March was a funny one and not because I used Veet on my legs for the first time (no laughing at the back!). Apparently it makes you more Aero, or it helps with massages, or stops getting hair in your cut if you come off the bike, lets face it its all a load of rubbish, the only reason triathletes and cyclists do it is because it MAKES YOU LOOK PRO! Apparently. Either way I am now part of this new found smooth legged club.
I hadn’t long taken ownership of my new bike and was signed up to ride the Wiltshire Wildcat Cycle Sportive with my mates, 81 miles and about 5000ft elevation meant it would be a good day out and a gauge of my fitness.
Normally when I look at the forecast and it says windy im not too bothered however as the new bike has deep section rims, and as I am light crosswinds make it a battle to stop myself flying sideways into a hedge or oncoming traffic. The forecast for the Wiltshire Wildcat was one of high winds. The whole day was spent in quite a tense position on the bike plus a slipping seat post meant it didn’t all go to plan, thankfully I had my mate Neil ‘Legs of Steel’ with me to help push on through. We finished the ride in just under 5 hours so all was well in the end, although spare a thought for my brother in law Aaron who suffered a record breaking 6 punctures (If only Norris McWhirter had been on hand with his Guinness book of World Records he’d be famous) so he had to call it a day early on.
A week later I had Surrey Half Marathon where I managed a 7 minute PB, I was really pleased with this and felt strong, it poured down most of the morning but it was a good event and I managed to beat the man with a fridge stuck to his back so I call that a result.
You may be reading this this thinking, ‘this guy’s not mentioned injuries yet’ well hold your horses! For the first 2 weeks in March I couldn’t swim due to a shoulder impingement meaning I couldn’t lift my arm past shoulder height. This was probably brought on by holding on for dear life while on the sportive. A trip to the physio and some exercises I was back in the game 2 weeks later.
The rest of March has been the usual, swim bike, run as much as possible and trying to be as consistent as I can, unfortunately not as much as I would have liked but still lots of brick sessions have been good and still averaging about 9 hours training a week.
The end of March saw me enter my first TT (Time Trial) hosted by Andover Wheelers along with the man that began this Ironman journey with me Steve, now we are completely new to this but we went along with our mate ‘Legs of Steel’ Neil who is an experienced head in the art of going fast, in case you hadn’t surmised from his nickname. This TT was a 8.25 mile Loop and you set off one at a time in 1 minute intervals. Annoyingly I was drawn number 21, Steve 22 and Neil 23, so I knew as I was going first they would be trying there hardest to catch me, if ever I felt like a hare being chased by a couple of dogs now was the time, woof woof.
I started off ok then hit the headwind stayed as aero as possible and just gritted my teeth and pushed as hard as I could, the intention was to go as hard as my legs could go without those 2 dogs catching me.
After about 4 miles nobody had gone past me so I was feeling quietly confident, that was until about mile 5-6 when ‘Legs of Steel’ rode past me as if he was on a Sunday jaunt, in fact he may as well have been reading the paper he looked that casual, yes he has a smart TT bike but it would have possibly been the same if he was on a Penny Farthing.
Considering Neil started 2 minutes behind me he must have been giving it some, Steve who started 1 minute behind me hadn’t passed me yet so I still had something to hold onto, that was until 1 mile to go when I turned to see him head down foaming at the mouth dripping in sweat, and screaming ‘’ must catch matty!’ , ok it wasn’t like that at all he just rode past me quite fast, faster than me so of course I let him go, my time would come, perhaps in a race when neither of those 2 were racing.
We finished the race knackered but loved it, there is something to be said about going as hard and fast as you can for a short period of time leaving nothing left on the table, giving your absolute all. I realised at the end I had an excuse, my seat post had dropped (again) so I wouldn’t have produced as much power towards the latter part of the race, truth be told I doubt id have been much quicker but I blamed that damn seatpost!
At the time of going to press Ironman is only 99 days away and I still have a long way to go, so far the furthest I’ve ever ran is 13.1 miles, I have not swam the distance yet and have only done 2 100 plus mile rides to date so lots of hard training to come so I just hope I can manage these injuries. positive thinking goes a long way.
I leave the end of March and the start of April injured (yes I know hard to believe) , an ongoing knee problem which I’ve been maintaining for 6 weeks now has finally got too painful I’ve had to stop running, patellar femoral pain so I won’t bore you with the details as it bores me but it’s just another little obstacle to get through, the good thing about triathlon is there is always another discipline to focus on if you can’t do any of the others.
And finally, the reason I am doing this please, If you can sponsor a bit of money for this worthy cause, if you read this blog and enjoyed it or even if you haven’t and you want me to shut up, sponsoring is the way forward.
April sees some warm weather training, Ibiza here we come, injuries permitting of course.