Coach Ray

Training for Excellence, with Excellent Training

Ultra Humps

UltraHumps: Ironman Reflection

Hi Blog Followers

Welcome to blog # 35…

The journey gets closer as it’s now less than nine weeks to go until I back up the three Half Ironman events over three consecutive weekends, the two Ironman distance events over two weekends and finish off with Ultraman Australia, which is a gruelling 515 kilometres of swimming, cycling and running scheduled for 13-15 May 2017.

Coach Ray had the task of throwing me straight into training after the Kelloggs Nutri-Grain New Zealand Ironman with the short time frame in mind until Ultraman, however he also had to consider my recovery.  None of my training performances were flash this week (particularly the Time Trials in the pool) as the two Iron distance events have left me heavily fatigued, but I still managed to get out and complete the training.

Ironman New Zealand
UltraHumps exiting the swim at Ironman

I actually spent a lot of time during the week thinking over the Ironman. I’m still happy with my time of 13 hours 30 minutes when I consider I backed it up after completing an iron distance event just two weeks earlier.   I’m also happy with my result considering the less than favourable weather conditions particularly the wind, which made the lake horrendous for the swim as well as the head winds for the bike legs.

Out of the 1173 athletes that started, they announced at the Awards Ceremony that 162 DNF (Did Not Finish), which was very high and attributed to the conditions.  The safety kayakers had their work cut out for them with many staying with the small groups and a couple going back and forth between individuals that got swept off course.

One came up to me and asked if I was okay with a couple of hundred metres to go, I said “hell yes, there’s a free T-shirt at the finish line in this”.  He must of decided I was a nutter and headed off to check on the next swimmer.

The bike was the bike.  It’s as simple as that.  The head winds were hard, but there were also decent tail winds, so I can’t complain too much.

The run was good for the first lap and hurt for the next two laps of 14 kilometres each to make up the marathon, but it is an Ironman.  It’s supposed to put you in the hurt locker.

Ultraman
Out on the 180km bike leg at Ironman

You can’t beat the finish line, even though the photos have me looking spent.  The one of me exiting the lake shows the waves, but this was the calmer end by the yacht club, it was a lot worse at the turn around point.  I like the photos of the bike and run, particularly as it’s towards the end of the run.

The finishers photo with my medal shows a face of tiredness, but you can never beat the words “John Humphries, you are an Ironman” being boomed across the arena at the finish line as your finish is displayed on a massive screen.  The best part is to see the smile on my Mum’s face.  She knows I have turned my life around.

Ironman
Approaching the end of the 42.2km run leg at Ironman

To me everyone who made it to the start line of Ironman deserves recognition.  The event is one thing.  Getting there is where the true work is done, which I have Coach Ray to thank.

One of the quotes I heard at the Awards Ceremony from the winning female athlete American Jocelyn McCauley was very poignant “Don’t let winning go to your head, and don’t let failure go to your heart”! (Very true, don’t let finishing go to ones head, and don’t let a DNF go to your heart), simply try again.

Bring on Ironman 2018, but lets get it on for Ultraman Australia 2017 in a number of weeks.

If you wish to donate to my charity of the Children of the Fallen Heroes, which is what the 3+2+1=Charity is all about, then please use the enclosed link.   100% of the funds raised goes to the cause.  I am paying all other expenses myself.

Regards John Humphries (Aka UltraHumps, Aka Humps)!

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Ray has competed in triathlons from sprint to ironman distance (both IM Taupo and Challenge Wanaka). Consequently he is aware of the importance of balancing training with lifestyle, thus complimenting other important aspects of an athlete’s life (family, work, study commitments etc…). • Entering your first triathlon? • Stepping up to a longer distance? • Looking to go faster? • Wanting to turn previous negatives into positives? Ray has coached athletes to achieve these and more. Training programmes are accessible online, so athletes can be located anywhere and still reap the benefits of Ray’s coaching. Contact him to discuss how he can assist you to achieve your goals.
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