Month: April 2014

such is life

I was going to write a nice blog report about my successful trip around the gran fondo Conway sportive – 104 miles of hills and hopefully enjoyable pain.

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However I cant.

I can write a blog report how I managed to ride 17 miles and then break my bike in a fantastic fashion, then walk 3 miles in my cycling gear.

Basically I rode for 17 miles and then this happened;

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So I had a brisk and chilly walk along the welsh sea front to the aid station where I got picked up by a nice man and taken back to the start – where much to my annoyance people were still leaving the start line.

The parts of the course I saw only had one smallish climb – the great orme timed section where I managed to come 157 out of 660ish riders which I was amazed about – however I am under no illusions that even at the point I had to pull out I was struggling to find my rhythm on the bike and definitely struggling to keep up with the little pocket rocket that is Joe. The tables have definitely turned from when we did the Wiggle ride last September.

Maybe the breakage did me a favour from injuring myself by attempting to keep up with him / pushing myself harder than I am fit at the moment.

The real damage as ever, more than my pride at the breakage is to my wallet – figured I may as well go all out and get a ‘silver’ service at the same time so in theory no more issues this year. Hopeful to get the bike back before the bank holiday to start working on my apparent complete lack of fitness.

Will be living on bread and water for the rest of the month now.

Wonder if Hovis want to sponsor me?

 Such is life.

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I’m friesian good

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Since the wonderful folks at 9bar ( @9bar_officialwww.9bar.com )  unexpectedly agreed to sponsor my slow and somewhat cumbersome ass for this year it got me thinking of other companies I could apply to / covert for freebies from to aid me on my guest of never finishing last in an event.

 The criteria was fairly straight forward – I had to like the products, aspire to own the pretty things they sold or use the products on a regular basis. The reasoning behind that being if I was going to be cheeky and ask to be part of a team I would feel more comfortable / at ease if I honesty liked and used the products.

 Now I have kept this vague pleading / emailing / growling between myself and the corporate giants of all things triathlon up till now.

 To be honest I thought they would all ignore my request for a snippet of the marketing budget considering I am both generally injured on a regular basis, have no sporting pedigree and am also not likely to trouble the podium of any race anytime soon or more likely ever.

 The responses I got were extremely indicative of 99% of the people involved in a bit of swim, bike, run of a weekend. Generally positive, happy and upbeat.

 The first surprise was that every one of the companies (6 in total so far) I contacted responded  with a personal response to my request – highlighting my story and information about me gathered from the email / this blog – indicating that they had at least taken the time to give me the consideration. This and the fact that many of them offered me discount codes to the products they currently sell (which I have routinely abused so far) offset the fact that they all said, rather un-astoundingly……..

 

No.

 

Meanies.

 

Well that is apart from one company.

 I didn’t contact them through the above means, but followed up on a product review I did for them at the back end of last year which appeared on the revamped and improved website, mentioning that on the said website there was a small link where you could follow through for potential sponsorship.

 Happy to say that should you see me at an event this year my shinny kit will not only be endorsed with the sexy team 9bar 2014 logo;

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but also that of……….

 

drum roll please……

 

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Udderly Smooth

(@UdderlySmoothUK – www.udderlysmooth.co.uk)

I  am sure that this will cause much amusement with anyone who knows me and what I do for a job seen as its cow related (of sorts) and also the fact that I have been banging on about the product for as long as I have started this blog / been attempting to not be as chubby as previously. 

Like 9bar, Udderly smooth is a product I use regularly (in fact every single bike and run session) and its hand on heart never let me down in any of the events or sessions I have done. That’s why I was happy to do the original product review, complete with Mr bump plaster – http://udderlysmooth.co.uk/blog/ because it’s a bloody good product.

 It makes me proud that they would like me to be associated with them plus come on how cool / ironic / misguided will it be if I can get some cow print on my tri suit folks.

 

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No mountain goat

This will be short and sweet – unlike the actual time it took me to complete the half marathon yesterday.

Public service warning – this does contain some rather disgusting photos of me running…

I will not regress over the injuries and the such before the event, but needless to say despite the world seemingly determined to stop me starting an event this year I am pleased to say I not only got to the rather wet and muddy start line vaguely intact but I also actually managed to finish it in reasonable shape.

If that shape was a sweating, soaked to the bone middle aged man in muddy lyrca.Image

I have wanted to do the Snowdonia Half Marathon for roughly a year after hearing that you got two medals for the event – one for finishing the overall race and one for running up a 1/7 hill after 4 miles, without stopping. Being a bit of a hoe for a medal that’s what pushed me towards the fact that come midday on Sunday I was stood, soaked to the skin, huddled in a crowd of random man in lycra at the muddy start line.

It’s fair to say I was under prepared for the event, having only completed one double digit run this year and with my aversion to hills it meant that even before loftgate I knew it was going to be a tough day out. I had benchmarked my trail half marathon time from last June as something I would be happy to get in or around and at 2:08 I thought that would be slightly optimistic considering the hills.

 Did I mention it was hilly?

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Also did I mention the rain? The type of rain that I think noah had to put up with back in the day.

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Off we plodded and I settled into a reasonable pace, passing a few at the start as I started towards the back – always good for the confidence I find, and ‘quickly’ through the mist, rain and fog discovered the first hill was approaching. It’s fair to say that I have never, ever run up anything as steep in my life and never ever want to again. Nothing prepares you for how steep it is – steeper than normal stairs, in fact it’s not steep its f’ing vertical. I doubt I could drive up it and definitely couldn’t bike up it.

Proud to say I ‘ran’ up it – as in attempted to run up it, but it was more of a fast walk on the spot – so slow was I that one bloke walking overtook me on the slope. Mentally probably the toughest section of an event I have ever done and that includes the shouting at cows thing last year. Stupid cows. But bling is bling and I wanted double bling.

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At the top of forest hill on the route profile it looked like it levelled out – however it didn’t, I struggle to remember any section of the race which wasn’t up or down in some way – often with the downhills hurting just as much as the uphill sections.

Cutting a long and slow story short I plodded on till 11 miles before my shoulder / back started to ache some more and voice their displeasure at the fact that the physio said I was ok to run. Nothing too bad, but it meant me stretching my arms quite a lot on a downhill section – think the marshals thought I might have been attempting to take off with the helicopter movements I was doing.

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Happy to finish in one piece, again no issues due to the Udderly smooth cream on the sensitive parts– especially considering I ran in my tri shorts to ensure they don’t pose problems in later events. Also upon reflective pretty happy with the time of 2:02 and a top half finish. As ever just happy not to be last!

Nice to run in my 9bar gear for the first time and got some approving looks from it – I had two bars an hour before the start and it definately kept me going through the hills and one on the drive back home meant I was in reasonable shape by the time I got home.

Couldnt do stairs though.

Also quite impressed with my heart rate readings – considering whilst running I don’t normally get above 185 when I am flat out pushing, amazed to see that accordingly to the recordings at some point I hit 219, not even sure if thats possible.

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Inspired by lots of folks doing Manchester marathon – I fancy a bit of that action next year, early bird discount means it’s £40, bargain for a bit of early season bling.

Plus its flat