sea swimming

Challenge Mallorca 70.3 – 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Results can be found here.

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

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ROAD TO BOLTON – WEEKS 14 TO 18

100 Metros…..

Is the film that got me through the past week and a half of training. Which included a trip to Bolton. I hit a really low point and had it not been for Steph’s recommendation I might have given up.

If you have seen it, watch it. Well worth it in my opinion.

On a personal front it has been a fairly quiet few weeks for once haha! The house sale completed at last, thank goodness as almost got in a lot of trouble financially. Divorce is progressing but is slow. Still loving Gillingham, really feels like home. Still have the best friends in the whole wide world. My mum has returned from her cruise. Still away at the moment but looking forward to catching up next week. So much has happened since she was away.

Okay lets talk about training……

Week 15

Rest day on the Monday as coached swimming.

On Tuesday I did a 8k run, legs were so tight I had to slow the pace right down. Went for a swim in the evening with Vicki and managed to get to 2.5k. Which I was pleased about due to my shoulder issues.

Wednesday was a sad day as it was the last core class at work. In the morning I did a turbo session for an hour as was seeing Bev for a massage after work.

Did a 50 min turbo on Thursday

Thought I would do something different and do an hours run on the turbo Friday evening and then managed a 3k swim. With no shoulder pain which was good.

Did a long bike ride (135k) Saturday with Darren and Stu.

Sunday was Bungay half marathon. After how bad my running was during the week I almost didn’t start. However I made myself go along and said to myself I would stop if I had to.  I did 9:1 during the race and few so strong, went by feel and didn’t even look at my pace. I crossed the line only just over a minute slower than my PB which was on a flat course. Was really, really pleased with my time but my legs were in a very bad way afterwards. When will I learn!! Paid the price for this race thats for sure. No more stupidity before Bolton!! It just felt so good to put a decent effort in. Was feeling a bit fed up of going slow.

Target total – 11 hours 30 mins hours. Actual total – 13 hours 50 mins

Week 16

Started again with a rest day. Had a triathlon meeting, as I help to organise Beccles Triathlon. Then headed to swim coaching.

On Tuesday I did a lap of the Beccles triathlon route and then went swimming. Managed to do another 3k. A lot slower than I did before I hurt my shoulder but at least it was pain free again.

Got a friend to watch my swim technique on the Wednesday as I haven’t been “coached” for ages. It was really helpful. Did 1.5k and then headed off to running club. I haven’t been for ages so it was great to see everyone. However I really struggled with my calf. It was so tight and in the end I had to stop. Managed to do 5.5k.

Thursday was fun!! Decided to attempt my first sea swim of the year….it was FREEZING!!! Managed to last 10 mins. In the evening I rode the Beccles tri route again.

Managed to do a 8k run on the Friday. It was slow but relatively pain free.

Had a great long ride with Steph, Danny and Terry on the Saturday. No cake stop! Proper serious training ride haha. It was great.

Sunday was great. Did the 1.5k swim to make up what I missed on Wednesday. Then I ran to the Locks with Chris. A great cross country run but ran way to fast. Felt okay at the time but it was a mistake that I paid for.

Target total – 10 hours 30 mins hours. Actual total – 10 hours 41 mins

Week 17

Actual rest day/evening for once! No coaching for me tonight with the club. So went round a friends for a sports massage as Bev is on holiday and my legs were in a bad way. In return I coached him swimming.

Headed out on the bike Tuesday for a lovely sunset ride and then headed to the pool. My shoulder started to get sore again so only did 2.5k. Annoying.

Was feeling good Wednesday so thought I would jog to running club and then join in with the beginners. What a disaster that was. Did a pathetic 45mins of mainly walking. Am broken.

On Thursday I decided to head to the gym and go on the cross trainer. Was going to do an hour but even that hurt and had to stop after 45 min.

Had a great bank holiday Friday. We went for a bike ride with the club for breakfast. Then headed to Bolton as staying over night.

Saturday, Steph and I cycled one lap of the IMUK route. All I can say is wow!!! That bike course is BRUTAL. So much harder than I thought it was going to be. I expected two bad hills but not the rest of the course to be so hilly and poor road surface. My new mantra of 100 meters, really helped to keep me going.  I am now extremely worried about finished the 112 miles in time. I don’t think I am strong enough on hills yet. Panicking and upset. However all I can do is give it my all in the next 2 months or training.

I didn’t think I was up for running Sunday, after the week I had so went to the club ride. Did a lovely 2 hour ride.

Target total – 10 hours 45 mins hours. Actual total – 11 hours 30 mins

Week 18

Love bank holidays. More time to train! Didn’t go as well as planned though. Decided to treat myself and go to Waterlane. Bit sick of swimming in a 20m pool. Was having a great time, Jane was in the lane so jumped in with her. Was swimming lovely, enjoying the extra length…..then the lane ropes get pulled out!!! Free for all. Families jump in and take up the whole space. Managed to dodge around them for 500m but game over. Only 2k done. I then headed up to the gym to do a treadmill run to avoid the payment. Managed 1k!!!! My calf was so tight!

Moved my rest day to Tuesday as I had to travel to York for work. Had to leave early and didn’t get to hotel until late.

When I got home from York on Wednesday I jumped on the turbo. Was dark as it was late. I did an hour.

On Thursday I decided to try running again. I did 5k as a run walk. It felt good.

It has been way too long since I had done a brick session so decided to Friday. Did the new Sufferfest video and then did a run/walk. Then headed to the pool, again shoulder felt funny so stuck to 2.5k. Plus I had finished work so late the pool was about to close, haha!

Saturday, myself and Darren headed out hill hunting. Off the back of the Bolton trip, I decided all my long rides need to be as hilly as possible!! We managed to bump into Marcus which was great. Only did 40 miles as had to rush back. Vicki, Darren and I then biked to Yarmouth and back as we marshalled at East Coast tri. This added another 29 miles.

Helped out again at East Coast triathlon Sunday morning. In the afternoon, myself, Boo and Helen went for a run. Got to 6k pain free. Over the moon!

Target total – 10 hours 45 mins hours. Actual total – 9 hours 90 mins

 

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