Yep, that’s right, it’s officially squeaky-bum time. Two weeks to go until the Outlaw Triathlon. And as the title suggests, I’m excited, then terrified, then excited, then terrified all over again.
The past few weeks have had a bit of everything. On the positive side, I somehow managed to complete the longest training week I’ve ever done – a week so long I’m pretty sure you could see it from space.
It ended with a 6-hour ride and a 1-hour run on the Saturday, then a 1.5 hour-ride and a 3-hour run on the Sunday. I remember looking at those numbers when I first got Don Fink’s ‘Get Iron Fit’ book through the post and texting my fellow iron-trainee Jamie in terror. Well, somehow I managed them, and it only took a few days in a darkened room before I was able to talk about the experience without twitching.
I also got a nice lift from riding part of the race route a few weeks ago, after the Outlaw promoters were kind enough to invite me to join some proper triathlon journalists and age-groupers to experience the new part of the bike course (that’s me in the green top, by the way).
Happily, I can confirm that the rumours are true – it’s flatter than Cheryl Cole at the Jubilee concert. Mile after mile of smooth, wide roads, which should guarantee some seriously quick times come race day.
More importantly, now it’s been announced that Channel 4 are filming the Outlaw, the long flat roads will also mean I’ll see any cameras in plenty of time to get in an aero tuck and put my serious face on, before sitting up again as soon as I’ve gone past.
So far, so good, but I wouldn’t want you to think all has been rosy. Sadly not.
A bout of mild heatstroke after a long ride left me with a very ropey stomach. And that ropey stomach left me genuinely contemplating a very public course of action during my run the next day – a course of action that would certainly have ruined a lot of people’s weekends and quite possibly also have ended with my arrest. Thankfully I managed to find a public toilet in time, but the weekend’s training generally went down as a ‘learning experience’.
Then it’s been just a little bit windy, so I’ve often spent as much time swearing on the bike as I have actually going anywhere. And you may also have noticed the rain, which has caused the temperature in my local lake to plummet.
If I’m honest, that’s one of the things I’m now most worried about. As I’ve said before, I get Reynaud’s, which means my hands and feet overreact to cold temperatures. So most mornings you can now find me outside my house doing a sundance in my tri suit. The neighbours don’t seem to mind.
And aside from the weather, my training was also briefly halted by a virus. And I’d really rather my bike wasn’t in the shop right now after I had a bit of a mechanical glitch over the weekend.
But it is an ironman. It’s supposed to put challenges in your path. And if I was only excited right now, and not nervous at all, well, where would be the fun in that, eh?
Matt is racing the Outlaw for the charity Mind. Head to www.justgiving.com/ironkurton to sponsor him.