UltraHump Blog #13 – Unlucky for some

Tri Training NZ
UltraHumps cooling down from the Hawkes Bay heat after Coach Ray’s 45 km training run

Blog 13 – ‘# 13 unlucky for some’ and I note with Ultraman Australia starting on Saturday 14 May 2016, the relaxing day, the day before is Friday the 13th. I am sure nothing untoward will happen!

Further Inspiration  As mentioned in the past, I have found inspiration for this event with various songs which I settled on:

  • He Ain’t Heavy He’s My brother – The Hollies;
  • If I Can Dream – Elvis Presley;
  • Another One Bites The Dust – Queen; and
  • Alan Watt is in the process of finalising a song he is writing for me for Ultraman Australia.

I have also found inspiration in what fellow Qwik Kiwi Athletes are talking about through their dreams, their goals and their journeys.

In my down time I occasionally pick up a book from a sportsperson, which can be a remarkable journey.  I have read a few from All Blacks, but always found myself more intrigued with athletes such as runners etc who push their bodies to the extreme, such as Lisa Tamati’s books, ‘Running Hot’ and ‘Running to Extremes’, where she writes of her journey of pushing her body to the edge by running in events such as the inaugural Death Valley (217 kms) or running through the Sahara Desert, Libyan Desert and Indian Himalayas to name a few.  Having attended a presentation Lisa gave towards the end of 2015, she can certainly pass on inspiration.

This week I finished reading a book which I found myself drawn to and couldn’t put down apart from when training or work commitments made me.  The book is by Sam Bramham who was born with a disability and as a result before the age of 5 had one of his legs amputated above the knee.  Sam writes a hilarious book called ‘Three-Quarter Man’ with highs and lows, representing Australia in the Paralympics of Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 in swimming, winning two gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze medal.  Becoming a public speaker during time out from the sport, he is now trying to gain selection to the Rio 2016 Paralympics in the sport of triathlon, which is newly introduced to the Paralympics.

I have found myself drawn to books of people competing against the odds to the extreme or with disabilities, perhaps because I have spoken to the NZDF personnel competing in the Invictus Games, which is in the week leading up to my Ultraman Australia, and are in awe of what they are competing in, and also because I am using Ultraman Australia to raise funds for the NZDF fallen (KIWI = Killed, Injured, Wounded and Ill).

Training  The training for Ultraman Australia is stepping up now that I have been through the recovery phase post Ironman.

This weekend being Easter, Coach Ray Boardman has had me complete a 5 km Swim followed by a 6 hour cycle for Good Friday.  Both went well with a feeling of more in the tank to go further.  The bike ride was amongst typical Easter weather for the Hawkes Bay though, with the first 3 hours heading into nothing but head winds and rain plus a gradual incline to add to the mix.  It took 2 hours to return from where I had travelled in 3 hours, so I diverted my return leg and additionally completed a loop around a large rural area to ensure I completed the 6 hour ride.

Saturday was a 150 km cycle where I rode from Napier towards Taihape to deliberately hit hill work, and wow were there some hills.  My Garmin indicated at one stage it took me 22+ minutes to cycle 5 km’s.

Sunday is 45 km’s on foot to keep the running feet on the move [Editors note: this blog was written on Saturday for publishing on Monday].

Regards John Humphries (UltraHumps)!

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