Ironman Lanzarote Adventure May 2016
Saturday 14th May
Oh my god!! I am doing an Ironman in a weeks time… I’m scared and excited and nervous and mostly scared!! All these months of training all come down to this one day! Gulp!! Am I ready? Can you be ready? I don’t know… but I do know I am determined! Determined to give it everything I have got and make myself proud!!
I also want to make everyone else proud too…especially Heather (aka OPI) she has been the most amazing coach and most amazing friend that I could ask for! She has pushed me to the limit at times, made me sweat and ache and so tired, you would not believe! We’ve had battles – including one over squats in the gym where I would not back down (and boy did I pay for my stubbornness!!) But she has got me into the shape of my life and we’ve had some good fun and giggles along the way!
Then there is my partner in crime – my tri-wifey, Paola (yes I actually spelt your name right!!) I wonder if OPI knew what would happen when she introduced us?? Paola has touched my bum enough to mean we are now in a relationship, hence the wifey status! She has elbowed me and jabbed her fingers in my various muscles to try to ease the various aches and pains from my crazy training schedule, she tortures me in a whole different way to OPI and weirdly I actually like it! Except when she strips my shins…. never again will I take a photo of her whilst she is elbowing me!! Never!! I will be eternally nice to her from this day forward! Anything wifey wants, wifey gets…. just so she doesn’t do that to me again!!
She also knows the pain that OPI can inflict with her training, not that we would gang up on OPI and not that Paola would ever take it out on Heather by way of torture under the guise of a sports massage!! She has also become an amazing friend / wife! During my IM adventure, Paola also did her first ever triathlon and I was there on the start line with her! I swam in the same lane as her, we both had OPI yelling at us in transition and then I was there proud as punch to watch her come over the finish line as an official triathlete!!
These crazy two have been with me on a journey over the last 5 months of ups and downs, giggles and tears and now I am 7 days away from the biggest race I will have ever done!! I don’t think I could have done it without them! I feel so lucky to have gained so much from this! It’s funny the people you can meet, how they come into your life and the impact they can have! Without IM, I may have never met them!
I also need to thank so many more people for being with me on this journey… Lisa and Mark for being such good friends and forcing themselves to spend nearly 2 weeks in Lanzarote with me to be my support crew and then Ian is forcing himself to spend week in Lanza to support me too! I’m sure they all would have done the same if it was in wet Wales and not the sunny Canaries! Then there is my family, friends, CDF Runners buddies and work colleagues who all listen to me about my crazy training, put up with me being tired and hungry and all to often look at me like I am out of my mind when I tell them what training I have planned or how far I rode over the weekend!
Enough with the all the soppy stuff…now for just sheer panic!!
Crap, crap crap!! I have so much kit to pack!!! All week I have been saying “I’ll pack tomorrow”…now I’m at “I need to pack as i leave tomorrow!!” and if Lisa tells me about her packing list one more time!!!! Lisa, you only need to take some clothes and sun cream!! I need a bike, a wetsuit and all manner of other crap! It’s amazing how much stuff this actually requires! Gels, bottles, butt butter, tool kits…let alone real people clothes and sun cream!! I know I will forget something! I just know it!! Lisa was also helpful to point out that she finds packing much easier with a beer in hand!! I shall test this theory when I pack to come back from Lanzarote! Alcohol is but a week away! 3 sips and I will likely be drunk as a skunk! But I don’t care! Lisa has already volunteered Mark to be “drinks boy” during my recovery after the race and I can’t wait! Cocktails on the beach for me!!
I also can’t wait for cake!! How I have missed cake and sweets and chocolate (apparently this comes down to mental toughness training!) For the last 2 weeks I have had chocolates on my desk at work and so many times I have come close to giving in and eating them but I haven’t! Nothing is going to break this resolve! Except on the Tour of Pembs…but one Welsh cake can be forgiven due to the brutal nature of that race! I mean 105 miles and nearly 10,000 feet of ascent deserves a medal, not a bloody coaster and at least one Welsh cake! I have craved cake so bad, I have dreamed of it….but I have not given in! Yes, I may be eating protein pancakes at least twice a day, sometimes 3 times but they are not cake!!
This last week has been a crazy week…my last long swim before the event – a nice 4.6km (thank you that OPI!) and then a week of crazy dreams… So far I have lost my bag in transition and now been able to find it, waking myself up hunting for it under pillows! I’ve had the wrong kit in my bags…you can’t run a marathon in bike shoes! I have never made it to the end because the run just went on and on and had no end…hopefully my dreams are not a sign of what will happen on race day!! I then had a steroid injection in my foot, to which the kind doctor asked me if i wanted to punch him once he had done it! Let’s put it this way, it is not an experience I want to repeat in a hurry! I’d even take my shins being stripped again over that!! But on the plus side, I have completed my last UK run before IM (not that I was putting off packing or anything!!) a nice 6.5miles around the Bay and my foot felt OK! Hooray!!
Turns out when I put my mind to it I can pack pretty quickly! A half hour of running around the house gathering kit and clothes and I am all good to go! Well, at least, there is a mountain in my living room that needs fitting in my bike bag! And I can’t do that until after my 25 mile time trial in the morning! So that’s me done for now!! Woohoo!!
Until tomorrow, when it will be less than a week until I can officially eat cake again!!