Wednesday, February 23, 2011

First long run back.........

Today was my first real long run back....... I didn't really set myself a mileage just wanted to do more than 9.... I think secretly I wanted to do 15.  I made the decision to run without an ankle support as they have been giving me blisters and squeezing the top of my foot to much and as James always says and I quote him "if you need to wear a support you shouldnt be running".  James will be proud!!!!

I went out nice and slow didn't really want to stray away from 10 min miles just needed to get out do the miles and bank those miles without overloading the ankle with a bit of speed chucked in.  The first 6 miles were a breeze after that heavy rain set in and it was bloody hard work.   As I said earlier I really wanted to do 15 but as I approached 13 miles the lack of  run training over 4 weeks started to kick in. Its funny how the mind starts making excuses for you...... just as I got to 14 miles I decided I could give up as I had gone well over the 10 % weekly increase.... funny that isn't when I hadn't even took that into consideration when I decided to go from 9 to 15 miles in one week.

But job done, 14 in the bank and positive about an achievable 17 next week.  Its going to be interesting running the marathon as I spent a very long time training last year and my long runs stretched over months whereas this year I feel like I'm on a crash course. 

Sports massage later... just what I needed.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


I was feeling little apprehensive about this race... not sure how ankle would feel but I was determined to run it after already backing out of 2 races this year. I knew it would be tough.  There didn't seem as many people as last year and I started off really well.  I have to admit I did walk on 2 occasions on the steepest bit of the hill....... and the downhills were just vile..... theres a mile down hill to the finish line and this is where my ankle felt the worst.   I was really pleased to come in 3 seconds slower than last yr ( I forgot to stop garmin and looked at finish line clock)  and I wasn't expecting that at all.  A really good training run and I felt my cardio was pretty good as well as my stamina so the cross training must have been helping.  The race seemed to finish quite quickly... last year it dragged!.   

I met Alex there a fellow tweeter and also James who came in 11th overall and second in his age category but hes so humble about the whole thing , I would be jumping for joy!!!!
Alex beat me last year and I beat him this year so next year I think it must be the decider.......
A great challenging race, some impressive views and a free finishing pic which I think is a nice touch.

This is the stats  an elevation chart to be proud of.

My ankle feels a little stiff but theres no swelling and I feel back in the game!!!! 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I'm so over injury.......... GET IN!!!!

I have to admit the last 4 weeks not being able to run drove me CRAZY!!!!!!!!!  I know I swam and I cycled but running is my first love and boy did I miss it.

Well after my mammoth bike ride on Sunday, I thought I would try a little run on the treadmill.  The ankle normally feels little stiff to start but there was nothing.... I decided to crank it up a bit.  OH MY GOD.... what a fab session.... 5 miles in 42 minutes....... I felt strong. That's 8.35 minute miles, not bad for a hop along!!
 I had thought I'd lost a bit of cardio but no way........ now I'm beginning to believe a maybe 4 weeks off had some benefit.  I wasn't even planning on doing 5 miles but I couldn't stop, I thought I should save myself for the  swim session.  The swim session was really good to.... I have to admit that I am the slowest swimmer even slower than the 18 stone hairy old bald bloke but he uses flippers!!!!  This is helping my game because I am speeding up!  In my defence its a tri/swim club so most of them never run and cycle just swim so they are allowed to be faster... just this once.

Tuesday was a short blast on the turbo, going up and down the gears, trying to replicate those pesky hills at Wimbleball.

BUT the best bit is .... * jumps up for joy and punches air* today I went for a LONG run.... well not as long as I should be doing but a damn site longer than I have for 4 weeks.
9 miles in the bag.... and actually 5 mins faster than the last time I did 9 miles. I wanted to push for 10 and possibly even 12 but at 7 miles the ankle support I was wearing had given me a blister on the bottom of my foot so I stopped and took the damn thing off.  The rest of the mileage home did feel a little weird but I should be weaning off the support anyway..... they don't really help just makes your ankles weaker!

So my emergency marathon plan said 8.... I did 9 but I actually feel (apart from blister) that I could have gone lot further.  Keeping up all the biking and swimming has def helped me to maintain a level of fitness that I thought I had lost.
So based on that run today... I will be running Brighton marathon.... I might not get the pb I wanted but Ill get round.   If I do get that pb then I will be invincible.........

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Up and running again and Ironman 70.3 Wimbleball bike course!!!!!

So I was resting my ankle for a week to see how it was and after waiting so impatiently I tried running Tues 8th Feb and lo and behold I ran a mile... no walking, a mile.  It was a bit stiff but ok.  I needed to do this as 1) I'm bloody impatient
2) I needed to know what I would do on Wed my day off... that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

So Wed I ran 3.09 miles on the road.... ankle was a little stiff but it eased as I went along.  I was a little alarmed by by heart rate... very high.....I guess I thought I had been training hard and keeping it up but my fitness has dropped. I then went out for 90 mins on the bike.  That was a hard ride, Whoopie is not liking the hills and I am now going to change the back cassette.

Thursday was a well deserved  rest day but for some strange reason I couldn't stop dancing around the house. 

Friday was my birthday so I decided to forgo swimming and have a birthday meal instead... I did however get a 4 mile run in on the treadmill first.  I also broke my 42 days, YES 42 days of no booze.  My god that first glass of wine went straight to my head.

Sat morning I squeezed a quick 3 miler in before James came for his swimming lesson.  I was going to run twice that day but the lure of watching the England rugby game won.  I did have a few drinks but went home and recovered as I knew I would be cycling the course at Wimbleball.

So Wimbleball......... well what can I say.... the weather was horrible.... cold, wet and windy!!! Stu and I set off, nice hill straight away but on fresh legs it was a nice warm up.  The next 18 miles were great.... quite a few roads to get down and hammer it but we didn't..... not this time. There we were riding along not understanding what all the fuss was about until we hit the hills!!!!! There are some wicked downhill sections but when you have no idea where the road is going its very scary.  The downhill parts tend to end suddenly and I've heard of people ending up in the ditch!!  I used my brakes so much I could smell them burning!
The hills were relentless...... I think the trick here is to know the course well so you can use the down hill sections to get you back up the next lot of hills.  We were going to try for the whole distance but after one lap it was hard going.  We were actually out for nearly 3 hours after a few stops due to chains and wrong turns and enough was enough. 

Why is it the car park was empty but as soon as I decide to strip to change into warm dry clothes , cars started to appear.  I mean you know how hard it is to take compression gear off let alone when its wet!!! So quite a few locals saw me standing there in my big pants and bright red cold legs!!!

I'm really glad I did the course.... It was slow averaging 11.8 miles per hour but seeing we didnt know where we were going and the weather and we weren't caning it, I think that's quite acceptable.  Next time we are going to hammer it... use the knowledge of the course to our advantage. I believe it will be quite a challenge to get round the swim and the bike ride before the 5 hour cut off.  But today as shown me exactly where I am right now ... hopefully now I'm back running my fitness will improve and where I need to go from here.  My god completing this course is going to my  greatest challenge to date!!!!

A big THANK YOU to Stu for driving us there and coming round the course with me.  There's not many who would cycle a challenging course when they're not even doing the race and to listen to my moaning as we got near the end and of course cycling as slow as I was and not racing on ahead.  I really appreciate it Stu....... and even better your prepared to do it all again!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Injury, illness and now officially a West Country Triathlete.

I left the blog hoping that I would be able to run a mile at long last..... alas NO!!!!!!  I had been so confident that I would be better and I wasn't. As soon as I tried to run the pain started so I stopped.  This was devastating I was sat on the kitchen floor with my head in my hands shaking with sheer frustration and despair.  I was on a downward spiral heading into the dark side.  I had to get out.... I jumped on whooopie and gave her hell for 9 miles.......... its amazing how quickly you can stop crying when head down on the aerobars because its pretty hard to see where your going with streaming eyes.  Two hours later and 28 miles under my belt I returned home, I had returned from the darkness.  I think actually the darkness ran away from me petrified when I stood on top of the motorway bridge and screamed at the passing traffic.  Nothing beats a good scream and a torrent of abuse.  It was decided that I would not run for another week and see what happens then...........( thank you James for your prep talk that always makes me feel better)

Thursday was my rest day and oddly enough I started feeling very peculiar, snotty nose, streaming eyes, sore throat and boy was I cursing that bloke at workk who had a cold for 2 weeks...........When I woke up Friday morning I felt terrible.  Ben was also ill but it that yucky sickness and diarrhoea way.  My body felt so heavy all I could do was lie on the sofa....... that's when I went out like a light.  I though oh shit here comes the flu.......... well you might as well deal me a really crap hand!!!!! I didn't move all Friday, I couldn't have if I wanted to.  That night I went to bed at 9pm with a dose of night nurse and slept solidly for 11 hours.  Sat I felt so much better, the snot had gone, the cough had gone... what was going on.  I felt ok so got 12 miles in on the turbo. 

Sat evening was my first turbo swim session with West Country Tri club.  We had the whole of Burnham pool to yourselves.  There must have been about 30 people there it was so cool....all the bikes lined up around the pool, everyone was so friendly.  We were split into 5 groups....... you swam for 8 mins then jumped onto the bike for 8 and then rest for 5.  This was done 3 times then you could warm down either on the bike or in the pool.  My first 8 lengths were awful.... it was here I realised that maybe I wasn't 100% because my breathing was so laboured.  I had to keep stopping and catching my breath and I felt incredibly dizzy.  When I got on the bike I just span gently as to recover.  Now this kinda session you could really push it if you wanted to but I didn't.  I was enjoying talking to new people and taking it easy on account that I might just faint any minute.  There was lots advice on hand and I had my aerobars adjusted as I wasn't at the right angle.  When I checked the stats when I got home, I had been swimming pretty fast.  I have joined, Ive paid my money and I am now a member..... eagerly awaiting my West Country Tri exciting!!!!

I was supposed to be going to Trowbridge to do time trails with the DB max group but it seemed so far away and not many people were going so I decided not to.  I drove to Burnham and took the dogs to the beach.  My ankle seems so much better and there I was on the massive beach with all that firm sand..... just me and the dogs and my trainers ( now I have to whisper this because I will be in BIG BIG trouble) I tried to run, I couldn't help myself, but I didn't run for long as it still didn't feel right so I stopped.  It was a miracle I didn't break down and cry I just took it on the chin and carried on playing fetch. 

I have decided that if I have any chance of running this marathon I need  to do some pretty long bike sessions instead of runs.  I have to say I feel mentally and physically abused after 3 hours in the saddle and covered 38 miles.  Oh my god how tough was that..... especially the last 15 miles. I was side swiped every time I passed a gate, I was cycling so slow into a strong headwind I thought I was going backwards.  MY arse well and truly was numb when I got back. 

So I have 2 days left before I try and run but to be honest I am not feeling confident.  But you know what I will run that marathon.... even if I have to run / walk it.  So I might have to take another 2 weeks off but theres a lot of people who have faith in me to run it.  Ive heard stories lately on Twitter of people running a marathon after having to take 7 weeks off for injury and just rocked up at the start line.   Lets just hope that Wed sees a miracle occur.   2011 hasn't quite started in the way I want to but I never choose the easy path anyway..... running this marathon is now a major challenge and that's what I'm best at.  


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fitness update......

Wow you can tell I've had a strop on seeing I haven't blogged for 9 days...... sat in some corner nursing my ankle and sulking no doubt.

In the last nine days I have swam and biked like a demon.  Ive been so scared of losing my fitness for the marathon that I have tried really hard to keep the cardio up.  I can safely say that I am getting faster on the turbo......trying hard to train in heart zones so I know that I'm pushing myself harder.

I am spending my swimming time hovering between a tri session in Cheddar and coaching with Pete.  I would do both but they are on the same day.  Now its becoming blatantly obvious  that being coached by two people certainly has it drawbacks.  I have my stroke picked apart by 2 different people but they seem to saying opposing things!!  One say long glides the other says I'm hesitating too much and theres not a constant cycle.  CONFUSED.COM!!!!

I have tried to run a couple of times... first time was a big NO GO, the second I walked ran 2 miles and it felt good.  The next was bad.......
I ran / walked 4 miles on Sunday and felt great but then Monday I struggled with 2 miles. I was very tempted to run tonight but decided that I should be having a rest in between running.  I have until Sunday to improve as that's when my emergency marathon training plans needs to kick in. 

I have pulled outta 2 races so far... the Blackmore half marathon which is on Sunday.  I did have this theory that if I could run 8 miles on Wed ( that's tomorrow ) I would run it but I cant even run 1 mile non stop as yet so even though I have super hero powers I don't think I'm going to cut it.  The following weekend is Weston Tough 10 which I am def pulling out of as its extreme x country and we all know what happens to Meschee moo at x country races!!!!!!  (  I am making good use of my time and I will be cycling the half iron man bike route.)  Hopefully that leaves me fit for Hestercombe Humdinger which I will treat as a hill training session.... not sure I'll beat my pb on that one.  Who cares, as long as I'm fit to race. 

These are Jan stats......
Swam 10.6 miles
Rode 231 miles
and ran 66 miles ( lets just whisper this stat)

That's a total of 38.39 of training....... which actually is a lousy average of 1.2 hours a day.... MMMM check out the maths teacher.......

So I leave this blog with the intention of a nice long bike ride tomorrow followed by hopefully a run of at least a mile with walking any of it..... fingers crossed!!