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.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Rest day

Schedule: swim 40 drills

Actual: rest day (think I deserved it after yesterday!)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Big One

Schedule: Breckland 10k

Actual: Bike 112 miles

Well, I couldn't get in to Breckland as it was full :) Last weekend Trish suggested a long bike ride so I joined her and Marie for a 112-mile epic - Rosie joined us for the last 40.

The route was from Trish's out to Holt and Cromer, back via Aylsham and Reepham, then out on the Swaffham, Oxburgh, Watton route we've done before. At the end there was a bit of detouring around the lanes to make up the magic 112. The weather started off hazy, perfect temperature, even the odd spot of rain. By the time we returned to Shipdham after lap 1 it was getting clearer and warmer, and we completed the ride mostly in sunshine.

Energy-wise, I was fine - stocked up regularly on flapjack, banana, Go bars, and tried a gel that Marie had brought, from Kate's post-marathon spares. The gel wasn't too bad, but not something I'd eat from choice! Tasted fine but the texture was very weird and gloopy. Plenty to drink, too - water, and 50/50 fruit juice (V8) and water. However, I was feeling pretty saddle sore by about 50-60 miles. Trish said it looked like my riding position needed adjusting, and I moved the saddle forward when we stopped at 70. It helped a bit, but I'm not sure if by then I was just already sore and nothing apart from not riding would help. I was in two minds about whether to do the last 40 or not, but I carried on, and survived!

We averaged 15.8-16.1 mph pretty consistently (although of course the longer you ride, the more extreme your increase/decrease has to be to affect the average), coming in at just over 7h riding time for the whole thing, and 40 minutes' stoppage excluding the "home" pit stop at 70. About 20 of that was fixing (twice) a puncture Trish got at 78 miles. We took turns (although not rigidly) at the front, and kept each other going, which really worked well, although conversation certainly tailed off towards the end of the day as we got more tired.

When we finally landed, nobody wanted cake - all full of sweet stuff already. Marie felt sick, although I think she had been on energy gels and drinks, which are maybe sweeter? My flapjack was not overly sweet, but packed with fruit, and my drinks were more dilute and less sweet to start with too. Next time I would also take something savoury, maybe cheese or peanut butter sandwiches, just to mix in with the sweet. I guess we were losing salts by sweating too - the energy drinks might replace those but my juice and water wouldn't.

So, perhaps a slightly unconventional way to kick off a taper week, but fun and good to do! The Norfolk 100 is coming up, so as long as I can get my riding position sorted out, I'm up for that.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Bricking it

Schedule: Brick, 15+10 x 2, 1 @ threshold, 1 @ race pace

Actual: Run 45 min easy; bricks x 3 (5 bike, 3 run, 2 walk) @ race pace

Went out with Lizzie first thing, for about 45 mins slowish run/walk, then joined Kerry for a brick session. It came from a different plan, so was different but I reckon roughly equivalent to the one I had planned. Bike bits were on the turbo trainer in her back garden - hadn't used one of those before so that was interesting! Of course there is no freewheeling downhill, so it's all effort, and pretty tough. Definitely felt the jelly legs on the run bits - once around Abinger Way plus a bit more makes 3 minutes, and it includes a hill - perfect! Three's enough though...

Friday, May 2, 2008

808 state

Schedule: swim 40 drills

Actual: swim 40 drills, but inc 1 x 400m just to see what I could do

Did a mix of kick and pull drills, with a few lengths of closed-fists. Feeling good in the water, everything was flowing as it was supposed to, more or less. Then decided to blast out a 400m and made 8:08! Splits: 2:01, 2:04, 2:03, 2:00 as far as I could work out - looking at my watch during glide rather than hitting the lap button or anything. I'm really pleased with that - although how I could then get out of the pool is a mystery :) My arms are all wobbly!

Given that my 400m time at Waveney last year was 8:46, that's a big improvement :) With race-day adrenaline, could I break 8:00? Hmm....

That's cheered me up after last night!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Crap run

Schedule (from Tues): 45 mins, inc 20 building to race pace

Actual: disastrous aborted pyramid (1-2-3-4-3-2-1) effort session

Got out to Eaton Park OK, but as the pyramid went on I began to really need the loo, and the ones in the park were shut. Got to the stage where I just couldn't run - funny stitch-like pain too, but lower down.

Abandoned the session and jogged back, dejected. Hmph.