I currently have 5 weeks until Amsterdam marathon, meaning only 8 weeks until the full iron man. Having been training for over 7 months I thought it was about time to test myself and so, this month was all about completing a Half Iron Man as part of training.
I have over the last 6 weeks been nursing a mystery pain in my right foot (on the medial maleolus/base of tibia for those interested). Obviously working at Profeet and seeing my osteopath (Rebecca Root – @balancedosteo) has greatly helped narrow the possibilities of the injury. We have realized, that the pain is not increasing. Its not preventing me running or training at all, but is not consistent in terms of pain and can have good and bad days! Therefore even more so, this Half Iron Man was potentially a test of what this niggling injury could handle. Was I nervous? Totally- it could mean all my plans down the drain if it caused me too much pain.
On Sunday 7th, I began early. I entered the pool at 6:38am to be precise and kick started with the 1.9km. Sticking with breaststroke due to my shoulder issue (which has greatly improved), I took off pretty fast. I covered the first 500 m in around 10 minutes before realizing my legs were doing too much of the work. I slowed down focusing on the efficiency of my stroke and still managed to complete the swim in under 1 hr 5 minutes. My weakest area was finally becoming average
On the cycle I had expected it to take at least 3 hours to cover the 90 km distance and had prepared accordingly. Once on the bike I had a selection of nutrition to keep my energy levels up. Sport beans, Clif Shot Bloks and Sis Gels were my key fuel-I also had a flapjack for some slow releasing carbohydrates too. After the first hour I did feel slightly queasy. I think I had to many simple sugars in a short period of time. I believe I would have benefited more from more complex carbs such as a jam sandwich or more oat-based flapjacks. Saying all that though I still powered through and shocked myself by completing the cycle in 2 hrs 34 mins- way ahead of my estimate.
The run. What can I say! It was the hardest 21.1 km I have ever completed. The first 3 km my legs were lead. My niggle in my ankle was aching and I was scared it wouldn’t disappear. 5 km in I had to walk. I continued every 3 km to stop and walk for at least a minute. By 11 km I was getting a subtle niggle from my right knee but, I knew it was from the quad tightness from being on the bike. 15 km came and legs weren’t enjoying the fact they still had to move! The challenge was very much a mental. I have never in my life been happier to hit 20 km and ran the last 1 km faster than all those previous. I finished in 2 hrs 12 mins. My longest actual run ever to date.
But I did it! I survived. My injury even didn’t flare up too much and after was barely noticeable. My body was tired, but not totally disheveled. This gives me optimism for the full Iron Man distance that my body can still give more. The Half gave me confidence and also taught me lessons. My total time was 6 hrs 37 minutes including change overs. Happy with that 😊 So here’s September, I will of course continue with the training! The runs will become longer as I hit the infamous 20/22 mile distances, the swims will become longer as I hit the 3 km distance as will the bike as I start to hopefully hit the 150 km mark. No rest for me! 🙈