Ironman Western Australia Countdown

I’ve been quiet the last few weeks, but it has been a busy period.  At the end of October I left the UK to return to Seychelles for the final preparations ahead of Ironman Western Australia.  This race comes just 8 weeks after Kona, which is the closest time frame that I’ll have attempted two Ironman races.  From that perspective, this presented a new challenge.  I’m curious to see where my fitness will be on race day, but indications in training suggest that things on that front are looking good. 
My plan for returning to training was to listen to my body with regard to training load.  My initial concern was getting adequate recovery from Kona before returning to training.  I was soon back to regular training in the pool, hitting good paces across all distance intervals.  The bike seemed to take a little longer to get back into, but the last few weeks have been promising and I am confident that I have retained my Kona bike fitness.  I seemed to find my running legs quite quickly, but played it conservatively, slowly ramping up the volume and intensity.  Again, I’m excited about the run in Australia and am looking forward to seeing what I’m capable of.
It’s difficult to explain just how excited I am about this race.  I remember watching the highlights programme from the 2007 race, before I’d completed my first Ironman.  Having watched that programme many, many times, I already have a vivid picture in my mind of the course and location!  The fact that this will be my first trip to Australia makes this race all the more special.  Regarding race goals, as always, I’ll control what I can, and the result and time will take care of itself.  This will be Ironman #7 for me, and I’m confident that my experience will be a big advantage over my competitors.  Kona qualification is of course the goal, but there will be some tough local competition vying for the solitary qualification slot in the 18-24 age-group.  Funnily enough, I don’t feel under pressure to perform.  This bodes well, as my best races tend to come when I’m in this frame of mind.  2011 has been a great year and this is a wonderful way to draw the year (and the season) to a close.  
Earlier this week I was confronted with a rather stressful situation: my upcoming flight from Seychelles to Singapore (where I will get a connecting flight to Perth) was cancelled.  With no other direct flight to Singapore available, I had to look into other options.  Although my new flight route is not yet confirmed, it looks like I’ll be travelling from Seychelles-Dubai-Singapore-Perth.  I thought that flying to Hawaii was bad!  This promises to be an epic journey.  At least I’ll have the opportunity to briefly visit Singapore en route, which is somewhere I haven’t been before.  It will take more than a flight change to stop me from getting to the start line on Sunday 4thDecember!
As an aside, there’s some exciting news for US citizens, as X Endurance now have their new pre & post training/racing drink Xecute available for purchase!  I’m eagerly waiting to try the product for myself, but for all Europeans, it should be available through the EU store in the new year.