Shocking and completely unsurprisingly it would appear that I have slipped into the world of not keeping this blog anywhere near as up to date as possible.
Hence the massive delay in writing this, no doubt wonderful post.
So what’s new, what’s exciting in my world?
Well to be honest its much of a much ness – still training, still for the most part enjoying it and still holding back the emotions of just thinking about my 70.3 in August.
My training volumes have gone through the roof and on all fronts I am ahead in terms of miles and quality of those miles (something I struggled with a lot last year) in running, cycling and swimming. In my original plan for the first half of the year I had, set myself a target of doubling up volumes from last year – so the plan was to run 480 miles, cycle 507 miles and swim 12 miles before the end of June.
All of which I am ahead of as at present I have completed 482 miles of running, 1203 miles of cycling and 12.99 miles of swimming. All of which means I am only 400 miles away from completing my target for the entire year. On top of this I have in the plan to do another 10 miles of running and close to 70 miles on my bike before the end of the month.
These targets have been smashed due to having a steady flow of events to aim and train for. Something which allows me to focus and hopefully not let me get bored along the way. The events I have been taking part in this month;
Big Welsh Trail 10k
Pleasant enough local 10k which incorporated a lot of gravel roads and slippery downhill sections. Enjoyable but made less so by the fact that I managed to brilliantly do a forward somersault on a gravel path and slice both hands, elbows, knees etc. open. The first and hopefully last time I ever need medical attention at an event. I wouldn’t massively rush back to do this event – mainly because it was advertised as trail – something which it sadly lacked considering the fantastic location.
Etape Eryri Mawr
105 miles, 9000 feet of climb
Which drove me past all my preconceived boundaries of physical and mental strength. Up till the actual event I had never climbed more than 3500ft in one go or ridden for over 4.5 hrs. in one effort – or indeed gone further than 75 miles. The above mentioned hand injury put pay to me getting in any reasonable training miles up to the event – something which I had planned / banked on. So when it came to getting out of bed at 4.30 on a Sunday morning in June I wasn’t totally optimistic about my chances of finishing the route.
Cue 6.5 hrs. after the start and one very tired, very emotional me sitting by the side of my car throwing up the first real food I had consumed in close on 10 hours. Not my finest moment of the day – a day that includes shouting at cows and sheep for the end of the ride not being where I thought it was and getting stopped by the police for apparently driving like a drunk.
However important lessons were learnt from the day;
malt loaf is fantastic (I kinda knew that already)
parts of your body will chaff after 6 hrs. sat on a tiny seat
cows and sheep are not responsible for route markings in events nor should they be held responsible for them
I am stronger than I think – mentally and physically.
I take the fact that I surprised myself by even finishing and to be honest finishing in a reasonable position of 153rd out of 410 finishers with as much pride as the fact that I pushed my body so far past its comfort zone and further than I ever thought possible. Granted it was worrying at the time, it’s the first time its ever happened but I know that I couldn’t have pushed it any further than I did that day. +
Trial Wales Half Marathon
This was enjoyable, muddy, steep and felt a lot longer than a half! It took me over 2 hrs. to complete and in coming 111th out of 380 finishers it shows how tough it was. Brilliant course, organisation and goody bag and I would recommend this to anyone looking to do a trial event. God knows how the winner managed to finish in an hour and 20 mins. There was a lot of single track running, buffet style feed stations and some stunning views. Cracking organisation
My weight has sort of stabilised around the 15.5 stone mark – something which needs improvement (but 76lbs lighter than before) – but to be honest I don’t want to lose to much more weight – I love the looks of surprise I get when I run past someone in an event, or cycle past them on a hill (although this is rare) or get out of the lake before them when doing an OW 1.5k.
That said the less timber I carry round the upcoming events the better! I have the Olympic distance Ullswater tri and a 6hr Love life, love running event coming up in July, then it’s the A race of the year and the emotional turmoil that will come with doing a 70.3, followed by 2 weeks later undertaking the Joining Jack 100mile charity bike ride at the start of Sept and then all things point towards the Chester marathon and my first official attempt to complete the distance.
Also I am now a pirate having joined the PSOF online – hopefully the support completing events in the distinctive yellow and black will give me more incentive to pedal that little bit harder and run a little bit faster.