I hate the boogie monster. Sneaking around, making weird noises in my flat at night. Piss off boogie monster. No one is scared of you.
Fear is a terrible thing. So is doubt. You know, I’m 28 years old and I am still afraid of the dark. Laugh it up. One day you will be grabbed at the ankles whilst walking up the stairs and you too will feel the cold clutch of death around your heart (ok so it was just Dad trying to freak me out when I was little but it was damn scary!!). The point here is it takes BALLS to attempt some stuff. Remember my friends saying their marathons and 10k’s were nothing compared to my Ironman? Well that is still bullshit and here is why. Some people have mountains to climb and fears to face. It doesn’t matter what those fears are. They are individual and they are all relevant. It takes a hell of a lot of grit and determination to push past them.
I actually wanted to call this post “Is it sunny or is it not sunny?” after meeting Jess for lunch. She comes out with some crackers… Seriously though, London weather, can we make a decision here? My skin is sticky but I’m not wearing sunglasses. NOT OK.
Maybe it’s because I brought the clouds over with my Cloud 9 chat yesterday. Get it?! See what I did?! Pun city. Did you know I was in Wales at the weekend? Unless you were recreating the scene with Wilson on a desert island there is no way you missed me abusing social media to the extent I did over the weekend. As a refresher: I went to Tenby, Tenby being the location of my Ironman in 54 days (huugghghhhghghg – oh sorry – just dry heaved). In Tenby I met some fellow Ironman competitors and on Sunday I rode the full bike course. Well, actually, the bike course is 112 miles on the day and I rode 70 miles of it but you have to repeat the big loop on the day…. Looky here:
For those not in the know and let’s face it, who would be in the know? Wales is up there with the hardest Ironman courses in the world, or so I am told. Why? Well it ain’t flat. Like at all. Not even a little bit. It’s got bigger humps than Fergie and to put it politely I was ever so slightly ABSOLUTELY SHITTING MYSELF about this course. The horror stories I have heard over the past 7 months have had me waking up in a cold sweat and realising I wasn’t climbing Everest on a kids tricycle. (Don’t ask).
So it’s hilly. Oh and it’s windy. Great. But guess what? Set out on Sunday morning, full of porridge and poached eggs and some serious carb loading from the previous day (thank you very much Haribo and digestives – yes – I am not always healthy) aaaaaaaaaaaand….. I LOVED IT. The scenery was breathtaking. The sun was shining. My legs were strong. My bike was fast. Utterly thrilled. I got my nutrition right. I got my hydration right. I got my cadence (the speed I turn the pedals) right. *High friggin-FIVE*
When I first started training for this Ironman I couldn’t climb a standard sized hill on Amira (my bike) without being on the verge of tears. My thighs were screaming, I was breathing so hard I thought I’d throw up – it was horrendous – they make it look so easy. Yesterday I rode the Ironman course and felt strong for the duration. The course has three major hills = Heartbreak hill, Wisemans Bridge and Narberth. Now excuse me, but that’s an effing achievement. But it is not the point. The point is, KEEP GOING. Just keep going. Heartbreak, weight gain, depression, skint-ness (definitely a word). Just damn well stick at your goals. You will surprise yourself….
This is, once again, getting a bit deep and emotional and we hate that stuff don’t we? (Lies – I am, according to my good friend Jack: “a ball of emotion and excitement” – charming). But look guys, Ironman is massive. I will be out on that course from 6:30am until around 9pm… possibly longer. People don’t make it. People are pulled out of the ocean during the swim. They fail the cut off times. These are all massive possibilities for me but I will be DAMNED if I don’t give it my all.
Perspective. Another important quality I have learned in the past few months. Largely diet based. Remember my confession about the eating disorders? Well picture this… on my bike ride yesterday I burned around 4000 calories – that’s roughly 17 Mars Bars or 80 apples. Now you know I advocate a healthy lifestyle yes? We like our veg and our protein and our sensible carb portions. WELL ALL THAT WENT OUT THE WINDOW YESTERDAY. Ordinarily I’d freak out at eating an entire packet of Caramel Digestives but on the 6 hour train home to London from Tenby that is exactly what I did. I also had pizza and crisps and haribo (I am going to turn into a cola bottle and I don’t even like them. I’m a tangfastic cherry girl). Now then – I am not particularly proud of this feast but I was feeling proud of my bodies achievements so I let it have whatever it wanted. Going forward though I will definitely be aiming to refuel, revitalise, re-energise, whatever you choose to call it – myself with natures choices e.g. honey, oats, dried fruit, nuts etc etc…. OR I will eat pizza and chocolate. No Cat! Come on! But this is also progress – no guilt – just recognition of damned hard work. Mind you, I was back on the quark and berries and almonds and forty billion litres of water this morning..
So, you fabulous folks – I must now ask for your help. I have been thinking about the final countdown to the big day (13th September) and I would like to ask you a favour. If you have any desire to support me financially then the links are below. I am raising in memory of a dear friends granddaughter who tragically passed away recently. SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) if an appalling disease that cannot be treated currently and more research is required to help these poor babies and their heartbroken families. I have set up a Just Giving page where you can donate as much or as little as you want and I have also set up a Text donation service:
If however you have sponsored half your facebook friends already this year then I am asking something of you that costs nothing. Can you post little messages of encouragement? I am going to set up an Ironman Support page and then I am going to write them all down with your names and read them the night before the race. Your support will get me up heartbreak hill (google it – it’s grim and I have to ride it twice), your support will make me run instead of walk, your support will mean more than any power bar hydration.
Sorry for the emotion. It’s going to be a big couple of months.
Now go and sponsor me cheapskates. Jokes.(Seriously though… a fiver – love ya)