Energised Ambassador & Gain The Edge client Claire Doherty’s latest update

The Kona Ironman World Championship is a qualification only event for those that demonstrate the Ironman mantra that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.® On October 11th, over 2,000 athletes will embark on a 140.6-mile journey that presents the ultimate test of body, mind and spirit to earn the title of IRONMAN.

Energised Performance Ambassador & Mental Strength Coaching client Claire Doherty, has qualified for this year’s event…….

I’m about to start my final training block before Kona and am just starting to realize that I am actually going to Hawaii – yes me! It’s finally sinking in, this could of course have something to do with the arrival of my credit card statement.

I have had a couple of set backs in my prep for Ironman UK- a virus which saw me back off training for a good few weeks and then just as I was back on it (as the cool kids say), I had a bike crash and spent another week out and three more with no swimming. My expectations for myself were not high. And so getting a Kona slot was an incredible surprise.

I spent the days immediately after IMUK in a daze. My head was literally spinning. Celebrating getting a Kona slot with a mammoth session on the kids round about in the village park had taken its toll.

Historically I have struggled with the whole concept of Kona- whilst it has always been something that I thought would be a fantastic experience, I have always railed against a process that feeds the corporate coffers of a business that continually proves it is not athlete orientated. I love the race itself and genuinely always get excited for anyone I know who qualifies, but my feelings have always been mixed because regardless of ability or luck, the opportunity is limited to those who have a money laundering ring or have sold a kidney (I’m still waiting for bids on eBay). Anyway, I digress and no one makes us do it, no one makes a person accept a slot, and so yes after thinking long and hard it’s as fair as it can be.
In the run up to IMUK I had begun to think that going to Kona must be pretty special, but I didn’t ever think that it was about to happen to me.

There followed about a week of troubled sleeping. I would wake up to find myself opening drawers and searching for something that I needed to do. After waking the whole house repeatedly I realised that this was to get back into bed and go back to sleep. This is standard behaviour for me when I’ve got things on my mind. I realized that I was genuinely worried about whether I deserved to go to Kona and why it was that I was only 7th in my age group and going when others had been 3 rd and were not. But those are the rules and it’s not as though I have been given any special treatment (unbelievable I know!), l just got very lucky.

The past couple of weeks have seen me feeling very tired and I guess that building towards another ironman so soon after UK is bound to take it’s toll. I do not cope well with large training loads, but luckily my coach, Ian Mayhew is experienced enough to know when I’m being a bit lazy and when I am genuinely fatigued. An extra rest day last week did the trick and I’m now ready to tackle the largest training block before Kona.

I will be using a Huub Swim skin for Kona and so last week saw me taking it for a test swim at the local pool. Although I did not swim like a female Michael Phelps, I did find the suit really comfortable and marvelled at how it repelled the water and the break away zip is very cool.

I have also been practising a new nutrition strategy with the help of FitNaturally- and am pleased that this has so far worked really well.

So my training has picked up, my flights are booked and my family are as excited as I am:

10 yo: Mum even if you don’t win we should still shake a bottle of wine all over you!

Me: I am definitely not going to win anything, can I just drink the wine?

10yo: well you could win if everyone else breaks their legs…

12 yo: or falls into molten lava

10yo: or gets bitten by a shark – because you can swim away calmly whilst they are all screaming

12 yo: yes just don’t stop to help anyone and carry on and then you could win. You never know!!

Personally, I am trying to focus less on marine life and more on enjoying the whole experience, especially the underpants run!

Everything has happened so fast that at times my feet have barely touched the ground, despite the pavements being covered in glue during some of my runs! It is easy sometimes to be so busy that we forget to take a moment to pause, take stock of where we are, what we have and how wonderful life is.