I have always been accused of wanting the final word, however I would not have wanted to let the site and story ramble on without a sense of great achievement and warmth of farewell to Colin and all that has been done and raised in his name. But we are all acutely aware life goes on and it struck me that I wonder how many people felt that the experience that bought us all together to differing degrees changed something in their lives. So for not wanting to be bashful and to assist in dispelling my nerves I felt an overwhelming desire to post mine.
As many knew I and a team of hardened supporters went put to Nice (lulled by the clear med sea and the warm summer sun) to cheer and yell at Tony and Dan on their mammoth task back in June. I returned inspired by the 2800 idiots all there to do the same mammoth task and the resilience and commitment of the last runners struggling over the line in the dark as the race drew to a close. I jested that this whole Ironman malarkey was all just a big hype and that I could easily take on the challenge, reserving the right to make one incey,wincey change in the rules and extend the period over which one needed to complete it from 17 hours to 1 week! I chatted about this on Facebook, the place for all heart outpouring! Then a childhood pal Jonathan Taylor started reminding me of my prowess as an “awesome” athlete as a youth (more than 25 years ago I must admit) and that whilst my idea was noble it would also never work. Life, a disaster, illness an emergency or just an appointment would probably get in the way and disrupt the plan. What I needed was a goal. So playing directly to my strength – the need to get my credit card out he proposed a number of races I should consider, one being the Dorney Lakes Gatorade Triathlon, Sprint distance, 29th September 2013. Thirty mins later I have signed up……..
Good choice, no one I know is doing it, it is flat and it is lake not sea.. full marks!
It all seamed a great idea. I got that credit card out again and bought a bike, it was very nice, red, black and white…. oh and the matching water bottle cage, the obligatory cleats and a new wetsuit, my beach one was too chunky (well I didn’t look very cool in it!)
No problem. that’s all that was needed wasn’t it?
Oh I forgot I needed to ensure I would actually not expire during the course, so … well I also needed to ensure I could not find an excuse not to do some exercise so Callum, a friendly but silently mercenary, personal trainer, came to my aid at the Grange Hotel Gym once or twice a week. Plus discovering that Dorchester actually still had a pretty nice 25m pool and a well equipped Gym upstairs. So whether in London or Dorset I had my new second home.
Ok sorted, training ranged from going out on my new bike, as long as it wasn’t raining – well its new I cant get it wet! That was about 7.5k per circuit. Then static bike at the gym or in my kitchen, plenty of 10k there and one or two 20’s just to be sure I knew what that felt like.
I jumped at the chance to join a fab group of ladies cycling from Nice to Monte Carlo as part of the Insurance Industry’s annual jolly in MC called the Rendezvous. This was 22k up and down hills on rented bikes, dressed as flappers… yes I said Flappers, frequently peppered with coffee stops and view moments along the way. Then the swimming….
I was asked .. “do you swim?” Of course I swim, I have my Bronze medallion Life saver badge, and I appeared as the body on Dr Marion Davies series on First Aid back in 1984! I have always taken the kids swimming all their lives, and well when on holiday I swim… get wet to cool off from the hours of sun bathing. Of course I swim…
Goggles! ok that was unexpected – they actually do make quite a difference! I can see where I am going.
A quick technique revision off You Tube on Total Immersion Technique, surprisingly more useful than the shouty teachers I had in school who’s demonstration of the stroke style always confused me as they stood on the Pool side, after all they were vertical and I was horizontal! But the invention of underwater cameras and hey presto, it all makes sense. So now all I had to do is learn to breath again, advised that 2 strokes per breath was the only way and bingo I had relearned to swim.
Swimming for a long distance was not so easy to master by watching You Tube!
I did ask if I could do some of the 750m swim backcrawl – “no if you turn over and put a hand in the air they will harpoon you” – mmm thanx Tony!
The run. I was being sensible and nice to my ailing joints and vowed that with all this exercise weight would simply drop off and so when I reached 75Kg I would start to run, concentrating of the other two disciplines first. alas the laws of Biology prevailed and the combined need for more fuel and the transition of fat to muscle meant 75kg seemed never to arrive, losing 4kg quickly then just sitting at 77kg pretty permanently!
So it was not until the second week in September Callum went for broke and announced we would be running today. Geee christmas the body is not designed to run, not for a distance. I was a sprinter in my youth, I played top flight Lacrosse, was in Sussex Athletic team, played tennis at club level and competitively swam. But a) I was only about 50kg! and b) it was as I said before – 25 years ago. So planting 75kg through each hip repeatedly – hurt.
So now I have to face the inevitable. Each hour that passes the starting gun approaches, I now am not alone, I subsequently found out both Tony and Marek (colleague) are in the wave before mine, and Tony is intending to use my slow swim as a gauge to ensure he can duly jeer (oh sorry Cheer) after he finishes before my T1 – Joy!
St John’s are on standby and my blazeh (sp) attitude to those that have gone before me.. nervous? why do you get nervous? I now know.
So I will post again after I complete it – If I don’t need to engage in further therapeutic outpouring of nerves before then. But a sad but heartfelt thank you, Colin for bringing this mad eclectic mix of people together and chain of events that has enabled me to look forward and fear 2 hours of self induced pain, but I have to say haven’t felt as healthy as I do now for years!