What a difference a year makes…and a big mistake to teach me a valuable lesson 🙄
Staffs 70.3 last June, my first half IM, ended with me crossing the finish line in 8hr25m24s with severe stomach pains. I’d hung on like my life depended on it, and was overwhelmed when they placed my first IM 70.3 medal around my neck! The pains had started around mile 16 on the bike, after gulping a few mouthfuls of lake water in the swim as I inhaled a wave. Oh boy, did I pay for that! The medic explained that the micro-organisms in the lake were now happily swimming around in my stomach😱🤢
Fast forward to May 2019 – Outlaw Half, Notts. This year’s goal was to make time up on the bike leg – oh and not to swallow any lake water!! The first goal i’d trained hard for, increasing my power output by 20 watts (I’m getting good at this technical speak now😁) the second goal was, well, we’d see on the day eek!
I was neoprened-up from head to toe for the swim, but toasty warm in the 15oC water. It went well, with lots of space around me, and I found the feet of a faster swimmer, as instructed by Coach Allie. Not a drop of water passed my lips, hooraaay! and I finished almost 4 minutes faster than Staffs last year! I’ll take that 😁
In and out of T1 five minutes faster than Staffs. Yes, you’re right, I had time for a picnic in T1 last year it took me so long 😂 The bike course was really lovely and passed without incident. I built my speed each hour (as instructed by Coach Allie 😬) then gave it everything I’d got for the last hour… Smashed last year’s bike time! and was well chuffed entering T2.
Out of T2 and onto the two lap run. After about 20 minutes I was beginning to run upright again😁 and decided on a 4 minute run 1 minute walk strategy, feeling that last ‘eyeballs out’ hour on the bike in my legs. As I began the second lap of the run the lactic acid was taking hold, and I entered that dark place where you have to draw on every mantra you ever heard of to keep you putting that one foot in front of the other. Oh boy, it hurt but I knew without a doubt that I was going to finish faster and stronger than Staffs IM 70.3.
As I approached the finish chute I wiped the snot off my face, drew myself upright and found a sprint in me that I never knew I had!!! I crossed the finish line in 7hrs 35mins 36secs… 49 minutes faster than last year! Goal accomplished!!!
A huge thank you to Allie for being more than just a Coach! Between you and me, I think she’s secretly a highly trained psychologist too, as the mental is as big a part of all this training as the physical is, and boy does she keep it all together for me 🥂