Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It's a date

I figure maybe if I make a date with myself to get out training over the holiday, I might actually make it. So here goes:

Friday: swim or gym after 2pm meeting
Saturday: run 45 mins fartlek
Sunday: run 1h15 or more, 5-6/10

Monday: swim or bike
Tuesday: run 45 mins 6-7/10
Wednesday: run 1hr
Thursday: walk
Friday: run 1h15 or more, 5-6/10
Saturday: walk
Sunday: run 45 mins 6-7/10

Monday: swim or gym
Tuesday: run 45 mins inc strides
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: Wymondham New Year 10k
Friday: (Kirkby) run 30-45 mins
Saturday: (Kirkby) rest
Sunday: (Kirkby) run 45 mins

One of these will probably get swapped for a long bike ride with the gang - I hope!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


How did the blog get this out of date? Hmm. There may be a few things missing, but for the past couple of weeks I've done:

5/12/08 - step aerobics. Fun :)

6/12/08 - bike ride to Old Buck airfield cafe and back. Total 36 miles, 13.something mph. Still need a battery for my bike computer. Good to get the old gang back on the road, but I desperately need mudguards!

11/12/08 - lunchtime run with Lorraine, felt awful, turned out to be just under 10k at 9:10/mile but still not great fun! Felt like my shoes were too tight, giving me achey and heavy legs. Also it was cold and I didn't warm up for a long time. It was supposed to be efforts, but I just couldn't do it, so Lorraine fartlekked while I plodded...

12/12/08 - step aerobics. Still fun :)

14/12/08 - bunked the club 10k (too muddy, need trail shoes) in favour of a road run, just over an hour around Keswick and Unthank, and 9:15/mile.

16/12/08 - desperately trying to fit things in during a social week, did a round-the-block 42 mins just before a lunch do, managing to crack out 9 min miles. Since I started slow, I must have finished fast! Took me about 30 mins to warm up since it's so cold. Brrrrr.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Short run

A little leg stretch with Marie, who's been out of running for a few weeks. We did well - just over 4 miles in under 40 mins (4.15 miles, 38:40, so 9:18/mile). Very cold (me: long tights, long sleeves, gloves, buff), ice already forming on the roads, but still good to get out, as always.

Quick swim

Squeezed in a swim as I fancy keeping up with step on Fridays. Was in the pool for about 40 mins, and managed 2 full 1-4 pyramids (5s rest per length) and another half, making 42 lengths plus warm up. The first set wasn't much cop really but by the second I was getting into it, and hitting 30s per length or so. I didn't push it too much as I have agreed to run with Marie later!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Chilly but quick

A nice Monday run, 4.75 miles which we completed in 43 minutes, which makes just about 9 min miling. It was pretty cold out there so I was glad to keep moving! Felt like a sustainable pace, we tried for a sprint finish but I wasn't quite up to the challenge. Great run overall, though.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Stepping up

Deprived of swim buddy Jenna, I went to step at lunchtime for old times' sake. It was fun, although the routines aren't as complex as they used to be which is a shame. But I think I'll try and shuffle swimming to another day and keep coming to the class, as it's something a bit different. I reckon my calves and abs will ache tomorrow!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thank goodness for friends!

Easy run tonight in preparation for half marathon exertions over the weekend (organising, not running, for most of us), a familiar route via Bluebell and Unthank. I had to pause on Unthank, visited the lovely Alex to make use of her facilities since I really couldn't run any more, and then resumed. Was slightly concerned when I failed to catch the rest of the group: they should have gone South Park - Bluebell - North Park, so I went down North Park planning to meet them coming the other way. Saw the fast guys who were doing 3 min efforts (x10!!!), but none of my group. Oh well - continued to Bluebell and then to Fiveways and in that way. Turns out the other guys did Christchurch instead of the ring road, and back on the Avenues for a shorter run.

My run totalled 4.8 miles and on the watch I think I had 43 minutes or so (I reset it without really making a note) which would make a smidgen under 9:00/mile. OK, so I had a break in the middle but that seems quite quick, so maybe it was longer. It was defnitely 40-something though, and I did feel I was going quite well.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Recovery run

Nice short run post-Hereward. Went pretty well until I needed the loo, as always on the Avenues heading home. Had to give up and walk on Cow Drive. Overall run was about 4 miles and average about 10 min miles.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hereward - 75% there!

In more ways than one.

Poor Simon, who only stepped in at the last moment to cover for Andrew, was laid low with some nasty bug overnight and couldn't run. But the three of us remaining (me, Rosie, Rob) decided to go for it anyway - we were already up, ready to go at 6am, what else were we going to do?

Also this race gave me a chance to run leg 3 of 4, so the master plan to do all the way from Peterborough to Ely is 75% complete.

The weather was, er, changeable. We started the journey in snow, following yesterday's flurry and overnight freeze. South of Attleborough the snow faded away, and the north of Huntingdon, it started to rain. At Peterborough it turned into icy drizzle, and Rosie and I left the multi-layered Rob to warm up and start the race while we navigated to March.

By March the icy drizzle was turning to sleet. After a pit stop in the stinky leisure centre (sorry, but it was) we waited out on the playing field, where it intensified to hail. Ow.

Rob came in in about 47 minutes (results TBC), and Rosie set off. Once we'd convinced the car to start, the hail had turned to fluffy snow, and was settling on the road. Negotiating a roundabout on the way out almost got interesting, and the journey to Whittlesey was conducted at 35mph with not much of the famous wide-open fenland views on display. However, as we sat and waited in the car park, it cleared a bit, although by now there was half an inch or more of snow/slush underfoot.

Turns out we waited a bit too long, as upon sauntering over to the changeover I was met by the already-arrived Rosie. No warm up for me, just time to throw her my fleece and set off. That was OK - plenty of time to warm up en route really. Having had Rob and Rosie running ahead of me, I was up with the faster teams, and I reckon I was overtaken by at least 20-25 people over the nearly-11 miles. That was slightly depressing, but I just had to knuckle down and run my own race. However, everybody was friendly and encouraging, in a shared "why do we do this??" kind of way. I reckon it was almost 50% on hard or compacted surfaces (with snow) and the rest on mud and field margins (with snow). Next year I need trail shoes, as over some parts I barely had traction.

It wasn't the greatest run - starting off-road took more out of me than I thought, and by the time I hit the farm tracks around 6k I was already getting tired, but picked up a bit on the harder surface. The field edges about halfway really took it out of me, but my attempt at refuelling with jelly babies led to ickiness and stitch so I abandoned that. Just before 12k I gave in and pit-stopped behind some trees (the best cover available), but ran better after that, although found the rough tractor tyre tracks hard going. Finally at 13k we hit the road for the last time, but I didn't feel I had much left, despite the lovely encouragement from everyone passing. I'll even forgive the guy who said "last km" with a mile left. At 17.6km the village hall hove into view and I was extremely glad to see it (even just staved off the last potential overtaker).

However, I did have the best weather. It was clear all the way, great views over the monochrome fens (with wind turbines) into threatening clouds in the distance. Just as I rounded the penultimate corner, the sun came out. However, I was warm all the way. Thank goodness I hadn't gone with the stupid idea of wearing my waterproof! I set off in long tights, long sleeves, club vest, headband, one buff on my head and another around my neck, and gloves. By 1 mile, the gloves were off. Another half mile, and the neck-buff was off. Half a mile more and I rolled up my sleeves. Towards 3 miles I pushed back the head-buff a bit. At that point I hit equilibrium, thankfully. But I was lucky to avoid snow, sleet, hail, rain, and anything else the clouds had dumped on Rob and Rosie. Just as well, as I had about 1h45 to enjoy it. No doubt my split will be even worse, as I have the time Rosie waited at March to add! But 1:45 would give a mile average of 9:37, which given the terrain and the stop is not too bad really.

At that, we called it a day. Rob had toyed with the idea of also running stage 4, but it was not to be. Probably for the best! We tried the local Welney pub, but it was full, so we came home via te Angel at Larling, and rounded off the day rather well.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Get in lane

A good continuous swim today. After swimming with one other person and then on my own for a while, I was joined by two guys I vaguely recognised from the club. With them swimming fairly fast, it felt like a training session and I was able to step up a gear! Really enjoyed it, no idea what I did though.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Declined the offer of Norvic Drive efforts for a good steady run with Granville, Hugh and Claudia. 4.7 miles, no watches among us but it was about 45 mins. Felt really good, looking forward to Sunday apart from the heavy snow forecast!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Very short

Squeezed in a quick run (25 mins!) before meeting up for some Freecycle stuff. Claudia wasn't having a great run so we stuck together. It was a good recovery after yesterday!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

10 is the magic number

Ten miles today, preparing for the Hereward. Just over 4 miles to Whitlingham, and then the club 10k. Getting down there took 37:30 (9:08/mile), the 10k was 54:04 (8:51). Not as good as last time, but given a 4 mile "warm up" and then running on my own, I'm happy with that.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Old favourites

The same bike ride as 2 weeks ago, just different company. Same lack of bike computer battery though, so no idea of time or speed. Rosie, Nigel and I met Kate at Lincoln's for a general chinwag and catch up. Lovely!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Must try harder

For the first time in ages, a proper effort-based swim. 10 mins warm up, then a 1-8 pyramid, with 5s rest per length swum. Found it hard to stick to 30s per length, and was down to 31-32 or even slower (on average) on the long ones. But nonetheless, I did it. I think I should probably try and get back to 2 swims per week, but when?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lurking at the back

Another run a bit like Monday - I wasn't slow in the grand scheme of things, but found myself there at the back. We did a pyramid run, 1 to 5 minutes and back again, 1 min rest each time. I was with Claudia, who was getting left further behind than me, so felt we should stick together. I just turned around about 30s before the end of the runs to pick her up again, no problem. We cut the route short, going from North Park to the Avenues via Northfields school instead of the ring road, and finished about the same time as everyone else. 25 minutes of effort seems like quite a lot - on the summer it was more like 16-18.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

That's better

Nearly 10k, 55:30. Into the wind all the way to Fiveways, felt good apart from that. Works out as 9:09/mile on average. Thought it might have been a bit quicker, but it was so much better than yesterday I don't care.

Would have run from UEA but I turned up to find a sleeveless top in my bag! Uh-uh. Had to bike home and do my own thing.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Not fun

A Monday run, but I was at the back - there were no 3-milers and all the 5-milers were fast. Lorraine agreed the pace was quick, and we weren't even keeping up with the rest! We looped around by Waterworks Rd and back on the Avenues. Felt breathless by Old Palace Rd, so must remember to take inhaler next time (thankfully Lorraine had hers). I think I just went off too fast and couldn't sustain it. Then I started needing the loo, and ended up walking 3-4 times between the Avenues and home. Bah. Not sure of the overall pace as I stopped my watch when I decided to walk back. Must have been sub-9 min miles for the first bit, at least to the Gibraltar Gardens (although that is mostly downhill....).

Annoying. Hope it's better tomorrow.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Eight miler (just about)

Out at Blakeney for a girls' weekend. Not the world's most successful route, but I made it nonetheless.

Out along the coast path to Morston - bit muddy, windy too, but never mind. Reached the quagmire bit just beyond Morston - impassable in elastic-laced shoes. Back to Blakeney.

Met Anna just leaving Blakeney towards Morston, she decided to join me and come the other way. We followed the road to the east, which turned into a path, which turned into two "private - no access" gates. Back to Blakeney.

Finally, we just kept going on the coast path, out to the north and then following it east. Some very muddy bits again, really quite slippery. I turned back at the time I'd judged would give me 1h20, Anna carried on to make up an hour for her. One the way back it started to sleet briefly. Joy!

Back up the hill by the White Horse - ouch - just about managed to keep it going. Back at the cottage in 1h16, 12.6km total which is 7.8 miles. I wanted 8 but that will do. 9:45/mile, OK considering the conditions and it's the longest run since who knows when.

And I got route 100,000 on Runmap :)

Friday, November 7, 2008


Beige swim. No watch, not really up for it, just wanted to get out of the office. Barely scraped 40 minutes and didn't count lengths!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


My 300th post, and a good run to report. Headed out with Lorraine, along to Colney Lane and around Cringleford, then Unthank Road to Christchurch and back via Earlham and the Avenues, at which point I realised I was at risk of being late for my meeting, so sped up :) Hamstring was niggling slightly, as was my back which randomly played up yesterday, but overall a good pace which averaged at 8:46/mile. Much quicker than I would have gone on my own! Not quite getting up to the distance I need for Hereward, but a good run nonetheless.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Easy run

Out around Bowthorpe with the intermediate group tonight, a nice steady social run with Claudia and some others. One or two stops to keep everyone together, and finished in 51:30 for spot-on 10 min miling. My hamstring was feeling a bit tight towards the end, in exactly the same place as after the Tri-Anglia 10k, so I need to be careful of that I think. My mileage isn't really where I would like it to be with the Hereward coming up, but equally I don't want to injure myself.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

...and back on the bike too!

Failed to go for a run yesterday as I got caught up in other things all day before going out for the evening.

However, Clare and I managed to get on our bikes for the first time in ages this morning and went over to Hingham (OK, so there was a bribery element in the form of tea and a toasted teacake!). The weather was a bit gungy - as were the roads after some serious rain last night - but after our pit stop the sun came out and it was glorious. The trip was only marred by a puncture about 4 miles from home, but that was soon fixed. Given the amount of crap on the roads I am amazed we only had the one.

Can't comment on time or pace as my cycle computer battery has expired! But it was a nice leg stretch (and good tea :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Back in the pool

Being unable to walk yesterday, and having a cold coming on, I stuck with the Conac plan of envelope stuffing and failed to go for an alternative run. Today it was back to normal with a lunchtime swim with Jenna. Warm up, then 10 x 25m on 35s, and 10 x 100m on 70s, and a bit of a cool down.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Setting the tone

Having a full evening and free lunchtime, I went back to aerobics for the first time in ages. "Yogalates" or "Legs Bums & Tums" on offer - I chose the latter. Feeling OK at the moment but I have the feeling I may pay tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Getting chilly

Had a rest day yesterday - that and went to the beer festival :)

Tonight was a club run but as I had to run home (no bike lights, duh) I parted company with them at Trinity St and cut back along Unthank. Distance was 9.8km / 6 miles and I finished in 55:30 (9:15/mile). I probably sped up a bit when I was on my own, and had a strong finish up Church Lane and to home.

It's getting really chilly, was threatening to rain (and likely to turn to snow if it does), but I think the rest of the country is supposed to get it worse than us.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Grey 10k

Today's 10k in Great Yarmouth was grey, in terms of my performance and in terms of the weather and surroundings. It used to be (I think) the Promenade 10k - at least, that's the 10k run I have done in Yarmouth before. That was maybe somewhat dull in that it was a 2-lap course, but while running through the industrial wasteland of the dock area today, I kind of missed the smell of donuts and the random wandering pedestrians.

I was gunning for a PB - totally up for it, having scored 52:22 last week at Whitlingham. Surely the lack of hills and off-road sections would see me beat 51:49? I went out pretty well, but after 4km couldn't sustain the pace I had set myself. After that I had patches where I felt OK, but patches where I just had nothing. My legs might as well have been in a different time zone. Came over the line in 53:09. Hmph.

Splits: 5:15 5:00 5:04 5:02 5:22 5:40 5:18 5:34 5.30 5.21

The best thing I can take home is that at least I went out on target pace, and held that for 4k. That and the "interesting" ceramic medal... :)

Edit: I lied. Turns out I also ended up with £15 for my part in the second-placed Senior Ladies team! So that's paid for my pub lunch :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Lapsed again

Not on the training, but definitely on the blog! So, another one of those quick summary posts, and then back to normal.

Over a month to cover - eek.

Time out: the Round Norfolk Relay weekend (20/21 Sept), during which my support team and I (as team manager) saw the CoNAC ladies' team round the 17 stages/198 miles in 24h31:42, lopping 21 minutes off the ladies' record and claiming 7 stage wins including 4 new stage records. Well done team!

Then 10 days' holiday in Devon. Took the running gear, but... well, there were hills! To a girl who runs in Norfolk, it might as well have been the Alps! So did a bit of walking and a lot of eating and drinking instead.

Since then:

Running is going well. I'm getting quicker and feeling more comfortable. Most immediate goal is the Yarmouth 10k this Sunday, and then getting up to 10 miles ready for the Hereward Relay in November. Did a Tri-Anglia 10k last weekend (first of the club series) and got in at 52:22. Yarmouth is flatter and on-road, so maybe I could be looking at a new PB...

Cycling has taken a bit of a back seat - actually I haven't been on the bike since Waveney. I need to rectify that but am finding it hard to get together with anyone at the weekends (and I am rubbish at cycling on my own!).

Swimming is OK but I have given up the evening sessions after a couple of bouts of really painful cramp (as in can't move, almost crying with pain!). I'm still getting at least one daytime swim in on a Friday and need to get in another, maybe Tues or Sat.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Rock steady

Excellent steady run, with Marie, Ellie and Granville. Really nice pace, sustainable and steady, just about conversational for me. On reaching the Sportspark (about 4.5 miles) I did another loop around the block, a bit quicker, which finished off the run nicely. Six miles, 54:39, 9:06 per mile. Wow!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Another recovery

Around the block with Sophie and Duncan. 40 mins to the bus turnaround (4.3 miles), and then we walked back up the hill for a cool down. Second half/last third or so of the route was definitely quicker. Good run - 9:23/mile or so.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Was a little apprehensive about this one, having felt like I had a cold coming on yesterday (endless sneezing and runny nose). Getting up at 6am didn't help! But once I got into the routine, I was fine. Registration, transition, changed, ready to go. Bring it on! Was number 23 going to be as lucky for me as 24 was last week? I see I'm in a wave with Julia Green from Ipswich (the winner of my age category in May, when I was second) - can I keep her in sight and maybe beat her this time? Can I break 1:05? We'll see.

Swim: into a lane with Sally and Lyn counting, a smile and good luck from Kerry doing her swim manager bit, and it was off. A good first length but I felt tired quickly, not as good as in the Sportspark last week. There's no magic catch, no strength in my pull. Oh well - just try to hang on and do as well I can. 16 lengths fly by, and it's out of the water (inelegantly as always) and to my bike. Look at my watch - 7:51. In my amazement I stop the timer, instead of hitting lap. Duh. Transition is slow as I have too much unnecessary stuff like buff and gloves. Thinking about it afterwards, I don't need those for a sprint! Kerry shouts at me to get a move on 'cos she wants her tea...

Bike: off to a poor start by failing to get clipped in on the mount line. I'm just standing there pawing ineffectually at it. Eventually find it and I'm off. Settle in along the Flixton road, no other competitors in sight. My rival is long gone, I reckon - she was going very strongly in the swim. The long climb out of Flixton seems longer every year, but there is a flash of hi-vis in the distance. Eventually catch up just after the little bridge, and overtake on the hill. Manage to reel in another couple on the main road, where it's getting windy, but all of them were from previous waves. Finish well, just dropping below 18mph average. No crap to take from transition, just change shoes and go.

Run: I felt pretty good throughout the run - definitely the strongest of the three I have done. I even powered up the big hill and was surprised to see the turn point so soon! Overtook one person from a previous wave. Time was 18:05 but the time in Waveney2 does include T2, which it doesn't for the May edition of the race (where I got 18:12). I got 17:57 last Waveney2 though, which should be measured the same way.

Finish time 1:05:23, which I was really pleased with. It's still about 4 minutes off the winning time for my category (Julia Green again), but it's a PB - and to be honest I had not done much (OK, barely any) bike training, and that let me down a bit.


W2'08 (W1'08) [W2'07]

Swim: 7:28 (8:01) [8:46]
T1 + bike: 39:50 (40:02*) [40:47] *includes T2 as well
T2 + run: 18:05 (18:12*) [17:57] *does not include T2
Total: 1:05:23 (1:06:15) [1:07:30]

My bike computer said 17.9mph average, compared to 18.8mph last time, which is a disappointing drop, but not unexpected given the lack of training. It was a little bit windy but not that much.

Overall position: 61/114 (88/130) [72/115]
Women's race position: 9/29 (10/31) [15/36]
Age group position: 2/5 (2/7) [5/10]

Official results - W2'08 report - W1'08 report

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bye bye fishies

Last lake swim opportunity for me today, so I wanted to go. Swam slowly at the back with Nigel and another girl I don't know. Not many out on the deck, a far cry from the 40-50 in peak season. It was cold! We didn't hang around long at the buoy, and I had a little sneezing fit halfway back. Brrrrr. But it was clear, the sun came out, and there were little wispy bits of mist on the water. And a few fish far below. Until next year...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Straight swim

Just swimming to take a break from the office and keep myself ticking over, working on a few stroke niggles (catch, and also turning, which I am not efficient at in the slightest) but mainly just swimming. No counting, no timing.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

In the pink

Eaton Park efforts - 4 x 4 min, 2 min recovery. Ran them at the sort of pace I am hoping for on Sunday, rather than all-out - felt strong and the pace was sustainable if tough. Ended the run with a nice pink sunset :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Swim sprints

With an eye to Waveney on Sunday:

400m warm up
400m sprint - 7:36 (!)
200m recovery
200m sprint - 3:49
200m recovery
400m sprint - 8:01

The first sprint was excellent. Last week's catch drills seem to have made a difference, I can really feel myself pulling through the water. Second sprint was OK, but I was glad it was 200m. Made a point of recovering well before the last one, but my arms were tired and I just couldn't find the rhythm. Still, 8 minutes is pretty good for a tired sprint!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Recovery run

4.2 miles, 42 minutes, just what the doctor ordered. Legs were heavy to start with but feeling just about OK by the end. Rest day tomorrow - I reckon doing the recovery today will cut down on the soreness.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Out of nowhere - North Norfolk Tri

I didn't even blog that I had entered the new North Norfolk Tri. A test event for a bigger version next year, it was advertised about a month ago on the Tri Anglia forum, and I wavered a bit before entering over 2 weeks later. Not having been training specifically for another Olympic event, not having done a sea swim before, already having planned to go camping that weekend... all factors against. But there seemed to be a few people from the club up for having a go, including Trish, and the planned camping was at Stiffkey (approx 4 miles away...) so why not? A sea swim is still in water, after all.

The forecast for the weekend was not great. But compared to the severe weather and flood warnings elsewhere in the country it was peachy. We moved our planned camping trip from Fri & Sat nights to just Sat (typically, Fri evening then turned out to be lovely), and headed up to the coast on Saturday morning. One double-back later (to retrieve the crate containing basically all my tri gear bar wetsuit and bike) and a stop off at the Runner's Centre for some gels (as learned from Norwich tri) and we were there. Having driven through a cloudburst near Fakenham, we were pleased to see the campsite in sunshine, mostly dry, and just a bit windy, with Mike and Tracey waiting for us. The tent went up with a minimum of fuss, we scarfed down some lunch, and headed out for a walk while the going was still good. Three miles each way to the Anchor at Morston, and barely a raindrop. Later on we headed to the Red Lion, had a few drinks (mine of the H2O variety) and ordered food. What I needed was pasta, and lots of it, but what I had was partridge. Turned out to be a tough little bird, impossible to eat except by picking it up and gnawing. Not sure it was ideal pre-race food but I compensated with a couple of chunks of breakfast/energy bar back at the tent.

A half decent night's sleep, interrupted by a scavenging rat in the tent, but fine once the earplugs went in. Sunday morning dawned grey and wet. Very, very wet. I wondered about pulling out, not fancying the bike leg in that. Text exchange with Trish revealed it was no better inland, but she was up for the race. Having cooked porridge in the rain, things seemed to brighten a little - the weather was coming in off the sea, and (whisper) blue sky was faintly visible. The drive to Wells was through monster puddles and waves of grit washed off the verges and fields, but the radio said things would ease up. At race HQ, it had just about stopped raining, so I registered and began to set up transition - one minor panic upon noticing the nut had fallen off my front wheel, but there it was on the floor of the car. Trish and other Tri-Anglia faces arrived, and Mark went back to the site to pack up the tent. I changed into my spangly new tri suit and finished off transition (forgetting to pump up the tyres).

We checked out the swim - route, water temperature and exit route. Route looked fine, yellow buoys all the way. Temperature was a bit low but bearable. Exit route was a short stretch of stony beach, from which I picked up 3 or 4 bits of broken glass without really looking for them :( Then Trish spotted Graham (?) among the spectators, who agreed to put our shoes down on the beach for us once the swim started, which helped massively.

After the race briefing I finally remembered to stick some air in my tyres, and then it was off over the road for the swim, with just a minute or so to acclimatise in the water. Worse than the temperature was the taste - yuk. Salt water swimming is not for me, but I figured as long as I could avoid a mouthful, I would be OK. The start was the craziest mass start I have done, with 20+ people trying to get a hold on about 10 feet of pontoon which formed the start, then battling for clear water. Hanging back for a few seconds didn't do much good as the route was quite constrained for the first bit by a parallel jetty. Still, no injuries and the goggles stayed on, so all was well. For the next 26 minutes my only thoughts were "yuk", "where's the next buoy?", and "YUK". I reckon the swim course was a bit short, as 26 minutes is unknown territory for me unless I have evolved an outboard motor. And that included a few moments of wobbling trying to get my shoes on! Really nice to have lots of support, Rosie and other Tri Anglia people were there, plus lots of interested passers by. And the sun had come out too!

First priority in transition - a drink. Rinse and spit. Seawater is just grim. Was surprised to see Kate Scotter appear 30s later, and realised I was first lady out of the water. Kate's speedy transition saw her out before me though. The mount line was a bit tricky, being on a hill, and (probably like most people) I opted to mount on the road. The route went through Wells, with a bit of Sunday traffic to contend with, and out on to the main road via two foot-down stops, all pretty smooth. Managed to grab a gel on the straight by the cottage hospital, and repeated that on all 3 laps. Just after that was a 250m stretch of gravel drive, pretty nerve-wracking but I managed to stay upright despite the growing crosswind on each lap.

That led into Holkham park, where the cattle grids were boarded (great) but the cattle themselves were determined to hog the road. Lap 1 - cows on the road, cycled round them on the grass. Lap 2 - they'd moved just about off the road, no need to detour. Lap 3 - there they were running along the road in front of me and a fellow competitor, and the marshal ahead was desperately trying to take up the boards from over the grid before they stampeded through. Talk about bad timing! I couldn't walk over the grid in my bike shoes, but the marshal scrambled to open the side gate for me so not too much time lost. Poor chap had tried to turn them back but they chased him. On the first lap I also passed Kate, victim of a puncture, and realised I was now first female.

The rest of the bike leg was uneventful! There are a couple of long drags in Holkham, but a nice downhill to sweeten things, and the road outside (parallel with) the park wall is excellent. Even the main road didn't have too much traffic, and there was some good speed to be had. I averaged 16.2mph, partly due to terrain and partly due to trying to conserve some energy for the run. Total riding time just under 1:30.

Back into transition, more support was in evidence (Marie, Nigel, Rob) and I dashed out at a steady plod, deciding not to waste seconds finding my last energy gel. That might have been a mistake, but I managed to keep up the steady plod for the whole run, with just a few walk breaks including one at the massively welcome halfway water station. Clearly I was tired, and my legs were protesting, but nowhere near as much as at Norwich. It felt very slow but at least I was moving! The run route was dead flat, although devoid of shade for most of it. As the race had started at the apparently civilised time of 11:30am (high tide), I was running from 1:30-2:30 or so, and it was hot - thankfully with a tiny bit of breeze. In the last km I was wishing I'd had the gel, and then spotted a bag of jelly beans dropped by some other competitor. Not sure whether I was a scav or a womble, but I picked them up and chewed one! Maybe that gave me the last little boost I needed, as I was able to sprint over the line for that much-wanted sub-3hr finish (by 31 seconds).

Official times were:

Swim - start to T1 entry: 26:22
Bike - T1 entry to T2 entry: 1:32:08
Run - T2 entry to finish: 1:00:59
Total 2:59:29

Third from last finisher, and first lady! Kate and Trish succumbed to punctures, and I think Debbie finished the bike and elected not to run. Tina was last finisher and second lady, and very happy :) I was really pleased to get first, although I fully appreciate it was down to luck (no punctures and little competition), so if anything I was even more pleased to break that 3hr barrier, especially having not focused my training on this race. (That said, I think the swim was short so you probably can't really compare this race with Norwich... but it's a nice time barrier to beat nonetheless!)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Tapering run

Having postponed the planned camping trip until tomorrow, I found myself free to do a gentle tapering run, with Lizzie for company. Up through the golf course and over to the park, once around (via the Farmhouse :) and back along Bluebell. 4 miles, 42 mins for me (couple of little walk breaks), a nice steady pace and an enjoyable run. The rain even stopped!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Back and forth on efforts in Eaton Park tonight, on the main path loop - 2 mins, 1 min recovery, turn around, same again, don't turn, same again... then it got a bit hazy. Sometimes regrouping on the recoveries, sometimes not. Who knows. Anyway, a good session.

I think I went off slow on the first one, and overcompensated on the second as I finished it still ahead of everyone else. It was downhill after that (not literally, unfortunately). By the last rep I was pretty tired, and also conscious that I should not wear myself out before Sunday! Lesson - don't get all cocky on rep 2 of 8.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Back to school

Back to the high school pool for the first time in a month, armed with an energy drink. No cramp! But also not a very tough session - lots of drill, focusing on catching the water and pulling yourself forward. Towards the end I could feel that I probably would cramp if I kept going. So maybe not solved yet.

400m warm up
2 x (25m fists, 25m full stroke)
2 x (25m "OK sign", 25m full stroke)
2 x (25m one-finger, 25m full stroke) [why does this seem harder than fists?!]
then some more things that I have forgotten including kick, side-kick and possibly pull
200m front crawl
100m own choice (slow front crawl :)

I did notice on the full-stroke lengths mixed in with the drills that I could get down to 22-23 SPL. An improvement on 27-28, my usual rate when going fast.

No exercise yesterday as I was wherry viewing/crewing all day.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Another steady hour

Just a bit further this time! 6.3 miles, time approx an hour but I forgot my watch... lovely day though!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Steady hour

Nice social run with Lizzie, round the block via Keswick Hall, which I made up to an hour by tagging on the bridlepath and Ipswich Rd. 6 miles in an hour - perfect. After the rain, too, so it was a bit cooler but still quite humid.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Same old

Same old lake swim, a bit slower than usual but I think the buoy was quite a distance out today. 18 mins either way. Water was very clear, not too cold, and even though I know it can't be true I would swear there was a current against us on the way out!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Gym bunny II

Same as Wednesday but without the abs, and doing the biceps with individual weights. No time to think, so took the easy option!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


A bit of short, sharp fun out with Lorraine and Anita at lunchtime, taking it in turns to nominate efforts. 4.8 miles in 44 minutes (including efforts and recoveries), so 9:16/mile average but including some real full-on sprints as well as walk breaks.

Warm up to Eaton Park, then:
NE corner past speedway track to first crossroads
SW corner to exit by yacht pond
alley between Buckingham Rd and Unthank Rd (short hard sprint)
along Sunningdale from Wentworth Green to bollards (sustained effort)
along Greenways from Atmere Close to Cranleigh rise (short hard sprint)
up Ebbisham Drive from Greenways to first corner and down again (Kenyan hill)
Waitrose car park entrance to far end of Eaton bridge
Newmarket Rd from Newmarket Close to Colney Lane (hill)
Colney Lane from Cringleford Chase to Newfound Drive (sustained) then to next telephone pole (sprint)
Then cool down via the woods, metal bridge and across the field to Chemistry arch.
Full route.

Really good fun - exhausting, and we've all got wobbly legs now, but definitely good fun!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gym bunny

A bit dull, but it serves its purpose.

5 mins bike - warm up
10 mins stepper
10 mins rower (ow, forearms)
10 mins stepper
tricep pulldowns, 3 x 12 @ 10kg
bicep curls, 3 x 12 @ 10kg (bar)
abs, 50 straight & 25 each side

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Getting better at this

Another good run, over an hour, average closer to 9:30/mile. Things are looking up.

Went to work via the city on the bus this morning, so decided to run home. Went out with Rosie (on a recovery after a 16 miler, I can't usually keep up with her) , did the Bowthorpe marshes loop and then continued up the Avenues and round the ring road, totalling 7.5 miles. I did have a couple of stops (loo stop back at the Sportspark, and buying spinach (!) at Waitrose), but running time was 1:10. Lots of bits where I felt really strong and comfortable, and just flying along. I know that it would have looked different to outside observers (substitute bimbling for flying) but to me it was good!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Intwood double loop

7am - not a cloud in the sky. Breakfasted and on the road by 8am, out on the Intwood loop... what the hell, figured I would do it twice. Wind was blowing homewards, making the Ketteringham straight a bit of a drag, but on the second loop I was just shy of 20mph average (5.75 miles in 17:24). A bit tough into the wind but I just kept pushing, and really enjoyed the ride. But I felt justified in a nice easy cycle home! Back for 9:15, clouds just beginning to build. Ah, bank holidays.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Early run

Well, ish :) Was going to bike to Trish's but with the weather not so good and the start put back to 10am I thought I should do an early run and free up the rest of the day for doing stuff with Marks' mum who was visiting.

So, 10.6k in 1:02 (great - 9:25/mile and the start was slow), a bit damp but nothing too bad, and then a shower and... sitting watching the Olympics closing ceremony until after 3pm when we finally went out. Oh well.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Lake swim

Another great lake swim, just under 30 mins for the round trip (excluding break), swimming with Trish and Chrissie and Penny, and managing not to cause carnage. Especially on the return leg, I just felt like I really got into the flow, and could have gone on much longer. Not so many fishies to put me off this week either!

Friday, August 22, 2008

"Steady" run

"I'd like to do an hour steady" I said, thinking 10 min miles. "OK" Lorraine said. Not sure what we were up to, it was steady in the sense of a more or less consistent pace, but averaging out at 9 minute miles with a bit of a walk break (when I went over on my ankle running up the golf course hill) is not exactly what I planned. Not bad though :) Near as dammit 10k, in 54 minutes.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Counting strokes

Having already done a longer swim, I went back to counting strokes today. When I really think about it, I can get as low as 19. When I try and swim fast, it's back up to 25 or so. The key seems to be the long push all the way back to hip level. I think I am getting the catch to be a bit more automatic now, though.

I also put in four indivdual sprint lengths, just for fun. Hard to time on your own of course, but seemed to be consistently 22 seconds. Raaaa.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wroxham race 3

Nice evening for a race... I was feeling ready for it, not too nervous, up for a PB. Just missed out on that, still had a good race, but got left behind by old speedy legs, this time at 2.75k instead of 4.9k! Splits: 4:55, 4:44, 5:23(!), 5:00, 4:53, total 24:55 (PB 24:33). Official time 25:06 - I saw the clock tick over as I rounded the corner. Disappointed that I couldn't squeeze a few more seconds on that last k, but maybe that meant I had given it everything earlier on. Mark's time 24:18. Think what he could do if he trained...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Long swim

2400m today. With Wroxham coming up tomorrow, I thought it was better not to run, but to do this week's swims Tues and Thurs. But knowing I would be missing a Tri-Anglia session I made up my mind to do an hour (and do it properly!).

400m warm up

50m on 1:15
100m on 2:30
50m on 1:15
200m on 4:45
Total 400m in 9:45 - repeat x 4

400m cool down

Pacing was pretty consistent. I only went over 30s per 25m on a couple of the 200m reps, and managed to hit 52s for one incredible 50m. The rests were just about right, although a goal would be to shorten them to 10s/20s/30s in the future. I still really need to work on my turns. Not necessarily learning to tumble, but just doing them faster!

I forgot to take a drink apart from water - in the very last set I felt my legs getting heavy, and was a bit wary of cramp, but it was fine. But next time I will try that. The Lucozade Sport lemon one I tried was fine for cycling.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Little run

No need for me with the beginners, so I was off with the 4-milers. We went around the old tow path, and I added on a loop via Fiveways - total 4.6 miles. I did it in just under 44 mins, excluding a cheeky pit stop in the middle, so just under 9:30 per mile. I know the Fiveways loop (on my own) improved the average, but that's not bad for a Monday run. Mark did well too.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Good swim, aborted run

Excellent swim in the lake this morning, partnering Trish - we pushed each other along a bit I think. Buoy was a bit further out, making 1600m round trip we were told. We completed in around 31 minutes - didn't time it as such, but did look at my watch. It was cold to start with, and I felt like I was gasping a little, but just forcing myself to breathe on a normal rhythm helped, and I was soon into the flow. There is more weed and lots of shoals of fish, which occasionally surprise me and throw me off stroke, but I am still loving the lake.

Had a little run with Lizzie later on too, the plan was to run to hers, run around the Waitrose loop and back to hers, and then back to mine, maybe along the lane for a while to make up an hour. I got to her place needing the loo, and by the time we got back to the Church Lane track, I was needing it again. Couldn't even manage to jog down the lane to home, had to stop and walk. After stopping in at home, I couldn't manage to get out and do the rest, although I knew I should have done.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Just swim

No session tonight, so it was a lunchtime swim for me. Started OK - 400 warm up, then decided to do last week's session again. So, kick off with 400 fast. Forgot my watch so had to squint at the clock on the wall, which said the 400m took me 7 minutes. That'll be 350m then, unless I have found the secret of dropping 4 secs per 25m (unlikely). Oops. Next 200m - 4 mins. Tick. Next 200m - 3 mins. Crap. Can I not even count to four now? (The number of times I touch the far wall - I do know 200m is 8 lengths.)

At that point I gave up counting and just swam. And quite enjoyed it too. I think my catch is improving, on the left (weaker) side especially. I still can't turn very well using my left arm, though, it's all slow and clumsy. Not that using the right is much to write home about, but there's definitely a difference.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Long run

Mostly on my own, although a nice steady start with Granville. Wanted to do 1:10 and hit 1:09:30, which was good enough for me! Route works out as 7.45 miles, so that's 9:20/mile - had a quick sneaky loo stop at the Rose, but otherwise it was steady. I'm really pleased with that. I was definitely tiring towards the end but was determined to make it to 70 minutes - ended up zigzagging quite a lot but it was quite good fun actually! Passed one chap on Earlham near the Beeches only to pass him again near the police station, so no idea what he thought I was up to.

Nothing yesterday as I was wherry viewing all day.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bike + run

Suffolk Coastal bike ride: 35 miles - Mark's longest ride ever. Average 11.5mph - not bad given that there was a headwind all the way back. Nice and sunny, though. Don't think I'll bother with another Bike Events ride - pretty expensive for what it was, we could have done the same ride on our own and enjoyed it just as much.

Then, while chilling on the sofa, Lizzie called to see if I fancied a run, so I went around the block (via Waitrose) with her, just under 40 mins at social pace :) . Got wet thanks to a little cloudburst, but even that was quite nice!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Swim + run

Swim - abot 35 mins, sticking with partner Julie who wasn't having such a good session. Plenty of time for me to work on my stroke and breathing, and the sun came out. Excellent.

Then a run - aiming for a longish (1hr+) slowish run, I did 6.8 miles in 1:07, so just under 10 min miles. It was pretty warm, and due to laundry failure I was in long leggings, plus I didn't take a drink and hadn't drunk much at/after swimming. So a bit of a struggle at times, but I was pleased to keep a steady pace and break the hour barrier.

Friday, August 8, 2008

What a difference a day (and a half) makes

It's *definitely* the Wednesday session that is the problem, either the pool or the time.

Today, swimming 11:45am at the Sportspark:

400m warm up (8:10 - bit quicker than I should have really)
10 x 100m sprints on 2:20
400m cool down (9:05 - more like it)

No cramp, felt wonderful really - OK the 100m times were dropping off a little as I went along, but they were all between 1:55 and 2:00. Excellent session. This is how it should be!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Five times... er...

Eaton Park efforts again. Same route/loop as last week, but just five laps of the grass this time with 1:30 recovery. It was initially billed as "somewhere between 800m and 1km" but after the first lap (which I did in 3:07), that was hastily revised downwards. Someone's GPS suggested 0.42 miles, which we roughly converted at the time to 640m, and GMaps agrees with the properly worked out conversion which is 675m.

My times were 3:07, 3:07, 3:10, 3:11, 3:04. It felt sustainable for the lap, but I don't think I could have done 1.5 or 2 laps continuously at that pace. Mark came along too and did the first one at 3:20 (7:52/mi), then the next 3 progressively a bit slower, and sat out the last one. Fair enough, for his first Thursday session!

Three minutes for 675m = 7:09 per mile, with +/-5 seconds per lap equivalent to +/-12 seconds per mile, so that puts my reps between about 7:20 and 7:35/mile. I am pleasantly surprised by that - I would have said around 8 or just below. To put it in perspective, my 5k PB of 24:33 is 7:54/mile.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Float like a butterfly, swim like a sponge

Yucky swim session. From the start I felt like I was going nowhere slowly, then I got the beginnings of cramp about 2/3 of the way through, and never shook it off. Each time I tried to stretch, my legs felt more and more like lead afterwards. Ended up doing many lengths of pull just to finish the session.

400m warm up
Inverted pyramid:
400m, 30s rest
2 x 200m, 25s after each
4 x 100m, 20s
2 x 200m, 25s
1 x 400m

Bleh. Extremely frustrating. Is it the warm water, the time of the session, or what? I should be thankful I don't get it at the Sportspark or the lake, but why *do* I get it at the high school pool?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


The full club run entrailed going out to some field near Bowthorpe, around an off road bit and then back. Since I knew I would fall off the back of the main group and then either get lost or end up alone in Bowthorpe, I ran a shorter route with Granville, and then tagged an extra bit on the end.

The first loop was about 37 mins, and the second was another 25. Whole route is here. It seems to add up to 11k, or just under 7 miles, which makes 9:05-9:10 per mile. I didn't expect it to be that fast!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Beginners plus one lap

3 mins, 2 mins x 5 with the beginners, then a quick lap round UEA, 10:33 = 8:30/mile.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Leisure ride

Out with Mark, on the hybrid as I didn't know how late we'd come back from the pub, and in what weather. As it turned out, the pub was shut so it was tea and cake at Simon and Jenna's, and we came back in the rain.

Just under 43km / 27 miles, no bike computer but we did the last 12 miles or so in 55 minutes, so approaching 13mph average - maybe a bit slower than that on the way out.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Wibbly Wobbly Log Jog

Fantastic, friendly race as always. Official time 44:19 (172nd of 277), 44:10 on the watch - same route as last year, allowing a comparison with 45:02 run then, so that's not bad :) Really, really enjoyed it. Route (roughly - but more accurate than the one linked from last year's post!).

Event photos were taken by Derek Haden

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Rained on

Little effort session over in Eaton Park (since we are apparently not allowed to use the grass track any more!) - efforts of 1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2-1 minutes, with a minute rest in between each time. Thinking of the race tomorrow I didn't push it too much but still had a good session. It was pretty muggy out there, wonderful when it rained though!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The C word

Swim session:

400m warm up
8 x 100m sprints on 2:30 (aiming for 30s rest)
4 x (25m right arm, 25m f/c, 25m left arm, 25m f/c)
150m cool down

Then got out of the pool and got inner thigh cramp. Couldn't stand up - had to get back in the pool and go over to the steps. Grrrrrrrrrrr.

Apart from that it was great. All the 100m reps were <2 mins apart from the last one (2:02). Tried the single-arm drills with the "dead" arm beside the body, instead of in front. Still tricky though. On the left arm reps I get some big wave sloshing over from behind every time I breathe?! I spend so much time spluttering and floundering that I don't think the drill is actually helping much - probably just need to practice more though.

Out of the loop

Oops. Another catching up post - back to daily blogging from now on.

8th-13th July - on holiday in Wales. Some walks, but no running. Walk 1 - walk 2 - walk 3 .

16th July - swim session, 50m reps starting on 1:30 and decreasing by 5 seconds, with 2 reps at each time band. Down to 1:00 and then back up. I made it to the second 1:00 one but then rested the next at 1:05, and sat out another couple as I was getting cramp :( After that it was drills.

Thurs 17th July - short run after I missed Lorraine & co going out for efforts.

Fri 18th July - gym session. 10 mins rower, 20 mins stepper, tricep pulldowns.

Sat 19th July - lake swim, 1500m. Intwood loop with Kerry & Clare, average 14.1mph.

Mon 21st July - club run/with Mark, 4.2 miles, 40 mins.

Tues 22nd July - lunchtime run with the girls, 4.3 miles, 40 ish minutes.

Thurs 24th July - trying to stay in the shade around the Broad and along the river! 3.9 miles, 39 minutes.

Fri 25th July - Worsted Festival 5. Ran with Mark, good even pace all the way. Didn't spot the mile markers until mile 3, 27:21, i.e. 9:07/mile. Slowed down a little after that (also paused at the water station) but finished in 45:57 and 46:01 for about 9:12/mile (thank you Mr Sprint Finish!)

Sat 26th July - lake swim then helping out with the Broadsman.

Sun 27th July - relaxed bike ride (14mph average) with Trish and Rob. Shipdham, round the houses to Hingham, and back via (down!) Bradenham Hill.

Mon 28th July - helped with beginners' session one, then ten minutes around the block.

Tue 29th July - club run, 6.7 miles, 1:03. Started out a bit fast, with hindsight (felt comfortable at the time!), stuck with Hugh (or rather he stuck with me...). Struggled a bit on the hills but kept going apart from trying to sort out my shoe (rubbing inner sole) and stretching to ward off cramp a mere mile from home. Grr. A good run, further and faster than I would have done alone, but not as quick pace wise as Friday, even allowing for a couple of short stops.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Norwich Olympic Triathlon

Awake at some time beginning with 5 (alien territory), with everything prepped yesterday it was easy enough to have breakfast, pack the car, and trundle over to County Hall. While "my" marshals (Mark and mum) took the bus to Whitlingham with most of my gear, I cycled the bike, successfully negotiating both the steep downhill and County Hall roundabout (no mean feat when you're still half asleep). Everything went pretty smoothly, registration and transition setup were fine, with the only question being whether I would need the bin bag I had brought to keep transition gear dry... the weather forecast had steadily improved since the first long-range forecasts for the weekend, but it still seemed a bit questionable. Consensus seemed to be that it would stay dry, so rather than be responsible for a stray bin bag blowing around transition, I took the chance.

Plenty of time to get changed, check and re-check all my gear, and try to prepare mentally. I suppose I was most worried about the mass swim start, but watching the two waves before mine, I realised it wasn't going to be that bad, and just holding off for a few seconds would give me reasonably clear water. We got 2-3 minutes to acclimatise, and then it was off - this time (unlike Waveney) with a handy 10-second warning so I could start my watch. The water was actually quite warm, and I had no problems with breathing or swimming. Sighting was interesting, as the buoys were yellow just like the 75-odd swim hats all around me, but really it was hard to go wrong, especially with the canoe marshals. I had a couple of quick stops to try and remove water from my goggles - no idea how it was getting in, as the seal was tight when I tried to let it out! But it was definitely in there. The first 800m took forever, but the other two buoys came up soon enough, and then the exit to transition. I misunderstood the exit marshal/helper's warning as "mind your step" (on the gravel bottom) but "mind the step" was more like it, as I nearly cracked my toes on the edge of the concrete launch ramp. Still, no harm done, and I could wobble off to transition while removing the top of my wetsuit.

Removing the bottom was a little more interesting, especially with the timing chip to be careful of, but I made it through and out on the bike reasonably well, I think. Two and a half minutes.

Took a while to settle down on the bike, and nearly came a bit of a cropper while fumbling to replace my water bottle after a drink - careered onto the gravelly edge of the road, but managed to hold it together, and also escaped without a puncture (lucky!). Also my eyes felt puffy, I guess from the water in my goggles. Either something in the lake, or the residue of the soap I used to stop them steaming up! It died down eventually, but was a bit irritating for the first 20-30 mins. Felt very very slow on the uphills, but couldn't quite manage standing on the pedals, so just geared down for the climbs and tried to make amends on the downhills and flats. I knew I needed about a 17mph average to give me a shot at the magic 3hr finish time. I consumed the freebie energy gel (from registration) and wished I had brought more. I consoled myself with diluted fruit juice, water, and some broken up home-made energy bars, but I think nutrition strategy has to be a priority for improvement next time! The rest of the ride was uneventful, the country roads being quite attractive in the sun that had decided to shine with a vengeance now, and I passed a few riders, which was a bit of a boost. The (comparative) heaving metropolis of Poringland (two roundabouts and two zebra crossings) passed without incident, and I hit my max speed of 31mph on the road out of there. Almost home, and just about on time too, so I tried to follow the advice about spinning faster on the approach to transition, in an attempt to avoid the old jelly legs (or worse, cramp).

Transition 2 was pretty fast, hindered only by my inability to lift the bike high enough to get the saddle on to the bar (it did seem a bit high - the bike didn't touch the floor). Bike shoes off, run shoes on, just about remembered to remove my helmet, and off I went. Elapsed (race) time on my watch was about 1:58 and there was Trish yelling support at the run exit. Over an hour left to do 10k - looking good.

So I thought.

I figured the first 10 minutes would be pretty slow. No problem, over an hour to do the distance, so just ease into it and don't do anything stupid. My legs were heavy, but no cramp or other twinges, and I plodded on along the lane. Unexpectedly, there was mum (hurrah!) directing runners off up "the" hill (boo!). Discretion overcame valour, and I walked up (but not until out of sight of mum!). Once I got going again, I tried to fix on the runners ahead (or overtaking) me, but just couldn't summon the energy - I felt like they were operating in a different gravitational field to me. I wished I'd brought my water bottle, but to be fair there were three water stations (very much appreciated) and I'm not sure it would have made much difference. I completed the distance as a run/walk, never really settling into any kind of stride, however slow. I flicked my watch over to the time, rather than stopwatch, figuring that I had missed my chance of 3 hours and it was too depressing to see it go by - in retrospect maybe that was a mistake, but without km markers and with a different finish to the club 10k runs, it was hard to estimate. Lots of encouragement from passing runners and all the marshals (thanks!), but I just couldn't pick it up. I saw Marie ahead of me on the double-back section by the lake, not as far ahead as I might have thought so that was another boost, but it didn't last long! Debbie also caught me up around the back of the lake, but again I was too exhausted to do anything about it. All I wanted to do now was complete.

When I got off the potholed gravel and onto the tarmac surface of the old Whitlingham Lane, I flicked back over to the stopwatch, only to see 3:00:00 slide by. So close! I began to wonder if I could have shaved enough time off had I only kept running, but no time to think about that as there were Trish and Rob shouting encouragement at the finish turn. Rob also shouted "only 2k to go", so I confirmed the "2" with a gesture over my shoulder at him, and tried to smile at Granville who was lurking on the last turn with a camera. I really must have been completely drained as I plodded over the line, and was extremely glad when a nice lady gave me some water and took off my timing chip so I didn't have to bend down. What service!

Finish time 3:01:20 (results linked from here). Photos on Derek Haden's website, but they are so unflattering I won't identify them... :) *

Swim 33:22 (33.4 secs per 25m)
T1 2:29
Bike 1:21:24 (17.1mph as per computer)
T2 1:12
Run 1:02:52 (10:18 per mile)

So, am I pleased? Yes, overall. Pleased that I could get so close to 3 hours when I clearly had a rubbish run and need to improve a few things. Pleased that I had a great bike leg and swim (compared to 32:36 for a pool 1500m with no little run at the end). Pleased that I managed to keep going for 3 hours solid! What do I need to improve?

1) nutrition. More gels/energy drinks through the bike and even into the run. When I looked at the empty gel packet later, it said "consume 3-4 per hour of activity"...
2) run training. I didn't run much more than race distance in training, and never on tired legs. Having some good ~1hr runs in the last week or two lulled me into a false sense of security. Next time, I would do a session where I bike the Ketteringham loop and then run a 10k, and tuck in at least one shorter, multi-brick session too.
3) bike leg? Not sure if I need to throttle down a tad on the bike - would rather get fitter so I can maintain that speed (or improve it) but then do a decent run on the end of it.
4) goggles. Kill that damn leak once and for all! Perhaps I pull faces while breathing or something, and the mask seal doesn't flex with my face.

I finished off with a massage, since East Coast Therapies were doing them for donations. For the most part, it was pretty relaxing (even the almost-painful bits were clearly "good for me" in terms of finding those stubborn knots in my calves), but when the marquee nearly blew away, it got a bit interesting! Therapists, competitors and spectators managed to disassemble the thing before it disassembled itself all over Thorpe, and the last part of the massage was al fresco. I thought they deserved the donation, towards a new tent if nothing else... seriously, my legs have never felt better after an event than before, until now. I think I may have to invest more regularly.

Overall, a great day. I don't think I enjoyed the run much at the time, but at least I have plenty to go on in terms of improvements, and I still wasn't as slow as I could have been or thought I might be! I reckon I have missed the boat for another event of the same distance this year, but there's Waveney 2 (hopefully) and the Aquathlon to come, and plenty of time to concentrate on the running. Next year, I'll be even more ready...

* Oh okay then - if only to remind myself I'd be quicker AND look better in tri gear if there were less of me...

Friday, July 4, 2008

Little leg stretch

Last real activity before Sunday I guess. Yesterday was too busy, but I managed to head out for "half an hour": around the block via Lizzie's (OK, a chat stop!), 2.4 miles in 22 minutes, feeling pretty good.

Just a bit of bike prep tomorrow, and then the tri on Sunday! Weather forecast: wet :(

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Easy week this week as most of the class seemed to be preparing for the tri on Sunday. 400m warm up and cool down, and a selection of drills in the middle. Lots of concentrating on glide, which is great as I do think that makes a big difference in the open water swims especially. Thought I'd give the tumble turns a miss as I don't think they'll be helpful in the lake!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Bike loop again

With company this time. Went out around the Ketteringham loop with Neal, so slightly more of a social ride than last time on my own, but still managed 16mph average, which is fine for this week. Just keeping the old legs moving!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Good start to the week

After a weekend of indulgence, it was nice to get a 6 miler in, even if it did contain a pit stop (good old Waitrose). A good steady pace with Jeanette, although I had no watch and she forgot to start hers until the marshes. I think we were about an hour, maybe a bit more.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hen weekend

Not really training, but nice to mark where we went on our walk and horse ride :)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Feeling strong

Another quick lunchtime swim, last chance before the Sportspark pool is closed for a few weeks. I tried the new goggles again and they were better, but I was still pleased to take them off at the end (40 mins). Not sure how well I would last an hour. It's the pressure on the brownbone, I can feel myself getting a headache but there's instant relief when I remove them.

The swim itself was great. A bit of a warm up (probably about 3-400m, I wasn't counting!), then the same inverted pyramid session from the other week:

3 x 100m, 40s rest
3 x 50m, 30s rest
4 x 25m, 20s rest
3 x 50m, 30s rest
3 x 100m, 40s rest
total 1000m, all at effort 8/10.

All the 100m reps were <2:00 apart from one, all the 50m ones were <2:00, and all the 25m reps were <30s. I felt good and strong in the water, everything was flowing really well... excellent session. Nice way to round off the week!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Recovery run

Around the marshes, 3.6 miles in 36 minutes, nice and easy.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Strength to strength

Wroxham again. Lovely evening, lots of people around from the club, and Lizzie too on her first race back. Made the mistake of entering on the night (an extra £2 each - ouch!), but it was worth it as we had a great run. Caught up with Kate just after 1k and we stuck together for the rest of it. Captain Rocket pulled out another sprint finish and beat me to the line again to make it about 26:30 (results pending - 26:23 by my watch, started at the line not the gun). Splits: 5:22, 5:14, 5:15, 5:31, 4:57. That's about 1:45 off last time, and at this rate a new PB for me (never mind Mark) at the August race! PB for Kate too, and Lizzie was pleased with hers at about 28 mins. Smiles all round!

Bleh swim

New goggles - not good. Leaked, gave me a headache, and my eyelashes brushed the inside. Hmph. £9 well spent then.

With all that, I just had a swim, no really structure, 30 mins, not especially fast. Didn't want to tire myself out for Wroxham - it was just a good escape from the office really!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bike loop

Realising I'm not going to get much bike time between now and the tri (specifically I'm missing this weekend due to Sally's hen do), so tonight I went for a spin around the Ketteringham loop (looped the opposite way to this map though). Average was 17.1mph, not bad given that I treated the loop as the main effort and didn't push it so much on the rest. Was tempted to loop around again but I knew my tea was going to be ready soon :)

Still feel like I need to up the saddle, but I never seem to get the time for an adjustment session. In my head, high = unstable in traffic = scary. I'm fine on the open road, but don't want to get into trouble at junctions.

Not really a brick, but I went for an experimental run up the lane when I got back. Legs a bit crampy, but a quick stretch seemed to sort them out. Not catastrophic, anyway.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Moderate run

Another run spoiled by the need for a loo break. Over to Lizzie's, around to Waitrose, up Newmarket Road and back via the golf course, at which point it was straight home for me.
Total was 4.6 miles in 46 minutes. Enjoyable, but I really should have done more.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Miserable, wet, wet, miserable

Miserable 1: biked to the lake, via the ring road (yuck), my chain came off (think I half-shifted to upper front ring, then full-shifted down), and while putting it back on I cut my knuckle. Only noticed minutes later when blood was dripping down my fingers.

Wet 1: lake swim. Chilly to start but turned into a good session. 1500m course, 33 mins including rest halfway.

Wet & miserable 2: Olympic bike course. Got off to an interesting start when I sent my rucksack (which I had cycled to the lake wearing) off home with Marie, forgetting that the keys to my bike lock were in it. Had to call Mark to bring the spare out, getting told off (rightly, but nicely) by a ranger for driving to the outdoor centre to unlock the bike ASAP, and then pedalling like hell to catch up with the group. I managed to find them having a breathing stop at the top of Skeet's Hill, waiting for a chap with a puncture. After that, dull and grey turned into drizzle, then drizzle with a vengeance. We were soaked by the time we hit Hempnall, and the second half of the route was misery. Horrible drivers on the A146 too. At White Horse Lane on the way back I cut my losses and came straight home!

Happy midsummer's day! :)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Swim, run

Time to squeeze in a quick lunchtime swim session, copying the other week's Wednesday one. 400m warm up, then 3 x 100 (40s rest), 3 x 50 (30s), 3 x 25 (20s), 3 x 50, 3 x 100. All felt pretty good, some cracking lengths although not consistently wonderful. Still well worth it though.

Then just shy of 5k with Mark in the evening, around Sunningdale and South Park. Little break for stitch, but 4.75km in 26:32 = 9 minute miles. Looking good for Wroxham 2 (next Wednesday)...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Nine out of ten

Efforts down on the grass track - 10 x 400m with 90sec recoveries. I managed 9/10, one of those broken as I had to run for the bushes and pit stop. Times were 1:45, 1:42, 1:41, 1:45, 1:46, (broken), 1:48, 1:47, 1:51. Not bad going, but that was enough for one night.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sprints again

A fairly normal pool session:

400m warm-up
10 x 100m comprising: 25m @ 5/10, 25 @ 6/10, 25 @ 7-8/10, 25 @ 4/10
then drills inc. single-arm, and one or two attempts at tumble turns.

Still can't get the hang of single-arm. The best thing is to go fairly slowly and not have to breathe so often. Also felt a bit lost with tumble turns, don't think they are going to make the difference at Norwich!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Another steady one

Ran with Liz again tonight, took a route similar to my run on Sunday, but going out via the lane instead of the bridleway (fewer puddles!) and back via the golf course (shorter, fewer hills). Spot on 4.5 miles, although no stopwatch tonight. We were out for ~50 mins, with one pit stop and a couple of short walk breaks, so must be close to 10 min miles. Clearly evenings suit Lizzie better than mornings! Lovely evening to be out as well.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Solid run

A Colney Lane loop with the back of the beginners' pack, 4.7 miles in 47 minutes, so spot on 10 min miling. Felt really good too.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Back with it

I think I found my running feet again :)

Out with Lizzie for a short run by Keswick Hall, then continuing on my own up Ipswich Rd and over to Newmarket. Overall run was 1:07 for 6.9 miles, overall average 9:42/mile. The first bit was a nice warm up, and I really got going once I hit Harford Bridge. I left Lizzie at 32 mins, which leaves 35 mins for the last 3.8 miles (9:12/mile). Seeing as that includes the slogs up Ipswich Rd and Church Lane I'm really pleased with it. I felt strong and was really enjoying myself. And it was another lovely day too!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sunny swim, double bike

A glorious morning - perfect for open water. I went to the 8:30 session so as to meet up with the riders doing the Norwich sprint tri course, at 10am. Swam the long course with Trish and Chrissie, and made good time - 34 mins including stops (1 brief one en route, a longer one at the buoy), so I've graduated to a red hat now :) . Even went out for another 100m or so afterwards! Got into the flow after the first stop, and really enjoyed it again.

I did start noticing that the more frequent breathing is a bit dizzying, as it seems your head is hardly ever still, but while I can breathe on 3 for a little while I find it hard to do it for long. I can just about alternate when breathing on 2, and do a while on each side. Swimming straight seemed to be more of a problem today but I was never wildly off course. I found that when I concentrated on a long glide, I made better progress and could catch up with Trish.

After-effects: achy hands/fingers (maybe from pulling on the wetsuit?), and stiff neck, although both only slight.

On the bike route recce I hung out as tail end charlie (thus helping out and earning a freebie - good job as I forgot it was supposed to cost one voucher), chatting to a few of the new competitors. The route is good, although with a long climb from Stoke to Upper Stoke (hm, I wonder why it's called that?!) and Poringland. We averaged 13.3mph, doing the 11.3 mile route in about 51 mins. I then went around again, averaging nearly 17mph and completing in 40 minutes.

Next week the logistical challenge is to get my swim kit to/from the lake by other means, so I can cycle there, do the olympic course recce, and cycle home.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Busy :(

Thursday: visitor at work, early finish, evening meeting.
Friday: fieldwork all day, meal out.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


No Kerry tonight (on some work jolly drinking vodka ;) so Phil stood in as coach. Not many people turned up, I guess many are swimming earlier at the lake, so it's a good chance to get some advice. Phil had an interesting way of putting the need to stay compact in the water: imagine you're in a drainpipe. It seemed to work in a way, but then we were on to drills - specifically, one-arm catch-up, which I find so far removed from actual swimming it's hard to take any useful tips from it. Only doing half the stroke means that there's no continuity, no smooth rolling, and breathing is not so easy either. If I had been in a drainpipe I would have been wedged!

Warm up 100 f/s, 100 pull, 100 f/s, 100 kick
3 x 100, 40s rest
3 x 50, 30s rest
3 x 25, 20s rest
3 x 50, 30s rest
3 x 100, 40s rest
All at RPI 8/10

Drills: catch-up and kick interspersed.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Still recovering?

Acutely aware that I need to run longer, I went out for "an hour" tonight. I struggled around 5.6 miles, but with a 0.2 mile break in the middle when I had to walk (needed the loo - same old story). Time excluding walk was 56 minutes, so not even 10 minute miles. And for all the time after the stop, I had calf cramps threatening, and had to stop and stretch a couple of times. It's a lovely evening, and I'm glad I went out, but boy that was a rubbish run.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Recovery run

After yesterday I was feeling pretty much OK, and thought a recovery run would be a good idea. I think it was, overall, but the hot weather wasn't very comfortable. As it was beginnner/improver night, I found myself at the back run/walking, but that's no bad thing really. I'm a bit disappointed I didn't feel like I could have done anything more, though! A fairly miserable 3.3. miles in 37 minutes, but I still feel better for getting out.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Norwich 100

After doing 50 last year on the hybrid, I felt it was time to tackle the 100 mile route on my road bike. The changed saddle setup seems to have worked to some extent - I wasn't really uncomfortable until about 75 miles, as opposed to 40 when we did the 112 miler. However, I think it still needs some work to improve my overall position. I'm not forward enough, and still feel crunched up, so it probably needs to be higher - but that feels scary :(

We had almost the same weather as last year - misty (even foggy) to halfway, then blazing sunshine. The sun came out just as we biked up THE hill at East Runton to Felbrigg. Thankfully the hill is in the shade at least. I was fooled into thinking I had a puncture (back wheel all over the place, feeling every bump), but the tyre was fine - I just couldn't get on again until I had found a flat(tish) bit to start off!

Felbrigg as a stop was lovely, marred only by Trish's tube exploding randomly (the bikes were parked). The second half had no major hills but plenty of minor ones, especially in the last 20 along the Ludham road and on to Coltishall. That last 20 miles was mentally very tough, especially as Debbie and I had lost the other four and were cycling alone (apart from the unknown people behind who were drafting us - thanks for your help...). You don't realise what a difference a group makes until you aren't in one.

We made it, though, and even managed the cycle home from the city without too much trouble.

I know it's not a race, but I'm going to tag it as one since it's an event.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

On the boat

Open water swimming tonight, and I set out to do the long swim (1200m). The water seemed chilly, and it just took my breath away - 300m out, feeling wheezy and breathless, I called the safety boat over and went back to the deck. After some time acclimatising I was able to join the short-swim group, but it was damned annoying not to make the longer swim. I was fine once I had settled.

Lessons learned - acclimatise before setting off, and dose up on the old inhalers (and always have one in the swim bag).

I was going to run once around the lake with Mark beforehand, but a late lunch and things to do meant it got squeezed out. Really should have fitted something in today.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Flatten it out

Fairly leaden swim session tonight, but I have done something every day for the last week, after several weeks of next to nothing, so I reckon I'm just tired.

Did 200m warm up, then 3 x 400m (8:20, 8:38, 8:40), and got cramp halfway through the fourth. Just a twinge (inner thigh), and I think I managed to stave it off by stretching and a few lengths of pull. Annoyingly I swam much better with the pull buoy (clearly I would be better off without legs at all!) - Kerry complimented me on my swimming without knowing that I was using it, but then pointed out it makes me flatter in the water. Goodness knows how my lardy backside doesn't provide enough buoyancy, but I did a few more lengths really pressing my chest down into the water (to make my legs rise) and it made a big difference. I was still tired, but it felt much easier. Something to pay attention to next time.

The drills at the end were kicks on one side, switching from side to side after 12, then 6, then 3 kicks, to encourage proper rotation. OK in theory, in practice the breathing was a bit of an issue, and in the correct position (flat, i.e. head horizontal), you just get a nose full of water all the time. I have to admit that complete rotation feels like a waste of energy to me, like I'm just going up and down and it's not translating into forward motion. I must be doing it wrong!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Over an hour

...for the first time since Broadland I think!

The old Keswick loop, with Hannah H, we took 1:01 and it maps as 6.3 miles, so just under 10 min miles (and we felt really really slow!). Still, good to get a longer run under my belt for a change.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Well, Mark is, anyway. Previous longest run - 28:15 last week at Wroxham. New longest run: 35:30 tonight - made it to Earlham Park and walked the rest, but that's 3.5 miles so 10 min miles, a good pace. Route. That was enough for me - nice recovery after last night though.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Relay fun

A new race for me, the Alex Moore relay - in a team with Kerry & Darryl. Interesting structure, based on 2.2 mile laps of country roads:

Runner 1 (Kerry) - 1 lap
Runner 2 (me) - 2 laps
Runner 3 (Darryl) - 2 laps
All runners - 1 lap

The total distance is just about a half marathon (6 laps = 13.2 miles), and we finished in 1:45:29 (results). Quickest half I've ever been involved in :)

Although the course involves a big hill in the first mile, most of the second is downhill, which is a good opportunity to go for it. It felt tough at the time, especially lap 2, but overall it's a great race. The last lap all together is a brilliant idea, as is finishing at the pub!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Top & tail

This feels kind of serious, doing something each end of the day :)

8am - run with Lizzie, 45 mins (couple of walk breaks), fab weather and a good run.

5pm - swim at the lake, 1hr. I took the opportunity of the technique session rather than a long swim, so I now know that I take 107 strokes to do 100m, and I've tried a mass start, swimming in packs, and removing my wetsuit reasonably quickly (moisturise legs beforehand = the key). I'm settling down really well now and enjoying it loads - looking forward to a long swim next week. It was much easier to get going today.

Friday, May 30, 2008


Time for a quick swim today, so after 4 lengths' warm up, it was into a 1500m set. Overall time 32:36 with 250m splits of 5:16, 5:22, 5:25, 5:29, 5:30, 5:34. Fairly consistent, although also consistently slowing! I made an effort to go at "tri" pace rather than all-out, i.e. imagining that I had a bike and run to come. It will be interesting to see how a lake swim compares, although from measuring last week's distance I am not sure the lake swim in training is 1500m. I feel like the turns slow me down, but I do gain from the glide.

Anyway, so much for putting myself in the "about 40 minutes" group.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Dragging myself back into it

So, Wroxham over and done, it's time to start training (I always was a bit backwards). Went out with Lorraine around the block from UEA, made it to the pavilions then she went on for a bit more and I snuck in a walk since I was in need of a loo break. Still, 35-40 minutes at a reasonable pace, and it helped offset the chips and beer later...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wroxham 5k #1

I knew there was a reason why I should have been running more during my slack couple of weeks - Wroxham. However, even though Mark had done little since he dropped out of the beginner program with suspected shin splints, he was up for the race no matter how long it took. I figured I'd have a nice easy little run with him, maybe with a walk break or two if necessary.


Mark powered round (I think he has been training in secret) in 28:13, almost leaving me trailing in his wake on a sprint finish in the last 200m. Where the hell did that come from? Fantastic!! But he now has no excuse for not coming out occasionally. Mwa ha ha. On the other hand, I'll have some serious training to do for the next one!

Results are here.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Open water - going long

I couldn't make the novice session tonight so joined the big boys and girls this morning, and swam with Lucy who I know a bit from Wednesdays, freeing Marie up to swim with someone faster. I innocently asked how far we were going (remember I went about this far before) and she pointed to a tiny yellow blob in the distance: "there and back". A full 1500m swim (or possibly not quite, according to Google Maps). Hmm.

I figured I'd just go for it (no point struggling into a wetsuit for nothing), Lucy was happy to take it easy so off we went. The water is much colder in the morning, which didn't help, and it took me about half of the "out" lap to really calm down and get swimming. I found that every time I immersed my face I wanted to gasp - not a good plan. I wasn't enjoying it at all for those 300m and was wondering whether I should turn back (plus questioning my decision to enter Norwich!), but decided it wouldn't beat me and I would make it no matter how slowly. I really couldn't settle to freestyle so I tried breast stroke, ducking my head each time. That helped a bit, but it was only after we'd decided to tread water for a minute or so that I really had time to catch my breath and start off properly. After that it was plain sailing!

We made it to the yellow buoy (which was actually huge), paused for a moment or two, and then swam back. I actually found that, once I was in the flow of things, I was a bit quicker than Lucy, so it was good to be able to slow down and concentrate on acclimatising without worrying that I was annoying someone by being slow. Taking it easy helped me enjoy it, and by the end I probably would have been happy to go round again (OK, maybe not, but I was having fun!). No idea of the time but I was happy just to get round. I don't even know what I can do in the pool for 1500m!

Also this week I remembered to take a second hat, and bought some new goggles from Wiggle (practically a mask), although I had to tear off up to the sorting office to get them before the swim. It was worth it, though, as they were much better than the others.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Slack slack slackitty slack

That's what I've been!

Swim session started well tonight, 10 x 25m on 35 secs. But that was a bit too much to begin with, and during the 6 x 100m on 2:15 I got cramp :( Finished the session off with lots of pull drills, working on keeping my elbows high while pulling, and rotating more, so all was not lost, but still annoying.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Back in the saddle

And where better to start than with a cake run? The same old Hingham route, but backwards for a change. Had Clare for company on the way out, and we managed to get there in 1:05, which was good going (we usually allow 1:15 I think). I bumped up the average a touch on the way back on my own, and made it home in under an hour (out and back routes are more or less equal distance).

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Open water newbie

First big question - could I still get into the wetsuit? Answer: yes. Phew!

Next big question - what's the water like? Answer: 15 degrees. Not too bad (at least, not with the wetsuit) but cold enough.

So, I made it through my first time in the lake at Whitlingham, not too bad although it had its moments. Definitely a world away from the chlorinated, crystal clear haven of the pool! Although this was a novice session, there wasn't as much time as I would have liked spent acclimatising, getting used to wetsuit buoyancy and just generally what it's like to be in the water. We seemed to spend a few short minutes getting in and dunking ourselves, and then it was straight on to the swimming, although only short distances.

The water falls into three categories: murky (over the muddy bit near the decking of the education centre), clear with visible weeds, and clear-ish (I assume) but too deep to see anything below. The first is sort of OK, the second is fine, but I find the third a bit freaky and it may take some getting used to. Swimming over the weeds is fine and I can almost swim normally - breathing on three strokes, heading more or less straight. Once into the deeper stuff I'm panicking a touch, breathing on two, getting breathless and curving to whichever side I am breathing on (usually the left).

I thought I'd be more squeamish about bare feet on the bottom than I was - soft mud is not especially pleasant, but neither that, weeds, stones or pebbles were really so bad. I guess it's because I'm not really putting my weight on my feet. Getting out on to the decking isn't very easy (dignity? what dignity?) but I made it. For next time I think I need another pair of goggles (i.e. one pool, one lake), and to take the funny stinky swim hat from Waveney for extra insulation (it's quite a thick one). I'm also wondering if I can overcome my dislike of nose clips.

I'm kind of looking forward to next time, just as long as I can take it at my own pace. I know the only thing that will improve my confidence is practice. I need to go to the early (non-novice) session next week, but Marie has kindly said she will swim with me and we can take it slowly.

Seven weeks to Norwich Tri!!

Edit: useful open-water newbie links: Tri247

Monday, May 12, 2008

Race day

Another gorgeous day - 2 out of 2 on the weather front for Waveney. If anything, it looked set to get a bit too hot later, but I was planning on being finished by then! I didn't feel particularly nervous, just quietly excited and wanting to have a good race.

Previous race report is here. Today's results are here. There's even a photo of me on the bike below (thanks to Mark Philo).

Being a bit more relaxed meant I didn't feel the need for quite such an early start this time :) Still, I was through registration and setting up in transition by about 7:15am, all present and correct with nothing forgotten. Had a bottle of water ready for feet-washing, but the club has invested in some matting to make the transition easier on the soles. Gave the bike a good once-over yesterday, so minimal checking to do there. Mark headed off to his midway marshalling point about 7:45 and I got changed and hung out with everyone else waiting for the race briefing at 8am.

First swimmers were in at 8:30, and I managed to see Kerry, Clare, Trish, Marie, Kate and Debbie all start before I did at 8:55. I don't know what was up with the freebie swim hats, but they were covered in a roughish powder (not talc - rice flour maybe?) and smelled absolutely rank. (Even after the event mine smells of whatever it is more than it smells of chlorine - not just rubber, but some awful sour smell...) The swim start was a bit odd: we were told to enter the water with 30s to go, then told 10s to go, and the next thing was "go", no countdown. Oh well - I had a good, controlled swim and managed to clock 8:01 for the 400m which included getting out of the pool and making it to the door, so I was probably 7:55 or so for the swim (wow). The following swimmer in my lane overtook me at one point, so I was able to swim in her slipstream for a length or so, but I can't imagine that helped too much!

Transition was reasonably quick, still tricky to put socks on to wet feet, but no niggles with the bike shoes as I thought there might be. I realised that mounting in the road is actually a bit tricky, as I usually have one foot on the kerb, but I managed it and got away smoothly. A moment of confusion with the marshal on the (potentially dangerous) exit who was directing me with his red flag (I wondered if he meant stop?), but after that it was smooth for the rest of the route. I caught one rider on the Flixton road (who had been in my swim start) and Debbie just before the finish (she was in the previous start) but without time to overtake safely. The route is pretty much continuous effort, nowhere to take a moment's breather until you get to the main road at the end, and I'm sure it was hillier than I remembered!

T2 was probably slower this time as I had to change my shoes. I hadn't bothered with a buff under my helmet, but grabbed one for the run as the sun was now blazing down. I took it off at halfway though, as it was bugging me! I saw the girls at various points on their return leg of the run as I was going out, which was a nice boost, and the turn point on the hill wasn't as far as I remembered. However, I'd gone a bit too hard on the bike, I think, as I didn't have much left for the run even on the downhills. Just about scraped something together for the finish!

So, my results this time were (last time and difference* in brackets):

Swim 8:01 (8:46) (-0:45)
T1 + bike + T2: 40:02 (40:47) (-0:45)
Run: 18:12 (17:57) (+ 0:15)
Total 1:06:15 (1:07:30) (-1:15)

My bike computer said 37:58 and 18.8mph average, compared to 18.0mph last time.

Overall position 88/130 (72/115)
Women's race position 10/31 (15/36)
Age group position 2/7 (5/10)

*I've been informed that the bike and run times aren't easily comparable between last September's race and this one, as last time T2 was included in the run, whereas this time it was with the bike and T1. So that explains why there wasn't a massive difference on this year's bike despite a higher average speed and a chain which stayed where it should do. But it means my run was definitely a bit slow!

It was a fantastic race, I really enjoyed it (even the run, just about) and I reckon with some more serious training I could get under 1:05. Possibly.

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Original schedule: bike 30 easy
Revised schedule: rest

Friday, May 9, 2008

Winding down

Original schedule: rest
Revised schedule: bike 30 easy inc 3 x 3 @ race pace (or just bike 30 easy)

Actual: easy social run with Lizzie, about 45 minutes

A social run just sounded more appealing! And I think I've done enough cycling this week :)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Last swim

Original schedule: run 20 inc 10 building to race pace
Revised schedule: Swim 40, inc 8 x 50 @ race pace w/ full recovery between

Actual: as per revised schedule!

Having missed Wednesday's swim session I wanted to get something in this week, one last dip before Waveney. Managed to squeeze in a swim at lunch time, and had a really good session - all the 50m reps were at 55-56 seconds, which is great. A bit above race pace to be honest, but I can always drop down a bit on the day. They weren't flat-out and unsustainable, but I can see it would be hard to string them together. I was taking maybe 50-60 seconds rest in between.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

GY 5 miler

Original schedule: Swim 40 easy, 8 x 50 @ race pace w/ full recovery between

Actual: Great Yarmouth 5 mile race [move swim to tomorrow]

I wanted to do the race since it was a Runner's Centre Grand Prix event, but with (a) it being close to Waveney and (b) me still wondering if I have a cold coming on, I didn't want to race it. So I had a good steady run (perfect conditions), and clocked 43:39 (by my watch - results to come). Splits were 8:36, 8:53, 8:59, 8:52, 8:17. That'll do nicely. I can't find my results from previous years but I think that may be a PB? Feels like the cold has gone too.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Er, another rest day

Original schedule: bike 30 easy inc 3 x 3 @ race pace
Revised schedule: swim 40 drills [from yesterday]

Actual: nada

That's what comes of not really making plans. Half-meant to go swimming at some point, just for some drills, but it never happened. I feel like I have a bit of a cold coming on (sore throat/stuffy head), so that may have been for the best, but I'm still a bit annoyed with myself.