|Around 2012-13, I had one of those life changing moments when I thought I had better change my ways...
I was a pizza, pasta and beer loving guy that saw exercise as when I had to venture out to the beer fridge in the garage. The scales were too close to 120kgs for my liking so I decided to do something about it.
I started just by jogging around a 5km block around my house. I completed a few half marathons and then in October 2013 I finished my first marathon. A friend post marathon talked me into signing up for a triathlon. I didn't have a bike, and hadn't swum a lap of freestyle since probably the 90's. So sensible thing to do would have been a short course triathlon.... so I signed straight up for Geelong half Ironman in Feb 14! Within a few weeks I had bought a bike and started swimming.
Back then was when Melbourne IM was sold out well in advance. When I entered Geelong I automatically went into a draw for a bonus spot for Melbourne IM. I was offered a spot and of course I thought I had better accept. So now I only had 4 months to build up for a full Ironman distance.
Obviously I was caught by the swim / bike / run bug and I found health, fitness and triathlon was very compatible with my OCD and type ‘A’ personality. I rate that first Melbourne Ironman finish as one of my greatest moments and memories. That day an eternal fire was lit deep inside me and I haven’t looked back since. I have now completed 5 Ironman's and 5 half Ironman's.
I joined NTC after that first Melbourne IM to try and find some people to train with. Couldn't be any happier with that decision as it is a fantastic club, has helped me immensely with support and to further develop my triathlon skills, and I have made plenty of friends to train and banter with.
I have just recently ticked off another one of those crazy bucket list races that I only committed to in late June and that I impatiently couldn’t delay for another year. Since Cairns IM in June, I have spent the winter pounding my running shoes and legs through hundreds of kilometres of running in preparation for the Surf Coast Century (100k ultra marathon) that was on the 3rd September. I sustained an injury 3 weeks out from SCC so barely ran a km in those last 3 weeks. I was at least mentally and physically fresh (except for the knee) on the starting line. However knee injury was going to plague me throughout the whole 100k and contributed to the day being very tough, brutal, physically and mentally challenging. I completed the 100k in 12 hours 44 mins and was extremely pleased with this time all considering. Like my first IM finish this race will also go down as one of my greatest moments, achievements and favourite races.
Big congratulations to Russell Saunders as well, he also completed the 100k race, well done mate.
My injury has since been diagnosed post-race as a partial tear in a patella ligament in my left knee. No idea in the world how I managed to get through the 100k with that!! So short term I will be a very frustrated patient on the sidelines, working hard on the rehab. Scrolling through the web I have just found something that poured fuel on that eternal fire, a 100 mile marathon (with over 7,000mts vertical) that has already got my attention (haha). Thank god I’m injured as it’s in November. I might have to save that one till next year. I’ll never officially concede or face up to it, but looks like I will have to cancel plans for Melb Marathon, Shep 70.3 and IM Busso for this year. Hopefully injury won’t be to prolonged, as it’s also not long now to the start of another summer of Marky/Marc. Realistically my next race will most likely be Two Bays 56k, Geelong 70.3 and then Ironman NZ again.
I won't shy away or keep secret my ultimate goal and dream is to one day get to Kona. If I can't qualify in the next few years at least at the rate I'm going, in no time I will reach the 12 required to register for the IM legacy program.
Btw I will join Facebook one of these days, but till then I have an extra 2 or so hours a day to train...
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