My journey started many years ago when weighed 25 stone I have always battled with weight and still do.
I decided to do Ironman as I love to put my body to the limit and to see what I can do. Also to prove to myself I am fit enough and it does not matter what shape or size you are. Anything is possible
People who know me realize that I always train and live for it. The feeling of pushing myself is like a drug. Because of my weight I also feel I have something to prove all the time. Always get comments when racing "god he is doing well for his size" these comments just push me more. To be honest I still have to lose more but what people may not know is when you have abused your body it is hard to get it back (perfectly flat) often wish I was skinny but I am not and just have to deal with it the best I can. I was hoping I would lose more during ironman training. But when training hard and doing a lot of hours you need to eat. So only dropped a stone
I started the plan with Graham and Scott - we were already friends but have become much closer. When going through 32 weeks of training the amount of highs and lows you go through is unreal but we all pulled together and supported each other through out. Times when you feel you just cannot do another day of training.
During training I have improved my swimming from being a 2,10 per yard to a 1,39 and being able to hold that pace. Even though Hindley baths was empty on a Tuesday night the support from Claire Matchwick and her advice was brilliant and Shaun who put together some real good sessions has made the difference.
My cycling improved with using Trainer Road and a power meter which I think is anamazing tool and we were doing 4-5 bike sessions a week. Also having Graham with all his knowledge in cycling helped loads. My running started to go down hill when I tore a muscle and missed a lot of long runs which affected me on race day. The last 5 weeks were very worrying and I did silly things like kept running and making it worse, in the end I had 12 days off running and Warren did an amazing job getting me to race day
Race day - my nerves were all over the place thinking to myself how the hell I am going to complete this, really worried about the run - had I done enough.
Swim - got myself in the 80min wave, even though I had done 70mins for distance just thought it would be best. My swim went very well. thought I could have gone quicker but very hard getting past so many people getting kicked and swum over. First lap was in 36 mins second was slower as I started to lap the slower swimmers but over all swim time was 1hr 16mins.
T1 - messed about again chatting away to random people when I should have been getting on with it.
Bike - this is what I wanted to smash I had worked hard on the bike. So I pulled my bike off the rack and as I went down the road someone smashed my rear mech so it was changing and slipping gears. I was so upset knowing it was affecting my ride and knowing Sheep House was coming up.... when I got to 25miles my power was really down nowhere near it. So I had to just get on with it and thought sod it, if I brake down at least I tried - so started to up my power. Hoping I would find my chief mechanic (Dave) but found him at 70 miles and just thought I would carry on. When I picked up my bike that evening I took the wheel off and the whole rear mech fell to bits so I was very lucky. Also first time ever when riding I was cramping. Had to stop twice and get massages with cold water, amazing what people do for you in this event helping you out. Came into T2 happy but pissed off knowing I could pushed it tiny bit more.
T2 – was me trying to relax and took a min as I was really worried also thought with good time here would make a massive difference in my overall time.
Run - came out felt ok and HR was low but that did not last long around a mile in massive cramp in my hand strings and quads so I had a minute and collected my thoughts just kept saying I have come this far I am not just throwing the towel in. First 8 miles was really bad - cramp was not going away and best place to get cramp is right in the centre with everyone watching you and you cannot move till it has passed. Just had to keep plugging away and walked all the hills which helped the cramp issues. I knew this was going to happen as I had missed some big training sessions... the support from the A&T feed station was brilliant and gave me such a lift each time I came round. Then Graham caught me up and stayed with me throughout the run which was amazing as we chatted all the way round and made sure we kept on target to be honest not sure I could have done it without Graham. Best thing about it is to finish with your mate
When I came through the finish it was very emotional for me it was just everything I have been through fat man to ironman.. I have worked so hard to get to where I am now. Still cannot believe I have do it
Also like to thank everyone who has supported me
Graham and Scott - training mates
Jon - for all his support throughout training and IM just being there and making me eat when needed
Lorraine and Hannah for the support throughout the day and to put up with all the training we have done
Lynn and A&T feed station crew massive thank you when things are shit it is good seeing all your friends
Massive thank you to Suzanne and Dave (aka chief mechanic) without Dave my bikes would not have been ready truly the best!
Lastly my family and my kids - they had to put up with weekends of long training and their understanding my goals