Training going into race (May – June 2011): -
Did the marathon back in May and although I was pleased I achieved completion, I was disappointed that my time was several minutes slower than last year, prob due to lack of training and smoking occasionally.
|thumbs up who likes bananas|
Anyhow, although I had intentions of maybe waiting til August or September this year to do a half ironman, I came across the ‘credit crunch half iron’ in Dungannon run by Trilimits http://trilimits.wordpress.com/ in June, right at the start of the triathlon season. Recently I have been doing less swimming and less running but thankfully more cycling. These last couple of months I have on average started cycling once or twice to work and back (14 mile – Belfast – Bangor) which I have to say I have been loving to bits. Also I have tried at least once every two weeks to do a 2 hour cycle at weekends.
|The beautiful backroads towards saintfield on a sunny 'cycling Sunday'|
Post Race Report
Got up in the morn and tried to knock back the usual stuff cereal, peanut butter and jam sandwich and banana , not easy eating all this grub first thing when you wake. Decided also on a coffee to due 1 hr drive to event, although had worries re effects on tummy, but as it turned out I was ok. I had a couple of days before got a new bike rack which was pre fixed to car so in a jiffy I headed off for the event. 1 hr later thanks to Mrs Satnav lady I arrived in good time at Lough Erskagh in Dungannon.
The atmosphere was good and thankfully not too many people around. You could see the folks there were seasoned triathletes calm as ever – the atmosphere even seemed to affect the Lough which didn’t even have a ripple on it; so I stacked the bike and got the registration kit. The organisers were very friendly and helpful.
The water was very calm and bearing in mind there were only 35 of us it went pretty hastle free. Ok you do get the odd banging together, but that is to be expected in these events and doesn’t really worry me.
|thats me in the red :-)|
As a slower swimmer I was at the back following the others. Only near the end did I remember the trick of ‘drafting’ to save about 20% energy theory so I hopped on the back of some woman and from here on in it was plain sailing. Unfortunately it was over pretty quick and as I and others thought, we think we didn’t do the full swim circuit, probably two thirds of it only : - (
The transition to cycle was grand, I had decided on cycle shorts, then running shorts in transition area, with merely the good old speedos to wear underneath. After the changeover I was off.
|spot the eejit with the helmet back to front :-)|
No sooner was I started when I heard the official ask the embarrassing question ‘here mate is your helmet on the right way?’, so after a quick stop and 180 degress of helmet I was on the off again. You will never guess what happened next…………i did a terrible thing……….i cycled through a funeral procession, after being asked to wait. L ok, now its not as bad as it may seems; I did initially wait when I was asked, but the coffin and people had not came out of church and another guy passed me and said he wasn’t going to stop, so……..off I went like a whippet (I wish). The cycle was ok with little to report, the gradient was minimal with occasional hellos from fellow competitors. Towards the end have to admit was tired and the wind picked up (I hate wind – give me the rain any day!), fed up cycling and sick of the gels and looking forward with some trepidation to the run and hopeful finish.
The run was four laps of the Lough, which in a way was a good thing as you had a good idea at all times how far you had gone and the route would b always familiar to you, both the easy and harder bits. A small part of the run had a hill, a bit steep but not too lengthy thankfully. In my first lap I was hit with my first major setback, I got a cramp in my leg. Due to severity I had to stop completely for a few minutes and stretch. Thankfully it eased off again so off I went. I was pretty pleased that although exhausted I kept running the rest of the 13 miles non stop to finish with a smile J
Have to admit, I was as happy almost as much as achieving my first marathon a few years back. A great day and all in all very pleased I was able to finish, despite being 4th last J
Last but not least I came across Austin – a fellow blogger (http://couchpotatotoironman.blogspot.com/) that inspired me to start blogging and is also on the road to iron, although Austin a fair bit ahead of me, it was good to have a quick post race chat together.
Plus, i got a cool medal :-)
Plus, i got a cool medal :-)