Wednesday, 1 October 2008

22 September 2008
18:44:52 o'clock BST Feeling Happy
Flintshire 10K And Fun Run
The Flintshire 10k was supposed to be my last race of the season. I’d Grande plans in place to increase my running distance by 10% a week from 5k so that I could achieve race distance comfortably without injury. I was extremely fortunate as my 3 times a week 5k training run took the exact route of the 10K it was just that the 10k involved 2 loops.
Where shall I start with the excuses? A holiday? Stomach pains? The weather? Lack of motivation? Sheer laziness? At the end of the day I didn’t do the training so condemned myself to the “Fun Run” instead.
The name kind of gives it away it’s supposed to NOT be a race. It’s supposed to be fun and you’re supposed to run it. I convinced Cait and Jim that it would be great to do it together. Postal entries had to be in by 12th so organized as usual sent ours off on 10th. I was amazed to get our numbers back the day after the closing date. I was number 72, Jim was 73 and Cait was 74. I told the kids as we’d been so late in entering that there would probably only be 80 or so in the race – sorry run.
My Mum and Dad duly arrived at 10am yesterday and my Dad informed us there were hundreds there. “Yeh Dad!” We could hear the tannoy from home so thought we’d better get our skates on. So with numbers pinned firmly in place, water bottles for the kids and isotonic drinks and gels for the finish we set off.
Dad had not been exaggerating. There were hundreds of people. All shapes, sizes and ages – well none as fat as me. We saw Andy Campbell, World Sprint Triathlon silver medallist who informed me he was doing the Fun Run as a warm up before he did the 10K. Had a chat with Lisa from the Tri Club who was also doing both with her son and with Bethan daughter of the legendary Paula Jenkins.
The man on the tannoy was extremely funny and calmed our nerves (NOT). We were ushered up the lane and then 3, 2, 1 airhorn and we were off. We were at the back and it took a hundred yards or so before we could even start to jog. I little girl in front of us stopped to tie her lace and how I didn’t fall over her I’ll never know. We got to the top and I expected to turn left, a gentle stroll past Mondi packaging and G C Hahn butno we were directed right – up the hill (gentle incline really) and that’s when Cait decided to leg it. Thanks Cait. I told Jim to go with her but he decided he’d stay with his poor Mummy. The humiliation of being overtaken by yet more 5 year olds eventually took a grip and he went off on his own too.
The turnaround wasn’t far and I knew then I was on known territory. Downhill all the way – a piece of cake.
There were loads of marshals – all very helpful and encouraging. It was amazing to see so many little ones doing so well. It was lovely to hear Mums and Dads encouraging to run a bit more, rest a bit more. It was great to see people pushing prams whilst running with their children.
The finish line came very quickly – “And here we have number 72 Lynne Evans. Come on a big cheer for Lynne.” And they did. The crowds lining the finishing straight all shouting and cheering. I met Cait and Jim at the end. My watch said 20minutes and 10 seconds. The target had been 20 minutes but I hadn’t switched it off at the finishing line so I claimed the victory. Jim had finished 5 minutes earlier and Cait had finished a minute behind him. We ran the whole way. We had fun.
We went to collect our goodie bags complete with medals.
This was such a brilliant event. Extremely well organized.
The kids want to do it next year. Next year I will do the 10k.
And bringing up the rear were two army guys carrying 8 stone backpacks. I am carrying 6 stone of "baggage." Let's see how I get on next year once that is lost?

15 September 2008
17:48:22 o'clock BST Feeling Happy
Bala Standard
There's quite a few filling in bits here before I startAfter I did Chirk there was a guy on TT caled Alan, from Bury, who was doing Harlech as his first and we exchanged mails of encouragement. He decided his goal was an Ironman in 2009. I thought he was crazy but who am I to judge other people's goals. I suggested he do Bala Standard so that he could do the Middle (half Ironman) in June.He took my advice then had this mad panic that he'd done no openwater. Lexi to the rescue last Sunday in Bala.Jim from Wrecsam Tri helped me so much when I was starting out. I will never be able to thank him enough. When I really struggled with openwater threatening not to do the Diva's he gave me a good talking to and my answer was "You can get off the bike, you can walk the run but if you struggle with the swim you either drown or have to be hauled out." I did the Diva's - he entered Bala.Now the amazing Iain from the gym, well I'd done the Diva's even before he bought a wetsuit - he entered Bala.Paula's first Tri was Chirk. Paula is the first to admit she struggled with her running and she absolutely hated openwater after her first attempt in Boundry Water Park. Paula is the strongest, most determined person I have ever met. She forced herself to do 5k then 10k races, absolutely blitzed the Boundry Breeze Tri and has done an incredible number of events this year improving all the time - she entered Bala.I got up at 5.30 yesterday, in the dark and bleary eyed set out for Bala. As it got light the visibility didn't improve as it was incredibly misty. I wasn't really concerned as I was travelling over the moores and knew it would clear by the time I got to Bala.Got to the Leisure Centre and was despite wearing a hi viz, refused entry into the car park by marshals. Well as I'd be marshaling myself all day didn't want to give these people grief so had a personalitly transplant, kept very calm and in my best creeping voice pleaded to be let in. I must explain here about the hi viz, used my own as well... the Wrecsam Tri ones were too small. Only problem with mine was, I'd lost numerous work ones with people borrowing them and not returning so I'd written Lynne on the back.Very organsed in the Leisure Centre. Gill told me that not many had registered on Saturday so we'd be busy. I had the fabulous task of handing out the "goodie bags" which contained water, red bull, a banana and a top quality souvenier towel. It was so nice to be able to say "Hi" to all the competitors. A lady asked me if I thought they'd be able to swim with such poor visibility. "Of course" was my reply. I had no idea the mist over the lake was so bad. Julian assured me it would soon burn off which would give us perfect racing conditions. Ever the optamist Julian.It was great at this point to actually meet Alan and Rhyd another of the TTers.Lots of people registered really late and we had a bit of a run on goody bags which was a bit hairy. That's when the cavalry in the shape of Bev and Ryan arrived. Me and Bev pretty much stuck together all day but all credit to Ryan. He's 14 years old and he worked tirelessly all day showing incredible common sense, maturity, foresight and confidence.The mist hadn't cleared much but the Sailing Centre had given us the go ahead to proceed. The bouys were moved closer to the shore for safety reasons but the course would remain at the 1500 distance. The start was delayed slightly but the time between waves was decreased so overall there was barely anything in it getting the last wave off.Bev and I were delegated to ensuring all the swimmers were in the pens to be counted in. This is really important as they are also counted out for safety reasons.This finished and we were fortunate enough to be delegated to stand guard on the run exit which also happened to be where the swimmers got out.
The time really does fly when you're having fun and the first of the swimmers were back in no time. It's great to be able to clap and shout well done especially when it's people you recognise. Unfortunately I missed Alan but big shouts for Tim, Jim, Iain, Rhyd and Paula who looked fantastic.From a safety point of view there are kayaks in the water who will get swimmers in distress to the motor boats. There are divers to assist on the swim exit and the St J ohn's are on the shore. We had a junior who had to be assisted out by the divers. Bev legged it down the pontoon and he was basically carried to the shore. I have never seen anyone shake so violently. I gave him my jacket and the St John's wrapped him in a foil blanket before whisking him off to the first aid station for a cuppa. He was fine. Just a point to note though he was wearing a shortie surf wetsuit. If you're doing these events you really do need the correct equipment.I had a great position directing out of T2 out onto the run. I had to keep my left arm up and shout "Keep left - be careful it's slippy!" which is ok for the first 100 times but then it gets menotinous even to me hearing my own voice. I felt really sorry for the spectators behind me listening to the same shout over and over again. Matt from TT had described the kit he'd be wearing so I was able to identify him on the run and give a big shout.Once all the runners were out on the course, Transition was opened for competitors to remove their bikes we moved over and checked every bike number to either race numbers or the markers on their arms and legs. This is where I met Rhyd again who I congratulated only to be told he'd felt a ping in his arm on the bike and as he couldn't brake had been forced to retire. I was gutted for him and I guess saying "It could be worse at least your bike's in one piece" wasn't one of my better decisions but his bike was one sexy bit of kit. Managed to have a brief chat with Iain who was grinning from ear to ear. Paula had done phenominally well. Jim was pretty hacked off over his bike but when I asked him had he done any bike training he confessed he'd been on it 5 times this year. I was pretty hacked off with him. I've been on mine at least 3 times a week and I'm still crap!The results were up and managed to grab Matt who'd done an incredible 01:59:58. It's amazing these goals we set ourselves if he'd gone over 2 hours he'd have been gutted.And so to the prizegiving. An £8000 prize purse which is amazing by anyone's standards. 10 prizes for the senior men. Rhian won the women's by 10 minutes but second was the junior Lois Rosindale. Ultimate credit to Elizabeth Hamer-Davies she's the lady who took 8 hours to do the Middle in June and still came back. At registration she said "I'll be last. Look out for my result. I will be last but unless I end up in hospital, I will finish." Well she finished in 3:44:29 and she wasn't last but even if she was someone has to hold the rest of them up. Wrecsam men got third in the team event and Pete Norman won the supe vets.An absolutely fabulous day. I enjoyed every second and can't wait for the season to start all over again.

07:50:00 o'clock BST Feeling Adventurous
Compete Not Complete Next Year
So that’s that then. My season of Triathlon ”completing” is over. I ummed and arrhed about doing Warwick. On the one hand it would have been nice to finish the season on a not last, on the other if I’d been last I would have been so demoralized/ demotivated.

Had two non training rest days after Llanrwst and then “got back on the horse.” Just shortish runs but I got quicker by the day.

Now comes the time to lay down my plans and ambitions for winter training and “competing” next season.

Much as I prefer being out on the roads, British weather the way it is I’ve got to get back in the gym. I don’t mind training in the wind and the rain my problem is coming back soaked and having wet clothes. Having to deal with them, then a school run and then off to work or playgroup.

I’ve given Iain, from the gym a plan of my available time but my own plans are a pilate’s class (I need to improve core strength), a spin class (I need to be pushed hard on the bike), I need to get to 10K running so I can join Sue and the girls for their Wednesday night run. I need to do a LSB (long steady bike) and a LSR (long steady run) whatever the weather outside at least once a week and finally, and most importantly I have got to shift this weight. I cannot hope to compete at this weight.

Events for next year

April - Chirk
May – Harlech
June – Ellesmere
July – Deva Divas
August – Llanrwst
September – Warwick

The aim is Olympic distance. I don’t want to swim in the Dee so Chester’s out and I don’t want to wait until September to do Bala. I’d like to do Oswestry but it clashed with the Diva’s this year. I’d really like to do Oswestry because I was told I wasn’t up to it.

I’d planned to do the Flintshire 10K next Sunday but my stomach problems wrecked the training. There’s a 3k Fun Run so me Cait and Jim will do that together, which I think will be the highlight of my season.

Oh yeh and the objective is to get under 1:30 for a

01 September 2008
22:17:56 o'clock BST
"Had a chat with Simon Roxborough the husband of the fantastic elite Rhian (She was on Eurosport last week.)"
Oh my God, Not only did I meet without realising, my heroine, winner of the Llanrwst Sprint Triathlon, who beat all the blokes by the way - who has ever heard of that? She has commented on my blog.
I'm sure I've died and gone to heaven.
Good job you didn't tell me who you were Rhian or I'd have fainted and blamed you for a DNF!

31 August 2008
16:53:44 o'clock BST Feeling Ecstatic
Llanrwst Sprint
I did it.

I will probably be last but a last is better than a Did Not Finish and a Did not Finish is better than a Did Not Start.

I woke up at 4 – couldn’t get back to sleep. Went down for a cuppa. Still couldn’t get back to sleep. Decided that my alarm was set too late (6.30am) so got up and got sorted.

Had a mega struggle putting the bike in the car (I will not listen to my husband!). Had a bigger struggle getting the child seat out. Was ready for 6. Realised I’d forgotton my glasses! Realised I needed petrol. Tesco garage is 24 hour sel;f service. The pump refused my debit card. Had to use my credit card. Eventually got away at 6.15 and it took an hour.

The drive into Llanrwst is part of the bike route backwards. I became slightly nervous when I realised there seemed to be quite a lot of downhills (uphills for the bike).

When I drove through the town they were taping off so asked where registration was and a very nice ambulance man directed me in the car park. Very kind of him but as everything was taped off how was I going to get out? Never mind job in hand registration. They weren’t open. The briefing said from 7 but hey ho. Had a chat with Simon Roxborough the husband of the fantastic elite Rhian (She was on Eurosport last week.)

Got my bike out and rode it around to make sure nothing had fallen off and all the gears were working. Racked up. Got my transition box – don’t trust the weather and got a right telling off from the race referee for “Riding in Transition.” Well I know you’re not allowed to mount before the mount line and I know you’ve got to dismount before the dismount line but doh! It didn’t register like NO RIDING IN TRANSITION.

Had a chat with Steve from Wrecsam Tri then Paula turned up so off we popped.

She was in the wave before me. When I looked in the pool my worst nightmare was realised no steps. I explained to the briefing lady that I couldn’t possibly do it without steps and I’d specifically asked for and been granted a step lane. She got hold of the lifeguard to ask how difficult would it be to put steps in (Quite regularly the kids have said to me lately – “Oh Mum don’t make a fuss.” I knew I was making a fuss but would quite happily then reverted to being a spectator than a competitor. Not to be daunted they had a cunning plan. They’d haul me out bodily.

I got in and away I went. Bearing in mind I’d taken the conscious decision that even if my swim time improved it wouldn’t be by much so basically the last time I swam was the Diva’s and apart from my one lesson the last time I’d swum in a pool was Chirk.

I flew, well for me I flew. I did crawl without getting tired and out of breath and was really happy with my swim. Bonk on the head with a float equals two lengths to go. Soon over and…wait for it…. I climbed out all on my own.

I retrieved my flip flops (yeh I know what a whimp!) and ran through transition. Not a good T1. Nothing particularly wrong just slow. Realised my lace was undone so had to stop before I’d even got out.

The bike was fantastic. Maybe the hills looked bigger with my glasses on but I managed to stay on the big ring most of the first half of the course and was absolutely gobsmacked how quick the Tal Y Cafn turn came round. That’s where my tactics came into play. Two massive (for me) hills so off I popped and pushed and treated it as a chance to replenish my depleted fluids. The beginning of the second half was mostly downhills. Got some serious speed up and, didn’t use the break. The last quarter was a bit tough mainly because I’d been told it was 15 miles and it turned out to be almost 16. That’s just me messing up psychologically, plus I remembered because I haven’t trained for 2 weeks I haven’t done any brick sessions and began to panic over jelly legs.

All in all very pleased with the bike despite “hundreds” passing me.

T2 was a bit strange. Not done a split transition event before and as I hadn’t been to T2 couldn’t find my racking space plus left my run bottle in T1. Took my time and got a bit of fluid on board.

Legs were better than expected but I knew there was a killer hill so wanted to conserve energy. Run/walked to the hill. Walked the hill. Had a lovely chat at the water station to try and get my heart rate down and run/ walked to the turnaround. Ran most of the way back. The killer downhill was almost as bad as the killer uphill. Really pulled on my knees. Ran to the finish to be greeted by yells from paula and her mob only to realise I wasn’t at the finish. Only another 100 yards or so but when you think you’ve finished quite hard.

Watched Narren, Leonie and Pete from Wrecsam Tri finish. Saw Sue in off the bike out on the run.

Was very wet by this point and started to get cold so headed back to the Leisure Centre for a shower.

As if by magic they were taking a “Train Break” so I was able to get my car out.

All in all a fantastic day. So pleased I did it. Definitely some serious swimming and running winter training and if I’m very good I might even treat myself to a new bike.

So the plan was to complete a Triathlon. I’ve done 3 and am very proud of myself. It’s very doubtful if I’ll do the Flintshire 10K. I haven’t put the running mileage in but between now and the dark mornings I will and stage my own race just to prove I can do the distance.

25 Lynne Evans 00:14:12 01:20:56 00:49:50 02:24:58 LAST!!!
But.. there were 172 starters and I was 171st
I'm still chuffed.

This entry has 1 comments:
Comment from rockrhi 01/09/08 19:56 Permalink
Hi Lynne, My husband has been reading your blog regularly and keeping me informed with your progress. Emyr then told me on the morning of the race that you were ill and may pull out of the race. We were both gutted for you and thought it a shame that after such an inspiring story that you would n't complete your aim. We were both very happy to see you on the morning and when we realised that despite how you were feeling, you were still going to do the race, we were made up for you. I started you off in the morning, in the pool and me and the life guard were at the ready to help you out of the water. You didn't need me and it was great to see how much enjoyment you were getting from completing the race. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see you finish as I was still on the pool. But I would like to congratulate you and I am inspired by your determination and it is great to see another triathlete 'getting the bug'!I look forward to seeing you at races next year and wish you well with training and future racing. See you soonRhian Roxburgh

30 August 2008
23:19:34 o'clock BST Feeling Determined
Tomorrow? Yes? No? Maybe?
So I guess 7 hours before you’re due to leave the house to compete in a tri is not the best time to blog about it but here goes…

The most turmointible week in triathlon in this triathlete’s life ever.

So I had this pain in my stomach which got worse and worse so it was going straight through my back. I was in agony. I managed to get an emergency appointment with my GP who asked “What did I think was causing it”

“My bowels?”

“Yes you’re probably right”

So armed with a prescription and instructions to diarise my food intake and bowel movements for the next month I left the surgery.

The the pain didn’t get much better. I’d hinted to the likes of Sue that I wouldn’t be able to compete and offered Minnie my place but was still holding out hope. Yesterday I ran well basically failed on the Flintshire 10k route and had to concede I would be unable to compete. This morning I turned over in bed and ricked my neck. Been on the diclofenac and tramodol all day then decided tonight it would be a good idea to have a glass or two of wine.

Well I feel marvellous. Decided to hell with it. So what if it takes me ages to complete tomorrow. I’m going to watch anyway. I won’t get my money back. If anyone looks at the results for next year they’ll see my pathetic attempt and think “I can beat that” so I will compete tomorrow. Provided I can get my bike in the car. Something my husband says I can’t do.

He also said “You are not a triathlete!”

And… if the worst comes to the worst There’s the Warwick triathlon on 27 September. My sister in law lives there. My niece is a county cross country runner. I want to convert her 2012 and all that jazz?

23 August 2008
09:54:49 o'clock BST Feeling Cheerful
Olympics Stop Training
"Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn't know that so it goes on flying anyway. "
~Mary Kay AshToo long since the last post. Excuses? Training too hard? Erm no watching the Olympics.
So off we popped to Pembrokeshire with the intention of getting lots of running and swimming in. Unfortunately the car was too full to take the bike.

I’ve been down that way once before but couldn’t remember how awful a journey it was and how beautiful the beaches were. It took 5 ½ hours to get there even with the benefit of Amanda, our wonderful Tom Tom. And it rained, and rained and rained some more.

The pool was a bit bigger than a puddle so that ruled out swimming (probably not as big as some of the puddles if I’m honest).

Nicole Cooke won gold in the cycling. I cried. Then Rebecca Adlington and Jo Jackson got their swimming medals so I cried some more and became totally addicted to the games.

The big kids were in Italy when the European Championships were on this year and we had a discussion as to how many games I’d watched. Precisely none. This is the same me who would never have missed football on the box. Why? Because there were no home nations involved.? Maybe I’m more patriotic than I thought.

Why am I watching so much Olympics? Because Team GB are doing so well. And why are Team GB doing so well? Last Wednesday’s lottery said that since it started 14 years ago £3bn had been given to British sport. Is that the reason? All but one of the medallists had benefited from Lottery Funding. (I’d be interested to know who the one is?) Then there are the benefits of the Manchester Commonwealth games. The success of the cycling team is phenomenal. Is it because it now has the facilities, a by-product of the Manchester games. Aaron Cooke who narrowly missed out on a medal in the Taekwondo trains out of Manchester and Cassie Patten and Keri–Anne Payne , the 10k marathon swimming medallists train from Stockport. There’s probably a lot more. These are just the ones I’ve picked up on.

So back to me and training from the camp site a lovely downhill into Narberth. Great running route to give the bum some achy on the way back. I kept to what I thought was a straight line and got lost and had to ask for directions. Oh Amanda where are you when I need you?

We also turned the wrong way out of the campsite to Tenby which gave me an absolutely fantastic circular route with a mega uphill out and a big uphill back.

So the holiday achieved its objectives, got me focussed and my head out of the shed.

When we go back I knew I had to hammer the bike. It was so hard. I don’t feel I’ve improved at all since Chirk. I had a dental appointment on Wednesday and when I came out bumped into Iain from the gym who I conned into checking my saddle height. I rushed home and back and ever the diplomat Iain suggested that the height go up by 1 ½ inches he also suggested I “get somebloody air in those tyres.”

Mark’s got one of those thingy’s that go in the cigarette lighter of the car and it checks pressure and blows up. My tyres should have been between 50 and 85. One wasn’t registering and the other was 12.

Let’s just say I no longer have problems.

So a week tomorrow is Llanrwst. Am I ready? Yes – I can do all the distances. No I haven’t done the course and the bike is lumpy and the run is a mega hill. My start time is 8.40 so even if it takes me 3 hours plus I still won’t be the last finisher. (I will probably be last but not the last finisher.) There’s a man off the same time as me that finished behind me at Chirk so I think that will be interesting.

My big concern is that I’ve had horrendous stomach ache for the last two days. I hope it shifts.

08 August 2008
09:22:28 o'clock BST
Get Your Head Out Of The Shed
So there I was completely fired up and focussed ready to implement the final stages of the training plan.

Monday – out on the bike – still struggling with hills and bazaar weather. Left home in glorious sunshine. It started to rain as I got to the top of the first hill. To be honest it was quite welcome as it was really sticky. Just spits and spots really until I got to the huge down hills on the way back. No rain but massive puddles.They’d had a downpour and heaven knows how I’d missed it.

Tuesday, a nice gentle 5k run. Yet again left home in glorious sunshine. Had my Ron Hill running shorts on as they’ve got a zip pocket on the bum for my phone. Saves wearing the arm coff which I think looks a bit pretencious with a running vest (ok a £2 vest jobbie from Tesco.)

Felt really strong, especially up the hill and then it started again. Massive spots of rain. The downpour I’d avoided yesterday hit me full pelt. I know you will confirm that I am crazy but is was really nice, felt really fresh, a tiny bit slippy undert foot but nothing too drastic. But then disaster struck. The earphones of my phone crackled and then gave up the ghost and I realised my phone was getting wet and I had nowhere to put it so had to curtail the run.

Wednesday should have been a rest day but I felt so good decided to get the bike out, Rain, wind and a real struggle on the hills. Definitely needed to rehash the training plan.

Decided that failing on the hills is only de-motivating me so will get some mileage into my legs instead in a morning and add extra sessions after work literally doing hill climbs. The sticks and stones method again. This time on steeper hills.

So since then have done…precisely nothing.

I’ll blame the weather. I’ll blame Morgan waking up before I’ve left and Mark still asleep so I couldn’t leave him alone. I’ll blame a niggle I’ve had in the bottpm of my back since the Divas. I’ll blame a watery ear that I’ve had since the Diovas. I’ll blame this event is getting a bit close it’s time to spit my dummy out and stamp my feet and say I’m not doing it.

At the end of the day I have no excuses. I haven’t trained.

There’s lots that has happened in the world of Triathlon in the last week. The National Club Sprints and The Double Ironman.

This was posted last December by a lovely man called Hywel Davies, Towel is his Tri Talk name

“This is meant to be Towel's helpful moment, so inspired and get some mojo. Many of us will set some real goals in the next week or so and most of us know the SMART target approach....Specific, Measurable, Achieveable, Realistic and Time Orientated. But there is something very different out there that i am experiencing at the moment. For me my target is where i am now...Point A, and Point B being winning the UK Double Ironman, yes....not doing well but winning it. Now for me that means that i have to be able to comfortably swim 8k, cycle 230 miles without killing myself and being able to run every step of 52 miles...not only that but having the mental toughness to believe its possible and the mental skills of being able to deal with 320 lengths, 20 laps on the bike and 52 laps of the run. Also i need the capacity to run through the night, overcome several low points and be ready to experience the fear of failure like never before. So, my approach is this...What does a top Double Ironman athlete do? They work full time, as there is no money in the sport They train at wierd hours They eat very well and dont care about weighing food or calories They have a supportive team They think a marathon is very easy They have the ability to switch off and swim many lengths They have lots of ways of keeping focus They can cycle a bloody long way without needing too much fuel They love training and being outside Etc, etc So what i need to do now is become that person, not aim to be there in august but take on those characteristics NOW. Even if the fitness and mileage is not there, the spirit has to be there before i really think about training. Some has already started, and what was seeminglya long run on Xmas eve of 35 miles, now seems like it was just a training run and i can take that to 40, 45 and 50 by February. I am racing a 35 miler in Feb, and its no longer to just prove i can do it but to race a target time or try a nutrition strategy. For ironman, i would cycle to my dads in Cardiff, but now its cycle there and back to be a long ride (230miles). A double athlete will use more opportunities to train rather than have separate sessions, so a longer commute, running parts of journeys, cycling rather than using a car, running to run races etc...its not normal but then doing a double isnt normal. Ok all of that sounds a load of balls to most, but look at it another way. IF you were superfit and woke up one day 5 stone heavier, what would you do? You are already the person who knows how to lose weight and maintain it and you know how to do it. You would eat properly, train properly, wear clothes to suit your personality etc....but if you are already 5 stone overweight and want to be superfit 5 stone lighter...its hard because you dont act the same way that person you want to be does. Make sense? Does to me and therefore setting the process goals of by January i want to be X and by March i want to be Y doesn't cut it for me...i am trying to be that person i want to be in August right now, a little less fit than i will be but i know that this will work as i have adopted the characteristics that will get me there. Roll on the Mojo, 2008, Austria and DIUK!!!! Love you all!! (not in a gay way)”

I take so much inspiration from these words particularly the:

“winning the UK Double Ironman, yes....not doing well but winning it. Now for me that means that i have to be able to comfortably swim 8k, cycle 230 miles without killing myself and being able to run every step of 52 miles...not only that but having the mental toughness to believe its possible and the mental skills of being able to deal with 320 lengths, 20 laps on the bike and 52 laps of the run.”

He did win by the way – beating the second person by 2 hours.


“Ok all of that sounds a load of balls to most, but look at it another way. IF you were superfit and woke up one day 5 stone heavier, what would you do? You are already the person who knows how to lose weight and maintain it and you know how to do it. You would eat properly, train properly, wear clothes to suit your personality etc....but if you are already 5 stone overweight and want to be superfit 5 stone lighter...its hard because you dont act the same way that person you want to be does.”

I am 5 stone overweight and it is hard.

I have read this week so many reports from the DIMUK which are all full of emotion, dedication, focus and a degree of insanity. I have no aspirations to ever do an Ironman but I admire their guts and courage.

And then last night on BBC2 Wales a Sports Special about the Welsh athletes competing in the Olympics.

Dave Davies has a great chance in swimming and I was quite shocked to learn there is a new open water swimming event which he will be taking part in – very similar to the first leg of a Tri.

The fantastic Nicole Cook will be flying the flag in the cycling as will Geraint Thomas.

Rowing will be represented by Wrexham’s Tom James and the 20 year old from Monmouth Tom Lucy.

We have only 2 representatives in athletics and it is a show of physical and mental strength that Philippa Roles holds down a full time job and in order to train gets up at 3.30am. She’s joined by sprinter Christian Malcolm.

Of course the very best of this show was the World Champion Triathlete Helen Tucker. She is a Godess and overcoming injury she has defied her critics who showed so little faith that they cut her Lottery Funding.

There was talk of how few Welsh athletes were going to Bejing – well if they cut the funding of a World Champion what do you expect?

To all our athletes I wish them the best of luck.

Oh yes and to the fantastic Wrecsam Tri’s Tim Burnett who is competing in the Big Woody, an Ironman at Chepstow, next weekend the best of luck. Race strong Tim and stay safe.

And me? I’m off to Penbrokeshire tomorrow with the kids. Lots of swimming, lots of running and a head out of the shed which will see me focussed and raring to hammer Llanrwst on my return.

27 July 2008
10:38:12 o'clock BST Feeling Confident
Llanrwst 5 Weeks and Counting
"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." ~Edmund HillaryFelt absolutely amazing after last weekend’s race. The body part which hurt the most was my left index finger. I have no idea why.

So it was down to ok that’s over what’s next – Llanrwst 31 August.

I put a thread on the Wrecsam Tri site and was amazed by the response. There are absolutely loads of Club members doing it, many have done it before and were vey generous with their advice.

The swim’s straight forward. 400m in a 20m pool which will give loads of push offs. Not good for good swimmers, great for me.

The bike is a lovely undulating route on wide roads until about half way when there’s a killer hill.

The run starts with a horrendous hill and then flattens to a nice trail run through the forest.

It was decided there would be a Club outing to recce the bike course. I said I’d hold everyone back and two lovely people agreed to ride slowly with me. Awww!

I’ve been totally pathetic with training this week. Managed a very hilly run on Wednesday but that’s about it. Weight totally out of control. 15.94 the most I’ve weighed this year.

Wanted to recce both bike andrun myself. Decided to do it Friday but it just didn’t happen because Mark was too ill to look after Morgan.

Not to be beaten decided to make a day of it and involve the big kids on Saturday instead. Made a picnic which we had in T1. Drove to T2 and off up the hill. Let’s just say 3 kids and a pushchair is not the best way to recce a Triathlon route. The road was narrow, there was no pavement and there were a few cars and motorbikes. Hairy to say the least. The hill was steep and endless. Then off along a forest trail. Lovely. It had been pointed out to me that the turnaround point was unclear so I decided to use my all singing all dancing phone to measure 2.5k and then turn around. Obviously we lost GPS. We walked for 45 minutes and I was reasonably confident we’d gone far enough for me not to encounter surprises on race day.

Back to the car, after being attacked by a pack of wild dogs.

And then the bike. Really nice flat route, wide roads and.. roadworks. Never mind they’ll be finished in 5 weeks. On route we discover a high up in the trees, rope adventure centre. We stopped off just to find out what was involved and I casually asked where this particular pub was on the bike route and surprise, surprise we were on completely the wrong road.

So back we went to T2 and start again. The first thing that struck me about the road was that it was busy, all I can hope for is an early start time. But, it was a beautiful, sunny, Saturday mid afternoon.

The course was undulating but nothing too drastic. A bit of a cross between Chirk and the Penymynydd route. So about half way you turn and go over the railway and over the river. The view is spectacular. Just when you think things can’t get any better you are faced with “the hill.” It’s steep, and I mean really steep but it’s not too long. It flattens and then wham bam up, up, steep, steep again. All I can say is it’s a tiny part of thecourse and If I have to push I have to push. The second half is through a seriesof hamlets on much quieter roads. Still undulating but very nice all the same. It did seem to me like a very long 25K.

I now know what I’m up against. It doesn’t exactly inspire me with confidence but I‘ve got 5 weeks to train specifically. I need to get a lot of bike mileage into my legs.
The failed hills on the Mold course are on a par. They need to be conquered. Running needs to be split in 2. I’ve got to get some serious hill work in but I’ve also not to lose sight of the fact that I want to do the Flintshire 10K on 21 September. I must add 10% distance. I hate speed work so oh what a shame that’s the thing that will have to give.

So here I am, extremely focussed and confident that come 31 August I will have a good race. The ultimate plan for Chirk was that I wouldn’t have to get off the bike and that I’d run all the run. With Llanrwst I don’t think either of these will be achievable but, just goes to show how events are so different. They laughed at me when I said Chirk was challenging. For me then it was. Now things are different.

In a bazaar way I want this season to be over so next year I can physically measure my improvement.

22 July 2008
15:40:14 o'clock BST Feeling Happy
I Am A Deva Diva
The First thing I did when I got back from Chirk was to Blog the experience. I was absolutely bursting to tell everyone that I’d done it and how ecstatic I felt.

The Diva’s is a bigger achievement but, its not my first Triathlon.

It was supposed to be a nice weather. I packed sunscreen. I live about 25minutes from Manley. I left home in sunglasses. I got to the end of the road and it was throwing down and then there was the wind.

Registration was really well organised and the T shirts are top notch. Security in transition was really tight which was very reassuring. And then to decide. Do I use my box? Do I just lay everything out? It started to rain so box it was. I met Triref who really does have sexy legs but he wouldn’t get on the picnic table for me and Caroline who I didn’t realise was competing. (It was her IM Austria report with beating her pb by 75 minutes that made me cry

They said the lake temperature was 16° but let’s just say it was choppy .Naively after two good open water sessions in calm warm conditions I thought I’d got it cracked.

I was off in wave 2, 15 minutes after the first wave. There were some out on the run before we’d started. I kept to the back because I didn’t want to be kicked or swum over. That was just my tactics. Survival and finishing. The bit that terrified me the most was actually swimming straight across the Mere. This was relatively easy. Still very slow. Across was ok too I don’t know if it was because the wind got up or the current but conditions deteriorated rapidly and let’s just say I took a lot of duck poo on board. The guys in the kayaks were fantastic shouting encouragement all the way. I saw quite a lot of ladies struggling. I just tried to keep them going by shouting ”Come on, nearly there, the hard bit’s over” By the time I got to the funnel I was doing breast stroke but was just so ecstatic to have actually finish I didn’t care. Plus there were too gorgeous dudes doing the haul out.

T1 encountered a lady who was obviously injured and in a great deal of pain. She had lots of people looking after her. The rest of T1 was a very sociable affair. I actually sat down to put my trainers and socks on but still managed a reasonably quick exit.

There’s an endless hill not far from the start. I’d had to get off and push on the training day and I wasn’t surprised to see lots of ladies pushing. I’d got the bit between my teeth and despite being all over the road (I was even asked if it was closed roads!) managed to stay on the bike. There were lots of marshals congratulating, encouraging and generally pointing in the right direction all the way round. It wasn’t a difficult 16k but it certainly wasn’t helped by the wind.

It was very concerning to be passed by the paramedics on the way in.

T2 was awful. I just went the wrong way.

My legs were ok and amazingly didn’t have much jelly in them. I was surprised when I got onto the run, an out and back twice to hear one lady giving up after one out and back. I ran out and back walked out and ran back. I walked not because I had a problem with my legs or stamina but because my back was killing me.

28:30 swim 1:02:25 bike 42:04 run Total 2:12:59.
Two people finished behind me. Strange really – two people finished behind me in Chirk too. I felt so much stronger, better equipped and confident today though

I had a fabulous day. I met some fantastic people. The organisation by Chester Tri was excellent so thanks guys.

I’m still not entirely convinced what the biggest achievement is, starting this event or finishing it. I’m just so glad I did do it.

Bring on Llanrwyst – I must learn to run up “Big” hills.

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