574 Jay Grant, GBR

574 Jay Grant, GBR
Position in AG 35-39: Too many to count / Finish time: 12:23:36
Swim: 1:12:42 // T1: 10:57 // Bike: 6:00:46 // T2: 6:25 // Run: 4:52:46

Coach’s remarks: Not the novel length reports of Venny however, this one is worth a read. More the post race adventures is what got me in!! Bravo JT Grant, another Ironman member to the team!!

All very “entertaining” this end but, first, can you rally the troops for Barasti fish & chips tomorrow (Saturday) at 6pm please?

As for the race, it didn’t go too badly in the end and if it wasn’t for a few issues I think that 11.59 I joked about was achievable – how, I just don’t know. To answer some of those who doubt my “training” levels, it wasn’t a fallacy I introduced for effect. I did a fair bit of running but only 2 or 3 25km runs, the rest were 16 or 20km. I did a 170km and 120km bike, a couple of 90km and a few 65-80km. The 170km with the IMSA crew a few weeks prior to the race hurt and I felt I had undercooked the training “slightly”, but I knew I had the distance in me after that. As for swimming, I’ve probably swum about 6 or 7 times since Phuket, the last being a mammoth 900 metre swim with ample rest at the end of each 100. I didn’t want to push it so close to the race.

So, fully prepared, I went into the race…

Swim. I felt pretty good in the swim (33 minutes for lap 1 plus the beach run into lap 2) but got cramp on the second lap as I tried to kick off a pesky South African. If I had connected with his face as intended it would have been fine, but I missed and my calf cramped up as a consequence. I think I will re-take up football and work on my kicking. That said it didn’t last long as I backed if off a bit and had only 600-700 metres to go.

T1. I felt a bit wobbly in transition (the infamous 10 minute one!) but the only time I’m horizontal for that long is when I’m asleep so it was all bit alien. Anyway, I sat down, enjoyed a Red Bull and a good rubbing from the sun tan lotion girl – I wasn’t in any rush! I then headed out on the bike…

Bike. Simple really, I was going to spin up the hills (and it wasn’t as flat as it’s made out to be) and break 6 hours subject to the wind being favourable. The wind was favourable on the first lap but changed on laps 2 and 3. It wasn’t bad, but not as good as the first lap. Anyway, on lap 2 some elite bloke who quite obviously does more than 2 long cycles before an event went flying by and I lost concentration. When I regained composure, I overtook the bloke in front and went on my merry way… until I got done for drafting because I didn’t pull out the required 2 metres. A 6 minute penalty for me! Did I not penalise myself enough by not training? Anyway, I did that, finished the bike in 6 hours dead, which would have been a 5.54. Something to build on.

Run. I started running and then saw Sarah and Noeline. Are you in the chat room? I asked. Yes, they said. Good, tell them to go and f*ck themselves, and then I chuckled for a bit and got into my 20/5 run/walk strategy. This only lasted ONE cycle and was quickly followed by 15/5 up to about 11km before it turned into a walk/walk strategy. I then had the “what the hell am I doing here” chat with myself. It was a simple, repetitive conversation which went something along the lines of “What the hell am I doing here?”, “Don’t know, not doing it again.”; “What the hell am I doing here?”, “Don’t know, not doing it again.”; “What the hell am I doing here?”, “Don’t know, not doing it again.”

Anyway, I finished the first lap and 42.2km minus 14km was roughly quite a long way left to go. I tried to run but every time I did my right hamstring was pulling sharply and I kept breaking into a skip. Quite frankly I looked ridiculous but was I going to stop and give up? Don’t be silly, I kept reminding myself of the training and sacrifices I had made. I once missed a night out and Arsenal on TV. That’s sacrifice isn’t it? It was clear that the hamstring problem wasn’t going to go away but I could just about deal with it by taking steps so short I made Simon Marshall look like an over-strider. Then the blisters on the soles of my feet started bubbling. It was like landing on a watery cushion with each step. How nice, but by then I was in the “strap a pair on” mind set and “only” had another 15-16km to go.

I zoned in a bit on lap 3 and did a bit more running. It was strange, but when I was running, I was running at between 5.20-6.00 pace and felt fine – other than the hamstring and feet issues. The legs weren’t seizing up as I thought they would so I was pleasantly surprised. I was waiting for my right knee to kick off again but it behaved itself. At one point I thought I could go sub 12.15 but I was already going to break 12.30 and was laughing at the thought of everyone in the chat room. That was enough for me. Plus I wanted to save some energy for the V signs. I got to the red carpet with no one behind me, but the bloke in front was taking his time and thought it was all about him as he crossed the line. Get out of the way and stop f*cking milking it I shouted – you can see my penultimate finishing photo – it’s my turn!

So that was it, a good day all things considered. I saw most of the team out there and it was a great bunch to be a part of. I was really hoping Ed and Carl would do it but it wasn’t to be on this occasion. However, I have a funny feeling about Korea if they decide to do it. I think that one’s the pay day.

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