It is but five days until my first real race of the year; my half Ironman distance triathlon. I’m starting to get really nervous now!
I’ve been trying to get some practise in my wetsuit doing open water swims. I failed on three consecutive weeks to make it to the Mersey-Tri Salthouse docks swim. Today, being my day off, was supposed to be a sure thing. I found a clean beach, gently sloping, and recommended for swimming by the Clean Beach Guide. I checked the high tides and the route yesterday.I dropped Wendy off at work this morning whilst wearing my wetsuit (akin to childbirth in degree of comfort) then drove straight there. I should point out it’s not some fashion/fetish thing, the suit is so tight you can’t zip it up on your own, hence Wendy had to strap me in before going to work.
Anyway, I took a longer route (down the M53) as this avoided a toll and took me straight to where I wanted to be. Somehow I managed to get funnelled into the toll. That was a moment of panic as I hadn’t taken any money out with me and I couldn’t turn around. Luckily I found a few quid in the door of the mighty Micra. Trusty steed.
When I got there the tide was fully in. The chart said I had at least another hour. But no, the waves were up to the land and pounding over the barriers. Bollocks. No shallow water swim there, just a brief dashing against the rocks then drowning. I gave it a miss.
So it’s five days until the race and I’ve still not done an open water swim/ swam in a wetsuit.
When I get back from Cornwall I am going to have to bite the bullet and join (actually go to) a triathlon club. Warrington Tri is on my doorstep. I need coaching and people to push me. The trouble is, I don’t want to go because I’m too crap. If everyone else is swimming at twice my speed I am going to feel an arse. But I’m never going to get up to speed without coaching. Pride swallowing/ embarrassment accepting mode.
Looking ahead, I have found my first new challenge for next year. Marathons are passé, and a proper, branded Ironman is inevitable, but how’s this for challenging and fresh? A Fred Whitton.
It’s a one hundred and twelve mile cycling sportive (group ride/race) around the lake district, designed to kill you it seems.
Here is the graph of elevations. Read it and weep. I am!
When I went for that abortive ride in the Lakes a few weeks ago I did it from right to left, over Wrynose, to the bottom of the valley then rode back in shame. Look at the ascent of Hardknott in their direction (left to right, obviously) it’s vertical! And that’s after you’ve completed one hundred miles of killer hills/ mountains!
That will sort the men from the boys. Better dig out my short trousers and school tie then.
As ever with these things, you see what looks like a lifetime achievement, only to have someone taking the piss. Hard to begrudge him though; @Mr_eL_Bee (from Twitter) is riding it right now. As he has done for the last three days and will do for the next six! Ten Fred Whittons in ten days! He’s doing it to raise money for macmillan cancer jobby. You can sponsor him here if you want: http://www.justgiving.com/Leon10FW
Have to say, that is bloody impressive! The more so given the weather.
Well, for myself, as stands, I know I can run twenty miles reasonably comfortably, have run twenty five, I can swim roughly one and a half miles in an hour (in a pool!) and I can ride a hundred miles on my push bike. The cut off point is not for the swim on Saturday (or at least it doesn’t say so. YAY!) but you have to complete the swim and ride in under five hours or you can’t continue to the run therefore can’t finish the race. Shouldn’t be a problem.