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THE IRON LADY: Ready to roll in Vegas
6:00am Saturday 7th September 2013 in Sport
GREETINGS from a hot and sweltering Las Vegas! The Ironman 70.3 World Championships is just a day away.
To say I’m excited is something of an understatement.
It’s a race I’ve been looking forward to all season, but at the same time it’s important not to get carried away.
Piling too much pressure on yourself before a race doesn’t always lead to the best outcomes, so I prefer to stay focused on the here and now and concentrate on all the things I can control.
The build-up to a race like this is always exciting, daunting, fun and challenging all at the same time. Part of your brain keeps saying, “It’s the world freakin’ championships”, while the other part wants to remain cool, calm and collected.
Fortunately I’ve always been pretty good at the latter and with temperatures already hitting 40 degrees here, it’s certainly wise to do all you can to stay cool, in every sense of the word.
With the physical training all done, you might wonder what an athlete does with 24 hours to go before racing. The answer for me is to eat, drink and be happy.
From this point onwards – much like cramming before an exam – there is nothing you can do to change your fitness and physical form, but there is plenty you can do to ensure you arrive on the start line ready to go.
Of course, in a hot environment like Las Vegas, staying well-hydrated is vital and I’m drinking between five to six litres of fluid a day. And yes, toilet visits are fairly frequent!
Many myths abound about “carbo-loading” before an endurance event like this, but for me there is little change in my daily diet. As my training volume drops in race week, I tend to eat roughly the same and so this naturally ensures my energy levels are a little higher and my body is well fuelled.
At this stage, what you think and fill your mind with is probably more important than anything else. I like to stay calm and relaxed and take time out to visualise the race.
I think about all the people who have helped get me here. In much the same way that energy drinks and gels will fuel me physically, these people are my emotional fuel when the going gets tough.
I can always hear the voice of Alex, my nephew, when things get hard and there’s no messing with a five-year-old when you hear him tell you to shift your butt.
I always think of my sponsors too – and the loyalty and commitment they have shown me I try to return by giving my absolute all.
I’m proud to have the support of two Swindon firms. All the team at Morris Owen Chartered Accountants in Old Town and the guys at Virtua UK in Brinkworth will certainly be with me tomorrow.
All that remains for me now is more rest, more fluid, a light dinner before an early bed and then it’s GO time! You can follow the race online via www.ironman.com and I’ll be tweeting pre and post-race at @eklidbury also. See you on the other side!
- Swindon Tri Club coach Justin Robbins will also compete in Las Vegas as he has qualified in the 40-49 age group.
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