Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Forestman 2011 - THE big day!

For my own records I wanted to write up the whole weekend so I have split it in to two parts so you don't all have to read everything unless you want! Also because there are so many different groups of people that I have met/spoken to etc across various networks that I have just used their names and you either recognise them or you don't!

So Saturday is here: -

And the race starts here: - the alarm went off at 3.20am and I got straight up and got straight on with my breakfast of porridge and muller rice mixture which went down fine, I then got lubed up and put on as much as my kit as needed, checked all my stuff over and headed to the lake at about 4.20 ish! Once at the lake (about ten minutes later) I set-up my bike, filled my bottles, put all my gels and flapjacks on, pumped up the tyres etc etc, once done I stuck the bike bag in transition, went to the loo and then headed down to the shore to slip on the wetsuit! As we waited I had a chat with some of the other racers with everyone getting more and more excited! More of my friends turned up which was cool and as became a theme throughout the day I already had the biggest and loudest support of anyone!

After a gel, mini briefing and a blessing from a local priest (last rites??) we all entered the water...

Swim - Chip time 1.02 including transition, about 55 minutes for the actual swim

The mist was pretty heavy on the lake so they delayed the start by ten minutes and checked you could see from one buoy to the other which was fine so we all got in and lined up - the water was a relatively warm 17 degrees which is perfect for long swimming!

I sat in the middle near the front and got ready for the hooter to go....a count down and a cheeky wave to the supporters and off we went...there was some bumping for positions and a few close shaves but nothing bad that I imagine you get on the big IM swims! I tried to find some feet to draft behind but they all seemed to be pulling away from me so I just headed for the next buoy each time and settled in to my rhythm! I could still feel people passing me on either side and felt as though I was going slow, but concentrated on a catch and pull all the way to the thigh, high elbow and drive forward using the body rotation, this totally took my mind of things and after a lap I was in some space with a few about 20m behind and then a gap of 20m or so in front of me! On both the 1st and 2nd lap I was sick a bit about 3/4 of the way round, but not badly, just a bit of breakfast saying hello! The first thoughts I was going quite quick was when I started to feel a bit burpy which usually means I am pushing harder and not breathing correctly so focused on this and carried on.

After the first lap I thought we were supposed to head back to the start buoy (in fact I know we were) so headed that way before getting re-directed by the canoes - turns out the leaders had got it wrong and not been corrected so everyone now went that way, lost about 50m but so did a load of others so no dramas! On the third lap I caught up with someone feeling very slow and it was only when I caught a few breaststrokers that I realised I was doing okay!

Lost a place in the last 300m and felt good coming out the water, with a hand from a marshall! it was cool running through the tunnel of supporters and through the crew though the sandy ground was not good!

In to transition and Jen mentioned that she thought there were only 7 or so in front of me (turns out I was 11th out of the water) so immediate panic that I had gone to fast (actually I was chuffed to bits)! I had sandy feet but stuck my socks, shoes and t-shirt on and cracked on! Out to the bike and put the rest on before heading to the road and getting started

Bike - 6.34 chip time (17mph ave. inc stops) HR 134 bpm ave

Out on to the bike and I felt amazingly good and the temptation was there to smash it but I'm well aware of the ironman graveyeard after big bikes so I stuck in the gear I knew would keep me fresh and set off on the first lap, at around the 18 mph mark, the weather was perfect for long cycling with the mist keeping everything fresh while it was warm and no wind at all.

The trouble with being a good swimmer, average cyclist and poor runner is that you get overtaken alllllll day but I soon got used to it and it just made catching people more entertaining for me! Fuzzy overtook me at about 6 miles and zoomed off like a rocket and then a pee stop after 10 miles saw a raft of people go flying past but this was fine.

Someone came past me a 15 miles and we had a brief chat about the swim - he commented he was out the water bang on 59.59 so I reckon 55 mins was about right - I was pretty chuffed with that!

On to the A35 which was the bit I was dreading but actually was great, the hills weren't bad and the long fast downhills were great for some free speed - so this went well on all three laps even when it got busier! Up the Ornamental drive was all fine and the first aid station at Ocknell came at the right time, I filled up my aero bottle at every station and forced myself to drink the while lot in between them which worked really well in the end, plus highly concentrated salt tabs in my bottle which I sipped when it got hot.

Nomansland hill was fine as well and I still felt really fresh which was great! It was definitely tough reining it in across the top of the forest which is fast and very slightly downhill to Sandy Balls (SB), I stayed rigidly in my gear here but span pretty fast, by the time I hit 38 miles I had averaged 20 over the last 8 and overall my average was 17.7 inc stops so I eased back on the run to Frogham and up to the Forresters where it was nice to see Martin and Jane G! The rest of the lap went fine and as I came in to Poulner I sat up eating a gel whilst riding no-handed...just at the time I happened to past beefy outside his house with a sign! Guess he may have though I was taking it quite easily!! It was great to see him though and I got a massive boost every time I saw my supporters!

The rest of the ride was fairly uneventful, it dragged a bit as I approached the 56 mile mark but only psychologically and the bike was performing fantastically so counting down the miles in my head was great! Knowing you've only got 30,20,10 to go etc is a good feeling! I saw a few accidents which was less cool and I hope they were all okay.

The final stop at Ocknell aid station was great to know that there was only 7-8 miles to go, it was very hot by this time and my overall speed had dropped to about 17 average which was great, I had planned for 17.5 exc stops so 17 inc stops was about the same. Back towards SB and some annoying guy on one of the relay teams overtook me on one of the hills and then slowed right down....grrr...couldn't be bothered to overtake him and wasn't slowing down so I was right behind him for about 50 yards before he got going again....if you read this...don't be a  plank!

Across the top and I took it steady to try and freshen the legs, they were tired but when I stood up there was plenty of power still there so all good, I wasn't sure about the run though and was feeling apprehensive...however I normally run well off the bike so tried to remember that. Coming over the rise before the Fighting Cocks was great and to see such a big crowd of all my supporters was a phenomenal boost! It was amazing!

In to T2 and I handed my bike over before getting in to the tent to see Bungleduck who brought me some much needed water! My feet were burning and I could still feel the sand in there, I had a dilemma about whether to change socks etc but couldn't be bothered so stuck my trainers on, more suncream and my hat and set off! Louberforce and overtaken me a few more miles before on the bike and left T2 as I entered looking fresh - big shame about the DNF, no accounting for Bee's!!

Breakdown of the ride per garmin

Run - 5.45 chip time, 5.43 per Garmin

Out of T2 and the tannoy gave a big shout to all the runners, as I passed them I heard him say I was a local hero (that was very cool).

After about 500m I was running about 8mm pace which is way too fast so backed right off, by the time I reached the pub and my support (about 1k) I was really suffering and was super hot but again amazing to see so many people out there! As I turned off the road on to the Forest tracks I grabbed some water and scooted down the first hill, at the bottom I began the walk up the first long hill, this was THE big low point of the day, I was really hot and didn't know how I would get through 26.2 I walked up the hill and began to cool slightly and by the time I hit the top at 2 miles, I realised it was only 24 to go so I ran on across the top and down to the stream which marks the steep hill up to the main aid station in the middle of the race course, I stopped for a pee here as was feeling a bit full! At the top, I ran on to the next aid station and then down in to the Forest feeling a bit better minute by minute, at the Fritham turn around I had my gel, water and coke and set back along the course, my stomach was feeling pretty dodgy and eventually I just found a big bush and hid behind it, a few minutes later and I was feeling a whole heap better (turns out I was far from the only one disappearing behind various bushes and trees on the course) I also dropped my tri suit arms and ran in my white t-shirt only which was much cooler! Back on the top of the course and its a flat run toward the hill down to the aid station at Abbotswell, although in the sun there was a nice wind blowing and I always felt best running back along this bit!

When I hit 8 miles just before getting my red band marking the first lap I knew I would be finishing the race...I calculate how long I have got etc all the time while racing to take my mind of things and even if I walked all the way I had it in the bag within 16 hours! This was an amazing feeling to took the pressure off and I relaxed in to it! Running down the hill to the cheers of my support was fantastic and back to Fritham I headed....

I had more support out in the middle of the course which broke things up nicely and it was always a boost to see a friendly face! I was also being recognised as 'Donkey' from a guy who had seen the support crew and 'Twitterman' by another lady! It was a really friendly place to be with all the competitors willing each other on, high-fiving and rooting for each other! I was running next to someone about 9 miles in when the leader or 2nd place (blue shorts, black top or vica versa?) came past on his way home and HE wished US good luck....! Amazing! We both commented that he couldn't do the ironman shuffle like us though (tri-joke...I apologise)!

Anyway it seemed to take a while to get back round to my white band (2nd lap) at I had a wee bit of cramp at the top of my calf from the hills, I was still running all the flats but had slowed down a fair bit elsewhere by the time the white band came! One more more lap! Off again and round with slightly more walking and my time was dropping slightly and at the last Fritham stop I was significantly tiring, however I felt really positive and was genuinely excited about getting the blue band....although by this point the sand in my shoes had caused blisters which burst...quite nicely!!

My original plan had been to get as far as possible before I hit a really bad patch and then just drag myself the rest of the way, but it never really came after the first two miles, when I realised that I would complete it I relaxed and enjoyed it in an odd way! Yes, it hurt and yes I felt really bad at times but just moving forward was always possible, especially as 9, then 14, then 18 miles came and went seemingly quickly! As I got the final blue band at 21.5 miles I said good bye to my support crew, picked up my charity t-shirt and headed for home!

My legs were really tired now and that cramp was pretty bad in my calves so that I was running with straight legs where I could and walking everywhere else! The turn for home was very welcome and the steep downhill to the stream was an odd experience, I caught up two others here and we had a good chat as we walked up the other side, we then ran off down the next hill and walked up the other side, annoyingly we walked around the loop of the path where as two people cut the corner off and over took us...I didn't mind losing places but it felt a bit like cheating!

Back on the road and I put my trisuit on properly and the charity t-shirt, then it was a downhill 1.5 miles to the finish, which was nice and easy even with my funny shuffle I had going on! I saw Soobeedoo and another lady at the gate who also referred to me as Twittertim due to Mat's updates from the day that had been keeping everyone amused!

As I came towards the finish it was great to turn in to SB on my own and see all my friends and family there with big cheers and what an amazing day all round!  the breakdown of the run as per garmin!

Finished in 13 hours 22 minutes!

I can't thank my support enough for everything during the day - its been incredible! Especially Kel who was in tears as I came in!

Thanks to Clare - who put loads of photos on here

Its been an amazing 18 months and worth it, yes on one of the easier European courses I would have gone faster but nothing could ever beat the atmosphere and experience that a small event can put on!

As at today with most of the sponsorship the total raised for both charities stands at £4,165.22 inc gift aid ....I am absolutely blown away by everyone's generosity and can't thank you all enough!

I am now feeling better as Tuesday was a tough day with the blisters but I'm getting there!!

Now that the race is done I shan't be bothering you all with my e-mails (I'm sure you are all desolate) but it has been incredible! I won't do another in the near future, partly because Kel would kill me and also because nothing would ever live up to that experience!

I do have other plans though!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The day before....

Split the race report and preparation in to two parts so that you all don't get too bored!

So up early Saturday morning to get to the lake for a swim, there were plenty of people down there and it was a perfect morning with no mist...a sign of things to come? I met up with a super fast swimmer from Salisbury and we se off to do a lap, I wanted a gentle lap but Seb is fast so I hung around near/behind him and we had a quality lap around the bigger waterski buoys which are roughly the same as the course for Sunday - we went round in 19 minutes 20 seconds and I felt good so was confident that I could hit the one hour mark for Saturday!

Caught up with Fuzzy and met Slacko (fellow racers) on the lake side which was cool and had a chat with them which was great - everyone seemed excited but relaxed for the race start tomorrow!

Headed home and had some breakfast or porridge/protein and muller rice mixed in then slept for an hour or so, two more muller rice (I was hungry and they were handy)! Then it was time to register so I headed up to race registration and signed in, picked up my numbers, goody bag etc and spoke to a few of the racers. A little while later we all sat down for a big lunch and the race briefing (lunch was superb, loads of potatoes, pasta, salads etc)! Then we had the race briefing for about an hour or so that went fine and as expected!

Back home and I was stil hungry so ate another bowl of pasta before Steve, Gina and Chris turned up for a drink (non-alcoholic obviously)! Chris and I later wandered in to town and picked up supper (yup more pasta and rice pudding) and then watched a film before I retired about 10pm with the alarm set for 3.20!

Lay there for about an hour getting hot and couldn't get the thinking out of my head! Eventually must have fallen asleep before the alarm got me going.....the rest is under race report...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Nearly there....

So this is probably my last blog pre-race and I am feeling good!

My exercise this week has been easy and last nights spin on the bike felt really good....bit of goal creep maybe?!? (only joking)!

My shoulder and back were seen to by the osteo (more later) but just feel amazing generally and a real release of tension there, still a bit tender on the tri bars but with some rest over next couple of days they'll be fine!

I have struggled to eat as much as I probably should have done...just feeling a bit rubbish on the carbs, however I have eaten little and often as opposed to big meals - I'll make up for it over the next 24 hours! So what do my final figures look like for this entire journey well here you go:-

Swim - 160 miles, 104 hours
Bike - 3409 miles, 207 hours
Run - 1090 miles, 179 hours
Cross Train - 135 miles, 32 hours

The swimming I have really enjoyed and its something I haven't found too bad (despite some early morning wobbles) definitely some thing to keep working on.

Cycling has been good and bad, when the weather is nice and with company its great....cold and miserable and on your own...not a nice place to be in! But since I always have and always will cycle then this will carry on anyway!

Running - definitely not a natural runner by any stretch and far to heavy for it, but there is an enourmous sense of satisfaction gained from long steady runs out in the middle of nowhere enjoying the fresh air! I aim to carry on with long runs though more around the 10-12 mile mark!

So thats where we are...confident and excited!

Right then...the race strategy itself: -

Swim: - this I plan to go in to with a steady head and not get carried away, try and find some feet to draft on and get in to the groove, not get out of breath, if it was a pool I would be aiming for about 6.30-6.40 per 400m so I will try and replicate this feel in the lake which should be pretty easy! I may go slightly harder in the last lap.

Bike: - for the first hour I will be just riding along, letting the legs get into it and get some food on, not worrying about any positions or anything just controlled gentle riding, after this I will hit some hills which I plan to cruise around before upping a bit for the last ten miles of the first lap, lap to will be similiar though consolidating my average around the 17.5 mph mark and then the last lap making sure that I feel good and am on time!

Run: - only strategy is walk the hills and run the flats and keep pushing the line away from me! I figure I am going to hit a line where I just have to 'giterdun' and the further that line is away from me the happier I will be! Once at 21.5 miles we turn for home and this I will be looking forward to - yes its hilly after that but...its hometime!

For a finish time I reckon if it starts with a 12 is been beyond my dreams for the day...begins with 13 and its gone well, 14-15.59 and it didn't go to plan but all good as its all about the finish!
One thing that has struck me in the last week is the amount of support that I have had from friends, family and people I don't even know! I won't lie to you, there were a few times during training that you do wonder 'why?' and feel like giving up....getting whinged at for being muddy and wet and generally feeling sorry for myself! However the level of support in donations has been amazing and the total with more to come stands at..............£3,306.47 inc gift aid which is genuinely breathtaking for me...I never imagined it would get near that and I am so humbled and grateful to everyone for their support!

I have also been promised lots of support from people coming on the day which is amazing so thank you in advance! I also want to thank all the training buddies from the pool, running (ed) and on the bike (bonnie, lunty, p o'c, dymo etc) its been a great experience!

There are two people that I couldn't have done it without though: -

Gully - big thanks for all the long bike rides and the mental support, back in January I had nearly quit but he talked me round and kept me on the straight and narrow - I can't thank you enough! He also is the greatest Osteopath in the world and if you have any problems he has magic fact make some thing up just to go and see him at the Arch Clinic in F'bridge!

Finally a massive thanks to Kel, for putting up with me feeling sorry for myself, being muddy, sweaty, wet, cold, hot, tired, early mornings, going to bed when it is light etc etc - I would never have been able to get this far without you!

See you on the otherside

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

3 days to go...

Well 3.5 including the rest of today....

I wasn't sure how I would feel at this point 18 months was so long ago and I never though it would happen so here I am....not the super athlete I expected to be but fit and ready to go! I'm in that mental state where I am not worried about the race which is good!

Before some of the big bricks I would be in this frame of mind where it just needed to be done, no thoughts of not getting it done, it had to be done and it was, all good! Some others including London Marathon I was worried about and they never went quite so well so I am happy and feeling good!

The other thing is that I have promised myself that whether I finish in 12 hours or 15 hours 55 minutes it is all the same - there is no bad day as long as I finish - all will be gooood!

Today (Wednesday) is my last day of fibrous food, i.e. wholewheat pasta, fruit and fibre etc and will move towards more white food and less solid protein (i.e meat) and avoiding bread big time!

Weather is changeable this week at best, but Sunday is looking better, warm, little bit of SSE wind and cloud/sun so won't be too hot and Sunday or pouring with rain! However who knows on the day!

My worries about getting a cold seem to have passed - just had a bad nights sleep and got a thick head which made me feel rubbish! My back has not been good though, a very tight hotspot on the lower left - I've been stretching, rubbing and off to osteopath tonight so hopefully will ease - it's only an issue on the bike but will hopefully hold out as long as possible!

Monday, June 20, 2011

6 days to go...

So the day is nearly here, in 6 days time I will be hitting the start line and preparing for my biggest challenge yet - the ironman! Just a reminder its a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile cycle and 26.2 mile run - total is 140.6 miles or 226 kilometres, my made-up target for fundraising was £2,260 which is £10 for every kilometre travelled and as at this minute the total stands at £2,220 which is incredible! I have been genuinely humbled by the donations from people, from £5 up to £200 everyone has been so kind and I really can't thank you all enough - it is incredible! I have tried to thank everyone individually (even those I don't know) but if I have missed you for whatever reason - THANK YOU!

I should also add that all this money (plus gift aid) goes to the charities, I have borne all the costs myself so the kids will benefit from all of it! It is however a made up target so please keep donating...!

So the last 2.5 weeks since my last post has been an odd experience, the first week was still a reasonable training week rounded off with a 60 mile ride/ 4mile run brick which was fine! This past week has been a little more subdued, almost entirely becuase with the rubbish weather I've not really fancied doing a cycling, but I've stuck to swimming and running as prescribed and still got a few hours in on the bike!

This coming week is also very quiet as expected and goes something like this: -

Monday - gentle 25 min run
Tuesday  - 45 min swim
Wednesday - gentle run and swim totalling 1 hour
Thursday - bike for an hour, very sedate
Friday - rest
Saturday - early morning lake swim, 1 lap which will take about 20 minutes

And then it's Sunday...Race Day!

The weekend will be all about preparation for Sunday (surprise, surprise)!

After the lake on saturday I will go and get my bike and kit for the run, then its registration and race briefing at lunchtime followed by bike racking down at the lake, then it will be back home to check over my stuff and chill out before trying to get to sleep!

Sunday: - Up at 3.30am to eat my porridge and golden syrup! Then get my kit on, drink fluids and head to the lake at about 4.30

The lake is at Ellingham Water Ski Lake and there is a BBQ etc for spectators...details to follow!

At the lake I'll check all my stuff, pump up tyres and get wetsuit on....

Then the race starts at 5.30 all being well, now in the pool this takes me about 65 minutes, with a wetsuit on and hopefully some drafting (following someone else really close) this should be about the same, possibly faster!

So out at 6.35 - then its get changed, if its a nice day this won't take long, if its raining and horrible I will put more clothes on so a little bit longer - so hopefully out on the bike at 6.45!

I am aiming to averag 17.5 mph for the 112 miles, this is not particuarly hard for me so I am reasonably confident that I will hit this, so thats 6.5 hours give or take, including stops I would add 15 minutes to this so would aim to finish at Sandy Balls at 1.30 ish, then I will be heading out for the run....and that is anyones guess! All being well I would hope to finish about 6-7pm!

The above estimates are based on everything going swimmingly and of course it may (almost certainly) not go to plan! For those spectating the details of the swim, bike and run and here: -

Although slightly out of date and timings being get the idea this has more up to date timings

Quite a few people have asked where to watch and I would reccomend being at the Fighting Cocks at about 1 where I'll ride past and then run back about 15-20 mins later, then drive to Abbotswell and walk along the ridge where I will be running back and forth, back and forth and then back and forth again! Kel will have her & my phone so she can keep you updated...she'll also be attempting twitter updates....

Lots of people have also asked similiar questions so.....

What will you eat?

During the bike I have energy gels, flapjacks and a drink which has everything I need in it - if its hot I will also use Salt tablets in the drinks! On the run I will continue with the gels, drink and anything I fancy from the aid stations along the route. Basically its little and often!

This week is all about carb-loading - I reckon I'll burn aroun 10,000-13,000 calories on the day so it pays to stock up first!

What are you scared of?

Nothing.... he he! Actually the only thing that worries me is something I can't control (which is silly to worry about) i.e. if my bike completely fails or the medics pull me out for whatever reason! I can fix a lot of things on the bike with the little toolkit I carry around but anything major and its game over! I do have my puncture fixing time down to 8 minutes back on the bike! Be assured that if its just down to me then I will finish!

Are you nervous?

No oddly I am not, I am really excited (odd for me) - its going to hurt, I already know that, the thing I am looking forward to is the hurt - because that is where the test is!

Which bit will be the worst?

The run...its a marathon!

Which bit is your worst?

Again the run, I'm not a great runner so this will be tough anyway! But I am actually more concerned about the bike....the swim should be fine, I like swimming and its early doors when I should have energy and once you get to the just got to do it! The bike on the other hand is a loooooong time and you have to get it right!

Whats your finishline song?

Yeah you get to choose! I've gone for Monster by the Automatic as I always listen to it when running, just exchange the word Monster for Timmy!

Won't you get bored?

No...its a race

I'll blog again during the week with a final round-up but until then its carb-loading time!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Things I remember....

In years to come when I am old (er) and wrinkly (er) I want to remember the training for the Forestman...because one thing I have discovered is that it is definitely about the training not about the day! Anyway just wanted to remember a few things from my training that have stuck with me....
  • Getting dropped 10 miles in to a minus 2 degree ride in January and drafting an e-mail in my head quitting the whole thing
  • 25 miles in having something to eat and feeling better, 65 miles and 4 hours done turned the whole thing around for me
  • Doing my long run to Fordingbridge and just feeling plain good, finished on 14.5 miles but it was the best run ever and the fastest at that time
  • Finishing a 20 mile race averaging 8.45 min/miles thinking "so what"....given I'd never ran more than 14.5 before....this was an acheivement
  • Running my first sub nine minute mile accidently, when we started running I tried to average 10 m/m and one day it turned out I could run faster
  • During the London Marathon, in pain, nausea and suffering - passing people collapsed and having medical treatment thinking that it wouldn't be me even though I couldn't keep running all the time
  • Running my first (and only 1/2 marathon) going out too fast and rather than slowing down....just carrying on and holding on for as long as possible despite the hills
  • Ride home from work in Chilworth averaging over 20 mph the whole way...what a change training makes
  • Conquering Dartmoor Classic feeling good (for most of it)
  • Walking 350metres halfway to swimming and being so tired I turned around
  • The first time I ran slowly and long (7 miles at the time but the point was pacing)
  • Getting in to swim 3*1k and ending up swimming 3k straight up, I just couldn't be bothered to stop...that's a good feeling!
  • Riding the rattler and getting to 64 miles averaging 19.9mph and remembering how tired I was...
  • Running London Marathon......the whole thing, painful and amazing!
And thats some bits and pieces that I remember.........

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Final brick....

So today was my final brick session, supposedly to be 95 mile ride and 4 mile run as I did two weeks ago, I've had a crazy busy week and have been knackered the whole week so approached this with come trepidation - on the flip side if I am not tired now then when will I be??!!

4 of us met at 8 and set out to the coast, it was still chilly so I scooted up the first hill in order to warm up and then that was me done, even with a tailwind I could barely keep up with the others for the first 16 odd miles, it wasn't until we hit the hills that they slowed up and my legs kicked was lovely weather though with the temperature sneaking up in to the 20's and onwards....

Down to wareham and out to the spit of Arne where we fill up our water bottles was tough going for three of us, but one of group was on fire today so I tagged along with him for this bit! Coming back from Arne, through Wareham and out the other side was in to a headwind but its a fast road so we go some good time in here before hitting more hills, lucky I was feeling good at this point, through Corfe Mullen and Wimborne before the final climb though Holt to Three Cross - we split in to two groups here as a couple of the others had to get home at about 58 miles.

Myself and Gully then scooted (with tail wind) down to West Moors, Ferndown and towards Hurn airport before turning smack in to the wind and.....bang I was close to being sick, it was up around at least 25 now and I was feeling it! We kept a good work rate up in to the Forest and to Ringwood, the 6 miles back to Fordingbridge were very windy and tough going for both of us feeling the heat and my round trip to Alderholt to drop Gully off just about finished me off completely, I was riding on empty and although still maintaining speed had no real power or will to keep going!

So I finished it on 87 point something, soon as I was off the bike I freshened up immediately popped on the trainers on and set off - as always I go to fast but reigned it in within 1/2 mile and plodded up to Sandleheath in the shade, a quick pee stop and enjoyed the jog back down through some woods in the shade, about 3 miles in I got a chest pain (don't panic) so walked for a bit before running again, a short while later and it was back with a vengeance so stopped and walked the last bit home having managed 3.5 miles!

I think the chest pain was just an intercostal muscle on the right hand side having a bit of a spasm so no dramas, it went the moment I stopped running!

I was absolutely knackered, totally spent! Collapsed in to the pool at my folks and nicely cooled off! I don't like to think I struggle with sickness in the heat but after today and the marathon in April I definitely think that I should take on more water if its this hot!

So coupled with the last three weeks of big, big bricks and a crazy week at work it's no surprise I pushed it right to the limit - taper starts now and I am really looking forward to the big day...I know I'm good for it once I am fully rested!

Its been a long 17 months but I am ready!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

May Update......

Ironman Update…..3.5 weeks

Shhhhh….don’t tell anyone but I’ve only got 24 days, 13 hours, 36 minutes and 40 seconds till this all gets laid on the line…..what happens for 16 hours after that is…well…anyone’s guess! It seems odd that it’s taken well over a year to get to this point…could you do it in less? Yes you could…I couldn’t what with various things so that’s just the way it is!
Anyway unsurprisingly May has been my biggest month ever: -

Swim – 14.1 miles, 9.1 hours
Bike – 406 miles, 23.6 hours
Run – 70.8 miles, 10.7 hours
X – train – 2 miles, 0.7 hours

Total – 492.89 miles, 44.03 hours
For the year I have done: -
Swim – 58 miles, 38.7 hours
Bike – 1488 miles, 87.2 hours
Run – 355 miles, 55 hours
X – train – 34 miles, 12.3 hours

Total – 1935 miles, 193.14 hours
Swim: - I picked the swimming back up after a quiet (er) April and have had some really good sessions, on my own in the mornings I have had some really good swims concentrating on the longer stuff including a good 3k straight up swim which went easily – 1 hour 10 minutes would be easy for me but I would like to go a bit quicker so we’ll see how it goes! I’ve been back in the lake once so far which was cold to say the least! Thunder, lightning and rain also added to the experience I’ll get another OW swim beforehand but fitting it all in is easier said than done! Coached sessions in the evening concetrate more on drills and technique with some good timed efforts in as well so really enjoying swimming! Though the other day in the pool we were chatting about how we didn't want to go to work and would rather swim all day until a lady in there with us mentioned she once did a 12 hour swim in a 25 metre pool....and did 32k...1280 lengths.....she said work was much better! 

Bike: -
Lots and lots of cycling, I think I mentioned that a few big rides would make me feel more confident and so it has proved with 60, 70 and 95 mile rides interspersed with plenty of 20, 30 & 40 milers thrown in for a bit more speed work – my confidence is really high on the bike at the moment and I am finding strength and stamina even when very tired so all is good! I reckon I could do post a reasonable bike split if all went well on the day, averaging up around the late 18 or 19 mph average but I think for pacing I’ll stick with my planned 17.5 average and hope I am still fit to run afterwards! Big thanks to my cycling buddies for accompanying me on the long rides – 5+ hours in the saddle is just too much on my own when training!

Run: -
Errr….ummm I am actually running really well (for me) but I am not running very much, basically a couple of 8-10 mile runs each week, which are ticking by just fine. I did do 13.1 the other day after the lake swim on the forestman course with tired legs and it went okay even with purposefully slow running so I am confident I can beat the 16 hour cut-off though in what state I do not know! Most pleasing has been my run form off the bike, I have done two big bricks (back to back sessions), with a 95 mile bike ride in to a 4 mile run and then a 70 mile ride in to a 9 mile run – both very pleasing! The 4 miles after the 95 were a piece of cake and I had to slow myself down, the 9 after the 70 went mostly fine, I walked on one hill just to refresh the legs but otherwise plodded along okay – biggest problem was not drinking enough on the ride – I only used two bottles for the whole day – the combined effect was much more tiring than the 95+4 the weekend before!

So this weekend is my last monster session with a 95 mile ride and 4 mile run again, which will hopefully go just fine, I then move in to a taper period where I slowly reduce the time down before race day with a 10 hour week, 7.5 hour week and then just 2.5 hours in the final few days before the race on June 26th ! During this period I will try and lose some more weight to help with the final day!

Diet: -
This has been interesting, on a day to day basis I pretty much live for sugar…no joke if it has sugar I will eat it! I am still losing weight but not much, I tend to shed it pretty quickly when I stop training – hence the taper will have an effect! As for the big rides I haven’t been carb loading at all, just a usual diet, maybe with a slice of bread with evening meal and then a big bowl of porridge beforehand – during the rides I eat flapjack (tesco do the best and cheapest) and my GU gels (1 per hour) plus my infinit drink and water – I’ve not had any issues yet so fingers crossed this will work for the big day!

A really big thank you to some big big donations that have come in recently the totals are looking really good now

With SeeSaw at £1,175 (exc giftaid) and EduKaid at £660 exc giftaid we’re now only £425 away from breaking the total barrier! Thank you so much….(p.s. there is always room for more)

Thank you so much everyone…

24 days, 13 hours, 9 minutes and 37 seconds to go!