So we are now 1 week away from Challenge Weymouth, My one and only Iron Distance race for the year! After saying at all my other races this year that they werent important and that i was really focussing on challenge i'm now sitting here thinking that i have had a pretty good season already and the result at Challenge isnt so important anyway!
Unfortunately this is me pretty much lying to myself and trying to take any pressure that i put on myself away from having a good performance at. It would have been a year since my last Ironman come next sunday morning, the longest i have ever gone between long course events since completing my first in August 2012. I am nervous but excited to see what happens, after all this is Ironman racing and anything can happen when racing for such a long period of time!
The build up has not exactly been that of a typical ironman build with only 1 run over the half marathon distance and not a single ride over 100 miles yet this year! Some of the signs are good though, With 2 short course races in the last 3 weeks and a 25 mile Time Trial all done with no taper and rest days i have managed to hit times much faster than this point last year and feel that as long as i get this final week right there is a chance i could go well next weekend.
I will be competing in the GBR kit as this race also doubles as this years ETU Long Distance European Championships. The winners of the age group here getting to call themselves european champions but also with that comes the potential of stiffer competition and closer racing. I have goals and times that all being well and with the right weather conditions i can achieve, some of these genuinely make me nervous but i think thats a good thing and keeps me very much on my toes and motivated in training and if i think about them properly i get goose bumps. Hopefully having not ran a marthon or rode 180km this year will be more of a blessing as the mind and body soon forgets the pain of ironman and i will be going into it much more like an unaware first timer than someone racing his 6th long distance event.
The race also has extra interest for me this year as with the coaching business i have guys that i am coaching racing the half distance event on the same course the same day! These guys also have goals and dreams and have all been trusting enough to put the process of achieving them in my hands. This i am hoping is going to create a great atmosphere and excitement around the race and will help everyone to push through the hard times and get the most out of themselves enjoying the experience and making themselves very proud of what they have achieved.
Either way im sure next weekend is going to be a special day for many and if the support is anything like last year then it will be a great experience all round, now we just have to hope the winds are a little kinder this year and give us the chance of a full distance swim. To everyone out there get yourselves down to weymouth sea front next weekend and shout and screem and cheer all the athletes running up and down the sea front. If you see anyone in a GBR kit or the Orange Bustinskin kit then cheer even louder and im sure evryone will be very grateful for your efforts.
Heres to a great race for everyone and ill see you at the finish line!