Triathlons

It’s all about perspective…

After the highs of the race season last year, and the first few months of this year being so positive from a personal point of view (NYC! amongst other things) I came crashing back down to earth with a bit of a bump a few weeks ago.

I went for a routine smear test and a week letter received a letter saying they had found high grade (severe) dyskaryosis and that I needed to call the hospital to make an appointment as soon as possible. Inclosed with the letter was a leaflet with lots of cancer support adverts. Felt like the rug has well and truly been pulled out from under me.

For those that don’t know, I suffer from bad anxiety and struggle to cope with situations other than imagine the worst case scenario. So getting this letter really hit me hard and I found it difficult to deal with. As always Nick along with a couple of close friends I confided in really did help me. Please talk to someone if you struggle like me, it always does help to talk!

Anyway after cancelling a work trip to London I managed to get an appointment for the coming Monday morning. Long story short I had parts of my cervix removed there and then. I won’t go into the details but it was pretty invasive and a bit painful! The cells that were removed had to be sent for a biopsy. I have since had the all clear, CIN3 but not cancerous. Feeling very relived but also slightly guilty (that isn’t the right word but I hope you understand what I mean) as I know a few people at the moment going through cancer treatment. I wish their news was a good as mine. Ladies please go for a smear test. Yes it is embarrasing but it only takes 5 mins, you can have someone go in with you and it is always performed by a female nurse. Please don’t assume it’ll never happen to you.

Since having the treatment I have felt pretty awful. Drained, emotional, sore and just not myself. I have struggled with my training, albeit I am only allowed to cycle and run at the moment. Will finally get to resume swimming tomorrow. I just haven’t been able to get anywhere near the effort I could before hand. I must admit I really was starting to let it get to me. I think the main problem is, it all happened so fast and the “procure” was done while I was awake so it doesn’t really feel real. However my body is trying to heal and recover from the trauma of the treatment. Yet again those close to me have spoke to me and helped me see sense yet again……why people don’t just give up on me I will never understand, I am so annoying!

So, going forward from here I am going to (try) and relax about my training and just enjoy it. I am really lucky to be healthy and to be able to exercise. This is something I should never take for granted and enjoy it.

So the road to Beccles triathlon starts here. Before all of this I had goals in my head for the event, however now I promise to be at that start line smiling and looking forward to competing with the best friends and club I could ever ask for! If I so happen to get a PB even better 😉

 

 

 

Advertisements

Long Course Weekend Mallorca 2018

Wow what a way to end an absolutely incredible year! This event was just brilliant. I am now injured as a result but it was worth it! Loved it.

Guest blogger Vicki Grice summed the whole weekend up brilliantly.

Some time ago myself and Suzy hatched a plan for an end of season get away; and what better way to end the season than to enter a long course tri and split it over 3 days,otherwise known as the LCW Mallorca. Plus we’d seen that the medals interlock and we needed this on our medal rack, with 3 individual medals and a 4th for going long and getting through!!
It wasn’t the smoothest of starts with our airport car park looking like somewhere we could have easily been murdered, but after safely making it to the airport my eyes decided to read completely the wrong gate number meaning we had to be escorted to our actual gate by a lovely airport security man, then run to make our flight!! Think my heart rate was higher at this point than at anytime over the whole weekend!!
Anyway to the race… read on..
Swim Day; 2 x 1.9km laps of Alcudia bay, exactly the same course as Ironman 70.3 in May only this time the jellyfish had joined in the party. With a mass start and an Australian exit after the first lap we all bundled into the water. I loved the swim (Who’d have thought!) and was pleased to have got close to the 1 hour mark with 1..01.15 after having to run a stupid distance across the beach to get the the finish line.I didn’t have to wait long for Suz who smashed her Ironman swim time by 8 mins coming home in 1.25.36. She then went directly to the medical tent for ice after the jelly ‘bitches’ got her twice, once on each lap! Up shot of being done for the day was that we were back at the hotel by 11am after having a celebratory donut!
Bike Day; Having had our hire bikes delivered the day before we rode the short distance to the bike start. Over the whole weekend this was the only cut off we were worried about, we had to get to 86km by 12 noon (3hr 30mins from race start) which meant starting as high up the field as possible. The sportive was draft legal so our plan was to latch on to a group to make it easier for ourselves and save the legs. As I was sitting 5th in the female general classification I got called forward to start in a special bike pen – very surreal, surely never to be repeated but a great experience, hanging out with Lucy Gossage and a few other pros. Suz did a great job of muscling her way to the front which meant we could start together after all as this had been the plan from the start. Swim separately and bike/run together to make it more social. Well the gun went off and any thoughts of a social were well out of the window as we rode the first 50km at around a 36kph average hanging in with  biggish group who were doing a great job of cutting through the headwind. After this the elastic snapped and we were a group of 3 taking turns rotating to keep momentum. We went through half way in 2hr 43 – what the hell were we worried about?! Suz was a powerhouse on the bike keeping me sheltered from the wind (I died badly between 100-110km) the euphoria of hitting the cut off was well and truely gone at this point and i was literally just peddling to get to the feed station. Our plan was not to stop atall on the first lap due to our cut off worries so i was glad to fill up my water bottle with ISO take some paracetamol and consume some additional calories, then it was back on the bike. We slowed on the second lap which wasn’t suprising, we did pick op a German man who just sat in and did no work, then a Spanish guy who just surged and died then finally within the last 20k a woman who was prepared to work after sitting in initially for some respite. We finished in 5.56.42 including the stop.. hugs and high 5’s all round – oh and obviously another donut, washed down with some Erdinger!!
Run Day; A mere marathon now stood between us for the coveted 4th medal. Our plan as with the bike was to stick together. Suz had been struggling with her knee during our last long run so we decided on a pace of 6.10/15 per km. The course was 4.5 loops of a 9km ish route – fairly dull and not much in the way of support until we hit the promenade. What I was not expecting was at 7km to hear what I thought was an injured animal behind me only to realise that the haunting feral sound actually was Suzy hobbling along telling me her knee had gone, after some limpy running she was back but clearly in a considerable amount of pain, we slowed and she gritted her teeth taking on paracetamol to aid her.The run was broken up by our favourite photographer who enjoyed our stupid poses (thumbs up, dabbing, muscles and a delirious Bruce Forsyth before we ended with a hug.. aaahh! Just in case you were wondering!!) We got lapped by the legend that is Lucy G chatting away and giving us encouragement as she passed to run a time of 3hr5mins. Suzy was holding it together well we saw friendly faces on the course during the switchbacks, earnt ourselves the nicknames ‘Beccles Beautiful Butterflies’ but some of the guys who had finished the half mara and enjoyed the over-enthusiastic teenagers manning the feed stations trying to pressure us into gel induced comas – although by lap 4 I think they were fairly bored of us!! Just before we got onto the final stretch it started to rain – great this will cool us down I thought, what was forecast to be a light rain shower turned into a torrential rain storm where the road literally turned into a river- we were absolutely soaked,but the rain stopped in time for us to cross the line in 4.45.18 another massive PB for Suzy compared to the Ironman run.
The finishers medal and ceremony was definitely worth our weekend efforts, we got cheered down the finishers chute, clapped and high 5’d the other competitors. The introduced everyone individually to recognise their efforts.. for a few minutes we were all winners!! Final standings I placed 16th in 11.43.15 combined time and Suz was 23rd 12.07.37
Things we learnt;
No – we didn’t eat the same as Lucy Gossage did for breakfast – she was staying in our hotel and we spied on her!
Yes – the bling is ALWAYS worth it
Sometimes – we break even our own expectations
I’m possibly immune to the initial impact of jellyfish stings
Suzy’s feet are worse than mine when it comes to blisters growing to the size of additional toes!

 

Challenge Mallorca 70.3 – 2017

I was gifted a place in this race from a friend who could no longer compete, I am doing Long Course Weekend in a few weeks and should really be training for that. However the opportunity was too good to turn down. I wanted to try and re-qualify for the GB Age group team and needed a time as close to 6 hours as I could get. My two previous 70.3 times were 6 hours 20 min at Ely last year and 7 hours 1 min at Mallorca in May this year.

I took my bike with me and went for a spin on the Thursday. My gears were playing up so when I registered on the Friday I took it to the race mechanic and he sorted them out for me. Really impressed as it was a free service and my bike has honestly never felt smoother. Awesome service!

Due to the size of this race it was a clear transition policy the same as the race I did earlier in the year. Which means you have to bag up your T1 and T2 kit and drop them off with your bike the night before the race. You could still access these race morning so if you had forgotten anything it wasn’t a problem.

Come race morning the sea looked beautiful, really calm and clear. All of the women were in a wave together and we started after all the elites and men had started. The water was so warm, it was a lovely swim…..apart from not being able to sight at all. The turn buoys were so far away it was impossible to see them. There were also no marker buoys, so all I could do was follow the pack and hope they were heading in the right direction. Eventually we reached the turnaround buoys and it was nice being able to push on and just swim without worrying about direction. However when we turned to head back to shore the same issue was there. You couldn’t see where you had to exit the beach and everyone has spread out so was difficult to follow someone. I eventually got close enough to shore to see the exit buoys but my swim was a lot slower than I was hoping for as I spent so much time trying to sight. Did the long run to T1 and grabbed by bike bag. The bike course was beautiful, it was hillier than I was expecting and very warm but loved it. Passed so many people on the bike and felt really strong.

After I completed the two laps, I headed back into transition and grabbed the run bag. Heading out onto the run the heat just hit you, it was 32 degress by this point. I started the 1st of the 4 laps and started an internal battle with myself. All I wanted to do was walk, the run route was hilly and hot. However I really wanted to run the whole thing as I have never managed to do that before in a half. I decided I would walk the aid stations but apart from them I would run. People all around me were walking and I wanted to join them so badly but pushed on and eventually I was on the last lap. I turned the corner to the finish area and my time was 6 hours 9 mins, I was desperate to not let the clock click over to 10 mins so I sprinted the last 200m. Crossed the line in 6:09:47!! Yay!

It wasn’t the 6 hours I wanted but given the hilly bike course (1,000m of climbs) and the hilly/hot run I was pleased. It was a PB.

Results can be found here.

They engraved your medal for free post-race. If you get the chance I would recommend doing this race next year. They have early bird entry at the moment!

Woodlands Triathlon 2017 – 4th Female and AG Win

It has been a long time since my last super sprint triathlon,  April 2016 in fact!!

However I thought it would be fun to do one after spending all year IM training.

 Typically I got a cold during the week and come Sunday morning I really wasn’t feeling great. My breathing was very limited. Doing parkrun and a 10 mile bike TT the day before probably didn’t help either!

 Anyway racked my bike in transition and headed to the pool. I started the swim and it was terrible, the swim is normally my favourite part of the race but I just couldn’t breathe. I had to breathe every stroke which was just exhausting. I normally breathe every 3. However I made it through the 300m and headed for T1. I didn’t even dare look at my time as I was convinced it was slow.

 Enjoyed the bike part of the race, my breathing although laboured wasn’t too bad. My legs hurt quite a bit and didn’t feel as fresh as I wanted them too. Especially when I hit the hill, however I just kept turning the peddles and was pleased to head back into T2 having had no one over take me.  Looked at my watch and I was almost 5 minutes faster than the last time I did this race 2.5 years ago.

 Headed out onto the run and it was terrible. My breathing was awful, I really thought I was going to have to stop and pull out of the race. However I made myself just put one foot in front of the other and still had no one pass me. Finally made it to the finished and crossed the line in 57:24 which was almost 6 minutes faster than last time.

 I somehow ended up finishing in 4th place (out of the females) only 18 seconds off coming third and won my age group.

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 – 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

HALF IRONMAN TRAINING – WEEK 9

Another week done and it was a good week.

Monday was the usual swim coaching.

Tuesday as the weather was so nice, I went for a ride with Vicki and Karle. It was a lovely gentle ride out to Southwold, not too windy. Karle however got me and Vicki doing some Strava segment chasing. On the way home it was pretty windy so it was a little tough going. Then we did some 30 second interval sprints. That really finished the legs off. Was a great ride though and we covered almost 50k.

After the ride I headed over to the WVAC Lowestoft session as they wanted a group photo. Had a little run around the park with Bill afterwards.

Wednesday night I helped out with the WVAC beginners session at Beccles. There was around 70 people there. Was so great to see so many there. I did get to run a little bit as I partnered up with one of the ladies.

Thursday lunchtime I went out with the colleagues I work with. They completed their 10 week course so we did our first “real run” together. After work Rob and I went for a meal to celebrate our anniversary as he was working at the weekend.

Friday I got home pretty late from work so only had time for a quick swim before the pool shut. My mum had been saying that she was struggling with her swim so spent most of the time giving her tips which was really nice to do. As she timed herself and realised she was faster than she thought.

Saturday I jogged down to parkrun and my heart rate monitor battery died so decided it was a sign and pushed myself to get a PB. Was supposed to be a zone 2 run but never mind 🙂

I managed to get a PB which I was really pleased about and jogged home.

Went on the club ride Sunday and had very weary legs. The head wind seemed so strong so I just plodded along to Beccles, thankful for Vicki and Karle being away lol. We did a nice gentle club ride and I cycled home again. The ride home was far less relaxing as I was getting picked up at 12:45 to help out at a charity triathlon at the UEA and we only got back to Beccles at 12!!! I had to really push it on the way home and guess what, yes I had a headwind on the way back. A really strong one as well. Why does it always do that.

I reached home with 5 mins to spare. Had the quickest shower and change of clothes ever and headed over to the sports park. They were doing a sports relief fun triathlon. It was really great to help out. I counted lengths for one team. Did a 5k run for another team and just gave as much support and encouragement to everyone as I could. Afterwards I was able to get in a quick 750m swim. Which was good as I did my 400m at the end so I can now send off my Beccles Triathlon time.

So yet again I didn’t really stick to plan but it was close enough I think.

Slide1

 

 

 

 

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