Started the month on 1735km and committed to getting myself past 2000 by the end of the month. So thats a 275km goal plus the added pressure of The Vitruvian Half Ironman at the end of the month so not much there then :-).
To get myself prepped for the Vit I had to start really getting some miles under my belt on the bike and some structured time in the pool, easier said than done when you are running everyday, but I started as I hoped to continue by putting in a brick session in for the first run of August a steady 50 miles (2:30) ride followed by 5km’s. Last year in prep for the Outlaw this would have been a pretty easy brick session but 2:30 hours on the bike following 213 consecutive days running really tore my legs to pieces and the 5km run was by no means a walk in the park. This was a major reality check that without any real rest the Vitruvian was going to be a very very big ask.
A week later I followed this up with another Brick session this time with a ride out to Rufford Park taking in Oxton Bank and Southwell I followed this with a 16km run and although my legs felt heavy considering the bike route was a lot tougher than last weeks and the weather was a damn sight hotter this brick was a massive physiological boost for me.
Things were progressing well I was ahead of target distance wise, I was getting into the pool once a week for a coached session with Absolute Tri and I was feeling like I had gotten my bike legs back. I had a couple of days away in Redditch for Tash’s Nans 90th Birthday and I planned to get out on the TT bike rather than my Roadie for the first time in a while and get a more focused brick session in once we returned, but the injury gods had other ideas. Isn’t it always the way I have been running everyday and have managed to keep pretty fit, afew aches and pains but nothing major. Now putting a childs car seat in the back of a car is a whole other matter one wrong move and pop.
One wrong move and bang, to this day I am not sure what I really did but were the pain was suggested that I had inflamed or torn (minor) my lateral meniscus cartilage all I knew was that it hurt like hell to run on and as far as I was concerned the Vit was not going to happen and I was a couple of runs from having to quit my challenge altogether – Bad times. With my leg heavily strapped and a steady flow of ibuprofen gel and tablets I still managed to grind out the min 5kms per day but I gave myself a week and if it had not improved I would go and see Carl at A therapy and pray that he could fix me and not tell me to stop.
Luckily for me the bank holiday came and went and with plenty of R.I.C.E (well as much rest as is possible) the knee was starting to feel a little better by no means was it 100% not even 75% but the fear of quitting had gone but I was sure I would struggle with the Vit. I went for a swim to test the knee out in the pool as well as my wetsuit, I had not worn it since the Club Relays the previous year and just needed to see if it still fitted ok. Luckily it did and the knee seem to not be effected if I limited my kick. So I knew I could swim still and I had turned the pedals on my turbo so knew the bike was going to be tough with only 2 brick sessions in the bank but possible still, it was just the fear of blowing my knee to pieces on the run that concerned me. Steve my coach at Absolute said I had to run 5km’s anyway so why not go out there do the 5 and see how the knee feels if I need to DNF then so be it. So that was it my mind had been made up I was doing the Vit come hell or high water.
In between this and the Vit I forced my self to stay at the 5km min and just accepted that the 2000km goal had gone but I had to look at the bigger picture and for me that was racing the Vit and even more important keeping moving until the end of the year. Happily the knee continued to improve and my mood was helped when the phone rang to advise that I had won a pair of Saucony runners from my Local running shop The Nottingham Runner (go check them out http://www.nottinghamrunner.com/ https://twitter.com/NottsRunner ) So with a big grin across my face I rode down to the shop and decided on a pair of Kinvara’s. For those interested I will be posting a review on these in the next couple of weeks but initial thoughts are very positive.
So here we are at the end of the month its 3am and my alarm has gone off time to head down to Rutland water for the Vitruvian Triathlon. Now I am not the best swimmer by a long distance and with no open water training at all this season I really was just looking at surviving the swim and so as I dragged my sorry ass out of the water at 44 mins I was not overally disappointed so now into T1 and then to the bike. I had done this course before as part of the dambuster Triathlon but that was a single loop of the bike course the vit takes you over the “Rutland Ripple” twice and ripple my arse it felt like the alps second time round but I got back to T2 in 2hrs:44 mins so slower than I was hoping for but with no focussed training and no Bike computer onboard (I forgot it – lack of racing shining through) I really had no complaints. So out for the run a 2 lap course out over the dam at Rutland water and then looping back. I was about 5-7km’s in when the knee started to tighten up and I just felt that it was not going to happen then out of nowhere I had massive pain in the heel of my left foot I had to stop twice to rectify the problem which turned out to be that my sock had gotten twisted in transition and had picked up what felt like half a house brick . What this did though was take my mind off the knee and suddenly I found myself at the halfway point with no real pain at all apart from the pain you expect from a long distance triathlon of course.
Full of confidence that the knee was going to hold together I started to push for home intent on getting my run time under 2 hours, I crossed the line at 5:26:28 meaning I had run the 13.1 miles in 1:52:09 by no means a pb but considering what I had gone through I was over the moon and wore my medal proudly for the rest of the day.
So somehow I managed to survive the month a feat I was pretty sure would not be possible 2 weeks into the month and here are my stats for August.
Month Total 251km
Total completed 1986km
Total remaining 1014km