Tuesday, 28 June 2011

How Clean is Your Triathlete

There are sometimes days - and bear with me here for just a moment - when I really have to have a good think about when will be the best time to wash. In regular life all you need to do is get up in the morning, have a shower and make yourself look presentable. Easy.

Even a normal person who does a bit of exercise might get their workout in first thing, get clean and head off to work or have a shower after an evening of exertion and wake up in the morning still just about fresh enough to go out in public. In triathlete world though, it is not so simple.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Back to Bad Habits

It all started on Thursday which - surprise surprise - was my rest day. There should be a rule where I never go to Tesco on a rest day, as I have all that excess time to peruse the treats and wander slowly through the bakery section inhaling the amazing aromas. I bought a bag of cookies, my first bag in about five weeks. Finest Triple Chocolate. They were the absolute perfect amount of squidge versus crunch and I was momentarily whisked away to a chocolatey utopia.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

25 Miles of Pain

If I am honest I didn't ever really intend to enter a 25 mile time trial. I had it in my head that it was going to be a 10 mile and had already invited Lewis 'smash it' Andrews along for the sufferfest before I scanned down the calendar and realised. In fact I didn't even think about the potential consequences of any of this until I had talked him into it, rang up the club secretary and booked our places.

Neither of us had done a 25 miler before and spent the journey over discussing what times we thought we could do and how much it was going to hurt. 25 miles is a long time to spend at threshold. Very unmathematically, I came to the conclusion that it would be around an hour and twenty five minutes of pain, based on the fact that it's two and a half 10 mile times plus a bit extra because of the extended exertion.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Summer Solstice 8k

In April last year I did my first ever running race; a women's only five miler in the familiar Woodford Valley. I was absolutely chuffed to bits to get through it and was even more pleased with a time of 50:01. Five miles at ten-minute mile pace was a massive achievement for me.

Fourteen months later and it was time for my second race at this distance. I actually only heard about this race on Wednesday at running club and I - being the very encourageable girl that I am - was easily talked into signing up.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Egg vs.The Sea

I love the carnage of open water swimming. Being in the mix with flailing arms, disorientation and that race mentality of getting to the front no matter what brings together two of my loves: endurance sports and contact sports. In a group session at Ellingham Lake last Saturday I even managed to get myself a bad reputation in a matter of minutes as I got carried away in our faux 'mass starts' and unwittingly bullied my fellow swimmers and swam over everybody. Swimming over someone - incidentally - is a very bizarre sensation, more so for the recipient though I imagine.

I was therefore, very much looking forward to swimming in the sea at Bournemouth, between the piers. All the goodness of open water but with a bit more splash. I thought I was being very clever by making my own electrolyte drink before heading off. I mixed orange juice with water and added some salt - simple. There was a minor salt spillage during the drink-making process but I thought it would be fine, so I gave it all a shake and threw it in the bag.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

The Eggathon

It may look like a pepper with a bad case of d&v, but it
tastes delicious!
I haven't really been doing anything in particular for the last couple of weeks, without a big event on the horizon or any sort of major goal to aim for I have been trundling along and filling my time with random but very enjoyable training, creating more dubious combinations of food and marshalling other races.

Whilst I like having my goals to work towards it is actually really nice just to be training for the sake of enjoyment and doing all the stuff that I love without any of the pressure of "must do this session this week". 

I also think that I may have sort of reached a bit of a milestone. As I tucked into my very tasty spicy couscous with sesame and pine nut stuffed peppers I got to thinking:

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Getting Battered with Kettlebells

You hear all sorts of things about Kettlebells; excellent all-over body workout, great for toning, good for building core strength, a strength session that is also a banging cardio workout.. blah blah blah. I never pay that much attention because they say all that stuff about every new exercise class. Plus, who even cares about all of that when the best thing is that you get to swing a colourful cast iron weight around the place?! 

Luckily the class was small, so there were less people to potentially take out with dangerous manoeuvres. Everybody gathered around to select their kettlebells for the session and to be honest, I was a little bit surprised at the size and weight of these things that we would be brandishing about the studio. Some of them are absolutely massive!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Eastleigh Parkrun

"Fancy a free 5k at the weekend after lake swimming?" I asked Holly at running club on Wednesday. "A free race? Really? That sounds good! We could even race against each other". Holly and I have a pretty similar pace and we push each other on Wednesday night runs. We pretty much always end up running a little bit quicker than we expect but never really reach our full potential due to the common female mistake of engaging in far too much chat.

Having enjoyed Basingstoke Parkrun so much (despite the hangover, lack of breakfast, lack of water and non-existent warm up) I thought it would be fun to check out our other fairly local one and see how it compares.

We arrived at Lakeside in Eastleigh with fifteen minutes to spare and we did everything right; we hydrated, had a good warm up and checked out the absolutely vast range of participants. We estimated there was somewhere between 150 and 200 people taking part, from children to hardcore runners to people in fancy dress.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Swimming Without a Nose Clip

 I've had a bit of a swimming lull since the Alps, in fact I haven't been swimming at all. Despite good intentions in the week I have avoided the pool like the plague and made really lame excuses to everybody else and to myself.

Conscious of slipping back into bad habits, I knew I couldn't miss the Saturday morning lake swim at Ellingham. I wouldn't want to miss it anyway; as much as I'm not the biggest fan of pool swimming, I do love a splash about in the open water.

Last night whilst I was packing my kit I remembered that I didn't have a nose clip, as I'd lost it on race day in the Alps. On the last day of the holiday a very patient Claire took me off and tried to coach me in how to swim without the clip. I've always struggled with water up my nose and I can't think of anything worse than that chlorine in the back of the throat sensation you get when the water weans its way all the way up to the top of your nostrils.