ULTRAHUMPS – Welcome To 2020: A New Year, A New Decade – Coach Ray

2019 has been an interesting year, I have achieved a lot on the sporting front with the balancing act of being on deployment (all in the name of free T-Shirts): the Erin Baker Award; 1,000 Km Challenge; 7 Peaks Challenge of 194,914 feet on a Jacobs Ladder to name a few; but now it’s time for a break… “But I know it won’t be for long”!

My Support Crew – Coach Ray, Scott and Derrick at the finish line of my first Ultraman Australia.

Two reasons have come to mind, of which I consulted with Coach Ray over email, and he followed it up with a phone call. It has nothing to do with Coach Ray or his business, I highly recommend Qwik Kiwi and Coach Ray, as I have done to other athletes. After all, and as mentioned in previous blogs, he stumbled across me at an Ironman where I was having a bad day in the office and he got me to the finish line (I wasn’t even one of his clients at the time, he simply knew of me through the Army, but took the time to encourage me). He also trained me and gave up his time to be on my Support Crew of an Ultraman. So after several Ironman events, 2 Ultraman events, and a quantity of other events of various types to raise eyebrows, the two reasons I need to take time out to reconstitute are work and medical… as follows:

Ironman NZ
After the 10 Km Ocean Swim at Ultraman Australia on Day 1, Coach Ray assisting me and briefing me for the 420 Km Bike ride over the next 2 days (Scott talking to me, Derrick about to eat my nutrition).

Work – I have started a new role in the Manawatu, an appointment that cannot be underestimated of which I knew it would be extremely busy. What this means though is that I cannot commit fully to the training schedule that Coach Ray provides to achieve my goals. For Coach Ray, he gets it, he understands life’s commitments, whether it be work, family, or other commitments. For me, its more about being a hindrance and letting the Coach down, which Coach Ray disagrees with as he knows I complete everything he asks me to do, it’s just my own thought process of time will be against me. So we have decided to have a short break to give me a chance to assess the work commitments, come up with timelines that suit both Coach Ray and myself for training, in-line with sporting goals.

Coach Ray pacing me during the Double Marathon on Day 3 of Ultraman Australia (appears to be returning the drink holder after providing me supplements).

Medical – Yeah Medical In Confidence I get it, but I have elected to share it. I never thought in my wildest dreams or nightmares I would pick up Asthma in my early 50’s. Most Asthmatics get it as a kid with the majority growing out of it. Before I deployed I went to Australia for a family activity and couldn’t stop coughing and wheezing non-stop and it continued upon my return. Once back in New Zealand, the doctor sent me to a specialist, the specialist was alarmed at the results considering the amount of training I do. An inhaler settled it down, and the deployment to a dry, extremely hot area would likely cure the issue, with medical staff at work having no concerns for the deployment, and it worked a treat with no issues at all. Once home though, 6-8 weeks later, it returned, and returned with a vengeance. I could do the Army fitness test of a 2.4 Km Run in about 10 and a half minutes, coughing the whole way round, which is pretty good for a 53 year old, but then I would buckle over and take ages to return to my normal breathing. So after multiple events, I struggle to complete training without it being problematic. However I have learnt that if I run at a slow pace, I can do it without being a coughing idiot attracting attention to myself. I can cycle okay, but hills knock me for a row of sixes, and I can even swim whilst coughing which have the life guards shrugging their shoulders. So a journey I don’t want to be on, but the other major reason why I am taking time out to hopefully get my Asthma under control. I will still train, but self train until I can get back on the horse so to speak.

Fartlek Session
Bugger – I feel her pain, but for different reasons obviously!

Where to from here, a break for a couple of months at least, so I guess a break from blogs also, but I know I have Coach Ray’s full support, and that of my family. I’ll be back on line when I’m good to go. Take care team, hope you all had a great Christmas and all the best for the New Year. Regards John Humphries (Aka Humps, Aka UltraHumps).

UltraHumps will be writing weekly blogs as he continues his journey and raising funds for Charitable causes.

Read Humps article from last week here:

All his previous articles are stored here:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.