Ok….. little late, but, I have had a mad week. Coming back to earth, work, life generally!
So, like others that have walked before me, my story is similar to there’s….. a few know my story, so my tale will be shorter than most…although, get the match sticks out, just in case, as I have been know to ramble…..
Training: Mine pretty much mirrored Shaggy’s. In fact, no pretty much, it did. We trained, moaned, laughed together, for 7 long months. At first, it was fun, not the training in winter bit, that as we know, is utter pants, but, the distances. All handlable! Then, as the months rolled on, distances started to get longer, and this became harder for me for 2 reasons. 1, it was hurting more, and 2, I had just become a Dad again in Feb of this year. But, onwards we went. At first it was all ok, the distances soon become enjoyable, progress was being made, but mentally, it was getting harder! The baby was growing, and that was the harder part. Not my partner, she was awesome, and did nothing but support, but, me, myself, and trying to peel yourself away from this little cooing thing on a Sunday morning, when you knew, it was going to be the best part of a 6 hr bike! THAT, was the tuff part. But, again, onwards we went, Shaggy listening, supporting, and generally helping me along! There was one point, bottom of the horseshoe, I said to him,
“La, I don’t want to do this anymore”
“WHAT? WHY” Was the reply….. and then continued a manly conversation about how far we’d come, etc etc…So, for that, and many other times, Cheers La! (There will be more thanks for him later to) Plus, when I got home, spoke to Cara, the reply from her was the same, in fact, her’s was more harsh…her’s was along the lines of “I ave gone through nearly 4 months of this, there AINT no way your stopping now, fat arse, and move” Fair enough!!
So, the months rolled, and August 8th loomed ever quicker. But, I had 2 mental hurdles to get over first…Roth (Shaggy’s race) and iMUK (it was there, a week before my race, and I knew people doing it) WHY I can hear people thinking. Why would these events bother me. Well, for those who have trained with someone, and it was ironic for me and Neill to have big races within a few weeks of each other, it was like he was stepping up first, and I was to follow. As if, I had to perform thereafter. Now don’t get me wrong, I new I was no where near in Neill’s league, but once he raced, and got the time he did, your mind then starts (and you can’t control it) to think, Hmmmm…now maybe….which, never helped in my reaction at my times in my race. Anyway, maybe that’s just me, sure it is as Cara keeps telling me!!
So, enough, and onto 8th August. Promise I will keep these brief…the packing was a mare, pack, unpack, pack, unpack…and on and on….should I, shouldn’t I,. yes, first timers, you all remember that feeling. I was, remarkably un nerves, excited, but no real nerves. This pleased me, as I knew the training was complete, and I was ready to take on this thing!
Swim…..could not have had a better swim if they had gone and let me swim alone! I opted for the old ‘sit near the back’ approach, yes, a cowardly feature of mine when it comes to swimming, but with this being my worst discipline, it was best for me…anyway, on getting out, and hearing ‘81’ from my good friend who was there, I was chuffed to bits! Result Rocko!! I had pencilled that swim down for at least 1.30!!
Onto bike, nice steady 7.30ish change, and onto bike. Biggest mistake on bike, went out WAY to quick…YES YES YES, that age old thing, if you feel you are goinj to quick, then you probably are….and I was, but just got hung up on the target time, and hearing someone say, ‘try sit at 20’ Well, as you can imagine, it all went to sh*t….my back went, my Achilles went, legs obviously, and come entering T2, I was a bit of a wreck!
Tried to take time in T2, change, get myself together, as I new I had overcooked the bike, and the run was where I needed to pull back the time. Now don’t get me wrong, for those who know me, and those who have seen me, I aint built for running, but, I new if I could pop in a 4.30, then I stood a chance….so, onto run….lots of pain, so decided to take some painkillers, HUGE ERROR….6.30 on a bike, gels sloshing around me and nothing to absorb the drugs, BOOM, the world suddenly become a very sleepy place….sickness, sleepy, and still in pain…funny though, my 1st lap felt ok, and my 2nd, utterly awful, but people were saying ‘c’mon Wrecsam, your looking better 2nd time round’ REALLY, well I DON’T feel it….so my run ended, painfully, slowly, BUT, I did THE one thing I wanted to do…I crossed the finish line RUNNING, carrying my 6 months old daughter, wrapped in a welsh flag!! So for me, 13.48 was worth it!! At the time, it was hell on earth, I wanted to stop, I wanted to quit, 3 things kept me moving….Cara, Tilly and Neill(even though not there, in soul he very much was)
Anyway, there you go, my brief, road to iron distance…will I do another, of course, I’d be a liar if I said not, next year, no, I get married then…. 2012 though, now that could be MY Olympic year!
Last, but by NO means least…THANK YOU’S…. to some training friends, for there support and advice, Hodge, and Jayse….to he people who shouted words of encouragement on the day, as we know, at the precise time of them shouting it, it means SOOOOOO much! To Sean, for the top, the support because of that, was awesome, he was like an angel the morning of the race, appearing from no where, to hand me this Wrecsam top, like he knew what a slaughtering I was going to get, and yet, this top was going to give me some help, and help it did! (And Rob, who shouted from know where on both laps) To a good good friend and multiple iM, MDS finisher and other crazy challenges, Gerard..great guy, thanks….My family, yes, My Sis and Brother in Law were there with the boys, with there FULL support, and again, was so great that they made the journey not only to Nottingham, but over the year to….La, aka, Shaggy, Neill Reece Hughes….great guy, great athlete, and I can’t thank you enough for the help and support over the year la….not sure I could have made it alone….so for all those times I moaned, I’m sorry, but I genuinely thank you…awesome!
Lastly, my daughter who could not be there, Megan, I miss you…..my little girl, Tilly Rose, who was, and makes me THE proudest Daddy in the whole world….and yes, there were tears, lots, and I don’t care, and Ironman should cry! My step son, who at 11 years old, waited at every opportunity to see me, and run wioth me, carrying the welsh flag. At 11 years old, that is awesome, cause all of a sudden at 11 years old, older people do not become cool….so Dylan, thank you little man, it was great you being at all those places….and finally, my long suffering partner Cara….whom without, I would not, could not, have done this…so for enduring the last 7 months, they have been tuff, more downs than ups, but, all done now….and I Thank You, for your support and love.