A bit late with the (IMUK) update but I’ve been feeling a bit rough this weekend with a new cold and lack of enthusiasm on my part. IMUK was a close call. I’d crammed all of my race gear into the car on Thurs AM, gave it a clean and was just about to set off on my drive to Bolton when I had a call from the GP. In the interim she’d had a chat with a colleague about my situation and felt that until I’d had further ECGs just to make sure then she wasn’t happy with me starting the race. Of course she could (and probably was) covering her back, but I was not happy with my health anyway, and this was just the switch I needed to pull-out. I’m quite glad of the decision because I was in no shape to do anything on Sunday with the tight chest/heart problem and cold on top of it. By chance I’d managed to have a small chat with a couple of pros (Dion Harrison and Chrissie Wellington) in the last week. Dion has had a similar issue in the past and Chrissie was good enough to provide a contact/specialist she knows should the problem persist.
I still believe that it all stems from the virus in May. I’ve not been right since then and all races have been below par or I’ve had to pull-out. I’ve cleared August of racing and, to a large extent, training. I have the rest of this week off, and then will think about some light swimming and cycling to ensure I don’t lose too much in the way of technique/form. I’ll keep an eye on the RHR and try and get it back to a more suitable level by September. There’s a blood clot behind one eye that will be checked in a couple of weeks too, so hopefully by the end of the month I’ll be all clear! I’m entered into the Clacton Triathlon on 4 Sep and will claim this as my first race back.
I’ve saved a lot of money from IMUK/Hawaii (I like to think I would have qualified if I was fit), probably around £2.5+. I’m gutted that I didn’t get the chance to compete in IMUK and potentially qualify, but that’s because I’d set myself up to do so. I have been just as excited (if not more) at the prospect of doing the Caesars Camp 100mile race in October. THAT’s a challenge for me! It’ll be further than I’ve ever raced before over a very hilly course through the night and I want to try and go for the course record for as long as possible. I can now concentrate on this.
My thoughts for next year with regards to Ironman-distance triathlons is to have a go at some of the smaller UK events eg Forestman, Big Woody. I’ll start the year again with a period of training in Lanzarote based around the Enduroman Triathlon Festival in Playa Blanca, probably doing a half iron-distance race so I can train for the remainder of the break. I may still enter a big IM event here or abroad but it will be a decision I’ll make at the end of the season (when the remaining slots for the foreign races are released in Dec). I want to develop my cycling in the winter as it’s something I’ve never really got to grips with and seems to be where I have the most potential. Whatever I decide to do pre season I’ll need to try and concentrate more on one area instead of juggling different formats at the same time (ultra&fell running, <=double ironman triathlon, track). I can’t recover quickly enough these days, old age!
Planning a weekend camp/hike with my brother this weekend to try out some gear. I’ve been investing in increasingly lighter gear that will enable me to go multi-day off-road running, and camp/bivvy on the fly. I have a 300g bivvy bag as the lightest option, should I be brave. I’d consider this for any personal challenges I have where distance:time is important. I could throw an inner liner or lightweight sleeping bag inside this but unless its cold I may as well sleep in my running gear. The tent option is 1kg (minus pegs). But I’d prob need to include the bivvy bag too (1.3kg+). I’ve been making a list of potential run routes & challenges I’d like to do in the near future, and will do one of them at some point in September, doubling-up as a Caesars Camp warm-up. I’ve included the Welsh 3000s, Bob Graham Round (<20hrs), Ridgeway (2d), Cotswold Way (3d), or something closer to my heart eg 2d starting around Brecon Beacons and then heading on to the Offas Dyke (to Knighton) on second day. I’m quite restless right now, thinking about next month.