Friday, 18 July 2008

Diva's Reinstated

Off we pop on Sunday to Manley Mere, armed with my secret weapon the tesco wetsuit. It’s a bit like Jimmy Grindley’s magic football boots and Dumbo’s magic feather. The fantastic Sal, the race secretary of the Diva’s had asked to swim with me just to establish exactly what my problem was. She looked at my feet and said “you can’t race in those” erm Sal, they’re not shoes it’s the legs of my wetsuit too long.

It’s never been a 750m problem. It’s been the other side of the mere looks so far away. It looked even further away. So the pep talk to myself starts. I’ve swum across it before. I can do the distance. I can swim in a wetsuit. Just take it really steady.

And we were off!

I kept right to the back. I didn’t want to be kicked and I didn’t want people swimming over me. I loved it. I don’t mean like. I mean Love. With a passion. Im parts it was like being in a warm bath. I didn’t do much breast stroke. I didn’t do any crawl as in with my face in the water. I did an over arm of a fashion and soon got to the other side. I did have sighting problems but being at the back just followed everyone else.

It was an exhilarating experience and the kids cheered when I got out. They were pretty gobsmacked that there were 9 behind me. Not that it would have mattered in the slightest if I was last. And I wasn’t in the slightest out of breath.

So that’s me back in then. The kids want wetsuits and they can’t wait until Sunday so they can do the adventure trail.

A very strange training week. Struggled with the bike on Monday. Absolutely blitzed 5k in the rain on Tuesday. Struggled again with the bike yesterday so did as Sue had suggested and turned it into a brick with a longer run which was fine and today did a 10.5mile bike easily and a shortish run after no problems.

Was reading a thread on Tri Talk this week about someone spending £350 on new bike gear to reduce the weight by 500g to go faster. I’ve put on 5lb since Chirk so that’s obviously why I struggle with the bike.

Had my legs massaged this morning and Tracey commented on how much smaller they were.

So that’s me ready then. I’ve done the swim. I’ve done the bike and 5k is 5k in anyone’s money, especially when it’s flat. Just don’t want to get too cocky.

It has been a fabulous week. Paula had an amazing result in Boundary Breeze. Carolyn was fantastic in IM Austria and I’ve read to fantastically inspiring reports from IM Austria. One girl beat her PB by 1 hour 15minutes and another, despite being knocked out in the swim and beating the cut off by seconds and having to stop on the bike because of a thunder storm still achieved a PB.

This is what Triathlon is all about. To all you lovely girlies in the Diva’s on Sunday “Good Luck and have fun.” To Sue, Iain and all the Wrecsam Tri guys competing in Oswestry “Good Luck and ride safe – that bike is a bit lumpy”

To everyone else have a good weekend.

Tesco To The Rescue

This should have been posted last Sunday

"The man who looks for security, even in the mind, is like a man who would chop off his limbs in order to have artificial ones which will give him no pain or trouble. "
~Henry MillerSo there I was filling in my training plan and my husband adds his halfpenny worth of “I don’t know why your bothering, you’ll only bottle it like you’ve done with this open water one.”

Well.. how very dare you?

To say I was livid was understatement of the year. What made it worse was that he was right. I never finish anything.

As if by magic the next day I open an email from Paula which basically said that I should do the Divas and the worst thing that could happen would be it would take me ages.

No Paula the worst thing that could happen would be that I’d drown and even worse than that would be that I’d have to be hauled out and sink the kayak.

She ended with if you’re not doing it can I have your entry.

It got me thinking

Nothing in this world is ever Lynne’s fault. Blame the weather. Blame the bike. Blame the birds. Blame the sky. So in this particular case I can blame the wetsuit.

I have no idea how a wet suit is supposed to fit. Iknow it’s supposed to be tight. I am extremely grateful for Andy giving me his old one and in an ideal world I would have lost weight and it wouldn’t have been so tight. OK I saw other women having help to be zipped up but didn’t see anyone struggling like I struggled to get in it.

Cunning plan. For the sake of £35 I’ll order an XL mans from Tesco Direct. Well I ordered it plus £4.85 postage and it came the next day.

It’s thin. It’s neoprene rather than rubbery. The arms and legs are too long and they can’t be chopped because they’re sewn rather than glued. I can get in it on my own and zip it up. It’s got a lot of gaps but it does fit on the boobs, bum, tummy and thighs. I had visions of it turning into a wet nappy.

The only answer was to bite the bullet and try it.

The fantastic Sue to the rescue.

We’ll go to Bala Saturday morning.

Grateful as I am Sue I’m terrified.

Manley is shallow therefore relatively warm and when we’ve had the training days there’s no boats except the rescue kayaks. And with the best will in the world Sue’s tiny – she would never be able to rescue me.

As expected no excuses, we’d stay close to the edge where it would be relatively shallow, relatively warm, too shallow for boats and I would not get into difficulty.
What she didn’t tell me was the bottom was stony ouch!

I got in. I could feel the water sucking inside the wetsuit. It didn’t turninto a wet nappy. It wasn’t too tight across the chest which meant I could breath. Ok the arms didn’t allow for fluent crawl but I invented this kind of Lynne stroke. A sort of cross between breast stroke and doggy paddle. It’s not quick. It’s not attractive but it does propel me forwards and I don’t get breathless or feel as if my arms and legs are going to fall off.

We swam for 40 minutes or so. No idea how much ground we covered but I absolutely loved it.

We got out got changed and Sue FORCED me to run, off road on a very uneven grass track, along the banks of the lake.

Well that’s it then. Swimming sorted. Running sorted. Bike sorted. There is nothing to stop me doing the Divas.

Going to do the swim course this afternoon just to make sure.

I’m not sorry I decided not to do it because it’s taken the pre race pressure off me for the last couple of weeks. I’ve not trained specific but I have trained with Llanrwyst in mind.

This week should be a taper week but I don’t do tapers very well and end up sluggish so 3 hard brick sessions planned with a gentle run and cycle thrown in. Rest on Saturday and a visit to the lovely Tracey for a leg massage.

Paula’s actually doing Boundary Breeze this very second so good luck to her. She’s been suffering all week with a stomach bug contracted swimming in the Dee last Sunday.

Carolyn Hewitt is doing Ironman Austria as we speak - good luck to her too.

And finally, the lovely Thea who commented on my blogs and gave me such encouragement and inspiration, her Blog of A Year Of Living Dangerously was the same as mine but much better written. It’s been deleted. So Thea, hope your ok and please get in touch

Sunday, 6 July 2008

“Some people dream of success... while others wake up and work hard at it. “
~Author Unknown

So there I was incredibly proud of doing the Mold route. I even emailed Sue to tell her how I’d got on and where I’d had to push. This Ironlady had done the Oswestry route at the same time and assured me I’d made the right decision by not entering as yes, there were down hills but they were narrow with bends at the end so you couldn’t get the speed going down to get up the other side anyway that’s all a bit immaterial. What was significant was that she said she would never attempt two of the hills I’d failed on as they were too steep. So I checked my course and I’d taken a complete wrong turn. Despite still ending up in the right place I’d made things so much harder. Which in a way is good?

So all fired up I’ve had yet again another mixed week.

I’ve blasted my 3k route 19.47 and brought down my 5k to 41.09 yet again I haven’t done any swimming. My eating and drinking have been totally out of control and then there’s the cycling…..

I intended to do the Mold Sprint route yesterday but it was raining and windy. OK so it might be raining and windy for the event. I don’t actually mind rain and wind. Chirk was lashing down but I just thought from a safety point of view I might be better postponing it after all with 8 weeks to go there’s plenty of time to get it done weekly. I thought about going for a run. I thought about going to the gym and in the end did nothing.

I got up this morning all fired up raring to go and it was raining and windy again. Never mind bite the bullet. Thing is though what do you wear? I normally wear a short sleeved base layer. Last week I wore my long sleeved running top over the top. This morning I put my top layer of my 3 in 1 walking coat over the top. (Can’t you just feel an excuse coming on here?)

Off I popped feeling super confident and failed miserably.

I don’t know if it was because I had no expectations last week and everything was a bonus. Or because I’d talked myself into because I’d succeeded down the line on far harder hills than I’d failed on at the beginning, there were no excuses for not blasting the early ones. Or the rain. Or I was too hot. Or I’d eaten fried chicken and chips the night before. Whatever, I failed and I knew that going on was not an option.

So I turned around, went down the bypass and blasted 16miles in a different direction. Ok the hills weren’t as steep but they were pretty long. Similar to the Chirk course in fact. There were also two right turns at quite big roundabouts which has improved my confidence no end. I had a scary moment when approaching a junction. I had right of way but a skip lorry came hurtling towards me and had to screech to a halt. A cyclist got killed at that very same junction a couple of years ago. I don’t have any answers just the motorists be aware of cyclists. Talking of which since I have become a cyclist I really do think I have become a better driver by being more aware.

So the rules for this week – stick to the script and even though I’m not doing the Deva Diva’s I am going to attempt another open water session next Sunday.