All 5 entries tagged 2008

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October 05, 2008

…28 days later

Follow-up to Epic – part 3 from Cath's Blog

Not sure ‘what happens after’ bit really occured to me… focused for so long on the BIG day and now it’s done…

...recovery started with me bouncing around on a crazy mad high rush of adrenalin * boing * * boing * * boing *

...then after several days noticed a niggling pain in my left knee which turned into a big ouch! when I hopped back on the bike to commute to work << deep sigh >> so forced to use motor to get to work – yuk :(

...on the plus side am keeping up swimming sessions with tri club a couple of times a week, going out with running club once a week and riding the nag most days so it’s not total down time!

Had hoped to run Kenilworth half this morning but put my ‘sensible hat’ on for a change and spectated instead :o)

Godiva half in a couple of weeks, entered, so will just have to see how my legs feel on the day!?


September 18, 2008

Epic – part 3

Follow-up to Epic – part 2 from Cath's Blog

Plod…

...after pause for piccie taking as i move into transition… more smiley volunteers… this time dressed in cadet uniforms… joke with them that they should be competing instead of standing on the sidelines!! :o) they kindly take my bike to the racks and i head on to collect my bag of running kit…

Red bags......so back in the little chamber that is ‘ladies changing’... peel off the layers of bike kit and pull on my run kit, touch more vaseline and talc, bike bits stuffed into bag… step out into main area of tent… touch bewildered by where to go next head towards edge of tent, daylight and another lovely smiley volunteer… fairly sure I muttered something appreciative (probably quite incomprehesible) as I handed over the bag and was guided out to start the run…

OK… errrrrr… run… yep… 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike both done and dusted… just small matter of another 26.2 mile by foot to go… a picture can sometimes paint a thousand words… LOL

Run course is 3 laps of ‘undulating’ terrain, a mix of grass, gravel track & Sherbourne town centre streets… have a sort of game plan for walking through each aid station… although reaching unknown territory here as it’s nearly 10 hours since entering the cold dark waters of the lake and have never asked/demanded anything like this of my body (or mind) before so just want to get it home within the 17 hour cut off… without destroying myself… knowing that my parents are standing in the town centre and I must look OK when I pass them on all 3 laps!?

lap 1… first mile or so undulating on grass with sponge/water point not far in… then onto gravel track uphill before turning down over cattle grid (covered by mats!) then up and over a hump backed bridge and a bit of a climb up to feed station… keep jogging on down long drag along the edge of woods to the back gates and another feed station at turn around point… should mention at this point that feed stations have odd mix water, gatorade, flat pepsi, gels, banannas and pretzels!? ...decide to stick to water, pepsi & pretzels …at this point feel the need for sugar, caffine and salt!? :p …long drag back down same stretch until reaching sharp right turn down quite steep bit of gravel track that then levels out to go around back wall of the castle grounds… not easy on the feet and this is only lap 1! ...finally emerge into crowds again ready to head out of the castle grounds towards the town… loads more supporters along this stretch and get the full benefit of having my name writ accross my front * grin *

finish clockto be continued… (got a bit more to fill in here when i get time!!!)

Facts and Figures

EuphoriaOverall Position 934
Gdr Pos 88
Cat Pos 17
Swim 1:14:11
T1 14:22
Bike 7:54:48
T2 9:55
Run 4:45:16
Total: 14:18:30


September 13, 2008

Epic – part 2

Follow-up to Epic – part 1 from Cath's Blog

Wobble?

08:00 (ish) take my first steps away from the water… daylight now although weather not looking great…i breath slowly and evenly adjusting to getting vertical again… take it easy as i wander up to transition tent… with many many hours and miles to go couldn’t see any point in rushing….. almost surprised when several guys run past… guess, unlike me, they were going for a time!!! LOL

Blue bags......at transition lots more shiney smiley volunteers to help with bags etc. :o) took my kit bag into the changing tent… greeted by naked male flesh in every line of vision…. duck through to female changing area (compact screened off bit) pull off wetsuit/swimsuit, dry off/rub warm as much as possible… pull on full bike gear – shorts, top, zip top, arm warmers, waterproof, helmet, mitts, socks and shoes… bit of vaseline and talc strategically placed for comfort… then packed swim gear into bag ready to hand to yet another smiley volunteer before heading off towards the bike racks…

bike transitionUnhook my Trek 2.1 from the rack… pat the saddle and jog a little to shake my legs out on the way to the road… jog on and swing onto the bike… nothing flash just keeping the forward motion… surprised by some of the rather clumsy attempts being make by those around me!?!?

Select easy gear to spin into action… course starts with a slight rise and then quickly turns into a bit of a climb… keep to steady spin and start getting some water down me… gotta get hydrated with legs comfy… going to be a long ride… going down through villages and past pubs great to have enthusiastic supporters smiling and cheering… reaching first proper climb tuck in and spin easy gear feeling very strong… have to remind myself to ease off… must mention the lady stood at top of one of the lesser hills stood holding a bright yellow cushion with a smiley face on grin.... lots of really fabulous smiley people (lots of children too) at feed station…. take on more water… now start to get some food stuff down me too… stomach seems to be coping…. reach turn at bottom end of course and a short sharp climb… gradient eases but the side wind kicks in… weather really damp, cold and miserable :( need the arms warmers and waterproof… next some serious long climbs… easy gears and spin… feeling strong but really not wanting to push it… long way to go… of course what goes up….. goes down….. WOW now i had been briefed on the downhill bit but WOW tucked down took hands away from brakes and let rip… max speed 42.6mph wooooohooooo… still got overtaken by a couple of big guys on rather smart looking bikes, close proximity scary enough in itself at those speeds!?

Still buzzin from the downhill turn out to tackle the far section of the course, some narrow lanes another feed station and more climbs… great supporters roadside… had top grin at the alpine sounding bells on some of the steeper sections… few more twists, turns, ups, downs….

Dressed for the weather...onto lap 2…. keeping steady still so getting overtaken quite a lot… but hill climbing still strong… keeping up regular eating and drinking… reward myself with comfort break at next feed station (the one with lots of children) ...lush… head onwards and upwards…. rewarded again by the zip downhill wooooooohooooo ….onwards up, down , twist, turn… starting to feel the effort a bit now… spirits lifted by the sight of Bella (lead lady) overtaking me in a flash of pink towards end of 2nd lap… 2 reasons for this, 1. she was making the guy on her tail work! 2. it meant that only a very small handful in the field had managed to lap steady old me!?

onto lap 3… still keeping steady uptake of food and water…. climbs starting to feel like work even in easy gear… still overtaking some peeps on the uphills though :o) pass the lady with the smiley cushion for the last time grin ...take another comfort break at feed station and really need the stretch… head onwards and upwards… really feeling the big climb this time… kept going by the reward of the final zip downhill… woooooohooooooo grin ...dig in for the final 20 miles… seems like so much further… field has really thinned out now… still some lovely supporters roadside… try to keep a couple of guys up ahead in my sights which comes in handy when reaching then turn back to castle… could soooo easily have missed that and started on a 4th lap !?!?!?!

that... heading down to the castle take on more water, breath deep, soooo tired… pretty close to tears… the gates come into sight… ease of the spin… unclip from pedals… swing leg and jog gently down to walk… oooooooooooo aaaahhhhhh… 112 miles done and dusted grin


September 11, 2008

Epic – part 1

Follow-up to Epic – prologue from Cath's Blog

Splash!

03:45 my phone alarm goes off, wide awake already irony of insomnia ring tone is not lost…

...tucked up in the close confines of my little tent I had been listening to rain lash down and felt wind tug like a playful pitbull against the guy ropes for possibly an hour or maybe two? random thoughts flitter: am i awake or asleep? what am i doing? does weather ever stop play at events like this??? eeeeeep!

03:55 weather calming slightly as I crawl out of my pit and squelch off through sticky mud to the toilet blocks… back at the tent final check on swim kit in white bag before pulling on warm layers and joining others in truck for breakfast – tea & bagels mmmmm tasty enough for my reluctant stomach…

04:55 time to head down towards start – wrapped in darkness… we take torches and jangling bags of nervous energy, leave camp site, negotiate slippery wooden bridge, cross brow of hill to be greeted by glare of massed flood lights around start/transitions/finish area. Paused for final portaloo stop and Dean to have another cuppa (couldn’t have stomached one myself) we descend to transition tents swapped warm layers and woolly hat for swim suit, latex caps and goggles ready for mark up (a smiley volunteer scribing numbers onto your upper left arm and lower right leg using a thick black marker pen) before greasing neck, wrists and ankles and pulling/pouring into wetsuit with zip up only achieved by assistance of another smiley volunteer!

Waiting for the off...05:45 or something like that… final check on bikes and wait for next move… we chat nervously….. nothing seems to be moving… we’re stood in the glare of flood lights…. a bat flits past my head just another reminder that it is still dark…........... finally we get the signal to lay down white bags (our warm layers) against barriers and shuffle down towards the bank of the lake.

06:00 the official start time… it has to be past this by now but still quite dark….. 1500+ competitors are going to take a while to shuffle down into the cold dark waters of lake and swim out (about 400 metres) to start line. (mass start in deep water). front of pack swim out to the startMore smiley volunteers wrapped in warm layers guide up to the waters edge…. stepping down into lake I’m hit by the extra chill factor of the early dark hour…. brrrrrrrrrr…. submerging quickly to get cold shock out the way I start out with steady strokes surrounded by masses…. have probably gone less than 30 metres before getting the sharp point of someones elbow cracking against my cheek bone ouch! Take a sharp deep breath….. start silently chanting the mantra ‘nobody out here wants to drown you, everyone just wants to swim the course’ ... anyhow in these cold waters little chance of much bruising (although my cheek bone hurt for about a week!?)

...finally reach the start area and start treading water… with 1500+ others…. goggles have already fogged and feel a touch claustrophobic in this mass of bodies… scull about to find a bigger space towards the out/back of the start area… keep trying to clear the fogged goggles….. without success :( resign myself to limited vision!? ...keep treading water… nervous energy almost bubbling the surface… (could be a few ‘warmed’ wet suits too!?) chants of oggy oggy oggy fade back and forth… seems like an age… restless… eventually start horn sounds…

06:25 (guesstimate) the mass of nervous wetsuited bodies suddenly turns the water into a boiling cauldron of flailing arms and legs… NOTHING can prepare you for this… 2.4 miles of keeping your head whilst all around you appear to be losing theirs!!!

Course is 2 laps of lake marked by inflatable white turning barriers at far reaches and a line of yellow buoys marking the centre line of the lake…. with fogged goggles could make out the buoys and the banks but not much else… mattered little when wetsuited bodies were left/right, front/behind and under/over…. reaching the first white turning barrier was a matter of survival….. getting around it even more so!!!!...... but got swept around and with great relief started back down lake hoping to see a bit of open water…. no such luck…. battle on the long drag…. turn again…. not quite so manic…. try to get into a bit of a rhythm as I stroke back up the lake on lap 2… original plan had been to keep out to bank and sweep wide…. seems that was lots of peeps plan so found a more central line…. finally a bit of clear water yay feel like swimming more than trying not to drown…. try to look up to spot turning barrier and find the sun rise spectacularly obscuring vision!!! .....barrier suddenly looms ahead and this final turn is less obstructed…. spirits lifted start trying to stretch out with steady strokes down the final drag…. reach the start line and turn for the final 400m….. ease off and watch out for the guys around me as we reach the bank…. there’s a big stone step to negotiate but lovely smiley volunteers on hand to guide up and out….. 2.4 miles done and dusted grin


September 09, 2008

Epic – prologue

Writing about web page http://www.justgiving.com/cath

WOW :o) just hit a new high and it’s gonna take a while to come down from this one!!!

Just about starting to chill out and reflect on my camping trip to Dorset…
Camp

now it’s not that I didn’t stay truthful when asked how I was spending my annual leave… maybe just slightly understated the facts!?

to be continued…


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