First of all. Let's get this over with. How can I best say this?
I've signed up for Ironman Switzerland 2010. I know, I know... the last one was a nightmare and everything nearly stopped working and I ended up like a baboon. But Ironman's part of me at the moment - a great way of measuring myself and a terrifically challenging part of my life. So, on August 1st next year, I'll be wading into Lake Zurich ready to rock and roll.
All things being equal that is.
I've recovered slowly but surely over the past two weeks and haven't rushed things. There have been several shorter sessions as my body learns to cope with Olympic and Sprint distances. I've been 10 mile TT (Time Trialing) in my cycling and doing some shorter sprint running work with Colin. But there is still fatigue in my legs and my back is giving me a bit of gyp.
Nonetheless, I'll be lining up at Blithfield for an Olympic Distance race this Sunday with my mate 'Arps. We've done many things together, have 'Arps and I, and triathlon is simply the latest. I'm hoping to PB but one never knows. My previous best for an Olympic is 2 hours and 25 minutes so we'll see what I can come up with on Sunday. (For anyone not sure of the distances, it's 1.5k swim, 40k bike and 10k run).
The girls have finished school for summer and it's great to have them about the place. Their energy and liveliness is a mobilising factor for me and I thrive on the slight feeling of chaos when they're around - that's chaos in a nice way, of course.
Once I get into the swing of things again I'll re focus on the blog and think about re-design and content but, through the summer months at least, I'll just drop in each week and share a few thoughts with you.
It's getting busy again at work with several projects coming through - I need to focus on these and also on my writing project which has languished recently.
Congratulations this week to Tom and Helen, Gabriel, Dave and Craig H. for their sterling efforts at IMCH (Ironman Switzerland). Tom missed out on qualification for Kona by three minutes which I know left a scar on him, especially as many of those with faster times than his amazing 9:28 cheated by drafting. Onwards and upwards, Tom. Achieved dreams don't come easy.
The photos are from this year's Ironman Germany and, the more I reflect on that race, the happier I am with my performance. Sure, I was in great shape and could have done a 10:15 but, on the day, I could have also done a lot, lot worse. So, I still have a smile on my face when I think about it.
I'm not going to set targets or goals this year for Switzerland, rather I'm going to go at it (as I always go at things) full pelt, and simply see what happens. I want the race to be relaxed and fun. Germany was damned hard work - I'd like Switzerland to be more enjoyable and I think one way of doing that is to take some of the pressure off myself. If I PB then terrific. If not, then that will also be okay, just as long as I've given it my best shot.
And, in a nutshell, that's what everything in life is about, isn't it? Giving it your best shot.
Thanks for all your support over the year and I look forward to sharing it all with you again in the weeks and months to come.
The photo up top is just after I'd been released from the medical tent. With my girls, Erin and Alice.
On the way to the race briefing with Graham M.
racking with some of Team MK. Andy J, Trevor H, Quilly, Marcus, Rooomie Al, Me, Graham, Martin P.
Finishing the swim in 60 minutes...
My back is beginning to go here...
Starting out on the run
Fitzy in full UK supporter mode.
The girls supporting on the run course
Bent double at the finish.
Team O'Neill. My dad, Alice, me, Erin, my brother Conal, my mum, Carl, Fiona.
Carl and me after the race!
The finish line.
Fiona, me and Alice post race.