Coming out of the Ironman Closet.

In my mind at the beginning of the season I always knew what I wanted, I just didn’t know how my return to racing would go. I said to myself that if my sprint performances at Ribby Hall and St Anne’s were a positive indicator of a return to fitness, and possibly more importantly a desire to push myself further then I’d look at doing something a little longer. I’m happy to say that so far so good, so I’ll quickly tell you about St Anne’s this past Sunday.

I did St Anne’s two years ago in horrible conditions and battled to a 1.20 finish. The weather was much better this time around although the wind in one direction on the seafront was brutal. To give you an indication, in one direction I clocked 30mph on the flat, in the other it was about 17 mph – a huge difference. I felt confident going into the race and that showed from the gun really.

I set off in the swim with my COLT clubmate Charlie just behind me, there were three to a lane and before the 400m was up I had lapped him and the other bloke. I got out of the swim feeling relaxed, I thought it would be slow but my watch told me otherwise. 7.50 – my fastest ever 400m. I was made up.

A quickish run through transition and then out on the bike. I passed loads of people and no one came past me. It was a fantastic atmosphere, people of all sizes riding every type of bike from shoppers to hybrids to 5k speed machines. I felt strong and dug really deep but the wind took its toll on my time. I did a 35 min 12 miles and when I started to run my legs felt the effort for the first couple of kilometres along the seafront. Eventually they woke up and I got into a steady rhythm picking people off. My mile splits were consistently 7.45 which was pleasing. The run is slightly longer than 5k coming in at 5.5 I think. I crossed the line stopping the Garmin at 1 hr 10 minutes. I was so pleased. I felt fresh.

The results came out yesterday and I officially did 1.12. I was initially gutted but realistically it was a huge pb on that course and the last time I was in that sort of form was back in 2009 in the final month before Ironman Germany. That gave me some perspective and cheered me up. The initial disappointment proved to me that I had the desire back, I wanted to be faster, I wanted to improve, I wanted to push myself and that was the final piece of this seasons puzzle falling into place.

St Anne's Triathlon 2014 COLT

Celebrating post race with fellow COLTS

Last year I couldn’t run then I found a fantastic pair of physios in James and Anna Geary, they rebuilt me, advised me on a steady comeback and listened as I told them my long range plans. Without them none of this would have been possible, and I really mean that. They were one part of the puzzle. Other parts including learning to run again, working on my weight, rediscovering my desire, getting the support of my family and club mates and testing and further testing the body to see if would hold up. I’ve kept quiet and plugged away, as I didn’t want any pressure, I just wanted to be back, I wanted to be ready.

I now know that I am.

It won’t be pretty, it won’t be fast, I’m certainly not chasing a pb but I fully intend to enjoy every long minute of it.

Watching everyone do Lanzarote at the weekend was inspirational and that just made me want this that much more.

So in 9 weeks time on July 20th 2014 in the wonderful town of Bolton, I shall be lining up with 2000 other athletes chasing their dreams as I battle my way around Ironman UK.

I can’t bloody wait, it’s time to come out of the Ironman Closet.

Ironman UK entry confirmation

Ironman UK entry confirmation – not an april fool

ps: When I posted the photo above on twitter as an April Fool, it wasn’t πŸ™‚


19 responses to “Coming out of the Ironman Closet.

  1. Nice one Andy. You never know we may get to the race ( to watch πŸ˜‰ and cheer you in.

    Lee , Pam & Kayden


  2. Andy, excellent news it will be awesome to see you tackle Ironman UK and I bet the excitement is already building, I know I am well hyped for it already. I presume your recent course trip has given you a good feel for the bike leg so you should be in good position to build the running and swimming. Hope all goes well and see you on the start line.

  3. I knew it would happen. Well done. What’s your training plan?

  4. Hahaha cheeky buggar – I shall yell at you over the internets πŸ˜€ go hard Pirate!

  5. Go Andy Go!!
    Good luck with your training πŸ˜ƒπŸ‘

  6. Brilliant news Andy. Well done on your long patient comeback. I’ll be on the start line at Bolton too – providing nothing untoward happens in the next 9 weeks. My first full IM. I am really looking forward to it!!!

  7. Fantastic news mate. Hope the training goes well.

  8. Go for it, looking forward to the blog over the coming months to see how the training unfolds……

  9. You have inspired my wife and I to enter this race, our first ironman.
    Great to see you there and cheers for getting us into this great sport.

  10. Will try and get out and watch the Bolton event. Well done on your return to fitness. Keep positive and don’t do anything crazy……

  11. Hope you have added earplugs to your kit list as you will probably get deafened by the cheering – I feel sorry for the local residents . . .

    . . . Or maybe they are better off with you on the course and not cheering?


    Race hard Pirate

  12. Whoop Whoop. You’re rubbish at secrets!
    Any time you want to ride all or part of a loop, give me a shout. You’d batter me round there this weekend πŸ˜‰

  13. Sounds like you can’t wait for it – do us all proud Andy!

    PS – how much sucking up to the wife did you have to do to get her to agree??!?

  14. Darren horrocks

    Best of luck with ironman uk. I did my first tri at ribby hall and shared the swimming lane with you. You absolutely left me for dead on the bike so if that was your first race back i think your gonna be fine. Just got your first book and it’s giving me all the motivation I need to give this tri game a good go and when I sign up to my first ironman I’ll just tell everyone “it’s all holgs’s fault”

  15. I am so glad that you were able to build yourself up again. I have found it very hard to come back from my knee injury. I am very close to finishing my recovery, I know how much work goes into being able to race once again. Good luck with your future races!

  16. Hi Andy, you may remember me from your talk in Huddersfield, me and my dad came down and got our books signed as well as an awkward photo at the end of the talk. I’ve read both your books now, truly inspiring stuff, and I was wondering if you’ve got any tips for ‘going long’?

  17. You’ve been an inspiration to many of us. I enjoyed both books and your talk at Tri show. Its been great to see you cheering on at IMUK (just seeing someone you recognise lifts you when your weary, as i’m sure you know)! And this year we will be in the same race! This is my 3rd consecutive IMUK and although my previous 2 attempts have been just under 17 and 16 hours i love the event and support you get. Enjoy! I’ll give you a wave as you pass me!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s