Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I dream of consistency...of putting together two weeks of solid training, even hitting over 10 hours in a week would be a dream right now...and I have no real idea what it is that is causing me to be unable to do this!

After being ill in November, I built back up nicely with a 7 hour week, then an 8 hour week and started last week with a bang - putting in some quality turbo time and some nice runs........then I get a chesty cough - it coincided with a couple of parties so I eased off on the training before having a big session this sunday - my first full 3.8km swim - it went great, I broke it down to 50 lengths then 40/32/20/10 with a minute in between to break the monotony - time excluding rest was 65 mins 9 seconds which I was happy with - I can certainly go faster thats for sure, I then hit the turbo for 90 minutes and then ran 2.5 miles off it, I never felt tired or pushed and felt fine the rest of the day.....yesterday I felt awful, the cough which had nearly gone is now a cold and its no better today even with 9 hours sleep! I don't believe I am a sickly person, in over 15 years of working I have only had 4 days off and they were proper 'can't get out of bed stuff'!

Since I have been in my current job a year I have had around 6 seperate colds, I make sure that I clean my desk, I take vitamins everyday as a top up with extra iron, I use that hand cleanser stuff....WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH ME! Anyway moving forward I am going to eat more of the antioxidant stuff like pomegranates, berries and green tea and try to focus more on getting fresh air during the day rather than sticking in a stuffy office! From January the diet will be more ruthless anyway what with shedding the kilo's ahead of June so it should all match together (I hope)!

For the mean time I am going to sulk......a lot...and dream of my summer training!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Go time..

Exam is over...at last! My exams are weird, they are every six months and thankfully after 4 years and 14 seperate exams, they are all done...I hope - I've never failed any of them but I have a nasty feeling about this one! These advanced ones are all opinion based rather than fact so there is no knowing what the marker may decide! Any way regardless of how much work I did or didn't do there is always that pressure on my mind of what I should be doing and therefore my training time was reduced - the relief of knowing there is only training to focus on (wedding/work/christmas etc aside) is a great feeling!

I am therefore trying to make the most of this free time to get some good sessions in and really attack it pre-christmas! With all this chocolate and drink around its needed too! I'm certainly not losing any weight thats for sure! To encourage this I have sorted the turbo out and put in a 90 minute and 75 minute session on consecutive evenings which was good to do - only problem I find is that sitting down for that long can be really uncomfortable when just spinning!

I have also bought some proper bib tights so on the non-rainy days I'll get some proper road miles in - with my running going well, its time to focus back on building cycling mileage - big hours through January should set me in good stead for the remaining six months of this challenge! I must remember to use the foam roller though - I really don't want to aggrevate my knee issues again! So keeping up the turbo for a few hours per week and sticking with the running and swimming I do already should keep me looking good - its important to stick with the mental feeling that my mind doesn't have to be elsewhere!

Going back to the weight issue, I have added a couple of kilo's since the summer and can only seeing that saying the same through Christmas so I am averaging about 97kgs - I would like to drop to 90 by June so will be more strict with diet and booze come the New Year (won't we all), there is so much good (bad) food and drink around at the moment, it seems a waste to let everyone else eat it!

Anyway more to come -I'm purposely ignoring the sore throat....its just a tickle!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

November Update...

I was toying with the idea of not doing this November update because there isn't a great deal to say really...but then I remembered that some people literally can't wait for the next update in this relentess pursuit of perfect athletiscm (ahem), so this is for all of you most ardent supporters!

Basically the day after I sent the last one out, I got ill again details here: -


Long story short: - I get dizzyness which means I am pretty much useless for a week or two!

Anyway that meant for the first two weeks of November I managed a paltry 3 hours of training! Soon I was better though I was flying and managed to fit in a total of 19 hours in total including a fast (for me) 10 miler and lots and lots of running and swimming! Also did a great brick session (two sessions back to back) in the forest - mountain biking in to a run!

Thats it, thats all I am saying regarding November - its in detail on my blog!

So looking ahead I have booked in some races: -

January 16th - Rough 'n' Tumble 10 - a 10 mile x-country race over big hills
March 6th - Mad March 20 - a 20 mile race near Christchurch
April 7th - Wiggle Sportive - 83 mile cycle event that I will time trial again
May 1st - Neolithic Marathon - race between avebury (I think) & stonehenge -
May 9th - Try a Tri - first triathlon I did last year....again
June 26th - Forestman - the big one!

I may add a half marathon to that this sunday but that depends on whether there is any rugby on Saturday! If anyone fancies joining me on any of the above then please do!

I need to start doing some more cycling, I've been casting odd sideways looks at both bikes while wheeling out the mountain bike as this is the key to Ironman racing however the weight loss and general fitness that I am currently getting from swimming and running will only help in the long run!

In the meantime, thank you for all your continued support and please keep the donations coming in :-

www.justgiving.com/timdonell & www.justgiving.com/timdonell1

Just need a little bit more to hit £1,000 before Christmas!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Month Salvaged.....

Considering how November started out I'm chuffed that it has been salvaged by some great sessions over the past week! Best of all was this weekend, friday morning started with a great swim - breaking my 400 pb with a 6.02 - there were still some poor turns in there so sub 6 is real possibility any time soon!

Anyway Saturday was a run day - nothing really planned other than somewhere between 9 and 13 miles! I'll let you in to a secret...I love running in snow/ice and the cold! Its stunning to look at, fun to slide in and is usually quiet in the hills! so I drove out of town to do some running in my favourite area around Whitsbury Gallops!

The snow wasn't as plentiful as at home but about 1-2cm on the tracks and it was mostly virgin snow!

This was the view from the car - basically I run around the dips and hills in that view

Back where I had come from....

up to where I was going: -

about 5 miles in and looking back to where I had come from on the only bit of tarmac, a fair bit of melting in 45 mins! : -

So 10 miles on the nose in 1.27.47 which I was pretty pleased with as the first 5.5 I had cruised before really pushing it for the last 2 miles! Gives me confidence that I can push it over the longer distances without any dramas!
Sunday I joined with a friend and we went to the forest to take the mountain bikes for a spin and then in to a run! It was -3 per the car and felt so much colder for the first mile or so into the wind depsite wearing every single piece of cycling clothing I own! We totalled 15.5 miles in roughly 1 hr 45 - not fast but it was a properly tough ride - a few miles of gravel tracks interspersed with sand, gravel and icy boggy puddles! By my reckoning MTB'ing is about 2.5/3 times harder than road cycling so I'm happy with that distance for a mid-winter ride! (Open to discussion but I mean proper mtb'ing - off road and more than just gravel tracks!)!
We then went (almost) straight in to a 4 mile run, back over the same sort of ground as the ride - started off well but the legs felt it on the last couple of hills - still maintained a 9.30 pace without any great trouble! Then back home for some food and warmth!
View out the back of the house on Sat morning at the snow....

So all in all a good weekends training - especially on the running front, feel fine today so there was no great intensity - perfect for this time of year....must avoid getting ill now!! Exam and one more game of rugby to go and then its a straight line to June - can't wait!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Race schedule....

After much deliberation, I think I have nailed down the 2011 build-up to the big one...it will probably only change 10-15 times before then!

So it goes a little something like this...

January 16th - Rough & Tumble 10 - 10 mile brutal XC race (entered)
March 6th - Mad March 20 - 20 mile reasonably flat race (entered)
April 17th - Wiggle Sportive - 83 mile sportive which I will again treat as a time trial
May 1st - Neolithic marathon - hilly off-road marathon
May 9th - Try a tri - tiny little triathlon just for fun

then the big race on 26th June...granted there is a significant lack of triathlon in there but the only 1/2 IM is a bit too close to the main event and I don't see any point in spending a million quid on any other distance which I don't really enjoy! The Try-a-tri is the first one I did last year so just fancy doing it for fun!

So there we go all ready to go!

Monday, November 22, 2010


So I am all better now which is good, though my training hasn't progressed from barely happening....what with the last couple of weeks being rugby and work focussed the time and energy hasn't really been there! I've still got plenty of swimming in but only been running twice a week and no cycling - this week may change that slightly and with no weekend plans I am looking forward to a weekend dedicated to training! Definitely a good cycle and a long run and hopefully a good long swim on Sunday too - this will be interspersed with studying for my final accountancy exam - it'll be good to get that out the way on December 10th - then there are no pressures! Just training! I'm really looking forward to training at the moment which is a good feeling!

I went for a recovery run yesterday evening which was only 3.5 miles and hurt a lot - big roast, sore body and some champagne/wine with lunch a few hours earlier is not good even for just that gentle run! My Garmin has been sent off for repair so I'm using Runkeeper on the Iphone at the moment - its rubbish compared to a Garmin and I am pretty sure it isn't as accurate or reliable as a Garmin - but its free so I am not complaining!

I feel I should enter more races as a kick up the backside to encourage training but I find I do less training as a result because I worry about tapering/recovery etc too much but they are fun...ah well we'll see what comes up - I keep checking the events pages for the right race to pop up!

I'm not in as good shape as I was two months ago but I think I really was in good shape back then and I can get back there pretty quickly and then push on to Ironman shape from there! Watching the guys at the Ironman Arizona race this weekend just shows that with the dedication anyone can do it!

Other than that #sillyswimcomp and #winterswim are good fun for ticking out the pool time - at this rate I think I will stand more chance of swimming 112 miles than cycling them! he he!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Back from the brink...

After being ill all last week I have finally turned the corner, it was the dizziness I blogged on previously which lasted right up through to Sunday really, though it was mostly gone by Friday! I even took a day off work just to rest....and I never take days off for illness - I think three in total in about 10 years?! Doctor confirmed it was the crystals in my inner ear that get knocked about and then take a few weeks to settle down, something I have to live with so nothing to do with diet!

Anyway I played Rugby on Saturday...I know, I know I have supposedly retired from that but the boys have had a nasty run of results so I stuck my name back in for three weeks to see if I can bring anything to the party...I didn't this last week but I think we'll turn it round the next two weeks! Ironically I think I am better player now then I was a year ago despite being a lot weaker! Anyway the rugby hopefully shouldn't impact my basic training during the week, it just means Saturday and mostly Sunday are no go days! Since November has been a write-off anyway I can live with it!

August was great, September was average, October was great, November was very poor - see a pattern developing!! If this is the way it is going to go then so be it, I reckon I can manage it fine right up to June providing I am sensible during the hard times and make sure I push it! The other side of it is to strap a pair on and turn the bad months in to good months! That hardness will come when the New Year is past, right now over seven months out it just isn't needed!

I asked what others did in terms of weekly hours for Ironman and most averaged about 10-12 hours which I am comfortable doing anyway so that was really reassuring - I would like to hit a few 20's next spring and certainly May time which will be great - obviously the weather will make a difference - its the long riding that I need to get back in to the habit of, I've been doing a few 2-2.5 hour rides to tick over but will look forward to the bigger hours in spring!

Anyway I am now feeling better which is good - the odd dizzy spell is still there but nothing too bad, last nights 4.5 mile gentle run went by fine, though I could tell I hadn't been for a while! This mornings 4*500m swim also went fine really, it took me 1750 of flapping before I found my grove and could flow but this was no surprise with shoulders that were still rock solid after Saturdays game and no swimming for a week!

The diet has been okay...my late night chocolate craving has not gone but I am trying De-caffienated Green Tea (tastes like a hedge dipped in water) to add a change from plain water! I've still got 5-6kgs of fat to lose so when that goes I'll be like lightening...zooooommm!

Anyway until next time...sick note is out...

Monday, November 8, 2010

An apology,...

Turns out I don't think coffee caused me feeling ill last week, well it may have done I don't know but pizza didn't help, nor did loads of sleep - only made it through 2 miles of Saturday's run before walking home and feeling rubbish! Still went out Saturday and had a good day and felt better sunday - more sleep last night and I feel rubbish again!

Its a dizzyness and nausea basically, a bit like feeling permenantely car sick - I get it probably twice a year (last time was feb) - I have had MRI scans and stuff but nothing was really ever picked up - they said a virus (mild viral encephalytis) had damaged one of the nerves between my left ear and the brain, meaning the other once compensated for it by sending faster signals - therefore making me feel dizzy! I'm not sure I buy it to be honest as it just comes and goes with no real warning or apparent cause!

Its rather frustrating as physically I am fine...body wants to go but head can't! I'll keep resting this week and hopefully I will be better by the weekend...its annoying though because thats two weeks training gone when I am supposed to be building up again!

Ah well back to the grindstone....everyone elses training sounds good! Keep it up!

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Good & the bad black stuff...

Don't know what has happened to me this week, Monday was a total rest day and that was fine, I had a great run on Sunday so just chilled out and with a busy work week that was fine! Tuesday morning I got up for my normal swim, started off with sprints but just couldn't find my speed, felt like I was pushing a bit of a dead weight so I chilled out and went a bit slower!

That night was supposed to be a run but I went to Rugby training instead, I do this occasionally because: -

a) Its fun
b) I get to see my mates
c) It breaks up the run/swim/cycle pattern once a week while still having some exercise
d) It is either sprinting or standing still so in a way balances out my long and slow running with some speedwork!

Anyway I felt fine then wednesday nights planned run, again didn't happen - when I got home from school I felt so washed out I couldn't face it, same when my alarm went off for Thursday morning swim, though I slept badly so wasn't bothered!

I then went to run Thursday night, I again felt washed out but needed to get it done so thought I would do my usual 5.5 miles around town, first couple of miles where fine over the hills and my form was pretty good, I then started to feel a bit tired but saw out the next mile...then it hit me, I had to walk every few 100 yds just to get home via a shortcut...my legs weren't tired or sore it was just my body and head put on a total mental block! It felt awful - worst run I've ever had!

I got some sleep and went swimming again this morning - I still felt a bit dead, my form was excellent but I couldn't push through to my normal speed, I blasted out a 100m burst half way through which was good but I practically died after that and the last 400 odd metres were spent mixing up strokes and cruising along, anyway it was a mile and its all time but it just seems I've been unable to pick myself up mentally - physically I think I am fine! So what is it?

I don't think its overtraining, I did ten hours last week with that long run on Sunday but it was all low intensity stuff and shouldn't cause a problem, I think its more to do with caffiene and being brain dead!

Brain dead because all week I have been at the training centre studying for my last exam - they are relatively short days (9-4) with lots of breaks and I never feel taxed (excuse the pun) but I think that much intense studying can leave the head a bit fuzzy to the real world - expecially noticeable back at work today where I can barely work out whats going on!

Secondly and more importantly I think Caffiene is the problem, I rarely drink it as I am not a fan of coffee, tea is fine but don't tend to bother and I don't drink diet coke anymore unless in a pub etc I also prefer cold to hot drinks. But this week I have had a cup of coffee (mocha actually, though I feel slightly pretenious saying it) at lunch tues, wed & thurs to stay focussed for afternoon study and I think this has totally f@cked me over! I've been fine till about 6pm and then just mentally passed out! Simple answer don't drink caffiene...its bad for you! Coffee = bad black stuff

Anyway I shall sleep well tonight, eat a load of carbs and hopefully that'll get rid of all the nasty caffiene from my system @janine_B_lewis suggested beetroot or pineapple juice to assist in this so I'll grab some of that too - tomorrow am is a short ride and long run - I'll keep the intensity low and hopefully settle in to it! After that I have the afternoon off for indulging in England Vs the All Blacks and lots of Guinness (the good black stuff, it is iron after all), sunday will be a mountain bike ride with @norts12 - I'll be hungover so it'll just be for a giggle!

Enjoy your weekends and whatever you do don't drink coffee!!! By all means drink alcohol though - thats really good for you!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ironman Update #10

Crikey...10 months! 10 months I've been doing this all building up to one day in 8 months time...that's a long time away surely it'll be a piece of cake by then I'll walk through it...no it won't, I reckon I could do one now, it would just take me a few days! Anyway I wasn't going to do an update this month as I always jinx myself, however by popular demand (I think that's what they said) here it is: -

Swim: - 11.3 Miles, 6.9 Hours............Year: - 76 Miles, 48.1 Hours
Bike: - 165.3 Miles, 9.8 Hours...........Year: -1574 Miles, 99.7 Hours
Run: - 68.4 Miles, 10.6 Hours...........Year: - 601 Miles, 103.4 Hours
X-Train: - 23 Miles, 6.1 Hours..........Year: - 49 Miles, 11.3 Hours

Total:- 268 Miles, 33.33 Hours......Year 2300 Miles, 263 Hours

Swim: -

Another continuous month of good solid swimming, not really getting faster over the short distances but I'm getting more efficient and consistent which means I can put more power in to it! Over the longer distances I'm getting faster and my aim of an hour for the 2.4 miles is looking acheivable! Obviously all swimming is in the pool now which is fine, I don't have a problem getting up and going two or three times a week early doors and meeting other triathletes helps with mixing up the sessions!

My favourite session is 6*500 metres (20 lengths) alternating using my float between the legs, but to mix it up I sometimes to some sprint sessions one of which involves a warm up of about 300 metres then 25 metres fast, 25 slow, 50 fast, 50 slow, 75 fast, 75 slow etc right up to 200 fast/200 slow and then the same back down! Its pretty brutal and you get loads of shoulder burn but it feels goooooood once done!!

Bike: -

This has just been about getting on the bike again and putting in some base endurance work, I go purely on my heart rate averaging it at 70% of max (about 130bpm) for a couple of hours each weekend so nothing special to write about but it will stay like this for a few months just building up the time in the saddle!

I have used my turbo trainer (indoor contraption that you put your bike on to work out indoors) a few mornings but the heat it generates shreds my tyres so I am reluctant to use it till I can afford a proper turbo tyre!

Did have a rather odd experience last weekend, I had been out my tri-bike for about 75 minutes nice and steady, when I was sick...just that no warning, no strange feelings, I wasn't pushing it...just sick! Shook me a bit (I don't like being sick!) so I headed home - no other effects other than a bit dizzy - I think I went out too soon after brekkie and being bent right over in the aero position and drinking lots of water meant it had no where to go! Sorry to be gruesome but its all part and parcel of training!

Run: -

Another solid month, which is good having built in the bike work - I have to spend some time on my foam roller to keep my knee in check but I think I can stay on top of it!

I started off slowly and then really built up the running in the last two weeks, with week 4 a 30 mile running week! My final run on Sunday just gone was a 13.73 run from Salisbury over the hills to Fordingbridge and then on through the New Forest to Hyde Garden centre for some brekkie! This is the furthest I've ever ran and I felt great the whole way, it was faster, smoother and better than I have ever ran before! In fact I could have kept going for another 6 or so without too much trouble providing there weren't to many more hills! Most pleasing was that my 9 min/miles were easily comfortable over some big hills and the offroad trails! Guess I'll have to push it next weekend....

So overall I am really pleased with the progress this month, I have lost a lot of the weight I put on in September and removed the doubts I had about my ability to stay motivated, reduced intensity and increased hours are the name of the game for the winter to get that base endurance! No jinxing myself this month...nope nope nope!!

Trying to plan my races in the build up to the Ironman next is proving difficult, there is a marathon I want to do on May 1st then a half-ironman two weeks later, then the full thing 6 weeks later...hmmm maybe pushing it in order to recover in time! I'll play it be ear a bit on that front!!

P.s. having cut all my hair off it turns out I don't swim any faster....whoops!

oh and if you haven't then please sponsor me...I am so close to £1,000 across the two charities that it would be a massive boost to break it before Christmas!!

Thanks a lot to Everyone!!!!!!! Woohoooo!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tyred of tyres....

I hate punctures...rain, wind, hail etc I can just about cope with but punctures pee me off...and the inner tube people know it too - £3-£4 each for a bit of rubber! I fixed all my old tubes yesterday about 6 repairs in all - this morning one of them gone down again and then one blew out on the turbo! Grrrr!

It's been pretty steady still since my last post - averaging about 7-8 hours a week at the moment - gradually increasing as we go - the miles are getting longer for running and swimming is always pretty standard but I am enjoying the less intense more relaxed workouts and the escapism of long runs!

A couple of hours on the bike at the weekends are enjoyable and not long enough to tire myself out for longer runs on sundays - this weekend I was enjoying my ride around the forest with Chris before I got a puncture (grrr) I thought my heavy cheaper tyres may have added protection but it was a monster stone wedged in there! Luckily they come on and off easy and with the CO2 pump it was a matter of 6 or 7 minutes to change and get back on my way - though we got caught in a proper hail storm - very funny at first but it soon got too painful so we hid under a tree till it eased off! The wind, thunder and lightening that occompained it was pretty awesome! One thing though....I was taught not to stand under tree when there is lightening about but don't really want to stand in the open with a shiny metal bike.....hmm catch 22!

My run yesterday was great - the weather was cold (5-6 degrees) but sunny and still so I headed up to the downs around whitsbury and ran around the hills - I had a long sleeved thermal top, gloves and shorts, the gloves came off after a couple of miles but on the turnaround in to the wind I properly felt the cold on my knees and they started to ache - note to self, wear run-leggings if under 8 degrees for long runs! Here are some photos: -
Photo uptowards Whitsbury Castle (old fort covered in trees) - which I ran up to and around :-
Far side of the fort - looking out over fields from under the trees - it was warm in the sun and felt like summer - awesome!
A tunnel of trees around the castle, it was the light at the end of the tunnel - looked pretty cool!
Just a photo....the block of trees in the far distance was were I had ran from and eventually back too....just can't see the valley and mud in the middle!

It ended up as 9.5 mile, 90 minute run which was pretty steady but really nice - I could feel a few beers in me from the night before but the sun and views made up for it - wanted to go further but it can wait till next weekend!
Continuing to build up to the deep, dark winter months and the big weekly miles of January, though I have my final exam between then and now so there will be a dip in late Nov and early Dec!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ticking along...

October is ticking along quite nicely as far as training goes - I am very busy with work and study etc so its been lots of short, sharp sessions, including hitting the turbo a couple of mornings too - I've got quite into it as well - just for 30 mins or 45 mins but you can really get going on the intervals and bust out some good work!

Last Saturday I helped out my old Rugby club who needed an extra man for the trip to London - this obviously put a dent in my training for the weekend but it was great fun and I do miss playing - once this is done - I will be back playing for sure! Took me a while to ease off my aching back and hamstrings but they seem to have gone and last night I had a nice fast 35 minute run for about 4.5 miles - stupid Garmin is hardly working now so I measure the distance after!

Supposed to me doing a half-marathon on sunday which will be good to do - not bothered about time but would be interesting - I have, however been feeling slight niggles in my knee where the old problem was! Therefore I am not sure what to do - I'll be cycling a long way on Saturday so I will see how I feel on sunday morning - if I'm not sure I can do it then I'll just run myself and see how that goes - no point wasting entry money on not finishing!

My weight is also starting to come back down which is good - I only put on a few pounds but it felt like a lot!

So things are looking positive - I am trying to focus on going long at the weekends rather than just short blasts - a bit slower but getting the endurance in at about 70% HR - its also good fun when on your own!

I figure I have effectively done one 'tri-season' now despite doing only two tri's so its a pretty good place to be in - I am confident about the big one next June - I could finish in 16 hours - the difference is I want to make it enjoyable and put something down I can be proud of!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


We've all met people that enhance the truth slightly, expand on the facts or just lie (a bit like Jay from the Inbetweeners..he he) and in fact most of us at one time or another do bend truth in what we say....when I started training and undertaking this idea I promised I would never lie about training or make up sessions.

This to the point where I don't round-up the half miles or the 5 seconds here or there, in fact the opposite - if I lose count when swimming, I swim the extra just to make sure...etc etc! I'm no golden boy but when it comes to training there is no point in lying to myself!

So it was bought to my attention that someone I looked up to for their training was in fact talking crap 40% of the time, I won't name names but if your reading this it probably isn't you! I thought about it for a bit and it gets on my nerves - it doesn't affect me and in all circumstances doesn't harm anyone but it gets on my nerves because they aren't being honest with themselves so what's the point! As soon as people realise you then lose all credibility...

So I thought a bit more and it occured to me that perhaps these people don't realise they are talking crap - they've got so used to it that it just seems normal, its not malicious, it's just deluded!

And that led me back to me...am I deluded?, do I think I am able to do an Ironman by doing what I am and going about it my own way? Have I got so used to thinking about Ironman, talking about it and visualising that finishline that I think it will just happen! Well yes in a way I am slightly deluded currently - I have a hell of a long way to go yet, miles to put in and kg's to lose....and I know I need to ramp it up a whole lot but deluded or not I will be crossing that line in June and I sure as well won't bullshit about it!

So if your not being honest with yourself perhaps you should at the very least be honest with others and don't portray yourself as something that you are not yet...portray what you are and then when you reach your goals portray yourself as you are then! For instance... I'm not an Ironman yet in anyway shape or form (technically I won't ever be - I will be an Iron-distance-man) and please don't think that I am, I have done two sprint triathlons and I am improving.......but I am not there yet and I don't pretend to be!

Friday, October 1, 2010

September Round-Up

Ironman Update #9 - September 2010

September has been a transitional month - its the half way point between the birth of this idea and the culmination, both in time and mentally. It also marks the end of Summer when training becomes a lot harder to fit in with the weather and the darkness! Mentally its been very difficult, motivation to get out and exercise has been easy - I love exercising its no problem, but as I alluded to in my earlier blogs focusing on Ironman has been tough because I have come so far and yet have so far to go!

Anyway the month has looked like this: -

Swim - 6.3 Miles - 4 Hours

Bike - 0.0 Miles - 0 Hours

Run - 83.4 Miles - 12.4 Hours

Cross-Training - 26.2 miles - 5.2 Hours

Total - 116 miles - 21.6 Hours

Swim -
An average month on this front, nothing special just ticking over! Swimming is an odd sport, whilst you obviously do improve the more you train, it only takes one 'off' session to suddenly feel like your sinking and flapping around in the water! So I've just been putting in the time and the miles in the pool and that's fine - a few good coached sessions and the most amazing open water swim!

It was a couple of Saturdays ago and when I left to drive to the lake at 6am it was 2 degrees Celsius - yes you are right that is very cold! It was also dark and foggy, however I stuck at it - on arrival there were a few others waiting around till the fog had cleared over the lake. It soon became apparent this wasn't going to happen so we agreed to swim up and down the near shore in vague sight of the jetty! Thankfully the water was a warm 17-18 degrees so it was fine once in! I set off with another lad and we did four 400m ish out and back routes - it was amazing though because for the majority of the laps the fog was so thick you couldn't see any land, trees or anything around you - every now and again another swim would slide out of the fog and disappear in another direction! Being in water and surrounded by fog (like a horror movie) is an eerie but incredibly stunning experience (just don't mention sharks)! Thankfully I don't get scared being in water very easily and enjoy the feeling of being completely immersed - but I wouldn't recommend it if your not a confident swimmer!

Bike -
Not done any! 2 reasons - first I've haven't felt like it, after the 80 mile TT I wasn't ready to hop back on the road for the first few weeks, secondly - once I found I could run again I didn't wish to harm my progres through cycling so soon! I have been doing some mountain biking though so which is what the cross training is so the pedals have been turning - albeit slower and with more messing around

Brilliant, super, smashing wonderful! I am back up and running and September was the biggest since I started in January with plenty left in the tank so really pleased - I am also running faster for longer so I have no complaints here at all! Not gone for more than a steady ten so far but there is plenty in the tank and the half marathon on the 17th should be fine providing my hamstring issue clears up! As for the 1/2 I'm going slow and steady so anything around the 2 hour mark is fine for me - not the fastest I know but its all in the build up!

Unfortunately I didn't make the cut for the 2011 London Marathon which is a shame, not because of any long standing dream to do it, but its one of those things that would be fun! I'll be doing a low key local one instead for training!

Cross-training -
I've been doing some mountain biking just to keep my eye in - its estimated mostly because I tend to go on my own and stop start quite a lot but its made a nice change to be off the tarmac!

So overall its been a very quiet and steady month, I wouldn't say I am yet fully ready to go 100% hard because I haven't yet hit that 6 month barrier when I will get scared but I will continue to up the running and get back on the bike and build the base fitness. Its all about building that endurance now over the winter, working within certain heart rate zones and staying injury free! I feel more refreshed mentally than I have since the end of August but I'll be happy when I hit that startline!

Its definitely all about the charities and raising money for EdUkaid and See Saw but when its you and your body going through it, its very easy to get wrapped up in the here and now, thankfully a great run or a great swim snaps it all back into reality that I am pretty lucky just to be able to do this, so I should stop whinging and get on with it!

As I mentioned in a previous blog - the only way to justify the steady months like this one is to make the most of the months to come - this is ever present in my mind so there are some big sessions to come!

I wouldn't say I am looking forward to getting back to the heavy training but I am certainly ready for it...that has to be a good start!

for the blog go to... http://ironmantd2011.blogspot.com/

For daily training updates and other rubbish on twitter go to www.twitter.com/IronmanTD2011
and I am desperate for donations so please, please, please, please, please go to www.justgiving.com/timdonell and/or www.justgiving.com/timdonell1

Thanks for the support from everyone!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Enough's Enough

As you have seen from the September posts - this has been a topsy turvey all over weird sort of month - its been all in my head - its not been a lack of motivation as I have done lots of exercise - just not necessarily triathlon training - I have included mountain biking and general stuff in my hours this month! Perhaps I was feeling a bit burnt out - although I've only been doing this for 9 months, when your focussed on one goal that is a long way it can be pretty tough sometimes to maintain that level of enthusiasm! So I decided to not worry about this month so much - I'll tick over to twenty hours over the next two days with some running and swimming and that'll do fine!

However I can only justify this by making the most of October - I'll get back on the bike, having not ridden on the road during September and start combining more sessions and getting double days back in! Swim in the morning and running in the evening!

One huge positive is my running - I've built it back up nicely during September and am cruising along at a nice speed for where I want to be! Thats a massive bonus as my knee would appear to be fine! Lets hope it holds out when I start cycling again!

To start October I am going to have a big session on Saturday - swim, cycle and run - nothing fast or too intense but hopefully some good times - my plan will be a 1.9 mile swim, 30 mile cycle and 12.5 mile run - all being well that will be a really good session!

There I have said it....I can't not do it now!

anyway i can stop whinging now - its all about hard work - I 'll be too tired to whinge!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Building back up...

This month so far has been slow in training terms but not in anyway lazy I should add - as I previously stipulated I was just taking it steady and building up my running - this has really paid dividends and on saturday I had a good session!

It started with a 5.55am alarm call - I had been feeling pretty ropey the two days before so it took some serious will power to get out of bed - I jumped in the car (prepacked) and headed down to Ellingham ski lake for a good swim, although it was dark and the car temperature read....2 degrees (brrrr) the sun was slowly coming up and it was laid on for a beautiful day!

When I arrived there were only two people in the hut (plus the owner) and the lake could barely be seen for the fog rising up off the warmer than air water! We gave it ten minutes and then slowly got changed and wandered down to the lake - normally you can do 1400m laps of the lake but as you couldn't see more than 25m it was all about keeping reasonably close to the Jetty and doing roughly 400m between the banks - the water was actually really quite nice at about 17/18 degrees and it was an amazing swim - at one point you were swimming in thick fog, with out being able to see any bank or buoy - this was pretty spooky but awesome at the same time!

As the sun slowly broke though the view just got better and it was by the far the best swim I've had to date! After this I drove straight up to the forest and ran 5 miles out along the main road and then 4.5 back along tracks and through woods - it was about 12 or so degrees by now and clear blue sunshine so was a perfect time! I had to stop in some woods at one point - the sun was dappling through the tree's and it was perfectly still and quiet - soaked in some of the sunshine and then finished it off - having seen only one other person out on the trails!

So a 1.2 (ish) mile swim and a 9.5 mile run was a perfect Saturday morning and I was feeling so comfortable running at that pace - so the few weeks of slower training - 5 to 7 hours have really paid dividends! I then hit the mountain bike for 45 minsutes of blasting about yesterday to blow away the cobwebs from saturday afternoon (big lunch and a beer or ten)!

I feel so much more confident with my running and am enjoying building up my long runs - next weekend will be my old 12 or so mile route which includes some ridiculous hills! I have a 1/2 marathon on the 17th October which should be good - 2 hours will be about right for my time - slow and steady!

As for cycling - well I just looked at my record and I haven't been on my road bike for 3 weeks (!) Its fine because it has allowed time to sort out my running but I am concious that the nice weekend days will have to be used for some long rides to keep my eye in! Its all about building an endurance base and cycling is fantastic for that!

Swimming has been ticking over - a few pool sessions and the odd coached session - not getting any quicker but keeping that base going!

all good - so building back up to bigger training weeks over the next few months - tis good to get the drive back!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Catch Up....

I've not blogged for a week or two - due to a combination of being very busy and not doing a great deal of training either!

To be honest that was fine with me - I hadn't realised how tired I was until I had a day or two off and then struggled to get going again! So as I have done little of training this month I will keep it that way and keep focussing on my running! As I have mentioned numerous times i had many knee problems and have hardly run at all for a few months - so now that I am over that (fingers crossed) I am concentrating on running and getting in the miles!

I'm up to ten mile long runs at the moment at a steady pace and will be looking to get comfortable with the long two hour runs before hitting some big winter mileage! I have a 1/2 marathon at the end of October which will be a good indicator of where I am!

That comes at the expense of cycling - however having done loads over the past few months I am happy with letting it slide a bit! Swimming will continue to tick over for a few weeks until October when I will be looking to get fully back in to the swing of things for the winter months!

Bring on next June...I can't wait to hit the startline...patience is not a virtue of mine!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

August Monthly Update

I'm afraid it's a long one as so much as happened this month, after last months steady build up I was looking forward to hitting it hard this month and I most certainly did! It started strongly and built right through to the New Forest Rattler before a bit of a rest to see the month out!

Swim - 12 miles - 7.8 hours
Bike - 425 miles - 24.1 hours
Run - 38 miles - 6.7 hours

Total 475 miles - 38.7 hours

All those total to give my biggest month to date in terms of hours - averaging around 10 hours per week for the bigger weeks so its been really good! Oddly I have put on weight, only a few pounds but its made a difference from the continuous weight loss I have seen so far! Its mostly because I don't eat enough decent food during the day and end up snacking on chocolate and sweets in the evening to make up for lost calories - more discipline required for September I feel!

During my two biggest weeks I used a lot of energy and recovery products which really made a big difference - unfortunately they are too expensive to use all the time but I'm holding out for some sort of deal on them...! (Hint...everyone go and buy ZipVit products)

Swim: -

Nothing ground breaking to report on, just lots of it! I've been doing plenty of sessions in the hour or so that I go two/three times a week before work, varying it between speed and then just plain endurance sessions - I've been enjoying it though which is a good thing and though I've not been breaking any records my consistency as increased a lot! On my biggest training day of the month I went to one of the coached sessions at the gym - I was happily motoring up and down doing the drills but got pulled out of the middle lane and dumped in the 2nd fastest lane - flattering but not what I needed! Still I held my own against all the fast young whippets, despite plenty of cramping! The guys in the fast lane where super quick - it was just plain scary!

Bike: -

Great month on the bike, the plan was to build up to the New Forest Rattler (79 miles around the forest) on the 22nd - although the distance isn't a problem for me I wanted to do it as fast I could maintain for the entire distance - ideally 20 mph average!

So I started the month getting lots of sessions in on the tri-bike just getting used to sitting in the position and maintaining a good cadence - it was very positive actually and felt easier than I expected! I also intermingled this with lots of longer rides on my road-bike taking in plenty of hills and generally getting out and about!

As previously mentioned my biggest day involved a really good 50 miles up over the hills around shaftsbury followed by 2400m of swimming - I was so tired after this ride but it shows how far I have come that I was still strong at the end and able to have a big swim!

So that all led to the Rattler!! I wrote a detailed report here...


but essentially I held my average at 19.9 mph until 64 miles when I was just exhausted - at that point I managed the hills and brought it home in 4 hours and 7 minutes having averaged 19.5 mph - I was shattered but very happy with it! Just got a lot more work to do!!

Run: -

So I have only been running once a week really - the odd smaller 3-4 mile run and a few bigger 7.5 mile runs which have been good - no knee pain but I am struggling with pace and fitness - no real surprise given the last few months so I am pleased! From now I am going out slightly more often and trying to get the distances up, I walk when I am tired for a maximum of 30 seconds at a time and just try to maintain a solid pace throughout! Easier said than done mind you!

All that has left me feeling pretty rubbish - unless I am on a bike or in the pool - then I tend to feel pretty good! The triathlon season is running down now so I won't be able to fit in anymore races - I can't justify the entry fee for the one-last-tri so I will sit that out - I may enter a half-marathon in October and should know by then if I have made the cut for the London Marathon in April which will be good training?!

So what's the outlook now - I would really like to concentrate on my running and get that back on track (forgive the pun) so for September I am going to focus on more of that whilst just maintaining the cycling and swimming - so cycling will be restricted to more weekend rides whilst swimming should remain consistent!

I am not going to increase the hours as I have been because I don't want to burn out and this will give me a chance to focus on the quality of my running rather than having to keep the quantity high! I have had a few moments in the last week or so where I have doubted if I could see out the next 10 months of training and get to Forestman and it really has been up and down - but it wouldn't be a challenge if it wasn't hard - it doesn't help that the rugby season is kicking off and seeing the boys running out can be tough - however I know this is the right thing to be doing and looking at the charity work and the donations that have come in really strengthens my resolve!

We're off to Cornwall next week which will be good so I will be taking my trainers and wetsuit to get some sea swimming in hopefully! The rest of the week will be good ol' sitting down time!

This month I am not taking a break from donation begging - a few more and we can hit £1,000 - so please, please, give what you can before Christmas rears it expensive head!! (I am aware its only September!!)



Anyway here comes September and it starts with a run tonight - going for a solid 9 or so but won't be pushing it! Fingers crossed!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Forest Rattler

I definitely got the pre-event nutrition wrong for this one - not enough carbs the day before made me pay the price in the end...but the rest of it went really well!

A good nights sleep and a big bowl or porridge and a banana saw me right for the start though, and as the event only started 5 miles away, a group of us met and spun very gently down there - which was very nice to ease legs in to it! On arrival we registered, had a coffee and then waited for the off!

The weather was perfect for fast cycling, overcast and drizzly but warm at about 18-19 degrees and almost no wind - roads were slippery in places but not much you can do about that!

Though this was a sportive I was treating it as a TT, to see what pace I could sustain for 79 miles to get an idea for the Ironman - I kept to my no drafting rule as that would not have helped at all!

I started in the middle of a group of 30, but had overtaken and lost them halfway up the first hill past the Red Shoot...or so I thought, I hadn't realised some character was using me to pull him up the hill! (see the photo)

I didn't realise he was there until near the top, anyway my brief glimpse made me think he was an old timer so I thought I'd lose him soon enough...err nope he was a shadow for the first ten miles while I was secretly cursing him! Over the first two hills and down a long descent on very wet roads (as you can see below) and I had caught up the ground on the group that had started ten minutes before me and by the time I hit ten miles I had clocked a split of 28.49 (my pb is 28.07) and my HR was about 156 so I decided I needed to ease up slightly and my legs settle in to the ride!

My shadow then pulled up alongside me and apologised for drafting all the time but he was doing the short route and wanted a good start - fair enough I said and off he went at 12.5 miles! I was feeling pretty good at this point and passing plenty of riders, there were people trying to draft me but they weren't able to hold on for more than a few hundred metres at a time - I don't know why it was annoying me because it makes no difference to me - but it did!

After 20 miles I eased up slightly just before nearly losing it on a sharp right hander on a hill, then it was a long and muddy downhill where I was able to refresh slightly having clocked 20 miles in under an hour - 21mph ave! I was chuffed!

At the first feed station I upped my aero bottle with a nuun and had a flapjack and set-off again - lots of flats meant I could settle in to a nice rhythm and tick off the miles - the riders were getting spaced out now but I was still passing plenty - although my cheery wave and greeting was more often than not ignored! It would seem that people aren't keen on being overtaken by someone working on their own! (idiots)!

At about 45 miles there were series of rolling hills - nothing big but they tool their toll on the legs and I was suffering a bit - after this I hit some lovely roads in the middle of nowhere and was on my own for about 30 min's so I sat up had a good drink of ZipVit (I love this stuff) and a bite of a Mule Bar before settling down to it around the beaulieu area! My back was a bit tight but it was more tight hamstrings than bike problems so a bit of standing up and stretching on the bike helped!

I caught and passed three riders from the Hamworthy Velo Club (HVC) who really didn't appreciate my cheery greeting! A couple of miles later and I pulled in to the second feed station to top up my bottles and one of the HVC riders stopped as well - we both left at the same time so I offered my draft to help him catch his mates...I rode pretty hard to catch them up, when we did he just rode past and started chatting to them the cheeky git! I did draft here for about 200m to catch my breath and then set-off again as they were too slow...I did get a cheers as I left them but general manners never hurt!!!
The last 20 miles were getting tougher and at mile 65 I had run out of gas having averaged 19.9mph up to there, up the long drag back to the forest road from bramshaw I dropped down to the little ring and spun it out - trying to think of excuses to go straight home! I didn't however and once I got on to the flat I was able to sit at a relatively comfortable 22mph for 5 or so miles...this led up to the 25% Blissford Hill - I was dreading this and cruised slowly down to the bottom of it - a few wheel spins before I got up it...but I did and it wasn't too bad - the round of applause at the top was also very nice too! From there it was a mile downhill and two miles of flat so I put my head down, dodged the horses and came in to the finish in 4.07 hours for the 79.19 miles with an average of 19.5 mph!! This is me going up the 25%...I was shattered but pleased with the time - proper eating the day before may have seen me hit 20mph but thats ifs and buts! No complaints - I have never pushed that hard for that long on that bike before so it was a step in to the unknown - I am now very scared for Ironman as I'd still have to ride another 32 miles and run a marathon...not to mention the swim! Lots of work now required..!!

ooh and I am famous!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Someone hit me with a brick...

So after my last blog when everything was going swimmingly it has....well continued to go to plan actually! Not that means its been easy....oh no no no!

That evening of the blog I went out for a ride with the lads from Fordingbridge for a loop of the forest and what a great ride it was...it started badly when someone turned up with two flat tyres, I volunteered to stay behind and help but after 15 minutes, three tubes, a puncture repair kit and a lot of huffing and puffing, we concluded it was pointless as the tyres were knackered! So with a 15 minute deficit I set about catching the others up!

Luckily I was on my tri bike and well up for the chase, 13.5 miles later at 21.7mph average I caught them up - this included 2/3 hills and I was holding 25+ on the flats and a new 10 mile pb of 28.07 - If I had been warmed up and avoided the hills I reckon I could average 23mph over 10 miles - however I am not going to try, whats the point!

I was pretty knackered by this point and the rest of the ride was a good solid bit of fun with a very fast final 6 or 7 miles along the top of the forest in a train - its an awesome feeling when there is 4 or more of you hitting it hard in a big group!

Anyway I followed that up with a solid swim the next morning, 10 sets of 250m, alternating with the pull buoy - it wasn't particuarly fast but it was good and solid! That evening I got back on the tri bike for two loops (17.2 miles) of my local roads - legs were tired at first but got stronger and finished with an average of 19.6mph which was a genuine surprise as I wasn't checking as I went along!

Friday and Saturday were spent down at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage HQ near Lyme Regis - its an expensive but incredible experience and I would recomend it to anyone! Lots of wine and food left me feeling gooooood!!

After two days off, Sunday required something pretty big so I set off with a friend and we went off along one valley before crossing up and out of it, into another, then up in to another before eventually reaching the top of the hills above Shaftsbury - as Chris is showing below :-

It is stunning up there (apparently Madonna and Guy Ritchie lived in that valley below) and well worth the climbing - although I actually really enjoy the hills up to it - its only steep at the beginning, after that its a looooooong drag over about 4-5 miles I'd estimate - on a good day you can set a fine cadence and off you go!

Down off the top (past the sign in the top photo it goes straight down) and we made for home, we stopped at a pub about 8 miles from home for a coke and a bottle fill up which was needed - my legs were pretty tired by then but I had enough to set a good tempo over the last climb before home!

Lots of food and I went for walk with the girlfriend (sorry fiance...) for a few miles as it was a stunning afternoon and saw this taking off, right from beginning to end - which was pretty cool!

I then decided to go to the Swimwise+ which are the coached swimming sessions at the pool, I've only been to one before and really enjoyed it - unfortunately they are always on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday nights so not all that convenient! Basically they divide the pool in to 8 lanes (1 hardest, 8 easiest) with different plans for lanes 1+2, 3-6, 7+8 and you then crack on with them while a coach walks round and picks out pointers for you!

I hopped into lane 4 and started my warm up - however it started to get busy and so I was moved into lane 2 as I was quite quick apparently (flattering but I was not ready for it!) There were some young lads in there who race sprints and are pretty damn quick, however I was more than able to hold my own and led out 2 of the timed 400's which was good fun! Unfortunately my battererd legs from earlier came to haunt me and my feet were cramping towards the end - I did however complete the whole 2400m and a reasonable pace so was happy! Just for note a girl in lane 1 has a 400m pb of 4.41....gulp! Mine is 6.16!

I was buzzing after this session and a great day of training - not my longest ride or swim but definitely my best and hardest day of training yet!

So to this week - it is a rest week with only 4.5 hours required however I was feeling good so thought I would continue for the first half before a mini taper to Sundays TT...nope didn't happen - went for a brief spin with a friend on monday night that turned in to a 10 mile slow pace with a pub stop as I was exhausted - legs wouldn't go...hence hit by a brick! I didn't swim tuesday though had a good run around with the boys at rugby training (a rest week treat) in the evening - though it was tough and I was tired! Last night it was another 30 miles in the forest with lads - I didn't have much in the tank but still put in a good performance!

I am now empty though and looking forward to resting today, tonight and tomorrow (I may swim in the morning but unlikely) and then saturday will be servicing the bikes and then maybe a gentle spin before Sundays 80 mile TT (again its actually a sportive but I plan to go on my own and treat it as a TT)!!

So my 2nd and 3rd largest training weeks went fantastically and I can't wait for Sunday - hopefully I will be bursting to go and will hit my targets!

Wouldn't it be nice if it was always like this...!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Good days...

I normally post on here when I need to vent frustration/sort my head out, so today I will just update on the last week or so as its been good!

Last week was a great training week - 10.5 hours in total (my 2nd highest to date) though the average is creeping up steadily - I have averaged well over 8 hours for the last ten weeks so its building nicely! Had a few snide comments that its not enough but hey ho - theres always a few!! Plus it will look different come January..!

Last sunday culminated with a 70 mile cycle on my road bike - which went well, was with a couple of others, one who had never ridden beyond 50 before and he did amazingly well! You can forget how far you've come - this was a reminder that I was that guy a year or two ago! Towards the end the pace was dropping - so I did some faster intervals on my own to get some work in, which was good and my comfort and energy levels are looking good!

Monday night was a great 7.2 mile run, having not run for ages I was happy to hit that distance and shouldn't complain at 8.58 minute miles - that includes a 30 second walk at about 2.5 miles! Once that had passed I felt really good for the rest of the run and had a turn of pace at the end! Plenty more careful knee management and I will be back on track no worries!

Yesterdays swim was a bit crappy - I was flapping around big style! Still managed to do 2.1km but was chatting a fair bit with another triathlete in the pool for a while - (I know...annoying when people are sat there chatting but this was a one off, I can assure you!) Still with all the good swimming last week I wasn't worried about one poor session!

Last night it was peeing with rain so I forwent the bike ride and did some paint work in our new kitchen - good way to appease the good lady and only fair really!

Big ride tonight which I am eager for big time - its always a group ride on a wednesday and a good crack! Tomorrow will be swim and cycle, friday swim - then we're off to River Cottage friday for a meal and that will take up saturday too - so I'll hopefully hit the bike for 4 or so hours on Sunday! If I don't hit my target 10.5 hours for this week I will be smashing by 4.5 next week (its supposed to be a rest week)

I'll smash it mostly because I'll make up any shortfall plus I am loving training and also because I have the 79 mile time trial on the 22nd! Actually its a sportive but I am taking my tri bike and treating it as a time trial as it is reasonably flat (other than the 25% blissford hill) - I will be aiming for an average of 19-20 mph over the whole distance and will chuffed to bits if I do it! Otherwise I'll be blown to bits!

Ahhhh....happy days!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Personal Bests....

Personal bests are a funny thing…well that’s a lie they aren’t but anyone that follows my twitter feed may notice that I seem to be setting a lot of them recently!

There is no real point to this post (is there to any?) but I just wanted to note my thoughts! Its more of a rambling thought process in my head than a coherent report…..there’s a shock!

My 100m swim time has, in the last two weeks, dropped from 1.36 to 1.32 to 1.28 and now to 1.25 - I genuinely think this not because I have got 11 seconds ‘fitter’ or that my technique has got 11 seconds ‘better’ but so much of it has to do with how hard I am prepared to go…don’t get me wrong, I always go hard when trying to achieve a ‘pb’ but there is a difference between hard and really, muscle burning, lung popping, nearly dead hard! (I should note that all my 100m attempts come at the same time, in the same session – after a mile of drills and 100m splits)

There is also a lot to do with the fact that I only recently started timing myself consistently so these times will drop reasonably quickly before reaching a plateau!

Something that I am also conscious of is, as mentioned by @tomstraining in his blog – the subconscious –although I can’t check my time during a 100m swim, I always know if it’s fast or not – does my subconscious become aware of this and go in to preservation mode so that I do ‘just enough’ to beat a pb! I think this is relevant in all three sports, though certainly easier to manage with running and cycling as there is a computer in front of you giving real time pacing info – just a matter of pushing harder (!)

My running pb’s will change quickly because I am new to it – I would expect to set a new pb in most races I enter! Cycling too in a way because although I have done a lot more – these days I am always pushing harder and getting lighter – though again the subconscious comes in to play in those last few miles of hard ride…the bulk of the work is done, I can ease off at still set my pb….it happens so easily!

It’s a clichĂ©, but imagine what pb’s we or I could achieve if I could get myself to push 100% of the time, right to the finish line….I guess that refers back to my original point before about being 11 seconds faster – so much of is the belief of how hard you can push – every time I set-out on a 100m swim pb attempt I come in breathing hard and happy with what I have achieved, as its at the end of my set I then warm down and I’m done…then next time, I get back in I know how hard I pushed last time and survived, lets go a bit harder…boom a new pb! Again…what if I could train myself to go 100% right from the start every time – to really blast myself and to know I have given anything, literally everything!

I guess that isn’t the point of training, you physically can’t go 100% all the time, you’ll burn out – that’s what we don’t set pb’s every time we go out for a session! You build your body up over a period of time so that you can set pb’s!

I suppose I’ve come full circle in what was I was saying but in effect the idea of setting a pb isn’t based purely on physical effort and body conditioning – so much of it is in the mind – so is a pb a true reflection of how fit we are and what we can achieve? No I don’t think it is (unless your crazy and go 100% all the time), there is always more it’s just a matter of convincing your mind that its there!

Maybe the few that really set the world on fire and have gone to that next level – Chrissie Wellington, Lance Armstrong, Usain Bolt, have the ability to go that extra distance…..its not doping, it’s the going beyond what your brain thinks!

Having said that, the ‘pb’ is the only measureable (unfortunately you can’t measure potential) so I suppose it is a reflection…just a slightly skewed one!
My pb’s however will continue to fall, because I will keep pushing myself and if I reach my physical limit, I know I’ve got a heap load of mental potential (it rhymes) to break through….so sorry if it seems that I post a PB every week but I’m only just breaking the iceberg!

As of today they are:-
100m swim = 1.25
400m swim = 6.16
1 mile swim = 28.17
10k run = 46.46
10 mile cycle TT = 28.27

I reckon I could beat a number of them on any given day because I know I have more mental strength than last time…its just convincing my brain that it’s the case!

this whole thing is a journey and its conquering the fear of the unknown...I just want to know it all and push myself right to that very edge...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

July Update..

I was going to start this month’s update saying what a struggle this month has been and that I have not been focussed but that would actually be a lie – I’ve reached a point in my training where I have plateau’d mentally in my training – after the high of a successful Dartmoor outing (see previous update below) and then a very relaxing holiday I found that my training “seemed” to falter a bit….(well it did almost completely on holiday)…but looking back its not been too bad a month at all really!

Swim – 9.4 miles – 5.9 hours
Bike – 153 miles – 8.5 hours
Run - 46.4 miles - 11 hours

Total 209 miles – 25.4 hours

Now those figures don’t look great in comparison to previous months but if I factor in 10 days holiday and I’m not doing anything on the 31st (moving day) that’s not too bad for me!

In summary of the month – after my holiday, the thought of trudging out lots of miles on my own wasn’t appealing so I went back to pre-season training with a couple of rugby clubs taking advantage of the core and fitness sessions and generally getting some speed back in to my legs – this helped to reinvigorate me and get the blood flowing again! The sprinting however does my tight hamstrings no good and as the root cause of my knee problem, I have cut back on this but it was good to get me going again, I then had my second triathlon last weekend (I’ll come back to later) and have rounded off the month returning to my normal training!

Swim :-

This has been a great month for swimming, I go through periods of loads of swimming, then none – currently I am doing loads and really enjoying it! Its also been a month for personal bests – I smashed my mile pb – its now down 28 minutes 30 seconds, I smashed my 100 metres pb by 5 seconds this very morning – it stands at 1 minute 28 seconds and during the race I apparently did a 6.34 400 metres which is not bad (includes getting out the pool)!

I have started using training aids during my swimming and they are helping tremendously – this involves floats between my legs with my ankles tied together (to help body position) and hand paddles – these are really hard work and absolutely kill your shoulders!

Whilst swimming is the shortest part of Ironman, the easier I can make it the more energy I will have for later on!

Bike :-

Err…yeah less said the better on this one, I’ve put in a few good rides on the tri bike, but after June the rest was needed. As of August I’ll be back to my commuting ways and be racking up a few more miles….I’ll have to actually as got another event lined up……

Run :-
I’m reluctant to say too much here, as its been three months since I ran properly but…I think I’m getting there – this months total includes estimates rugby during training so don’t read too much in to that!

But….I did a couple of little runs on holiday, pain (well knee pain) free and since then I have done some gentle runs with stretching stops – I being pretty religious with my stretching and icing and whilst I’m not 100% injury free there is certainly light at the end of the tunnel!

This careful management allowed me to finish the race last weekend with 4.5 miles at 8 min/miles – not super fast but pretty good considering! Fingers crossed I can keep it going!

So the reason I though it was a struggle this month is because I am used to the training, I am used to feeling tired and hungry and I am used to drumming out the miles….however that’s no bad thing – the key now is how to up it to the next level – simple answer…work harder and for longer! Having moved house (Saturday), I am next the pool and next to a 10 mile flattish cycle route…so no excuses! I am really looking forward to August!

On the 23rd I have the ‘New Forest Rattler’ its another cycle sportive (similar to Dartmoor) only its flat and fast – my plan is too treat it as I would the ironman – on the tri bike, fully fuelled up and just bang it out on my own and see what happens….for 80 miles…4 hours would be nice but I think 4.20 is more realistic!

So the race last weekend…I’ve done a full in depth report here…


But to summarise, I loved the swim, I won my wave of 8 (you go off in groups of 8) and had the 12th overall fastest swim, I had a good bike – averaging 21mph over a hilly course for 20th overall fastest bike and then the run as mentioned – all together I came 26th and 4th in the 25-29 age group – not too bad I don’t think…..

So actually its been a good consolidation month, now its time to up the work and look forward to some more ‘pb’s’ in a few months!

Oh and to my list for next year…Kel and I got engaged…next year I have my finals, my 30th, Ironman and a wedding….should be fun

What I do take time to remind myself is how lucky I am to be doing this and have this experience, which I am beginning to believe is totally changing my life and how I live – recent events make me realise what an opportunity I have! I also remind myself why I chose to do this….if you haven’t please re-read my Just Giving page to remember what it’s all about! www.justgiving.com/timdonell

I’ll give you all a break from begging for donations this month (thanks always to those that have donated this month)…but if you have a penny or two in your pocket – stick it in a jar, it all adds up!

Remember also….

www.twitter.com/IronmanTD2011 - daily mutterings
http://ironmantd2011.blogspot.com/ - weekly mutterings

Thursday, July 29, 2010


This post is another one of my spill out all my thoughts/update in order to help me sort out where I am and maybe gain some clarity!

After Sundays race and a 30 minute cameo in a charity rugby match, I was pretty knackered - I went to get the bike out after work to have a spin but it had a puncture - decision was pretty swiftly made to not train! I pulled the tube out and it was a leaky valve anyway so couldn't fix it!

Tuesday I had a great swim in the morning and then a really nice relaxing ride in the evening with a friend - we only averaged 16.5 mph over 23.5 miles and it was really nice just to enjoy being out on the bike - when on my own I find I push hard and don't ease off a bit and enjoy it! We did put in some hills which were good, plus I managed 48.5 mph whilst on the tri-bars...which was shaky!

Last night was a run - 6.35 miles which I found tough going, in fairness it was off road and over a couple of hills, I did it with a friend who is recovering from a broken ankle and we spent half the time reminiscing of our 9-10 mile runs which we could knock out a couple of times a week with no issues....oh what a pain injuries are! Anyway my knee was slightly sore but nothing bad and some stretching and ice helped after! I am pretty sure that I am on the road to recovery with it, its just a matter of taking it steady and stretching all the time - once my hamstrings are a bit more normal the knee pain will go!

This morning - I knocked out 5*500m in the pool each set taking about 8.58 minutes - used my new goggles which were lovely! Training is going to be tricky over the next few days as we are moving house - only a couple of miles away but I will be right next to the leisure centre and a perfect 10 mile flat-ish cycle route - so no excuses!!

My main decision is which races to do before the end of the year - I have an 80 mile sportive on the bike which I am going to treat as a TT and go out on my own pretty hard and see what happens! thats on 23rd August!

I really want to do the One Last Tri half-iron in October but am worried about my running - if I continue to improve over the next couple of weeks I'll go for it - at £95 its too expensive to risk dropping out of! That will give me plenty of time to assess what I need to do before the Forestman next June!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Tidworth Sprint Tri

So triathlon number two done and dusted on the road to Ironman 2011 - slightly longer than my previous one and I much preferred it!

It wasn't as busy as I had expected (about 90 competitors odd I think) but it was a good standard with lots of hugely expensive carbon kit on show!

Swim -

Thankfully this was a proper 25m pool unlike the crappy 14m dirty thing at the last tri! It was lovely to swim in, perfectly clear, temp was fine for 400m, although it was deeper than I expected - 3.5m at the deep end - which was cool! Only problem was you had to exit from the deep end, wouldnt be a problem except the pool side was raised about 12 inches - so with no push off the floor you had to drag yourself most ungracefully up over the side! No worries but think some will have struggled! I managed to come first in my wave - I felt really strong and was well out in front and enjoying it - my technique was good and I was pretty much the only one tumble turning apparently - shame it all only lasted 6mins 30 seconds! On the 12 length of 16 my left goggle filled with water which was a pain but I left it and just carried on for the remaining 100m! This was good for 12th place in the overall swim - some people managed a minute quicker than me - which is incredibly fast! I can't imagine where I could save that much time over 400m - maybe I will find out one day!

Target of winning my wave - Acheived!

T1 -

I'm so crap at transistion - its almost funny - I had a lead of at least 10-15 seconds coming out the pool but that was reversed coming out of transistion - I sat down, put on my socks and shoes, whacked on my helmet, glasses and then fumbled with my belt - eventually got out level with the third guy out the swim! Compared to the guy in 2nd, who had his shoes on his bike and just disappeared! I should practice them but I'll have plenty of time during Forestman so I am not that bothered!

Bike -

Out on the bike and I dropped back a bit from the guy I was with out of T1 to avoid drafting, out and across the road and I was on the stretch to Bulford Camp - all the info pre-race and said it could be anywhere from 13-16 miles - not a big deal but would have been nice to know!

The roads were smooth and wide and the weather was perfect - I steadied myself behind the guy in front (about 10 metres behind) and tried to drop my HR, however with this was a hilly route - constantly up and down - mostly on tri bars which was fine but there was never enough flat to get the HR settled! Anyway I caught and overtook the guy in front and then he took me back a mile or so later just as the drafting-checker went by the split second he pulled in front of me - I was worried they may think I was drafting but nothing heard as yet...........

We traded places with each other and caught up the other guy and the three of us made it to the far end of the course - at this point two of the others from our wave went past all three of us!

Continuing trading places I decided I couldn't make the passes stick so I settled in behind the rest and decided to try and maintain a solid pace and even have a sip or two of water to T2 - I was pretty pleased with my 21mph average (garmin shows 20.5 as it includes transistion) though I realised there are some fast guys out there...pleased me and the Bianchi could mix it with Cervelo's and Quintana Roo's of this world! Perhaps I could have pushed a bit harder and caught up with the faster boys but the splits only show 30 seconds to a minute faster overall so perhaps I did okay!

One thing I must learn is not too talk to my fellow competitors as I go past....must focus on racing!

Garmin - http://connect.garmin.com/activity/41717868

Target of maintaining at least a 20 mph average - acheived! 20th fastest split


This was odd, I came in to T2 and the guy who had zoomed out of T1 was sat there doing his shoelaces up - why would you go to the lengths of sorting your T1 and attaching your shoes to your bike etc and then not buy elastic laces??

Anyway I hooked up the bike, whipped off the shoes & helmet, slid on my trainers and then stood there for about 2-3 seconds wondering what I was missing - it seemed so quick - soon pulled myself together and scooted out of transistion - 3rd in my wave! I know individual waves aren't relevant overall but to me its the only way to gauge how I am doing at any given time!


Now with my knee problems the furthest I have run in nearly three months is 4 miles last week so I had no idea what to expect! I ran the first quarter mile really quite fast at about 6 minutes a mile - partly because I had the other guy in my wave right behind me - this shook him off and I overtook someone else then slowed myself down! One thing that was noticeable was that my legs felt pretty good coming straight off the bike - I have done very little brick training so I was surprised - whether it was because the last mile of the bike was downhill or the fast early part of the run shook them in to life I don't know but it was a good feeling!

Early on, the run took a sharp left turn up a long hill, I settled in to a steady rhythm and tried to slow myself down! I overtook someone on top of the hill from an earlier wave and at the same time was overtaken by a lady from an earlier wave! I also tucked in to a GU gel that I was kindly given by Chris (@chrismrussell on twitter) - wasn't sure if I would need it but I am glad I did - the mint chocolaty boost was great and made me feel good, regardless of whether I needed the calories or not!

The next section was downhill and then flat so I settled in to a good rhythm here - eventually catching someone else and passing them - a water station about 2.5 miles in was nice to refresh with and then there was a loooooooooong up hill on gravel whic gave the legs a bit of a burn - I was quite surprised at my pace (about 8 min/mile) at this point as I was expecting to be a lot slower with my lack of running! My knee was niggling slightly up the hill but it wasn't bad so I forgot about it and pushed on!

Down the otherside of the hill and into the finish I had no-one behind me and couldn't see the lady in front so I pushed it for the last 800 or so metres to the finish! I averaged 7.54 min/miles which I am happy with - I am capable of much quicker so am just content to have managed that!

Garmin - http://connect.garmin.com/activity/41717876

Target - to complete the run in one piece - Acheived! 40th fastest split

Overall -

So I finished in 1.23.56 and 26th place - good for 4th in my age group! I had hoped for top 25 so I can't complain, I know that I could knock off an easy 3-4 minutes on the run which would have given me a great result!

Sprints are fun but they are expensive at £35 for 1.5 hours! So I'd like to do more but its not going to happen - need to decide what to do next - my heart is set on One Last Tri (HIM) - but it all depends on how my running progresses over the next month! I would be near the bottom of those finishers but it would be an amazing experience in the build up to next year, regardless of the finish!

Oh well best get some more training in!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


The title is a race car zooming past by the way....

I feel I should blog after yesterdays depressing blog...I knew part of getting the focus back was just about writing down all the rubbish so it was filed away and done with! Probably should've done it on a piece of paper and put in the bin rather than the WWW for everyone to see - however this challenge is all about the journey and sacrificing something to help others so if it means putting yourself out there then so be it!

Excuse me I digress.....

So I felt yesterday that I just needed a pain free run or a good blow out to see me right again - and as I was driving back to my parents last night from where I was going to run, I was passing the Forestman run course so decided sod it, put my kit on and ran part of it - its gravelly with some ridiculously steep and long hills but I was able to manage 4 miles with no pain - (slight soreness after but fine now) at 8.54 ave. pace which I'm fine with! Thats my longest non-stop run since May so I chuffed to bits with it!

I only saw one person on the whole run - its in the middle of the New Forest - and it was a good reminder of what I like about running - being on my own in the middle of nowhere enjoying the freedom!!

It was also a great taster of the eventual Forestman Route - tough but awesome!

So I was back on a bit of a high after that....I then met up with some old friends which was really cool and left me feeling pretty happy and fresh!!

Hit the pool this morning with renewed vigour and banged out my usual set - albeit slightly modified - also hit a 100m PB of 1.32 - the rest all averaged 1.36 so nice and sorted!

With the run as it was and feeling good about the swim - I'm now really looking forward to the race on sunday - BRING IT ON!! Wooohoooo!!! Focus restored - only takes one session!!


Monday, July 19, 2010

No-mans land.....

I am stuck at the moment....not sure where I am or what I'm focussed on! I'm still training and enjoying it but its not as long or as fast as I feel it should be...totally my fault, I need to pull my finger out but its easier said than done! Pretty sure its all a mental hangover from Dartmoor and then my holiday!

I'm hoping my knee will be better soon because then I can run again - always a good think because you can get great workouts in just an hour or even less, wheras I need to be on the bike for a good few hours! I'm going to run tonight and give it loads of stretching and take it easy, hoping to get a few miles of pain free running!

I've got a sprint triathlon this weekend - 400m swim, 13 mile cycle, 4.5 mile run! I've not run that far in a long time, if I get through tonight I'll be happy if not - I'm not sure what to do - go and blitz the bike and swim and just pull out if it goes in the run....or just don't bother and have a good mornings training on the bike.....any reccomendations welcome....???

Ideally I'll be fine tonight and race on sunday, that'll give me my mojo back - I know I'm not fit or fast enough to do anything special in the race but it will give me my mojo back! Looking at last years results - I can hit top ten for the swim and bike....on a good day I reckon top 25 in total!

Anyway I should look at the positives - I am fitter and faster than I have ever been in my life, I've put a pound or three one this last two weeks but that will go again by the end of the month no worries! I'm going to put off entry to the ONe-Last-Tri until next month so I can be sure of my knee - I'm not spending that kind of money to not be able to finish it...!

So there we are...I'm wandering in no-mans land - training with no focus....will pull it together over the next two weeks and look forward to August....that'll be 11 months and counting to Forestman!

Ciao for now

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I'm back...

Realised I haven't blogged in a while so this is a brief update...

From my previous blog I had planned to do a big 112 mile route...that didn't happen! Decided to stay local and do a nice long route but even this didn't happen - I hadn't taken in to account how my legs would feel after dartmoor the week before - I suffered big time - even stopping to check the brakes weren't rubbing - I eeked out 25 odd miles and settled for that! Then added another 30 the next day with some mates - the legs felt fine!

Lesson learnt....do recovery rides after big sessions!

Then I've been on holiday for the last 8 days - this was great though I did minimal exercise - the 34 degree heat was too much for me! A couple of 2.5 mile runs and I did lots of swimming but nothing I would really call training! The runs however were amazing - running along the quiet St Tropez harbour front is a stunning experience! And swimmimg in the 26 degree mediterranean is lovely too, I could have got used to it I reckon!!

I've been back for three days now and put in some solid work - at this time of year all the local rugby clubs are doing there pre-season training - since this mostly involves core, strength and sprints I'm taking advantage of it as it as excellent foil for Ironman training - thats roughly two hours a night every tuesday, wednesday and thursday between two clubs for the next five weeks! Coupled with some big weekends training and morning swims - I hope to see some speed improvements! It also allows me to run without knee pain - which is a good thing!!

Anyway thats a brief catch up - I have a sprint on the 25th so am looking forward to that!


Friday, July 2, 2010

Swim time,,,

So after pretty much no swimming in June, I dragged myself out of bed this morning to hit the pool - no expectations, no plan - just do it!

I did my usual session which is a total of 2k (80 lengths in 25m pool)

First 12 warm up lengths were nothing short of horrendous - it was like I'd forgotten how to swim! I plugged through them trying to foucs on technique, think - glide the arms, bend the elbow, roll the hips.............

anyway I then went on to 4x4 lengths of drills - first single arm drills, then catch up, then high elbows followed by gliding (i.e try and reduce the number of strokes in a length whilst never actually stopping arm cadence) got it down to 15 strokes per length which was alright!

then in to by 10 * 100 metres at fast pace (not 100% but quick)

These went:-

1.42 (goggles came off)

Never timed it before so not sure how this looks - but its about 6 minutes per 400 at this pace so its not too bad for first swim in a month!

Still suffering from trapped wind after swimming - more controlled breathing needed! but hey ho!

Trying to convince my self to do the full 112 mile Forestman bike route tomorrow - its three laps so I can park my car in the middle and use it as a feed station to top up with water etc - think I'll go out and do a couple of laps and if feeling good knock out the third! Anyway that is tomorrow...today its raining...!


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Monthly round-up...

Ironman update – Month 6!

Six months have passed since I decided to start on this challenge and whilst it’s gone quickly I am well aware there is a long way left to go! Thankfully things have returned to normal this month with some good miles on the bike and some running!

June totals: -

Swim – 0.8 mile, 20 minutes
Bike – 472.2 miles – 28.7 Hours
Run – 25.4 miles – 6.1 Hours

Total 498.4 miles and 35.2 hours

Swim - As you can see I have done very little swimming – in fact that was just one lap of the lake but it was quick and felt good! I don’t really have an excuse for the lack of swimming, but with the hot weather a stuffy pool is not remotely appealing and with the cycling to work – too many early mornings requires far too much organisation for me! I struggle with evening swimming as I end up feeling very sick – once that’s sorted I should be okay! Anyway I’ll take June for what it was and get back in the pool in July! I know I am a good swimmer in terms of technique so the fitness gained elsewhere should, hopefully, see better performances anyway!

Bike – You can probably guess that I have been focussing on my cycling! This was due mostly to the Dartmoor Classic on the 27th June plus the fact that I had my new tri bike! The tri bike is road bike but with altered geometry and very aerodynamic to increase speed – it’s not good on hills though! I got it through the Cycle To Work scheme, so it was cheap and I have to ride to work!

My ride to work is 23 miles each way and therefore can be quite a long day, but it’s a good feeling and easy way to get some quality training in – my best time so far is 1 hour and 13 minutes! I did it a few times in June and will get plenty more in during the nice weather – its mostly quiet roads so is reasonably safe!

This all built up to the Dartmoor Classic on Sunday 27th – I did this last year and nearly passed out a few times so was unsure about this year as to how I would fair – its 106 miles of hills in Dartmoor, with about 10-11,000 feet of climbing….plus the 28 degree heat!!

For a full detailed report please go to http://ironmantd2011.blogspot.com/2010/06/dartmoor-classic.html

But to summarise, it went brilliantly, I felt strong and fast for the majority of it and my recovery was excellent – I was out running on Monday night! Biggest plus was how I got the nutrition spot on! We completed it in 7 hours 51 minutes!

Run – Well it’s been three months since I have run pain free but I am almost back to normal, I’ve been doing a few very slow run/walks including lots of stretching! My planned 3 weeks rest lasted 2 ½ weeks before I went and ran a mile – the pain came straight back! I went to see the magic hands of Richard Gulliver (osteopath and hero) and basically its very tight hamstrings, quads and IT band which all focus on the knee and have inflamed the different attachment points – lots of ice and stretching and care and I’ll be back to normal! I managed a 10k last week of run/stretching with no pain so I am on the mend!

Where does this leave me now? Well I have lost just under two kilos since May and am on the verge of dropping below 96kgs – I checked a record I kept in July 2009 and since then have lost 14.5kgs (32lbs) and reduced my body fat by 2.5%...no wonder the cycling felt easier!

I have a sprint triathlon on the 25th July so am looking forward to that, it’s a 400m swim, 13 mile cycle and 4.5 mile run – the only part I’m worried about is the run but I am hoping I’ll be back up to speed by then – the plan will be to go crazy in the swim and cycle and then just worry about the run as it happens! It’s not a race for me, just another training session!

I received a very nice running top from the guys at SeeSaw, which is great and reduces the constant stream of washing I have to do! The guys at Edukaid are also doing there own 10k locally in October so I will be looking forward to that!

I was asked a question recently here http://www.formspring.me/IronmanTD2011 about what would make the biggest difference to my training – answer is drivers attitudes to cyclists – its one thing that makes me think twice about going out training! Strange how people seem to take a different attitude when surrounded by a ton of metal! The other thing is being able to afford the nutrition training products – thankfully someone gave me some contacts and I approached the guys at MuleBar – www.mulebar.com , another local company who make the best energy bars – they are helping me out in a big way and I can’t thank them enough – go and check them out!!!

Main goals for July are just to continue where I have left off – I am on holiday for a week but am taking my trainers to hopefully get some running in and then its back to training hard! I’ve enjoyed the gains I’ve made through June so really want to build on that!

Some more great donations have come in – with one year to go I would really appreciate the continued support so please donate if you can! If you can’t then please don’t worry but forward this to someone you think may be able to!!

www.justgiving.com/timdonell - SeeSaw
www.justgiving.com.timdonell1 – EduKaid

I have my constant stream of internet based areas -

On Facebook - www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=313626134776

Remember you can check up on twitter to see how I am doing daily - www.twitter.com/IronmanTD2011

I also have started a more comprehensive blog as twitter couldn’t cope with my ramblings :- http://ironmantd2011.blogspot.com/

Thanks everyone!!