my weaknesses. I quickly filled her in on all of the course, climate and travel details for both races. Again she didn’t seem surprised that I knew this down to the finest detail either. Maybe I’m a little bit predictable..?

Anyway, we decided on Texas.

The plan was to do nothing at all in November. So three days later we entered and raced a half marathon in a swamp in the Everglades. Seems like a bit of a contradiction but Ais wasn’t going to race a 5k after travelling half way around the world and I was not about te be shown up by her either. If Ais can race a half marathon through a swamp six days after an Ironman then so can I goddamn it.

Anyway half of the race was in waist deep water (Ok it wasn’t all waist deep on me but it mostly was on Ais) I’ll get around to writing a blog on that one. It will have wild pigs and crocodiles. Or maybe they’re alligators? Whichever, they make for a good race report.

The second part of the plan was to start back training on the first of December, which I did. Just easy sessions to rebuild the routine and some fitness. January is when we would start into the proper meat of the plan and the second week in January will be spent in Lanzarote on an early training camp.

So that’s where I am and you’re all up to date. Except that the blog is running two weeks behind so I’m actually off in the future and you’re back here in the past.

Next weeks blog will have my usual training diary attached for the first week in January.

If you want to follow the numbers more closely I’m on Strava as Rob Cummins Wheelworx or if you’re more of a pictures instead of reading type I post on Instagram as wheelworxrob.

 

Chasing Kona eBook available

From smoker to back of the pack triathlete to the Ironman World Championships.

Read about how I overcame all of the odds and discovered what it would take to get to the Ironman World Championships – my eBook is now available to buy as an eBook on Amazon UK, Amazon US, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes

It is also available as a paperback at Wheelworx.