I originally wrote this post in September of 2013, two months after completing the Outlaw in July. At the time I’d pretty much not done any swim/bike/run related activity since crossing the finish line – I was desperate for a new challenge, a new focus. Just going for a run, or for a ride didn’t seem like it had a purpose without a goal to aim for. Anyway, I signed up for Outlaw 2014 – wanting to give it another go and to see if I could do a little better than my first attempt. Fast forward 4 months to early 2014, and for one reason or another I withdrew. I’d been unable to run for the best part of two months due to injury, and just wasn’t finding the motivation to train – add to that the pressures of a new job and I wasn’t realistically in any shape to punish myself come the July.
To cut a fairly long story short, I kicked myself out of my exercise malaise and signed up for Outlaw 2015 in August last year and will be on the start line (injury permitting) on July 26th to try and better my previous performance. I’m at the end of Week 11 of a 30 week training programme and (touch wood) everything is going well so far. My target this time is not to “just finish”. I have a goal in mind which is going to be a challenge, representing at least a 10% improvement in my time. In real terms that will mean more pain and a lot more training up to the big day. But that’s what’s kept me going through the winter and will hopefully keep me motivated through to July. Hopefully.
I thought it was about time to start thinking about what’s next. It’s been a few weeks since I did any training, or if I’m honest any real exercise at all. I think I’ve deserved some time off to rest and recover and to come to terms with starting to train for anything as big as this again. The wife and kids have certainly put up with a lot and have deserved some quality time from me – but I suspect I’m just getting in their hair now and they’re probably ready for a little less attention again!
Sitting down today and re-reading my race report and lessons learned from The Outlaw, I’m re-motivated to think about events for next year. I’d like to think that I have a sub-12 hour Ironman in me, and certainly have unfinished business at the 140.6 mile distance. The question is which event, or events, will I attempt next year to see if I can improve on this years performance. Do I re-visit The Outlaw where I know the course, or do I branch out and enter an Ironman branded event such as Ironman UK. Unfortunately the two events are only a week apart next year, so doing both is not an option and there’s the small matter of Ironman UK falling on Lily’s birthday, which is an argument I haven’t considered yet!.
I believe that Outlaw is my best chance of a fast time, given the course profile compared to Ironman UK in Bolton, but I do want to do an “official” event before I can consider myself “done” with the distance. Should this be next year? I don’t have an answer to this question yet, but will need to decide soon, since both events open in the next few weeks and sell out in a matter of days.
However, one thing’s for sure – I’ll be doing another Iron distance event next year and will be looking at training plans and schedules ASAP.
Watch this space….