exercise

ROAD TO BOLTON – WEEKS 11 TO 14

Almost halfway there! Really hate to keep saying this but it really has been another crazy month!

Am loving living in Gillingham, it has made such a difference to my training. I have more time due to having to travel less to get to work. It is also so lovely out here in the country side, it means I actually want to get out and run.

I also passed my Triathlon Coach Level 2 qualification this month and that has taken a huge load of my mind. As well as less course work to have to do etc

It hasn’t been a great month in terms of the divorce and house sale. I guess it all was going to smoothly. However yet again my incredible friends stepped up and showed me I don’t have to do this alone. I seem to end up saying this every months as well, but I honestly don’t know what I would do without them. Thank you!! You know how you all are xx

I really hope when the time comes I can repay you all. I won’t ever forget.

So onto my training…..

Week 11

Started with a rest day as had to coach swimming. Disaster evening, forgot the pool keys and the caretaker wasn’t happy with me. Was hard to deal with as had a difficult evening prior to this.

On Tuesday I managed to complete a 1 hour turbo and a 3k swim. This was the longest I have swam in a pool. Well chuffed.

Had another difficult evening Tuesday and as a result didn’t sleep well. Decided to de-stress and run to the club session. It was so lovely to see everyone, even thought I ended up in tears when talking to most people. Jay was kind and ran round with me. Was a much needed chat. Managed to run 13K which was such an improvement in distance since I hurt my calf.

Thursday was the usually work running club. In the evening I got in a brick session.

Friday I did a 30 min run in Lowestoft as had some bits to sort at my Mums.

Saturday was a rest day due to having my level 2 assessment.

Sunday was the club ride, we did the tri route. We had planned a longer ride but the heavens opened so I headed home.

Target total – 9 hours 45 mins hours. Actual total – 7 hours 37 mins

Week 12

No swim coaching so managed to get a 3k swim in on the Monday. Had to do a double session on Tuesday due to working in York on the Wednesday. So ran and turbo’d. Thursday I managed to get out at lunchtime again and swam in the evening. Did a turbo session on the Friday. Saturday was great, a load of us went for a long bike ride. Was almost 5 hours. Sunday was the club ride and went for a recovery swim at the UEA for fun.

Target total – 9 hours 15 mins hours. Actual total – 12 hours 52 mins (Oops!!)

Week 13

Managed to hurt my shoulder this week, well not my shoulder…kind of the back of my arm. Anyway it made swimming quite painful this week. Just trying to take it easy and build back up. As well as my usually training this week was the Club’s training weekend!!! So much fun. We all stayed at Kelling heath and spent the weekend on the hill. It was fantastic. A much needed break.

Target total – 10 hours. Actual total – 8 hours 

Week 14

A great week training wise, am really getting into a good routine now and planning out what I am going to do when. It really helps. Still a little low on the swims but almost back to normal now. Monday we were still away and finished a fantastic weekend off with a ride. Ran and swam on Tuesday. Had Wednesday as a rest day. Ran and swam again on Thursday, the run was lovely as worked from home. So Sean and I had a work run club session in Gillingham! Turbo’d on Friday and did another long ride with the gang on Saturday. On Sunday I decided to still do the Wymondham 20 mile race that I had signed up to ages ago. Even thought I could only run part of it. It is more fun running with others and I had paid for it. Managed to do almost 12 miles which I was really chuffed with. Am very sore now thought and walking around like I am 80. Lets hope a good night sleep will help…..rest day tomorrow too 🙂

Target total – 10 hours 45 mins. Actual total – 12 hours 24 mins 

 

 

 

 

Road to Bolton – Weeks 7 to 10

End of an era…..the long enjoyed build phase is over! A new chapter now begins in my training and personal life funny enough!

I have moved away from Lowestoft and am renting a cottage in Gillingham. Rob is in the process of buying me out of the house and we have now started the divorce process.

Training wise it is finally time to get back out on the road on the bike, I am increasing my running distance (slowly) and have started training before work!!! I honestly never thought I would be someone who would train before work. However now I live closer I don’t have to leave my house at 6:30 anymore! What a luxury to have the option.

I am also trying to restore a bit of normality into my life and take rest days! Enjoy a social life and not put so much pressure on myself!

Week 7

Really positive week on the whole. Did miss a swim session, but managed to do 4 hours on the bike this week and over 2 hours of running. Which is major progress. Enjoyed celebrating my birthday this week. Was honestly the best birthday I have ever had. Thanks to everyone who made it so special. Target total – 10 hours. Actual total – 7 hours

Week 8

The week started so well, had Monday off so managed to get in a swim. Did a turbo and run as per the plan. Then Thursday I came down with a horrible bug, had to leave my friends leaving do early, which was really upsetting as she was leaving the country. I then spent the next few days resting up and mainly in bed. Not ideal, but actually resting did (in my opinion) make me feel better faster. I was back training again on the Sunday. Target total – 9 hours. Actual total – 5 hours 15 mins

Week 9 

Random crazy week, which resulted in no swimming. However did enjoy Valentines, went to the velodrome and moved into my beautiful cottage. Also did the first outdoors ride this year. Target total – 10 hours. Actual total – 6 hours 5 mins

Week 10

Good weeks training, finally!! Feeling on top of the world at the moment. My new place has made such a different, being able to train before work is just fantastic and means I can enjoy social evenings. I also love running around here and don’t mind going out on my own. Managed to get in almost all of the session. A little bit down on my running but with how my calves are I am not worried. Went for a great fun swim on Friday. Did the Godric 50 reliability ride on Sunday and it was fantastic to get some millage in my legs. I also managed to finish the rest of the work needed for my level 2 course!!! Had I not needed to do this, I would have managed to get the swimming completed. Target total – 11 hours. Actual total – 8 hours 40 mins

 

Ups and Downs on the road to Bolton – Weeks 1-6

Time is flying! I have now officially started my Ironman training plan and am on week 6/30.

I was really looking forward to finally starting the training officially, it hasn’t really gone to plan so far though, typically!

Week one was a write off due to having a cold. Ended up needing steroids again as it flared my asthma up. I did however, manage to do a very gentle park run and  the xmas day dip at Lowestoft on Christmas day which was just fab!!

Onto week two. On boxing day I decided to give the Groggy Doggy a go, was starting to feel better and really wanted to do this race. Took it easy and ran with Stu which was really nice. Loved it. I was so close to my 1,000k running target for the year I decided to take advantage of a day off on the Tuesday and ran 14k. Felt fine the evening afterwards but work up the next day in agony with my calf. Couldn’t walk on it. I really thought I had torn the muscle as it was so bad. The rest of the week I wasn’t able to do anything.

Week three started and my calf was still painful but starting to feel better. I wasn’t booked into see Bev (my physiology) until the week after and was starting to get cabin fever. I therefore decided to give the cross trainer a go at the gym and went for a swim on the Monday. Went for another swim Wednesday and felt brave enough to try the turbo on the Thursday. My calf felt so much better after the turbo, so turbo’d again on the Friday. Again it felt so much better. Managed to stick to the plan finally for the swim and bike anyway. Felt so much more positive.

Week four. This week was loads better, after seeing Bev and finding out it wasn’t a tear I was able to start running again. Very gently and no great distance but it felt amazing!! Started to see real progress on my swimming and cycling so a rest from running seems to have done me good. The target for this week was – Totals (7 hours) – 2 hours swim, 2 hours 30 min bike and 2 hours 30 min run. I managed the swim and bike and was only 45 mins short of running. Progress!!

Week five. Getting back to normal now, thought still conscious of not over doing it on my runs. Stretching lots as well!! Please, please always stretch after you run. Massive learn for me. I also had another big learn this week after trying to attempt the Sufferfest Knighthood (10 sufferfest videos back to back) how important nutrition is. My fitness didn’t let me down on the day. I really thought it would but my lack of nutrition did. I must get better at preparation and planning. Otherwise I am never going to finish Bolton no matter how much I train!!

Week six. How are we at the end of January already. Time really is flying.  Saw Bev again and my right calf is still really tight. Need to be really careful with it. Lots of stretching and no crazy runs. Seeing her again in two weeks. Had to pull out of Freethorpe 10. Apart from that is was another good week and managed to stick to plan with my swimming and cycling.  Target totals (9 hours) – 2 hours swim, 3 hours 45 min bike and 3 hours 15 min run.

 

 

 

 

Wow, What a Year!

I purposefully haven’t blogged for a while. My Ironman training is going to be pretty repetitive for the next few months. So plan to do a monthly blog on how this is going. I also am still struggling with my asthma/finances/injury so haven’t signed up to many races.

I wanted to write an end of year post though as 2016 really has been life changing.

Will start with the lows and end on a positive note. I try and remain upbeat and not run on too much about things that upset me, as I know how lucky I am. However this year  had been tough. I lost a dear friend, my marriage ended, I spent the last few months of the year living with my mum & step dad and have struggled with bad asthma.  I was also looking forward to starting my 30 week IM training plan so much and managed to miss the first week due to a cold and I think I have now torn my calf!!

The positives of 2016 have been amazing though. Really can’t believe what I’ve done.

  • Ride London as part of team Skoda
  • Helped organise Beccles Triathlon (It won club event of the year)
  • Started a work running club and it is still going
  • Age group wins at East Coast and Fritton Lake Olympic tri
  • East region middle distance champion
  • Qualified for the 2017 European Aquathlon championships
  • Did my first ever sea swim race
  • Raised over £2,000 for Children in Need
  • Came 3rd female in the Eastern Region Triathlon league
  • Had a fantastic trip to the Amsterdam half marathon
  • Completed all three swims at Fritton to total almost 10k
  • Two of my best friends married each other
  • Took part in the GYCC 10 mile time trial for the first time
  • Completed the Outlaw half as part of a relay team
  • Won a Garmin 735xt watch
  • Qualified as a Local Triathlon technical official
  • Qualified as a Level 1 triathlon coach
  • Rode the velodrome
  • Completed my 50th Parkrun
  • Travelled business class to India
  • Signed up to Ironman UK
  • Completed the Waveney Wildman
  • Did front crawl in all of my races
  • Part of a winning team at the Lowestoft 5 mile and The Scores race
  • Passed my Professional Scrum Master Level Two certification
  • Won Scrum Master of the Year in my project

I have swam a total of 132,995m, Biked 3,829k and ran 990k.

Compared to 2015’s totals of 60,496m, 1,747k and 844k.

I really can not thank those enough who have supported me this year, especially the past few months. It really does mean the world to me xx

Happy new year to you all, I have a feeling 2017 is going to be an incredible year.

IRONMAN JOURNEY WEEKS FOUR AND FIVE

Feeling a bit guilty at the moment, had a bit of a downer weekend. I feel like I am neglecting my friends and family. Training for Bolton and doing my triathlon coaching course is taking up nearly all of my time. I am trying to still be social and see my friends and family but an conscious there are people who I keep saying I will see who I haven’t. Please forgive me xx

On a postive front I think my asthma problems have finally been diagnosed. I went back to the doctors after a really bad weekend and am now on some new tablets. Awaiting a hospital appointment with the respiratory clinic. They think I have Exercise Induced Bronchoconstriction (EIB)

Week four  (Week 3 of DF)

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

Tuesday – Tried out Pilates at Nirvana which was a good class and then went for a 2k swim. Loving being a member of Nirvana, as can swim pretty much any time and its never busy.

Wednesday – Did a core strength class at lunch time and it was running club in the evening. Took it easy. Did 30 mins.

Thursday – Back to spin fusion, really am loving it. Remembered to run after wards this time, so happy.

Friday – A nice relaxing swim with Dawn tonight, did 1,600m.

Saturday – Ran to and around park run.

Sunday – We had our first turbo session of the winter. It was actually quite nice to get back to turbo-ing as a club. Apart from me falling off the turbo! There is a field outside the village hall so went for a 5 min run afterwards.

Totals for this week

Swim – 1 hour 20 mins (Should have been 2)

Bike – 1 hour 23 mins (Should have been 3)

Run – 1 hour 30 mins (Should have been 3)

Week three (Week 4 of DF)

Monday – Coaching again, decided to actually have this as my rest day. As I was starting to train 7 days a week.

Tuesday – Pilates was cancelled this week so headed up to the gym and did a 30 min spin on the bike and then swam for 2k.

Wednesday – Took my first asthma tablet last night and felt a difference already at running club tonight. Really chuffed.

Thursday – Managed to make work running club today which was great. Spin fusion in the evening, starting to really feel my fitness levels improving. Loving it. Again remember to go for a run afterwards.

Friday – Rest day

Saturday – Did an hours run Saturday morning, including park run with Jo and Boo. Chest is still feeling so much clearer and no attacks in the mornings. Relieved!

Sunday – Club turbo session again this Sunday. Fantastic turn out. It was a FTP test, pushed really hard. Maximum heart rate I got up to was 186, so going to plug that into Strava to hopefully get more accurate zones on the bike. Must do the same for running. Again ran off the bike again. In the evening I went for a 2k swim. Had some stress to get out so pounded the water…..is that even a saying lol? As a result I was really pleased with my time.

For the first week I pretty much hit the plan 100%. Getting into the routine slowly. Probably going to repeat week 4 again. Am still ahead of schedule and it feels like the right thing to do.

Totals for this week

Swim – 1 hour 28 mins (Should have been 2)

Bike – 2 hours 7 mins (Should have been 2.5)

Run – 2 hour 19 mins (Should have been 2.5)

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 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