I’m sitting in my office looking at my countdown app for my challenge and its feeding me the following info : 40 days, 8 hours, 24 mins and 14 seconds. Should I be worried, nervous or excited to get going???? I’ll be honest, I'm not worried but I'm nervous in a good way and extremely excited to get to the start line on March 1st. It's a big ask but i like that kind of pressure.
For all of you who are asking why? Then it's a simple answer “why not”. Over the years I’ve slowly worked my way up to this point in my life where I’ve experienced many an endurance event/challenge/competition so I have plenty of experience and to top it off its something I get a huge kick out of and enjoy a great deal. The feeling of achievement when taking part in such a task is unreal considering the hours, days, months, years of training that is put in and built up to the main event.
I’d just finished the Double Brutal (double Ironman) up in Snowdonia in September and was resting up and thinking about what to do next and what kind of challenge i could set myself. I’d met up with Jeff from bigmoose for a coffee and he asked me if I’d heard of this guy called ‘the Iron cowboy’ to which i replied “no”. He then proceeded to show me his instagram page and its the guy who at the time was in the middle of attempting 50 full ironman races in 50 days and in 50 states. It blew me away, I couldn't believe that it was even possible but he’d already made it half way through which in itself is one almighty task. I left that coffee meeting inspired at what this guy was doing, so much so i couldn't stop thinking about it. I went for a training run one day and when I run I normally get my best ideas (some may disagree with that mind) as my body is pumping with feel good endorphins and still thinking of iron cowboy trucking away with his 50/50/50. I thought “I wonder if i can do 30 half ironman races in 30 days?” and the more I kept running the more the idea started making sense. I’d start in March which is just before the summer and all the summer triathlon events which in turn would give me a great base for all my races. I could start on St Davids Day in Cardiff and finish on my birthday, March 30th, it was all making very good sense, in my head anyway. When I get such an idea I have to see it out and this idea wasn't going to be different from any other so I did the usual and started telling a few people and got the usual of most people “don't be stupid”, “thats not possible”, “you’ll do yourself damage” blah blah, I’ve heard it all before but its something I always feed off. It's a great way of me proving these people wrong in a nice way of course and going out and trying to make my dream a reality and finish what i set out to do in the first place. Don't get me wrong there are the odd few out there who share the same mindset as myself and agree that my ideas are great……….you know who you are (laughter).
I had another meeting with Jeff as I wanted to involve bigmoose in the project and I knew he’d be on the same wavelength when I told him and he kindly agreed to get involved and he has been heavily involved since day one and has put a great deal of work in getting this off the ground, which I'm extremely grateful for. He even sorted out a Skype meeting with the Iron cowboy which was great to get an insight into how he managed to pull off the 50/50/50 and all the helpful advice he shared with us which i have no doubt will help me a great deal in my challenge. He still keeps in touch and has asked me to join in on his next mission at the end of the year in the U.S which he hasn't told me about yet, but when he does I have to sign a secrecy form. So I'm looking forward to what that's going to be. I have now doubt it'll be insane.
To cut a long story short we had a series of meetings and we are now 40 days away from it being a reality which is great. Sponsors are on board, there are still more joining on as we speak so if there is anyone out there who thinks they can help in any way with gear or their time then please don't hesitate in giving us an e mail and we’ll get straight back to you. So far we have on board :
Peter Alan estate agents www.peteralan.co.uk
SWYD tattoo & Barber shop www.swydtattoo.com
Starley Bikes www.starleybikes.com
Whittle Fit www.whittlefit.com
Agile therapy www.agiletherapy.com
Caged Muscle www.kagedmuscle.com
Burning Chariot www.burningchariot.com
The steam roller is turning and time is ticking and the most important thing of all in all of this challenge is the TRAINING. I’m not going to be able to finish 30 half irons in 30 days without the right training plan so my coach Mark Whittle (ex GB triathlete) started to put a plan together for me. Let's not forget I had some good base training from doing the Double Brutal so I was off to a good start but after finishing such an event it really did take me a long time to really get back into training mode again especially what with the xmas festivities sidetracking me from the most important thing which was actually swim, bike and run. For anyone out there who does endurance events they’ll all understand that “down” feeling after an event which is very close to the feeling of depression. Hence when finishing an event we all start racking our minds for what to do next to keep us occupied once more. It may sound cheesy but its pretty much a drug and you constantly need topping up.
My mate Neil Navarra phoned me “fancy a holiday in January?” to which i replied ”i’ve got too much training to do for this challenge to chill out on holiday”. We came up with the idea of a full on training holiday in Mallorca which would set me nicely on my way to building up some good strength ready for my challenge. Luckily i have a friend who has an apartment in Santa Ponsa and he kindly donated it to us for the week. We had a place to stay and Neil managed to sort us decent bike rentals (Cervelo S3) which were great. To top it off Mallorca is the capital of cycling and I fucking loved it, every day we woke up smiling from ear to ear knowing we had a whole day of riding on the best roads with the best scenery, the best climbs and 95% considerate drivers. What more does one want??? I didn't want to come home so much so I’ve started looking for apartments out there.
After a full on week of cycling, running and swimming I came home feeling very strong and had full focus on the challenge which was literally 2 months away.
Training over here was many miles away from what we were used to in Mallorca. the sun made way to cold wet days but thats what separates the men from the boys I suppose, you’ve just got to get on with it.
I had a 3 hour ride to do last week so decided to head east on the A48 for an hour and a half and then turn around and make my way back, a route i’ve done so many times over the years. It was a very cold day so I had plenty of layers on but started to warm up nicely then all (can't go into much detail for legal reasons) of a sudden I got hit off my bike by a car at speed which involved an ambulance ride to the Royal Gwent hospital in Newport. I felt like shit and i was hurting all over mainly my lower back and my coccyx. I lay on the road getting told not to move by the very kind people who came to help me but all I kept thinking of was the challenge. Yep, stupid I know as I should have been worrying about my health but when you've put in a lot of hard work its horrible to see it all go to waste.
I was X-rayed and they’d told me that i'd fractured my Coccyx and I’d hit my head really bad too splitting my helmet so they had to keep me in to check on me every now and again. Eventually the doctor let me go and gave me some strong pain killers cocodamols to be precise, very nice to they were too but knocked me for six. It dawned on me the next day i was doing weird stuff like forgetting how to use a knife and fork and driving to work and leaving my house door wide open coming home thinking i’d been broken into but realising i’d left it all open myself. I phoned my mother to tell her (she used to be a nurse) and she told me to rest as i’d hit my head really bad so i was most probably suffering with concussion. Its the first time in my life that I realised I did have something in my skull after all, it was called a brain. message to self………..must use it more (laughter). Basically, I cant stress how important it is to wear a helmet when your on a bike. It aint cool and it ain’t cleaver not to……..WEAR A HELMET at all times.
I had about 4 days rest and i am now I'm back training again and it feels great. I’m always happiest when training, I need it, it's what keeps me focused in life. without it i go to dark places and suffer depression very easily but when I'm active I'm happy. As I'm writing this i’ve literally just got back from Cardiff international pool and I'm about to put in a 2 hour ride followed by a 75 min run. There’s a lot more work to be done and I'm looking forward to it all.
I’ll update you all soon on how I'm getting on with training and if there’s any more info on the challenge. I’ll also be updating my social media on a regular basis.
Wake up ROCKING every morning.