It doesn't seem two seconds ago the I booked my place at Outlaw and I sit here writing with 13 days to go. 13!!!!!!
I booked my place at the Outlaw when they went on sale on the 13th September. That gave me 298 days of grace. Well where have the last 285 days gone? It's a good job I'm not panicking as it would be quite easy to get caught up in the moment.
After all I am about to undertake the biggest challenge I have ever attempted. A 2.4 mile swim to be completed in two hours followed by a 112 mile bike ride to be completed in 8 hours followed by a 26.2 mile run to be completed in 7 hours. The events starts at 6am and you have to have completed by 11pm the same day, a full 17 hours later.
This potentially means I will be racing for 1020 minutes. The race will be only against myself as my mantra is #CompleteNotCompete.
For those of you who are new to my blog, the swim and bike do not faze me. I used to swim for my hometown and will be aiming to complete the swim in as close to 60 minutes as I possibly can.
The bike doesn't really bother me. Although I am by no means an excellent cyclist I have been putting the miles in and my average speed has been slowly improving but is in excess of the 13.7 mph needed to complete the bike leg before cut off.
The run however has had me petrified since I booked my place in this race. I started this quest having not run since I was forced to at Secondary School. I struggle with running the most but I am improving.
Last year was a disaster as I was injured from February until May. I really struggled to complete the 10km run of the London Triathlon because of this. It is only really since December 2012 that I have started to notice any improvement in my running.
I have been detailing my problems and successes with running and it has had more ups and down than the Big Dipper at Blackpool Pleasure Beach
The positive posts can be seen here: -
The negative posts can be seen here: -
In the last month there have been a lot more negatives than positives with my running. I thought I had found some trainers which had cured my blister problem, however on an 8 mile run the familiar rub appeared in my new trainers and it was a case of back to the drawing board.
I then went on another 8 mile run wearing Compeed before I set off this time and managed to suffer a total of five blisters. I was so frustrated by this I nearly gave up in my quest to complete the Outlaw. My wife knew something was seriously wrong and off we went to Meadowhall to see what could be done. Here I was 21 days away from my A race of 2013 and the furthest I had run was 8 miles, I only had to find another 18 come race day.
Following a trip to Meadowhall I came up with a plan to hopefully get more miles out of my sensitive feet. I purchased some Strutz Pro and thought these may be able to be placed as an extra layer between my feet and trainers.
One of my friends recommended the following product to act as a lubricant for my feet. Trislide by SBR sports.
Fast forward one week and there was an 18 mile run scheduled on my plan. This would be my last big run before Outlaw and was some 225% further than I had been running. It is said you should never increase distance by more than 10% per week. What I was about to attempt was nothing short of running suicide. This was do or die time. If I failed to complete this run, the thing I had been ignoring would come to fruition. I would have to drop out of the Outlaw.
I used Trislide and coated the bottom of both my feet with it. I wore my new trainers and as an extra measure used the Strutz Pro coated in Chamois Butr. The Strutz lasted a full two miles before they started irritating me. I quickly removed them, coated the bottom of my feet in more Chamois Butr and set off running again. I managed to maintain 11 min/mile pace through the next 11 miles. This meant I had now completed a half marathon in a time of 02:27 which was a new PB (well it had to be as it was the first time I had ever run this far), I was thrilled. I managed another 5 miles but my pace dropped to over 12 min/mile and I really started to struggle. Whereas I had mostly managed to run the last 13 miles, now I was rulking (the art of run walking that I have perfected on this quest)
I completed the 18 mile distance and was blister free, I was also injury free, which was a relief. I was overjoyed. It wasn't easy or pretty but I bloody did it. I would still be able to enter the Outlaw. As I have stated previously I would not turn up at the Outlaw if I didn't believe I could get to the finish line.
|I AM NOT A QUITTER!|
I'm competitor 288 so if you pass me on the bike or run as I'm sure many of you will, remember to say hello.
Good luck in your tapers. Don't overdo it.
If you're new to this blog, I am not doing this just for personal achievement I am also raising money for charity. My chosen charity for this year is HHHO. If you would like to sponsor me you can via my Justgiving page at the following address www.justgiving.com/triathlon4harry
Thanks for reading,