Reviews

Ironman Journey Week Six and Southwold 10k review

Feels like it has been ages since I last raced! Now my asthma is under control I feel like I can sign up to the races I have been putting off.

Didn’t stick to my training plan this week due to a charity fundraiser on Friday and Southwold 10k Sunday. Felt good to have a week off and mix it up a bit.

Week six  (Didn’t do DF)

Monday – Rest day today. Coached Beccles triathlon swim sessions.

Tuesday – Stretch, Strength and Control class was back on this week, enjoyed it. Typing this has just reminded me that the front of my left leg did hurt when doing some of the exercises though. Did a 2k swim afterwards and it was my fastest to date.

Wednesday – Missed my core class at lunchtime. However did get to running club in the evening and did 30ish mins of running.

Thursday – Took a rest day.

Friday – Took part in a Children in Need challenge at work. There was 4 of us and we all had to ride 75 miles each on a turbo trainer. We were split into two teams of two and we took it in turns cycling the distance. It was tough but we raised a fantastic amount of cash for charity.

Saturday – Decided to do Fritton park run for a change. It was lovely.

Sunday – Southwold 10k. See my review below if interested.

Totals for this week

Swim –0 hour 41 mins

Bike – 3 hours 19 mins (Should have been 3)

Run – 1 hour 52 mins (Should have been 3)

Southwold 10k 2016

Have done this race for the past two years and people always ask what the appeal is, and why does it sell out so quickly. It’s hard to explain really, however there are always loads of people I know as its a local race. The support from the town is brilliant and it helps get you round. The course is nice. Great goodie bag and medal.

What I also like about this race and they send your number and timing chip to you in the post. This saves having to register on the day and I really do prefer that approach.

The race is well marshalled, the results are always online really quickly and there is always a timing van at the finish so you can print your results off.

Another fun bit about the race is the “beer station” as well as the customary water station they have beer on offer. Which add to the fun spirit of the race.

The only downside is that the start and finish are in different places. So unless you have someone there it is difficult to have warm clothes at the end. A bag drop or foil blanket would be great.

The race itself went loads better than I was hoping for. I managed to get a PB and a Silver club standard time. So, so chuffed. My asthma was absolutely fine. However my left leg hurt all the way round. Badly. Think I have done something to it, so need to see a physio asap as my left leg has been playing up for a while now.

Full set of results here.

Advertisements

Ironman Journey Week One and Amsterdam Half Marathon

I haven’t told everyone yet but I have gone and signed up to Ironman UK! On 16th July 2017. This is possibly the bravest and stupidest thing I have done in my Triathlon life to date.

For those that don’t know the distances are double what I did at Ely. So it is a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run. The thing I am most scared about though are the tough Ironman cut off times. They are very strict about them so I need to make sure I know where I need to be and when.

Swim, 2 hours 20 minutes
Bike, 10 hours 30 minutes (after start of race)
Run, 17 hours (after start of race)

So I have brought the Ironman version of the plan I used for Ely and have made a start. I am a few weeks early as it is a 30 week plan, however I want to build in some flex to repeat some of the base or build weeks if necessary.

I found blogging when I was training for Ely really helped keep me motivated so I am going to do it again. Sorry all.

Week one

Monday – I managed to get a 30 min swim in at the tri club session. Not the 1 hour that is in the plan but at least I managed something.

Tuesday – Went to Pilates in the evening after a 30 min run.

Wednesday – I didn’t go to running club as usual, instead I opted for doing the other 30 mins swim and a 30 min bike ride (at the gym).

Thursday – Didn’t manage any training on Thursday. Didn’t get home from work until really late.

Friday – Managed to get an hours turbo in before leaving for Amsterdam.

Saturday – Did an Amsterdam city run.

Sunday – Amsterdam half marathon.

Totals for this week

Swim – 1 hour (Should have been 2)

Bike – 1 hour 47 mins (Should have been 2)

Run – 3 hours 42 mins (Should have been 2)

Amsterdam Half Marathon

Going into the half I didn’t really have the best prep, as usual! I have been struggling a lot with my asthma still. It isn’t right and am going to have to go back to the doctors. It is really getting me down now.

However I was determined to either push and get a PB if I was feeling good or just take it easy and enjoy the occasion and atmosphere etc.

The race started and the buzz and amount of people dragged me along and found myself running faster than planned. There was so many people you had to keep weaving around and speeding up to get past them.

My breathing wasn’t too bad at this point so I thought lets go for the PB. I had to do 5:58 k’s for a PB. For the first few k’s I was doing 5:30ish.

A rough calculation meant I was on for a sub two hours time, which I was desperate to get. I was so hot though, really hot and there wasn’t much shade. This meant I had to stop at the aid stations to take on fuel and use the sponges to cool down. However due to the amount of people I had to sometimes queue and did get really held up. This cost me quite a bit of time.

I got to around the 19k mark and new it was going to be really tight for the sub two hours. I had to really push on, which was so difficult due to the amount of people and my blisters (which I had after only 8k). I finally made it into the olympic stadium and was hoping I would have a good minute spare to enjoy running on the track and having the crowd cheer me on. When I got onto the track though my watch beeped, 21k….however I was next to a sign that said 300m to go!!! What!! Panic set in as I didn’t have much time at all to get to the finish if I wanted a sub two hour time. I was half tempted to just cry and walk but I gritted my teeth and pushed on with everything I had and started what felt like sprinting but am sure it was a slow run to the finish line. I crossed it and stopped mu watch….my watch said 2:02:00. I had no idea if I did it or not and walked to collect my medal.

When I finally made it out of the stadium I got a text to say my time was 1:59:59!!! Over the moon.

 

 

 

 

 

HALF IRONMAN TRAINING – WEEK 25/26 AND Monster Middle REVIEW

It feels so good being able to finally write this blog post! I did it! I completed my first 70.3 race.

Week 25

Good start to the week with a morning sea swim, then managed to cycle over to the lido to get some extra bike time in which was great. Also did a run before the swimming session started before cycling back home again. Excellent day.

Got home from work late on the Tuesday so didn’t get to train.

Wednesday was running club.

Managed to get out with my work lunchtime running club on Thursday and then went to Fritton lake in the evening for a swim.

Friday was a rest day.

Saturday was so much fun, did Lowestoft park run and then a group of us went swimming in the sea. It was a beautiful morning. It was my longest swim to date and felt great. Even with jellyfish!!

Sunday was our club ride. We decided to check out a new coffee shop then cycle a long hilly way home. Was great training.

Totals for week 25

10h 56m total

Swimming – 2h 8m

Cycling – 6h 35m

Running – 2h 12m

 

 

So here we go, the week of the Monster middle. Taper time.

Had to go to the doctors at the start of this week as my asthma is bad again. I was given a course of steroids to take and that managed to clear it in time for Sunday.

The weather was so nice on the Monday again, so decided to cycle to Lido and home again with Lauren. It was a lovely evening.

Went to Fritton lake Tuesday evening to get a last swim in before Sunday.

At running club on Wednesday I took it easy and jog the speed session.

Thursday was brilliant, my work lunchtime running club did their furthest ever distance. It was a hot and hilly route which made what they did even more impressive. In the evening I went for a gentle spin to help out at GYCC time trial.

I rested up Friday and Saturday to try and have fresh legs for Sunday.

Sunday was race day. My report below.

Totals for week 26 (Including race)

12h 19m total

Swimming – 1h 29m

Cycling – 6h 46m

Running – 4h 2m

 

 

Monster Middle Triathlon 2016

 

 

Can’t believe how quickly this year has gone and I am writing about this race. At the same time it is nice knowing I have finished and can relax!

Travelled down to Ely the night before the race and was able to register. It is always nice when you can get your race numbers the night before. So much easier getting prepped in a room. Thanks to Vicki for reminding me of this fact. It rained so much Sunday morning I am so thankful I did.

Got to transition nice and early Sunday morning. The racks were numbered and my spot was ideal. End of the row by a tree. Nice and easy to find. The weather was terrible, raining hard and windy so left my running shoes and socks in side a water proof bag.

Headed to the race briefing and swim start point. It was quite a long walk, so if you do this race please allow plenty of time to get there.

Got suited up, feeling odd without Vicki there. Didn’t like it. However it was so nice having Lucy and Larissa there. Thank you for looking after me.

Got into the river with around 5 minutes to the start. It was lovely and warm. Really gorgeous, it didn’t take my breath away and could get my head in the water straight away.

Swim started and I loved it!! Best swim ever. Didn’t get into any trouble and swam the whole distance without stopping. Came out of the water feeling fresh.

There is a fairly long run to transition and when the matting runs out it does hurt your feet. However while running to transition, Vicki starts running next to me! Yay!! Was so good to see her.

Took my time in transition and took on a gel before heading out on the bike.

Started off really strong, was loving the ride…..and then we turned a corner and the wind hit. Oh my word it was so strong. I can honestly say I have never experienced a ride like it. It was 21 mile an hour according to the met office. Almost all of the ride it was head on, and if it wasn’t it was hitting you from the side. Mega tough. Which was frustrating as I felt so good on the bike. The road surface also wasn’t the best and found my legs and shoulders hurting a lot by the end of the ride from all the jarring.

However I eventually made it back to Ely, and just as I reached the dismount line I spotted Jo and Boo. That really picked me up, it was lovely to see them.

Took on another gel in transition and headed off onto the run. My legs were so stiff and sore. I really didn’t know how I was going to finish the run. Especially when I hit the dreaded hill that I was going to have to do another 4/5 times!! I had to walk up it but then carried on running once I got to the top. Vicki was on the run course and gave me a much needed boost.

I am disappointed with how much I walked the 13 miles. Typically there was hardly any wind and the sun was shinning nice and hot. Think it was around 21 degrees.

However having so many people there cheering me on and being around almost the route got me round. Getting the last band was the best feeling in the world and I even hugged the woman!

Once I got that band my legs freed up and felt fairly good. With a few k’s to go I knew I was on for a sub 6:30 so pushed on as much as I could and crossed the line very happy!

Before I race I really wanted to go sub 7 hours. So am over the moon with my time. My swim was what I wanted, the bike was faster and the run slower.

After I finished we went to get a cuppa and some food. After ordering I got a message from Larissa saying that I had won a prize. So I went round the corner to meet her in transition thinking it was a spot prize. It turned out that I had won the Triathlon England Senior lady championship for that race. Totally shocked!

Results have been emailed but are not online yet.

Details

Location – Jubilee Gardens, Ely. CB7 4BJ

Type – Open water Swim (1 lap) 1.9k, cycle on public roads (2 laps) 92.8k and a 4.5 lap run around Ely town 21k.

Entry Fee – £100 with BTF membership

Medal – Yes and age group trophies as well as 1st,2nd, 3rd overall.

Goody bag – Yes. Free T-shirt, draw-string bag and swimming hat.

Event facilities  – Toilets, free parking, Tri-harder stall. Food and drink van.

Chip timed – Yes

Start Type – Waved start.

Would I do this event again? – Yes

Overall Score – 8/10

Summary

Amazing swim, roads ruined the bike, tough run doing so many laps. However all in all did enjoy it.

Half Ironman Training – Week 20 and Norwich Triathlon (Olympic) review

Week 20, wow time is flying. Just over 5 weeks until Monster middle. Just excited for it now, can’t wait.

This week has been bad for hay fever, after the Wildman I suffered quite bad Monday. Got through swim coaching, typically loads of first timers came tonight which was fab. Just wish I could have been on better form for them.

Had to go into work on Tuesday, however managed to be good and left in time to get home for swimming which I was really pleased about. Went with Jo, who is improving so much. Love seeing friends progress. Swam 1.6k as per my plan.

Wednesday wasn’t so great plan wise but again it was a good evening helping others progress. Myself and Mike coached the “beginners” session in Beccles. I did a tiny bit of running while they trained but not much.

Thursday was much better plan wise, we did a different route at Thursday running club and pushed the distance up. We did just over 7k and it was nice and hilly to get extra training in. In the evening I cycled over to Lound to help marshal the time trial.

Friday was a rest and prepare for weekend night.

Saturday was a good day. Shaun was back at Parkrun after his cycling accident. It was great to see him at Parkrun, we decided as a club to walk with him. We were not at all prepared for his power walk!! Wow, we actually had to jog to keep up with him. It was funny and embarrassing at the same time. We were all sweating the time we finished. He is an inspiration to us all, with the determination and strength he has shown.

Straight from parkrun we went to Colour run Norwich. Due to the run it was more like a colour mucky race. Such a laugh, but not quite 5k it was half a k short.

Sunday I competed in Norwich triathlon. I only signed up for the race on Wednesday having previously planned to marshal. However I managed to get enough people to help out and Rob very kindly agreed to help as well. Which meant I could race. Details in the review below.

All in all a relatively good training week. Roll on week 21.

Totals for week 20

8h 13m total

Swimming – 1h 11m

Cycling – 3h 42m

Running – 3h 18m

Norwich Triathlon (Olympic distance) 2016

As said above I entered this race late. The Wednesday before, it was nice that they offered this as race entry can sometimes close quite early.

There was an option to register the night before which I did hope to go to. However I didn’t get the chance in the end. This didn’t matter though as registration on the morning was brilliant. No queue, fast and efficient.
Due to my late entry I had someone else’s name on my race number which wasn’t really a problem. I would have brought a mark pen had I known to correct it though. I just had to remember to respond to calls of Becky all morning. It was funny.

Set up transition, for some reason I forgot a few key items. Luckily Vicki and Jackie were amazing and helped me out.

As the start of the race was around a 10 min walk from transition we left nice and early to get there on time. Each wave had their own race briefing. I was in wave 2.

The briefing was really good, gave enough details without going through all the info that was sent out. The right level of detail I felt.

We had around 5 minutes to get into the water and adjust. The water felt quite cold for some reason but I just kept ducking my head under to acclimatise to it.

I made sure I was at the back and slightly to the side after my last few open water swims. This meant I could start and get into my stride and avoid the fights. I found I got into my stride much faster this time so was pleased. Still think I can do better on the swim, but am learning.

The course was nice and straight forward but the bouy’s were hard to see. Made it to the exit without too much trouble though.

After a quick transition, headed out onto the bike. What a lovely route, it was good being only 1 lap also.

There were loads of marshals and signs, which really helped. The course was hillier than I expected but really did enjoy it.

Had a few stupid drivers heading back into Norwich. That decided to over take me then stop, this happened about 4 times. Made it back to transition safely if a little slower than I wanted.

Another good transition and headed onto the run. This was two laps around the lake. On a mixture of surfaces, grass tarmac, stones etc

It was lovely passing the water station on both laps and seeing friends from the club and Rob.

The temperature was getting quite warm on the run and did suffer a bit with the heat. Just kept putting one foot in front of the other and enjoyed it.

Eventually got to the finish line and collected a nice medal. When I first looked at my time I was disappointed as it was slower than Fritton. However after talking to people, everyone’s time was.

I came 3rd in my age group, really chuffed with that result.

Full results here.

Details

Location – Whitlingham Country Park, Trowse, Norwich, NR14 8TR

Type – Open water Swim (1 lap) 1.5k, cycle on public roads (1 lap) 40k and an off road run (2 laps) 10k.

Entry Fee – £65 (Late entry with BTF membership) believe it was £55 normally.

Medal – Yes and age group trophies as well as 1st,2nd, 3rd overall.

Goody bag – Yes, with drinks and snacks. Free T-shirt and swimming hat.

Event facilities  – Toilets, free parking, Tri-harder stall. Food and drink van.

Chip timed – Yes

Start Type – Waved start. Females in the same wave.

Would I do this event again? – Yes

Overall Score – 9/10

Summary

Can’t fault the event. It was really well organised and a lovely course. The medal and goody bag are nice. Well supported. The only think that stopped me from marking it as 10 was the price. Like the live tracking for friends and family just wish I had known about it.

HALF IRONMAN TRAINING – WEEKS 18/19 AND WAVENEY WILDMAN REVIEW

Week 18 started good, I managed to run before swim coaching on Monday. After doing the Olympic tri the day before I was really chuffed to have done 5k. Huge thanks to Vicki and Danny for this.

On Tuesday my family were back from their travels and my cousin Sarah really wanted to go for a bike ride. So we did a really nice 16k ride and enjoyed the sunshine. It was a easy pace but nice to spend time with family.

Wednesday and Thursday was spent in London with my family before they flew home. Didn’t manage any training but did walk lots!

Friday was another night off, not great for my training I know. However friends and family are priority. It was our best friends birthday so we spent the night in Norwich.

On Saturday, slightly hungover we ran a test of the Waveney Wildman run route. It was tough, hot and there were a few stinging nettles. However I really enjoyed it.

Sunday was the club ride and we rode part of the Wildman bike route as well as to and from Beccles. When I got home i did my first brick session for a while. It was only 1k but was pleased to have ran off the bike.

Totals for week 18

6h 57m total

Swimming – 0h 0m

Cycling – 4h 35m

Running – 2h 21m

Week 19 didn’t have such a great start training wise. Monday was swim coaching. Tuesday I was on a training course so got home from work late. Was going round my friends for dinner and by the time I got home I had to leave straight away. Lovely evening with a great friend though.

Wednesday was the club run to Geldeston Locks. What a funny night this turned out to be. The field to the pub was flooded and as such the locks were shut. We decided to run anyway and head to the Wherry. The run was so much fun, going through mud, ditches and huge puddles. Covered 12k all in all.

On Thursday I went out with the work running club and did a nice steady 5k. In the evening went for a swim.

Friday night was a friends house warming party so again didn’t manage to do any training.

Saturday I did Lowestoft parkrun and was a pacer for Boo.

Sunday was Waveney Wildman Triathlon. Review below.

Totals for week 19

9h 28m total

Swimming – 1h 39m

Cycling – 3h 09m

Running – 4h 38m

Waveney Wildman – Almost middle Distance 2016

This race was put together by fellow club members (both Waveney Valley AC and Beccles Triathlon Club) Richard Aukland and Paul Grant.

It was only £10 to enter, which covered the cost of hiring Fritton lake, lifeguards for the lake, bike racking and water bottles.

The route was sign posted however there would be no marshals on the day and it was really down to each individual to know the route.

There was also no timing chip but someone was at the finish line to write down the time people finished.

It was so relaxed and fun. No need to register or worry about race numbers. There were around 15 of us competing which meant it was nice and friendly as we pretty much knew everyone. It did also mean though that parts of the race were lonely.

The race started quite late which was a really nice change. Arrived at Fritton for 10am and the race briefing was at 10:30.

We had plenty of time to get into the lake and get ready. The starting gun went off at 10:48.

The swim was 3,000 meter. Which was 4 laps of the big loop. It was lovely swimming in the lake, so warm and sunny. Was really enjoying it. Part way through the second lap I lost my swimming hat though, so annoying. I didn’t tie up hair up very tight and my hair bobble slipped off. This meant my hair went all over my face when I was swimming. I should have just taken the time to stop and sort it out. However I was worried that we only had the lake for a certain amount of time and that I was last and holding everyone up.

Finally finished the 4th lap and exited the lake. A nice steady jog up to transition. Took my time a bit and eat a banana and dried my feet. Before heading out onto the bike.  I managed to leave Fritton with Kerstin, Karim and Mitch. I kept with them until we got to Haddiscoe dam and I lost my legs. I just couldn’t keep up with them. Was a bit gutted as it would mean a long, lonely ride.

I gently pushed on though, Phil came past me not long after.

Made my way past Beccles sports centre and onto Ringsfield. Turned right to follow the course and thought I heard Squirrel call me name. However I knew she was a good 5 min ahead of me and a strong cyclist so put it down to me hearing things.

Then I heard a group of cyclists come up from behind. I look around and though it looked like Kerstin, again I thought it was impossible as they were ahead. However, it was them and Squirrel. They had taken a wrong turn and ended up behind me. It was so nice having a group to cycle with.

I managed to eventually catch my second wind and kept up with them all.

It turned out to be a really lovely ride. We finished back at Beccles sports centre, where I had an energy bar to eat before heading out onto the run.

The run was mostly off road, with some sections with quite bad stinging nettles. I walked through these bits, and also walked a couple more times to take on gels and water. It was really hot.

However I just kept putting one foot in front of each other and kept moving. With 2k to go I saw Duncan and Mitch just ahead of me. This really spurred me on, I picked up my pace and caught them.

Then they ran off quite fast up the hill into Beccles, I had to walk. When they got to the top they had to walk so again I jogged to catch them. Mitch and I then ran the last k to the finish together. Which was really nice.

I have never been so happy to finish a race before. That hurt. It was my longest distance race by almost double. Over the moon to have finished.

My final time was 5 hours and 44 mins.

Details

Location – Start was at Fritton Lake, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR31 9HA. Transition and finish at Beccles Sports Centre, Ringsfield Rd, Beccles NR34 9PF.

Type – Open water Swim (4 laps) 3,000m, cycle on public roads (1 lap) 40 miles,  and an off road run (1 lap) 10 miles

Entry Fee – £10

Medal – Yes and male/female winning trophies.

Goody bag – No. Two free water bottles.

Event facilities  – Toilets, free parking.

Chip timed – No

Start Type – Everyone started together

Would I do this event again? – Yes

Overall Score –9/10

Summary

The only improvement I can see if to finish at the Waveney house hotel. Cheap, friendly, relaxed event. Just hard!!

HALF IRONMAN TRAINING – WEEKS 16/17 AND FRITTON LAKE TRIATHLON (OLYMPIC) REVIEW

Gone off the rails a bit the last two weeks, haven’t been sticking to my plan.

I think I am in denial about how close the Monster middle really is. However when checking back, I am there or thereabouts in terms of each discipline. Just need to make sure I am getting that brick session in.

Must stick to the plan on week 18!

So week 16 started in it’s usual way with Swim coaching. It was the day after the triathlon and everyone was on a massive high. It was fab.

On Tuesday Vicki and I cycled over to Fritton Lake which was lovely. I swam two big loops for the first time and felt good. We took advantage of the nice weather and cycled there and back.

Wednesday was the penultimate beginners session in Beccles so I helped out with that.

Thursday was the lunch running club. In the evening I cycled over to the GYCC time trial and got a PB, which I was really pleased about.

Saturday I did parkrun but didn’t feel great so took it easy. Then went swimming with Jo.

Sunday was a longish club ride. We checked out the Fritton Triathlon route and stopped for cake.

Totals for week 16

12h 7m total

Swimming – 1h 20m

Cycling – 7h 58m

Running – 2h 49m

Week 17 was a taper/holiday week for me. My family was visiting from the US and I had Fritton Lake Olympic triathlon on the Sunday.  My first time at that distance.

I did manage to go for a great run Tuesday evening along the beach.

On Wednesday Beccles Triathlon Club helped marshal the first sprint of the Women’s tour. It was great fun and had a nice ride there and back. In the evening got a bit of running in helping out with the last beginners week.

Saturday was a long tiring day. I had my 3rd LTO shadow at Fritton lake for the Sprint race. This went well and Peter managed to sort out me doing my 4th and final shadow in the Super Sprint race that afternoon. This was my assessment shadow which meant I had to take the lead. I managed to pass my assessment and subject to paper work I can now officiate at local races. Was so chuffed to have passed this, however standing in the cold for almost 12 hours wasn’t the best pre race prep I’ve had 🙂

Sunday was race day. See below for details.

Totals for week 17

5h 55m total

Swimming – 0h 31m

Cycling – 3h 3m

Running – 2h 20m

Fritton Lake Triathlon – Standard Distance 2016

Originally we were told that we could register the night before but this was cancelled which was a shame. However when I arrived at registration the queue wasn’t long and it moved very quickly.

Managed to get all my stuff sorted nice and quickly and headed over to transition with Vicki who was also racing.

Set up transition and tried to chill out and relax before the race. I didn’t feel that well the night before and was feeling really nervous for some reason before the race. I think as always I was putting ridiculous pressure on myself, given this was my first time at this distance.

The race briefing was late, which didn’t really help. However finally we were on our way to the lake. I got in the water and managed to have a little bit of a swim around. I found a nice space and was feeling happy. Then everyone started to move to the left. I followed and ended up in the middle of the pack and before I knew it and without warning the race started. I didn’t have time to properly start my watch and didn’t know for the whole race what my time was.

The swim was a bit of a nightmare to start with. I took in a lot of water and really struggled to clear my throat and breathe. For a split second or two I really thought I would have to pull out. I had a lot of people pulling and pushing me under the water. However after a very slow breaststroke for a minute I was off. Breathing every stroke for a while but eventually I managed to get back into bilateral breathing. Can’t say I relaxed as was a bit on edge after that but enjoyed the second lap much better than the first.

Exited the water and headed to transition. Managed to get my wet suit off pretty well, considering this was the first time I had to do this in race conditions and headed out on to the bike course.

I felt comfortable on the bike as I knew the route pretty well. Felt like my speed was okay and no major incidents happened which I was really pleased about. Over took a few people and had loads of men and a few women over take me.

Finished the bike course and headed back to transition where again it was pretty smooth. Then onto the run. Oh the run. The first k or two felt alright but after than it just got harder and harder. Being off road and having to keep pace on very tired legs was tough. I also couldn’t catch my breath very well. Having my watch to know my pace helped so much though, it really did. I again felt like I wasn’t moving on the run, however when I looked down and saw my speed it was reassuring.

The support on the run course really helped get me through and finally I started the third lap. Was feeling okay-ish up until 8k where it felt like everything started to shut down.  I could feel bad blisters on my feet and my timing chip was rubbing. It was getting really hot and a couple of ladies over took me with 1k to go. However I gave myself a talking to and tried to finish as strong as I could.

I had no idea of my time and really wanted to be under 3 hours. Which I was. 2:48:30.

Unbelievably I  finished 1st in my age group.

Full results here. They include relay teams a individuals at the moment so looks odd. Any number over 189 is a relay team.

Details

Location – Fritton Lake, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR31 9HA

Type – Open water Swim (2 laps), cycle on public roads (2 lap) and an off road mostly trail run (3 laps)

Entry Fee – £60 (£55 with BTF* membership)

Medal – Yes and age group trophies.

Goody bag – No just a free, non printed swimming hat.

Event facilities  – Toilets, free parking, food and drink. Tri-harder stall, organic milkshakes and a massage tent.

Chip timed – Yes

Start Type – 2 waves. Females, relay teams and males under 30 in wave 1. Everyone else in wave 2.

Would I do this event again? – I think so

Overall Score –8/10

Summary

Great friendly event organisers, fantastic marshals, lovely location. Swim start could have been better.

* British Triathlon Membership

HALF IRONMAN TRAINING – WEEK 15 AND BECCLES TRIATHLON REVIEW

What a great week, really happy.

Monday I took time off from coaching and training, and although I did feel very guilty I got to catch up with my best friends. Which was really nice.

Tuesday I went swimming, did 1,000m while helping out my friend Jo improve her front crawl. She is amazing, picking it up so quickly. She is going to be a fast swimmer!

Wednesday was my turn to coach the beginners club in Beccles. Managed to do a bit of jogging on the field and felt good considering the time off.

Thursday I managed to get out at lunchtime with my running group. There are still going which makes me feel so proud. Janet who had never ran in her life is now running so much further. She also goes out multiple times a week. She has improved so much.

Friday I got home from work late so was a rest evening.

Saturday was also a no training day. I helped put out all the triathlon signs and help out at registration with nervous first timer and even loaning out my triathlon kit. Was a long tiring day (10am-8pm).

Sunday was the wonderful Beccles Triathlon. It was quite stressful this year due to having helped out, I just wanted it all to go well for the Lido and all the competitors. Had to get to the lido mega early (5:20am) to help putting out all the transition matting and sweep the lido. It was tiring and not the best prep but it needed doing so was more than happy to help.

Will cover the race in my review below. I didn’t feel great after the event though. Haven’t felt like this since my first races. I think helping out over the two days, the heat (am very red lol)  and the amount of time off I’ve had is the reason. I hope it’s not due to doing a longer distance triathlon. Be interesting to see how I feel after Fritton Olympic.

Beccles Triathlon 2016

What I love about Beccles Triathlon is getting to register the night before. Even though it still had to be at the lido super early, it is really nice to be able to take your race numbers and stickers home to sort out there. It also means you can drop your bike and kit off to transition straight away when you arrive.

There was a lovely goody bag this year, and got some elastic laces to use with my new triathlon running shoes. They just came with the normal laces are they are not really triathlon shoes.

Dropped my bike and kit off at transition, had a nice spot by swim exit but it did mean a long run up the lido exit with the bike.

The start of the race came around really quickly and with it the sun. So lovely, especially after the terrible rain last year.

There is a children’s pool that the lido use to warm up in should you want, I decided not to as I knew I would get cold waiting.

My time to swim came and felt really good on the swim. Front crawl is natural for me now, I need to work on it don’t get me wrong but I no longer feel out of place doing it. I beat last years time by 1 min and 55 seconds. Brilliant, was pleased when I looked at my watch. I was a slightly shorter swim (60m) this year but it was still a PB. My pace went from 2:13 to 2:05/100m.

Felt like transition went well and felt strong getting onto the bike. I managed to catch up with the lady in front of me pretty early on, and we played yo-yo for a bit. A few times I did slow up as felt bad for keep going past her. However in the end I just decided to do my own race. I do feel like I lost a little bit on the bike down to this, but was really happy with my time. Another Beccles PB. I was 4 mins 4 seconds faster than last year.

Now came the dreaded run, due to coaching and being ill I hadn’t ran the tri route since the last triathlon. So I forgot how long the river wall section felt. It was really hot by this point too and I must admit I was struggling mentally. I felt like I was hardly moving. I only wear a stop watch when I do triathlons so had no idea at all of my pace. I just knew I had to keep pushing and put one foot in front of the other and finally I was back in town.

I didn’t push hard for the line as early as I would have liked but again was really chuffed with my time. For some reason I decided to not put on socks, bad idea and bad blisters!! Was 2 mins and 51 seconds faster than 2015.

Looking at my results now I was even faster in T1 and 2.

Overall I beat 2015 by 9 mins and 16 seconds.

Brilliant event overall. The support, marshals and amount of club members participating was just superb.

I finished 2nd in the open age group (20-39) which just blew me away and 6th female. If you take away the relay teams from the results I came in 44th overall.

Full results here.

 

Details

Location – Beccles Lido, Puddingmoor, Beccles NR34 9PL

Type – Pool Swim (16 lengths), cycle on public roads (1 lap) and a run on public paths and off road (1 lap)

Entry Fee – £40 (£35 with BTF* membership)

Medal – Yes, unique one as well. Very nice. Age group trophies (Under 20, Open, Vet, Super Vet).

Goody bag – Yes, crisps, homemade flapjack, can of Adnams beer, Elastic laces, bottle of water and a Beccles Triathlon swimming hat.

Event facilities  – Showers, toilets, lockers, free parking, Food and drink. Tri-harder, in a spin cycles, Womens tour stalls and a massage tent

Chip timed – Yes

Start Type – Male and females ordered by swim times, slower swimmer first. 30 seconds intervals.

Would I do this event again? – Yes

Overall Score –10/10

Summary

Registration was fantastic, amazing spectators, great goody bag and medal. Very friendly event.

* British Triathlon Membership

HALF IRONMAN TRAINING – WEEK 14 and Outlaw Review

Week 14 didn’t start well. I was still ill so did no training and even had to take time off work, which never happens.

I did manage to go for a little swim Friday night, but nothing major it was more a confidence builder for Sunday.

My cold still hasn’t cleared 100% but am feeling so much better. Hoping to resume training and use Beccles Triathlon as a brick session.

Totals for week 14

1h 32m total

Swimming – 1h 9m

Cycling – 0h 23m

Running – 0h 0m

Outlaw Half Nottingham 2016 – Relay team

We travelled down to Nottingham the afternoon before the race. Was a nice surprise when we got there are a couple of club members were racing in the sprint triathlon. We were able to see Jackie on the bike and Marcus and Ben on the swim, bike and run finish.

Team Armadillo Segments headed to registration and pick up our race numbers, swimming hat, High5 freebies and stickers. Paid for the car park, £5 for all weekend and looked around the expo. As I was only doing the swim my equipment list was minimal when compared to Vicki and Karles, however me being me forgot my swimming costume! I managed to get some lovely and cheap Zoot tri shorts. Pleased with the bargain.

After checking out the expo we headed (via the Erdinger tent) to the race briefing. I was disappointed with the race briefing, they just repeated what was in the competitor pack. I think they could have focused on giving information on what wasn’t in the pack but still helpful to know. Like how shallow the water in the lake is and the sharp rocks…..will come on to that. We were in the tent for 50 min in total and it was way too hot and long in my opinion.

After race briefing we headed to the hotel to check in.

Race Day! After a lovely (not) 3:45 wake up call, we headed back to the venue and helped Vicki and Karle get their stuff ready in transition. It was so strange for me as I have nothing to leave in transition. All the kit I needed would be on me for the swim.

Got into my wetsuit feeling nervous and cold, 6:30am was my start time. As I was getting all packed up ready to head to the lake I realised my coat was missing. Along with my car keys and phone. Nightmare, just as we were about to head to reception to report it missing a guy returned with it. One panic over, however it was now only 7 mins until my start time.

I ran to the lake start area with minutes to spare, phew relax! There were so many people in the wave (nearly all men as well) the race organiser was struggling to get everyone in the lake in time for the start. He got quite stressed and was shouting at everyone to move along.

I got into the water about 1 min from the start gun, not ideal prep as need to acclimatise to the cold before I can put my head in and swim. However not today, I quickly ducked under the water and we were off!

I stayed to the right hand side, at the race briefing the guy said to stay towards the right if you were a slower swimming. Not sure of how I would get on I went there.

The first few minutes I had to alternate between breaststroke and front crawl while my breathing got under control. The cold water took my breath away. However I soon relaxed into front crawl, then all of a sudden my hand hit a sharp rock and got cut. I then felt a rock scratched my leg, the river all of a sudden was really shallow and full of big sharp rocks. There was no warning of this at the race briefing, only instructions to keep to the right if you were slower. Had I known about the rocks I would have swam more towards the middle. My nice, new, beautiful Huub wetsuit now has a hole in it 😦

Putting that aside I ploughed on, determined to make up the lost time faffing around and do my team proud! I was punch, kicked and had my neck clawed at but I didn’t let it phased me. I just speed up or swerved around people.

Made it to the 800m buoy, where you had to then swim across the lake and back to the start. Felt good, I was over taking people and holding my own. Felt slow, but didn’t let it worry me. I knew I just had to keep going for my team. I was sick a little bit with 400m to go but didn’t even stop just kept going.

Finally reached the finish and leaped out of the lake as fast as I could and sprinted the 200m to where Karle was in transition. There was no matting for the run just concrete but I didn’t care I just had to get to Karle as soon as possible and hand over the timing chip.

Had a fast transition and off Karle went without any issues. Phew and relax!!!!

Karle smashed it on the bike, he came in loads sooner than expected. Good job Rob was ready nice and early. Another smooth transistion again and off Rob went. We got to stay in transistion and cheered Vicki onto the run and Rob when he went past for his second lap. Like Karle he was faster than expected and was so close to a PB.

At the finish chute we are got to run down as a team. That was great fun and it felt so good crossing that finish line having all done so well.

Was a really awesome day.

I completed the 1.9k swim in 39:12. Over the moon. After being ill and not having the best training plan leading up to it, to get a PB was just brilliant.

Our team finished in 14th place out of 35 teams.

 

 

 

Full results here.

Loved this event so much. Very professional and a lot of free food and drink.

Race registration was slick and professional.

The swim was an out and back route which was ideal. There were 4 waves of around 300 people.

 

Details

Location – Holme Pierrepont, National Watersports Centre, Nottingham

Type – Lake Swim (1 lap), cycle on public roads (1 lap) and a run partly along the lake  (2 laps)

Entry Fee – £167.50 (£162.50 with BTF* membership)

Medal – Yes as well as a T-shirt. The medal and Tshirts had relay on them and were a different colour, which I thought was a nice touch. Age group trophies for 1st,2nd and 3rd

Goody bag – Yes, Crisps, High5 starter pack, free Erdinger and swim hat. Buffet after the event also. Free water bottles on the bike. Gels on the bike and run.

Event facilities  – Cafe, showers, toilets, lockers, stalls, paid for parking

Chip timed – Yes

Start Type – Waved start. Males and teams in wave one. Males on waves two and three and then females on wave four.

Would I do this event again? – Yes

Overall Score –9.5/10

Summary

The event was amazing. Expensive but the whole atmosphere and freebies over the weekend made it seem more reasonable. The only reason I am not giving a ten is down to the lack of info at the race briefing.

* British Triathlon Membership

Pause in training & East Coast Triathlon Review

13036420_1472428556106434_1491048916_o

 

Decided to have a rest this week. Had the East Coast Triathlon on the Saturday and was going away for work.

Monday I didn’t train as usual and just coached.

As I was going to Sheffield for work and would miss running club I decided to go for a run Tuesday night. I did an hour in total. Then went swimming for 20 mins. Only a short one but wanted to do something before going away.

Wednesday and Thursday was spent working away. Which means poor diet, and not much rest. Therefore I decided to try and look after myself a bit before Saturday and worked from home Friday.

I was supposed to turbo train on Friday but work was so busy time slipped away from me. I needed to get to the supermarket and get food for tea and tomorrow.

Saturday I competed in a Super Sprint Triathlon.

Resumed training on the Sunday, legs were feeling okay so cycled over to Gt Yarmouth to help marshal at the East Coast Triathlon. Cycled home again. Ended up doing 2 hours and 15 mins cycling.

Will re-join my training plan at week 6.

East Coast Triathlon 2016 – Age Group Win and Review

So here we are, race day. Woke up to rain and it pretty much kept raining right up until the start. It was so cold, windy and miserable. Couple that with a bit of a cold and I was feeling a bit sorry for myself.

I was however feeling good for having a rest week. My legs didn’t hurt for once. I really by this point wanted to do well and while I didn’t think I had the chance I wanted to push hard and challenge for an age group win. Got pool side and all that changed. I was doing my first front crawl race. Not breast stroke. I must admit I panicked a bit.

However I got into the water and felt fairly strong on the swim. It did feel strange doing front crawl and it did feel like I was splashing loads but I managed to keep pushing and exited the pool faster than I was hoping for. Quicker than last year.

Into transition and my helmet had rolled away a bit, but I just kept calm and did my transition as smooth and unstressed as possible.

Out onto the bike. I felt good. I used the drops for pretty much all of the course. Trying to keep out of the wind as much as possible. It was a head wind going away from the Marina centre.

I managed to over take quite a few ladies and was feeling really pleased. Coming off the bike course was a relief as the traffic was quite bad in paces and I was worried it would rain at any moment.

A quick look at the watch and I was on track for a sub 60. T2 was a little bit slower than I was hoping as my hands were a little bit numb from the ride.

Onto the run and there was that head wind again. However once I got to the turn around point I picked up speed and pushed on for the finish.

I crossed the line in 57:11. Over the moon. 4 mins 12 seconds faster than last year.

Final results put me 4th female overall with an age group as well. Over the moon!!

38/111 overall

4/52 Female

1/7 in Age group

Full results here.

Really did enjoy this event again. The mixture of competitors and loads of club members made it a really friendly event.

Race registration was much faster than last year. They were very prepared and streamlined.

Again the 250m swim comprised of 5 lanes, where you did 2 lengths and then went under the rope into the next lane. After doing 10 lengths you were at the exit side of the pool. This worked really well as it saved you having to keep count.

The 16k bike section also was really good as there was always someone ahead of you to chase. It was 3 laps along Gt Yarmouth sea front.

Finally a 3k run, that was along the promenade. It was an out and back style which again meant it was easy to work out where to go. Finishing at the Marina Centre.

Details

Location – Marina Centre, Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth, NR30 2ER

Type – Pool Swim (10 laps), cycle on public roads (3 laps) and a run on beach Promenade (1 lap)

Entry Fee – £38 (£33 with BTF* membership). Same as 2015

Medal – Yes and age group trophies

Goody bag – No

Event facilities  – Cafe, showers, toilets, lockers, paid for parking

Chip timed – Yes

Start Type – Individual timed start, fastest swim times first. All females and then males.

Would I do this event again? – Yes

Overall Score –9.5/10

Summary

Liked having the event over two days. It meant everyone could sign up. It was also nice getting to watch one day and compete on the other.

* British Triathlon Membership

 

 

 

 

 

London Triathlon – Sprint Distance 2015

I put London Triathlon on my “to-do” list last year. Someone I knew did it and from his updates it sounded fantastic.

So I signed up to the Sprint distance option, 750m open water swim, 20k closed road bike course and a 5k run. This was the longest open water swim in a triathlon I have done to date. Was very tempted to sign up to the Olympic distance, however in my haste to register I thought the only option had a time limit on it and didn’t want to worry about not finishing in time.

Anyway onto the day itself. Arrived at the ExCeL arena and headed over to registration to collect my timing chip. Then wandered over to the huge expo. I needed some new goggles so headed to the Huub stand. They had their goggles on a 241 deal. So myself and Jenni Falconer’s camera man, went halves and got a pair each. Very random start to the day.

Went straight to transition and it was a good move as there wasn’t a queue at this point. There were 3 rows to chose from and you could place your bike anywhere. As I was there early I picked a great spot in row W, very next the bike exit and on an end. Like choosing end spaces as you can make more room for yourself.

After sorting out my gear, I headed back to the expo and really enjoyed all the free handouts and massive sales they had on Triathlon, running, cycling and swimming gear. I brought a cool London Tri T-shirt (had to be done!).

Had a quick bite to eat before heading over to watch fellow Beccles club member Chris, start his Olympic distance race.

Then it was finally time for me to start getting ready. I picked up a great tip earlier that day. A guy I spoke to always uses a safety pin to keep his timing chip secure. It means it can’t come off and get lost in a wetsuit.

Got my wetsuit on and headed over to the swim area. All the other 15:30 sprint females were gathered together and after a quick rally cry we headed to the dock. The only issue I have with the swim is our wave was split into 2 halves. Even though we were all supposed to start together. It meant that the second half (which I was in) started almost 4/5 minutes after everyone else in our wave. I spoke to someone at the help desk after the race to find out how they knew who was in the second half of the wave. Their answer was “they can work it out from peoples times”……

Anyway after doing around 2/3 of the swim in front crawl (for the first time in a race) I exited the swim feeling really strong and I even managed to get out of my wetsuit really easily. Glide was a great buy!

Found my bike and headed off to the closed road bike course. It was lovely not having to worry about cars, I really like that. However I personally found the bike course really difficult. There were so many other competitors on their bikes, that the whole time I was moving out of the way, dodging round bike and trying not to draft other cyclist. As well as all that the layout of the course made it very difficult to get any momentum. There were lots of tight turns, a few steep hills and some of the roads were in very poor conditions. Overall though I did enjoy the course and it was great having the huge crows cheer you on.

Onto the run, boy it was HOT. Think it reached 26c or so. The run course like the bike was two laps. There were two water stations, a gel station and a cold water shower on the course. The water stations and shower were lifesavers! Again I found the run course tough, there was a killer hill that you had to run up twice, a few ramps and a very un-even wobbly plastic walkway that you had to run over. It was also difficult as so many people were walking and I was desperate to as well. However I kept plodding on and managed to finish without walking. Chris and Donna really did help motivate me on the run, thank you both very much. The crowds and BOSE music station also were good.

After completing the two laps of the run I crossed the finish line to massive cheers and grabbed my Erdinger beer, which was actually really nice. Collected my medal and found my family.

Little disappointed that there wasn’t a goodie bag, only an online link to “offers”.

I thoroughly enjoyed the event. There were a few niggly things about it that I didn’t think were that great, however overall it is an incredible experience.

I was amazed at where I finished results wise and wish I would have pushed a bit harder as I could have finished really high up. However am glad I decided to enjoy this race and soak up the atmosphere. It was nice chatting and waving my way round.

I finish 110/634 woman and 27/157 in my age group! Full results here 

Review

Location – ExCeL Arena, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, London E16 1XL

Type – Open Water Swim (1 lap), cycle on closed public roads (2 laps) and a run on concrete pathway next to the dock/arena (2 laps)

Entry Fee – £87 (No discount for BTF members)*

Medal – Yes

Goody bag – No. Did get a free swimming cap though that is actually really good quality

Event facilities  – LOTS!!!

Chip timed – Yes

Start Type – Staggered wave start. All females then men.

Would I do this event again? – Yes I would do it again as the scale and location of the event is great. However the cost is a little off putting.

Overall Score – 7/10

Summary

As must do, once in a lifetime type event. Great for first timers and pro’s.

* British Triathlon Membership