I better write this report of Ironman Barcelona before I forget and tell you all it was grand and not a bother.
I did struggle with the training this time round. I started training in January and was all ready and excited to get into a training plan. I wanted to build a base. I know January seemed a bit early but I needed to know I was fit to begin with. I had continued with my sea swimming throughout the winter and had two swims to complete (an ice kilometre and an ice mile). These two races had me focused and determined to complete even though they were crazy and I was mad according to some people. Unfortunately, due to a bike accident at the end of January I was no longer able to complete these. This was my nightmare months of freezing my ass off in the sea or lake, having friends and family come to the sea front and stand in the cold and watch you while I reassured them I was 'fine' only for it to slip away so quick.
There was nothing broken thankfully. But I couldn’t do a full circle with my arm I think it was March/April before I was able to even swim 1km. I felt like my own student in my own class delighted been able to swim one length without pain. The injury not only affected my shoulder while swimming but I also couldn't run plus I was a little nervous going back to cycling in a group so again most of my spins ended up been solo. It really was a head melter and so hard to mentally get over. I had lost the excitement for this Ironman and my heart really wasn't 100% in it but I continued. I messed about with different training plans and finally settled on Training Peaks. One thing I knew not to miss was my long bike spin. I did compare Barcelona to Austria on a lot of things. Austria will always mean more to me.
My parents came to support me in Barcelona which was great. I think it was nice for them to see what all the buzz of Ironman was all about. As well as to see why I continued the training although they still think we're all mad Everyone kept telling me “Sure this is your second ironman and you'll be fine”. Yes I thought but I still have to train for it.
We had another fantastic group going this year which meant a lot of support months before and before and after the race. We all met at the airport where were some more nervous than others.
I hate swimming in my wetsuit and had only swam in it maybe two to three times over the summer in it. My only worry was would it chaff the neck off me. I had arranged to meet my parents at the swim start but with 2,500 swimmers all dressed in black neoprene they found it hard to find me. Finally at the last moment I found them. It was a relief so the hugs and kisses and best of luck and also possibly holding back a few tears – firstly they made it here and secondly, I’m doing this again what the heck.
The swim was a rolling start with six people at a time which meant a calmer start. We swam against the tide for first 2km. My watch seemed to stop but lucky I noticed and restarted it again. I found there was a sense of panic at each buoy we passed. Once we turned for the return then it seemed to fly in. When I passed the 3km marker I looked at my watch and it matched so I thought great I hadn't missed much when it stopped.
The transition was fairly smooth and I got changed and out on the bike without any hassle.
I hadn't seen my parents at the swim exit but they popped up where I wasn't expecting them at the start of the bike course which was nice and gave me boost. So off I went on my first lap. It was really busy with so many cyclists and so many roundabouts. Silly mistake though I had changed my cleats before I left and therefore I really had to pay attention if I needed to clip out they must have been slightly off alinement as the shoes were starting to hurt me I just had to get on with it. The banter with the Irish on the course was great just the well done and encouragement that keeps each other going. There was a headwind on the way out but with the excitement I didn't really notice too much on first lap but I sure did on the second lap and I was willing the turnabout point. By that stage, my back was sore and feet were killing me and I just wanted off the bike. Finally I made my last turn at the lighthouse and was on my third and final lap thankfully it was only 15km. I enjoy cycling and therefore said feck it just pedal as hard as you can and worry about the marathon later. Nutrition was all great I didn't mix my sandwiches up this time like in Austria. The finally stretch and I got to see my parents again, my Mam ringing her cow bell as hard as she could and Dad doing his best to take a photo of me.
At the second transition, I had a full change of clothes into my running gear. I'd rather be comfortable so again opted for the full change. This time I wore my Wicklow Tri t-shirt and was great as all the Irish then were shouting up Wicklow.
You all know my love hate with this. This is where my race/battle starts. We had to do three laps. On my first lap I asked Rob where my parents where I just wanted to see them I guess. It was on my second lap when I got to give them a hug more out of thanks for been there and I think I needed the encouragement. It's very emotional having family there I hated to think they were standing waiting on me and was I ever going to finish I know they weren't but maybe it's what plays in your mind. The second lap was by far the hardest and I walked pretty much all of it. Just couldn't get moving again that's what I get for pushing on the bike but I don't regret it either. During the third lap I stopped at my parents and told them to go get dinner or pint and when they got the last alert from the Ironman tracker to make their way to finish line. I had given them my phone to track me. During the last lap and I was determined to use any tree or lamppost as a marker to run to and walk the next. It was all working till the dreaded blisters on my heals arrived. I only got three this time not the nine I got in Austria. You can't help when it rains on race day and get wet feet. I had been so careful through training to prevent these I thought I had it sussed. I remember coming near the finish line about 1km out and hearing the music and excitement from the finish line. There was another man alongside me and I just turned and said so close yet so far but we kept moving. Finally my moment had come to run down the finish shoot. All the more special this time having Mam and Dad there cheering me on a high five and Corinna you are an Ironman. Number 2 done and dusted!
Finally I got my street bag and out to join the folks for the hugs and much needed sit down. I remember sitting down and for the life of me couldn't stop yawning. I did think at one point could I lie down on these seats I was so tired. I do recall saying never again that's it I'm done no more Ironman. I got my phone from my Dad and was overwhelmed with all the messages from people so thank you. And a bigger thank you to the people who have supported me and listened to my moans about trainings ups and downs. And final thank you to my parents for traveling to Barcelona to support me was super to have you there.
Will I do another Ironman? Yes I'm sure I will just not next year. Next year, I have unfinished business with an ice mile.
Congratulations to everyone. Thanks for reading hopefully I have encouraged some more people to step up to Ironman as they say anything is possible.
The following user(s) said Thank You: DaveMcD, Darren_S, fiRed, Paul Evans, steve_mc, michaelp, grykyo, JanineT, Caitriona, RobS
Well done Corinna. I honestly thought back at the time of the bike crash that everything had gone out the window so to speak! I still struggle with the thought of a full IM just in my own head, it really is a super-human feat. Brilliant achievement especially with the extra work, respect!