Saturday, May 28, 2011

First open water of the year

A point of view

Is it down to the lake I fear? Yes it is. Too early - Saturdays don't need two 8ams really.

The lake was colder, greyer and greener than I remembered. I always think of still summer mornings with the sun in a wide clear sky, the lake like a mirror, and the water a balmy umpteen degrees. Today wasn't like that.

After 100m I could breathe. After 200m my goggles had more or less demisted. After 400m I had feeling back in my face again. After 800m I turned around the buoy and into a headwind that was whipping up a few choppy waves - coming back took 3-4 minutes longer than going out, and at times I was aware of the swell.

Still, I'm glad I went. There's something hypnotically satisfying about just swimming continuously, getting into a rhythm and not turning. If I could swim in a straight line it would be even better :) Today's highlight was the hot shower and the cup of coffee afterwards - bliss. Even though there weren't any biscuits left :(

Photo: A point of view by angelocesare, on Flickr

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A little record

Not a PB, but a year's best at last night's Broadland 5k. So just a little record (groan). Perfect conditions, not too hot and not too cold, quiet roads, lovely countryside, a little bit of up and down but nothing serious. If they hadn't said it had been organised quickly due to some problem with the old Wroxham venue, you'd never have known. Loads of marshals and the best cake stall around (not that I had any!).

I had a really good run, considering I did squats and lunges the day before - a warm up eased my stiff legs (more or less), then the race was comfortable and rock steady at around 5:30 for each km. Although it was chip timed, there was no start-line chip mat so the official results say 27:43. It was 27:21 for 'im indoors, who sped off in front for the first km, slowed up for the second, dogged my heels for the next two and then pulled away up the last hill. Sneaky bugger. I'm not going to the gym the day before the next race, that's for sure.

Photo: Untitled by maxw, on Flickr

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Blustery day

Trees and wind

Despite the energetic dancing of the trees outside, I agreed to go for a bike ride with Clare and Marie. Definitely a bit gusty at times, but not nearly as bad as we feared, and the sun and lack of traffic at 4-5pm on a Sunday definitely made up for the headwind. A lovely social ride - 24 miles via Barford and Wramplingham.

Yesterday I did parkrun (number 9 for me), 28:28 which is a personal second best - ran without a watch, with mp3 player, just doing what I felt like and could have sworn it was much slower than that. So the result was a nice surprise!

Photo: Trees and wind by nyoin, on Flickr

Friday, May 20, 2011

I'm still here!


Blogging has taken a bit of a back seat since the tri, but I am still here, honest... I'm not quite back into the full routine but I'm getting there. I've veered between a shocking run(-walk) and a great 10k averaging 9:20/mile. I've been out around the block on my bike, had a just-stretching-out swim which was nice, and returned to the gym (just yesterday, as my muscles insist on reminding me).

I'm aiming for a parkrun bimble tomorrow and the Broadland (previously Wroxham) 5k next Wednesday. If the weather's good, a bike ride on Sunday is on the cards too. It's nice having no particular focus, but it may also be my downfall if it means I start skipping too many sessions. I'll keep an eye on that.

Photo: *shrug*, by me, on Flickr

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Back in the saddle (just about)

'08 06-07 171

My first sprint tri for two and a half years (!). The training I'd done was somewhat undone by a week and a half away from home immediately before the race, and it was a bit of a struggle at times - as reflected in my slow times for the bike and run, leading to a PW for the race. All of the newbies I brought along beat me fairly comprehensively, but I don't care. It was fun :)

The forecast heavy rain stayed away and instead it was pretty warm with a strong breeze. Nothing untoward apart from a minor gears issue while setting up, which was fixed with a bit of help from Alice's Andy. I did have to stop for a few seconds to be overtaken at the end of length 14 of the swim, only to then find myself stuck behind the guy. I've never had to let someone past before and it was kind of annoying especially to be then on his toes, but at least it was only for 2 lengths.

Alice and I started in the same wave - she was mere seconds behind me out of the swim as she had to wait twice to be passed, but caught me about 1/3 of the way into the bike and then gradually pulled away, even on the main road where I thought I might make up a bit. However, a bit of faffing in T2 let me catch up with her again and we started the run together. Not that we were together for very long - I had totally leaden legs for the first mile, which in a 2-mile run is not great. It definitely added a certain something to have someone else so close though.

Barney and Rom also did brilliantly, with Barney only just over the hour and Rom around 1:03.

Now to get fitter and bounce back at Waveney 2... hopefully a good summer will see me improve on the bike. Or maybe even a new bike would help :D

Results: W1'11 {W2'08} (W1'08) [W2'07]

Swim: 7:57 {7:28} (8:01) [8:46]
T1 + bike: 41:43* {39:50} (40:02*) [40:47] *includes T2 as well
T2 + run: 19:15* {18:05} (18:12*) [17:57] *does not include T2
Total: 1:08:55 {1:05:23} (1:06:15) [1:07:30]

Overall position: 97/150 {61/114} (88/130) [72/115]
Women's race position: 19/48 {9/29} (10/31) [15/36]
Age group position: 3/9 {2/5} (2/7) [5/10]

Photo: '08 06-07 171 by JeepFleeb, on Flickr - of course I look like this when I do a tri...

Saturday, May 7, 2011

What I Did On My Holidays

open to possibilities 2

Sums it up...

Well, not quite. But after the (relatively) super speedy swim from my previous post, I got stuck into some much needed spring cleaning and DIY over the (for once, glorious) holiday weekend and didn't do any training. The following week saw a 2-day conference where I did at least get out for a 30-minute run each morning, just to keep myself ticking over.

I had reasonably high hopes for the field course the following week, and duly packed two sets of kit. Sunday morning saw a 5-mile walk, but on Monday I finally got out for a wander along the path by the Ley, and back up through the village, trying to make it back so as to be able to shower before breakfast at 7.30am.

Little word, "up". But Devon has steep hills, for a girl from the flatlands, and "up through the village" might as well have been the north face of the Eiger. Ouch. So, what turned into a run-walk was actually the last of my training, as the rest of the week saw me too tired to do anything in the early mornings that were the only realistic time to go. And I freely admit that spending a few nights at the pub over the course of the week might not have been the best way to spend a taper... but dammit, I slept well :)

So, there we go. Excuse-ducks all in a row! I'm not feeling as excited about the race as I could be, just because I haven't had full control over the past week, but I'm still up for it. More "let's give it a go" than "bring it on", but sometimes life gets in the way a bit and all you can do is bumble on. Let's see what tomorrow brings. The forecast says heavy rain!

Photo: open to possibilities 2 by Chris Blakeley, on Flickr