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Ironman UK 2nd Aug 2009 - Do I practise what I preach?

Posted by Rob Woollen on August 11, 2009 at 7:50 AM

What a day!

 

 After my friend and fellow Ironman Alan had tested the water on Saturday, I was really worried about getting round within the cut-off time of 2 hours 20 mins. Swimming is by far my weakest discipline, and although I have done the distance once in the pool, I am not very experienced in open water, or at that distance.

 

 It is very hard to judge time in the water, and 15 mins can feel like an hour.

 

 After the first of the two laps I looked at my watch. It had only taken me 36 minutes to get round that time - I went off with renewed vigour and came home in 1:19 - with over an hour to spare!

 

 The first lap of the bike was hard, starting right into a huge hill up to the top of Rivington Moors. then came a steep winding downhill where my speed hit a scary 38 mph. The rest of the route was fairly good, but hillier than it seemed on the drive round we did the Friday before.

 

 At the end of the first lap, however, I ran into trouble. My left knee was becoming quite sore and hurt with every pedal stroke. Now those who train with me will be familiar with the phrase, "Pain means stop, but burn is good". So should I have stopped then and had it looked at? But that would have meant 6 months of training and a £300 entry fee out of the window. Is it sometimes ok to ignore pain if you are careful and the ends are worth it?

 

My answer is "Yes". As long as you know what the pain is likely to be, and you are understand that to continue could mean to increase recovery time I think it is a decision we can all make from time to time. Had it been in training, I would have stopped immediately and got straight down to the physio.

 

I finished the bike way over target, and hit the marathon. The first half was painful, but I managed to run it all. However by the 13 mile point, I was unable to put weight on the leg when going downhill. So I ran the flats and walked the hills. The marathon took me 4:36 hours - a little disappointing as I felt (fitness-wise) that I was on fire and could have flown around it.

 

In the end, I took my medal at 13 and a half hours. Next year I'm going for around 13!

 

Thanks to all who sponsored me, raised nearly £3k for FSID.

Categories: Racing and events

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