Monday, 25 June 2018

Oh shit.

We're down to the final week before the race. I'm not tapering as such, as I get too damn stiff if I stop exercising.

It's been interesting. My training has been totally inadequate - not enough miles, though I think there is enough in the body and mind to drag myself all the way round, just about. My longest training 'run' was two hours; I'd expect to finish the run in about 2.5 hours, particularly as the forecast is for 24 degrees. Swim, I'm going to be cutting it fine, but should still make cutoff with ten minutes or more to spare. Bike... Fuck knows. Four hours ish. Not going to be quick, but it has to be around four hours in case I blow up on the run in the weather.

Anyway, like I say, it's been interesting. Went out on the bike for a very undulant 3 hours 50-ish, it was pretty warm (21 degrees ish), I only did 40 miles in that time but it's the first time I have had the chance to do anything like that time or distance, and I am just glad I did it.

Between that and two hours on my run, I feel much more confident now.

Add to that an actual open water swim, and I am in a far, far better place than I was.

That reminds me, let me tell you a story. It's a beauty.

So, seven or so weeks back I bought a wetsuit. Cost me about £200, bought it direct from the manufacturer. Spoke to them a few times about sizing before buying because as previously documented, sizing is done by weight and my near-18 stone frame is packed into just 5' 6", which means a wetsuit to fit a man of 6' 5" or above.

I discovered this manufacturer does an SS size, which stands for 'shirt and stocky'; I ordered one in an entry-ish level suit. It arrived, it was beautiful, I tried it on. Or I tried to try it on. No joy.

Tried a couple more times. No chance. Could get it up to midriff, getting it on shoulders though? Ha!

Went away for work, came back. Tried again. No chance.

Last Wednesday night, tried it again. And again. And again. Got it on to shoulders, but a hell of a  fight to get it there. And then of course the zip popped out at the bottom so I couldn't even do it up.

I was fucking livid.

Anyway, the next night my tri club was having an event at a nearby lake, with said wetsuit company. They would have a rep there and you could try on suits etc. Brilliant!

I turned up a little late, but found it. Took wetsuit - in box - over to the display, where tri club skipper introduced me to the dude. I said "Nice to meet you. Could you help me with this wetsuit please? I can't get the fucking thing on."

"No problem," he replied. "Let's have a look at it."

He takes it out of the box, looks at it for a few seconds, and says "I know what the problem is."

"Really? Wow! What is it?"

"This is a women's suit."


It's true though. I checked the order, and I ordered the right suit, for men. They sent the wrong one, and the only way to see that is there is a 'w' on the size on the label - so it says 'wss'. I had six weeks of anxiety about the suit and race day, and six weeks where I couldn't go open water swimming. God I was pissed off.
But then the dude said, "Try this on instead, it's a far better suit. If you like it we can just swap them and I'll have yours for a demo suit."
So I did, and walked away with a £450 suit instead, which I can actually get on with relative ease. And of course I got an open water swim in too, so it's a big win for me.

Bring it on, I guess. I'm as ready as I can be.