Wednesday 31 July 2013

Race Report - Virgin Active London Triathlon 2013, Sunday (Olympic distance)

Having had a bit of fun on Saturday and a lovely meal with team and some of our sponsors in the evening, the alarm went off at 04:30 on Sunday morning.  I wasn't due to race until 12:25, but Mr TOTKat was off at 06:30 for the Olympic Plus (1.5km swim, 80km bike, 10km run) so we had to be up, breakfasted and in the Excel centre at 05:30 to rack up and get him ready.

For the second time in 9 months I had porridge for breakfast, with a healthy handful of California Raisins (oh how I have missed raisins!) and some actual sugar in it.  I figured that as I'd taken a good chunk out of my carb stores on Saturday by having a bit of a burn above the threshold where I start to burn carbs at an appreciable rate, I wanted to make sure I'd topped them back up again before my midday effort.

Somewhere around 160BPM there's a knee point in my ratio of fat:carb burned
I cheered off Mr TOTKat and the rest of the Freespeeds who were doing the Olympic Plus and went to get a coffee in the 20 mins I then had before they'd start to come in off the swim.

After cheering them all back in from the swim; Dion, Matt, Hobbo, Cat, Ali, Dec and Mr TOTKat I then needed to go and find some food to bridge the gap I was going to have between a 5am breakfast and finishing my race some time around 3pm.  Food scored, I headed out onto the bike course to wave at the guys with Jenny, Mette, Richard and the twins.  Then a quick look at a bit of the run course to take photos and it was time to get myself into a wetsuit and head for the swim assembly point.

Having put in a 15 minute easyish, fully-drafted 750m in the sprint on Saturday, I wasn't sure how the swim would go.  But I tell you what, I did the one thing I really wanted to do in every race for the last 10 or so and I started out really hard.  I led the whole wave for the first 200m!  Then faded a bit and fell into a rhythm, sadly in clear water with no toes to draft off.  I dug in and just decided to try to stay as on-course as possible and make sure I got some water into my wetsuit at the top just before the end so it would slip off easily given I struggled a bit on Saturday with my shoulders (they're big shoulders and they didn't get all that wet, so that does make it difficult.)

Best Olympic distance swim ever!  PBd by 21s and without putting a huge amount of effort in; 9th in age group too.  Quite pleased with that.  The run up to transition was a long one, thankfully it was compulsory to take off wetsuits before running up the stairs to transition.  My choice of racking point, although easy to find, meant that I had a long ol' run to get to my bike, but a shorter run on cleats from there to the bike exit.

Helmet on, followed by race number belt, bike shoes and sunglasses.  Bike unracked and then a trot off to the mount line.  A two lap route, with some roundabouts, undulation and the Limehouse Link.  Fun!

Garmin had a little trouble in the Limehouse Link tunnel, as you can see from the plot straight-lining below on the map...

And I was *shifting* on that course.  Yes, it was a bit windy and I got a good few hard gusts that pushed me across the road a couple of times.  But I had some fun and I got up the confidence to let go through the Limehouse Link and let the speed really pick up - the shame is that Garmin loses coverage through there so doesn't show the speeds I managed through the tunnel - reckon I probably gained an extra 15kph on top of the speed I was doing entering the tunnel (you can see the blue line on the graph stops each time I go through the tunnel - 6 times in all).

I got back to transition to find my bit of the racking void of other bikes, the odd one hanging but really only the odd one.  I felt great - in an "on the edge" kind of way at times due to the windy gusts and the speed through the tunnel down on the aero-bars and with no way to get to the brakes in an emergency - but I did ease off a little at times, so I know I could have gone harder.  I did remember to get into a low gear before that nasty little trick hill up into transition at the end of the bike, but slipped gears quite a bit and worried myself that I might fall over like a couple of ladies did in front of me on Saturday.  1 hour and 8 minutes, only a minute quicker than 2011 where I had had no idea about anything, had done the odd bit of cycling and was on a road bike.  That said, it was quite a bit windier this year and I did come in 4th in my age group this time.  I'll take that.

Check that lean :oD

The run was a 3 lap course this year, only 3 times up the slope into transition, but a lot wigglier, and hot and windy too.  I felt horrible throughout the run, but while I was doing it I completely forgot that if I feel terrible, it means I'm not slacking on effort too much.  So despite failing to be able to get my heart rate to go over 170bpm (proper effort running at that distance puts me 180bpm+), I managed to PB the run by a couple of minutes over my all time Olympic and several over last time on a course & conditions that have been recognised as a bit tougher than 2011.

Over the line in 8th place in my age group, up from 32nd in 2011.  I think I'm happy with that, given I've not been training for this distance specifically, but for 70.3 really.  It's a shame I have no finish line photo, but I do like this one from the run course.

All in all, it was a great weekend and I really really enjoyed it.  Above and beyond my own racing and having fun with the team around the expo etc., Mr TOTKat got out and raced for the first time since IM Wales last year (knee injury for months since a half marathon in October); he had a great race, hit his goals and I'm really happy for him too!

Race Report - Virgin Active London Triathlon 2013, Saturday surprise sprint relay

What a weekend!

I'd always intended to race the Virgin Active London Triathlon this year and had entered previously, but since then I won the Virgin Active competition to become the 12th member of Team Freespeed Virgin Active and that meant it was more than just the Sunday Olympic race on the cards.

Saturday was now a day that I was now going to be taking part in team duties; helping out on the Virgin Active stand at the expo and perhaps filling in on a relay team for the VIPs if there were problems for any of the teams with people unable to race.

Saturday morning, Mr TOTKat headed off to parkrun at Wansted Flats while I went to the expo to register, find the stand, meet the team and some of the sponsors.  The guys at Skechers were brilliant; knowledgeable, enthusiastic about the new range of Performance shoes and really helpful with sizing.  I've been running in the GoRun Ride for a couple of weeks now and I think Mr TOTKat is going to kill me if I mention how incredibly light they are one more time!  Looking forward to trying more of the range soon.  I bumped into Stuart and Richard Hobson at the Skechers stand, closely followed by Dec, Cat, Dion, Ali, Matt, Charlie, Jamie, Jenny and Richard Melik.  Tim arrived later and Sam was racing in IM Switzerland (and a great result he had there too in hot conditions with a no-wetsuit swim too).

We all headed upstairs to split into groups to help with the VIPs and Virgin staff competing in the race - offering tips, advice and making people feel comfortable about their first race as there were quite a few. Jenny,  Jamie and Matt headed into the VIP area to help with a couple of the celebrity relay teams who had missing members for various reasons and I helped in the staff room.  Shortly after that, there was a problem with one of the Cosmopolitan magazine relay teams who had lost their swimmer and cyclist both.  Richard Hobson was going to step up and take on the job but had no idea where his bike was, so I volunteered and then had to trot back to the hotel (about 10 minutes jog) to get bike, helmet, wetsuit and bike shoes.  So exciting!

Poor Holly having been dumped by the rest of her team had me come to the rescue :o)  Not quite the same standard as the rest of the Freespeed team, but not too shabby in the end nonetheless.  I wasn't expecting to race, so putting in a bit of an effort and coming out 57th (overall - mixed age & gender) in the swim and 57th (overall - mixed age & gender) on the bike of all the sprint teams (253 teams in total) I felt pretty good about thatand it put Holly in a good place to have a nice run and finish well before a lot of the other teams.

The swim was a nice surprise and I got on someone's feet and drafted pretty much the whole way around for the first time ever - I was trying to take it easy but put in a decentish time for sprint relay team.  I had a bit of fun on the bike, though the sprint course was very short at the first turn end so there wasn't much chance to get any speed up but the other end was quite fun and the promised rain didn't come.  Richard Melik took a cracking shot of me on the bike in the sunshine in my borrowed race top (thanks Matt!).  I also ended up borrowing swimming goggles (thanks Jamie!) and snaffling a race number belt as I really wasn't prepared for racing that day.

Holly (from Cosmo) was ready and waiting in transition for me when I came in off the bike and she had a lovely run out in the sun and seemed to really enjoy the whole experience.  Shame I didn't get a photo taken with her really.

I can happily say that the sprint was great fun and I was very pleased to have been able to help out someone who might have missed out on the experience of being part of a relay team otherwise.

But Sunday... I had an Olympic distance race to do!  (To Be Continued...)

Friday 26 July 2013

Chewing at the bars of my cage [@thelondontri @virginactiveuk]

The day before the weekend of The Virgin Active London Triathlon and I am right where I should be before a race - chewing through the bars of my cage to get out and race!

Last couple of months training; pink = intense/long training, blue = fitness, yellow = "race freshness"

Having tapered training down, keeping the number of sessions this week the same but dialling back the duration or intensity, I've been getting more and more itchy to just go out and run hard, or swim fast or *grrrrr* anything!  And that's where you're supposed to be at this point before an important race.  I can't wait to get out there on Sunday and mash around the swim, bike and run!  I'll be fit, well-adapted and rested with not having put as much fatigue as usual into my body this week and the little fun race the weekend before last really whetted my appetite.

My checklist is sorted and, even better, I have race kit to collect on Saturday morning and I'll be in full Freespeed colours for this flagship race.  I'm going to be so happy and proud to be wearing them (plus they are amazingly comfy - I have a pair of the tri-shorts already and they're lovely to wear) and the lift you get from supporters yelling for you and ringing cow-bells is something special.  I had a taste of that last weekend and a long time back at Blenheim (very fond memories of my first race there!) and it is an amazing feeling that even the hardest cynic can't fail to be moved by.

Tomorrow, I'll be on the Virgin Active stand at the triathlon expo in the afternoon, so if you're racing, supporting or just at the expo for a look/shop come and say hi!  Sunday... I'll be out on the course, having fun!

Saturday 20 July 2013

Virgin Active London Triathlon: 1 week to go! @thelondontri @virginactiveuk

One week to go!

And ohboy are we ready for a taper week :o)  I'm gonna go crazy!

This weekend Mr TOTKat and I went parkrun touring again for the first time since he did his knee in.  He's been slowly working back up to the 5km distance after many weeks of not being allowed to run (or cycle) at all and this week was the first time he's been able to run 5km entirely in one go.  And it was lovely!  We went to Clair parkrun at Haywards Heath which meant a nice little trip on the train.  A hilly 4.5 lap course in this heat was going to be challenging enough, but I had an intervals session of 5x1200m off 6 minutes scheduled and I was going to try to do that over parkrun and an extra lap.

Not today, sweetie and not on that course!  Too hot and too hilly, but I had a bit of a go; warmed up with some drills for a lap before starting and then hared off for my first interval.  Over the course, I decided that 1200m intervals just weren't practical and with the hills, the 6mins/1.2km plus some recovery wasn't going to be happening.  Still the quickest parkrun this year for me, but of course way off my 5km PB (22:36! srsly, I have no idea how that happened but reckon it was a lot to do with not being allowed to do any swimming & outdoor cycling for months earlier so ending up working on running a lot, and then a really good warm up).

So I have a medium length bike in for tomorrow, followed by a little brick run afterwards.  My worry at the moment on cycling is the RideLondon 100 the week after VALT where it's not only 100 miles, but there are a couple of evil hills in there so I'm feeling a bit apprehensive having done pretty much no hill work on the bike this year.  So, I sorta want to be a bit naughty and do some hills instead of a gentle 2.5 hour ride.  We'll see if I'm good or not :o)  This time next week I'll've finished the race and be hopefully not nursing very chafed underarms due to the salt water like last time I did this course - this time I'll use bodyglide and try to get rinsed off a bit better under the water sprays at the swim exit.

Not a lot planned in for the rest of the week; rest day on Monday, little short runs on Tue and Wed, then a short, sharp swim Thu and a short, sharp bike Fri and that's it!  Hoping to pick up some team kit on Thursday morning too - it'll be good to ride and run in the right stuff and wear it with pride.

Tuesday 16 July 2013

[Race report - Shock Absorber Women Only Triathlon] Pretty pleased with that!

My goodness me that was FUN!

Thank you so much Jenny for persuading me to enter the Shock Absorber Women Only Triathlon this weekend.  Having done almost no racing this year, I was getting more wound up about getting used to my TT bike again and how rusty I was with race experience and transitions.  So I decided to give it a shot, not worry about the heat that was forecast and go out with the intention of having some fun with no expectations at all.  It's a funny distance race so no times to beat or match and with it being a nice shallow lake, the water is clean and the bike course completely sans cars so very very low risk racing indeed.

We packed up the car with both bikes (Mr TOTKat planned a 4 hour ride for while I was entering, registering, racking up, racing and then debriefing) and my wetsuit, just in case, and I zipped up the man-suit about having to swim in a sports bra and race shorts as the team race kit hasn't arrived from Italy yet (thanks to Jenny for the shorts!).  It was going to be fun pulling on a wet cycling jersey in T1 as I remember very clearly the errors I made in my first sprint triathlon around putting on dry clothes over a wet body... try it, it's really not very easy and it takes longer than you'd want it to!  Anyway, those little oddities aside, it was going to be a fabulous little outing for my TT bike and practise with a few other bits in preparation for Virgin Active London Triathlon in a couple of weeks.  Arriving well before transition opening time and just about as registration was open, I entered and paid my fees for the race, picked up the race pack and failed to check the notice board about the lake temperature as I'd assumed it was 23C at least and a wetsuit ban would be in place.  Once Mr TOTKat was packed off and I was smeared in sun cream, I sat in the shade and chatted to a couple of other competitors, who then said wetsuits were allowed as the water temperature was being officially reported as 21.8C.  I ran back to the car to pick up my wetsuit... I really wanted to wear it quite a bit, if nothing other than to cover up my wobbly belly for the swim!

Then I headed over to transition to rack up as it was just about to open and I was in the first wave of competitors due to start.  Listening to a conversation it turned out that the water really was quite warm, so I decided not to boil in my wetsuit and just get over how I look around the middle (my arms and legs are great, but my belly and back are very much showing the signs of the 3.5kg I've put on since last year's racing).  Racked up, stuff laid out in transition I had a quick chat with Jenny (who was in the later wave due to being a spring chicken) and having checked where the swim out, bike out and in and run out were, I got my goggles and hat on and headed for the water.  No race briefing until we were actually in the water, ready to go and bobbing about by the safety kayaks.  2 laps of the buoys for the swim (800m), 6 laps of the bike route (31.8km) and then 3 laps of the run (reduced from 7.5km to 6.2km due to the heat).

2 minute countdown, then 20 seconds then 3-2-1 *frrrrp*  The Challenge distance wave 1 (under 30s and over 40s) was underway!  (Wave 2 was 30-39 and they started 30 minutes after us.)

And as usual, a good old thrash at the start and a small breakaway pack started to get away from me, but I led the second pack in the water.  My tendency to bear left surfaced again and a woman from the under 30s in the wave started to pull alongside on my right and I realised I kept going off left too far and adding metres to the distance.  I re-found the yellow rope that runs along the bottom of the lake, securing the buoys in place and tried to keep that in view on my right for the second lap but drifted off a bit again and ended up deciding to just coast a little and draft the other girl to save energy.

Jogging out of the water and into transition, my bike was easy to find thanks to my Union Flag design Adamo seat and the fact I was at the end of a group of racked bikes, half way down the racks in transition in the 3rd row.  Bike jersey needed to be dragged on over my wet shoulders, arms and back as there are rules about how much skin you can have exposed between top and bottom half of clothing for the bike and run and a sports bra and shorts wouldn't work at all for that (never mind what you think, Mel C, going across the finish line with your abs out for the world!) and that's never a quick process.  Then number belt, sunglasses, bike helmet and bike shoes and unhook the bike for the trot to the bike mount line.  One day I'll learn how to do the bike mount with shoes attached to the bike thing, but it's beyond me at the moment and I'd rather focus on the big ticket items like strength, endurance and technique at the main disciplines.

 Off out over the bike mount line and a lady in pink RGActive kit went ahead of me to mount and her support told her she was in 9th place - which meant I was 8th out of the water in my wave (under 30s and over 40s).  I intended to take lap 1 easyish, get used to the route, turn my legs over and then get down onto the tri-bars for the next 5 laps.  But... out of transition onto the long straight on the West side of the lake there was a monster head wind.  Staying up on the hoods just turned me into a sail, so once I was through the chicane, I was down on the bars and up the gears.  I started to overtake a few ladies who were in the front pack of swimmers and then I couldn't see anyone for a while in front of me.  After starting the 4th lap, the next wave started to become quite apparent on the bike course and on the 5th I was overtaken by someone from the later starting wave and I realised I'd eased off and was taking it quite gently!  Back on the gas to overtake her again, loving the sweeping bends on the course, I overtook her back again half a lap later and then steamed into transition after my 6th lap.

Bike racked, bike shoes off, helmet off, number belt turned around, sun-visor on and off onto the run to find out how many people in my wave were already out there.

It looked pretty empty and I couldn't see down to the turn point as I grabbed a water at the start of the run.  Stomping down the Western shore of the lake I counted one... two... three... three runners on the course!  Time to dig in and get on with it in pretty horrid heat.  I really don't do well in the heat, but even with a couple of extra kg weight compared with last year, I'm in a lot better place than I used to be.  I hung on and took water at each end of the run route and tried to see who was behind me.  Plenty of people were shouting "GO ON FREESPEED!" which was absolutely brilliant and gave me such a boost!

It got a bit confusing after the first lap as there were then people very much at different points of their race and I couldn't tell who I was racing any more.  On my last lap, Jenny went rocketing past in the opposite direction and then a few people went rocketing past me.  I had no idea what wave they were in or what lap they were on, so I just had to hang on and not lose the water I'd been glugging by up-chucking in the last lap.  Carolyn Hewett (Team Wiggle) came past like a train and scared the wits out of me for a second with a cheery "COME ON FREESPEED!", which then made me giggle as there was no way on earth I'd be able to catch up with her as she disappeared off into the distance.

I threw myself under the finish gantry and headed straight for a lady holding a garden hose with a sprinkler attachment and got myself drenched while I sucked down the Vita Coco that was being handed out.  Man it was good!  I had a good old natter with Eleanor Doody from Ful On Tri afterwards, which was really nice; this is one of the things I massively enjoyed about the day, despite having been skeptical about a women only event.  Waiting for MrTOTKat to get back in from his bike ride, I munched on a White Chocolate and Macadamia Clif bar and started to feel a bit more human again (really looking forward to picking up my nutrition pack so I can get on with the Clif Builders Bars after the next races!).

For a last minute decision race, on a really hot day, the day after a monster strength session in the gym and no taper at all... I'm pretty happy with the result.  And it was fantastic TT bike time, getting used to handling that bike again, after the fit at Freespeed a couple of months ago.  It feels really good!

Race result - 3rd F40-44:-

Swim - 15:49 - 4th in AG, 19th overall
Bike - 59:36 - 2nd in AG, 13th overall
Run - 35:44 - 15th in AG, 57th overall
T1 - 01:54, T2 - 01:19

Happy with the swim, happy with the bike (especially given I eased off in laps 3 and 4).  But yes I need to work on my run, but I pretty much gave up on the run once I was reasonably sure I probably wasn't losing places to anyone I was actually racing and I reminded myself that this was a bit of fun and there was no need to splatter myself all over the run course.

It's incredible racing in the team kit of such a well-known high-performance race team as Team Freespeed Virgin Active and it gave me no end of mental boost on the day as well as the support from the team and sponsors.  Looking forward to The Virgin Active London Triathlon in 2 weekends time when I really get to have more fun and enjoy a great race.

Friday 12 July 2013

Sneaky extra race :o)

I'll be entering the Shock Absorber Women Only Triathlon at Eton Dorney on Sunday.  (Thanks to Jenny for suggesting it might be fun!)  It's going to be a real fun bash at 3/4 Olympic distance on a flat, sweeping bike course and a totally flat run course on tarmac with a bit of grass right at the end.

I had a miserable time at the HSBC Olympic distance race two years ago (back before I had any idea about what training was, how to do it etc.) at this venue, but a whole lot has changed since then and I expect a stonking good time on Sunday.

Not sure I'll get to race in my new Sailfish G-Range wetsuit (courtesy of my new membership of Team Freespeed Virgin Active - thank you for the incredible support so far guys!) as the water may be warmer than the threshold for a wetsuit ban under BTF rules (22C).  Bit of a shame really as the little try-out I had in it suggests that it's a really quick suit!  Also not sure I'll manage to sustain the three tweaks to my swim stroke that team-mate Matt Molloy suggested this morning; one of them really puts a lot more power in my stroke, but as always with more power it means it's gotta come from somewhere and it's quite tiring when it's not ingrained into technique with a good few hours practice.  That said, 800m swim isn't all that long to really dump out some energy :o)

I'm going to be brave and use the TT bike (though I'm being advised to take advantage of the fact that the team is headline sponsored and run by Freespeed (bike fit studio - Retul certified) and have my bars checked out for suitability for me, so I'll do that soonish but there's not enough time before Sunday) as there's pretty much no need to get up out of the aero-position for the whole bike leg apart from at the end.  Fingers crossed I can do that as it's great experience to rack up for me, given I'm not the most confident in my own ability cyclist.  I so want to get a good go on that bike with the new HED Jet wheels on it (6 on the front, 9 on the rear)!

And I'll be giving these here Skechers Go Run (Ride) a good try out on the run too - they feel spectacularly light but are a lot more cushioned than I'm used to.  Reckon they'll be perfect for the training and run I'll be doing in October - Rowbotham's Round Rotherham (80km Ultra Marathon).

AND there's a barbecue after the race too!  Perfect!

Monday 8 July 2013

Another solid week, but feeling blue

This has been another solid week of training, but I am feeling quite blue.

My swim session was cut short due to running short on time and being quite hungry.  It was an after work one where I didn't manage to leave the office promptly, so I was tired and cranky even before I started the session.  So I felt a bit down about not getting the whole set in, especially as it was my only swim of the week.  Then I missed my mid-week run, which was disappointing as it was supposed to be a hilly one; not something I could do on the way home and I'd been at a work event in the afternoon so was laden with laptop and other heavy stuff.  So, instead of running, we went for cheese and wine instead.  Oops.  Again, felt a bit down about that as things had been going well and I know that alcohol really sabotages my weight management.

Thursday, I picked myself up, dusted myself off and went for a ride at lunchtime to pick up my lovely new team-issue Lezyne kit; a beautifully engineered track pump, which packs down flat for easy packing into the car and has some rather sweet design features, like a locking hose for when it's not in use.  Also in the team kit pack was a pair of bottle cages, a mini puncture repair kit, a compact pump and a neat bento box.

After work a nice little run up to the common, across the diagonal, down a long long hill and then... back up it again to get home.  There are some lovely varied routes on Wimbledon Common - it's so versatile: flat, hills, gravel, dirt, mud, sand... I absolutely love it and it's so much quieter than Richmond Park.  And I was back up there on Sunday for the local running club's 10K race with some friends.  With predicted baking heat, utterly sweltering by 11am, I set off from home on Sunday morning fully intending to get the bus up to the common, but checking the indicator board, it showed over 15 minutes for the bus I needed.  I could jog there in less time; so I did.  Up the hill, not the best of warm-ups and by the time I got to the common the heat was getting noticeable.  To cut a long story short, I ran the first lap reasonably hard, then eased up and had a social second lap.  It was hot and I'd had a second week in a row of quite a bit of training compared with the prior couple of months, so I was pretty fatigued and in no way in good shape to force out something in the low 50min range.  Had a nice chat with @abradypus afterwards and then toddled off for coffee and cake while I waited for an update from MrTOTKat who was out doing the ride I'd done the day before - his longest ride since Ironman Wales last year!

Little bimble in the heat
So, a bit up (a good solid week put in) and a bit down (missed out on a quality run and part of my only swim session, and was a bit liberal with the boozes).  Looking forward to a week of having great fun trying to fit things around my trip to the rural office!  I'm sure I'll make it work somehow.

Wednesday 3 July 2013

Countdown to @thelondontri

The little countdown timer has gone under 24 days to The London Triathlon now and I'm feeling a mixture of emotions.  It's been quite a while since I've raced at Olympic distance (and, to be fair, I've only done 3 anyway) and I've really not managed to race much this year at all, so it's feeling unfamiliar.  That said, London was amazingly good fun when I did it in 2011 and despite lots of rookie errors I felt great and it was such a rush crossing the line that I cried with happiness!

I've come on a bit since then, so I really want to put in a good time this year.  And given that I will have a good base and some consistent training in place, along with good nutrition and relaxation choices there is absolutely no reason why I shouldn't put in a good time this year.

The other good thing is that I'm enjoying the training; as one World Champion said to me once at a workshop "Enjoy the journey, don't focus solely on the race. It's a long journey!".  So I am.  And it's great! Sometimes I have to keep reminding myself that I've only been doing this triathlon lark (well, any sport at all really) for 3 and a bit years, it's such a big and joyful part of my life I can't remember how it was before.

Tuesday 2 July 2013

*tiny thermonuclear explosion of joy* @virginactiveuk @teamfreespeed

Somebody pinch me; I can't believe it's real!  I, er, won.

Thanks Heather, I don't look 40 in this one!
Thanks Heather, I don't look 40 in this one :oD
I am now the 12th member of  Team Freespeed Virgin Active.  11 high performance athletes and me.  I am so unbelievably happy, scared, excited, nervous, honoured, fired-up... it really is a dream come true.  11 of the best amateur athletes in triathlon at the moment and I'm going to be able to spend a bit of time with them, talk with them, race with them, be part of their team and it is all because of the generous gift from their sponsors Freespeed and Virgin Active.  There is lots of support and kit coming my way, with a membership to the gorgeous Chiswick Riverside site of Virgin Active health clubs and I'll be racing in team kit at the Virgin Active London Triathlon and Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, as well as Valencia Triathlon a bit later in the year.

I need a little bit of a lie-down and some time to make sense of it, but right now I'm on cloud 9 and want to start to channel some of this phenomenal, new enthusiasm into mojo for training well.

Monday 1 July 2013

Solid week - but still no announcement!

Last week was a really solid week of training.  I'm pleased with how things got fitted in and just worked really well. And I managed to get a couple of those elusive strength sessions in there.  By the end of it, I was pretty well fatigued and right up for a rest day today.

With 4 weeks to The Virgin Active London Triathlon, it's a perfect  length of time to put in some more solid work and decent recovery fitted in.  And with MrTOTKat well on the mend, we'll even be getting some rides in together which will be so nice!  I've really missed doing parkrun together and our first one back was this weekend.  OK, there was cake, but I went out for a 3 hour ride straight afterwards and used up all the carbs.

Still waiting to hear the announcement of who won the Team Freespeed Virgin Active competition, but with less than 4 weeks to the London Triathlon am starting to lose hope a little...