I would opine I didn’t have a very good season. I had a couple of good results in sprints along the way, but UK70.3 kicked my ass, and the attempt at riding London to Paris <24 hours took over 25 hours. I could blame the weather, in different ways, for both of these but also my heart and my head have not really been in it this season.
That’s not to say I’ve not had some fun this year, just at times it’s been a bit different…
And now it’s October… one of the least likely months for a desire to train to emerge. Leaves are falling, the weather is getting colder, the nights are drawing in; but there it is, undeniable, The October Training Stoke.
This phenomenon has occurred in me every year since 2007, and this year it’s stronger than ever, there’s more inspiration for it this year than there has been in others, but we’ll start with the first and most obvious source of The October Stoke.
The Second Saturday in October
This was the 6th year I’ve stayed up until the early hours of the morning watching the event live on-line. This year’s coverage was great, and the race was the most exciting I’ve seen. For me the only thing that took away from the event was that my curry arrived late and slightly cold; Kona Viewing is a highly complex undertaking, I installed myself on the sofa at 1730 on Saturday and peeled myself away at 0330 Sunday morning.
I had this conversation with a few people when I was back at work “You watched a race for 10 hours? How can you watch something that takes 10 hours?” to which I replied “How can you watch a 90 minute football match? And I wasn’t just sat there, I had a couple of breaks along the way; I had to do a beer run, I had to go downstairs to collect the curry.”… I admit it, it is a bit weird, but I love it!
What else has spurred me on this October? Well, I received a letter from Virgin London Marathon; I entered the ballot in 2007, and 8, and 9, and 10, but in ’11 but I missed the date which also meant I wasn’t in the “5 rejects and you’re in” rule any more. I was more than a little surprised to see this letter:
Yep, I’m finally in. Now, the all important question is how fast can I do it??? Time will tell, but I’d like to think if all goes well <3:30.
The Race Announcement
What was I going to do for the 2013 season, London Marathon’s a good start but after April…? I’d been thinking about returning to the TDS, and while I was interested in it didn’t make me think “oh wow, THAT I want to do”. I wanted to do another IronMan too, and was considering a few races around the UK but someone had a better idea…
IronMan Canada is one of the oldest IronMan Branded events outside Kona, and having lived in Whistler in BC for about 6 months to ski in 2001/2002 I rather like Canada. Well, this year it was announced IM Canada would no longer be in Penticton, which had hosted it for 29 years. I had assumed there wouldn’t be a replacement, since there is a race in Mont Tremblant, Quebec.
I was wrong. From a shortlist of three Whistler was selected… Last Thursday entry opened at 8pm BST, and I found myself sat on the sofa thinking “should I?” 42 minutes after filling in all the registration forms and having received some prompting from friends, I concluded I should. I hit the big red button* and the 16 digits did their thing…
*It was actually a small green button, but that sounds less exciting!
It’s not escaped my notice that IM Canada has 100 Age Group Slots for Kona… It’s also not escaped my notice I’d need to race about 2:30 faster than I did last year in Bolton to qualify… but that’s a different question.
So there we have it, I now have Training Stoke again, and it feels so good!