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!