Straight from the biography called “the life of James” comes the below excerpt which we believe could lead into an amazing life story book! James, Yvonne and Noel have added themselves to the club board of “IM achievers” so enjoy the report from James below.
Pour some tea folks, this is laborious!
So after 6 months of training and 2 weeks of meandering our way through France (beautiful, may I add) we arrive in Calella on Monday evening to our humble abode for the next 8 days (Hotel Haromar). They definitely know how to put a guy to test here anyhow, like who’s idea is it to have a beer fest and Ironman on at the same time? No doubt it will make more sense next Monday!
We had already decided that we would do our sightseeing these next 2days. 2 reasons, we might not be able to next week and plus, it’s done in time to give the legs the rest before Sunday. Barcelona open top bus tour highly recommended (wont bore ye with it but Nou Camp and Gaudi to name just a few highlights), but first up is a 2k swim in the blue warm waters of the med. Choppy but very manageable, followed by Hotel buffet brekkie, which to say the least is interesting. Toast, plum jam and hard boiled eggs after a feed of bacon and beans! Off to Barca on the train to do our touristy duties! Dinner, courtesy of our half-board which we decided on after a warning or two from Sean Gleeson, was again interesting, but a meat feast all the same. So, I did what he told me to do, “I stuffed myself”. Happy out here!
Next day is pretty much the same except it was a 10k run, followed by some more delicate breakfast cuisine. There was then a trip to Barcelona, grub n good night.
Thursday saw a lot more lycra clad people around and my detective skills deduced that they were not here for Octoberfest! Handy cycle planned for today, out to Matarò and back. Roughly about 50k. Big kudos to young Keith Butler for the Nenagh-Limerick road repeats idea for our training, similar cycling terrain but much better surface here. A reality check though, if it was ever needed, is “you know you won’t win when u are going downhill at 28mph and get overtaken”. Registration opened this evening so over we popped and its then you realise that this shit just got real! Your bright orange wristband tells everyone the real reason you’ve landed in Calella and it isn’t to just top up the tan! There’s also a green wristband given to first timers or Ironvirgins which is a nice touch for being able to pick out fellow newbies! Of course the expo tent got paid a visit coz if there’s one part of this whole IM experience that my wife has excelled at, its buying shit! 6 months of “we’ll need this, we’ll need that”, just ask Noel!
Friday kicks off with a 4 mile run. A hell of a lot more wetsuits and caps bobbing up and down in the sea this morning too! Getting exciting now. Seeing as this is a relaxing day we opt to treat ourselves to a massage in the Crol Centre (fabulous place, 50m outdoor pool, full Thalasso spa), highly recommend pre or post-race or both. Our third musketeer arrived tonight with our entourage of supporters. After 6 months training together I’ll admit, I had started to miss that ugly mug!
Saturday morning with Team IM Capparoe fully reunited, we head on down to get Noel registered! If ever there was a remedy for any nerves, it’s listening to young Oisín telling his tales of airports, flights and putting the shits up nervous flyers like Josie (a gas young fella). He may have taken the slagging over their superior hotel a little too far though! Briefing attended, lunch eaten and off we trot to sort our gear into red and blue bags. Bikes and bags checked, double checked and just to be sure checked again, off we go to rack them in transition. Timing chips picked up and its then you realise, I have to do this, even if its just to get my bike back. Fine dining this evening was courtesy of the Hotel President (Oisín had a point, it was a far superior hotel). Bed for 10pm.
So D-Day arrives! Breakfast of Champions (weetabix) eaten by 6am. Little did I know that I’d be seeing it again not long after! We met Noel at 6:45 and headed on down to transition for our date with destiny! It absolutely bucketed rain half way down (Barcelona my arse, should of waited for the fine day in Cork!).
Swim : only thing I can say is that it was brutal. No swimming at home could of prepared me for it. The swells were ridiculous. I think I was in the water about 4minutes and realised I was possibly further from the first turn then than when we were standing on the beach! The halfway turn was where I gave the weetabix to the jellyfish! Not an attractive image I grant you but it happened 5 more times before the final turn for land. Turns out I wasn’t the only one (even of the 3 of us!) Cursed Butler a few times, thinking back to him pointing at the pool and saying “friend, the swim is the very same as that”. Well pal, I know you are working there a long time but I didn’t realise you were there before it had a feckin roof!
Transition 1 was a little elongated to try and compose myself, not even sure Dr. Paul’s coca-cola trick could remedy this.
Bike: Now this was a different story. Limerick to Nenagh 3 times was how I approached it. I even had my Dalys Cross croissants. Kept it as close as I could to a constant 30km/hr, so I was happy enough. Nutrition was 6 x 750ml bidons of iso energy/carb drink, 2 x croissants, 8 x figrolls, 2 x bars of chocolate, 5 x salt stix. It rained for a fair share of the bike section.
Transition 2: Uneventful. I had planned on taking my time so I could get my heart rate as low as possible and away then for the run.
Run: Im at my happiest running, even marathons, but this isn’t a marathon! You can talk about your strategies etc. and how you’ll approach the run, as I did myself, all you like but you won’t know how the run will go until you’ve taken your leg back out over that saddle! I tipped away at a roughly 8:45min/mile, walking the aid stations. Happy out with my time, was around and about what I’d have hoped. Nutrition was 4 x Gels, banana segments, orange segments, water and coke.
The most important thing was the 3 of us finished! Its been a great 6 months where we all had a bit of craic training together. 2 of us off now to do some active recovery on the Camino! The help and support from all club members has been priceless. Long cycles and runs are made shorter by good company and the odd legend or two. I always say there’s strength in numbers! Thanks a mill to each and every one of you guys and gals. Just so ye know its mucho mucho appreciado!
A question I will no doubt ask myself:
Will I do another Ironman ? Hell yeah!
A Question we’ve all probably asked ourselves :
Can I do Ironman ? My reply is “You can’t Not”