It is now 10 days post Outlaw and my retelling of the day have not slowed, nor have my random fits of smiling into space ceased. To many people the way I spent 1st July 2012 was a crazy waste of time. Why put yourself throughout that voluntarily?
To those people I would say do it. Maybe not an Ironman, but something physical that pushes you outside of your comfort zone. Way out of your comfort zone! I may not have been the most dedicated trainer, I may not be the strongest mentally or physically, but on that day I found a way to work through problems and to just tough it out.
The Outlaw was a day of firsts for me.
- My first Triathlon
- My first Open Water Swim
- My longest ride ever
- My slowest Marathon ever
Now if I could have the time again I would have got down to Lakeside and down 10 or a dozen swims in Openwater. I would have gone for 5 or so rides of in excess of 100 miles. I would have maybe ran a little more consistently.
But when I was bobbing up and down in the water at 6am I hadn't done those things, and there isn't a thing you can do about it. This is where you are fitness wise, this is where your prep has got you. Now shut-up and do it or get out of the swim, get off the bike or take your running shoes off and put your feet up.
There were lots of times during the course of the day that I considered those things, but I fought the urge and carried on and for that I am very proud. I was talking to Lauren about it after the race and it is just one of those days along with your wedding, birth of your child etc that you just want to stay with you forever in HD crystal clear and not forget one single detail. That is one of the reasons why I have chronicled in such painful detail my experiences in the build up and during the day itself so that I can look back it and remember it.
It wasn't just a personal journey though, and the texts/Facebook messages of support, my cheer squad of Lauren, Mum, Dad, Jan, Luke and Amber, the Marshalls, supporters on the road and my fellow competitors just took it to another level. We all live in very small groups of people we hold dear, and you have the joke about people not meeting each others eyes on the tube, but at the Outlaw I felt part of something much bigger and everyone was so keen for me to do well. It really is all a bit sickly, but it really was how I felt.
So to my supporters:
Amber - Thanks for making a special trip to see me ride. You and Luke were in a car/ on a train pretty much all weekend and it was amazing that you got to see me both when I was riding strong and when I was hanging on.
Jan - For being a great Mum to Lauren when she was in bits worrying about me and for being a fantastic Mother in Law and supporting me in my stupid hobbies.
Mum & Dad - Sorry for scaring you and not being as dedicated to my training as I should of. Next time I'll be in much better shape and it will be a breeze. Thanks for giving up a weekend at the Caravan to see me slog it out for 16 hours.
Luke - Again thanks for running around the country to see the completion of my Outlaw Journey. Your enthusiasm and support were incredible. The kids of Dover are very lucky to have a PE teacher like you heading their way. You kept me on track when my head was all over the shop, you were a megastar. So excited to return the favour at your Olympic Triathlon and again when you go long.
Lauren - My beautiful wife, sorry to worry you. I can't promise I won't do it again. You support me 100% in all of my stupid running, triathlon, challenges. Running me around in the car, getting up crazy early, sorting out my kit and food and never complaining. I couldn't ask for more, you're my number one supporter and I'm your number one fan. No amount of dinners out, flowers or presents will every say enough thanks, so I won't bother :-) Love you loads.X
Sorry to my other readers for that little love in, but us guys just aren't great face to face. Thanks for those of you that have made it to the end of my five blogs, your mental toughness and stamina make you ideal candidates for an Ironman. Until next time....