05 April 2020
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Ironman blog: I can’t believe I did the Ironman UK… thank you all!

July 25, 2012
Swimbikerun2

“If you think you can, or if you think you cannot, you are right”.


It’s two days after one of the biggest challenges of my life now! The Ironman UK has finished and I finished the race! Yippeeeee! I am not sure where to begin to tell you how it was!  So I will start by saying a massive thank YOU to every single person who has supported me on this journey, especially the Support Team on the day, I could not have done it without you.

So how to summarise the weekend briefly. I set off on Friday morning with Ross for the drive up to Bolton, everything packed and ready to go.  My hayfever was still causing trouble with my chest and breathing but settled enough that after four hours of driving I found myself registering!  As I collected my number I thought, ‘Did I really enter!?’  Yes, clearly I did, as no questions were asked as they handed over number 319.

The next 24 hours involved race briefings, driving bike routes, taking blue, red and white bags to different transition points, racking bikes, swimming in the lake, eating and hydrating lots, mental preparation and relaxation! Before the alarm went off at 3.45am on Sunday morning…

The start of ‘just a long day’ as one of my clients said!  I went through my mental rehearsal one final time, stretched and had a small breakfast before jumping on the bus and heading down to the start.  Bike checked, wetsuit on, I headed to the lake. I have never done a mass start with more than about 60 people, 1,600 is a little crazy but the horn sounded (I think!) and we were off!

Two loops, the orange buoys seemed miles away but I just kept focused and somehow found myself at the end.  There were moments of being submerged by other swimmers, cramp as I got really cold on the second loop and weeds getting wrapped around my goggles but overall it was a beautiful morning to be out in a lake and I really enjoyed it!

Out of T1 and into the Blue Bag Zone, bike kit on (which took a little while as my hands and feet had gone into Rynards mode and I could not really move them) and then off onto the bike course.

Two things in my head; pace yourself and remember to eat! This is all people had kept repeating before.  The bike is apparently one of the hardest courses, yet I have discovered in training that I actually really love hills but my average pace and power is not that quick (yet!). So I was looking forward to the hills but apprehensive about the bike time allowed.

The bike course is 3 laps including the big hills.  I found a strong pace and set off, first lap down and all good, aside from a little lake water swashing about in my stomach!  Second lap, many bikes overtaking me and the sun was starting to appear.

As you know, we have not really had much sun to train in and I am a sensitive fair skinned blonde in the heat!  So I could feel myself overheating and had to drop the pace a bit.  Another piece of advice I had been given, expect the unexpected and adapt to complete.

So this is what I did. Passing my Support Team on lap 2 was just the boost I needed as I headed out onto lap 3, up the hill again (still loving it) and then onto the final 30 miles. It doesn’t read like much but it definitely was. My boost on this lap was a guy on a hand cycle, an ex marine who had lost both his legs, what was I getting tired about? Come on Kim! And so into T2 I made it.

Now this is where I thought I was there for about 5-10 mins but actually it was nearly 20mins! Yes I know, but the sun really got to me and I had to lie on the sports hall floor, drink a pint of coke (ergh!) and have a chat with myself, mental strength!

Then I kicked my butt outside and started to run (jog/shuffle). I knew if I could get the first 10km done, I would reach the loops where the crowds were and then just break each 2.7 mile loop down to the finish. I had planned I would walk every water/food station and as much as I really wanted to keep running, until you have completed an Ironman you don’t know what your body will do and when it will stop. So I adopted this strategy, kept my focus and technique (I think) and quietly the miles went by and I started to feel good!

Once I reached the turn point to collect the final three of my coloured arm bands, I thought: ‘I might just do this’!  Running into Bolton the last time, past my amazing family and support team was one of the most amazing experiences ever.  As I ran through the final 100m I could not believe I did it, the commentator shout’s, ‘Kim Ingleby, you are an Ironman!’ And yes, I am, in 14hrs 45mins 45secs!

What is the most amazing thing, is the people you meet on the way, the journey’s people have had and the experience you gain. I am so proud to have raised £3,000 for the memory of my best friend’s little angel Ashley and for five brilliant charities.

I have learned a lot from this, which will make me a better coach and I hope inspire you, if you read this, to know that whatever you want to do you CAN DO IT. You just have to find the right motivation, the right support, plan it correctly, be consistent, be focused and believe in yourself. It doesn’t matter if it is 5km or an Ironman, it is the difference it makes to you and the people around you.

Thank YOU for reading my Ironman Blog and supporting me all the way, I really, really appreciate it.

You can still donate and find out more about why I did the Ironman here – thank YOU. www.virginmoneygiving.com/energisedperformance

If you would like me to keep blogging about my training and racing every couple of weeks,  do let Sportsister know! In the meantime, happy training.

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