Parks, Zombies and a Big apple!

It’s been two months since I penned my last post of the triathlon season and according to Facebook it’s been 5 years since I started this blog.

The last two months have been fairly packed out, although to be honest, there hasn’t been much racing going on mainly because it’s the off-season. Basically, the off-season is a good excuse to eat and drink and add a few kilograms of unwanted weight to the skeleton

I did pin a race number to myself in October to take part in the Royal Parks half marathon. This is a race that was on my bucket list for many years and never managed to get a Ballot place. This year I decided to run for Cancer Research and secure my place on the start line by raising money. Firstly, thank you to everyone who sponsored me. With your help I managed to raise £420 (Plus Gift aid) for a very worthy cause.

As I mentioned this was a race that has been on my bucket list for years, admittedly this was mainly for the wooden medal! Anyway, I stood on the start line before the race and really wasn’t in the best position to race. With focus being very much on the end of the triathlon season I had largely neglected longer runs due to a niggling Achilles issue. So in all honesty, I was under prepared and probably shouldn’t have run. However, I had raised money for charity and I wasn’t about to let people down who had sponsored me. So I ran.

I say ran, I use that term very loosely. The first 3 miles went really well, I had started at a good pace as we left Hyde park and headed through green park past Buckingham Palace and rounded St James park. The good pace continued through admiralty arch and on the out and back past downing street and into the strand. Then my Achilles decided it wasn’t happy and it felt like someone kicked me in the back of the heel. My paced slowed significantly over the rest of the race and as a result I finished some 15 minutes outside my PB.

Considering this was a race on my bucket list, I was hugely disappointed. I totally get the attraction if you do not live \ work or train in London. The chance to run around the sights and through some lovely parks should be very appealing. However, to someone who has worked and trained in London and run the majority of the route in training runs it was just…. dull. Perhaps my frame of mind at the time took the shine off the experience as I was struggling and in a lot of pain, but I just found the route a little uninspiring and annoyingly complicated. There seemed to be an excessive amount of out and backs and zig-zagging which just added to my frustration. As you can tell, not a great race for me. That said, I did finish and I did get my wooden medal!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few weeks later my girlfriend and I took part in a local “Zombie run”. There I was, decked out in full run attire ready to power my way through hoards of blood thirsty walkers in true walking dead fashion. I feel that the organisers had slightly mis-sold this one . Upon arrival it seemed that we were the only ones in running gear and the only ones not smoking and drinking! The “race” director (who was dressed in drag) then took to the stage and advised everyone that it was too dark around the lake to run. Therefore it was now a Zombie walk…

Forty five minutes later we finished the walk \ jog \ run and in all fairness it was a lot of fun. I have to admit that we did have a good laugh and it was worth the entry fee. Yes, I still felt a bit of an idiot in run attire but whatever, most people were too drunk to notice. My girlfriend was over the moon to find that she was the first lady back. Happy days.

The off season also contained a number of great weekends away and an amazing trip to New York to watch the girlfriend take on the New York City marathon. She did really well on what was a really tough day. I also took part in a 5k whilst I was out there but with 12,000 people doing a 5k I managed to do an additional half a mile going round people so again, not one for the record books.

With the end of the off-season approaching it’s time to turn my attentions to the season ahead. I have my race entry and hotel booked and my Tri-suit purchased and ready to go thanks to my race sponsors “Leading Talent” (www.leadingtalent.co.uk).

Training for IMUK starts in Mid-December and will continue all the way through to July 15th. I have a big learning curve ahead and for once I am slightly nervous about what’s to come. Don’t get me wrong, I am excited but I know there is a lot of hard work ahead of me.

I would just like to sign off this blog by saying thanks to everyone who has read this blog regularly over the last five years. (Thanks both!!! ) Here’s to a much more successful 2018!

Its good to be back!

Wow Mid-March already! Where is this year going?

February was a really positive month for me. Training has been consistent with only a brief interruption due to a dose of the deadly man flu which I managed to survive. Just.

The injury that has plagued my off season seems to have finally disappeared and this has been down to a combination of things.

  • Sensible training. Not rushing to get back up to speed and building gradually to protect the injury and not risk having any further setbacks.
  • Regular treatment from Luton Osteopathy. Ensuring I am fit and well and ready to put my body under the strains of pre-season training.
  • Finally daily stretching and using the foam roller. I used to think I hadn’t got time to do this daily, perhaps I even managed to convince myself I didn’t need to. Needless to say it is now part of my daily routine and my legs and back have certainly thanked me for it. I am a convert!

Things went so well I decided to enter the Winchester 10km held on the 26th Feb. Those of you that know me well will know my nerdy side involves Vikings and Norse mythology. So a visit to Winchester was a good excuse for a race. Winchester is where Alfred the great defended England (OR more specially Wessex) from the Vikings.

The race itself went well. A great course and a really well organised event saw me finish 38th out of 900+ entrants. The time was 40:15 which is over 3 minutes away from my PB but the important thing was that I raced pain free for the first time in two years. Brilliant T Shirt and Medal too! (Viking related of course)

 

The final week of February featured a visit to Alex @ Insight Nutrition. I had feared the worse but actually I was pleasantly surprised. I left feeling boosted by my visit and a nice finish to February.

Before I got injured I made plans for my 2017 season. My main focus is of course to qualify for and represent GB in Rotterdam in the World finals in September. My “B” goal is much the same but for the ETU Europeans next year. A sub goal was to qualify for GB ITU Duathlon.

My one shot at this sub goal was 12th March at the Bedford Duathlon. Based on not being 100% fit and not having the best preparation over Winter I was not overly hopeful at achieving this goal and certainly wasn’t looking forward to the event. I was put off even more when I woke up and saw the rain lashing down. However, I decided to pull my finger out and race, if nothing else it would act as a line in the sand to understand where I am in the road back to fitness. This would also be my first race in a draft legal race, so good practice for the rest of the season. One less thing to get disqualified for!

The weather didn’t improve much and transition was wet and grey, it was clear that the competition on the day would be fierce. I prepared my Transition area and retreated to the warmer pit lane buildings to keep warm and await the start of the race. After a brief warm up and race brief we were called to the start line.

Bedford Duathlon – Race review

Format: 5km run \ 20km Bike \ 2.5km run.

Organiser: NiceTri Events

The horn sounded and we were off. I followed my coaches’ advice and hit the first 5km run hard and came in just under 18 minutes (17:58). I was really happy with that considering my lack on running over the last few months!

With no wet suit to faff around with T1 was quick and I was out on the bike in around 30 seconds. I managed to chase down a decent group on the bike and working together managed to progress through the field and pick up additional riders. A group which started as 5 grew to over 15 and as usual we had 3 or 4 of us working on the front while some slackers sat and drafted happily for the entire 20km. The conditions were wet and slippery and the hairpins on the bike proved interesting as a few places were gained by some people sliding off onto the verges. There was some pretty impressive road rash on show after the race. Fortunately I stayed out of trouble and posted at 29:55 bike split.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

T2 was trouble free and I was quickly out onto the final 2.5km run. The legs were tired from the first run and a hard bike but I pushed on and did whatever I could to hold position.  The final 2.5km run was sluggish and something I need to work on as I came across the line in 10:15.  My overall time was 59:15. A good race and I am really pleased I took part, it gave me a boost in confidence and highlight areas I need to work on. In addition it gave me some practice in racing a draft legal event. Not only that but……

As I type I believe I have qualified as Q4. I am awaiting confirmation from the BTF but we are certain that my position and time was good enough to earn a spot on the GB AG Team. Not a bad day all in all, watch this space!

 

Up next – 10 days in Majorca J

January Blues

So it has been just over a month since I last wrote and I hope you are all well and  still keeping your resolutions?

It’s been a mixed month personally. Having found some run fitness I went and destroyed any progress I had made by pushing myself too hard whilst on my Level 2 coaching course. Stupidity and male ego took over and something that was meant to be a simple drill turned into the biggest race on the planet. Detect the massive undertone of sarcasm as I say “Hoorah, I won”. The cost of this “win” was another 21 days of not running. Let’s just say my Osteopath and Coach were less than impressed. Lesson learned!

So it’s been a month of further frustration on the run front but again I have found myself pushing the bike, Swim and Strength and conditioning so all is not lost.

The last two weeks have seen me running again and completely pain free which is fantastic. I made the decision to pull out of the Ashridge Duathlon as I don’t think I would do myself justice and that is not the biggest focus of the season.

On the 24th January I also turned another year older! However, I had a great birthday and got some great gifts which is always nice.

So now I am fit it’s time to buckle down. I am a little behind where I would prefer to be in training but the important aspect to remember is that I still have 3 months until the first Humanrace ITU qualifier at Eton. So that’s the target fixed firmly in sight now. I need to ditch a few KG, regain some run speed and continue to work on the top end of my cycling which seems to be coming along nicely.

It’s a recurrent theme but I’d like to thank Carly @ Luton Osteopathy (https://luton-osteopathy.co.uk/ ) for her patience and knowledge to continue to “fix” me and get me back on the path to Rotterdam.

The next few months are critical for the success of the season.

 

Oh and…. keep an eye out for this – Spring 2017!