As most of you are well aware now the next Big event on the horizon for me is Ultra520 Canada (formerly known as Ultraman Canada) and yes I am not going to lie….I am S**T scared about this one!
I am always talking to my athletes about getting out of your comfort zone, doing things you haven’t before, pushing those boundaries. Don’t get me wrong, I would like to think I do this often in my regular Half Ironman and Ironman training. But this….yes, this is definitely a different type of beast.
There have been days over the last 6 weeks where I have been so excited and can’t wait for the first weekend in August. Then others where I question my decision to do this, and “what was I thinking”. Off course like any event the goal is to finish, but lets not beat around the bush here, off course I want to do well.
Ironman Lanzarote was the end of May, then Guy and I spent a week holidaying in Venice and London with mum and dad before an unexpected trip back to Perth. This put a little bit of a dent in the beginning of Ultraman Training plans but luckily I was able to get some great sessions in with Lisa Luckin as she was training for Challenge Roth. It was then back on a plane back to the USA to finally settle down in Boise. We calculated in the space of 4 weeks we had just about circumnavigated the globe 1 1/2 times. Don’t get me wrong, I love to fly. But was over it by then!
A late night arrival Thursday night and we hit the ground running on Saturday with the Boise 70.3. Guy and I were competing in Charity teams thanks to Tri Town Boise and Therapeutic Associates to help raise money for Rachel Corey. It was so much fun!! But really different waiting until late in the afternoon to run the 21.1km. Any ideas of a steady day long ride along the greenbelt were completely dashed with Coach Jeff Shilt riding his mountain bike along side me and pushing me the entire way. As painful as it was, I was so glad he did as it was the fastest I had run that distance in the last 12 months so excited me to know the fitness was back even after such a hectic few weeks.
A week later Guy and I found ourselves sleeping in the back of our beloved mini van in a place called Challis. Outback Idaho! Ultraman training week 1! A four hour ride Thursday, 5 hour ride Friday, quick shower and 4 hour drive to Challis and I was lining up for a 50km Trail race. Ouch!! It wasn’t the distance that was going to be the issue ( I had run a marathon 4 weeks earlier) but the fact this event was totally on trails and climbed to in excess of 8000 feet!! My start time was 6.30am, as Guy was doing the 25km he didn’t start until 8.30am so went back to sleep in the Minivan! In the first 10 miles (16km) the amount of climbing was ridiculous and I was having a giggle to myself imagining Guy doing it a few hours later and cursing my name (it was because of me he was here doing this!) I just had to remind myself this was a long training day and remember the bigger picture! There was one section of a massive 4 – 5km downhill that I was so excited about watching the pace come down, until I began to see runners coming the other way and realised they were turning around at the bottom and running back up again! I no longer wanted too keep running down!!
In the end, just over 5 hours later, it was a great work out and an added bonus to come away with 3rd place. Straight back in the mini van and back to Boise, we were having dinner with Coach Jeff later that night!
But OMG….I have never been so sore in my entire life! I am sore after Ironman’s, can’t walk properly for maybe 24 – 36 hours….but the amount of climbing and descending totally destroyed my legs! The next day I didn’t even leave the apartment because I couldn’t! There was no way I could get down the stairs outside our door! It took a long time to get over that and not feel like my legs were going to collapse underneath me!
Back to Ultrman training and that has been the consistent theme in my life lately! We did make a brief trip to Coeur D’elene to cheer on GKEndurance athlete Mick Hall for the Ironman. The conditions were ridiculous with temperatures around 40 plus degrees. Unfortunately his day didn’t end as planned due to severe dehydration, but he will be back with a vengeance at Ironman Western Australia in December. After the race it was great to have Kim, Emma and Mick in Boise for a few days so we could show them our second home before they headed back to Perth.
It has been a massive learning experience over the last few months and I have been lucky to chat with some of the best in the business such as Hillary Biscay to get advice. But, it is such an unknown, I will not cover the entire distance in training, other wise that would be my race then and there. I have no idea what will happen after I hit the 5 hour mark on the run….but that is what excites and scares me at the same time.
I have been an eating machine!! Which has sort of been fun in a way! The biggest piece of advice I was given was to eat! You know the day after an Ironman when you are so hungry you feel like you could eat all day! Well, in an Ultraman, you can’t afford for that to happen, you need to be able to back up another 8, 9, 10 hour day and do that for 3 days in a row. If you are hungry, that is bad news! So there have been some interesting foods consumed during my long training days and they will be all in my support vehicle and available to keep me going!
It has been an emotional roller coaster lately but the good news is….Guy and I still love each other!! Although I know he is waiting for it all to be over so he doesn’t have to do the extra miles and keep me company!
Did I mention I made the cover of the Pink Edition Triathlete magazine! Pretty excited about that one! You can still get yourself a copy in stores now and read inside all things about Women and Triathlon!
So the countdown is on!! In the next post I will fill you in on the amazing support crew I have making there way to Canada to help me along the way! I would not be able to do this with out them!