Sunday, 19 April 2015

Taper week has begun and my bike has gone :(

This is it, the last week before Europeans. Last week was tough training wise and I am looking forward to my rest day tomorrow. I have been on the torturous sweat machine (Watt Bike) far too much this week! Friday night wasn't your normal Friday evening; it consisted of many mini Duathlons (partly in the dark)  with my coach Dan Sims. The main focus was practising my transitions (you can make up a lot of time with a smooth transition in a race). They are finally getting smoother, though there was a humorous moment where I lost my cycle shoe just before descending down the steep Pixet Hill.

Yesterday was a mock race and today was a swift 10k run. Legs were pretty tired though and I didn't make all the splits :(

Aside from training, this weekend I've been getting to know my bike; giving it a good clean and hugging it in bubble wrap ready for the pick up today.
Van Chaos!
I am also gearing up for the triathlon season to come. I have a bit of a fear of swimming in open water which I plan to conquer.   My wet suit arrived, first impressions it is tight, hot and hard to take on and off. Hopefully this means it will keep me warm. So I had a trying on session and tested it in the garden lake...

Mango doesn't look impressed!


Now what to do with very little training this week....
The plan eat well, sleep well and keep the legs ticking over!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Spring New Forest Wiggle Sportive 11/4

Happy Finishers

Waking up in the middle of the new forest to the rain on Saturday morning was not what I wanted to see. The sky was grey and I couldn’t see any blue sky. We unenthusiastically pulled on our winter cycle gear and headed to breakfast, I had fruit, yogurt, cereals and of course  peanut butter to prepare for the 70 miles that lay ahead. The owner of the B and B and another cyclist staying seemed sure the rain would stop at 9am, I wasn’t so sure, my phone told me 12! I was seriously considering ringing Wiggle to change our entry to the Sunday.
Once arriving at the site we registered. This was very well organised with no queuing at all. I did forget the one thing I needed (my helmet) so galloped back to the car in the rain to grab it. The start was done in waves which moved very quickly, after a clear race briefing we were off... 5 minutes after our departure the sun came out and yes at 9am!

The ride was very pretty through the New forest and Moorlands, until the first feed station it was fairly flat. After 30 miles I started to feel my energy drain, but was certain when looking at the map there should be a feed station soon.  After a tough bit against the wind at 32 miles a marshall shouted "just 8 miles to the feed stop." Misreading my map the station was at 40 miles not 30. Glad I had my peanut butter! I had lost Dad for quite a while now but decided to wait for him at the station. Making a friend called Colin from Basingstoke we chatted and maintained a good pace. I was surprised to be at 40miles in just 2hrs 10, I don’t think I’ve ever being that fast?

The first feed station was amazing! Proper toilets, bananas, flap jacks, chocolate and the old school fig rolls. I filled up (maybe too much) and waited for Dad. The next leg was a little more hilly with a few humps, I was surprised to see some walking up these. I quite like hills, it was the 20mph winds in the open I struggled with. I tried to cling on to a few back wheels but even powering at a full effort it was depressing to see my speedometer say 8mph! This went on for about 8 miles.  I then saw a sign to give me some motivation stating “Still away to go, but your nearer than before” great!

The rest of the ride was well signposted and enjoyable, lots of donkeys and ponies to see and a few locals supporting the riders. At the last 3 miles I passed a rider on  a Spotter in jeans going at an impressive pace. I also followed a man without a seat; whether he lost this on route or started without one who knows! At the end I was happy with my time of 4:27 moving and was met with a medal and protein bar. I waited for Dad to finish and then trotted off on a 20 minute brick run. I wasn’t the only one doing this, must of being a lot of triathletes training. I would say I felt the jelly legs for the first 2k. Once returning I felt full knackered! After refuelling we then went to watch the Grand National no wins for me L

Overall the Sportive was a great event, a beautiful route, good signposts and for the amount of participants very well organised.
7:30am on Sunday morning (no lay ins for me!) I set out on a 12k run but my legs felt very heavy and my splits were slow.  We then planned a relaxing off-road ride through the forest. My oversized tractor of a mountain bike made this pretty tough and an easy 18 miler turned into 27 miles. By Monday I well and truly needed a rest day!


Sunday, 5 April 2015

Happy Easter, the first post...

Happy Easter and welcome to my blog! Since the start of 2015 life has been pretty busy, coming third at British Duathlon Championships and qualifying for World Championships in October have been the highlights so far.  Nuffield Health have giving me the funding to allow me to compete at World Championships and with Europeans Championships just three weeks away I thought it was time to right about my adventures, training and journey. 

With the four days off over easter I see it as great time to get those long training sessions in. Good Friday kicked started with some hill reps with my coach Dan Sims. Up Knowle Hill three times; trying to beat my time each set. I'm learning that the descent is just as important, keeping that power going and resisting the wimp in me that wants to brake! Following the session I decided to jump
onto another saddle and join my friend on her little pony 
"Black Beauty" for a relaxing hack and catch up, though for a little thing she was pretty strong-willed and I had a tough time stopping her cantering home with me!

Yesterday was a full on day.  An 80mile cycle with the cycle club San Fairy Anne to Rye, Romney Marshes and back. My longest ride to date! The ride didn't start great, joining the wrong group at the start (shooting off at 20mph!) I knew I wasn't going to maintain this pace and Dad (who had joined was definatly going to burn 
out!). We dropped back to join the slower group. After waiting
twenty minutes they didn't appear. Getting slightly worried with
only 7miles into the ride we decided to make our own way to Rye (with the help of Google maps). Proudly I directed us (it probably wasn't the prettiest route)and we made it 30miles in, cycling through the busy little town we found the bikes outsidea cafe,  only 25minutes behind the quick group. There they were tucking into their bacon sarnies. I was happy with my cake and hot chocolate!  (the first of 3 that day!). Meeting the slower group we set off through the marshes with a 20mph head wind to get through. 
Tucking myself behind one of the big guys I tried to hang onto the faster groups back wheel. Dad was suffering a bit now and was hanging back with the slower group. 60miles in it was time for another stop and while the men tucked into apple crumble and custard I had more hot chocolate (it is easter after all) and a millionaires shortbread lots of needed sugar! (my favourite). Ready for the last leg. This was  a fairly easy 20miles home. I was surprised to find I  didn't feel that tired, it could have been that for once as I was refuelling well and not leaving it too late to eat like I normally do. The legs felt ok so I finished it off with a 10minute brick run while Dad loaded the car.. 

Easter Sunday! Today I plan to run after the luxury of a lie in and chocolate with breakfast :)  I'm giving it a bit of time to pass until heading out there,  I have a taste for dark chocolate and with a lack of eggs in the shops and a unorganised mother :p  I have been given  a bar of my favourite as seen below! I'm then off for a lovely pony ride with Emily and Mango (the dog).  I will just add it has been 40 days and nights with not a drop of alcohol consumed! Not that I drink much but I may treat myself to a 
small glass tonight, then maintain alcohol free until after Europeans :)
Have a good Easter everyone!