I hope that everyone is well on this Sunday arvo in sunny Melbourne…. Quite a few things have been happening since the last post.
The Nunawading Tri Club had their presentation night last night. It was very humbling to be presented with the president’s award. After having an arthroscope to my knee in August last year and having to pull out of the Melbourne Marathon I was suddenly presented with an obstacle in my training plans. I had my heart set on running a 2hr 45min marathon (I still do!). However life chucks obstacles in the way and you can either go stagnant and let it defeat you, or accept that one door has closed and that you need to make a decision to open another.
That door for me was making a transition into triathlons. Aidan Rich, fellow colleague and friend at Lifecare has been prodding me for sometime to make the switch. Now was the time… I couldn’t run for 8 or so weeks and I had to spend most of my rehab time on the bike, I was already doing some swimming so I took the plunge.
Then the news of Ironman Melbourne opened up… within a couple of weeks of having the surgery. This was just too good of an opportunity to pass up. So I entered and was lucky enough to secure a spot within the 5 minute sell out time.
So here I was 2 weeks after a knee operation in late August, I couldn’t run, the longest I had ridden a bike was 15Km and the longest I had ever gone swimming for non stop was 300m and I had entered an IRONMAN…. I had 7 months to get my body into shape for it… now that’s a challenge! I loved it….
Certainly the 2 hardest parts for me was dealing with the traffic on the roads with the cycling and the amount of hours that I needed to spend on the bike to develope some cycling legs. Spending a week up in Bright riding through the high country was certainly the highlight of the cycling training.
Open water swimming was the other difficult concept, I distinctly remember my first open water swim. It was at Lysterfield lake… where you can’t see anything with your down in the water and wearing a wetsuit… I had to stop every 100 or so meters as I had numerous panic attacks as it was so different to swimming in the pool. Thankfully over time and with persistence I learnt to swim reasonably well by the time the IM came around… but only through persistence! Getting over the fear of swimming in the ocean was another big hurdle for me… but by the third ocean swim I was comfortable in there.
I end up with a 10hr 12 min Ironman time with a 1hr 13min swim (this needs a lot of work, a 5hr 25min bike split and a 3hr 23min marathon off the bike.
So this brings me to my current situation… After making the transition, I am hooked now. It is a great sport and I am really enjoying the cross training and how my body responds to the different forces going through it. So currently I am trying to swim 4-5 times a week and get some real quality in on the wind trainer at home, learning how to push a bigger gear and develope my cycling legs. With the ironman build up prior to March the key focus was on technique with swimming, not speed and accumulating the km’s on the bike with not a lot of focus on speed. So over the off season I am working hard on improving these 2 legs with speedwork/squad training in the pool and big gear work on the bike.
My goal is to beat 9hr 30mins in the Ironman come March 2013 and I am fully aware that in order to do that I need to improve my swim to roughly an hour for the 3.8Km, ride in 5hrs and then crank home the run in 3hrs 15-20. It will be a tough ask… but I just live for these challenges!
In order to achieve this goal I have put a hold on my marathon goal of cracking 2hr 45mins… but I promise I’ll be back to give this a shake! So I will not be running a marathon this winter and will focus on my 10km and half marathon racing while also doing the 30Km Victorian trail running championship series as part of trails plus… I love trail running! So much fun. Training for a marathon over the winter would drag be away from swim and bike training too much.
So thanks for the presidents award last night! It will always be a clear reminder to me what can be achieved from goal setting and opening up your own doors!
Anyway I hope that you have a great Sunday!
All the best