The road to Ironman number 5.

I think one of the hardest things to deal with in the days immediately after completing a race that has been your primary focus for almost a year, is the sense of “What do I do now?” Ok so you also have to deal with the sore legs, ribs, blistered feet, and in the case of Lanzarote the blistered sunburn.

My sunburn was pretty bad on my forearms, and on my knees in the gap between my tri-shorts and my calf guards. I wasn’t even aware of it until I got into bed after the race. I didn’t sleep much because I was drunk on adrenaline, but also every time I moved it hurt like hell as my damaged skin bristled and throbbed. No amount of aftersun was going to help my nuclear glow. Getting back to the UK I went to the chemists and then to the doctor and the use of hydrocortisone cream helped me heal, so now I just look like someone attacked me with a cheese grater.

Blistered the morning after.

Blistered the morning after.

the healing cheese grater look

the healing cheese grater look

The rest of my body seems to have gotten away quite lightly, two big blisters on the ball of each foot ( probably from wet socks – pouring water over myself in the heat ) which have now gone thanks to the blister plasters. My left foot is still numb, not for the first time in an Ironman I lost all feeling in it about half way round the bike course. If I grab the 3 middle toes on the foot I can’t actually feel anything, last time I think it took the foot a few months to heal.

My legs feel decidely fresh and as such I ran home from work last night, my nike lunarglide running shoes felt normal on my feet, not heavy at all, which after a marathon I sometimes get. I changed to these this year and I love them, I have a new pair to wear after the Outlaw. They aren’t as built up as my previous shoes and I think that may be a factor in why my legs feel fresher now? But that of course is annecdotal. You could also argue that it was due to the wearing of compression calf guards or even running slowly? Very difficult to pinpoint, anyways the point I’m waffling about is my legs felt fine and the 3 mile recovery run was done at an average pace of 8.50 min/mile.

Throw in some light cycling and swimming this week and I’ll be training again properly next week for the ‘new’ focus of my efforts: The Outlaw Ironman distance event in Nottingham. I have 33 days until I put my body through this all over again, it’s going to be an interesting experiment to see if I can do it.

So the road to Ironman number 5 has begun, I’ll be treading very carefully in the next few weeks.

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12 responses to “The road to Ironman number 5.

  1. Still enjoying your blog and comments. Congrats on a job well down in Lanzarote! I didy first tri at the weekend, after reading your book, getting inspired and getting a personal trainer and getting back into a fit like regime (rather than sitting on the sofa, waiting for a life!). Anyway, dropped 4 stone since January and did the TTG Gloucester Tri on Sunday in 2hrs. 7mins. I wasn’t the quickest, but I didn’t come last either. I loved the event and the jolly people who whooped and cheered me on. Still inspired to do and achieve more! Thanks for your scaley skin pics, it puts me off my lunch, which is a weight loss aid !

    • PMSL at my arm being a weight loss tool, Brilliant !!
      Very well done on completing your first tri at the weekend, it’s such an amazing feeling when you finish your first one, something that will stay with you for life.
      Good luck with the training, and your future races, I’m sure a sub 2hrs is on the cards 😉

  2. That’s a pretty tight turn-around time!! But the course should be much kinder at the next one, correct? You’re bringing lots of fitness along with you, so just be patient with recovery (and generous with the sunscreen!)

    • It certainly is, will be an interesting experiment to see if my body can cope with it. I guess we’ll know in about a month. It’s a kinder course, not as epic as Lanza, but it has a few kinks on the bike to make you work hard. I realise I have nothing to gain in the next four weeks, and everything to loose, so I’ll be very patient and sensible…..did I really just type that !!?

  3. That looks nasty. Austria in 4 weeks, not as hot as Lanzarote but not exactly chilly i’m told , do you reckon any covering up options are just not practical ?

    my neck always gets it , was thinking of the foreign legion style hanky on the back of the cap . Cant imagine covering my arms but this doesn’t look like a world of fun .

    • No, I’d certainly cover your head on the run, one of my mates bought a foreign legion cap at the expo and put it to good use. I had loads of sun screen on, especially my neck and the small of my back which always gets it on the bike when your top rides up.
      I wouldn’t cover my arms, let the skin breathe, school of though being that the more skin exposed makes it cooler. You shouldn’t fry as much in austria, and there should be some shade. The sun is relentless in Lanza and there is zero shade.
      BUT
      race in whatever is comfortable, it will be a long day 😉
      Good luck.

  4. Wow. That photo is almost enough to scare off this wannabe triathlete. 🙂

  5. Ouch! I feel your pain on the sunburn. I’m a pasty Irish man and I always take the time in transition to lather on the sunblock. The tops of my legs always get fried on the bike

  6. debbie pentland

    ooooh ahhh! Tell you what really helps sunburn is natural yogurt, i know it sounds a bit kinky Andy but i burnt badly in Greece years ago , saw a great doc put me onto the yogi (best chilled in fridge before applying )

  7. That looks really nasty!! I hope it is much improved now Andy, although I’m quite impressed with the cheese grater look!

  8. Hey Andy, just starting to read your blog. I am half way through your book so far and it is very inspiring. Looking forward to learning from you and everyone here. I got a marathon coming up in November and I want to eventually be able to call myself an Ironman, but I got a lot of work to do before I get there. Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. Andy- try Skape sunscreen. Stays on through just about everything. Miraculous stuff.

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