Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

01
Aug
17

Fast courses still need the fast head and legs

So this year I decided to put in the hard efforts and again chase the time.

I have invested in the bike, invested in the clothing and invested in me.

This year I have been rewarded :¬)

10 miles in 19.46

50 miles in 1.50.53

Various other course PBs on training nights at the local 10.

So how come the one blog I am writing about this is looking at a negative?

Quite simply because bad news sells :¬)

Ok not really but we learn more on the bad days.

You can see above there is no mention of a cracking 25 mile TT, I have ridden 2 and one was not on a fast course whereas the other was a slow day on the E2.

It is this ride and Sundays I want to talk about.

On the bad weather day I turned up with my big boy race head and proceeded to really put in a mentally and physically strong ride to be left wonder what might of been on a good day, it was a 54.xx and at this point actually my 3rd fastest 25. The point is I turned up ready and nothing was getting in my way not even god.

Sunday was the polar opposite, the weather has been bad these last few days and come Saturday I had pretty much talked myself out of traveling(it is 111 miles each way) but at 11pm the updated forecast said it would be ok. Alarm set for 0400 etc. I arrived in good time and got ready, warmed up in my usual casual manner and made my way to the start.  3 mile in and I was aware of how low my power was and my heart rate was so tried to raise my effort. It didn’t really happen. At the garage a mile from the turn if I had money I would have gone for a coffee, I nearly stopped again at 40 mins and it was only having someone to chase that helped me drive the last few miles.

Irony is a 53.58 and my 3rd fastest 25 but that didn’t matter as I could see the data now and the phrase missed opportunity is the only way to look at it. I have ridden 54.xx on other courses

So why did I go? This is the E2 and I wanted a fast time

What happened to you? I was so convinced it would be bad that I just couldn’t get an effort, all proof of this was that I went MTB riding in the afternoon and even went after a few efforts.

The killer was my effort was lower than the 50 I did a few weeks back.

So the lesson here is fast courses need the fast head to get the fast times, YOU STILL HAVE TO RIDE IT TO BE REWARDED!!!

My 10 at Hull, HR and power right near my best

My 50 at Etwall HR and power better than I rode the 25 on Sunday

My seasons best on the Newmarket race track was worse than I ride tired on a Tuesday night.

Remember this, it doesn’t matter how good your legs are if your head is not ready for the suffering.

It has only happened to me once this year and I am pretty calm about it but I just wanted to capture my disappointment, that is all it is. I have no doubts about my form. My legs are great and training right now is spot

BUT

NEED THE FAST HEAD ON THE FAST COURSE TO USE THE FAST LEGS!!!!!

 

13
Jul
17

In the words of Cliff Richard

We’re all going on a summer holiday…….

Yep, as promised a trip to the sun for MiniG after finishing her exams, of course this is with me so it is a trip that was “largely” on my terms.

In the months leading up to this trip, trains had been booked apartments rented and stop off planned, yes we were going to NICE but it was a road trip and there was cycling to be done.

I collected the new Yeti on the Friday eve and the first realisation that 4 people and 2 bikes was not going to be straight forward meant some panicking and chatting to the man that is Morgan to arrange a new bike rack. Mate, I can never appreciate the effort you went to that night enough.  THANK YOU!

This caused the first change of plans, Em and I would now be driving from home to collect MiniG and Micha, (Oh I may have forgotten to mention we also took a very quiet young lady who is MiniGs best friend with us) then going to the train before driving all the way to Grenoble. The car was going to be well tested as was my ability to eat miles behind the wheel. Apart from paranoia about the bike rack and it being a very long way Grenoble was reached without any real disasters.

The night one hotel was a very simple Premiere Classe and it served it purpose. I rose early and headed up to Allemond to see the Marmotte riders heading towards the first climb. I would have liked to have done the Alpe d’Huez climb but time was not on my side. I didn’t take any lights and it was dark when I planned to leave – OOPS !!!! That said I opened the French account with 50 miles.

Got the car loaded and the last part of the drive was an easy cruise down to the apartment, the only stress was once parked as we couldn’t find the apartment, soon rectified we moved in. The weather was glorious, to save time I shall say it was glorious every day.  Advice from the owner meant we knew where to buy breakfast and we found a shop to buy “stuff”

I had planned a week where basically Em and I would ride early and then organise breakfast before the beach or one of the 2 organised trips happened.

Trip 1

A day in Monaco – I’d never been to the old town(you know the real bit) so after looking at BOATS :¬) that is what we did. Down the narrow streets there was a real feeling of back in time. It was also the 4th of July and I had discovered there was a parade of American Jeeps in VilleFranche so we got off the train there and had food listened to music and looked at jeeps. All in all a good day.

Trip 2

The pressure was on here, a number of years ago I promised Em Tiramisu in Italy and so we set off on the train to San Remo where I put my life and promise in the hands of a restaurant called “Dick Turpin” Oh yes you read the right Dick

Fortunately he came up with the goods and Em was happy.  Sea, sand dolphins and boats – ALL IN ALL another good day out.

The last full day in Nice I had to climb the Madone, so I got up early and headed on over there. Sadly I was alone as Em was having blood sugar issues which ruined the last few days of the holiday a bit for her.  It’s not the longest the hardest or the most interesting climb but that Lance bloke used it so it is obviously a solid test. It was at this point I realised why I had been riding either a compact or a CX bike for the last few years. It’s not tragic but you miss the gears. I descended fast and picked up to fares on the way. After a number of miles the one guy shot passed me and up the road and all I hear in French is the other chap saying ” thanks for the taxi ride” among other things. We laughed and rode all the back to Nice together. We even caught the TWAT up on the way.

Friday was selfishly all about me, I wanted to go to Ventoux, yes I sold it as spectacular which it is but I just wanted to play. Starting at The Chalet and descending first was strange but not half as strange as running out of gears in the first 5km before the real climbing starts. It was however a glorious day and I had a great climb and 2 brilliant bits of descending.

Here is the one from the top, the other is also on my youtube. Climbing is dull to watch but descending is awesome :¬)

For the final morning Em had found parkrun at Chateau Pierre de Bresse

parkrun du Chateau de Pierre de Bresse

It was a glorious day and I was made work hard for the win, not helped by my legs being ruined on the bike the previous 2 days. Afterwards along with the other Brits we joined the locals for coffee and cake. It was brilliant to just sit down and talk running.

We hope to get there again one day.

France had been a great success with lovely weather and fun had by all, Ems diabeties playing up over the last few days was probably the only bad point.

The drive back went almost 100% to plan with no drama and even hitting traffic in the UK we were not overly late getting MiniG home. Useful as I was racing the next day…..

Oh you can wait for that blog :¬)

ps. Learned that Tarquin(sat nav) is stupid and we named the car RUFUS.

 

 

26
Jun
17

Randomness – is it a word ?

Is it a real word?

1.
the quality or state of lacking a pattern or principle of organization; unpredictability.
“we accept randomness in our own lives but we crave logic in art”
Yes it is !!!
So here is a blog – I had a rest day yesterday, normally you find it is because I’m ill or injured or it is just before a very big race.
Yesterday I had a rest day so I could go to the Swansea Half marathon to support my girlfriend who as you all know readers does more than her fair share of sacrifice and also my brother Chazs wife. I have been coaching Bee for quite a while with Em acting as the fluffy foil to dampen my rather blunt methods. It also happened to be Chazs and his daughters birthday around this period and my mummy was also there. So in effect it was family day.
It turned out to be a pretty good day, Em is not 100% back to her best but we feel we are winning the battle of why her calf is playing up.  So for her it was a bittersweet mixed sort of a day.
Bee got a 34 minute PB, yes 34 minutes!!!!!!!
I often think people assume that coaches only work with certain types of people so the assumption with me is I only want to work with people who are FAST, of course this is quite wrong as I actually only want to work with people who are committed to the journey of improvement. Bee ran 2hrs 40 which doesn’t sound like much to many people but for her it was a huge huge achievement and one I am very proud of. I don’t see Bee often but to see her times improving and to see the work she puts in is inspiring.
So if you are out there and think you are too slow to have a coach, think again. All a good coach wants from you is commitment to the journey, it is hard sometimes but the results are there to see. EVERYONE can improve with the right support.
So about this Random day, there was cake and I mean lots of cake, 2 birthdays means 2 cakes, there was food. I ate bacon and cake and burgers. As lovely as it all was a priceless moment was my brothers face on seeing he had his own cake not only that it was the FETT !!!!!!!!
Running this morning just got me thinking about random stuff, things like:
I still very scared by the events of 3 years ago, I will never really understand why the course of action taken was chosen. These days it doesn’t really matter but it still bothers me.  In some ways the events of last year with someone who I thought would be my mate forever have cut me much deeper. All I know is I am far more defensive and protective of my bubble than I ever have been in my life. Sometimes it is a good job I like my own company.
I love coaching, I work with a very diverse group of people, the rewards and the disappointments are something you share.
How well my daughter rode her scooter on a very busy road as she followed me to get her bike serviced.
How glad I am that the damage done during the dark years seems to have been repaired, the relationship with my daughter and her mum matters a great deal. MiniG still has no concept of reality on so many thing but she has turned into a very pleasant young lady.
I still don’t understand how she has finished school and has a prom yet still has 6th form to go but I shall not worry as I saw the dress she will wear on Friday and she will look lovely.
Could I have trained yesterday morning? Yes I could but I chose not to in the morning as I wanted to be there to support Em, she will tell you I am still useless and she made the coffee like she does when I race but I was there to say the right things.
Could I have trained while the half was on? Yes I could but I chose not to so I could drink coffee with my family.
Could I have trained at home in the evening? Yes I could but I had eaten too much cake so decided to just kick back and relax watching the F1 :¬)
Interesting bit – my legs felt brilliant today even if my guts are still not great (too much egg lately I fear) !!!!
Somewhere in here there is a lesson for me that says even though I am the master of the proper easy day sometimes the total rest day when there is nothing wrong is actually a good thing.
Funny really that Randomness is still largely about running but that is me.
I have noticed that I am less stressed about the hours I train this year and yet more focused. I am baffled that I have raced at a better standard and done well yet am less agitated by missing a session but I know it is a good thing. Don’t get me wrong I still target 2hrs a day or 60hrs a month but when it is short it is short.
So to close out this Randomness there has been a lot of focus on the bike this year and thanks to DrBob I even went and had some aero testing  so here is a little palmares:
4 triathlons
Sprint Age Group Qualifier 17th overall and the vets win
Ashridge duathlon 2nd overall
National Age Group Duathlon Championships at Standard distance 17th overall and 3rd V45
Dinton Duathlon 1st overall
My return to duathlon properly was very successful !!!
Time trials
Course PB on K41/10 22.25
Course PB on E2/10  20.55
Course and all out PB on F11/10 20.17
Focus on 10s is part of my prep for CX season
I have done a couple of 25s and they have also been ok and won a random club night 18, always nice to bag a W
Focus on the bike is paying off and these days I am a cyclist who runs a bit, this shows in all the duathlon results. That said I am still running 17.xx and 36.xx for 5 and 10kms and have got the W at a couple of parkruns.(lets not get hung up on is it a race)
I haven’t regretted the decision to ditch triathlon completely.
I’m looking forward to the rest of the TT season before a short break and back to the mud, I will never understand why I like CX as I hate mud and hate being cold but CX is awesome.
Randomness indeed and it’s a real word !!!
14
Jun
17

Disappointment to Victory

Em went running and I drove to the bike shop to collect some stuff and tell Morgan it was off. Obviously we were both disappointed.  I think I was less bothered because I have done a lot of races and had only really done a small (7 weeks) period of training for the event whereas Morgan had done 3 months and they had arranged a child free weekend in Wales with a lot of outlay for the hotel. Gutted !!!

Off for a jog and then some pancakes before returning to the bike shop. Morgan and the lads at Banjo are great and me being me needed some work doing on the bike. So Morgan fitted the new stem and bars for me. While all this was going on I contacted Ellie Barnes at Barnes fitness who organises a number of local events, not sure why but I just had a hunch she had a race on. Turned out to be the Dinton Duathlon and I could enter on the day.

SWEET although doing a 5.25km 20km 5.25km race is not ideal when you have been training to race for over 5hours !!!!

Sunday morning and having not ridden the bike in the new set up I rode the whole 5 miles from home to race HQ, the bike felt quite normal really which was an encouraging sign. Registration done, bike racked and I was ready. I decided to use the HotShot cramp “cure” that I had imported from the states, lets face it I have had issues at 3 out of 3 duathlons this year and none were that long. As usual I had done my homework to understand transition and see how many nice bikes there were. The bike makes a huge difference and a rider has to be very good to hold off a marauding TT bike over 12 miles or a different league of runner. From this little research it was obvious there were about 8 people who could be in the mix.

Run 1 – From the gun it became apparent that 8 was in fact 4  as we drifted away from everyone else. If I can say settled then I settled in behind 2 lads and we were all some 10/20 metres behind the lad out front. Working hard saw a sub 5.40 first mile and then it calmed a little. When I say settled I was running at about 95-99% effort, the difference between this and a flat out 5km is very small if you want to be at the sharp end, almost comes down to not going all in for the last km really. I must admit I have developed a belief that if I can stay close I can out ride people. If someone then rides away from me they were simply better.

T1 – came in 4th and went out 4th no real drama. I have a system it is calm and I stick to it.

Bike – as I mounted I was already up to 3rd as the lead guy of the run had some issues. Personally I had trouble clipping in, not sure if I had grass in the cleat or the toe cover had moved but time was certainly lost.(For next year I must learn to mount into my shoes already on the bike. I caught 2nd quickly and discounted him as he wasn’t on a Time Trial bike(turns out he was quick but does draft legal sprints) and within a few miles I had caught and passed the leader. I then set about just riding the course and was slowly but surely getting away from the rider in 2nd who was on the same bike as me :¬)  Sadly I got stopped at the temporary light and for rather a long time. Now I know he was eventually also caught up but I admit I had trouble getting going again and I guess he worked harder to stay with me as we arrived at T2 together.

Dintonbike

T2 – a clusterfuck of the highest order, failed to remove both feet from my shoes as the dismount line came up faster than expected so limped into transition. Once in it went fine and we left T2 together.

The final run – so I had problems from the off,  firstly in my head, I knew he was faster and had set myself up to be well clear on the run. In theory you get far enough away that people settle for 2nd place but here I was now being dropped by someone who knew he had to gap me but had no idea by how much. The other issue was a small twinge in the left calf which I think was caused by the shoe mistake and I am delighted to say it didn’t cramp. Now was this because I had used HotShot? Who knows but I was able to just run and I was fine. After a while I think the gap stopped growing but all the way to the line I had no idea if I had won.

The result was I won by 6 seconds and broke the course record in the processDintonTrophy

The good news is I know I can go faster but then so does 2nd place. It was sad not to have the joy of crossing the line 1st but Ellie and her team can’t be accountable for the local road people :¬(

It wasn’t the Pig but the effort was off the chart physically and I was very aware that I had not been training for that sort of effort. I was in great shape but this just bloody hurt.

Thanks Ellie and team for a well organised race, actually just enjoyed the atmosphere before and after.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

04
Jun
17

Brutal Little Pig

So after the success of my foray into Duathlon and after some chatting with Morgan a trip was done to West Wales to have a look at the Pig Duathlon. Morgan was thinking of doing the full distance whereas I actually just went along to get some training in.

Plan was simple do the first run, drive the bike course and do a loop of the second run.

What did we learn ?

Well the first run isn’t a run really it is walking at speed up a mountain with intervals of jogging and the descent is basically falling with style, that said once we got into it a lot of fun was had. Somewhere in here the discussion started about me doing little pig.

We drove the bike course thinking mmm this is a TT bike course and at this point plans for a second recce of the course occurred.

So off we went for the second run and although not up and down a mountain a fair amount of climbing was involved, I think around 6 miles in Morgan realised little pig would be enough and I then said I would enter as well :¬)  Then we got lost a little but no tragedy the end result was we made it back to the car.

After this Morgans training was focused and I adjusted mine a little as well and we finalised dates for the second visit.

The second visit was very useful as we did the climb again, not super fast but quicker than the first time and this was good for confidence and my belief that my leg could take the pressure.

The bike course as expected was hard but it is a time trial bike course, yes some of the climbs are nasty but there is enough time spent aero to make me believe it will be the fastest way round.

So there we were two weeks out and full of confidence, even the level of DOMS was much lower.

All sounds simple really and then my fragile body decided to rear it’s ugly head. I had taken the 2 days off running again after the recce but had trained well as felt strong, Wednesday night at intervals I even pushed a few reps. Still felt good. Thursday morning I went for an easy run and afterwards sitting in my office I got some serious pain. So much so I spent the next few days limping quite badly and initially convinced I had a stress fracture, so much so I tried the hop test on Friday night at home and collapsed against the radiator in pain. Suddenly my participation in Pig was in doubt. This carried on all weekend but come Sunday night I suddenly felt better. There was pain at a pressure point but I could hop. This week just passed suddenly became crucial, all the time this has been an issue I have been riding, once on the bike I was fine, again very like my 2 Stress fractures.

So Monday I ran a single mile. It felt ugly and uncomfortable but there was no pain it was just awkward. I waited for 2 days and nothing went wrong so I headed to intervals that I coach with a plan to run a few reps easy and see what happens. Delighted to say nothing went wrong.

Two more hard days on the bike so no running so I withdrew from F11 on Saturday as I had fatigue and a bike in bits. Plan B was to jog a few miles including a parkrun. The big emphasis was in JOG and so a very pleasant morning was changed on coming up on a group at parkrun with a woman lying on the ground. 2kms at speed to go and get first aid. Rested the rest of the day and waited to see how I was. Today I rode for nearly 4.5 hours and ran for 30 mins.

I’m declared FIT TO RACE !!!!!

I still don’t understand what went wrong or why I am now ok. I am worried this may happen again.  I’m concerned that I have become over cautious and even paranoid about the state of my body

In effect have I become a drama queen ?

09
May
17

LVRC – The Tour of the Abberleys 2017

There are very few road races I do and only two I return to year after year. Three days of hard racing on courses that make me feel very fat. What is not to like?

This is the fifth time I have been and in no small part due to Mike and the excellent team of volunteers I already look forward to next year.

Em and I even stay in the same hotel year after year. This has almost become a holiday with pain thrown in for very little extra charge.

Enough of this though what happened this year?

The Prologue – a 2.5 mile largely uphill Time Trial

After a good warm up which included Em having a go at the prologue I lined up knowing I was fit and healthy which is a long way from last year. As always I am acutely aware that I only have so much power over such a short period.  I own a power meter but to be honest given the nature of the course I just ride damn hard, I never really go off too hard and never over cook the climb, I glance at the power here and there and if I think it is a little low I push harder. I was rewarded with a PB and thought I had ridden quite well. When the results came in though I admit I was grumpy as I was a long way down. That said it was PB and I wasn’t dying.

Stage 1 – it’s always thought of as the easiest day and largely flat, it is anything but with around 2500 feet and a nice torture climb you do more than once.

The pace was hard from early on and as often happens I found myself towards the rear of the peloton, it just happens, the following car must just be waiting for me to go ping. At some point a couple of riders got away, they were never seen again.  This year unlike last year I felt better and even though it was hard when the bunch split again on the climb I was able to avoid being gapped too badly and get back on without any real drama. Ironically in a smaller bunch I was still on the back but a few who had been in front of me were gone. I’d like to say I did something exciting or there was a drama but I didn’t and there wasn’t. The second lap was actually easier and as we got ready for the sprint any little efforts by people closed down, I had already accepted my lot, the intention simply to ride hard to the line and avoid losing time.

Reflecting on day 1, no drama and nothing to report. One the one hand I wish I had done more but in reality I couldn’t the standard is just too high and I am not good enough.

Day 2 – 3500 feet of climbing with 5 laps of a circuit with KOM points, you know this is asking for trouble. Happy to report I actually felt ok

Stunningly this stage was mental from the off, as soon as the car pulled ahead the first attack happened, there were a few less of us on day 2 and it was no surprise that I found myself at the back. I do try to move but I just drift back. What was noticeable this year was how easy I found the far side of the circuit. Lots of small climbs and little accelerations by people but at no point did I feel concerned, ironically I was most concerned by the speed down the main road. There were points when at 40mph I thought I am not sure I can l keep on here. The KOM climb is quite long but has a recovery which for me means I can close a gap off. The very top section to the line is also only a slope if that makes sense. It was off this section here that my only attempt at a breakaway happened as I chased after Paul Dring and we jumped over to the lead group of 4, sadly they sat up shortly afterwards and I never got another chance but it had shown me I could ride off the top.

Come the last lap I was actually thinking about how far up I could finish rather than gap limitation. Of course I had to work very hard across the flat and never really made it to the front but it was a good day.

Talking to Em in the evening I was happy with my effort but really concerned about what lay ahead tomorrow!!

Day 3 – its only 2300 feet but the stage is only 34 miles and nearly all the elevation in 4 climbs.

As expected there was an attack as soon as the flag dropped with the Brothers Dring and someone else(sorry I wasn’t there) who went hard.  The rest of the peloton wasn’t hanging about and we caught the leaders on the first climb. I say we, a few of them did I was hanging on for dear life. That said I got over the top and I can descent so by the bottom a good group was formed. We just about got back to the leaders as the 2nd climb arrived. First it was bye bye leaders and then it was bye bye Gobi. Stunningly I got over the climb and rode back AGAIN. As we arrived at the 3rd of the major climbs(lap2) the leaders were long gone but I was quite well positioned in the bunch and although very hard I made it over with most of the group. I think we lost a few but not me. Nice fast descent and we almost rolled along the bottom of the course.  Riding into the last real climb(I know the finish is on the prologue hill but..) and I was 3rd or 4th in the bunch but sadly they just rode away and I was toast. Pretty gutted really but although I had no real issue getting over I just couldn’t hold the pace. Once more I went full gas off the top and did everything I could to be close at the finish. Ironically I had just got to the back of the bunch when all hell broke loose and they went for home. Ha ha ha I was gone again.

Sitting afterwards looking back it was the best Abberleys yet for me as a rider and I had a painful but great time.

I have to thank Em for all her support, Mike for pulling it all together with his team and the other riders who make this the event it is. I swear the standard gets higher every year.

See you all next year.

Gobi

23
Apr
17

National Age Group Duathlon Championships 2017

So for those that didn’t know I have been down the Age Group road before.

http://dload.osb.s3.amazonaws.com/results/clumberclassic11results.pdf

Bronze at the British Champs in 2011, followed by a trip to Ireland for the Euros.

http://www.triathlon.org/results/result/2011_limerick_etu_duathlon_european_championships/6491

Given certain things in life I never even stayed for the presentation as didn’t expect to win. I just rushed home.

I stopped after this for a few reasons:

  1. Cost – it does seem a lot of money to do an event that in some ways is no more competitive than a good UK National level race.
  2. I still wanted to be a runner and had used the bike to protect myself after the injuries in 2009.
  3. Mainly though I didn’t really like the atmosphere at Age Group events. There are things I’m still not sure about but times change.

It has taken a while but sometimes you just need a little bit of time to come round to things. I think in effect I have been in denial. In some ways desperate to be accepted as a cyclist and not a runner on a bike.  I love CX, enjoy racing and get some satisfaction from a good time trial but fun and coaching has had me playing with triathlons and duathlons over the past few years. Triathlon is funny given I can’t swim but there has been no getting away from my results with 2nd overalls locally and even a high placing at a middle distance event. In Duathlons that has meant Age Group wins every time I line up and last year I won my local event overall.

Given all that I concluded that 2017 was to the year I got back in with the big fish.

First up was the Sprint Worlds qualifier at Oulton – 17th overall and 1st V45 – Seems I still have it, there is a blog about this one :¬)

Secondly I used a low key event as a tune up so still short runs but a longer ride on the TT bike – 2nd overall and 1st V45 – Really only wanted the effort and expected to be near the front as this was a local level event.

Finally onto the National Duathlon Age Group Championships at Bedford. This was to be the final part of “Is Gobi still competitive?”

We travelled up the night before which allowed us plenty of time to relax, eat etc and make sure there was enough sleep.

Steak for dinner was well received as was the reasonably early night. Sadly the 8am start still meant being up before 6am but this is where preparation matters. We had travelled with bread, a toaster, proper coffee and a cafetière set the alarm for 0545 and by 6am I had eaten.  Coffee I can pretty much drink at leisure until about 30 mins before the start.

We drove over to the track and the first surprise was how far parking was from registration – Oh well, turned out to be an excuse to test the bike. I did a few rides so called it a warm up.

Bike into transition and some shoes, I’m not a drama queen in transition and just put in the minimum, check in and out and then just leave. No shoes on bike, never learned to mount into them and no markers needed. I guess bright coloured bikes and common sense go a long way.

I don’t know about others but my primary goal before I start is to visit the bathroom for a final clear out. This was a good day with the last visit being close to the start. The strange battle was with the weather. Up until 5 mins before the start I was thinking base layer, gloves and arm warmers but almost last minute I stripped right down. This was a great move as come 0815 I was feeling great.

So that gets us to the first run – 37.10

My plan had been 36.40 so 3.40 a km and so I watched everyone run off again, a few kms in and I started to make progress which was great, what wasn’t so great was my pace which after 4kms had dropped off a little. It was windy but not that bad so I wasn’t that happy. Not for the first time though it dropped and stopped so in effect pretty even pacing just a little slower than I wanted.  I ran with another V45 for a lap and a bit and there is no doubt we kept each other on pace. Importantly I hit T1 feeling fine.

I’m not a stresser in T1 and I guess the one plus about doing a lot of events many years ago is I have a plan, never rapid but solid. Jogged out in my shoes and did a flying mount onto my bike, now it was game on.

Bike time – 56.09

The course had a few sharper bends and wind but again nothing to be bothered by except erratic riders :¬)  My laps were all within about 8 seconds fastest to slowest and with the exception of MattB passing me like I was on a shopping trolly all was ok. The only thing of note to happen on the bike was a strange pain in the side of my left knee, not sure on others but all I did was laugh and think “that’s a new one” while I carried on at pace. I had calculated my laps and peeled off but as soon as I headed to the pit I thought I had come in early.

Even less stressed in T2 as this is shared between triathlon and duathlon so even more trained. Silky with the only concern being a little pull in the knee.

Run 2 – 19.52 – pretty horse really and only consolation is how long it was

I didn’t exactly hobble out the pits but this was a very cautious run with me stressing about coming in early . The strangest thing happened though, my first mile was SLOW and I mean jog slow but as I went through the first mile everything went loose and I was down at 6mm, final stress as I passed the pit and saw MattB come out(turned out he had done too many laps and I had done enough). The second lap I was running faster than the first 10km and really chasing people down which is brilliant and frustrating at the same time. Stormed the line, under 1hr 55!!

Final result – 17th overall and 3rd V45 – another Bronze

Now I raced here with no idea where I would finish so of course I was very happy that my legs held up which given the issues I had had in the other 2 races was not a given.  The first thing  I wanted to know once I believed I had done enough laps was how far I was from the overall winner and the Age Group winner.

An eternity from the overall but close to 2nd and 1st in my AG, within hours I was anlysing where I failed. Failed is a strong word as this was a good race but I wanted to understand if there were things I could do better.

It has taken me a while to write this as I wanted time to reflect on my result, I stated before I didn’t appreciate it the last time I did it but this meant something to me.

http://chiptimingsolutions.com/british-duathlon-championships-2017?tab=Race%20Results#1_94D641

What it means is this.

I am a duathlete, there I said it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In this type of racing I am competitive at National level events.

6 years since my last National Level events and I finish with an Age Group win and an Age Group National Championships medal.

There you have it I am still competitive :¬)

Now I can have a little fun. Interesting ideas around fun I am considering longer events so have entered Little Pig in June – 7 weeks is enough time to prepare myself isn’t it ?

Watch this space I am sure there will be a blog




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The Dark Lord Speaks