Training, Hawridge Duathlon & Pacing South Downs Way 100

29th May – 4th June

Monday:
AM – 75 mins hot yoga
PM – 100 mins turbo

Tuesday:
AM – 1 mile lido swim, arms only with a pull buoy and no kicking off the ends. Suuuuper slow, some people excel on pull buoy sets, I am not one of those people. Star kicker!

Wednesday: REST DAY
PM – Sports massage 

Thursday:
AM – Bike commute 15 miles


AM – 1 mile lido swim 

PM – Bike commute 18 miles

Friday: NIGHT SHIFT
AM – 40 mins weights / strength and conditioning 


Night (3am) – 20 mins yoga with Adriene

Saturday: NIGHT SHIFT
AM – 90 mins steady Turbo 
Night (3am) – 20 mins yoga with Adriene

Sunday: NIGHT SHIFT
Night (3am) – 30 mins yoga with Adriene 

Summary:

Run = 0

Swim x 2 = 2 miles

Bike x 5 = 33 miles & 3:10 turbo 

Other = 40 mins weights & 2:25 yoga

5th-11th June

Monday:
PM – 25 mins strength and conditioning 

Tuesday:
AM – 40 mins yoga with Adriene

PM – Hawridge Duathlon: 
2.5 mile run, 11 mile bike, 2.5 mile run. 

I hadn’t even done a test run since my ankle injury at Trail Attack, so I wasn’t sure what would happen. I put on my K tape as advised by my Physio friend and at least I was going into the race relatively rested. I had had a really lethargic day with a lie in meaning I’d had 12 hours sleep and did very little all day. Yoga was supposed to wake me up and get me going but I ended up having another hour long nap before getting ready for the race and really didn’t feel like going. I had been looking forward to it as if was local, and the run sections were disproportionately long for a Duathlon which suits me (strong runner, weak cyclist) well. So I was a bit gutted that my run would be weaker than usual and my transitions slow because it’s really hurting pulling my right shoes on and off. The fact that a race which played to my strengths was on a day when I wouldn’t be able to play to my strengths was quite disheartening, and the dismal weather didn’t help matters, but come afternoon it brightened up. I also knew there’d be a strong Bearbrook contingent and fish and chips for dinner afterwards so off I went. 

I set off for run 1 and the pace was fast, starting on a downhill, my ankle was twingeing medially and I was audibly “ouching”. I felt like I couldn’t hold the pace. A couple of women overtook me. Then my bib number ripped half way through and I stopped to repin it to my number belt. Two people overtook me and asked if I was ok. I wasn’t, but that wasn’t why I’d stopped. I carried on and ran past them and at this point the pain lessened, perhaps as I was warming up or perhaps due to the adrenaline of the race numbing it. I knew there were about 5 women ahead of me, but I didn’t know who was running solo and who was part of a relay.

I came into T1 and struggled to change my shoes, grabbed my bike (lying on the floor as the wind had put paid to the use of the racks to stand them) and off I went. Someone went straight past me as I was struggling to clip my right foot in with the pain in the ankle exacerbated by the twisting motion, but as I pulled away I decided to give it my all. A couple of men went past straight away and after that, I overtook two women. Again I didn’t know if they were solo competitors and I’d gained positions or in a relay, or even if they were two of the five ahead of me or new relay members after a man had done the run. I then battled with a man from Tring running club for almost a full lap. After that, I did a full lap barely seeing anyone. Clive from my club overtook me around half way, and then 5 men went past in quick succession about a mile and a half from the end. I knew I’d be able to have them on the run so that gave me the motivation I needed. I sang to myself on the bike briefly, mainly songs incorporating “burn” and “fire” like my quads were doing. 

I can into T2 to more bikes there than I was expecting. I’d thought I was further up the field than that. Then set off on the run. I felt better than I had on run 1 and set about picking off the 5 men who had overtaken me at the end of the bike. After them, I could see a woman from Bearbrook ahead up the hill so set my sights on her. As I passed her I realised it was Nicky, in a relay with Clive, and then saw Gail ahead so pushed on to catch her too. Nearing the final turn I saw a man stop up ahead and ran up behind him. I was going to shout “come on, we’re nearly there”, but he restarted just before I reached him (must have been saving himself for the spectators). I entered transition right on his tail and Harold shouted to overtake him. Well, that was my plan. So I did, then he cranked it up, and I cranked it up, and he cranked it up and we raced that final lap of the field to come in very close together at the finish. I’d done my job on the run, having not seen any women racing solo so finished somewhere in the top 5 depending on who had been solo vs relay. 

Post-race meal was fish and chips, and then a celebratory 25th anniversary of the race cake made by Bearbrook’s very own Lynn. 

I stuck around for the prize giving, secretly hoping I might have made the podium. Last time I did an Arctic One race was 2015; an aquathlon with solos and relays, two different distances, and of course waves for the swim start so I had no idea where I was in the field. I was also new to the area and didn’t know anyone to gauge where I thought I should finish. My achievement that day was keeping my lipstick in place throughout the swim and run (it gained Marshall compliments) and not killing the smug man with his many supporters who slammed my ankle in a gate on the run. Straight after the race, I went home and didn’t stay for the BBQ as I’d been by myself. Two weeks later I received a 1st place trophy in the post. So you never know. And today…. I was 3rd! To manage that in a race involving a bike for me is something special as I’m forever beating myself up about my cycling abilities. I was also delighted I’d made it through with the dodgy ankle, and had passed my own test to see if I’d be able to go ahead with my weekend plans. 

Overall 3/18 solo women. 

2nd age category as 2nd female was 40+.

5/23 female including solo and relays.

27/60 solos including men and women.

38/83 overall including men and relays.

Wednesday:

AM – 25 mins yoga with Adriene and some foam rolling

PM – 2.7 mile lake swim. I really enjoyed myself and just kept going, ending up doing possibly the longest swim I’ve ever done. I’ve done 2.4 miles twice in an Ironman and 4 times in the Wales Swim plus a few times in a pool in training. I may have gone further once or twice but probably at a lido when I’ve stopped and sunbathed and had lunch in the middle. 

Thursday:
PM – Club turbo session 18 x 1:00 on / 1:00 off plus warm up and cool down for 50 mins total. Mix of flat sprints and climbs on the efforts. Then 5-10 mins stretching and rolling. 

Friday:
AM – Bike commute 15.3 miles.
PM – Bike commute 15.3 miles.
Eve – 25 mins yoga with Adriene.

Saturday:
AM – 75 mins Hot Hatha yoga

Night – Pacing my friend on the South Downs Way for his 100 mile race. I ran miles 73 to the end. It was hilly and tough on my ankle with uneven terrain but I didn’t want to let him down and I did it. He was strong until the end, finishing inside the top 50 with a time of 21:27. And now I’ve got an itch to sign up to another hundo!

I also took some pictures of the aftermath at the finish line, like some kind of massacre. I felt it said something amusing about our sport that everyone looked so drawn and completely spent. These people would have all either finished top 50 or dropped out and been transported to the finish. 

Sunday: REST DAY
Summary:

Swim x 1 = 4500 metres

Bike x 4 = 42 miles + 50 mins turbo

Run x 2 = 32 miles

Other = 2:45 yoga and 25 mins weights

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