ROAD TO BOLTON – Weeks 19 to 22 and Ironman Mallorca 70.3 Review

Another 4 weeks closer. 8 weeks out.

Have loved my training since I last blogged. The 100 Metros mantra and Biggest Loser Kona video has really inspired me. I have carried on focusing on my cycling and doing less running. I have gone back to seeing Bev fortnightly to make sure I can keep running. My shoulder is also still playing me up a little. It’s so odd…

Still having divorce issues, don’t think it will ever go through. The courts are so picky.

So here is whats been happening training wise……

Week 19

Started with my usual rest day. Fritton lake was finally back open again!! Jane, Jo, Vicki and myself decided to brave the cold and go for a dip. It was great to be back in the lake again. We had a real giggle. Had physio on Wednesday so turbo’d before work. Went out for a lunchtime work run Thursday and then headed back to the lake. Managed to stay in longer than Tuesday. Did a brick session on Friday and my calf felt good. So nice to run pain free. Did park run and a bit extra on the Saturday. Sunday was Tour de Broads. I signed up last minute and did the 100 mile route. It was a lot tougher than I thought it would be but was really pleased to have completed it.

Target totals – 11 hours 30 mins. Actual total – 18 hours 14 mins

Week 20

Great start to this week. We had a club trip to the velodrome. So much fun as always. really thought I wouldn’t be able to cycle due to doing the TDB the day before but felt surprisingly okay. Back to the lake on Tuesday and again stayed in longer. It’s got to warm up soon! Managed to final get to Wednesday running club. It had been a while and I felt fine. Managed my longest run for some weeks. Was conscious that i haven’t been doing that much distance swimming in the lake so went to the pool Thursday and did a 3k swim as well as a turbo before hand. I was heading to Sheffield as the weekend so took Friday off to do my long ride. Didn’t feel that great and had to cut the ride short but was still pleased with 65k. Had Saturday as my rest day and went to Alton Towers with my friends. It was really nice having a day off from triathlons. We had a great laugh. Driving back to my friends I noticed a 10k race being advertised. A quick google search and I found out there were still spaces left and it was for charity. After a quick chat with my friend to make sure she was happy i signed up to it. It was a beautiful venue for a race.  It turned out to be quite a climb though, signing up last minute meant I didn’t check the route out. It was pretty much a 4k climb and then 4k decent. Love it though.

Target totals – 11 hours 0 mins. Actual total – 8 hours 21 mins

Week 21

Mallorca week! So exciting. Can’t believe how long ago this trip was booked (10 months!) it has come round so quickly. Like everything at the moment.

For once I was excited about a race and not nervous. Lovely feeling!

Rest day Monday. Tuesday I did a brick session, didn’t get to swim as had to work late. On Wednesday I did a turbo session before work as was seeing Bev in the evening for a massage. On Thursday we flew to Palma! Checked my bike over and Karle helped me re-assemble it and we took them out for a mini spin to make sure all was okay. On Friday we headed to the beach and swam the route. I felt slow and my shoulder hurt.

Saturday was race day. If you want to read about it I wrote a review below.

On Sunday we were for a little splash in the sea without wetsuits and it was still a little bit cold. Then in the afternoon Vicki and I went for a lovely bike ride. Awesome week, love Mallorca. Going back!

Target totals – 5 hours 15 mins (Plus the race). Actual total – 10 hours 42 mins

Week 22

Felt great after the race. Really did take it easy as per my plan and was so glad as it meant I could keep training uninterrupted. Unlike Bungay Half Marathon!!

We went for a run in Mallorca on Monday. It is normally my rest day but it was too nice not to. After landing on the Tuesday a few of us went for a ride and did the tri route. In the evening I went to the lake.

I had the Wednesday off and knew I would be at Stradbroke Triathlon for most of the weekend so went for my long ride. Finally went back to running club in the evening. Had missed everyone. It was a great run, we did the tri route.

On Thursday I went for a run with the work running club at lunchtime. Was so sunny. Happy days! In the evening went to the lake, am starting to fall out with swimming. I am just getting slower and slower….why!!!

Had Friday as my rest day which was a good job as had to go to a Triathlon meeting which took longer than planned.

Saturday I rode to park run and back and did park run also. Have loved running pain free these past few weeks. I can’t run fast but at least I can run!! Saturday afternoon and evening I spent officiating at Stradbroke triathlon. My first event as the LTO.

Sunday I was back at Stradbroke marshalling. Took my bike and route the course to my marshal point and then completed the loop afterwards back to my car.

Finally managed to hit my running and cycling targets for the first time in weeks, only for my swimming to drop. How do you managed to hit all three!! Need to quit work, it is the only answer 🙂

Target totals –11 hours 45 mins (Plus the race). Actual total – 11 hours 16 mins

Ironman Mallorca 70.3 Review

Can really see why people fall in love with the Ironman brand. They certainly know how to organise a race! The amount of information they put on their website and the athlete guide they send out was a great start.  It just got better from there.

I registered for the race Thursday afternoon and was given three bags as well as race number and free technical t-shirt.. Blue (T1 -for swim to bike gear), Red (T2 – bike to run gear), White (post-race bag). I wasn’t sure about having to bag up gear the night before however I am now sold on the idea. It kept transition nice and clean and you could still add to this the morning of the race if you had forgotten anything.

On the Friday we had to rack our bikes and store the transition bags (apart from the white). Also had fun at the expo, the merchandise was really good quality and most event gear had everyone’s names on which was a nice touch. The pre-race pasta party was great.

A group of us drove the bike route to see how bad the hill was……I was shocked. It wasn’t a hill, it was a mountain!! Driving up it was a bit of a struggle and was worried about how I would cope climbing it. On the descent it looked very tight as loads of hairpins and was surprise there was no side railing!

Tried to not let this worry me, and woke up Saturday feeling excited. It was nice taking the pressure of “racing” and treating this as a warm up for Bolton. My plan was to just test the gear I am going to wear and pacing and not make my calf injuries worse.

I checked my bike was okay and put my gear in the white bag and handed it in. We could get in the water before the race so made sure my wetsuit was on okay and my goggles fit. For the race I put a spear pair of goggles down the front of my wetsuit. A tip I picked up recently. It worked really well. I didn’t need then on the swim, however had they got kicked or knocked off I could have easily put my spare pair on. I couldn’t feel they were down my wetsuit while swimming.

The swim was fantastic, so many people in the water, you didn’t even need to sight as you just followed the swell. The water was so clear and warm. Could see fishes swimming underneath me. Incredible experience. It was my longest sea swim and was pleased to exit the water in 38 mins.

Headed to transition and started the bike course. Cycling on closed roads was fantastic, a real treat. The views on the bike course were stunning. Mallorca is a beautiful island. 20k in the climb up the mountain started, I got in my lowest gear and just took it easy. It’s a long climb and I didn’t want to run out of energy and it was very hot. The climb was around 10k in total and although it was tough, I loved it. The atmosphere and camaraderie was brilliant. Finally reached the summit and started the decent. It was so much fun but had to be careful as the hairpins were really tight. We had a minutes silence before the race and the day before, three triathletes were riding the course and died. That was a little bit scary and made me more cautious than usual

After the decent we went into a little town and I suddenly lost three of my gears. I didn’t let it phase me and just carried on, it was tough when we hit any hills as it was the easy gears I lost. However I just stood up and grinded the bike up hill. Eventually ended back up on the sea front and back into transition. My time was 3 hours and 38 mins.

Headed out onto the beach promenade and the heat hit me. It was baking!! It had reached 29c by this point and the pavement was very hot. Had to drink lots at each aid station and use the cold sponges. There were so many people collapsing and it really made me take it a bit easier. Which was good considering my injuries. I decided to 4:1 the run (4 mins running and 1 min walking).

Loads of supports came to cheer on everyone from Beccles racing so made sure I gave them a hug sweaty hug on the way round J However had I been using my garmin watch the whole way round (I used it for the swim and run and my bike computer for the bike – again a test for Bolton) I would have not hugged them until after as my finishing time was 7 hours and 1 minute. I could have easily been under 7 hours and did feel a little bit disappointed. However I am over the moon overall. It was a great test event for Bolton. The medal and finishers T-shirt were really good quality. The free food and beer after the race again was a nice touch.

If anyone is thinking of doing a 70.3 race I really do recommend paying the bit extra and doing an Ironman brand race if you can. They make you feel so special and the finish is great.



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