Sunday, April 03, 2016

Week 9 - Back at the party...

Week 9, for me, started with the end of week 8.  We travelled back from the soggy kielder on Sunday so had a rest day which meant I had (Easter and therefore holiday) Monday to train so I decided to complete the swim that I had missed at the weekend through lack of opportunity and to get the first session of Tuesday out of the way to pave the way for an easier week.

It was Ponds Forge for me as my own pool was closed on the BH.  I thankfully trawled through 80 lengths of a 25m lane which seemed incredibly short compared to the 33m pool I have been consistently swimming in for the last 4 months.

It was still chuffing cold outside when I got home so I jumped on the turbo for my first ride of week 9 - a 55 minute bike with the last 20 minutes in zone 3 heart rate with a 10 minute run afterwards.  Poor math led to that being the last 25 minutes in zone 3, at which point I remembered about the 10 minute run.  The last 5 minutes were spent planning my exit from the house in the best transition possible without a resulting injury from falling over anything or stepping out of a heated kitchen into cold air wearing nothing but cycling shorts, a sports bra and a vest.

I spied my shoes, added the tee I'd been wearing in Kielder that was sitting by the washing machine waiting to be laundered, grabbed my keys out of the door as I threw on a wind proof and pulled a cycling cap over my head.

With the windproof jacket, I warmed up reasonably quickly although had to reign myself in after 10 minutes to get my heart rate below zone 4.8.

It felt so good to be running, I got carried away and 10 minutes became 20 with the walk up the Mur du Rivelin just to cool down.  Cue walking about the house beaming like I own Ironman!

Back to the humdrum of the working week with a rest day then.  Well, I had got my first training session out of the way before that.

SO Wednesday, a swim in the morning, peppered with 66m sprint sets and another run this time.  6 miles to be done on a 4.5 mile circuit which I extended with a half mile out-and-back-loop at each end of the canal section.  It's really nice being on the canal and I was in shorts and teeshirt - a stark contrast to the day before.

Thursday I was allowed back on the bike for 50 whole minutes. My sprint sets came from trying to chase down the bastard who drove his car into my handlebars. But the bike is the easiest thing to park at the hairdresser's place before heading to the police station to report a dangerous driver.

Friday then, had to be run swim day again with a mean set of 8 x 234m sprints on the swim and 8 x 2minute sprints on the run. Of course in both cases I went off too fast on the first one and had to abort and carry on to do it again at the end.

My run was amazing. Back to the office 7 minutes early to finish my session i took a turn through Tinsley and back.  I trotted up the road at the end of my 45 minutes and found my 10k time waiting for me on my watch. 57 minutes. Not bad since I jogged the last bit.

So to Saturday and the most horrible spring day where I sent TSK off into town whilst I braved the pool 2 days in a row.  I was horrified on reading the plan that I needed to swim 2.4km. Better give it a go.

With the assistance of the bipper set to 57 strokes per minute I just about managed through 22 lengths without losing the will to carry on but then it was gone. I did drowning puppy impressions until I could stand it no longer then had a chat with myself and a dose of 1/2 done,... etc. Etc. Before I knew it there were only 20 left, 10 touchdowns at the shallow end... then 5 and then I was done and I did 2 more in case of those 2 lanes when I switched to breast stroke because, y'know, you don't swim all that way just to pull up short.

TSK went for a ride in the afternoon so he missed the massive panic attack that occurred when I checked my e-mail to find a message from the team manager at British Triathlon asking me to enter the European Championships for Standard distance tri in Lisbon in May.

I started my research.

TSK came home while I was on the loo having a long hard think. When I told him the news he asked, "why are you taking a shit, why are you not on line booking your place?"

By midnight I was registered, had booked my flight, hotel, hire car and attempted to order my new tri suit but then that wasn't working.

I was in bed at 1am. Despite my swim I was finding it hard to sleep.The excitement was overwhelming,up there with pre ironman nervous anticipation of the day and the end of all that hard work. The angst of knowing you might just realise your dream and finish. But this was different. All the hard work went into this project last year. I put it to bed as a pipe dream, maybe one to be resurrected next year, I never thought it would fly. I guess I shouldn't have stopped believing.

I fell asleep in a pile of hands and yoga breath. At 2am I got up to make sure I had received the acknowledgement of my entry. After paying all that money on the travel, I would be devastated if I hadn't actually registered in time (registration closed at 8am Sunday). I slept badly until 5am. My usual late night I-am-away-with-work let's get up early and go for a run time. At which point I forgot everything and went back to a deep uninterrupted sleep for 4 more hours.

The rest of week 9 is covered in my next post. Except this thought: that I am just less than half way through the journey of 2016. I am tired. I am also doing pretty well. It scares me on both levels but the longer this ironman journey goes on this year, the more I am enjoying it. Last year I enjoyed fast but I also missed my long runs, the hours in the Peak on the bike.

Lisbon is going to change things but one thing is for sure, I am going to try not to let it change things too much.

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