Going out with a bang
It’s now 3 weeks after Lake Placid and I thought it would be fitting to finish my blog with an entry after the Luray tri, as it was with that race that the blog began a year ago.
It can be a long process recovering from an ironman, but it seems to be going pretty well for me. I had trouble walking for about three days, but from then on the recovery has been pretty fast. I resumed training slowly a week after the race and the last few days I’ve felt the best I’ve ever felt. However, feeling incredible and actually performing well are two things, so I was interested to see how my performance went in Luray.
Being a sprint triathlon I went out really hard as I began the one loop swim of Lake Arrowhead. About 100 yards in I could see there were not many people in front of me, which is something I’m not really used to in open water swims. I found someone to draft off and settled in for the next couple of hundred metres, but then I could feel them fade so I surged out on my own. When I reached the beach I was shocked to see nobody ahead of me!
I was in fact in third position – the first two guys were so far ahead of me I couldn’t even see them, but I had just completed the swim of my life! At Luray last year I was very much a middle of the pack swimmer and it felt great to know all those hours in the pool have paid off. I was gasping for breath a little, but maintained my form as I made a quick transition and got onto the bike course.
Once on the bike I quickly caught sight of second place and looked to take some time off them on the first hill. I powered up, but right as I neared the top my bike ruined the serenity of the Blue Ridge foot hills with a deafening pop. I had burst my rear inner tube! With less than a mile of the bike course completed I retired from the race.
I was frustrated to say the least, but that’s triathlon and I have found you simply cannot beat Murphy’s Law sometimes. I’ve managed to post finishing times for only 50% of the triathlons I’ve entered this year! However, I feel incredibly lucky as on inspection of my tube it would appear it was simply a burst seam, probably caused by age. This could have happened at any time and yet I managed to get in all 112 miles of the Lake Placid course before it did. Less than a mile of outdoor cycling later and there it goes – maybe on this occasion I did get the better of Murphy!
So now I guess it’s a question of what’s next for me. I still have no desire to do anything as crazy as an ironman again anytime soon. Right now I’m leaning towards focusing on running again and focusing on middle distance. While I love triathlon, it involves a lot of preparation for each race, very early mornings and the added risk factor of your bike letting you down. With running races you just rock up 30 minutes before the race, collect your race packet and off you go for a few minutes. Anything that involves more sleep seems like a much better option when you’ve got a little guy to take care of!
Nevertheless, I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to compete at Lake Placid and complete an ironman. It was a lot of hard work to train for, but it was an incredibly satisfying experience I’ll always be able to look back on fondly.
I was also glad to do my bit, however small, for hyperemesis gravidarum research. I’d like to thank everyone who donated for their generosity. Altogether we raised $1540, which goes an incredibly long way with the HER Foundation. The HER Foundation has very few overheads (e.g. it does not have a paid staff) and really makes every donation go a long way, so if you are ever looking to give to charity in the future I’d strongly encourage you to keep them in mind.
Of course, raising money was only part of the cause and I really wanted to help get the word out about HG and its effect on families. Please take the next opportunity you get to educate someone you know on HG (with the recent royal birth you have an excellent ice breaker!) So many expectant mothers are suffering from this debilitating illness and have no idea what it is – let’ do them all a big favour and help spread the word so they can get the treatment they need.
I’ve had fun writing the blog, so thanks for reading along and for your words of encouragement along the way!