Well it has been a while….. over 2 years actually since I penned anything on this blog !! Lots has happened, a few tears, lots of laughter, many miles and finally started structured training again. And enjoying the journey, that’s for sure.
I took part in my last planned ‘event’ of the season yesterday, Swim Serpentine, and it was wet ! Both in and out of the water….. 2 miles later and I was presented with the fancy finishers medal and one for the London Classics (Swim Serpentine, Ride 100 and London Marathon) – its as large as a coaster, although I won’t be using it as such !!
I guess the question now is where to store them all ?? The bowl is bursting !
Full exercise schedule today – anyone would think I’m thinking of training for something !
7am : intervals on the dreadmill. 5 x 500m, target time was 2.20-2.25, with a nice recovery. All topped off with 4 x 1 mins full out sprints
Anyone got a view on ‘fasted’ training ? I did that session on an empty stomach, so just wondering what everyone thinks.
6.30pm : a bit of old skool aerobics in a local school hall – massive group, probably 50 people ! It was awesome, even if I do struggle with my lefts and my rights, with some grapevines and cha-cha-chas thrown in for good measure.
7.45pm : Fitness pilates……. core, leg strength and relaxation
9pm : eat, ALOT !!
9.30pm : more laundry in the washing machine
10pm : get into bed to watch Twilight and write blog
10.30pm (prediction) : crash out and sleep through til morning
I’ve been very lazy with my swimming – a potter up and down in the pool, heavy focus on drills rather than fitness and no chance of getting out of breath or feeling uncomfortable.
Today I decided to be a bit more focused and mix it up a little……. it wasn’t massive volume but a timed 500m set (yikes, that wasn’t a great time, so much so I’ll post it the next time !) and 10 x 25m on the 35 seconds.
That was quite enough of heavy breathing for today.
Back to basics now with 3 swims a week, one pool and 2 open water, for the next 3 months……
Anyway, I’ve typed it and shared it in my blog now, so best get it done hadn’t I ?
Well, not sure I did enjoy every pedal stroke from the Olympic park in East London to Southend, Essex but we finished in the sunshine, sat on the prom and ate a big portion on chips so really all-in-all, it was a good day out.
I’m not the best with stop / start cycling in heavy traffic but I held my nerve at traffic lights and roundabouts, had a lot of practice at turning right (every turn seemed to be right) and found the Sunday drivers in Essex to be most polite and patient with 3 girls on tour.
When I look back 2 years from now, I think this morning’s post swim / jog breakfast conversation will be one that has given me the most food for thought and perhaps the kick up the butt I need to get going with triathlons again.
I’m not prepared to commit to ‘paper’ what that means, but in my heart of hearts I think I know and it fills me with excitement and terror, all packaged up with lots of blood sweat and tears along the way.
Step 1 though was to suggest to tomorrow’s cycling buddy that I bring my running shows so we can take a little run-off-the-bike after our 50 mile ride…… Hmmm, I guess you know as well as I do where this is going 🙂
I also wonder how many times we will sit in that same cafe over the next 2 years, talking, planning, scheming and comparing notes ? I’ll guess we will have to see and I’ll keep you posted !
Before anything else though, time for a nap – thinking ahead is a tiring business !
Along with setting up my own business over the summer, I have started my long road to Ironman Austria (why of course, why wouldn’t I do these 2 thing at the same time ?). I say I’ve started because everything between now and June 2015 builds to THAT race but really my focus for training right now is a running event at the end of November and a swimming camp at the beginning of December.
Along the way, I’ve planned some fun things to take part in, and one of those ‘fun’ things was running one of the 17 stages in the Round Norfolk Relay (http://www.roundnorfolkrelay.com/). It does exactly what it says on the tin, a 24 hours, 17 stage running event which starts and finishes in Kings Lynn, following the entire Norfolk border and you need to safely carry a baton through it all :-).
This was my first year getting involved and when I put my hand up in May to the Garden City Runners’ team captain to say ‘yes I’m in’ it sounded so far away and, of course the training would have been done and of course, a 4.30am start time would not be a problem ! As the day of the event came closer I realised that I hadn’t really thought this one through, surprise, surprise and suddenly it occurred to me what all of this meant – logistics !
A few things I needed to consider :
Stages did not start and finish at the same place, so how was I going to get my car ? My stage was the 7.27 miles from RAF Feltwell (somewhere between Thetford and Downham Market on the map above) to Wissington and in the middle of nowhere.
I had also volunteered to cycle with the last few runners, how was I going to get my bike to where it is needed ?
What do you eat when you are due to run 7.27 miles at 4.30am ?
What happens if you take a wrong turn and end up in a field with no-one else ?
As it turned out, a knight in shining armour decided to come along with me and all of the logistics were in place – but what do they say, all the best laid plans ? Hmmm enough said I think on that one.
The weekend came and as the team got under way along the coastal sections, I started to get the buzz of race-day ! I think that was a lot to do with the unknown and how was it going to all unfold. I was also getting updates along the way from Sean, team captain and it was good to hear all the news and see all of the photos – couldn’t wait to get out there and take part.
After spending a restless few hours sleeping in a tent in the pouring rain in Kings Lynn, the alarm went off at 2.45am and we headed to my handover point. By now the team was ahead of schedule and I was due to head off at 4.15am, so on arrival at Feltwell it was a quick warm up, a flashing beacon and ‘caution runners’ sign attached to the car, the required ‘stage start’ photo was taken and I was gone…….. into the night !!
If anyone hasn’t run in the middle of the night, you have to try it ! Now I don’t mean 6am or midnight, I mean the darkest part of the night ! After the wonderfully bright full moon of the previous week, there was a tiny crescent moon, no street lights and very little shades of darkness out there, and for Little miss clumsy here, that meant 100% concentration – no admiring the stars in the bright sky – just focusing on the road in front. A little hic-up with the support car aside (what happens in the depths of Norfolk, stays in the depths of Norfolk right ?), the run was amazing, I loved it ! Something about not having massive crowds at a race, but knowing there are other crazy people around you, waiting for car lights to appear / disappear, not being able to see your garmin so having no real idea how far you have run or how fast….. something very special about that and goes on my ‘hardcore’ list 🙂
My stage was over so quickly, felt like about 10 mins but no, I wasn’t that quick – 40 seconds ahead of my prediction and the baton was passed on to my team-mate, who was off on his 10.5 mile stage.
The rest of the race went off very smoothly – a little supporting bike ride, a dramatic sunrise and a yummy breakfast after it all was done !
A great weekend ! Next year ? Why of course, you don’t really need to ask do you? But a little note to team captain, please something in the day light would be preferrable next time !!
I’m inspired to write an early blog today after a ride out in Hertfordshire this morning on our hybrid bikes. It was tough to get out of bed at 6.30am but the sun was peaking out from behind the low clouds and it had to be done !
A little chilly and a little muddy in places but so worth it 🙂
1st breakfast now……….. 2nd breakfast will be a little later
I’m set up for the day now, ready to work ! Hope you are too 🙂
But it will be worth it ! To cross the finish line at Ironman Austria in June 2015 is going to tough, emotional and exhausting but today I start the training plan………
Actually thinking about it, crossing the start line is going to be tough, emotional and exhausting too – staying healthy and fit throughout the next 10 or so months will be key to ensure consistency in training.
I’ve taken the time to map a few things in the diary between now and then so we will see how things progress. This will be my first time building my own plan, so I’ll be reading lots of blogs for ideas and all suggestions gratefully received !