UltraHumps – Attention To Detail

Hi Blog Followers – Well a big week of training this week with Coach Ray focusing on sprint training in the Pool and some long reps of high intensity Running and hill work on the Bike.  I had to laugh (as did the rest of the swimming pool no doubt) as in between the series of sprints in the Pool, Coach Ray had me doing Individual Medley, which one of the activities is Butterfly.  A guy called Ed who has given me some swim tips and is an amazing swimmer, just happened to arrive right on cue as I was performing butterfly on the way back towards him.  He said “what the hell was that”, I said “a Tsunami” which he didn’t disagree.  The H20 Pool is having the roof replaced so there was ‘caution cones’ at the end of the Pool, well just at the end of my lane, the Air Force guy swimming in my lane with me said “the caution cone and caution tape is their for your butterfly attempt”.Humour aside, the weeks training finished with a 50 Km Ultra-Marathon which I will write more about in a separate blog once I see if the photo’s have come out well.  This brings me to my title of ‘Attention To Detail’.  Twice in one week I have got it wrong with training and you would think with my job where it demands it, I would constantly get it right.  The first time was I completed a two hour run and was quite stoked with how it went and knew Coach Ray would be happy.  Ray had me running at different ‘Training Levels’ but I wrote down the wrong ‘Pace Zones’ which are different to the ‘Training Levels’.  Ray always comments if necessary to help steer his athlete and I thought nah he has got it wrong, cause I put in a good effort, so I checked the link that he sent me still convinced and as I was about to ring him, I realised my blond moment and said to Ray “yep, I see it now Ray, I mixed it up and ran too slow”.  I am sure he was smiling and rolling his eyes back at the same time.

Ultraman TrainingThe best was to come though with the 50 km Ultra-Marathon.  I was in such a rush to register and busy with a number of things at the time that I hadn’t even read up on it, thinking it was 50 km’s around Taupo on the road, probably doing laps of the Ironman circuit and some.  “And Some” is an understatement, as I received an email this week telling us what equipment to be carried, etc.  Why are we carrying equipment, Aid Stations will be all over the place.  Having a WTF or Bugger moment I researched their website, it is off-road, over hills with impressive elevation, carry your safety clothing, nutrition, light, safety blanket, the works… Come on Humps, attention to detail!

Ironman Training NZThis brings me to the finishing photo’s of the UltraMan, in particular the Double Marathon.  The first one is my support crew (Coach Ray Boardman, Derrick McMillan and Scott Cordwell) encouraging me along the beach in the final km, the sand was hell and as the tide was in was soft to run on.  I like this photo as it is what the whole thing is about, the support crew getting me to the finish line.  The next photo is the Race Director congratulating me on finishing my first ever Ultraman, whilst my face is partially obscured, what you can see is how I felt, shattered and broken after 3 days and 515 km’s, the emotion in my eyes was the sheer pleasure of what I had achieved.  The last photo is of a former Army Colleague Debs Pohatu who turned up with her husband and supported us through the Double Marathon on Day 3.  Debs had arranged vehicles and equipment for us for the journey through her work Anodyne Services Australia, a gesture that saved us so much and forever grateful.

Photo’s courtesy of Barry Alsop of Eyes Wide Open Images, the Official Photographer for Ultraman Australia 2016.

Take care team, regards John Humphries (aka UltraHumps, aka Humps)!

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