Race report here.
My preparations going in to this race were pretty consistent targeting Ironman UK. There were three weeks between this race and IMUK with Four Trails (4 big days running in the Alps) in the middle of those weeks. This would be a week of no swim or bike but some massive days running. not ideal but I was hopeful I could get it right. This means I planned to have a big week in to Wimbleball. Targeting 1500 TSS in the week with it front loaded to allow for resting up a little. I rode every day for the 10 days leading in to the race with a steady 45k on the Fri and Sat.
My plan was to swim this very hard. I set off at a very solid pace. When I arrived at the first turn buoy with Matt Malloy having swum so hard I decided just to sit on his feet. Couldn’t have gone better or faster.
I was steady through here. it was packed. Next year perhaps I should put myself in the first wave.
I’d done some big weekends leading in to this. The previous three saturdays had seen me do 157, 144 and 151 miles. I’d also been doing weekly big gear turbo sessions. I felt very strong on the bike and confident I wouldn’t blow so decided I would just hit the bike very hard.
This is where being in the second wave helps with an endless stream of people to pick off. The weather meant I couldn’t see my power numbers. I took a quick peak at halfway and was a little concerned as it was very high. I did fade but didn’t blow up. The hills were definitely tough on the second lap and perhaps holding back a little would have provided a faster time. Just under 2:58 including a puncture is very pleasing.
Hamstrings cramping showed how hard I’d pushed on the bike. Otherwise uneventful.
I’ve had some pretty good run training this year. I’ve found the joy of running again. I’d been running faster, more consistently and done some good long runs. However, the consequences of my FHL repair continue to plague me. I started getting some plantar fasciitis which progressively got worse till 10 days ago I was really struggling to walk so I stopped running to try and get on top of it. I’d done no running and lots of rolling / trigger pointing. By a few days out I was completely pain free and quite optimistic that I’d have a good run in me.
As soon as I started the run I could feel my heel. I really should have pulled out and I knew it BUT I was going well and was keen to get a World Champs slot.
By the second lap I felt I was getting in to my running but the heel was getting progressively worse and was limiting how I could run. It was being made worse by the fact I was not planting my foot properly and on angled terrain was starting to strain the side of the calf. I was having to slow up hugely on the section that cuts back and forth across the grass between the swim and transition.
It was pretty frustrating but crossing the line I was over the moon about my race. You can see there was a slight fade throughout but that was down to the heel rather than fitness.
Following the race I could hardly walk which confirmed the decision I’d made on the run that I wouldn’t race Four Trails.
I took my World Champs slot and must say it’s the most excited about a race I’ve been in a long long time.
Following the race I saw Helen at 10-Point. She’s help me so much over the years and yet again found the source of the problem and is putting me on the road to recovery. more on this when I do my IMUK preview.