Tuesday 22 December 2009

Sunday morning was the Telford 10k - well it was supposed to be.

The weather in Chester was ok so we set off not suspecting anything. As we got near to Telford there was more and more snow on the road and when we arrived at the leisure centre there was a sign to say the race had been cancelled due to the snow! Quite frustrated as I was looking forward to it.

Wednesday 16 December 2009

I did the Stockport 10 mile race on Sunday. Really pleased. I came 3rd in 59.49. I wasn't expecting to get under the hour. It was my first 10 mile race and quite a tough course with a couple of undulations and one long hill so a time wasn't on my mind.

I started off a bit too quick probably near to my 10k pace! This got the better of me at about 7 miles and on the hill I suffered a bit and Pete (from my club) came past me. I tried to stay with him but didn't have enough there. A bit later a girl came past me and I stuck with her for a while but then I started to drop off.

Really want to do another one now on a flat course!!

Tuesday 24 November 2009

4 weeks of light training, then 4 weeks of getting back into it then a race! Leeds Abbey Dash 10k. I did this last year and enjoyed it and its quite a fast course, being out and back and flat. I knew it wasn't one for a pb for me though as after not racing for over 2 months I just needed a race to get back into it again.

A respectable result of 9th in an okay time.

Thursday 15 October 2009

A break at last!! Its nice to have a week off, going on holiday and not doing any structured training. Dan and I got a fairly last minute deal to Sivota in Greece with Neilson holidays.

I went wakeboarding every morning before breakfast and I learned to sail and windsurf. We couldn't resist and hired mountain bikes on 2 days and I beasted Dan up the hills as usual!!! Although he got the better of me on the technical downhills which I'm still crap at!! I also managed to sneak in a few runs!

Just one minor incident! We went for a swim around the small island and when we were almost back I felt a pain on my leg. First of all I thought I'd been bitten but then quickly realised I'd been stung. It was quite painful but to be honest it was more the shock of it. I freaked out a bit and swam over to a small sandy alcove and refused to swim back!! Dan then had to swim back and he came back with one of the reps on a boat to take me back! By then the sting was showing on my leg - quite an impressive tentacle mark on my left thigh. All I kept thinking was it could have been my face - imagine?!

Luckily this didn't put me off getting in the water again and I was back wakeboarding and swimming the following day! Apparently its very rare for there to be any jellyfish around this time of year and I was just unlucky.

I had such a good time with great weather. I hope we manage to fit in something similar next year.

Wednesday 9 September 2009

Happy, happy, happy!!! Had a fantastic race this weekend! A few weeks ago I got a phone call asking me to represent my region (the south) in the Cardiff 10k. I was quite surprised - I've never been asked before! Going into the race I was feeling good and knew I should be running a pb but decided not to stress about times as I've tried this in the past and it really doesn't work. I decided my main aim was to try and be the first one in for the south.

The race started and 2 girls went off quite fast and I wasn't sure if there were one or two others also ahead as its hard to tell when you're also running with men. At about 3k I heard someone shout that I was in third and I thought to get a top 3 spot in this race will be a great result. By this time the 2 girls were about 40-50m ahead. About half way through I heard someone breathing behind me and a spectator shout "go on girls". I had to really focus as there was no way I was giving up my 3rd spot. I then started to see that I was pulling the 2nd place girl back and focused on catching her up. At about 7k I turned a corner and glanced behind and seemed to have dropped the other girl so I then picked the pace up and went into 2nd place. It was around 8k I started to think "I can win this". I was feeling really comfortable but had to be careful not to put too much in to catch the other girl only to have her come back at me. In the end I timed it just right! Went into 1st with around 500m left. Turned the final corner and could see the finish line about 150m away. Such a great feeling with the crowd really cheering and amongst it all I saw and heard Dan shouting "GO, GO, GO"! I thought that 2nd place must be right on my shoulder so I sprinted for the line and crossed in 1st place! I also got a pb by 28s - I'm so pleased!

Thursday 3 September 2009

In the middle of 6 races in 5 weeks at the mo! I normally wouldn't be doing so many races but a few of them are just low key training races. Started with the Worthing tri a few weeks ago. Then took part in the club relays. A really fun event. I've never done them before and hope to do them again next year. Didn't push very hard on the bike and run as I had a 5k race to do 4 days later on the Wednesday. This went ok. I came 1st which is the main thing and knocked about 10s off my pb. I know I should be happy but I also know I'm capable of going so much faster. I guess I didn't really taper for this (was out doing a run efforts session on the morning before)!

I then travelled down to London to do an open water swim race in Eton rowing lake. A good experience of trying to swim a bit harder which I struggle to do when I do the swim part of a tri. I definitely worked hard as my lats were achy and tight after! (I don't get that feeling very often)!! I was quite disappointed with it though - it was supposed to be a 1500m swim but I think it was actually about 300-400m longer. Dan took part in the 3.8k race and did really well - he came 3rd. For his efforts he won a measly £10! Didn't even cover the entry. I'm also very disappointed in the organisers as they haven't even included me in the results despite me shouting out my number and have them call it back to me as I crossed the line! Oh well!

Next stop the Cardiff 10k......

Tuesday 18 August 2009

I raced in Worthing triathlon this weekend and my first ever sea swim tri! I was kind of looking forward to it with part of me hoping the sea would be very calm and the other part of me hoping that if the sea is too rough it will be a duathlon and I can get out of a sea swim! In the end it was a lovely morning and very calm water.

I finished the race in about 4th or 5th place and won my age group. I was quite pleased but I'm still getting used to my new bike set up and its still feeling like hard work. Swim wasn't too great but for my first sea swim effort I can't be too disappointed. Would really have hoped for a top 3 place. Still a damn site better than the disaster of Bedford!

Friday 24 July 2009

Last weekend I think I had my worst race ever! It was the Bedford tri and I had a shocker! Swim was terrible. It was in the river which was quite narrow and full of thick weeds. I probably started in the wrong place, then someone in front of me stopped (possibly having a panic about the weeds), got around them then had a bit of a moment myself where I seriously thought about getting out.

Then onto the bike. I had my bike set up completely changed last week. I was told that with the changes I would feel tight in my hamstrings and glutes but I just thought that being a runner those are the muscles I use to run so shouldn't be a problem. How wrong was I?!! Got about 8 miles in and everything just felt tight. Still tried hard to push through but my HR just wouldn't get into my race zone. Never mind!

I managed to have a good run which was something and at least the change of set up and tight muscles hasn't affected my run!

I just have to forget about it and move on. If you have great races all the time they would never feel special so I guess you have to have crap ones sometimes to appreciate it when it all goes right!

Tuesday 30 June 2009

A bit of a late start to the tri season for me mainly due to competing in duathlon, but I finally did my first tri of the year last weekend! The Northampton olympic distance and also doubled up as the Army champs.

I had a comfortable swim - I really need to learn how to push myself more in the water. A long run to T1 and onto an undulating bike with some tight bends! I felt good on the bike and was pleased with how it went. Although I still need to improve on going faster round tight bends! I had the 2nd fastest bike! A fairly quick T2 and onto the 4 lap run. I had no idea what position I was in as the Army girls started in a wave 10 mins earlier which is where my my competition was. I ran quite comfortably and finished feeling strong. Dan had kept an eye on the girls from the previous wave and said I'd finished 1st but I wasn't convinced. I had to wait over an hour until the presentation to find out I had won - by almost 5 mins! Really pleased - a good start to the tri season.

Tuesday 23 June 2009

What a tiring weekend! Flew out to France on Thursday night and stayed with Raphiel's family (he's the president of my french club Cesson Sevigne). Then picked up on Friday afternoon and a 5 hour drive to Cuincy for tomorrow's race.

The race was at 3.30 in the afternoon so had a fairly chilled out morning and cycled the bike course.

My plan this time was to stay with the lead girls on the first run and then try and hang on to them on the bike. Well the run started off so much faster than normal - mostly down to a Mexican girl starting off a 100mph! She didn't last long at this pace and after about 600m she had dropped off! I wasn't feeling too great still and couldn't quite stay with the leaders. I came into transition with a group of other girls and worked really hard at the beginning of the bike to make sure I didn't get dropped.

I had a really good bike leg - my best out of the 3 french races by a long way. The course was 3 laps and at the end of each lap and beginning of the next it was very technical. The girls at the front of the pack would surge here to try and break the pack up. In the past this is where I've really suffered but this time I worked really hard not to get dropped and managed to hang on as the pace soon settles back down again.

Onto the 2nd run and I just didn't have much in me. I can normally overtake lots of girls on my second run but I just seemed to lack something today. I think I'm still getting over the illness I had and its knocked a bit of sharpness from my running legs! It was still an enjoyable race and a really good atmosphere.

Sunday 14 June 2009

I've had such a rough week! I feel tired all the time and run down. I haven't been ill since Christmas before last and I don't do being ill very well! After not racing at the weekend I took it easy on Sunday as still felt a bit run down. Just did an easy bike ride on Monday, then Tuesday went for a run after work and felt really good. HR was in the right place for a steady run and I was running quite fast. About an hour after getting back I couldn't stop coughing and was up during the night with coughing fits. I ended up taking Wednesday off work sick and slept most of the day!

I took it easy for the rest of the week as I have a french duathlon race next week and can't be ill for that! I'm not a good person to be around when I can't train - I feel sorry for Dan having to put up with me moaning - mostly about feeling fat!

Sunday 7 June 2009

After a hot week at work I was all set for my first triathlon at the weekend in Conniston. I was really looking forward to it. Friday came and the weather decided to change - typical! Driving up there it was miserable - cloudy and drizzly. We camped there and in the middle of the night I woke with a sore throat. I didn't think too much of it - just drank lots of water. I then woke in the morning feeling really rough. Just generally run down and feeling cold. The race wasn't until the afternoon so I had a good few hours to try and feel better!

We went for a walk down to the lake and tested the water temperature - it was freezing! I then decided that I just couldn't face it. I was quite sure that if I made it through the swim (which was doubtful with how I was feeling and that I suffer quite badly in cold water anyway) that I would probably get too cold on the bike.

For the rest of the morning I kept thinking maybe I should just get on and do it and see what happens, then I'd think more sensibly and decide that it wasn't a very good idea.

We watched everyone come out of that water and into T1 and a lot of the men were even cursing at how cold the water was. Just as well I didn't do it! Never mind. I just need to make sure I'm ok for my french duathlon race in 2 weeks!

Thursday 16 April 2009

For my 2nd french duathlon race in Chateauroux I was less nervous and a bit more controlled. I started off my 1st run at the front again and felt really comfortable. I forced myself to slow down a bit half way through as last week I think I suffered a bit at the beginning of the bike. I came out of transition just behind a pack and just couldn't catch up to them. I worked with another girl for a bit and we slowly started to catch them. Then I made a mistake going around a corner and lost touch! I then got caught by a big pack and just sat in with them. It was a great experience as I've never cycled in such a big group. It was a bit scary in places too.

I then had a really strong 2nd run and finished 12th. Really pleased as it was an improvement on last week. I was also 2nd in for our club which was a good feeling. I just hope they ask me to come back for the next race in June.

I had a really good time during my week in France. A big thanks to Raphael and his family for looking after me and also to Raphael for the use of his bike. Everyone from the club was really friendly and I promise I will learn some french for next time when I come out!!

Wednesday 8 April 2009

I've just done my first race for my French club Cesson Sevigne. It was in Jard Sur Mer - a sprint distance elite/draft legal duathlon. I was really nervous at the start as I didn't know what to expect. Some of the girls are amongst the best in Europe - including Alexandra Louison from our club who came 2nd in the Elite European champs last year!

On the first run I was near the front coming in about 20s behind into transition. I cycled with 2 girls for a bit but when I wouldn't take it on they said something in French and suddenly accelerated! It was a very technical course (which is a weakness for me at the moment) and I couldn't get back up to them. I had a good second run and finished in 16th. Cesson Sevigne finished in first place for the team and I got a 2nd place price as an individual.

It was a great experience and a pleasing result for my first race at this level. I just hope I can do better at next week's race in Chateauroux!

Saturday 21 March 2009

Ouch! I've spent the last 2 days in lots of pain! On Thursday night I did my 1st track session in about 4 years. I expected to maybe have tight calves on Friday but the pain I've got in my left hamstring is much much more than expected!! I did a long run this morning and going up hills was quite nice but coming down the hills was very painful and just to add to things I have now tightened up my back!! I am feeling happy though as I had a really good session and ran much faster than I thought I would. Lets just hope that tomorrow's long bike ride sorts me out!!

Wednesday 18 March 2009

I did my first duathlon race of the year on Sunday. It was the North West Champs at Parbold and I came 1st! I was really pleased as its a very tough, hilly course. I did a course recce the day before with my coach and a few other athletes so I was feeling a bit nervous on the day at having to climb Parbold Hill 3 times on the bike - although I was more worried about the down hill that followed!

I came through on the 1st run in 1st place and somehow managed to stay in the lead for the bike. I was really expecting to be caught on the bike. Hopefully this means that my cycling training is paying off. I then relaxed (if you can do that) going into the 2nd run feeling pretty sure that I wouldn't be caught. I felt quite tired on my 1st run so I was surprised again when I saw the splits as it was quite quick! It was exactly 5k too as I'd measured it on my garmin the day before!!

Thursday 12 March 2009

Just back from a 10 day training holiday in Sardinia. It was so nice to get away from work and the cold weather for a while. It was quite windy out there which stopped us from cycling on one of the days but apart from that managed to get some good cycling and running training in. It was lovely to be able to go out running in vest and shorts! The roads were great for cycling - hardly any cars and lovely smooth tarmac - and some good hills!!

Tuesday 13 January 2009

I'm really not liking this cold weather at the moment! Its this time of year I start wishing I lived somewhere like Australia! For my run session on Tuesday it was -4. Was hard work getting my legs to move! Then spent the whole week on the turbo for my bike rides as I'm not risking coming off on ice again. Borrrring!

I was quite lucky(ish) with the weather for my 10k race on Sunday though. It was freezing when I went for a run on Saturday morning but come Sunday it had warmed up to a tropical 10.5!! But with this came the wind. Had an ok race - came first. An enjoyable course - quite undulating.

Now for a few weeks of good training before the next one! I also have my tri coaching course to look forward to in 2 weeks.