Training started a full 6 months before the race. I got myself a training plan to follow that I felt I understood and could follow and got the wife to sign off on training so much. This was the hardest part as we had a 1 year old and our second was due during the training plan.
At the start it was all go. Get my session in, do the distances and train hard. I did a lot of training which can be seen on my public Garmin profile.
Thankfully I had a training partner who was also doing the Half Ironman with me (part of my training plan was to do the half ironman as well) and the two of us enjoyed a few rides, swims and runs together. A couple of these things we didn't pick the best times for, like the lake swim we intended to do when the water was about 6 degrees, its safe to say this training session was a bust and we spent a lot more time getting ready and into the water than we spent in it.
We did have some nice scenery though on some of our training
We finally made it to race day for the half ironman on Lake Zurich. We had a great weekend, I was feeling really good and got a time I was very happy with.
After finishing our race we then went on to have the obligatory celebration drink
It was from here that the training got difficult. We went on a family holiday to Australia. I was rightly told that I could not take my bike out with me as we already had the two kids, prams, travel cots and enough baggage to fill a large rental car and adding my bike to it all was not an option.
So I had to look for alterntives to train. I managed to get a few swims in at pools and gyms alone the way. Did a couple of runs around places I use to live or spend time and I borrowed and rented bikes (on that, highly recomend https://www.livelo.com.au/ for global bike rental) and tried to keep up with training.
This was all a bust. training while on holidays without your normal retuine to fit it into and without your gear is hard. Plus, I needed to spend time with the family to took with me and all the family we had gone to see.
So, on my return I was alone, great, I will train loads without the family in the weeks leading up to the final race. No such luck, small injuries and motivation issues meant the last weeks were not really helpful.
But, race day arrived. I set my mind to it and my first full distance Ironman was completed in 13 hours 28 mins.
Biggest take away from my experiance is to just train as much as you can and you can do anything.