The week I decide to start a blog about entering an Ironman turns out to the be the week where I get ill, do barely any training and run a very slow cross-country.
I’ve been very hit and miss with my cross-country participation but this year I feel determined to see it through to the end!
Lemsip-maxed to the eyeballs I drove the hour journey in a slightly spaced out achy body, ready to give it my best shot. The first mile was fine, a sub 7 – then the wheels fell off! It wasn’t a great performance – but I loved being back on the hills, breathing hard, and getting a very good high intensity workout, even if the pace took a bit of a nose-dive!
My performance has been a little bit up and down in recent years. Between 2007 and 2014, I had a consistent norm of running, around 20 for 5K, around 40 for 10K, around 1.30 for a half and around 3.15 for a marathon. Then the seven-year itch struck! I did my last sub 3.15 marathon in April 2014. This was followed by a sub 3.30 in Amsterdam in the same year, and 3.28 in New York in 2015, and then a consistent slow down from there on in.
So, last year I decided to shift my focus, and put more energy into triathlon with my big race a grueling, off-road, half Ironman the Braveheart Ben Nevis Triathlon.
2017 has been a year of injury and not focussing on anything in particular, and a subsequent big drop off. But I’ve kept my toe in the water and have have taken part in a hilly 60-mile bike event, did weekly sea swims over the summer, and took part in a sprint and olympic triathlon. From the end of July I re-introduced parkrun and have taken part in eight since then – and improvements are kicking in, from an all time low of 22.42 on the 9 September to 21.07 on the 30th.
I’m not sure where my next seven years will take me, but for the next 12 weeks, the first quarter of my IM training, (taking us up to post New Year’s Eve), it’s about building a solid base with time on my feet, focussing on building miles and boosting my running fitness (with three Saturday X-country races and park runs to compete in), including a long run and long bike once a week; getting my body and mind supple and strong with yoga; and improving swimming technique, with two weekly club sessions.