Sunday, May 31, 2009


Not quite a brick, but two workouts for the day, if not in one go.

First up, 100 km on the bike - out to meet Rosie (via a drop-off at Trudie and Tim's!), on to Shipdham to scoop up Trish and Rob, then Larling, Old Buck, and home. More stops than last week (ice cream at Old Buck, yay :) but some good stretches in between, often with me and Rob out front. A great little straight near Watton prison allowed a nice sprint, and in general it was a pretty good ride out as far as East Harling - I reckon the wind was behind us, as it certainly wasn't as we headed back home. Average speed dropped noticeably all the way to Potash Lane, where I said goodbye to the others, and trundled home from there. Consumption: one energy bar, two slices fruit soda bread with peanut butter, 2/3 apple flapjack, one bottle orange juice/water, one bottle water, and a Ben & Jerry's 'Wich.

After a 2h30 break for lunch and sitting around (bad idea), I went over to Lizzie's for a run. Tried to run carrying a bag with stuff I had to take over there, but that wasn't working. Between that and rutted ground (I went via the marshes, the long way as the cows were hanging out by the gate on the short way, looking menacing) and no doubt tired legs, it wasn't working, so I walked over there. We then proceeded to crank out over 10 miles at ~10:30 pace (another watch mishap so I don't know exactly), which given that some of that was ploughing through waist high barley and calf high wheat, and we had a few little walk breaks, is not bad. It was tough going, ut a lot easier than it would have been without support! Consumption: ~300ml water and one Go Gel.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Recovery run

No efforts tonight, just a riverside recovery run. Did ~5.2km in ~33 mins, then stopped to wait for Claudia and never restarted the watch. I was glad to wait to be honest :) But I don't like leaving people alone either.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wroxham 5k #1

"I'll be happy with anything under 27" I said, not having done many effort sessions recently. Result? 25:20 (a little less by my watch). Whoa. I don't know which bag I pulled that out of, but I hope it has something left for the tri.

Official results

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Little brick

The same 90km route as before, but the other way around (left turns, much better). Actually, not quite the same as this time I took the planned route via Great Ellingham and not the backroads detour around Rocklands. This one was set out to be non-stop, properly fuelled, with a half decent run afterwards. Thanks to a puncture at 70km it wasn't non-stop, but the other two worked.

There was some strangeness going on with my cycle computer. I'd look down to check my speed, and see it periodically drop down to a lower speed, e.g. 28kph to 20. I think the sensor was not consistently sensing the magnet on the wheel, translating that to lower speeds. That would also explain why I was barely over 90km when I got home, yet last time on that route it was around 92-93. Bikemap says 93.7km. The computer gave me an average of 26.1kph, but using the extra 3km in the same time it would be about 26.9kph (16.9 and 16.2mph). I was at (approx, from bikemap) 26.5km at 1h, 54.5km at 2h (so had done 28km in the hour), and 80.5km (done 25.5km) at 3h.

I felt great for the first 2h-2:15, then started getting pretty tired - I had to push it much harder to keep up the speed, even on the flat. Yet all the time I was thinking that I had to go for a run when I got in, and not to completely kill my legs! I took on two Aptonia energy bars and one gel, then another gel in "transition". The bars I ate a bite at a time, every 15 mins or so after 40 mins - the pineapple one was very chewy, to the extent that I wouldn't have it again, but the apricot/apple one was very good, and melted in the mouth a bit more. I'd unwrap them first, they were fiddly to do on the go. Gels were fine. I pretty much finished 2 bottles of fluid, one water and one orange/water half and half. It was a hot day and I'd probably have drunk more if it had been available.

The total time was 3:27. According to Bikemap, the 90km mark was just outside Intwood Hall entrance lodge, but of course I have no idea what that is in time terms. Maybe it is about 3:20, 3:21 or so. The last time I did the route it was 27.4kph average, so today wasn't as good, but I don't think the conditions were quite as favourable, especially the heat. I did also swim and run yesterday!

A very quick change of shoes and some water, and I went off on a run. Initial intention was the bridlepath loop from the other night, over the field by Keswick church, but as I got to the end of the flat bit of Marston Lane, nature called and I decided to keep it short this week. I just did a lap of the marshes. The rough ground was hard going, but the run itself was not actually too bad. Overall it was quite a reassuring run.

So, feeling reasonably good about the big event, but obviously 21km of half marathon is a bit different to 2.6km plodding on the marshes! More, bigger bricks to come I think.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Swim run swim

Lake swim first thing - gorgeous morning, quite a slow swim but that was due to stopping to make sure Sue was OK (cold got to her a bit). Thankfully we swam in a three, so while she went back with a canoe observer, Rachel and I swam on. 37:40 was our total time. I wonder whether next week I could grab a red hat and convince them to partner me to make me swim quicker?

Then I went on the 10k course, although not quite the old course as there is a new off-road path when coming back towards the lake. It feeds you off to the lakeside path so there was no double-back down the road and then back on the lakeside. I tried to make up for it at the end but my guesstimation was a bit off. 9.5km, 54:25, so prob about 57 for 10k. Not too bad.

Later on it was back in the water again, helping out the novice open water swimmers, who all did really well. The worst thing was the cold, as there was more standing around and less swimming than a normal session. That should all change next week!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Slow slow slow

9.9km, right on the hour. Between flies in the eye and loo stops and rain showers, not the greatest run, but hey ho.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Back to front

Swimming at 50m this morning. I arrived at the pool yesterday late lunchtime only to find a triathlon - a triathlon!! - in the pool, so that put paid to that idea. It was quiet this morning, but I didn't have such a great swim. The idea was 8x100m moderate, and 7x100m hard. They came in as:

(missed first one on the watch), 2:02, 2:01, 2:01, 2:02, 2:04, 2:06, 2:07

2:10, 2:05, 2:06, 2:06, 2:08, 2:06, 2:10

So, somehow, moderate is quicker than hard! I was tiring badly, my arms weren't holding up well, and it really shows in the times. I also messed up the rests and had too long on the moderate ones - should have been 5s not 45s.

However, swimming early @50m worked quite well, I have to say. I could perhaps be doing that again!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Two runs

At Conac, I did a short, slowish run with two new beginners, Emmy and Rita, just around the marshes. Came home and decided to boost that with a blat around the block: 21:20, 8:48/mile - not bad, expecially considering I took it slightly easy at first as cramp was threatening, and didn't exactly zoom up the hill by the scout camp either. It wasn't easy, but feels great now it's over :) Aim for next time: knock that 20 seconds off!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Wet 'n' windy

Out on the bike for the first time in about a month, spangly bibshorts and base layer (from Decathlon the other week) on test. The route was over to Rosie's at Hethersett, then over to the Bungay road via a slightly hairy crossing of the A140, Bungay, Harleston, Attleborough and then home. There was a lot of head and side wind, and a fair few showers as well, so tough going at times.

Total (including to Hethersett and back) was 115km for me, a bit more than I ideally wanted, but not too bad. I knew the other guys were always on for 60 miles, but I think it was tougher mentally just due to me being geared up for the idea of 90km! I was a bit dismayed to reach Besthorpe and then head for Hethersett via High Oak and Great Melton, but the cake at the end made it all worthwhile...

Bib shorts and base layer were a bit much when the sun came out. That extra layer, however thin, does make a difference. That said, I like the way the bibs don't cut me in half like normal shorts. And I welcomed the long arms when the rain was really coming down! The top is thin enough to dry quickly, which was just as well.

I was disappointed/annoyed to get a p*ncture (in my new blue "resistant" tyres!!) within about half a mile of leaving Rosie's - to make things worse I only noticed it as we were setting off after Rob had fixed something that was up with his back wheel. At least the hole was easily identifiable (due to the lethal shard of white flint embedded in it) and could be patched without removing the tube completely. Coupled with the new CO2 inflator (lifesaver) we were on the road again quite quickly, and not troubled by the p*ncture fairy for the rest of the ride.

The raised seat seems to be working well, and I'm getting good power from my legs without too much fatigue. However, I still need to get used to sitting on it by standing on the pedal as I push off. I fudged this a couple of times at road junctions, including one where everyone else went off and failed to notice I wasn't there! I also need to get used to unclipping on the left as well as the right, which currently seems to be a bit of a mental block for me. I don't understand why this is a problem!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Stopping and starting

...specifically, my watch, and failing to do the latter after the former!

Did a nice long run tonight, out to the monument and back, via Lizzie's. Lovely evening, blue skies and skylarks all around, but after a short pit stop I failed to set the watch going again and "lost" about 7 minutes as far as I can work out. So, total running time about 1:26 (longest in a while), pace about 9:50, but that's OK - 8.7 miles is a good bit of distance to get under my belt.

First (proper) swim

Down to the lake for the first time this year... on a slighty chilly, damp and grey morning, it's worth remembering it does look like this later on in the year:

Apparently 13ยบ today. Cold enough! But a good turnout - must have been 50-60 crazy people on the decking when we started.

We got in to a chorus of assorted "oohs", "aaaaahhhs" and "brrrrrrrs", and possibly a few slightly more rude expressions. I still maintain that the best thing is to get it over with, a quick tug on the neck of the wetsuit to let all that cold water in at once rather than enduring trickles as you swim. Honest!

I decided to regress to a yellow hat for now (dropping from the faster red category I'd gone up to last year), and swam with fellow yellow Lynn. Not accounting for the break at the buoy, we did 35:20 for the whole lot -not a bad start for the season. It took at least half of the swim out to get comfortable and acclimatise, but it really wasn't too bad after that point. I even felt hot when I got out!

I had been slightly nervous that I'd find it hard to get back into lake swimming, but by the return leg, I was enjoying it just as much as last year, especially when we had a brief glimpse of sun from behind the clouds. Just need to add on another 400m, and I'm ready for the Cowman.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Just swimming

Lack of a watch, and just fitting a swim in, means I don't even have a length count for today. 40 minutes more or less exactly, swimming constantly, so hopefully I covered at least the 76 lengths needed for 1900m. Pool swimming is getting very boring - can't wait to start at the lake on Saturday!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Steady run

Out with the Monday group - Claudia, Victoria, Jeanette and a few others. Had a nice steady run down by the river and on Marriott's Way. 9:47/mile but that's a good group pace. This is going to be a busy week, and I don't know what I'll be able to fit in, so anything's a bonus!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Swim aborted

Newsflash: "Swim for all" actually means "swim for all except those who want to actually swim". The new pool at Sutton was crawling with kids, toys, and was a general free-for-all. Thank goodness for windows, so I could make a swift exit before I paid to go in!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Kirkby loop

Did the usual loop at Kirkby, 10.7km, just over the hour, making 9:17/mile. Still pretty windy, hard going along Derby Road into the wind, but good going on the second half.

Friday, May 8, 2009

First swim... slightly unplanned

Busy day today - crewing on the wherry first thing, then home and off to mum's for the weekend. Didn't plan on fitting in a swim, but managed to slip on the quay heading in the rain at Potter Heigham and ended up in the water. Thankfully I didn't go fully in, and was able to hang on to the quay while everyone else made sure the wherry made it safely past and moored up further along. I had time to think about how warm it was in the water, and how ridiculous my armpit-level tidemark was going to look. Once I'd been unceremoniously hauled out, and changed into overalls kindly lent by the boatyard (who also washed my clothes - how lovely), I really was fine. Shame the same can't be said for my phone, but then it's my own fault for leaving it in my pocket! Felt a bit more shaken later on when I thought more about what could have happened, but there's no point going over it. I wasn't doing anything I shouldn't have been, it was just one of those things.

Anyway, if the water at Whitlingham is that temperature next week, it'll be lovely!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Morning run

Knowing I wouldn't get much of another chance in the next couple of days, I went out first thing this morning. Down over the marshes, up past the mill and then round to Waitrose via the playing fields and the loke, overgrown with cow parsley. It was a bit breezy, not boding terribly well for a wherry sailing later on, but sunny and with everywhere looking very lush and green.

Overall, 6.9km in 39:31 so 9:13/mile. Given the marshes were a bit uneven (although dry), and therefore slower to run over (as I'm quite fond of my ankles as they are), that's not too bad at all.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Swimming harder

300 WU
7 x 100m moderate, 5s rest: 1:56, 1:58, 1:56, 2:02, 2:02, 2:01, 2:03
5 x 100m lactate, ~1 min rest (done @ 3 mins): 1:53, 1:54, 1:54, 1:56, 1:54
300 CD

Total 1800m

Not the best moderate intervals I've ever done. As usual, started faster and then tailed off, although I didn't really perceive that - it felt consistent to be honest. However, about halfway through each third 25m of the later lactate intervals, I really started feeling it - arms weak, technique worsening, breathing more erratic. I had to push it to keep going, yet the times are much more consistent!

My turns were not good today either. I seemed to fudge a lot of them, getting a faceful of water from somewhere and just not being very slick, basically. Over 4 lengths that probably doesn't make much difference, but it does affect whether I think I'm having a good session. At least there are no turns in open water!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A bit quicker

Waitrose loop - 6.3km, 36:15, 9:15/mi - although Brian's GPS was complaining about going sub-8:30 at a couple of points. Wahey!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Squeezing one in

Managed to get a run in before today's seminar session. Did the riverside run again, 36:00 this time but that's not too bad - a comfortable 9:21/mile. Lovely morning to be out and about.