Sink, Bonk, Slither, the three disciplines of age group triathon. The joys of training for this impending Ironman are many and varied;
- The worries of toilet breaks (which I always need when I run)
- The obvious ‘can I make it’ doubts
- The ‘which is my least favourite discipline’ questions
Historically I’ve approached it with the thought that ‘I can swim’, who can’t ride a bike and the run will hurt quite a lot. Now I’ve done the Paris Marathon I’ve decided to reverse those thoughts.
The run will be ok. It’s one foot in front of the other,
- if you can’t run, walk..
- if you can’t walk, crawl……
- if you can’t crawl slither through your tears of hubris.
I may just cut straight to the last option, but dammit if I get through 120+miles I’m damned if 26 is going to stop me.
The bike will hurt, maintaining 14mph minimum whilst cramming with pork pies and energy gels won’t be fun, but I think I’ll be ok, as long as it’s all down hill. That said I haven’t done any really big miles yet, so I need to scare myself a bit. I’ll start the schlep into work tomorrow, 40 mile round trip with plenty of time to stock up on salt with bags of crisps throughout the day.
The reverse order continues with swimming. Today I was due a pool session and like a dolt forgot my watch. No stats. NO STATS!!
You’ll have noticed I like numbers. I prefer salt and vinegar crisps but numbers are a close second. I very nearly called off todays session due to lack of tech but I had an awakening. Do the mile. 64 lengths, something I’ve never done in the pool and frankly never wanted to do. Get it done and feel the freedom of not checking the watch.
I’ve started swimming again and as with everything, 5 minutes in and I’m blowing like Divine Brown whilst watching Four Weddings.
Well, I achieved it. There was a rough spot around the 40 lengths mark where I lost count and promptly swam into the back of what appeared to be a leather slick. That or it was old peoples day at the pool. I’m not unhappy with the output, 45 minutes for the mile and that included a fair amount of weaving and I’m pretty sure I may have mis-counted short by a few lengths.
So what did I learn?
- I can’t count
- It’s a great feeling to leave an octogenarian in your wash as you power past
- It’s a crap feeling watching an octogenarian pull away from you with breaststroke
- I can do a mile and get out feeling pretty much ok
The first 200m was horrible, coughing under water and swimming like an arthritic giraffe, but once I found my rhythm I zoned out and counted off the lengths.
Another session Friday which will be in the joyous waters of Christchurch harbour, assuming I can retract my man-dangles far enough to prevent the cold water doing any major damage.
Until then, any tips on biking would be gratefully received.