Certainly the athletes seemed happier to see Michelle with the sign than to be chased part way down the lake by a BMX riding Morph!
It was a great day out to be able to give support especially when, in less than 4 weeks time, I will be appreciating any shout of encouragement I get! I met loads of well wishers which was really surprising. It's great to know so many people have taken an interest in this challenge. Nice as well to meet loads of mates both racing and supporting.
Another injection of inspiration came in the form of IM70.3 Staffs. I was lucky enough to be marshalling. I was to bike marshal 2nd lead male on the run. After the swim and bike only 3 mins separated the leader Markus Thomschke from Javier Gomez in second place. I got to marshal Javier Gomez out of t2 as he chased down, very rapidly, Markus Thomschke.
Javier caught and overtook Markus at the end of the 1st run lap of three. He soon disappeared into the distance to win and I brought in Markus in second place. Really nice bloke by the way. Thinks I am nuts to attempt 140.6 on a BMX though!
I also got to meet the female winner Lucy Gossage. Now she can shift and she smashed the field with a blistering bike and run. The smiliest triathlete there is she has always been encouraging of my fundraising efforts through triathlon. This is possibly due to her being a recently qualified Cancer Doctor and an Ambassador for Action for Children East Anglia Byte Night.
Of course, most of the inspiration is absorbed from the rest of the field. The athletes fitting triathlon in around life, family and work. IM Staffs was a tough shift for many and it was great to give them a shout around Shugborough Hall on the run.
I see a lot of event snobbery on the World Wide Web. People belittling a 5km run race because its not a marathon, or a marathon because it doesn't follow a swim and a bike, or a 140.6 because its not an Ironman brand race or even an Ironman brand race because it's not Norseman. It happens and it's endless. I may even have been guilty of this myself in the past as I recall being clipped round the ear by Michelle for looking down at a relay competitor in a 140.6 event. She was right of course. This past weekend I supported Michelle and my sister in law Lisa at the Race for Life Mud Run. There were some athletes and there were some obvious couch potatoes and a load in between but they were all there for a purpose. They all had a Cancer story to tell and they were all trying to do their bit to make things better for future generations of Cancer sufferers. The overwhelming feeling was one of unity and support. You would have to go a long way to match it!
Of course, inspiration alone wont get my legs to power the BMX 112 miles at a minimum of 14mph. I've been training. Started swim training and even have two OW swims under the belt already! One of which at 2000m was my longest ever OW training swim. I will get four more OW swims in before the day and along with my weekly coached swim session with my lads swimming club, Kingsbury Aquarious, I am confident I can be out of the water in 1hr 20 mins and on the damn BMX 10 mins later!
I've kept up with the BMX rides as best I can. Short blasts now hitting 16 mph plus regularly and a 64 miler last week with 300ft more climbing than the whole of Outlaw done at 15.5 mph average! Pleased with that. Two long rides in the next 2 weeks and I'll be better prepared than in either of my previous triathlons. Here's the final edition of the bike having added the slicks!
That leaves the run. I've fully returned to running with some on and off Piriformis pain. I am ignoring it as stretching seems to help me recover from it quickly. When I run, although its been no further than 8 miles or so, I feel strong. Very strong in an 'I could run all day at this pace' kinda way. This bodes well and over the next two weeks I am hopeful of testing this feeling with a couple of longer runs thrown in up to 15 miles in distance. Yesterdays Morphing of the Tamworth Gate Gallop 10k trail run for St Giles Hospice went well. Michelle guided me round brilliantly. I love running with Michelle. She gives me all the inspiration I need as she smashed out another recovery run whilst also dragging me round. A pure example of determination if ever one was needed!
You'll spot the new Team Bear Tri shorts which are ace. Thank you to Team Bear who are my official sponsors for the kit for Outlaw. I am still toying with the idea of whether the Morph will play a part at Outlaw. Common sense of course says it shouldn't. Yesterday was supposed to put me off.....it didn't!
As a warts and all blog and having dealt with the training stuff here's a dose of life. Thursday the 25th June I found a lump in my undercarriage! Friday the 26th doc says not to panic its just a cyst. Nothing sinister. They will arrange a scan and then either leave it if it is one type of cyst or cut it out if it's another. For you blokes reading this make sure you keep a check on your nads. Lets face it we get told off enough for messing with them so we may as well check 'em out while we're there right!?
Saturday the 27th was the 28th anniversary of my Mom's death after a 4 year fight against Cancer that started out as breast cancer and became a brain tumour. It has been particularly on my mind as a young family locally have lost their mom to Cancer within a few months of diagnosis with two young kids having their lives turned upside down. My Mom's memory both inspires and comforts me as much as it saddens and upsets me. Her image always makes me smile!
My heart goes out to that young family as it does to my Sister in Law Kate who's father passed away in the early hours of yesterday after a long battle with Cancer. To be fair to him he eclipsed the 6 months he was given to live by about 10 times and quite clearly had a huge amount of fight and spirit.
Life will always give us distractions, hurdles, problems to navigate and overcome. Some will accompany us and we have to learn to live with them. The next 27 days are all about focus. If you're reading this and you will be on the start line with me I will leave you with something to focus on. The Horn of Overtakement has now been fitted to the BMX. Anyone I pass on the BMX on the day will get the horn! If that doesn't help you focus then nothing will.
Thank you for all the continued support and encouragement and sponsorship and general awesomeness you bombard me with. Thank you!