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.

 

 

 

 

 

4 weeks since Monster Middle

Four weeks have passed so quickly. So much has happened personally and fitness wise since the Monster Middle, it quite mind boggling!

Didn’t really rest the week after monster. Needed to take my mind of things. So on the Monday I turbo’d to spin my legs out. Tuesday night went swimming in Fritton. Wednesday night I coached a Scores training session and did some running. Thursday night I rode the GYCC time trial with a friend. Had a rest day on Friday. Decided to give Gorleston park run a try on the Saturday. It had been so long since I’ve ran it and wanted to get away from Lowestoft. I got a course PB which I was really chuffed with, however I forgot my barcode so no result. Sunday was great fun, we cycled to Framingham for Stu’s birthday. This week I have also started to do some core strength work. Loving this class.

Totals for the week (8h 56m)

Swim – 55m

Bike – 7h 

Run – 1h

Week 2 post Monster started really great. Did some scores race training with a nice breakfast afterwards. I worked from home on Tuesday and managed to go of a lovely sea swim on Tuesday. Wednesday was core strength at lunchtime and then in the evening I coached a scores training session and got a little bit of training in myself. On Thursday I think I lost my mind! Went for a lovely Fritton lake swim and ended up entering the “big swim” that was taking place that Sunday. This in itself is not crazy, however I decided along with Rich to do all three of the swims. A combined total of 9.5k. Had a great rest day on Friday. On Saturday I again went to Gorleston, after forgetting my barcode the previous week I had a score to settle! I managed with the help of fantastic friends to get a massive PB, 24:22!! So chuffed. Went for a sea swim in the afternoon with Pete, it was choppy but fun.  Sunday was big swim day, the first swim was the 5k. This was by far my longest swim and really enjoyed it. Wasn’t as tired as I thought I was going to be when I exited the lake. Had around an hour before the next swim so had a small bite to eat. Then headed back into the water for the 3k swim. Again felt okay, bit hungry and needing some food but okay. The turnaround for the last swim was a lot shorter, only time to register and grab a drink really. Was looking forward to getting out of my wetsuit but this point. Had been in it since 8:45 and it was now almost 3! Wanted to really go for it on this last swim as it was only 1.5k. I didn’t have much energy or strength left though so was slower than I hoped. However still so pleased to have completed all three. At the start of the day I didn’t think I would be able to front crawl the whole distance but I managed to. Really great friendly relaxed event, will definitely do it again next year. Me and Rich were the only ones to do all three swims which was pretty cool.

Totals for the week (8h 20m)

Swim – 5h 26m

Bike – 31m

Run – 2h 23m

Week three post monster didn’t start as great. My asthma started to play up again over the weekend and into Monday. Did my usual coaching on a Monday night but didn’t feel up for running. Did my first ever Pilates session Tuesday night. It was so tough but great. Wednesday evening we did the final scores training. My asthma was bad again this evening and could only manage a jog. So frustrating. Thursday was work running club and a lake swim in the evening. Friday I went back to the doctors, asthma still no good. Was sent to the hospital for an X-ray and blood tests. After the hospital I went for a spin with Vicki and Karle to Southwold. Was lovely to get back out on the bike as hadn’t really done any cycling since Stu’s birthday ride to Framingham. However the lack of lung power and energy through not eating much the past few weeks really hit me. Felt frustrated and fed up to be honest. I decided to sign up to the Scores race last minute so went to Fritton park run and cheered everyone on. Still not feeling like going to Lowestoft. Did go for a sea swim in the afternoon. Sunday was Scores race day, was excited and nervous about this in equal measures! Excited to see friends and loved ones. Nervous as I stupidly agreed to take Becca’s pleas in “Team Harris”. All three of which are just amazing. I woke up with bad asthma yet again and was feeling really sorry for myself. However I gave it all on the race itself and managed to get a PB, not quiet the sub 40 I was hoping for but considering everything it was a good result. We even managed to win the team prize so was relived to have not let the side down!

Totals for the week (5h 46m)

Swim – 42m

Bike – 2h 28m

Run – 2h 34m

So here we are week 4, post Ely. Did a 7k off road run before swimming on the Monday. Tuesday I took a well earned rest evening, was so good. Wednesday was core strength at lunch and at night was back to Beccles for training and we did 1m sprints. Loved it and felt so strong.  Thursday was lunch time running club and a gentle spin on the bike in the evening. Its going to get boring sorry but my asthma again was bad. I took the day off on Friday, had been struggling emotionally the previous day. Went for a bike ride and lovely beach run in the morning with Rob C. Loved the run so much but my asthma really held me back, which was embarrassing as I was running with someone so fast!! Rob was fab though, so patient with me. Thank you if you happen to read this!! Vicki and I decided to cycle over to Gorleston park run on the Saturday, we wanted to take advantage of the nice weather while is lasts. I pulled up after only one lap of the course, so frustrating. My left calf was very painful. Gutted. Managed to cycle home okay, headed straight back out to do the annual “lido to locks swim”. So much fun with the club, it was a 4.5k swim in the river. Loved it. Finally on the Sunday I took part in Aldeburgh relay triathlon. It was a last minute decision as Pete Andrews’ team needed a swimmer, so I volunteered. It was a sea swim and I was dying to try out my new skills and get a sea swim race in before Mallorca next year. I really, really enjoyed it. It was tide assisted which really helped but I got a good swim in. The whole event was brilliant and one I recommend for next year. Well organised, relaxed and friendly and a really nice venue.

Totals for the week (8h 22m)

Swim – 2h 3m

Bike – 3h 10m

Run – 3h 8m

 

 

 

 

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 – WEEKS 23/24

Great couple of weeks, I love summer. Mostly.

My asthma has been really bad these past two weeks. I have been wheezing and taking my relief inhaler almost everyday. I wasn’t even taking it training anymore so felt really down. Went to the doctors and I have another inhaler to take, which I hope will help.

Aside from the Asthma I am feeling good, my plan starts to taper now so am looking forward to a couple of easy-ish weeks.

So week 23, managed to get a run in on Monday night before swimming.

Went for a sea swim Tuesday night with Vicki.

On Wednesday I had to drive to Sheffield straight from work so didn’t get to do any training.

Thursday morning I got up early intending to do a brick session on the hotel gym. However it didn’t open until 7am! Not great. So went outside and did a run.

I didn’t get to do any training on Friday or Saturday. My breathing was really bad and was doing Ride London the Sunday and didn’t want to risk it.

Sunday was ride London. Wow what an incredible event. There were a lot of hold ups due to accidents which did take away from the day itself somewhat. However riding on closed roads and seeing the sights of London and getting to the top of Box Hill was fantastic.

Totals for week 23

9h 12m total

Swimming – 21m

Cycling – 7h 52m

Running – 57m

Week 24

Managed to get another run in. Yet again I was really wheezing so we only did a short 4k.

Tuesday I went sea swimming again, did so much better this time. Managed to do 1k and didn’t feel sick. Which was great.

Wednesday night I managed to get along and actually run! We went to the pub at Geldeston and ran back again.

Thursday I got home from work late and could hardly breathe. I took it easy and had a night off.

I worked from home on Friday so I could get to the doctors. Woke up and yet again barley able to breathe. In the evening after getting the all clear to carry on training I went for a ride with Vicki and Karle. Then headed over to Norwich to get coached in an endless pool. It was great to get some feedback on my swimming as I don’t get the chance anymore. Overall Simon was happy, I just need to work on what my arms are doing and rotate more.

Saturday was a great day. We did a club trip to Fritton Lake. Cycled to Fritton via Beccles. Went for a run, I started off doing park run but only wanted to run for 15 mins to stopped part of the way round. Then we went for a dip in the lake. I stayed with Boo as it was her first time. She did so well. After a cuppa we rode back to Lowestoft again via Beccles. Feeling good on the bike, all the hours I have put in seem to be paying off.

Sunday, after a stupidly late night with lots of alcohol (mixed my drinks!) I ran the Norwich 10k. It was so hot and I really didn’t feel that great, and if it hadn’t been for Jo and Boo I might have even walked. However I did complete it and actually felt okay running. However after I finished I was so lightheaded and dizzy. Had to sit in the shade for almost an hour before moving. Lots of cold drinks and some pasta at the Bell afterwards did make me feel better. The amount of people we saw on the floor during the run was scary. I learnt my lesson big time today. Will not be such an idiot again!

Totals for week 24

7h 58m total

Swimming – 59m

Cycling – 4h 21m

Running – 2h 37m

 

 

 

 

HALF IRONMAN TRAINING – WEEKS 21/22

Another good few weeks, think I am ready for Ely now. Famous last words I am sure!

Did my first ever double swim day on the Tuesday. A lovely lake swim to get the distance in and then a social pool swim.

Wednesday was a 5k handicap run. It was a lovely evening and I ran with TC. He has recently returned from a serious accident and it was so good to run with him.

Thursday we did a hilly lunch time work run and cycled over to the time trial in the evening. Didn’t have much in my legs and my time reflected it. However it was great to get some speed work in on the bike.

Friday was a rest day.

Did park run Saturday and ran on my own for the first time in a while. Was pleased to have gotten close to my PB, was 15 seconds short. Hopefully next time.

Sunday we did the Suffolk Spinner as a club ride. It was great fun and a lovely day. Was my longest ride in a while so was pleased to have done the distance and still feel pretty strong at the end.

Totals for week 21

10h 24m total

Swimming – 1h 0m

Cycling – 7h 3m

Running – 2h 21m

 

Week 22

Decided to be nice and organised and write down a plan for the week. As keep missing out swims and brick sessions.

I even sorted out my swimming kit so I could get to the lido early on Monday and swim before the club session. However this didn’t really go to plan. The lido was so busy and didn’t realise if it was that busy they wouldn’t put the lane in.

I waited 45 minutes before the lane went in and then it was so full and busy it was difficult to swim. However I did manage 30 mins. Better than nothing.

Tuesday night I wasn’t able to train as had a “thank you” meal at work.

Wednesday morning I went or my first ever sea swim! Wow what an experience. Loved it, apart from feeling sea sick at the end. Definitely go again when I can. In the evening it was the BBDRC summer 10k. I decided to run with Boo and pace her round as wasn’t feeling up for getting a PB. The new route is fab, really prefer it.

Thursday was work running club. In the evening I cycled over to TT and marshalled but again didn’t feel up for racing. I managed to run when I got back, finally remembered. Did 1k as short on time.

I normally have Friday as my rest day and do my long run on a Saturday. However as it was my close friends wedding I decided to swap days. It was so hot on Friday though, planned to do a 2 hour run but only managed 1 hour 15 mins. However I had ran longer than I needed to on Wednesday and Thursday so am hoping its okay.

Sunday was the club ride. We cycled over to Southward and back, it was really lovely. There was a Strava challenge for today, to cycle 89k. After leaving Beccles I decided to try and get up to this distance. Am so pleased I did, it was hard on my own knowing which way to go to extend the route home. It wasn’t the best of routes if you look on Strava, but I did it. Again I went for a 1k run when I got off the bike.

Next week is going to be tough as going to Sheffield to give training and means my days will be messed up by travelling. It is also Ride London weekend.

 

Totals for week 22

9h 57m total

Swimming – 1h 16m

Cycling – 5h 21m

Running – 3h 18m

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