Grant Harding Ironman Life #16


Hawke's Bay Today deputy editor Grant Harding, who will participate in Ironman New Zealand 2013, having completed the event in 2010 and gone to the start line this year only to be denied by the weather, shares his Ironman life.

After a week of feeling SAAD (sick as a dog), this past week has been about doing what I could.

Ultimately it has taken a real effort to complete the programmed cycling and running in what has been an "easy" week.

The combination of work, family and recovery from illness kept me away from the pool.

And a trip to Taupo to support Janet, by caring for five children while she ran the first-ever Mizuno Kinloch Off-Road Marathon.

She was out the door by 6am on Saturday, running by 7am and finished just before 11am as first woman home.

That little woman has a big ticker, a strong gut and legs of steel.

I have a ticker (I think!), a gut (definitely), and legs (a thin pair).

There was a strong Hawke's Bay presence at the event with Kristian Day first home in the marathon (3:08:43), Emma Rough first woman home in the half-marathon (1:44:05), and brother and sister, Duncan and Amber Morrison, first home respectively in the quarter-marathon.

And the takeaway outlet, sausage sizzle and Mr Whippy took a hiding from a family who shall remain nameless.

Doubtless Janet took her dog for a walk that afternoon.

By then we were on our way home.

Her effort was enough to inspire me out for a 12km run while my twins went to a birthday party.

The third lap around Pandora was run in the dark, and I arrived to pick the girls up four minutes ahead of time. Wearing tri-pants over compression tights you will understand that I just popped my head in the door.

Yesterday's cycle was a bonus. The twins wanted a bit of time away from me, but not my new phone or the dog, so I got a free pass.

Fifty kilometres later, exhausted, I remembered why it is important to eat well during the day as I shovelled Weetbix, pears, Roses chocolates and Wheelios into my wind-ravaged body.

Nevertheless it was 50km that I wasn't expecting to bank.

Cycling is never anything but tough.

Even the 30km ride I slotted in on Friday lunchtime was a struggle against the wind until the last 8km. But that last segment of the ride through Havelock North and on to Hastings was beautiful. Up around 40km/h all the way, down on the aerobars, I would have looked like a pro. Hope you saw me.

It's moments like that which ease the pain of the long kilometres into the wind.

The mind is tricked into thinking it wasn't that bad after all.

While the flu which kept me off work for three days, and depleted my energy supply, is still affecting me I am hopeful that I will be up to the challenge of a step up in training this week.

The programme requires 4.5km of swimming, 140km of cycling (including a long effort of 85km) and 36km of running.


In association with Hawke's Bay Today.

Twitter: @GrantHarding4

- Hawkes Bay Today

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