I have just crossed the line after a 13 hour race. I am crying like a baby, reflecting on what I had just achieved. I had only gone and bloody completed an Ironman. I was greeted by a medal round my neck and and the sense of accomplishment. No one believed I could do it, when I first told people they either thought I am crazy or just darn right stupid. They then saw my dedication and my persistence to training, soon they realised that this was no joke. I was going to race no matter what. People started to see my rapid improvements. Then here I am now, being congratulated on becoming an Ironman.
I walked into the finishers tent in a state of shock. I couldn’t believe it was over, months and months of training, early mornings, sleepless nights, it had all come down to that day. I scoffed down a jacket potato with chilli and queued for my 10 minute calf and quad massage. After feeling a little dizzy from laying down, I was back on my feet to collect my finishers t-shirt. I walked out of the tent to see my family and friends. Again the tears came, everyone was so impressed and relieved I had finished in more or less one piece. I’m not going to mention any names but I have to say some of them looked more tired than me, but you can’t blame them, they had just been spectating for over 13 hours, some say it’s harder than taking part. I’ve told everyone that I am more than happy to watch them do an Ironman but funnily enough there weren’t any takers.
We caught the bus back to the Macron stadium to pick up my bike and both of my transition bags. Luckily there was an Italian restaurant just around the corner as well, so I volunteered to demolish a calzone before we got into the car to come home. By this point I was feeling pretty sore but nothing dreadful, I was sat in the front seat with the chair pushed back to the limit giving me as much leg room as possible. It’s not easy being 6ft 6inches.
We got back home and everyone was past themselves. It was time to hit the hay and try and get some sleep.
I had one of the worst night sleeps I have ever had in my entire life, I cannot tell you how bad it was, but i’m going to try… So, I got to bed at about 12am, that is really, really late for me. I’m normally tucked up and well on my way by then. I tossed and turned for an hour then realised that I was far too hungry to fall asleep. By this point my legs had really ceased up, I moaned and groaned and just about got out of bed, I walked out of my room and was greeted by the devil otherwise known as the stairs. There was no way I was going to put myself through even more pain at this point in time. I decided to go for the much easier option, a pork pie that had been left in my transition bag. It didn’t look the most appetising but it certainly hit the spot. I ‘jumped’ back into bed and managed to get a few hours of sleep. I then woke up at 4am starving… I had eaten a calzone, lots of snacks, fruit and a pork pie and I was still starving. It just shows how many calories I had actually burnt on the race (anything between 12,000-18,000). I decided to brave the stairs. I had three choices. 1, sit down and go down the stairs on my bum like a child. 2, Use my upper body on the hand rails and take as much pressure from my legs as possible. 3, Just close my eyes and fall down the stairs. I have to say looking back the third was probably the best idea but I decided to go for option 2. I survived.
I poured myself a proper athletes breakfast, coco pops, and watched a movie in the front room. There was no point going back to bed, I had admitted defeat, there was going to be no more sleep for me. At about 6 my girlfriend came down and wished me a happy birthday. I’m not going to lie I’m normally super, super excited for my birthday but I had actually completely forgotten.
She carried me back up the stairs and tucked me up. I slept for a solid 4 hours, it was heaven. I felt just about refreshed and ready to do another one. Only joking, I did bugger all apart from try and pack for my holiday, I even needed help with that.
In all seriousness I wasn’t actually that bad. I managed to walk around and do day to day things. The biggest challenges were the stairs and sitting down on the loo. Everything else was done with a smile on my face.
A huge thank you to my recovery tights, couldn’t have done it without you.