Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A quick swim

I got out of bed at a normal time. I had a normal breakfast and did some knitting whilst drinking coffee.

I felt like more than a bike ride so I stuffed my swimming stuff in my paniers and set off for a last-minute swim.

I arrived at the pool at 8:15 and was in the water by 8:30.

I did indeed set off on a quick swim. Had a brief rest at 20 laps which was very needed.

The next ten laps went well. With only one other lady in my lane it was very relaxed.

The last ten laps were heavenly. No one else was alongside. Swiming was beautifully clear. Every stroke I watched my fingers reach ahead of me then sweep through the water. It was beautiful.

I jumped out of the water at 8:45, showered and got to work at 9:30.

I can go swiming without getting up at 6am.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rest day

Just working. Nothing more. A day of no excercise offset by working really hard. My brain is spinning from standards that refer to standards that refer back to the original standard. I have answers and I am proud of myself. I can go back to excercise tomorrow.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Mayhemday

Organised trip to the pool - a rareity.

Well rested, dressed, all the stuff on me, straight in.

60 lengths went quickly.
The next 10 were caught up in the dickfight.
The last 10 were difficult.

80 lengths - over race distance. Thank god. I thought I was never going to do it.

In the afternoon we went to Eccleshall Park to watch the duck race.
The anticipation was overwhelming

The passing was worthwhile. Bits were quite spectacular.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Snoozeday

After Andrew's day off photographing, he went off for a ride leaving me to enjoy knitting, the internet and searching for an open food shop.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Fryday

Finally my new club diverts out in my direction in the form of a gentle flatlands ride for Good Fryday.

A heavy week of running and riding training repeatedly hangs me off the back of the group but mostly they wait for me, only at the point where, thankfully, I know my way home, do they piss off once and for all.

The lunch stop at Lisa's is an improvement on greasy Jo's with the Swindon Road Club and at least a 113 km ride is worth getting out of bed for. Kev earns the nickname pussy waggon after he offers to push me and his daughter (the only other woman on this ride) at the same time.

I wonder why I bother with club riding and think of going out with the Sheffield Tri Club who at least have compulsory cafe stops.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Trunce 2

I'm thinking that I really need to break this cycle of multisport events followed the day after by Fell Races. Specifically the quite difficult Trunce which involves a (now familiar) river crossing.

This week I started further forward in the field and started my watch to time the pause at the gate on the first downhill. 2 minutes 20 seconds.

Still, it all counts towards the overall time.

I ran through the water on the first river crossing but stuck to the stepping stones on the second. This time it cost me two places so next time I shall be in the river with everyone else. As the stepping stones get wetter, they get slippier and it's a risk I don't want to take.

The race really hurt today. It was HARD. My arms we non-existent meaning I felt like I had half power on all of the steep climbs and on the flats, my legs were tired. I got indegestion on the first road section which made my breath short so I slowed down a little. As soon as it had gone I sped up again. A few people passed me on the flat but I was pretty happy with how things were going considering I raced the day before.

I had to walk a little bit on the final evil climb but did manage to run the last sections at the top. I was mostly passing other runners on the final flat section before the long downhill to the finish which I free-wheeled as best I could again, giving a big sprint effort for the line, the likes of which I have no idea where that came from.

I looked at my Garmin (first time I actually remembered to bring him to this race) and the time said 36:00. Bear in mind this doesn't include the queue for the gate. Official result: 40:19 and 20th in the womens field. A PB by 2 minutes 20 seconds.

No wonder it hurt.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Skipton Tri (Boring) race report

I really enjoyed the Skipton Tri but my race report is quite dull. I think this is because the event was so well organised it really did feel like a time trial. So many people racing at all different times and different levels it was impossible to know how well I was doing until two days after the race ended. Of course I have my times but I haven't a clue who the people around me are.

The great thing about getting competent at swimming is you get a later start time. I left home at 9am to get to Skipton at
1015 , 2 hours before my start time. Lunch at 1015 never goes down too well but sitting in the sunshine in shorts helped.

Tyres pumped up I headed over the hill to registration and to rack the bike, returning for a second trip with my box of kit. Note to anyone considering this race to allow loads of time pre race or bring a helper.

I suddenly realised that 2 hours to go had become 20 minutes and I was still on the wrong side of the race area and none of my bottles had fluid in.

I grabbed my swim cap and goggles and dropped my sandals poolside. I bumped into my friend from cyclocross, Claire Crabtree and pleaded with her to fetch me some water. I frantically explained where my kit was, happy to be ditching the race plan to swallow as much water as possible during the swim to keep me going through the day.

Poolside I had enough time for a chat with a woman still bouncing from receiving her Glastonbury tickets this morning, then trying to calm herself down for the race. I felt positively serene.

We couldn't help wondering at three women amongst 32 men in the pool. My red hat meant I was starting first in my lane with 3 men starting at 5 second intervals behind me. Talk about pressure.

Within a lap, swimmer 2 was touching my feet, usually a sign that someone wishes to pass but at every lap when I paused to let him go, he was still swimming up. I do a massive push-off the side of the pool so every lap I dropped him at the turn around. Eventually he found the speed to pass and to my joy, there was a gap before the next competitor so I set off in his wake and hung on as long as I could. Not long but I stayed reassuringly ahead of the other swimmers. We'd started in the deep end of the pool and as I finished my lap I faced up to the worry that I wouldn't be able to get out of the pool. I'd just done what felt like the swim of my life and could visualise myself peeling backwards off the side of the pool into some other swimmers behind me, causing chaos and looking like a muppet. Somehow my aching arms just managed to hold on and propel me out of the water.

I passed another competitor who seemed to think sauntering out of the pool was an option. Over the mats, shoes on and I sprinted up the hill, glad I'd taken the action against the tarmac of leaving my teva sandals outside the pool. Transition seemed to go well but it's hard to tell because the run from swim to transition was so far. The run up the field with the bike was as arduous but a smiling TSK was sitting on the wall like a little pixie to cheer me on.

Finally on to the bike which was a gentle climb followed by some steeper climbs, some downhills and an extra valley thrown in just for good measure. I tried to recall bits of the ride for posterity. It was sunny I passed folk. I thought the number 49 bus came close but a truck came closer and ran me over the rumble strip to keep control. This is all I really remember.

I span back into the driveway to the transition field. Usual flying dismount past TSK then another long run around the field. Surprisingly, the shoe change went well and I remembered to take my gloves off for the run.

The first lap was tough but I kept my stomach under control and took my advantages where I could - on grassy banks and downhill stretches, fell running doing the trick. The second lap was harder and a tried to collect high fives as much as possible but to no avail. I was passed by two I think. A man wheezed past me. I sprinted for the line for the hell of it. I'd post a photo here but the finishline photographer seems to have got bored of waiting for the late starters and gone for a cup of tea.

Once I'd calmed down after my sprint finish, I realised I'd still got energy left. Great, quite a relief since the Half Ironman is only two months away and this race was just a fraction of the distance. I didn't quite have enough energy left to go back over the hill to get my results though. A two day wait for those.


Swim:8:44 (341/617) W(64/157) Cat (47/108)
T1: 4:03
Bike:48:10 (325/617) W(38/1570 Cat(29/108)
Run:25:47 (385/611) W(49/157) Cat (36/108)

Overall: 373/617
Women: 48/157
Cat: 37/108

Breaking the scurge of being in the las 2/3 of the field.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Training Plan

Last time I updated my training progress in the plan was 20.2.11. That was retrospective.