Monday, August 29, 2011

Oxley Sherbourne triathlon

Oxley Triathlon is a sprint triathlon with a little bit extra thrown in for good measure.  The bike route is 30km instead of your usual 20 to 25km and an extra 1 km on the run.  I had been kept awake most of the night by torrential rain and the weather in Glastonbury was awful but once we hit Somerton the roads were dry and the sun was out. It was a very early start and a big thank you to my gorgeous boys who got up nice and early, no moaning and came with me.... my very own special support crew.  Last time they came with me I got a 'podium' place. 

The swim went well, no breathlessness ( BEET-IT power)and I was overtaking all the time although it was a massive jumble after getting out of the pool and lots bodies to wade through into T1.  Swim time 8.48.  After almost going the wrong way I finally jumped on the bike and was away.  I knew there was a big hill involved which I would need to go up twice and it wasn't too steep just very long.  I really need to work on hill climbing as quite a few men just breezed past me( no women though).  The rest of the course was nice, quite a few chances to get aero. I spent most of the first lap on my own after overtaking a few but on the second lap there were a lot more riders on the course.  A women overtook me on a hill and that was the push that I needed.  I was so annoyed she had overtaken me I thought GAME ON lady............. I caught her on the flats, overtook her and then she caught me on a hill again.  We played this game for the rest of the lap.  True to form I got collared by a stupid car driver AGAIN and she beat me into transition.  Bike time 1.09.35
However I was first out of transition and I knew by looking at her she would run like a whippet so I wanted to get as much lead as I could. She caught up with me, stayed for a while and joked about crossing the line together holding hands before zooming off.  OOOO how I tried keeping up with her but she was fast.  The run seemed to go on forever and when you entered the playing field at the end you had to run all the way around it whilst staring at the finish line.  A sprint to the finish, lots of cheering and I'm done.  Run time 30.23.  A big thank you to lady 239 for giving me the competitive edge and for being such a great sport, thoroughly enjoyed our little race.   

The results are as follows
4th in my age cat
10th lady in out of 27
88th overall out of 123.

Just looked at the run and 3.73 miles which is average of 8.09 min miles and it was quite lumpy!!! Get in good pace.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Where I am and where I'm heading.

Training is going well. I am now a member of Weston Wheelers bike club as well as joining Shapwick runners and also of course West County Triathletes. It seems my clubbing days have taken on a whole new meaning.  I have enjoyed the summer holidays doing the same amount of training but enjoying the fact there is no time restraints upon me.  I have started using "beet-it" stamina shots and have found that they are really good. I do find that when I first start exercising I really struggle with my breathing and I put this down to my anemia and lack of oxygen in my blood due to the lack of iron.  Taking Beet-it has dramatically changed that especially on those all important race days and I no longer have to go through that initial breathing nightmare.  They do say it increases stamina but am still undergoing tests on that one.

The club organised a sea swim last Sunday and it couldn't have been worse.  There were waves that looked like they belonged in Newquay and I was very unsure whether to go in.  I did take the plunge and I am so glad I did.  I have in the past, found sea swimming to be tough... I don't like the motion and the taste and I am always getting caught out my waves.  This water was black it looked disgusting but I didn't care I was just enjoying being thrown about in the waves and couldn't stop laughing.  After a while of larking about there was a small group of us who weren't too confident in the sea so we stayed together and swam short distances. It was so funny trying to swim being swept all over the place by these dirty black waves. We kept swimming but the current was so strong we just didn't go anywhere. This has helped my confidence and I just think now sod it, I can swim anywhere now I swam in those conditions.  So I have entered Stert Island swim.  A 1.5 swim out to the island and back along with 80 other rubber clad loons!!!!! This will also help with the 2 sea swims that are coming up in the 2 Olympic Tris in Sept.

My time trails started really well but I have been getting slower.  There are 2 possible reasons for this.... one too much training before TT night and my legs have felt like lead and since getting Jolly, my giant road bike, my training on Whoopie (tt bike) has slipped.  I didn't realise that training on 2 different bikes would present any problems but it is.  I got Jolly for the longer rides and for comfort which he does really well but am losing the tt power in my legs. So after a lot of pondering I have come up with the following solution.  Any rides under 40 miles is Whoopie but Jolly is for the long haul.  Whoopie is for racing and jolly gets the hill and endurance work.  I have found that doing the 10 mile time trials has really helped my sprint bike times though.

Next years 'A' race will be Bradwell long distance triathlon, which I have nick named The Green Man.  1.7 mile swim, 75 miles bike followed by an 18 mile run.Ironman 70.3 at Wimbleball will prepare me for that and I do have a score to settle!!! Not quite the full distance but a good warm up taster race seeing as my Outlaw dreams were dashed for 2012.   This year has been race crazy, with a tri literally every weekend.  I have learnt a valuable lesson here as I was entered into so many it actually started to interfere with my ironman 70.3 training.  Next year I will pick and choose my races carefully, entering longer distances and spending those valuable weekends endurance training instead of racing. If I don't get into London marathon I will enter Taunton marathon, horrible 2 loop course, but local and cheap and to be honest as long as I run a marathon that's all that matters.  I like being marathon fit and will help prepare me for that ultimate long distance.

I had lost my running mojo recently, even though I got out, it felt alien and my legs were always so heavy.  It got to the point I had to drag myself out of the door and I began to dislike it.  But after a much needed sports massage and some extra rest days, I had a fantastic 8 mile run, where I smiled all the way round, felt great, no heavy legs and I feel back in love with running, which is a good thing seeing I have couple of half marathons soon.  I ran so many races last year but with all these triathlons, I have hardly done any and am looking forward to just running and seeing if I can get that sub 50 10k.

upcoming events
28th Aug - Oxley Sherbourne Sprint Tri
4th Sept - Stert Island sea swim
11th Sept - Burnham-on-sea Olympic tri
18 th Sept - Langport sprint Tri
25th Sept - Race to the bill Olympic tri ( hilly, hilly, hilly)
2nd Oct - Bideford sprint Tri
16th Oct - Cardiff half marathon
6th Nov - Illminster 10k
26th Nov - Downton half marathon.

The next 6 weekends are brimming with events.  LETS HAVE IT!!!!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wriggle Mendip Sportive 100 km

I had entered the standard route but seeing the Spartan race had been cancelled I decided to upgrade to the EPIC...... but on the day I wasnt feeling it so decided to stick with the standard.  There was a few of us doing it including Fluff so we all met up.
We were soon ready and waiting for the start.  Fluff had warned me the first hill was vertical and oh boy it sure was.  I kinda lost everyone at this hill and just got my head down and got on with it. There was a few other hills thrown in before we reached the big ones and on one I lost my chain but managed an execptional hill start. It wasnt long before we reached the first feed station at the bottom of Burrington Coombe. 
I was expecting Burrington Coombe to be like the gorge but it was no where as steep just seemed to go on for miles.  We were soon in Cheddar and up the gorge.  I thought I would find the gorge really tough as my legs werent quite right but the gorge came and went without me really noticing it.  I guess that when you know a hill well it helps as I found Burrington Coombe harder because I didnt know when it would end.
At the top of cheddar the routre split and we went down into Priddy and then we were on our way home.  Most of this seemed pretty much down hill but I was glad that the last bit didnt include Dear leap hill and old Bristol road.  We were at about 60 miles when I had a few people overtake me and I didnt know what came over me... I decided to nail it to the end... so I did, overtaking about 15 people to the finish (including Mrs Stripy pants, you know who you are) .
At 60 miles I felt I had had enough but on reflection I felt quite fresh for the rest of the day and wish maybe i could have done the 100 miler instead of the 100km.  No excuses next time.  So 62.45 miles in 4.28.11, average speed 14mph which isnt bad considering the hills. Well organised event and i reccomend it.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Trowbridge Tri and finally a "podium"finish

Firstly I would like to thank the jerk who left me a bizarre rude message on a dating site that my tattoos were offensive and unattractive.... pure anger channeled into positive energy and "beet-it stamina shot" and of course I would like to say BIG thank you to Helen Jenkins who won yesterday and became my inspiration and mantra when challenged on the route. 

Last year Trowbridge had been my second ever tri and I wanted to go back and revisit again to judge my performance and see if all this training was working.

So I was actually in a late wave ( that's becoming quite common for me nowadays).  Just before I entered the pool for the briefing I necked the secret ingredient that they call.... (drum roll) BEET IT stamina shot.  I didn't realise I had dropped a bit on my swim card so when I handed my card over they all thought I was bleeding...... and then I had to give my secret if gagging in the corner after drinking it wasn't enough!!!!  The swim went well, 8.31 not my fastest time but a darn site quicker than last year 9.52.

I headed out across the tarmac (long transition) onto a lumpy tarmac, not too pleasant on the feet in places, and grabbed the bike.  My sunglasses then decided to fall apart as I put them on but hey it wasn't sunny!  Again a long transition but I was out on the bike and away.  The ride wasn't as flat as I had remembered and boy it was windy!!! I overtook a lot of riders within the first 5km... you know the scene... sights lock on moving target... set those sights and aim that beetroot turbo power!!! I didn't take my garmin after very nearly losing it twice last week so I had no idea of distance and speed. I felt like I had made good time and on some of the inclines I had been shouting in my head "if Helen Jenkins can do it... I can do it.. GO HELEN, GO HELEN! This years time 54.50 beating 57.42 last year.

Thetas it, I'm safely back into transition, no stupid drivers got in my way or nearly took me out... result.  Off out on the run through the street of Trowbridge.  The run was good I enjoyed it, was slightly shocked running through a field of cows and having to literally run through lots of them.  I was a bit wary, I've been chased by many a bullock!!!! A male runner came up behind me and I did look back slightly scared, not knowing if the so said cows had decided that they would give chase but thankfully no.  Here it all got slightly confusing, I had overtook a few runners and didn't realise that I had indeed gone the wrong way because as we entered the field and approached the finish there were the runners I had just previously overtaken.  I had missed a sign, possibly because it was low down and other runners passing by blocked it or I blindly followed the runners in front of me but that had meant I had run approx 250 m more than some other runners!  There is a sprint finish competition within the race so I decided to go for it on the final straight. This years time 26.09 beating last years 27.59 of course not taking into special consideration my extra bit.

I did talk to the marshals about running the extra bit but the route was clearly marked and theres nothing I could do.... that's fair enough.  The excellent thing about DB max events is that you can get a print out slip of your times straight away and when I got mine I was second in my age cat.  REALLY!!!!!! wow I was sooo excited.... I was hoping and praying that no one would come in any faster.  Then they announced that the last runners were in and again I checked and I was indeed 2nd in my age cat.  I was so happy I knew there was a prize for 1st and 2nd in that age cat... my first ever.  I know the field was relatively small compared to some races but hey I had won.  There was 12 in my age group and I was second.  I had beaten the winners swim time and bike time but she was a sleuth on the run beating my 26mins with a defiant 21 mins. 

So presentation time and my name was called... how excited and happy was I.  I won a big bottle of  SIS energy powder.  Maybe I could have come first and that 250 m has been playing on my mind but hey I set a pb for that course by over 3 minutes and I got a prize.... and I am more than happy with that!!!

So in conclusion
  •  2nd in age cat out of 12
  • 9th out of 42 women
  • and 94th overall.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Portishead Sprint Triathlon

I was looking forward to this race as I knew the DB max group were running it and would be glad to catch up with old friends.  I was in a really late wave so had plenty of time to just hang out and chill.  The set up was really well organised and well signposted and the race debriefing was pretty amusing. There was quite a few from my club and also some guys that I see at time trails.

The pool was an outdoor one and 33m so just 12 lengths instead of the usual 16.  So at 10.14 I was ready for the off.  There was only 3 in my lane as 2 didn't show and we were set of with a 10 second gap.  This worked quite well and we were all evenly spread out in the lane as some I watched earlier it was a bit manic.  The transition was quite a long one and up a really steep series of steps so my swim time was bit more than I had anticipated.  8 mins 53.

The bike transition was also quite long and as soon as you were on the bike you were up a killer of a hill which seemed endless.  Once you got to a certain point there was a 2 loop circuit.  I had chosen Jolly for this tri knowing that it would be hilly but the roads in between the hills were pretty fast and I was clocking up 36 mph.  I overtook about 10 people on my first loop but then the second loop was lonely I never saw anyone and there was no one to chase!!!!  The last bit of the bike was pretty chaotic and dangerous.  There was a lot of traffic and as it was alongside the sea front cars would just randomly pull into a space without checking their mirrors, I had to brake sharply on 2 different occasions.  There was at this point a girl who did get knocked off her bike by a car reversing.  Maybe there should have been more sign displayed.  The last little hill up to transition I got stuck behind 3 cars, no one seemed to know what was going on.  Luckily for me all the people watching were shouting at the drivers to move across out the way.... but I was rather annoyed at this point.. I seem to get caught up in traffic a lot lately.  Bike time 1hr 15 seconds.

In to transition on with the trainers and off I was.... I had forgotten my knee straps so was just going to have to go without.  As I ran down to the sea front there was just a mass of people everywhere, I knew I was in a late wave but no one seemed to have consideration for the runners.  I did shout rather loudly "EXCUSE ME RUNNER COMING THROUGH" on plenty of occasions. Running up the sea front was bit random overtaking lots people just out for a stroll, dodging wheel chairs, dogs and of course other runners.  You know when you meet someone head on and you end up doing a little shuffle dance because you keep going the same way, well that happened with a runner coming the other way.  Up a sharp little hill and badly in need of a drink but alas no water, no cups left.  Along a beaten track (where I rolled an ankle but was ok) and then up a killer of a hill before looping back round. The run looked really long but once you were on it, it passed quite quickly.  Again back along the sea front dodging everyone and everything and up some more steep steps that I seemed to fly up and up to the finish.  As I had been screaming at the other sprint finish, they got me back and I went for it, flying past the line and nearly into a Marshall.  At the finish you walked into a tent and got your medal.  There was another hole here which I fell in and rolled the other ankle but thankfully that one was ok as well. ( least my ankles are back up to strength again)  You can get a print out of your results almost right away which I think its brilliant.  At first I was 6 th in my age cat and 195 overall but once the last runners were in then it all changed. run time 27.58

So a great race well organised, apart from the sea front being chaotic, I can find no fault.  So the ever important stats.... 8th in age cat out of 28.  33rd women in out of 108 and 215th out 366 who attended.