Sunday, June 23, 2013

Pre Ironman and sprint championships qualifiers

WOW...... 3 years ago There's a few things I wouldn't have said..........
1) The British Championships qualifiers  is not my A race
2) I'm doing IRONMAN well, challenge Roth, to be exact I don't want to be gunned down by the ironman police.............

So here I was thinking about how I'm going to rock up to the British championships qualifiers in the BEST shape I have ever been.  I haven't trained for this race because I have been too busy training getting in the distance so my explosive sprint power might be somewhat lost and I seem to struggle short distance with my asthma....... but hey I'll give it a go. I want to qualify for the long distance championships if truth be known.

So Bristol race day started with my van breaking down the day before... luckily I had a lift from Andy.

My wave started at 11.14 and it was BRUTAL....... I started in the middle of the pack and the first 5 minutes was a scrap....... I normally hate this but today it was good..... I was one of those horrid people who swam all over you, grabbing your legs.... Im coming through!!!!! The scrap continuing nearer the first buoy..... GRRRRRR lets have it!!!!  The swim was over all too quick and for once I left the water in the middle of the pack..... the Vaseline did its trick and that wetsuit was off quicker than you can say .... "wetsuit off".  I enjoyed the swim...15.39
The bike was good, I enjoyed it, lots of people on the road who were all fair game.  It was great racing with the best of them..... everyone was hungry for that London place and it showed. My competitive side LOVED this and I was on it when I overtook a GB athlete on a hill as well ( get me) and there was no way I was giving her back the edge..... it was a little windy in places but so glad I kept the aero wheels on.  I have to add here, there was a lot of women wearing aero helmets this year, I'm still not one of them.
 T2 was awkward.... couldn't get my shoes soon as I started running I knew I was in trouble.  I didn't realise that somewhere between pre swim and pre run I was  a victim of divine intervention and I had been blessed with child.    My stomach was bloated and rock solid in a way that I had never seen so severe.  I found it very difficult to run and the more I ran the worse it got.  My 5 k time was dreadful.... 26.25... that's quite possibly, no in fact that's the WORST run I have ever done. Total time 1.25.04.  I enjoyed the race and although I wanted to be placed further up the field, I wasn't too disappointed.... Roth is my A race.  Had lots support today and it was great , thank you to Lisa and the kids for my banner and Andy for chauffeur duties and Heath as well,  makes a huge difference.

So on to Roth.....

I can't believe how far I have come this year........ the training has been tough and very time consuming but I have taken this seriously and there is one thing I firmly believe  that if you" fail to prepare you prepare to fail".  I have got out there and  cycled several  100 solo miles after running 15 the day before and still feel there is more in the tank.  I'm not saying that the Ironman distance will be a breeze but I have never felt more prepared for anything in my life.  I have spent the last 7 months getting up 20 mins early to work on my core...... spent all of my free time running, biking and swimming. ( why am I crying????) 

There was a time that a 50 mile bike ride would wipe me out for a few days and now as my fitness grows and my goals move forward,I often forget how far that I have come and how much I take my fitness for granted.  There are times that I feel I haven't done enough and I doubt myself but you know what, that's because I respect the distance.  
I have been trying to work out what ironman distance means to me and have come up with this :

I -  inspiring or inspired. I have been lucky to meet some amazing people who have inspired me and I hope      that I have in turn inspired others to take on the sport
R - realistic. Taking on a challenge like this takes some serious dedication and fore thought... a quality that I don't possess so it becomes easy for me.  
O -opportunity to live that dream and challenge myself in ways I never dreamt possible.
N - nutrition is very important especially for me with such stupid food intolerances. Times of trial and error. 
M - mental strength or just being mental helps!!!  Or mantra......... believing in yourself and positive affirmations. getting your ironman mantra tattooed on your arm!!!!! 
A- Attitude, Bad Arse Blackmore attitude.... the attitude that gets me there at the start line and helps me cross the finish line
N -Not giving up, never give up, pushing yourself over that edge to the point of no return and enjoying the victory.

Am I ready for Roth?....... YES I AM.   I've done a long distance race,  I've trained hard, I am so stubborn that I will keep going regardless.  once I have set my mind on something I will do it..... failure is never an option.  No Guts No Glory!!!!!
I have booked my tattoo..... I have a race plan..... I have visualised myself crossing that line so many times that it will happen.  I am a firm believer that once you mind has done it the body follows through.  On training runs I have visualised each lam post to be the mile of the marathon  and when I have hit 26, I have been known to burst into tears.

In fairness the road to ironman is a long one and at times a hard one but one that takes you on a journey of self discovery and on a roller coaster of emotions.  I know that I will encounter some dark times........but I also know that I will overcome them.  So the next blog will be my race report!!!!! see you on the other side people.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Swalshbucker middle distance

I have never raced a flat middle distance and I entered this race as a warm up for Roth. It uy was a long drive down and the pre race prep wasn't the best sleeping in the bongo and having to get up at 3.50am. It was so cold I turned up at race HQ wearing my onesie.  To be honest I was pretty anxious about the swim especially with the coldness but we were allowed few minutes to acclimatise and the water was 15 c.  That is just tropical and I am soooooo glad that I have been training in much colder conditions.

I started off at the back with my new wetsuit and new goggles( please don't try this at home) and we were away.  The sun was so bright it was really difficult to sight and on the first lap it didn't matter so much as you could follow the people but on the second lap had to keep stopping and squinting to see where that pink buoy was. The swim although slow it was good.  Up the long grassy hill to transition where I could see most of the bikes had gone.  That's not a problem I like the thrill of the chase and I'm used to being one of the slower swimmers.

We were warned about wandering cattle, donkeys and horses and within the first three miles on a great descent I had a narrow escape with a cow!!! That put a hold on my speed.  My legs felt really heavy today and I was left wondering if I had left them home on the kitchen table, they felt heavy right from the word go but that didn't stop me.  I clawed my way back through the pack.  There was one guy who had the posh bike and the aero helmet who decided to turn and spit without checking and seing as I was beside him I took the brunt of it.  That annoyed me a tad. I decided that he would then be the main bait of the day.  He took off and I followed..... he didn't get very far and was probably a little pissed when I stayed with him. As I overtook him and left him in my trail of carbon dust I exclaimed "having a bad day there chuck?" Meschee 1 - spit boy 0.  The bike route was very rolling and the roads were great.  No real potholes and nice smooth surfaces.  There was at times a good side wind that my deep rims wheels took objection to but overall not a bad ride.

In T2   took a little time as I couldn't seem to put my knee straps on and I was off.  The run route was a loop of 7 miles you had to do twice.  The first loop was hard and sooooo hot.  I couldn't feel my feet for the first 4 miles and I felt clumsy and awkward and I was averaging 9.30 / 10 min miles.  As you come round for the second lap up a gravel horrible hill many of the guys were finishing, that was a little annoying and I got caught up in a sprint finish before I headed for my second lap.  Im not quite sure what happened here, I didn't have any gels just my home made energy bars on the bike but I found a new set of legs.  Whether the endurance training  kicked in or  the home made energy bars I was on it.  I picked up the pace and was running 8.30/9 min miles which was a huge improvement and I overtook lots runners.  Every time I passed a female runner I was checking her out to see if she was in my age cat!!! I had predicted to a friend that I would get 5.49.37 and I got 5.49.22.  My predictions are uncanny.... mystic meschee.

I ended up 7th in my age cat out of 17 and I was happy with that.  At the end of the day this was a training race for |Roth and if I can feel stronger at the end of the race on the run then that in my Ironman book is a good place to be.
The Bling 

ONESIE in transition