The count down to the 17th July 2016 is beginning to feel a little scary.

It seemed like such a long time ago I agreed to attempt the Full UK Ironman event to be held in Bolton.

Having got over my neck operation in February it has been full steam ahead with the training and the miles have gradually racked up higher and higher.

With the skill full help and guidance of GB triathlete and coach Fin Saunders, I am beginning to believe I can not only survive the race but actually enjoy it.

The swimming has always been the biggest fear factor for me as I have never swam much in my life until now, and while I would not say it will ever become my favourite discipline of the three I do now know I am capable of the distance.

In April I had the opportunity to take a week off work and attend a triathlon training camp in France with a few of my fellow triathlon friends.  This was a fantastic experience, what with beautiful scenery and weather to enjoy and some intense technique training in all three disciplines.

On return from this trip I soon had my first race of the season at Stour Head national park in a half ironman distance event called “The Immortal”.

In this race I learned some valuable lessons on proper pre-race preparation and how to get the hydration and food all wrong, as I suffered with cramp throughout the whole race.  While I was initially disappointed as I felt I did not do justice to my training etc, I have later realised what a valuable lesson to have at that point and not to have it in the big race in July.

The biggest plus from this race was my PB in the swim where I knocked off 9 minutes from my previous best 1.2 mile swim time.  Coming out of the water in the top half of the field instead of near last for all my previous races.

Having had a gentle weeks training following the race it has been full steam ahead and the bike and running miles getting harder and longer.  I have reached the conclusion that once things get over a certain distance it is no longer just a physical test but much more about your state of mind and willingness to finish the task set before you.

It is funny that on some days you can feel like you can go on forever and others just a couple of miles is a real struggle.

I can honestly say that while I have put myself through some pain and sacrifice to get to this race I have enjoyed the process overall and I would recommend the challenge to anyone. What we can do if we set our minds to it is truly remarkable.

I know that I will be able to draw on the experiences of the past couple of years for all manor of things in my day to day life and I am blessed with people who have supported me on this journey. Especially my wife and children.

I am truly grateful to be on this planet and get to enjoy the outdoor surroundings I am lucky enough to live in. You never know what is around the next corner in your life and for people like my friend Tim Watson whom I have been inspired by over the last few years after the death of his wife and then his own very scary brush with cancer.  He has embraced life and appreciates every moment and with the help and skill of the surgeons at Derriford and the training and support by Bowel Cancer West, people do get a second chance to enjoy being alive.

If anyone would like to make a donation for this charity I would be delighted if you would visit my just giving page.   I don’t normally do races or events for charity but this is a big one and I have honestly worked my butt off so I recon it might be worthy of a 50P here and there.

Thanks again to those who have humoured me and listened to the boring training tales and I apologise I have not been around socially as much as I used to.

The next instalment should have a picture and a medal in it!!