Saturday 19 December 2009

Calne Aquathlon Series Race 3 - December 19th 2009


Today was race 3, temperature has been below freezing for last few days, and hadn't been *too* excited about getting out of a wet pool into the sub zero air for a run!

I'd packed jumper, leg warmers, 2 pairs of gloves, buff (not muff) for transition so i could layer up... as if transition doesnt take long enough for me!!

Was a bit late getting there so was pretty rushed due to car refusing to defrost..... so got in, registered, numbered up, quick change and headed to the poolside. a few people had failed to turn up (pussied out cos of the cold i bet :-P ) so had 2 in the lane so we said we'd go up and down rather than round and round.

Pool was super warm today :-) Same distance - 400m, i've been working pretty hard on my swimming with club the last couple of weeks so was hoping to see some improvement on last time. Got off to a good start, having to breath unilaterally though for most of it though, concentrated on pushing off the wall better, kicking harder and keeping my shoulders up. I tired a little between 250 and 350 but managed to pick it back up for last 50, got to the end checked my watch.......... 8:30!!! :-) :-) hurrah!! super happy with this. :-) my HR was through the roof though, at 179bpm, considering my running max HR is 186.

Hauled myself out of the pool and trotted outside...


Dilly dallied a bit in trasnsition as always, but didnt bother with the jumper, just wore my tri suit, just bunged on my race belt, socks, shoes and picked up my glove and ran out.... i put my gloves on, on themove, the air hit my lungs like splinters. took 90 secs between pool and getting out on run. God knows how slowit would have been with jumper and leg warmers!!

I've not really been concentrating very much oin my running lately due to the focus on the bike and swimming, so have mainly been doing steady aerobic stuff with the exception of a tempo run on thursday which wasn't anything quicker than half marathon pace.

The run was fairly uneventful, 5k out and back as usual... two people were ahead of me out of the pool from my wave, there was luckily no ice on the pavements, a bit of frost on the grass, but aside from the cold air it was actually a really nice day, sunny and bright. Last 500m was running with a fella who was trying to see where the gap in the hedge we had to run through was cos the sun was blinding... and the icicles in our eyes werent helping! :-)

The last 500m always seems further than it does on the way out. Ran back into the car park, through the finish 22min for the run, pretty average but i'm not too displeased with it given my lack of focus.

Went inside to warm up and stretch, touched my head and had a ponytail thickwith ice, bright red legs, frosty ass, and the coldest nips i've ever experienced!!!! :-P Warm shower, mulled wine while waiting for results.

3rd lady again :-) Need to keep it up to get a placing at end of series!!! But there's a new lady entered who came 2nd who's a bit quick!!

Sunday 6 December 2009

29th Nov/5th Dec/6th Dec - DNS

29th should have been Eynsham 10k - my favourite 10k race - usually get a nice tshirt ;-)

5th Dec - Battersea Santa Run

6th Dec - Bromham 10k Pudding run

after a really bad couple of races i have decided that i've overcooked myself piking race upon race in the last few months. It's not conducive to my current IM plans where i need to be building my base fitness for endurance and concentrating on strengthening my weaker leg - cycling, so have turned my focus to longer slower runs, and bike specific training.

My legs and brain seem happierr with this decision. i'll get back to my 10k goals next winter.

Wednesday 25 November 2009

22nd November - Swindon 10k

What a crock.

Was umming and ah'ing about this one, i'd done the aquathlon the day before and didnt really feel it, but had entered and wanted to beat lady from club after her beating me in my drunk state at swindon barf marathon. Ronny was there too, he reckoned he wouldnt do that well but i'd hoped he'd get the sub 42 he was after. A bunch of lovely wlr lot were down for hte event too, some of them from swindon it made sense!

Got there to yet anohter wet and windy swindon 10k at the karting ground. It's really open up there so took a battering from the gales.

Really jaded by this run which is why i've taken so long to write the report and why i'm lacking enthusiasm about it, and having had the nicest run this evening than i've had in a while i feel more able to write about it.

I've still had a sub 42 in my hopes, but can't see it happening this year. i need to be in a more focused state of mind and lose a stone, so i'm putting this goal on ice until next year after the IM. The training i'm starting to do for IM is low intensity aerobic, so it's in conflict with this aim.

So the run... huddled at the start, got off to a pretty decent start, first 2k were 4:05, so thought maybe i'd come close to the 42 if i kept it was a 2 loop course... the rain had stopped but the wind was terrible, between 3 and 4, 7 and 8 and the final 500 odd metres you hit a brick wall of wind. At 4k i was going to pull up and give it up as a bad job but i kept going... each km getting slower, harder, the wind zapping my energy, my chubby thighs not wanting to work for me.

Could still see ronny ahead for the first 6 or 7 km, but wasnt going to keep up with his pace so kissed goodbye to a 42/43min.... for thelast km i kept checking behind for running club lady, i could see her in the distance, not quite caught up, i wasnt going to give her the pleasure, or id never hear the end of it. the last 500m was so tough.... it was like running through thick treacle.

Finalyl dragged my sorry fat ass through the finish in 46 mins. shocking run. running club lady came in a bit behind me rambling "anohter half mile and i would have aught you"

"but you didnt" and as kathy said "she had 6 miles!!"

my mate from club told me tonight she said "anna was lucky" really? i dont believe in luck actually, i believe in hard work and preparation... i didnt prepare for this, hence it was shite.

Anyhow, went back and waited with Mr AmySara and watched the wlr lot fly through... they made the finish look a lot easier than i found it!

Then on to a roast, pint of cider and great company in the pub. :-) made up for a bad run.

sound bitter don't i!! :-P

oh, i was 8th lady, and our team won the ladies prize.... dunno what the prize is yet.

Saturday 21 November 2009

21st November Calne Aquathlon - Race 2

Today was race 2 of the series....

Again, the focus was on my swim. Have had a couple of really good training sessions since the last one and really been working on what i'm being taught. I think in some ways i'm in a fortunate position to make quicker improvements as being a beginner i've not got ingrained bad habits to try and correct.

I got my dad to film my swim today so i can analyse it and see any flaws that have been pointed out and see if i can improve them in future ones.

So.. same deal as last time.. 400m swim, 5k run... same route, smae time, and weather almost identical.

So the swim.... i was 2nd to be set off in my lane and got off to a good start, overtook the lady in front before the end 2nd length and now had no=one to draft off which i had suspected was helping my swim times in training. Despite having done a few tumble turns last week, i'm not at all comforatble doing them so did my usual touch turns, which from watching the video are awful.... i pause, bring my head right up, turn round, sort of surface dive so my arse comes out the water and then finally streamline off the wall (not for as far as i should) thus losing a good second or two on each turn.

My arms started to tire about towards the end. and with 50m to go i pushed on to the finish. I got out, checked my watch - balls - i hadnt started it!! well i had but it said 15 seconds! so clearly id stopped it shortly after! doh.

Trotted outside, up the steps, into car park. Started the watch when i got to my trainers. I'd brought socks this week as last time i ran with none on and got really sore blisters, so was worth the extra time added to transition. which was a bit over a minute not including running round from the poool, so prob at good 90 seconds

I didnt run out too hard to begin, but gradually picked up the pace to what felt unpleasant. I overtook as many as i could who had got out the pool ahead of me. The run was uneventful but didnt feel very good, i'm not really sure what/why/how, just not 100% i think i've still got the ball buster in my legs, and didnt feel very sparky.

Went through finish and checked my watch, 22:15, meaning my run time was about 21, which is ok... about 10 secs slower than the last one. it felt a lot slower though.bit of a treacely one!

HUng about for results i came 3rd out of he ladies, with a swim time oooooof........... 8:50!!!!! :-) :-)

hurrrraaayyyyyyyyyy! knocked off another 22 seconds from the previous one... so over a minute since the end of august when i started :-)

The girl who's won both of the races so far is a min quicker on the run, about 90secs quicker on the swim and really quick at putting her shoes on, so i need to up my game if i want in on the prizes at the end of the series!! :-P

Woop Woop!

oooh. also, feel the need to share... whilst waiting for results, in came to the gym was a stunning 6ft creature.... wasnt quick enough to bite his pretty bum though... he may have seen the look in my eye and made a dash! :-P

Sunday 15 November 2009

Sunday 15th November - "Wickstead Wander"

I fancied a change and bit of recovery after a few months working hard pounding the tarmac, so i'd planned either doing avebury 8 or wickstead wander and not going balls out. Avebury filled up so i went for wickstead instead.

It's a new race this year in Highworth, 5.5 "country miles" (which i'm assuming means inaccurate and probably measured using cows?! :-) across fields and a cross country course (horse one) i've ridden round the jumps before and it's lush. Raising money for RDA.

I arrived just in the nick of time to enter and get to the start, probably about 150 runners, 3 of which were men cross dressing for the occasion - one of these is a guy who wins pretty much all the local races. I'd borrowed some running spikes from a lady at running club but i'd stoopidly forgotten them! Big mistake.

The race briefing... "there are cross country jumps as obstacles.. they're not compulsory, but st johns ambulance are on the course!" :-P

Despite all the rain the last few days the fields weren't too muddy, a bit skiddy in places and some parts were boggy but mostly it was sruface water, still spikes would have been handy!

So the course..... set out across a field, onto a track, down a steep hill, through some slimy farm with sh1t everywhere. across ploughed fields, round some more, over (in my case through) a deep ditch ankle deep with water.... splash splashh through more fields.... i could see i was leading lady and someone said "well done, first ladies through" plural? glanced behind and there was a lady just behind me, she overotok me up another hill.

Then came the cross country fences.. some of them werent optional cos you couldnt get by without it. but it was all good fun so clambered over them... then through a water jump... knee deep and when you ran,, got soaked form head to toe! Up a big step out of it, over anohter jump, across more fields, over more jumps.. lady who overtook was never more than 20m ahead of me so i though i could possibly catch her if i dug in. But i still had a way to go so didnt feel ready to speed up, overtake, then maintain that pace.

Through another water jump, up some more hills, over more jumps, back over the ditch from before, back up the track - the hill was waaaay steeper than on the way down and i was really blowing and struggling. It seemed longer than before too. Lady was increasing the gap and i knew i wouldnt catch her now.

Finally got to the top of the hill, back across the final field and through the finish. 2nd place :-) and wona coool trophy!! :-)

Spoke to the lady who won after and she was lovely and i don't mind being second to her cos she was really un-smug about it and is a triathlete too. She finished a minute ahead of me in the end, there's no way i could have caught her, she did good. she said though that if it was another mile i'd have overtaken but i dont think i would have as i'd had enough by then.

There was a bloke at the finish i was chatting to too who said

"did you used to be blonde?"
"yeah, are my roots coming through!!? sorry, who are you?"
"i recognised the tattoo on the back of your neck, i wasnt suer if it was a bassett hound thing or you were the same person"
" ahhh.. you've been behind me before then"? :-P
"haha, yes. Are you doing the xc series"
"no, i dont do xc..... this was a bit random, plus i think it was more of a steeplechase!"

he was saying i should go for this xc championships in a couple of weeks that i was pondering... but i'm realy not sure.... that or eynsham 10k?? mmmmm...

Anyhooo, chuffed with today, legs are still a bit heavy from last week so gonna have anohter gentle week before a couple of races next weekend.

Saturday 7 November 2009

The BallBuster Duathlon Sat 7th November 2009

This one needs a bit of background....

Some months ago, my friend Suzie absently suggested this for me in jest... I looked it up, thought why the heck not and entered. I then asked around, did some research, read some reviews and found out more about what the hell I was getting myself into.

So what was that now?

Quote from the humanrace website:

"The Ballbuster duathlon takes you over Box Hill, near Dorking in Surrey, a total of five times with each loop being 8 miles long; twice on foot and three times in the saddle. It is a severe test of stamina and should not be taken lightly. It is the equivalent of running a marathon and should be treated with the utmost respect. Many fail each year"

So the last couple of months have been prepping myself for this... how? By throwing myself up as many big hills as possible of course. I'd raced half marathons purely for the fact that they've been hilly, taken my rides to work up the biggest hills i can find, got people to drag me out up hills at running club and requested "more hills" when out on evening rides, brick training at 5 in the morning before work.

The last two weeks I've been totally bricking myself, week before last I gave myself one last hill sessoin on bike and foot, then last week tapered - for the first time "properly" in months and months. There was nothing more I could do, except, rest, and carb it up a bit.

A couple of days before the race I had been given some great advice from someone who 's become something of a mentor (and i hope he doesn't mind my assuming that label on him!) one of these being, to set my hrm to 80% of my max hr and to maintain that through out the race, and have it so it beeps if I drop below. So with pep talks from him and from Suzie I felt a bit less scared and a bit more excited about it.

So today finally came round after months of preparation, I set off in good time, got lost, went round in circles, and finally found my way to race HQ with half an hour to get my number, rack my bike and sort myself out.

I looked around at the sort of people participating and wondered once more why the hell was i there. Headed towards the start for race briefing, once more reminded of the tough long race ahead. I felt pretty good on the whole - well rested, well fuelled and raring to go.

Set off towards the back of the pack (around 400/500 i think) and got into a rhythm that felt really comfy, after a few mins I checked my hrm and its said 90%, I gathered it was adrenaline, slight incline, start of the race etc so carried on at the same pace. I looked again a few mins later and it was still around 90...I decided to let my legs dictate the pace for a short while as i was feeling comfortable and wasn't blowing and puffing.

In my mind I had broken up the race into 7 sections -

Run x 2 lots of 4 miles
3 x 8 mile bike sections
run x 2 lots of 4 miles

Hopefully the psychology of this helping me get through it without thinking too far ahead.

It had been said that the water station would be at 4 miles, so imagine my surprise when it appeared after just 22 mins - no I hadnt' run 4 miles in that time! so this split my run up a bit differently to planned.

The route was for the first 5/6 miles largely draggy hills, some steep short inclines, some steep down hills. The finaly 2/3 was where it got nasty. Some long hard hills, sharp bends, and more long hills that just didnt seem to give in.

I actually got through the first run feeling pretty good, a comfy speed, overtaking a few poeple, not feeling like I was pushing too hard, trying to remember that i needed to try to maintain the same pace for the first and second run. However, my HR was between 85 and 90% for the whole of the first leg.

Towards the top of the longest hill on the zig zag road were a big group of supporters who were there throughout the entire race, whistling, and dancing and cheering and I believe if they weren't there a lot of people would have faded.

So off the run, through to transition, checked my watch, 60 mins and 30 secs- top notch. Was really pleased with that as I was thinking I was prob 8 min miling and hoping for about 1hr4 I'm pretty good at making up speed on the downhills though when some people get scared of going to quick I throw myself down.

I didn't rush transition (I'm notoriously bad at this!) , changed out of my running stuff and put on a warmer top, (had to turn it the right way round first!), shoes off - untied the laces as I thought it would be easier to have them ready for the next leg, shoves some snacks in my back pocket, helmet on, shoes on, finally got the bike down and started the 100m dash across the field and track to the road to mount. Took me over 3 mins in transition! :-P

So on to the bike, the first stretch was hillier than i thought it was, so had some water, some grub and settled onto the bike for a few mins. Then got going. The route was the same as the run loop, the sharp corners making it tricky in places, the damp ground making it slippy. After the run I decided to split each bike lap into two as well, of 5 miles and 3 miles, he first 5 were really fast, I'm not what you'd call a "cyclist" and I've never gotten to overtake people on the bike legs before but I was going past quite a lot, flying up the long drags faster than I used to be able to ride the flat. The second section of each lap were where the steep slow hills were. I had a swig of my energy drink, and fumbling to put it back in the cage, dropped the bugger!! So now i had to do the remaining 20 miles of the bike with only water and half a trek bar.

There was a guy and me the whole of the first 2 and a half laps, overtaking each other, taking it in turns to go past, him getting me on the short sharp, me getting him on the long drags. Every time we went past each other, we'd take the piss out of each other. The second half of the last bike lap I kept hearing my watch beeping to urge me to work harder, so i'd kick in and push on, if not for this I think I might have flaked out... that and the amazing people of the big hill yelling and cheering as i overtook some blokes.

Round the final bend and into transition again.....1hr36 got off B, gave her a kiss and ran through. my toes were frozen!! knees werent happiest after the hills, another slow transition and luckily I had another bottle of energy drink in my box so took that out on the last run., though my bladder was already full and threatening to explode....

My feet took 20 mins to come back to life!

For the final run I decided to split it into 3 - first was upto the drinks station, second to the bottom of the hills, final was the last couple of mile stretch of hills.

I've never looked forward to hills so much as that last leg, as I knew it would mean I was almost home. The final run was tough, my hrm kept beeping at me, so the only thing I could do to shut the fucker up was to run harder - each time taking a swig of drink. I was still overtaking people and trying to pick them off one by one. I knew iIwasnt covering the ground very quickly but just concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other and keeping moving.

Up the final hill, I hi 5'ed a fe of the supporters, shouted to a marshal "I've still got my balls!!!" over took a couple of people now walking, came up to the fnal bend and sprinted (sort of) as best I could through the finish. Time was 1:07

Totally over the moon with todays race, I'm really happy with how I prepared and trained for it and how I performed. My total time was 3hr50 which I'm dead chuffed with as I was aiming for under 4. Plus i was 5th in my category :-)

I was paranoid about getting a puncture (and there were a lot out there today) so i need to get some practice in regulraly to be prepared for that too.

It wasnt as bad as I thought it would be, partly maybe because iId been imagining the worst!! But I absolutely loved it and I think possibly my highlight race of the year - I'm going go to go back next year and aim for a sub 3:30! :-)

Sunday 1 November 2009

Halloween 5k Night Race 31st October 2009

Halloween Night 5k Race – Dark, Spoooooky, Cross country and dressed up as a skeleton.

Arrived at the race all boned up and fullup from eating too much dinner, and headed the 10/15 minute walk to the pun to meet martin who’d been there since 6 apparently.

The walk was fricking scary, not a soul along the river, just loads of swans (they can break a man’s arm y’know!) so i half jog/ran/watched out for bogey men, looking like a weirdo dressed in bones.

Walking past the race HQ there was music from Psycho blaring out to add to the atmosphereGot to pub and found martin, they only had shabby cider so settled for a lager (just a half) martin went for a full pint. Bit later penny and her husband FINALLY arrived – tsk. Got another round in halves all round. I had hoped to get martin drunk so i’d have a chance at keeping up with him!

Walked back to Race HQ, and were disappointed to se we weren’t the only ones with bones outfits, looooads of people did! So we went to picked up our headtorches, chips (timing not deep fried variety), free tops with bones on! – explained all the bonios. Dropped off bags and went outside.

Martin and I had been checking out the competition and were getting ansty to get to the start, so we all set out to the start, Halloween style music blaring out, bones and headlaps everywhere – it was quite a spectacle.

So under the grim Reapers orders (really!) martin and i were lined up right on the start line, and were off – there were fireworks (really!) Martin leapt off like a thoroughbred from the stalls – his legs were like the road runners!!

Off across a field we all went. Torchbeams lighting the way, about 500m in i was overtakn by a girl who’s feet were barely touching the floor – seriously impressive running style. Settled into a pace (no idea of this pace – just a pace that didn’t leave me wanting to hurl but didn’t leave me feeling like i was being lazy).

Course went round fields, through tracks, flat but uneven - through a cooool bit that had actual real life ghosts!! (well they weren’t as penny was very annoyed about – they were sheets stuck to the trees with ghostly music playing) was dead good!! (geddit)

Every few hundred metres i’d “hoooowwwwoooooooooooo!” like a werewolf, and someone would do it back in the distance. Got to 3k marker and was bummed (not actually bummed!) cos i thought id gone further than that – it felt it. Kept going.... 4k... overtook a coupla blokes.... 400m to go – i’m sure these signs always lie, it seemed more than 400!

Final 50m, about 6 blokes came up on either side of me for a sprint finish, let most of them have it but then to my right some lady in a devils outfit appeared, and at this point i’d not seen any other ladies go past so was pretty certain i was in 2nd place, as she overtook i dug in and threw myself past her and beat her through the finish. Checked time 23:12 (PB for dark/XC/skeleton) Looking across the field at finishers coming in looked really cool, all you could see were loads of headlamps in the distance.

Met the others, went back to pub, chatted about bikes and camel toes etc. Brilliant event, amazing atmosphere excellent value for money (£15 for a chip times, really well marshalled, fun, event with free head torch, bones top, mug, and soup)

As always great to see Martin and Penny.

Saturday 24 October 2009

Calne Aquathlon Series - 1/5

Woooo hooooo!!!

Happy AnnaB!

Today was my first of 5 aquathlons in a series, a 400m swim followed by 5k run.

My aim is to see how i improve (if i do) over the winter on my swimming as this is particularly shit for me. I've so far had 7 swimming coaching sessions, 5 of these with tri club. My first tri time over 400m was 9:53 back at the end of August, then two weeks later 9:51.

It's not something that comes easily and i make constant jokes about being in the shit lane, and wanting to swim as fast as a shark, in honesty this aint ever gona happen cos i just dont have the talent for it but i have really gotten to enjoy it, in spite of being so crud!

The series is one a month over the winter and there were only 25 entries for today!! I was in the first wave and had estimated my time in the pool as 9:45, got off to a good start, inhaled water through my nose on an occasion cos i screwed up my breathing, also punched the poor old man who i was sharing a lane with - entirely my fault cos i went all wigggle snaky up the lane!! (I later apologised to him - in the run and after!) Felt really good, didnt feel like i was thrashing *too* much and tried to concentrate on the technique i've been working on.

Official time in the pool - 9:12!!!! i know to any swimers out there that probably sounds tragic but i'm so over the moon i cant tell you!! Ok so i was 14th after the swim but whoooo cares! Ran out the pool, through the car park, round some obstacles, into transition threw on my number and trainers and ran off...

transition time was about 1:20 (still need to work on these but hopefully the series will help that too)

Onto the run, i couldnt see anyone in front of me, a really emaciated girl was just behind me, i left her to it. For ages i couldnt see anyone and i thought for a crazy minute i might have been fisrt out the water!!! (yeah whatever!) I finally saw 4 people ahead of me and started trying to close the gap, i didnt actually overtake any of them but caught up within about 100 yrds of one. On the last km i saw my daddy, he'd come to watch he's not seen any of my tri's so was lush to have him there, but then he started to run next to me, to which i told him off cos it was putting me off!

Ran back into the carpark, went the wrong way, came back and went through the finish. Run time was 20:51. and 3rd fastest (including the boys!)

Time overall was 31.03 Reeeeally happy!!

my aim is to get under 9 mins for the next one, and see if i can break 30 mins overall. There's a prize for the series 1st - 3rd so if i can hold on i could be in with a shot. I was officially 5th lady and 8th overall but there was a girl ahead who'd only done 14 lenghts in the pool so dunno what theyre gonna do with that.

Yay!! I love that i'm seeing improvement in the swimming, its so rewarding cos my running hasnt really been getting better xx

p.s. its gonna be fricking cold doing this in jan and feb!

Friday 23 October 2009

Salisbury Half Marathon- Sunday 18th October 2009

Today was my last half marathon from the foreseeable future, due to this IM i’ve entered I’ll not be doing the usual stint of early 2010 halves (Suzie told me i’m not allowed as i’ll be mostly cycling round the country at weekends or somink!) so i’ll probably cycle to them and watch you folks instead.

After a pretty decent start to the year and getting my times down to a respectable level, i’d really wanted to get near to 90 mins for my half, but due to taking up triathlons my focus had moved from running specific training to x training. So my times have dropped significantly, it hasn’t helped that i’ve got a bit lardy, went on a couple of holidays, and took too long off before cricklade and got pissed before last weeks race!! (listen to all my shit excuses for being substandard!)

I had decided to run either today or next week at stroud, but i decided to go for today in Salisbury as the course profile was described on runners world as “Undulating” and i thought as I’ve not done much hill training recently (unless you count Swindon half which is notorious round these parts for its gradient!) and i’ve got a duathlon in a few weeks called the “Ball Buster” which is effectively an 8 mile hilly loop round box hill that you have to run up twice, and cycle up 3 times so thought a race with a couple of little hills would be good practice.

The last few months i’ve sort of lost my drive to get my elbows out and have just seemed to be content with completing without pushing myself to (and past) the brink of pukage, i think this is maybe cos when i started triathlonning i wasn’t expecting to do anything other than finish at best so have gotten used to that frame of thinking.

Just now i looked up the dictionary meaning of “Undulating” and here’s what I got...

"describing or having small hills and slopes that look like waves
•moving gently up and down
*undulating waves*"

Anyhoooo.... i had decided if I felt ok after yesterdays mud wrestling with Suzie and Penny i’d go and run today, if not i’d do stroud, which is flat so not really what i was after. I woke up feeling like i had been hit by a bus, but after a bath, some cheapibix and coffee i was all good again.

So drove to Salisbury.... i got lost, and as i hadn’t entered i was thinking i’d miss out, i got there at 10:55 abandoned my car and ran to register, quick wee, and got to the start all of a fluster. The race was organised by the fire brigade so there were lots of hunky fire fighters around, as well as lanky runners I’d read some reviews of the race to see what i was up against and it sounded ok, a long hill at 5 miles was pretty much all i’d heard about....

Got off to a reasonable start, not particularly flat for the first couple of miles, about 2-3 miles was a long hilly climb and i thought “hang on this aint 5 miles” flattened out briefly then continued to climb, mile 4 ish was what id describe as Undulating as described above. A little before mile 5 it started to climb significantly. It went on for about 1200m i thought at some points i’d need crampons!! A guy next to me said that he’d read this bit on a review but he’d thought the first few miles were hilly enough. Lots of people were walking, but i see this as being defeated – and i wasn’t havin that! After dragging myself to the top of this hill (mountain i think i’m gonna call it!) was a totally brilliant 400m downhill bit. Most people were being really tentative going down so they didn’t tumble and roll down like a wheel of cheese at that glos cheese race thing but i threw myself down it as fast as i could to make back a bit of time, overtook a good chunk of people and managed to keep a bit of momentum at the bottom where shock horror – more hill.

From about 10k to 7 miles it was back to undulating and pretty comfortable and i thought that would be it for hills.... nope. Another short really sharp hill at about 7.5miles, and at 9 miles, it was rarely flat in any place for the rest of the course, long drags... i was convinced there’d be another massive down hill at some point – what goes up must come down right?

Well apparently not. The last mile seemed to go on forever, you had to go past the finish post that was just wanting you to cross it there and then, but you had to go round a massive loop that went on forever, then round a field then you thought you were going to go through the finish but it took you round another field and through the finish from the other side!

In my haste at the beginning i’d forgotten to start my watch but think i was in around 1hr 40 and maybe scraped top 10 birds. I’d love to have ended the halves of 2009 with a PB but it wasn’t meant to be.

Maybe next autumn i’ll have shed the chub and got back to my fighting fit weight and be able to throw out some super quick times but til then i’ll happily settle with todays time on the hilliest course i’ve ever run round.

p.s dictionary definition of “hilly” - hilly adjective /ˈhɪl.i/ adj having a lot of hills - I think i was mis-sold this event, but that said, it was great practice for the Ball buster and i might take my bike round it for a couple of loops next week

Grim Duathlon - Saturday 17th October

I'm not really sure what to say about this....

Ummmi'll start by sharing the link time ago, Penny suggested we do this in a half hearted jokey way - much like i jokingly suggested the TR24 this summer - and look what happened there!!?

So suddenly we had a team - Penny, Suzie and I, Penny's a pretty competent off road cyclist, i'd been off road maybe 3 times - one of these this week, and one on an interesting MTB skills course with Suzie, which due to my shit navigational skills we managed to miss, and ended up just going to the pub.

The course was a 5k off road run round the army testing thingamy in Aldershot, 20k bike course, followed by 5k run course. We rocked up this morning, in matching camo gear, war paint, cockshaped pasta dog tag necklaces and a massive cock cake in an even more massive box! I can't begin to tell you how many nice bums were on display, mtbing is quite frankly a bum biting girls dream! (no bums were bitten however)

Due to me being a numpty and screwing up our race entries (i nearly ended up doing it solo!) our bikes were racked at differnt ends of transition. so we racked our bikes,taste tested some cliff bars (tasty) had a team photo and went to the start.

Of we popped. first 5k through lots of big puddles (lakes) spoloshing and skipping about half way was a cargo net you had to crawl under, though noone was crawling just crocuhing thru it. water was freeeeezing, some of the puddles were sneaky - lookinglike they were just ankel deep and you'd drop to your thighs )or in Pennys case her waist!)

Back to transiton and onto teh mtb's, the first few k were pretty straight forward, gravel track, we thought it was fine... through the puddles, splosh. sploooosh, weeeee, about half way round it started getting pretty technical - puddles getting deeper, tracks getting narrower, bouncier, sticker, disc brakes getting stuck with grit, people flying past getting snotty that we were fannying about giggling in their way, part of it you have to get off and carry your bike through this stream, another part was amassive puddle everyone was going to the right, i didnt know why til i decided to go thru the middle... and sunk! pretty much submerged to my hips, dragged myself out of it. caught up with the other two more puddles, mud, back to transition.

Backout onto the second run and lots of people seemed pretty tired, we were still really bouncy(for some reason!) the last lap was so much fun we spent the entrire time, either up to our necks submerged, pushing eah other, splashing other completitors, face down under the cargo net heckling the boys who didnt wanna get mucky.

We decided that we'd finish in style (sort of) and so did the 4 legged race through t last few hundred mtrs to the fininsh, so we used a race belt, and my batman bandana and tied ourselves together, somehow managing to make it to the end, in fits of giggles, unfortunately, the massive crowds didnt seem to get our sense of fun and there was a lot of tumbleweed rolling about.

Amysara and Rachel1n came to meet us at the finish and we alll went for lunch (and maybe a cheeky half)There was blood, sweat, tears, a sh1t load of mud and water, and a massive amount of laughter (and the mandatory **** cake for affters)took my bike to the carwash and gave it a power wash i shoulda got in there too! had a totalyl fun day and thoroughly recommentd it to anyone mad enough. thanks ladies for a brilliant weekend - i cant wait to see the pics xx

Swindon Half Marathon - 11th October 2009

Aka Swindon Barf marathon!

Initially all I was going to write in my report was"What were we thinking?"


So today was my annual pilgrimage to "Cockhill" for swindon half marathon, last year i came 15th and I wanted to come top 10 this year and had been instructed to beat a lady from running club who apparently complains that i'm quicker than her and genearlly doesnt seem to like me.

This weeks training had felt way better than last week and my legs didnt feel like they had been replaced with lead so was reasonably confident of a sub 1:40. Its not a pb course (for me) as its a pretty hilly course - starting on "cockhill" for those who recall cockhill, the c0ck has now been removed - much to my's the course profile...

- nice innit - lucky i like hills.

So last night KathyAJ came down to swindon to stay and do the race in the morning. Had planned a subdued meal of carbage, early night and run a course PB.

Of course this didnt happen, kathy's a really bad influence and i'm easily led, sure fire recipe for disaster no?

I shouldn've known when i parked my car somewhere in town that would be safe to leave overnight without getting a ticket it was going to get silly. We got to bed around 4.30 this morning after consuming 3 and a half bottles of wine, cocktails, quarter bottle of polish vodka and some nasty shot my friends put in front of us (kathy necked hers, i tasted and gave it to a friend) woke up at 8 still wibbly wobbly pished, tried to wake up an unconcious kathy, gave up, made us some AnnaB podge, finaly managed to wake sleeping beauty, ate podge, necked a few painkillers, water anything that might help the morning appear nicer.

After having to make a detour to the race to borrow my sisters trainers for kathythedipshitwhoforgothertrainers we got to the race. vaguely aware of what i was about to do, i thought it was a bit of a silly thing to even be out of bed. Saw a couple of friends at the race HQ, then realised they were about to start the race so wibbled off up cockhill towards the start but they then started the race and we were right at the back of the pack.

I tend to start quite near the front to avoid getting stuck. and stuck i got for some time behind a couple of people dressed as clowns - i told em to stop clowning around - they didnt have a sense of humour and looked at me like i'd just drowned their dog. (they didnt have a dog)

I wish I could remember the race itself but i think i was still drunk through the entire thing. All I can really recall is that the first half i was constantly holding back what was either snot or puke. I didnt actually barf this week thankfully as i didnt go fast enough, i just wanted to finish and go back to bed. The second half all i recall is trying desparately not to do a radcliffe (i'm classy innit )

Finished in 1:44, a good deal slower than last year but i'm pretty happy with this considering i probably wasn't at my best!! my legs felt pretty good today, but that may have been the anaesthetising (sp) benefits of ethanol.

Weather was perfect for it with light drizzle which turned into pretty rainy rain after, so went to ma and pas to shower, then went to sample the delights of Sally's Pussey, inhaled a carvery and now back in bed i've decided now i'm going to stop arsing about and start playing properly now and focus.

Had a great weekend though! but kathy is now on my banned friends list. xxx

lady from club beat me by 2 mins dammit!! she was too smug for my liking!

Saturday 10 October 2009

Sunday 4th September 2009 - Cricklade Half Marathon

Cricklade half marathon today; to sum it up in - 3 words Sack - Of - Shit.

I had been umming and ahing since thurs whether to do it today or not, cos my quads have felt hideous and i had nasty blisters from a hot stroll in the desert and a week off training and on boozing.

I also started a proper cycling training plan this week which i think is why my quaddies hurt. Not in an injured way, in a way that says "ouch i'm not used to working like this" As i wasnt sure if i was running i was still in hollyday mode friday (and last night) so went out dancing wearing silly high shoes that made me feets a bit squished!

Might haev also drank a *bit* to much of captain morgans finest yesterday quads still ft super tight so kept giving them the odd rub througout the day, then met some friends for dinner, which led to several pints of stowford and a bit of a sore head this morning. Woke up and decided that my legs were still a bit tight but i'd run the half anyway just to get out.

So all summer this has been my PB planned race - flat as a pancake, local, not too busy... perfect... then this week i'd felt so unprepared i was having doubts, plus i've not raced more than 10k since may despite keeping my fitness for endurance - just not at speed. Met peeps from Running club before and they were all doing the 10k, and were surprised i was doing the half cos its swindon half next week .. "and?" one asked how i was, i told him of my achy leggies, he said "have you been training too much?" "no, i had a whole week off" "thats why then, they're used to doing stuff"Anyhow!!

So the race: Started at the front of the pack, red mist had descended, pain killers had just about taken the stiffnss away...was leading lady for the first km, went through the first mile slower than normal for this length of race, i like to do the first couple in 6.30ish min mies, but this was 6:40, then 13.40, 21... kept getting pains in my shoulders, maybe from swimming? thought if i could hold onto about 7 mm pace i could get the pb i was aiming for (yes, i wasnt s'posed to be racing!!) from here on my legs started yelling alsorts of meanness at me, i took a dextrose tablet every mile til 6, and each mile getting progressively slower and my psycological (psycho more like) side started to waiver, as i coud see my pb slipping further and further away.

In theory if i ket going at the pace i had averaged at that point i might have scraped it but the speed i was slowing down was making my face go :-( - about half way i looked to my right and saw a little blonde whippet in green appear on my side who was it? Only Chrisse! Said hello etc and she said "i'm not enjoying this at all" "nor me, its a real fucking struggle" attempted to stay with her for a bit but had no fight in me, about a mile later, i had a Rob Naylor moment, i wasnt even running at puke speed but after a minute or two of chundering, getting my composure back i carried on.

I missed the 8 mile marker which messd with my mind even more and was getting cross and arguing with myself constantly, half wanting to pull up half just wanting to get back - the quickest way was to run. So carried on relentless, but it felt like i was running on the spot, and barely covering the ground . Got to 11 miles in the time i usually get to 12, most upsetting.... ploughed on.

I felt like puking again but managed to stop myself and shuffled my sorry carcass through the finish line with a huff. looked at my watch - 1hr41 (though official results say 1:39) so far off a pb its unreal. was 7th lady but i wanted top 5.

Lessons learned:

1) don't take a week off training.
2) don't go on a two night drinkathon and expect to run well!
3) you can't get a PB every time.
4) being triathlon fit don't make you half marathon fit
5) perhaps do a long bike ride before my next one going by my last tri performance this is a potentially good plan!!

Not all doom and gloom really, i learnt a few things, and i have also come across compeed!! (thanks for the recommendations, i did start warming up a knife to cortorise it, but didnt require it!!) xx

Sunday 20th Sept Milton Keynes OD Triathlon

(no not overdosing on triathlons - Olympic Distance Tri )

So today saw me getting up at the time I love best and leaving home at 4.45 to get to registration for 6.30. Got there, got my bag of stuff, racked my bike, went to the toilet three times, each time seeing the reflection of a girl waiting on death row!

I've been super excited about this for the last few weeks but at the same time shitting myself for the swim leg. People all realy lovely and friendly and some seriously gorgeous men!! (i didnt get into this sport just for the love of it!! )

So, the Swim: 1500m in a lake, had donned my wetsuit and got me hat and goggles on. Was really aprehensive as i've only swam OW 3 times and 2 of them were quite horrific... lake was nice and clean (ish), v slippery getting in and a few people slipped on their bums so everyone who saw went in on their bums to save this happening. Wasnt as cold as i was expecting. Course was a lap of 3 buoys spaced 250m apart to go round twice.

I shimmied near the back of the pack cos I'm not very good at swimming and I've heard alsorts of horror stories about bleeding noses, people swimming over each other and for my first lake race I just wanted to get out without the use of a life raft!!

So set off, and let anyone go past that seemed to be quicker and tried to keep away from anyone. Got into my slow rhythm and trundled off round the buoys... fairly uneventful, i was trying to concentrate on things various people have been giving me tips on... keep your head down, feet up, stay calm, long strokes...... a few times I looked up for the buoys and some of the swim caps were the same bright yellow colour so couldnt tell if it was head or buoy, veered off course slightly between 2nd and 3rd buoy but not too badly. lap two also uneventful, the last 250m I felt that I could push it a bit more so picked up the pace.

Being pretty new to swimming I don't really know my limits yet or how hard to push and when. kicked my legs hard for the last 50 or so metres as someone had previously suggested doing to get the blood flowing again.

Trotted up the bank and into transition stripping off in a really seductive way! (not) Time for swim wass 32:56 which I'm totally over the moon with as I had given myself 45 mins minimum to do it. Whats more, i looked behind and there were a few heads still bobbing in the water - I wasnt totally last out!! yay!!!

T1 - Took a bit of effort to get my feet out the wetsuit but not too bad considering, and was faster than last weeks shambolic performance even with rubber to get out of!! Thanks to Jacqui for the race belt, this save the embarrassment of ripping my number and pinning myself together again!!

The Bike: 40k course.
Out of transition and across some field and track type thing then wigged down towards a dam, there was no chance of speed here at all, plus I hate taking my pride and joy on gravel as I'm paranoid about punctres - spesh since i think i overfilled my tyres due to gyppy gauge on my track pump.

The first few miles was weaving in and out of an estate and over speed bumps and really annoying. It finally got on to the main road which was really rough with quite a few pot holes and making me yet more paranoid of punctures. It wasnt the flattest of courses either to say the least!! about 4 or 5 miles in, came an enormous steep hill which i have named "ball buster hill" as i'm pretty sure its the sort of thing i'll be coming up against on the ball buster duathlon.

I passed a couple of grown men walking up it i refused to be beaten, as i finally came near the top at an excruciatingly slow speed i heard a voice;

"anna, what have we ever done to you to deserve this?" it ws my legs... they weren't happy i gave my quads a little rub and let them spin on the flat for a minute. Got going again and there wer a few more drags, a few down hill bits, but these were annoying cos as soon as you got to a fun speed the course then took a sharp right turn or left turn and it made my face do this :-S cos i wanted to go whizz!

I dropped my chain going down one hill so had to stop to put it back on, passed a ccouple of people with punctures - prayed i wouldnt get one! Went past an amazing smelling market - smelt of gravy!!

Then back round the middle loop again - which started with BALL BUSTER HILL! My legs knew it was coming and they knew i wasnt going to let them stop and i'd drank half a bottle of energy drink to give them a helping hand, off i went,... this time even more men and women walking up it... being stubborn i wasnt going to. Some old man doing some gardening at the top clapped me and said "steep aint it" - yuh think? (smiled politely through gasps!)

Loop as before, painful on the hills, whizzy on the downys. last few miles was back through the estates, i took a wrong turn and the guy behind me followed so we were lost together for a bit, found the way back, off bike and ran back into transition.

Time for bike was 1hr28. Not too bad at all i was expecting 1hr 40 when i was at the half way point and i've been realy struggling lately with my riding.

T2 - thought it easier to sit on the floor for this, so shoes off, socks and trainers on, helmet etc off, off i zip.

The Run: 10k.

(whats worse than out and back? Out and back and out and back!) there was a sprint event on too so the 5k was out and back the 10k was that twice turned out to be really good for me. I dont seem anymore to get the wibbly knees that i used to when i first started brick training for my duathlons and bounded out like a bunny.... as previous ones ive done, i always look forward to the run as its my strongest...

Whilst on the bike i'd been contemplating if i could get the sub 42 min goal I've been hoping for this year and thought id give it a go....because it was an out and back and out and back it was hard to know if people coming back were on the 1st or 2nd lap, so my main plan was to push as hard as poss for as long as poss, and using people as markers gradually pass them, and try and make up for my slower swim and bike legs.

The course went round part of the lake, pretty flat on a gravel firm surface. My legs loved it, they did protest briefly up a small hilly bit saying "scuse me, but when was the last time we raced more than 8.5k? that will be May's half marathon won't it?" shhhh legs... enjoy it!

Got to the first turn around, and checked my watch and nearly choked... 9 mins it had taken me for 2.5k! This spurred me on, and i set back the way i had come, overtaking as many people as i could, back down the other end, round turn around, 9min30!! wtf? I'd not only got my sub 42 in sight, but potentially sub 40. So i kept at it, using the markers (people) to keep my pace as i often find mysef in races sitting behind someone instead of overtaking. but no... they beat me on the swim and bike i'm having them for the run!

Back down the last 2.5k, still overtaking what i could catch, most of them tiring by now but i was still maintaining the same pace. past the turn aroudn and up small hill through the finish, checked my watch and chip time confirmed 36:37!!!!! Wweeeee!! i'm over the moon, not only with my swim but i also got my sub 42 10k.. does it count that it wasnt just a 10k run!? hmm..

Got through the finish and finally breathed and nearly vomitted.

Total time was 2hr43 and 13th lady in my category 19th lady overall. So chuffed, got creaky knees and achy quads now thnk my sports massage maybe did something magical to me!

No cake... poor show. saw someone after i'd got changed who id overtaken up the hils on bike and he'd overtaken me on the flat, i'd apparently overtaken him on the run and he said "are you the girl with bike ccain oil all over her bum? i'd not expected you to come past me on the run, i take it runnings your thing?" you think he was trying to say the the other two aint?

Sunday 13th Sept 2009 - Halesowen Sprint Triathlon

Was a shorter one than last week so deserves a short report - i fear i'm boring you with my epics!

So... Swim - 400m - 12 lenghts of 33m pool. Hated the pool. it was realy deep and the lanes didnt have very good dividy things - just rope that i couldnt see well, and cos the deep end was so deep there were massive slopes into the shallower sections and vicce versa which made me feel like i was swimming into an abyss.

Got out at the end and took ages hauling my vastness out the pool which had about a foot between the edge and the water. Time: 9.51 (watch said 9:37 when i finished swim so took me neary 20 secs to heave myself out) - consistently sh1t time on previous.

T1 - I rarely do this but OMG!!! Total disaster. The transition took you down 2 flights of stairs (safe being that you're dripping water) out to the racks, went wrong way, due to no signage, got sent back, ran to bike, shoes on, vest on... nope... vset caught up round neck, number al tangled up, rippping... get the vst untangled and see my quandry!! D1ckhead i am, i'd pinned my number to the vest but pinned the front and back of vest together so spent aaages trying to unpin myself repin number, finally got my hat, gloves etc on and out of transition - took me a massive 4 mins!!!! flipping heck.

Bike: 25km - all i can say is it was all hill. my legs were burning from start to finish. It wasnt the safest route either, much of it was on dual ccarriageway (a long draggy one!) and a bit foggy in places. I did notice though that someone had kindly put tape on the end of my handlebar cos i'd lost the tape grip stopper thing 54 mins

T2 - shoes, hat, specs off, socks and trainers oon (blisters from last week hadnt yet recovered so had to wear sockies) 1min15

Run - 5k offish road, always look forward to the run as it's my strongest leg and set off at a fairly good pace, was mostly a gravelly track, undulating but not steep in any place. Was an out and back which i normally hate but i quite like in short races as i get tro try and race myself back. Like last week no markers exccept for runners. So once more used runners as markers to overtake, though there werent many ti the turnaround. Finish was 100m stretcch up hill ( nice) time 23ish so not too badtotal time 92 mins, not sure of my placing (not top 3) but my run was one of the fastest of the women, my swim at best 2nd slowest!

Need to work on my cycling as the swim is consistently sh1t but im' having coachin for that, my running is consistently average and the bike is generaly quite crappy slow. Last one next week - but its open water so a different kettle of fish entirely!

p.s. no p1ssing in shoes this week! (no carrot cake either!)

Edit - that was meant to be short!! oops/pp.s i met THE MOST BORING MAN IN THE WORLD today. he made me want to tie a garrote round my neck.edit2: I did enjoy it, reading it bacck it does sound a bit doom and gloom!!

Sunday 6th Sept 2009 - Faringdon Triathlon

Faringdon Triathlon

Part 1 The Swim: 800m in the pool.

I'm fairly new to swimming but am really enjoying it, 25m pool – 32 lengths. Saw a girl in the coolest pirate skull and x bones tri suit – jealous and want one! Swimmer from the previous wave confused things by swimming an extra 2 lenghts so i missed the starter say “go” by a couple of seconds – then i was off.

I got to the end of the first length and caught man in front – who was doing an bizarre stroke of doggy paddle legs with breast stroke arms. So overtook him. Swam on... blahblah... next swimmer was fed in just behind me and was a bit quicker so overtook me. I realised after about 200m i really needed a wee and i remember Slartibartfast saying to get the wee out the way in the swim... i tried but i couldn’t – have you tried swimming and peeing at the same time? (i know thats really gross you’re thinking)

I was gaining on flappy feet again so went to over take again, he booted me in the t1t kindly! Then on the return length we crashed hands mid air.2 lengths to go, tapped on head by lane marshal with aqua zimmer frame.... still needing a pee – tried – but nope. Would have to hold on now for the bike and run - fun. Got to the end of last lap and dragged myself out the pool – the deep end (only 1.6m) but was an effort. Checked watch and ran out the door – 19:27 (very happy with that)

Part 2 The Cycle: 50km on road.

Pretty neat transition, i was lucky in that my rack was right next to the pool exit pretty much, so bunged on vest, etc – ripped number in process but fixed it quick enough (need to get a race belt). Ran with bike out of transition and mounted. Pedalled off into distance. Really good start and perfect riding conditions – very little wind and a reasonably flat course, the up hills were offset with downhills. Couple of traffic lights and road works to negotiate they said they’d deduct time but i’m certain they didn’t cos my time on watch matched my time overall.

Still dying for a wee, so kept an eye out for a suitable place to dive in to a hedge. I spotted a bus shelter and slowed down and dismounted but then saw that there was no where to hide behind it, 2 people overtook, i got back on and carried on, miffed and bursting!! About 11 miles in through one of the villages one of the people who’d overtaken – a young guy prob in the junior section was on the side of the road with marshals running towards him and some others around him. I slowed up, saw he was being tended to and carried on, then saw glass all over floor and a ccar with the back window smashed in – i can only assume the poor kid crashed into the back of him. Nasty stuff.

Pretty sure I saw Anismate fly past on her return trip but wasn’t sure cos she’d had a tri suit on when i saw her before the swim and this person had something over top.I got to the turn around section and headed back the way i came. Still looking for somewhere to pee. About 3 miles from home i found a layby - again dismounted and jumped into the hedge, i don’t know if anyones tried peeing out of a trisuit – but its impossible. I ccouldnt take it down cos i’d be flashing me waps, and i had a vest over the top too so would have taken ages, i tried to pull the leg to the side but that didn’t work, so gave up. Someone flew past asking if i was ok. “yup.just trying not to pee my pants” overtook him, carried on...

the last mile and a half seemed to take forrrrreevvvver! Girl in pirate bones outfit overtook me – nooooooooo! Didn’t want that... Came into transition and she was fannying about but got off on the run before me. I thought 50k was about 30 miles... but having now calculated it it’s 31.25 miles but my computer said nearer to 33.... not sure if its right or not. Total time including transition from swim (and two unsuccessful toilet stops): 1hr55 – really pleased with this as its the furthest i’ve ridden at this effort before and was quicker than last weeks performance

Part 3The Run: 8.5k mostly road

Transition from bike to run was real quick, thanks to lock laces – “Ideal for the physically challenged” so the packet said!! The final leg and my strongest phase and hoped i could make up the time of being a slow swimmer and cyclist a bit. Still soooo desparate for a wee i wasn’t sure how it was gonna go, saw pirate girl, ran past her and ran on... about a km in it was now or never (or just pee myself), so i jumped in hedge and did my best to pull the leg to the side – like ive seen paula do... but in super tight lycra???

After an Austin Powers length pee of at least a minute!! which pretty much all collected in my left trainer, i was relieved and ready to run properly. (yeap, i’m lush ain’t i!) Ran on feeling way better except for “stamp, squelch, stamp, squelch” – nice.

There were no distance markers which always throws me, so i started using people as markers. Everytime i saw a runner, i’d use them to catch them up, overtake and look for my next one. Had overtaken about 8 people now and was really enjoying the run, had a nice stride and was a nice route, a few hills but nothing major... until!

Prob about 6k in, and i looked ahead and all you could see was the road disappear up into the trees... it looked just like “my hill” but shorter. There were 3 markers (runners) half way up it. So i set about catching them. Was gaining on the first 2 who then chickened out and walked, so caught them easier than id planned. Last man was just reaching the brow so didn’t catch him ti the weeeeeeeeeee down hil bit. Got him. Caught a couple more in the final km then “stamp, squelch” though the finish. Time including transition and mammoth wee: 41.37 i think.My trainers are currently in the washing machine!

Part 4 - The Meet

Anismate and I had been in contact prior to the event as I knew she was doing it when i entered and she’s a fellow Wiltshire lady. When i got there i saw a teeny lady walking towards me in the car park and thought “is that her?” and she was thinking the same and it was and i was. Said quick hello, and i went to register. Saw her again at the pre race dewberry wotsitcalled.

After the race Jacqui mentioned the “C” word... two in fact “Cake” and “Camera”I don’t know how she knew i’m quite partial to cake but for some reason she’d brought some! We headed to her car where she brought out 3 types of cake... whats a girl to do??

Such choice... we decided upon ccarrot cake for photo opportunities – because it looked partibulary mucky.... and i have to say.... it was a damn good carrot cake!! After what must have looked like an odd display of cake eating and photograph taking in the car park we chatted for a while. Then went to get our times.

Jacqui very kindly sent me home with a tub of homemade brownies, I’d like to say they made it home before getting sampled but i got as far as mum and dads and cracked them open and bloody hell.... the most amazing, gooey nutty (were the macadamias?) brownies i’ve ever eaten... reluctanty gave one to my dad and sister... saving another for my tea Penny - you have some competition in the cake baking dept!

Was a great race, lovely to meet another member, even lovelier to be fed cake!! I hope you’ll be posting a report too Jacqui... Total time was 2:56 (not including eating of cake) think i was about 5th lady overall - tbc? I think this was my most enjoyable race yet, as much as i love running i think i’ve found a new passion for triathlon, and am dead pleased with my times. xx

The End.

edit: news just in... 7th lady - 5th in my category.

Friday 9 October 2009

Wed 2nd Sept 2009 - Swindon 5k Back in a Flash

Had forgotten today was the "back in a flash 5k" til someone reminded me yesterday so hadnt really planned it, but thought if my leggies felt ok i would. they did, so i did.

convinced my ex to do it too, he doesnt run more than 3-5 miles so thought he might be up for it. So picked him up, registered with 5 mins to spare jogged to the start in the p1ssing rain. Ran it last year so new the course. But the organiser went through it..

"down there, up over the spinny motorway bridge, through the barriers, round the bollard, back the way you came, over the spinny motorway bridge and to the finish"

fairly flattish dirt track course, the spinny bridge isnt flat or dirty but its fun and make you feel like you're going up and down a heltaskelta

klaxon went, elbows out, ran off, legs felt really tight for first km, ronny was just behind me, moaning about a stitch. then ronny overtook, then the shortest sweatiest lady i ever did see overtook! Up spinny bridge travelator at top, down spinny bridge - weeeeeeeee!

Saw the long legged speedys from my club coming back towards me, got to the turn around point in 11:15 - bumholes :-( wanted to get then in idealy 10ish. legs didnt want to go faster, old man roger overtook me, right thats it, noone else is allowed to go past!! so i overtook a few people. back up over spinny helta skelta, steady climb back to last km, 400m to go sign appeared, tried to kick in to a new gear, but coudnt, lady appeared next to me but i didnt have any fight in me to keep her at bay :-(

finished in about 6th place, 22:24 - which i'm p1ssed off with. :-( 2 seconds sower than ast year -
realy wanted nearer to 20. hmpf. Ex beat me by 80 seconds.

I'd ike to say i let him. But i didnt. just didnt perform well.

Then went straight to my first swimming lesson - that was fun :-)

Sunday 30th August - Malmesbury Sprint Triathlon

Today was my debut to triathlon..... 400m pool swim, 22k bike, 5k run.

Arrived at malmesbury leisure centre, racked my bike, laid out all the stuff i'd need for trainsitions - lots of nice bottom'd men about ( several wibbly bumm'd ones too and women too!)
My start time was pretty early cos i'm a sh1t swimmer so they like to get the people who swim like a one finned trout out the way first. I'd guessed 10 mins for my swim so was with like speeded people.

4 people to a lane in the pool, i was in there with 3 blokes (not of the nice bumm'd variety unfortunately). I was 4th to go, they let you go in 5 second gaps.

By the time i got half way down the lenght i'd caught the guy in front, the etiquette was to tap them on the foot and they were to sto pat the end of the lane and let you overtake... i tapped him a couple of times, and had to slow, he didnt stop at the end, so turned round and i tapped him again and overtook. Got into quite a comfy stroke, about half way through i colided with someone overtaking on my side of the lane, and had to stop briefly to cough up a lung full of water. Carried on, and got caught behind someone else, and had to do breaststroke for a few strokes as there was someone coming in the other direction so coculdnt overtake. When he'd gone, i sped up and passed the dude in front after grabbing at his trotters afew times!!Got out the pool checked my watch and ran out the door over the chip jobby.

Ran to transition, fonud my bike, shoved on a head band, my vest (the wrong way round) put it back on the right way round, shoved on gloves, helmet and grabbed the screaming bianchi and ran out of transition. which was a totaly slowcoach sh1t time.

Got into a fairly good pace for the first few miles, and wasnt overtaken by anyone which is always good! The ccourse was quite draggy in places and blowy, and couldnt maintain my speed. was an out and back the return trip was a bit better as the wind was behind. But i could hear squeaking i didnt know if it was me or my bike... but it turned out to be my brake pads too tight - i'd had a bike maintenance lesson from a friend yday and had put them bacck too tight. I also dropped my chain twice on the ride, which lost a bit of time. Had in my head KOL song sex is on fire, but replacing it with

"thighs are on fiiiiiire!" cos they were. :-)

Came back into transition, and got confused about where to go as the numpty marshall wasnt very clear, jumped off bike, and ran to the racks.

CChucked of spds, helmet, gloves, and speccs, and pulled on sccks and running shoes (wouldnt normally bother with socks but got a gyppy blister and dint want to make it worse) - again another sh1t transition.

Ran out of transition like a boundy bunny! Course was mostly flat, with a drag for first km. again out and back. overtook everyone who came up, wasting breath saying "well done" etc, cos they didnt seem to be grateful at all! :-P Back down to wards the leisure centre and they kindly threw in a b1tchy hill to finish on!! Was like running up the travelator on gladiators! through the finish and THE END. oh and i was dying for a pee the whole way of the run... :-)

Totaly loved it and really happy! :-) Pretty pleased with my swim and run times.

Official times wereSwim: 9:53T1 - 2.08 i thinkbike - 50:48T2 - 1.50 ishRun - 23:00

So i didnt ccome first so i must be last! :-) total time was about 1hr27 which i know from look at last yrs results is a sack of dog turd but i'm dead chuffed, need to work on the biking though .

No cider as i'm being a good girl for a couple months to shift some lard :-P :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

Sunday 16th August 2009 - Castle Combe Duathlon

Castle combe duathlon today. 5k run/21k cycle/3k run

All yesterday my hamstrings had felt tight and knees stiff so wasnt surprised when they still felt that way this morning. Took some painkllers but that didnt seem to make much difference.
Met Chrisse (previously floppypig1) in the carpark who'd been on the beers last night and had chit chat.

Racked bike, had originally intended leaving feetie wear left clipped into pedals but decided id just leave them wide open on the floor to jump into.

5k run: a lap and a bit of the race track - nice n flat n fast. Not that my legs would let me go fast. I set off and my hamstrings said "cough, computer says no" my breathing felt irratic and my chest was tight. I thought then about giving up as a bad job. About 1k in still trying to find my stride and a little speedy blonde lady (chrisse) overtakes me, didnt even try to keep up with her!! :-p after about the half way point i started to get a better stride but my legs wer still really painful so just plugged away and decided to run my own race and not think abuot elbowing and "ggggrrrrr" type things like normal.

Into transition and the 5k stage was about 23 mins - far from quick but it'll do. Found my beautiful bike, unlaced my trainers (would have ust lobbed them off but i knew i had to then get them back on for the last leg. Right foot bleeding from a blister from gyppy socks that had slipped down. Into spds, helmet on and ran out of transtion and onto bike.

Bike stage was 7 laps of the race track.....I whizzed off at first and thought that i might make up some time. but i hit the top corner and nearly got blown off sideways, then for pretty much the rest of the circuit was riding in to a head wind that practically had me stationery. It didnt stop the massive men whooshing past though! Every time a rider overtook i was expecting to to be speedy blondey :-) Saw my dad at the first lap and cheeky b*gger said "ccome on faster" which really p1ssed me off. clearly he didnt see my sweaty red face!

From about the 4th lap my right knee was hideously painful and the winds were making it increasingly difficult to maintain any kind of speed. Except on the one small section where the wind was behind you i had to take as much advantage to gain a little bit back as i could. Also from about lap 4 there were people on the last leg already which totally made me feel cr*p.
Finally got to the end of the bike leg and thankfully wasnt the last one out there!! Bak into transition which i completely dawdled with as i was hmmppfy by now. So racked m bike back up and took a while tying me trainers ack up. the ride took forever and am ashamed of how slow it was :-(

3k run: Normally my legs are hideous after the cycle when i go straight into the run but today it actualy felt ok. I didnt have the stiff knee running through treaccle thing but it felt pretty good. it was on grass to begin so this might have helped that it wasnt straight bakc onto the tarmac track. I overtook everyone who i encountered including a funny american lady who said "this isnt what i'm used to, i'm used to 100 mile rides, this is just sh1t" which made me laugh. :-)

Finally made it through the finihs line with a "bloody hell" into my mum and dad and some man who came to take my chip off me - i thouhgt he was coming to give me a hug and a rub down but alas he wasnt :-( ast leg was an even sh1ttier time of 15ish mins

Got a goodie bag and a little trophy which was nice :-)

Was gonna stick around and do a 10 mile time trial but after the adrenelin had worn off my knee kills and am now sulking a little. BUt i'ts myown fault cos i've overtrained this week, shouldnt have TT'd on thursday and have been fuelling myself with garbage.

Next race is my first triathlon in two weeks so i'm going to have 2 weeks of training and eating like i used to and see what difference that makes. Also need to start running properly again as i've a few half marathons coming up

Oh and i failed my pledge cos TT on thurs stopped fridays run.... but didnt give into martins peer pressure so :-P
p.s. i think i met my comfort zone today :-)

2nd August 2009 - Thunder Run 24

Well as some of you might have been aware, this weekend was the "thunder Run" aka 24 hour relay race which a bunch of us took part in.

arrived at Catton park on saturday late morning, to find Penny, Martin, Katie, Kathy (and smalll boy) and a flurry of tent erecting (marquee in the case of penny) i vaguely said hello as i fell out the car holding up my trousers (which the button had popped off earlier in the day due to larger than normal gut!) and ran to the loo's.

After relieving myself i returned to the group to say hello properly. I pretended to assist for a while til katie took me to register. Picked up race number, chip and a pretty blinking good goodie bag and our "baton" (which was a rubber bracelet)Went back to tent errection area, and Lauren turned up, took her to register (somehow shirking more tent errecting duties) back and "errected" my tent - essentially letting it pop up and throwing the rain sheet loosely over the top.

Once tents were up, we lunched on Pennys yumtastic pasta, veggie combo, and she flaunted in front of us "THE MOST AMAZING LOOKING CHOC CAKE", I changed into my running kit as i was first to run (we had a slight plan of acction thanks to martin) we then went to the race briefing (all i could think of was "THE MOST AMAZING LOOKING CHOC CAKE"After briefing we popped back to tents, downed an energy drink, then headed to the start.

The gun went and the clock started counting the loooong 24 hours to the end of the race. I'd been under the impression that the route would be at worst a trail type bridal way material - ideally road , alas, off the route went, across some grassland - it'd been raining prior so was a bit damp under foot... ahem!

after maybe 400m the course went up a steep incline of muddy stone where it zigzagged steeply and continued to climb. From here it turned to mud. mud more mud. I had on my road shoes, so was slip sliding all over the shop! uppy downy, mudslide, all i was thinking was i was going to the adidas tent as soon as i got back to get me some xc shoes. the first 4k of the course was realy unpleasant, at about 3.5k i went careering down hill sideways gravity pulling me into the bushes where i grabbed a trees and branches. (this happened at the same placcce for nearly every lap!) after 4k the route was a bit nicer, thuogh still a mud pit, and my trainers were now soggy and slippping everywhere. it was all i could do to stay upright.

The route was round a horse XC course and was realyl quite interesting ut it was just very very muddy and technical it varied, from graass tracks (turned mud) to woods, hills, more mud, ditches, streams.It started throwing it down with rain half way round and when i finally made it round i was pretty wet and muddy, passed the baton to martin who set off at break necks speed (thanks julia for correcting me on that previously) i went straight tothe adidas tent where the most beautiful man i've seen said that they were loaning out xc shoes and there was an option of buying them at the end of the weekend (or not and just giving them back) so i snapped up a pair and went ack to camp.

The rain was hammering down whilst we sat in Pennys party tent (whih was bigger than my flat) i had some nesquik, and a slice of a banana and choc cake that penny had also made, oh and some of kathys cherry choc flapjack (both of which we blooming amazing!) .... where was "THE MOST AMAZING LOOKING CHOC CAKE"???

My next 2 legs were back to back, immediately the xc shoes (albeit damn ugly) helped a lot, well they kept me upright, the technicalitly of the course didnt help the speed however, got round the first lap fine, came through the timing section to see the others all cheering.

I ran back on, and as soon as i got to the first zig zaggy section ouch. The 3rd leg was pretty tough, following straight on from one previously. after passing on the baton, back to camp once more, it was getting dark now and runners wer to wear hedatorches.

I was told i coluld have an extra hour in bed before my next run as kathy was going to do a double.... sincce id just come back from one, i was going to warn against it... Had some cgrub and finally i got to taste "THE MOST AMAZING LOOKING CHOC CAKE".... and oh my god!!!!! it realyly was "THE MOST AMAZING CHOC CAKE". After telling penny how i had fallen in love with her, and gobbling down "THE MOST AMAZING CHOC CAKE" and other grub i started to settle down for a nap.... after an incident involving losing some car keys i eventually got into my sleeping bag at aronud 11pm... i was awoken at 12.30 by martin just come back from his last legs.

I said "i'm thinking of doing a triple next rather than 2 doubles""no! dont! its horrid!" hmmm..... Tried to get back to sleep but couldnt, so got up made some porridge, had a coffee and started getting sorted for my next legs, i told martin i'd ring him on my 2nd leg to see if i was up for 3 in a row.

I set off with a headtorcch on my chestnut after taking the baton from a sad looking kathy who told me she was then off to get drunk at 3.30am.

(my body likes this time of day), immediately i fell in love with the dark run, it was so exciting, i didnt see another runner for the whole lap, it was a bit ddgy in places in the slippiness but i was really enjoying myself. I set off on the 2nd lap, still feeling bouncy, the usual first few k of the course was unpleasant, and by then i'd already decided to do a 3rd lap, dwan was starting to break and the gras was layered with mist, it looked eerie but lovely. I rang martin as i got to the water station, took a couple more painkillers and arranged to see him in a ccouple of hours at the change over.

Abuot 6k in the most beautiful man from teh adiads tent was on the course running with a nother guy and we all ran together for a while, sometimes together somtimes overtaking each other, they stopped after the 2nd but i carried on like a trooper The laps were getting progressively slower as the relay went on for me, as i was acchy and tired and the mud relentless.

The 3rd leg saw sunrise and it was such a lovely sight, i took a few pics on my phone and carried on. The ground had drained considerably from the day before but it was still really sticky and slippy, i had blisters and my left achilles was beginning to hurt from the constant cambre of the hill causing my ankle to strain more.

I got back and passed on the baton, went back to camp (via the bacon butty shop) and was tired, achcy but really happy and upbeat as id really enjoyed it. a triple for me was as hard as a doble, as onccce you're out and in pain it makes little difference!

After bacon butty, i was still hungry so had a slice of banana cake, then some of "THE MOST AMAZING CHOC CAKE"..... mmmm... i just wanted to bury my face in it!! i finally had a hot shower (i stank) My 7th and final lap was the penultimate of the race, i took over from penny who sprinted through the finish, the weather was beautiful, i took the baton and tried to run, but my legs wouldnt work.... i trotted like a hackney horse for 2 km, at the speed of a sloth! every step was agony, i got to half way and my acchilles was so sore i could no longer trudge through the mud, and had to walk pretty much the whole way, when i wasnt walking i was limping like a lame dog, the lap took aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaages!!

i was running kilometers slower than i run miles! Got back and apologised to martin who took the baton and gave me a big hug. I got ack to ccamp and burst out ccrying, i dont know if it was relief, emotion, pain or what but it was done. the last leg was being run. Penny got me a cider, and i was ordered to eat a large slicce of "THE MOST AMAZING CHOC CAKE". i didnt want to appear rude and say no. i was hobbling around

Most of camp had been tidied up earlier in the day so we headed across to see the finish. Martin sprinted through the finish at 24hr00.03 (if he'd come in before he;d have had to do another lap there were rules that i'm too tired to go into)

We got our medals and went back to camp to get martin a beer and penny came out with some "buckinghams cider" - home brew, which was bloomin lovely!

might well have eaten some more cake i cant recalll.... I'm missing big chunks out but i had the best weekend with an amzing bunch of people, who have been part of what i consider my biggest running achievement to date.

The course was tough, and like nothing i've eveer run before. I thouroughly enjoyed it, and even though i ccan no longer walk, i'm really happy with how we did. everyone was well outside their comfort zone and pulled their weight to complete the whole 24 hours.

Sorry if i've missed heaps, but i'm so very tired, and i feel ive sold it short but it was really an amazing weekend. Sponsored by adidas, Party tent and "THE MOST AMAZING CHOC CAKE" xxThanks everyone for a brilliant weekend xxxx

Wed 8th July 2009 - Chippenham 5k River Run

i'm too tired to go into much detail so here's a skimmed down version:

5k river run tonight, mosty club runners, off road, heavy legs, hi 5 to mate marshaling on way round, no km markers upset me, too narrow to ovetake even if my legs would let me, reeaaaaaally long last km (if it was that - i wouldnt know as there were no markers - did i already say that?) was maybe top 15 - i dunnno but will find out tomorrow, i just know i felt veeery sloth like so not happy with it, managed 21.31 - wanted around 20 so raspberries to that.

pint of milk after instead of ultimate porridge the end xedit: i was 9th lady

Sat 4th July - Everywoman's Duathlon

Well hellllooooo there!!

today i had my first duathlon - hence the subject.

It was daaan in the new forest, drove through pretty places with little ponies and foals, made me smiley I racked my bike in what i thought was an opportune location and made my way to the start area.

It was a little late starting and the local ladies gym were doing a warm up which i sat out of - i'm not co-ordinated for one and secondly i don't like wasting energy warming up before races.

It was a women's only race of 160 people, at the start i was eyeing up the competition.... lady in running club vest - got your number skinny whippet lady with super light road bike - check. Lady with incredibly long legs - yupl. ady next to me says to her bloke "she looks like she means business" pointing to me.. to which i pull my best bull dog war face expression. "Grrrr!"

The start was in two waves numbers 1 - 75 in the first one, 76 - 160 in the second one 2 minutes later... i was in the 2nd one, which irked me slightly but it's always a good idea.

The first lot set off and the 2nd lot lined up, i shimmied to the front and me and the lady next to me looked at each other and said "did he just say "go"?" but no, he'd said "1min to go" the first leg was 2.5k run So set off at break necks speed down towards what i think was the harbour or something, down this steep pebbly track nearly going flying asss over t1t but saving it by running on to the grass.

Small boy spectator was racing me so i pegged it to beat him! got round the corner and continued on the gravelly track - i had thought it was going to be road, but the whole way was gravelling - but not offensive. The route, was an out and back, through pretty woods, annoying dirty dog got in my way and i had to literally jump over it - his owner didn't seem to o bothered.... Coming back - annoying dog was there again, i said to the owner "he's determined to break my legs int he?" carried on,

Overtook as many of the 1st wave as i could catch (later found it was all but 4) came back round to the hill i'd flewn down, and had a really pleasant (not) 150m steep climb back up the b*gger to the transition area.

I did the first stage in 10:30 - i'd been aiming to go under 10 but ho hum. The transition stage was a bit of a pigs ear, it somehow took me 2 mins to get onto my freakin bike!! I had to tie a shoe lace, get my helmet and sunnies on, then run 100m to the road where i then had issues with my toe clips - i'm used to spds and the pedals were wet and kept spinning the wrong way, eventually i got off on the 10k 3 loop cycle section.

I was expecting to be able to ride it like a time trial that i've been doing recently but there were a few sharp bends and 2 hills on each lap. The first lap was pretty quiet but on lap 2 and 3 the whole field were out there so had to do a bit of "ooon your riiiiiight" type hollers. I took my specs off and shoved them in the back of my jersey cos it was raining. lady on road bike with incredibly long legs and I kept chasing each other down and she said "you're not trying to win are you?" - "damn right!"

I came to the last lap and one lady was ahead of me, she rode straight through the transition area and i got told to get off, so i did, i eyed up th racks and there were several bikes racked so thought they must be all running the last stage. I ran the bike back down to the racks and lobbed off my helmet and tried to get my glasses back out of my pocket but they were stuck and took what seemed like ages to free! i eventually did and ran back through the start and down slippery pebbly hill.

I got back to the run in 33;30 so the bike must have been around 20 ish... i wasnt sure how many ladies were in front, so asked a marshall on the way "eeermm.... one" - "woooo!" I was really surprised at how good my legs felt, as when i trained on monday they wre totally jellified after the ride, but i guess it was adreneline.

On tht about turn i saw the lady in front and caught her number - it was running club vest lady - but she was in the first wave so i still had hope of running quicker than her overall. I shouted well done and trundled on - no evil dogs this time!

Coming back i also spotted skinny lady and incrdibly long legs lady and coming back to the bottom of the hill exchanged woops and "well dones" with the lady i showed my warface to. Climbing up the last hill was a killer! The last 10m was "grrrrrr!" then "holy sh1t" as i crossed the line.

My overall time was 44.39 - which i'm fairly pleased with due to the fannying about that took place on my change overs. But what pleased me more was - I WOOOOON!!!!!WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! yay!

I hung about and chatted with people, got a massage (which i htink has made my thighs worse)

Also i'd like to comment that my diet has been attrocious this last few weeks... mostly consumed that of cider, pimms, rum, cheesecake, toast & muesli binges, b & J ice cream - so those of you concerned about diet affecting your training it doenst seem to have done me too much harm

Though that said, i wonder if i could have gone quicker if i'd not eaten such junk (i am a bit podgy too though) SexySuzie told me i had to come first, so i didnt want to let her down... really had a fun time, and looking forward to the next one now

21st June 2009 - Ridgeway Relay

Today was the annual Ridgeway Relay, which is an 89 mile club race along the length of the ridgeway. split into 10 legs.

I drunkenly agreed last weekend to take on the last leg, which was 9.4 miles. I've not run X-C since school and i rarely even run on grass so was really just expecting to go for a little potter. Which is why i spent the last 2 nights on the p1ss!

I had no idea the route but had scribbled down the instructions from the leaflet relating to my leg, which stated things like "Turn left off the ridgeway and follow the Herepath, across a grassy track heading towards some woods" - bit ambiguous!!

There's no official mile markers on the route and is signposted on the "ridgeway" bridalway type signs. Our team had done pretty well, only one of the runners had gotten lost - having to add 2.5 miles onto his leg! and the 9th runner came in half an hour before the mass start was to be sent off so i got a good start but this meant running totally alone.

I set off and realised i wasn't "pottering" i was in full competetive annab on a mission mode! The trail was fairly easy to follow, and was pretty hilly and uneven so had to concentrate on every footfall.

It was hard not having mile markers or knowing how fast i was going as it was hard to judge how ii was getting on. halfway through the leg it leaves the ridgeway and heads to malrborough and thereare the odd marshalls - just as well as i careered past them and they yelled me back to go through a gate and across some sheep (and sheep poo) filled fields.

There was a guy behind me, who i kept checking was still there to make sure i was going the right way. I managed to follow my instructions quite well and eventually the guy behind caught me, i said welll done as he drew level and we stuck togetehr for a while and ran together, i then fonud out he'd been following me as he'd not known the route. He overtook and i had to yell directions at him. He went the wrong way at one point so i stopped and waited for him to come back as i shouted "thhhiiiiis waaay!"

We then went flying down this amazing muddy hill, but up the other side was an equally amazing UPhill! Back down another hill and there was some more marshalls i asked how far and he said "about 200 yards" to which i "whhoooo"'d i tried to catch the guy who'd overtaken but he beat me through the finished by abot 20 meters (shoulda let him go the wrong way!) I finished in 1:11 and was really pleased with this as i'd said to my team mates 1:15 if i was lucky and having never done xc over this distance or hillyness i was super pleased!

I have to admit this was the hardest racce i recall but also the most enjoyable from start to finish. I was thinking in places "hats off to katiecom with her fell running"!! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! xx

Weds 10th June - Lethbridge 10k

powered by date and walnut :-)

Firstly i owe a big thanks to Jglencross for getting Lethbridge 10k people to change her entry to my name xx

I had been slack at entering as wasnt sure i'd be fit after time off/lady ops etc so thought i could enter on the day - wrong.

Was dithering about at folks trying to decide whether to go or not ate some f mums world famous date and walnut cake and decided to go and see if it was ok to run.

Anyhow, i got there and they were super lovely and changed the details Met a few others from club and littered peoples windscreens with fliers for our club race (i hate that - what a hypocrite!)

Had a bit of a hangover this morning and because i'd not reckoned on racing today i'd prob done too many miles mon/tues. Then i had a bad tummy just before, which thankfully shut up as soon as i started running.

Course was about 75% off road on a narrow, wet muddyish trail which was pretty hard work. first km was in 3:40 - bit quick..... but steadied up into a comfy pace. Was overtaken by a lady from the gym who i don't like - she's about 4 ft all, amazing tan, toned to perfection and wears a lerotard in body balance class! (jealous - moi??) that annoyed me, but i wasnt gonig to push it too soon as i knew the 2nd half of the course was a lot harder.

Splashing through mud and puddles, on a path i know well as its round by my folks house where i have run for years, the course is differnt to normal and went across some horrid rocky farm track then through some new housing development which was a bit dull.

The support on the course was really good and not expected for such a small eevent (about 350 runners) and in this rain too. The rain wasnt a hinder really, it was quite refreshing. The last 3k was seriously hard work, up hill, muddy and the only thing keeping me going was mamas cake. I came 7th lady as was pipped in the last 300 metres by a girl in pink.. did 45:45 which i'm dead happy with for that course. once mor thanks to julia (and my mama's cake) xx our club got 3rd prize for ladies

Sunday 10th May 2009 - Tewkesbury Half Marathon

Last race report for a while, as i'm taking 2 or 3 weeks off from thursday (docs orders and perfect timing really) I entered Tewkesbury Half marathon last week so i could try and finish my marathon training on a high.... i'd had a pretty craappy week training wise with 3 really not to plan runs, of slow heavy legs, so even though i was wanting to do a bat out of hell, vomitting through the finish a la RobNaylor race i wasn't holding much hope.

Soooo..flat course, nice town, fairly well organised. Was a 5 mile fun run going on too... good amount of bushes round the start to pee in as the portaloo queues were huuuuuge!

I hadn't received my race pack so had to get a new number when i arrived, but oddly they hadn't sent out the race chips in the packs either so everyone had to collect them too, i thought this might hold up the start but it got off fairly prompt.I lined up near the front of the pack, as i usually start a bit further back so i dont' get in people's way.

I was stood there with a load of skinny whippets and felt like a right ol' heiffer!! and quite out of place, and i dunno if i was being paranoid but felt ike they were looking at me like i was a hobo cos i wasn't really looking like a "runner" today, spesh next to these lean little women with legs the size of my arms!!

Anyhow..... got off to a good start, went through the first mile in 6:30 - in the first 3 ladies (me and group of skinny whippets), felt happy with how i was feeling, i have a psychological thing that i like to do the first mile under 6;45 - dunno why... mile 2, was abot 13;30 i think, so had settled into my comfy pace, and was aiming for just over a 7min mile average for the whole thing and since i ccan't seem to crack negative splits yet, i know i need to get the first few in quite quick.

Got to 4 in 27.30 so still inside my target pace and still in sight of the lead lady - not that i was going to catch her! mile 5 uneventful - 34.30.... mile 6 42.30.... got to mile 8 just outside where i wanted to be in 57.30 i think?? maybe 58 can't recall now... but i like to keep it under an hour so all good.

Popped a wine gum - normally i have raisins or jelly babies but i fancied something different today and they burnt my throat, but i like em so it didnt bother me too much. Mile 9 was 1hr04, and starting to notice the temperature getting to me, but couldnt facce drinking anything.

I was pacing with this huge guy who nearly made me choke... he was playing the air drums whilst running!! I ofetn play the drums on my steering wheel or handle bars, but i've never had the urge in a race, but i wanted to listen to what music he had on!!

I had caught up with one of the whippets now, but the 10 mile marker seemed to have been moved, where the hell was it!? Oh, there you are... 1hr 12... i looked at my watch a bit later and saw it said "1.18" again for some reason this amused me and i had visions of moustached men running along - i seem to get a weird sense of humour in the later stages of a race!

i got to 11 in 1hr20 after a slight uphill drag, and again someone moving the mile markers... and I realised then that i wasnt going to get very close to 90 mins, as i really wanted to get under 1:35 but ho hum, tough t1ts, still i was aiming for a PB.

I managed to keep the pace with ms whippet and drummer boy, but drummer boy picked up (drum)sticks and rocketed away.... mile 12 saw me through in 1hr27, leaving me just under 9 mins to do the last 1.1 mile in order to p.b it. I managed to hold pace, and for the last half mile i was pulling MartinHall type grimaces!!

final sprint i was 2 or 3 seconds behind ms whippet and finished in 1:35.24 - and shaved 20 seconds off my PB!

I think i was between 10th and 12th lady finisher - i wonder if i was a whippet how much quicker i could run? Or is it my big thighs that are holding me up?? Anyway a big "Yay" Was a super hot day today and i'm only glad it was a 9.30 start intead of a 11 oclock one! I'm really happy to finish my training on a PB, as my goal this year was to get a sub 1:40 half marathon and i've got 3 all within in 45 seconds of each other, so i'm glad i'm being consistent - so next step is to get consistently closer to 90 mins!! I think i need to work on pushing myself in the mid section of races as i just let myself settle into a comforatable pace and need to step outside my comfort zone.

( i was first lady in my category for this :-) )

About Me

My photo
This latest blog will be hopefully following my transwales experience. Enjoy with me :-)