Monday, March 31, 2014

214 km Bristol ball buster

How can you turn down a chance to ride 214km, that's 133 miles for £7. I mean what a bargain, 19p a mile.
audax gals
It was an early start to get to Long Ashton but it didn't take long. Vicky and I met Geoff and Emma there and after a a brief encounter with two famous people we were ready for the off. There was 3 different rides going on and we down for the longest.  This was my first Audax ride and it's all self navigated.  You know what women are like with directions so we had appointed Geoff Ballard as our designated navigator who was the only one who managed to put the course on his Garmin.  We had already decided to complete the challenge as a group.  I couldn't quite believe my eyes when I saw that Chrissie Wellington was in attendance!!! What a boost as we quite calmy discussed Ironman Lanzarote.
Meeting Chrissie Wellington

Getting close to Elvis
The first stint was to Hill which was about 40.8km.  The route was quite flat and we got going into a nice pace.  We arrived at the first check point after about 25 miles.   The WI had been working hard and there was an abundance of cakes.  Vicky and I got to work on the cheesecake and drank our coffee from the finest bone china!!!!! Feeling refreshed or should I say FULL we left Hill and started heading towards Doynton.

Another 25 miles later we hit the second control point. I bumped into my mate Chrissie here as well and also caught up with Ollie.  There was lots laughter and joking during this part of the ride as we were all still fresh and happy.  The scenery was awesume. The next stop less cakes were consumed and we tasted the soup instead.  Again with full bellies off we popped to the next control point.  This stint was a little longer and the "bumpy part of the ride" we headed off towards Chipping Sodbury before turning back and heading towards Glastonbury. There was a humdinger of a hill in this part and there was a fair amount of stripping going on at the top of this hill. Once we got into familiar surrondings we picked the pace up a little, it was good being on our home turf!!!!

90 miles in and  we arrived at Glastonbury, a little stiff , chaffed  and  bitching about how crap we felt at this point.  At this point I was very close to giving up.  I started to make excuses bout how I just wanted to do 100  miles and how I had marathon next Sunday.  I wanted to go on but just thinking about another 43 miles was filling me with dread.  A excutive decision was made the others were happy to go on and that helped me to decide... ALL FOR ONE AND ONE FOR ALL.  Cycling past my house on the way back to Bristol was a tough call let me tell you.

The  little hills became mountains, my legs had waves of fatigue and I was getting tired and grumpy!We made it to the last stop and we had 13 miles left to go.  When we hit 112 miles I just wanted to ditch the bike and start running!!! The last hill was a nasty hill and the only thing that got me up was pure anger because I couldn't rely on my legs or lungs anymore  and the fact that I had enough!!!! I cannot tell you how happy we were to reach the village hall where we started.

Big shout out to Vicky, Emma and Geoff for keeping me going and waiting for me at the top of the hills.  What an acheivement guys... we did it.  We obviously had to celebrate with more cake and coffee befor eheading home.  9 hours in the saddle, thats a long long time.
fresh and ready to go

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Peaky freaky triple duathlon 2014

I've never actually completed in a duathlon, let alone a triple one and I thought swimmimg 5k the day before the race would be a good combi for ironman training. The bad weather had woken me up during the night and the weather forecast wasn't looking that good.  I decided to use aero wheel on the back but normal on front.

The location was Webbington hotel..... Set in a beautiful area overlooking the mendips.  Tea and coffee was laid on, nice touch. As normal I hadn't done my homework on the race just entered blindly, but hey not knowing your fate is probably a good thing huh? It was only two days before the race that I realised that I needed to carry my trainers with me.  The idea of the race was to cycle to each peak run up and down it then cycle to the next one... Easy enough :-)

It was quite windy but hey good Lanza training don't ya know.  There was a few of us from the club doing it and we took our places at the front as the riders would go off in groups of 4 at 30 second intervals. Geoff, Jon, Emma and I were ready for the off.  To cut a long story short within the first mile I realised my wheel was bit shaky so as I looked down I saw my wheel release catch was NOT secure..... Arghhhhhhhhhhhhh..... Quick stop readjust and back on it.  By this time I lost the group I had started with but in a way that was good because I had something to chase.  First bike leg was about 20 miles...nice flattish route but with a head wind that was a bit of a bitch. I had caught up with my group so I was happy.  At Brent knoll you whacked your bike into first transition, change to running shoes, strip off some layers and off you pop for a 2.5 run up Brent Knoll.  Now I've never actually been up any of the peaks and I think ignorance was bliss... Boy it was steep... So steep you couldn't possibly run up all of it anyway I had some serious go pro filming to do.  The views at the top were pretty amazing and again rather bloody windy.  The descent was worse as it was steeper than the tor and quite slippery.  Again multitask Meschee struck again... Not only was I filming I was high giving everyone I passed.. No rejections today

Back to transition, another quick change and back off on the bike for approx 8 miles to the next peak. Again the wind but I just kept thinking Lanza training. The rush of running down had given me an adrenalin rush and I was hot to trot.  The 8 miles to Brean seemed to take forever and the headwind worse than on the first route.  Straight into 2nd transition quick change and off up another hill. The top of Brean down is also a fantastic place looking out at the sun shining on the sea being blown around like a rag down was actually quite liberating.  At each peak you get a different coloured blob marked on your hand. There was a hill again so steep that walking was the only option.  I was chasing Nick..... Emma was always on my tail... It was like a big game of chase.  The second peak was 3.5 miles long and as always the best part is going back down.

Back into transition and the last bike leg back to the Webbington hotel.  The road was really curvy and there was a bit of a tailwind so as I went bombing round the corners making F1 car noises..... because I can. ( I would insert them here but I wouldn't know how to spell them so I let you improvise!!!)  There were  few little rises that seemed as steep as Mount Everest but last transition
came up really quickly.  One more change ( feeling a little like Mr Bob! Was it Mr Bob who changed
all the time in that old children's program?) I could see Nick in the distance and decided I had to hunt him down.... I was slowly gaining on him but my legs were so heavy I had to walk the last bit of Crook's peak.  Once I got my coloured blob I turned around and decided it was now or never.  I have to say here that weight training has improved my down hill running immensely so I went past Nick like a mountain goat on cocaine but without making strange bleating noises, I save that for the finish line!!!!!  I was on fire.... sprinting over rocky cervices and on the way home.  I went to high five the marshal and the go pro went flying.... it was just like watching a go pro slow movie as we both went to grab it... we both missed and luckily only the case latch broke..... clutching my broken case I carried on running, still high fiving people as I went by...
There it was... the finish line.... 3.44.12.... much faster than I thought I would.  

Being the competitive person I am I had been watching to see how many women had gone by and in my head I was fourth so I didnt hang around for the end.  I was very surprised to hear that I had in fact got third overall and 1st in my age category.... GET IN!!!!! missed the dam presentation though... darn it!!!! Thats twice I have done that.

Hot food waiting for the finishers and I couldn't have any due to my food intolerances and allergies but the very nice man went to kitchen and found something I could have... That my friends is what makes a race..... finishers being looked after and fed and watered. 

Well done to Emma, Nick and Jon who battled through the winds and the peaks.  Thanks to Geoff who did an emergency bike call out on Saturday.. the bad boy was running sweet.
Thanks to Peaky freaky for putting on a challenging but different race.