Well here I am, 3 days out from flying to Kona for the Ironman World Champs off the back of what can only be described as my worst IM prep ever. In saying that though, I feel great and I know I am fit enough to punch through this race. It’s been a tough 6 weeks but I have managed to complete all my sessions….in one way or another!! Mentally, I am super prepared. I’ve said it before – not racing Kona has never entered my mind, I’m just going to do it. Sure, my prep has been different to what I had anticipated, but I’m not going to have any ‘but what if…..’ moments.

The first week after my surgery I took things a bit steady. Short sessions on the wind trainer, slow 20 minute walks down the road and zero swimming was what I was restricted to, and pretty much all I could manage. I had to wait about 14 days post surgery before I could get back into the water due to the risk of any possible infection of my wound, so it was all bike walk and an eventual slow jog. I was determined to make the most of it and build some serious strength in my legs.

My short wind trainer sessions started to get longer, with some efforts thrown in for good measure. I was completing all my sessions on my trusty road bike…A) because my TT bike was still in the shop and B) I was still suffering slight pain in my shoulder and wasn’t too confident in getting down into the aero position. I was pounding the pavement too; I didn’t ever dream walking 20 minutes down the road could ever have taken it out of me like it did that first couple of times. Eventually I was trekking up and down Mt Coolum with confidence though and ready to break out into a slow jog.

After the all clear from the Doc, I was finally allowed to jump back in the water. Apparently only in the pool, but you don’t swim in a pool at Kona…..I’m gonna swim Mooloolaba Bay with the boys. The swim was what worried me the most. I couldn’t even lift my arm over my head – how the hell was I supposed to swim 4kms in 5 weeks time?!? My first swim back was with one arm, on the back of everyone’s feet with a long walk back along the beach to where we jumped in….but it was a start. Since then I reckon I’ve deep water run to China and back, my left arm is the most powerful limb I own and I can use a kickboard like it’s nobody’s business.

“Hirdy’s Pain Cave” became my second home. For about 4 weeks – 3 times a week – I would rock up at Michael and Jenny’s place for a 4:45am set up on the computrainer and a session of PAIN!! The long rides were the worst – 6 hours in the garage on your own can play some serious games on your mind!! I got through it though and am back out on the road, even managing to negotiate the Thursday morning bunch ride this week….with maybe a little sphincter pucker involved early on!!

I’ve got 2 long runs under my belt. At present though, I am stoked to be able to run pain free. I don’t know how long it will take me to do the marathon, but I bought new shoes and I’m gonna wear them goddamnit!! In a nutshell, if I run fast I’ll do a good time, if I run slow – I’ll do a bad time. I certainly don’t have any expectations when it comes to the run, that’s for sure.

So that’s where I’m at. I can swim, I can bike, I can run and I’m really looking forward to the race. There are so many people that I can’t thank enough for getting me to where I am right now. Dr Kate Gazzard, Dr Brett Collins and my physios Rach Paxton and Meredith Hill. Hirdy and Jen for those epic computrainer sessions and being super generous with allowing me to come and go as I pleased. Dave Chick for the loan of the Altitude Mask, my training buddies for the support, encouragement and never ending roll out of kangaroo and roadkill jokes, and to my wife for being awesome throughout this whole journey.

I'm really excited and so looking forward to being a part of the biggest race in our awesome sport this weekend. I'm keen to hit the start line and give it a red hot crack!! I'll give you a run down of the race and my recovery after the dust has settled. Thanks for all the razz ups....keep them coming for Saturday!!