Friday, 29 March 2013

Longest bike ride of the year so far

Good Friday and it's not raining so determined to take advantage of an extra day off, we set out for Stowe, which is 24 miles away.   I didn't blog about it at the time, but we went there on New Year's Day.  On that day, we had an excellent tail wind, which meant that we made very good time, but we got lost trying to get in and ended up on a 2 mile trek through very muddy grounds with our bike.  On leaving, Mr Tuna gaily declared that he thought the wind was with us.  It wasn't.  We struggled back and I got slower and slower, eventually having to stop because it had got too dark to see.

Today, the forecast was for a NE wind, so as Stowe is in the NE direction, I was hoping for the reverse situation.  And it was!  Unfortunately, my legs felt like lead for the first few miles and the wind didn't help.  I was really questioning my ability to get there and wondered about turning around and having my hot cross bun at home.  We managed to push on and covered the 24 miles (without diversion this time) in 2h10 which was reasonable.  There are many pretty villages on the way so it is quite pleasant, not so pleasant is the traffic around Bicester due to the hordes visiting Bicester Village on a Bank Holiday (it was even more horrid on the way back).

Reasonable cafe at Stowe, where I was able to pick up some gf cake, although I chose to eat my gf hot cross bun that I'd bought with me.  Mr Tuna had a sandwich and some simnel cake (which was fortunately "not as nice as yours darling").

On the way back, I got VERY cold whilst we sorted out the bikes to leave (unlock, refit panniers, Mr Tuna change shoes...), so it was hard pedalling all the way back (I was wearing 2 thermal under armour long sleeved tops, a short sleeved jersey, my windproof jacket and Mr Tuna's windproof jacket - the bit of me that was most cold was the bit where the tops stopped down to where my legwarmers started.  Anyone got any ideas on how to keep bum and upper thighs warm please?).  Anyway, we did have the wind with us and we made excellent progress until my trainer lace got caught up in my chain and I fell off (sigh, not even a cool way of falling off, and yes, I know, I have got to get clipless, but maybe when the weather warms up?), which led to a bruised knee and 5 minutes of tears at the side of the road and trying to blame it on Mr Tuna (I don't know what it is, but after 40 miles I almost always burst into tears, sadly doing rides of less than 40 miles is not an option when I'm training for a 70.3).  Shortly after this, Mr Tuna got cramp.  However, we did get back in 2h5 so not bad, 4h15 for 49 miles.

The trouble with cycling is that I feel a lot of pressure on me at the moment as the cycling component of my 70.3 is a very big challenge for me.  I probably wouldn't have gone out in the extreme cold today had it not been for the need to get miles in, and I get cross and grumpy and tearful trying to push myself through.  I know that completing the 70.3 will be a big reward, as will raising money for Mind again, but I have to say a little bit of me is looking forward to 2014 with swimming as the top priority and cycling as an optional extra when the sun is shining and it's warm!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Unplanned end to the week

For most of this week I wasn't worrying about being too focussed on my training.  My shoulder was sore and needed a trip to the osteopath, and I thought that if I didn't train too much it didn't matter as I'd be nice and fresh for the triathlon at the end of the week.  Unfortunately, the weather had other ideas.  We haven't had as much snow here as other parts of the country (fortunately) but as the forecast worsened, it looked like the tri would be turned into an Aquathlon.  I was a bit worried that the ground would be slippy and a bit fed up because it cost a lot of money for an aquathlon.  In the end, the entire thing was called off because it was looking unlikely that all of the officials would have been able to make it.  Disappointing, but given how cold it is today, probably a good thing.  Instead, I did 45 minutes on the turbo trainer, ran 3k off the bike (absolutely freezing) and swam 2.5k, so a sort of mini triathlon in reverse.  To cheer myself up I've entered another pool sprint on the 1st, but this one will involve a 4.30am start :(

In the end this week, I've swum a total of 14.5k, run 8k, spent 45 minutes on the turbo trainer, done 9 x 4.5 mile cycles to or from work, and a pilates class.

Only four days at work this week, and then I'm off with Mr Tuna for 10 days.  I've just drawn up a schedule and hoping to get a fair amount of training in amongst other things!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Another week gone

Not, perhaps the best of weeks, training or otherwise.  I overdid things early in the week (not trainingwise, but socially and at home because I thought I was better than I actually was from this depression business), and ended up having to ask for Friday off work to catch up with myself.

Saturday was my first ever session on the turbo.  I had planned to do a 50 mile bike ride but the forecast was atrocious all weekend.  So Mr Tuna set my bike up on the turbo trainer for me to complete an indoor workout.  To be honest, without a heart rate monitor it was difficult to know what to do.  But I sat and pedalled hard for 45 minutes and it alternated between being horribly hurty and horribly boring.  It's not something I'm going to do regularly, because my bike handling skills are rubbish and I need to be out on the road getting confident.  But I suppose in a crisis, it's better than nothing...

...I then turned my first turbo session into my first ever brick.  I got off the turbo, popped my trainers on and went on my standard 5k run loop.  Interestingly, the first 2k felt really good, compared to running on its own, my legs were warm and my heart rate was up, but the last k was a bit of a struggle.  I then decided to turn the workout into a bit of a reverse triathlon and headed off to the pool and got in 3k swim.  I was hurting after all of that!

I had planned to try to get 6k done in the pool today, but my shoulder was giving me some gip and it was a real struggle to get to 5k.  I also think I might have been under-fuelled; I have put on a little bit of weight since getting back from Tenerife and am trying not to let it creep up.  But it's a fine balance between trying not to overeat, and ending up not eating sufficiently to fuel my workouts.  Will have to work on that one!

This week ended up at 8 3/4 hours of training, a bit disappointing as I would have reached 9 had my shoulder not been playing up, and would easily have reached 10 if I'd been able to get out on my bicycle.

Oh well, onwards.  I have my first tri of the season a week today, so I really hope that the weather improves.  Not least because it will be very cold in a wet trisuit.  It's only a sprint and I know that I am definitely capable of the distance; I am hoping for a time around 1h 30 minutes if I am lucky :)

Totals for this last week:
19.5k swimming (across 6 sessions)
10k running (across 2 sessions)
45 minutes on the turbo
1h pilates class

(in addition, quite a lot of walking on the 4 days at work as I was doing tours for interview candidates, and 7 x 4.5 mile rides to or from work).

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Another week of training in the bag...

Pretty pleased with this week as managed to do 10.5 hours of training in the past week.

I completed 5 swims:
2 x 2.5k
2 x 4.5k (on Tuesday, a course that started later than my usual start time meant an extra hour in the pool, and on Thursday, for the first time in ages, I actually managed to get up on my morning off rather than stay in bed)
1 x 5k (today, the furthest I've swum in a couple of months, 1.5k of drills, and then 3.25k of continuous swimming as I need to build up the mental tolerance for distance again)
Swimming has definitely clicked in again; the week after a training camp is always a bit hideous as I am very tired, but then you usually start to feel some improvement.  No Olympians hanging out at the pool now means that I can get on with the job in hand!

I went out on the bike:
40 mile ride yesterday (had to go around the block when I got back as was 3/4 mile short)

I went to pilates!  And I wished that my pilates teacher did another class that I could get to as I would have liked to have gone again.

I didn't run at all - at the start of the week I was nursing a slightly strained ankle, now it's a bit better, but getting out on the bike and getting a decent amount of swimming in was the priority for this week.

In other news, I'm hopefully lining up something exciting, less than 2 weeks after completing the ironman.   Watch this space as I just need the ducks to get in the row first (day off work, B and B accommodation booked, the website for the actual event to work when I try to enter...).  I'm also about to fully update the events on the right hand side of the blog-site with everything that I've got lined up for this year :)

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Back to training

A week of training completed, post camp.  Sadly, it was a rather dismal 6.5 hours of training completed, due to post-camp tiredness and low mood.  I'll also blame the extremely grey weather.  Oh well. 

I managed 10k of swimming, 5k of running (and managed to pull a muscle in my left ankle), a brutal pilates class (abs still hurt 4 days later...), and my first bike ride in over 2 months this morning.  I completed 30 miles in an average speed of 13mph, which felt really disappointing as I was really pushing it.  I've got a long way to go to be able to complete 56 miles and in the time required (needs me to average 14-15mph)  As I said above, Oh well.

This week, I intend to continue with the swimming, hopefully getting in a longer 4-5k swim one day this week (possibly Tuesday as a course means I don't need to be in at work until a little later than usual) and if the weather is good a bike ride is a must-do for the weekend.  I'll be at Pilates on Wednesday as usual, but perhaps not pushing myself *quite* as much.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Tridynamic camp report

Just a quick link to the official Tridynamic report of the camp that I have just been on here which you will find quotes yours truly!

Back to work...and an Olympian in the pool?!

On Monday, I wrote a "back to work after swimming camp" blog post.  I didn't quite say here, although I did say to various people "Oh well, back to swimming with the hoi polloi of Oxford after hobnobbing with Olympians such as Hannah Miley in Tenerife"*.

How Wrong I was.

On Monday, I was impressed by a girl doing poolside warm ups when I was completing my swim.  When I saw her start swinging her arms, I wondered if she'd been on a Swim for Tri course and learnt the same routine as me.  However, it wasn't, and quickly proved much more extensive with star jumps and use of therabands.  I wasn't around to see her swim.  On Tuesday I was back, and I was a bit later/she was a bit earlier, and after the same, extensive warm up, she was in the pool.  WOW.  Lapping everyone in the fast lane about every 4-6 lengths, swimming breastroke with just 4 strokes to get to the other end...  I was still impressed but  thought nothing of it until one of my friends said "so, what did you think of the silver medallist?".  A silver medallist?  Well, yes, it turned out that the seriously amazing swimmer was Aliaksendra Herasimenia!  She won silver in the 50m FC and 100m FC at London 2012!!  WOW! 

No idea what she is doing in Oxford, and quite why she is swimming at Ferry Pool (rather than the Rosenblatt or somewhere a bit nicer or with a club setup), and I have been too shy to speak to her, but let's just say that swimming this week has been less about the swimming and more about the delight of being in the same pool as a double Olympic silver medallist and watching her amazing style.  Wow!

* not that I sadly *did* get to Hobnob with Hannah but I was swimming in the same pool as her at the same time.