Sunday, March 27, 2011

The worst ride of my life BUT lessons learnt and one hell of a dinner story tale.

Today I had planned on doing 2 laps of the Wimbleball course, 56 miles to get a feel for the time and how the second lap would feel.  It all went terribly wrong with 10 mins and on the first hill.  I went to change gear and the chain came off and jammed the back wheel and before you could say "fuck get my cleats out" I was on the floor.  Sarah went to overtake me but Mark wasn't really looking so they crashed into each other and then fell on top of me....Barry was quite amused when he turned round and saw all three of us on the floor.
The guys put my chain back on checked everything and off we went.  This whole gear thing was to become a regular occurrence we checked the gears made adjustments loads of times but at the end of the day the only way it stopped was if I didn't use certain gears. We really thought we had it cracked but just when I least expected it, the wheel jammed again and I was flung onto the side of the road straight into the nettles.  I very quickly learnt after falling off 4 times to get those cleats out in less than a milli second.

I did think of giving up but it would be a missed opportunity.  It was really hard on the hills not having those extra gears to get into and I have to say after my gears popped out on one hill I had to walk but I also did KILLER HILL no 2 in a really hard gear and blew my legs into a thousand pieces..... but I wouldn't give up.

So 32 miles in 2.30, 10 minutes slower than last week, top speed 41.1 but considering the conditions today I am happy with that.
I have to say I was mildly PISSED OFF with my bike and when I went to the bicycle chain and they told me I needed a new back cassette I was ready to throw my toys out of the pram and CRY but after speaking to a lovely bike mechanic also a time trail expert who fixed it on the spot for FREE, that day that minute that bike geek made me a very happy woman!

A big thank you to the guys who put up with all my bike trouble today and sorry Barry for having to keep scratching my arse ( nettle stings) whilst driving home..... and thank you for screaming at me to get up those hills in the wrong gear.
OK so I need a good service.... I'm talking bikes here guys.... as my last service from a company I dare not mention in case I spit venom and lightening comes from the sky and burns me to the ground.  Oh and dare I mention that the same so called company fitted my bike to me and I changed the saddle height myself and now I no longer get back ache or shoulder ache.

So in other training news this week, I have shaved off 2 minutes of my 250m pool swim which is bloody incredible seeing its such a short distance.  Every week I just get faster and faster at swimming so it goes to show practise makes perfect.  I enjoyed a 10 mile run on Sunday, 10 k of that with the tri club.  I have been getting some hip pain on my long runs and after a very painful sports massage, its a backlash from ankle, I'm hoping it will hold out for marathon. 

I'm now on a taper for marathon but should be in my peak for Ironman so trying to keep up all the same training on the same days but lower the intensity.... I plan to be back in the pool after the marathon and cycling the wimbleball course 7 days later. 
I would like to take a moment to thank my body for allowing me to put it through all the training I do and a thank you to my brain for me so bloody stubborn and determined and thank you to all my training buddies who accompany me on all my endeavours. 

AND a big confession that after months of tee totalness  I have finally fallen off the wagon and enjoyed a weekend of crap food, lots vodka and wine and good company.......which has done me the world of good.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

great swim, fab ride, stoke stampede and a whole lotta confidence!!!

I have recovered well from the 20 miler... no tears, no throwing my toys outta the pram so its all good!

This weekend has all been about confidence building, I have to say that I have spent the last couple of weeks doubting my ability to do Ironman 70.3 within all the time restraints. I was worried about the swim and even dreamt about that touch of doom on the shoulder to say you hadn't done it in time.
I swam 1.2 miles in 51 minutes, so each time I do it I am getting faster.  Confidence boost no 1.

Stuart, myself and 3 others from West Country Tri club cycled Wimbleball again.  It was great to meet members of the tri group I hadn't met before and was really good talking to others who had done it last year.  This time round we did it in 2.21.30 which kinda beats a pulp to the last time we rode it 2.47.03. THAT'S 26 MINUTES FASTER!  Confidence boost no 2. I am really noticing the marathon training endurance helping me through other elements of my training.
In the race you have 4.5 hours to complete the 56 hilly bike miles so I guess that each lap should take you no longer than 2.15.  I was really close to that and I know on the day I will be faster.  I spoke in length to Sarah who had done it last year and she was full of tips and good advice.  She informed me that on all the BIG KILLER HILLS you will have people lining up beating drums and willing you on.  I could hear the excitement in her voice as she re-lived it and thinking to myself.... I'm so having a piece of that! She said on the day she cycled the course half an hour quicker than she had ever done it before just through the crowd and the adrenalin.  Sounds good to me.  She also said that looking at the way I rode and how I kept up she thought I would do it under 4 hours. Confidence boost no 3.

Today I race the Stoke Stampede 10 k and beat last years time of 57.51 with a stoking 52.43.  The race is normally held on boxing day and was snowed off and rescheduled for today.   It was a really hot race and I forgot how hilly it was ( that because on boxing day I'm always still pissed when I run) and it was hard work running in the heat especially after all the training in sub zero temperatures.

So I no longer have doubts about completing Ironman 70.3 even if it is the most challenging, Ive trained really hard and I'm working so hard to raise the money for charity and there is NO CHANCE that I wont complete.  There is no way on this earth that anyone is gonna stop me and I stick my middle finger up to those time restraints....... Ironman 70.3 will be the greatest race of my life and a experience that I will never forget!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

LETS HAVE IT!!!!

Ive had quite a quiet weekend of training due to Ben's birthday and it was a nice change to kick back and do mad things like run around crazy on a windy beach with a metal detector instead of battling with the wind on a run. Due to a lack of training I managed to knock out 4 miles in 32 mins!!!!! LETS HAVE IT

Sunday afternoon I had a free afternoon so I decided on a a quick brick session so I jumped on whoopie and went in search of a few hills....and followed it up my a x country run.  I have 2 races on the same day next weekend and I have been trying to make a decision on which to race.  I wanted to do the Butleigh 7 miler x country but the 10 k Stoke Stampede had been re scheduled for the same day.  After a successful x country run I was bbeginning to think that it would be possible until I climbed over a style knocked my ankle and it really hurt so the 10m k it is then..... my ankle is still a little stiff and I refuse to take any more injuries on board.

Mondays swim session went really well, I have been struggling with my legs lately BUT that's because I've been listening to everyone about where my head should be whilst I swim.  Looking forward just doesn't do it for me if my head is up my legs sink, if my head is down my legs rise.  SIMPLES!!!
 Looking forward gives me neck ache as well so I decided to swim in a way that made me feel relaxed and HEY PRESTO I got some speed back.  I'm beginning to feel really powerful in the water, not fast but strong, maybe the speed will come. LETS HAVE IT!!!!!

Tuesday was a quick turbo session, I'm concentrating on building up my hill legs so its an hour of 5 easy mins followed by 5 hard outta the saddle, legs burning kinda thing.  Not sure if that's the right way but it works for me.  I know this was a good workout , I can judge by how long I'm raving in the house afterwards to how go it was.... ENDORPHIN HIT!!!! LETS HAVE IT!!!!

This brings me onto my last long run before the taper starts.  20 miles in 3.13.36 which was excellent.  LETS HAVE IT!!!!
 Last year I ran 21 miles in 3.58 in training which just shows the progress I'm making.  What a difference having no gale force wind made.  According to the race predictor if I had kept that pace I would have run a 4.17 marathon which would be bloody amazing!!! Last year all I wanted to do was to get round this year I want  to smash my 4.41.  I felt lot better this week after my run, last week I was a mess with tears and no energy.

This weekend is going to be a little crazy, cycling Wimbleball again on Sat going for the 2 laps and then racing on Sunday.... but all I can say is LETS HAVE IT!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Am I on fire?

Well things certainly are coming together and I feel training is going really well.  My swimming stroke is becoming more efficient.  I feel that since I have joined the tri club my stroke is really coming together.  I don't get continuously coached but the odd comment here and there seems to be doing the trick.  I have actually moved up the pecking order in the lane so I have now decided I will pick them off one by one, well except or the big guy who wears the flippers from hell.  When I do my long swim now on Fridays I am still doing the distance but getting in some drills at the same time. I have started doing speed sprints at the end of each length  and instead of just speeding up my stroke I am trying to just be more powerful under the water.  I am including sprint lengths as well. As I did this on Friday I had a light bulb moment to how I should do this. I have finally realised I can be quicker in the water by being stronger instead of flouncing my arms around faster like a mad cheesy raver!!
This meant that on Wed I swam my faster EVER half mile in 20.14.  Now that's an improvement. I have discovered that I can knock 2.5 mins off a 10 length swim time if I use a pull buoy. This has pointed out a fact that my legs dont work properly and have researched a drill which means tying my legs together with an old inner tube.... do or drown coaching technique!!!!   Watch this space!

I finally broke my 50 mile bike ride cherry with a smashing 53.10 bike ride last Sat in 3.47.37.  We also throw some nasty hills in there especially that killer hill at the end!!!! Meschee and posse 1, Street hill 0.  My arse was a little numb I have to say but I am loving Whoopie more and more.  I feel at one down in those aero bars and the power I feel in that position is great ( that's why I went for it Stu and had to knuckle down and overtake you, not that I'm competitive in any way what so ever!!!!!)

The day after the ride I conquered Boobie hill, not just the normal three times but 4.... and next week will be five!!!!( its called Boobie Hill as the elevations have a remarkable resemblance to boobies).

Then that brings me onto my long run.... 19 miles in the bank , FASTER than when I ran marathon last year and in some terrible windy conditions. I had a route planned and was happily keeping a pace under 9.30 min miles until I hit the wind which slowed me right down.  I changed my route so many times and could never escape the wind for more than a mile. After 17 miles I had had enough.  IT wastes so much energy screaming BOLLOCKS into the wind.  I really really pushed myself to do 2 more miles to get to 19.  I then was a complete mess for the rest of the day..... all I could do was just rest.  Thursday I felt fine until I got to work where I felt tired and threw my toys right out of the pram concerning some of my teaching course work and I had forgotten about that long run come down.  Friday I was back on form and pulled out a fast mile in swimmimg.

So overall if I think about my fitness I am getting there.  If I think back to marathon training last year when I was just running 4 times a week and  now I am doing the same mileage as last year but I am also swimming and biking 3 times a week.  My body is beginning to change shape again , I am most impressed with the lift that my bottom seems to have decided upon.... most be all the hill biking work.

So marathon is in 28 days........ I have a couple of 21 mile runs to get in before the taper.  Once that is out the way then the serious training will start on the biking and the swimming.  I am a little concerned about what to do with my ironman training when I'm on the marathon taper.  I think I will keep up the amount of times I train but with less intensity.
so that's it...... I am exactly where I want to be at this stage, I'm more than happy with my training, delighted with my bottom and am having a few rare mermaid moments where everything comes together.  

Love tri, live tri!!!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Long runs, long rides, its all comimg together......

My ankle injury is becoming a thing of the past.  I have been up and running on windy beaches, mountain biking at Haldon hill..... That was great fun and even a little scary but good to mix it up a bit.  I cycled the Wimbleball course again 10 mins faster than last time and tested out the new back cassette on Whoopie.  What a difference that made...... Thanks to all who rode that day and meeting new friends.


Wed I ran 17 miles in preparation for Brighton marathon that was after a tempo swim with Barry in the morning.  After about 8.5miles of battling with the wind, I had had enough.  I decided to change my route and took a chance of running x country not really knowing where I would end up or how far I would be from home.  The risk paid off and I was out of the wind and ended back near home at 14 miles so I just decided to run past the house for 1.5 miles then turn round and return. At 15 miles I was really starting to struggle and I sent one tweet asking for help and I was so not disappointed.  I would love to say what a great support and motivation twitter is and a full of great people.  I smiled all the way for the last 2 miles and thanks for all the messages. 
 It was until I checked the stats that I realised how far I have actually come since last year.  This time last year I ran 17.35 miles in 3.14 and this year I ran 17 miles in 2.48.  Good to see progress.

But my greatest achievement of the weeks training is my first ever 50 mile ride.  We picked a route we knew had some pretty tough hills on at the start and at the end ( boy that last hill was a killer)  We only stopped once for a toilet break and I really wanted to test out some nutrition.  After 1 hour of riding I started on the power bars and tried to have some  every 30 mins.  Do you know how difficult it is to chew a very chewy bar whilst riding!!! There were some great spots where I could really get down down on the bars and go for it...... I love my bike for this... I feel at one with Whoopie like some warrior astride her stead and leading her into battle screaming out a war cry!! 
At about 30 miles I started to get a little grumpy and pissed off with the wind...... where ever we went it was against us.  I have to say the ride went quite quickly and thank you again Stu for being my bike buddy and keeping me company. I think I would seriously struggle doing that on my own. I wont mention the near fatal crash going up a hill where my chain came off and I only just managed to unclip in time and Stu only just managed to unclip and not go crashing into me... that might stop him drafting ha ha ha.
I was quite pleased with the time 53.10 mile in 3.47.37 which means I can do 56 miles in 4.30 for wimbleball I just need to work on those hills.
Here's the stats.... check out the elevation it wasn't a flat ride. http://connect.garmin.com/activity/71333117

After taking time out due to injury I am beginning to feel its all coming together and I just need to pick up the pace at swimming.