I was going to do a serious of race reports for this blog post, letting you know how the races have gone since the Ironman, such as the Castle Series Olympic at Chantilly Castle, and the Gerardmer XL Triathlon.
However I’ve decided to vent my frustrations in this blog, since the Ironman I feel like I’ve had the worst luck ever. It’s like I’ve got a demon on my shoulder. First of all at the Castle Series Olympic Distance race I got sent the wrong way on the bike, they sent me on the middle distance course instead of the Olympic so I ended up doing 1*45k loop instead of 2*20k loops, was very frustrating but as I knew I had Gerardmer XL triathlon 2 weeks later I tried to keep working fairly hard as I wanted to try and get a decent work out in preparation. It was hard work as my motivation was very low once I realized. As well as this Laura who I had only just started seeing came along for the weekend, as some of you know watching a triathlon isn’t the most exciting thing, let alone in absolutely freezing conditions and lot’s of rain. Somehow this didn’t put her off and we’re still together! J Back to the race and I actually managed to finish in 5th place somehow after the race me and Laura went to Paris and did a bit of sightseeing which was fun and topped off a good weekend away.
Then Gerardmer triathlon, I did a 25 mile time trial the weekend before this event at the end of a big training block where I had been doing some big days and I managed to get a power pb and almost break the course record so expectations were high for the following week.
Getting to Gerardmer proved difficult enough and involved a very long day of travelling. Me and My Dad left at 5am on Thursday morning and arrived in Gerardmer at 8pm, we took it in turns driving! Funny thing was we took my sisters car, don’t think the Ka has ever done so many miles! J
The next day we woke up at like 10am which is very unusual especially for both of us so I was a bit weary as to how I felt but after a little spin I felt pretty good and was looking forward to the race.
The race, well I really don’t know what to say here apart from it started bad getting out of the water 3 minutes down, got worse on th bike loosing even more time and then out on to the run I felt absolutely hideous, I started the run in 9/10th place and thought if I could do a decent run I could run myself up to a reasonable position but I just felt empty, like I had nothing in me at all. I tried for the first 3 miles or so but just had nothing. I really wanted to quit and could of easily but I thought sometimes in ife you just cant take the easy option out, I mean it’s easy to stop when things aren’t going your way and if you quit once it’s going to be even easier to do next time so despite feeling like I had been in a train crash I jogged round and just tried to get to the end. Despite feeling terrible and just cruising round no one over took me on the 2nd and 3rd laps despite running the slowest I have ever done in a triathlon (1 hour 30). But to be brutally honest it was my worst ever performance, I was expecting much more from myself and know that I should have been top 5, I had been going really well in training and this was not the performance I felt I deserved!
After the race I was really down, I mean I wasn’t walking around like Mr depressed or anything and I tried to make the most out of being away but I really felt that something bad was up with me as I just felt so weak the day of the race. I said to my Dad I think I might have fatigue or something and that I was going to call off going to America. I remember saying I feel like s**t and its pointless going there if I’m going to do another crap performance and not be able to train while I’m out there.
It was also really embarrassing, It was the most embarrassed I’ve ever been after a race. I mean Mail Big File help me out with race expenses and I was genuinely embarrassed to take anything for expenses after this performance, I mean I felt like what good have I done for them with this result! One thing that did help though was the messages from everyone offering support and saying that it was just a one off bad result, it really does mean a lot and help when your feeling like that. One person in particular who made me feel a lot better was Lee Bircham, mate you made a big difference, cheers for the support!
Anyway once I was back from Gerardmer, I thought maybe I’ve got fatigue as a few people were saying on my facebook it’s been a big year you have done this, and that etc so I thought I would have a week easy, at the end of the week I was down to race an 11.3 mile run leg of the round Norfolk relay for City of Norwich Athletics club so I thought I would see how I performed there before I made any rash decisions on what to do with the remainder of the season. If I ran well then obviously everything was fine, and likewise if I had a shocker then there my well be something wrong with me. To be honest I thought deep down that everything must be o.k as I had been going really well in training and I knew that with fatigue it’s more of a gradual thing and that there would have been some sort of trend with feeling tired and having bad sessions etc!
Anyway on the Thursday I thought I was going to test myself, I probably shouldn’t have but I couldn’t help myself. I’ve got a 6k loop from my house which is quite challenging and the last 2 times I had ran it were before the Vachery tri and in my taper for IMUK, so both times I was fresh and my times were 20m21, and 20m20 which was the fastest I had been round there. I thought I would run it at 5m 45 pace and if it felt hard I knew something wasn’t right. I ran controlled and when I looked at my garmin with a mile to go I was averaging 5m 20 pace despite not really pushing that hard and that I was on target for a sub 20 minute run, I finished in 19m 52 and after that my confidence was restored, it was a massive pb and really helped to reassure me that I am fine and on the right track.
Sunday came and I ran my leg of the relay, I was by myself the whole time on a night leg and managed to run at 5m 24 pace for the 11.4 miles which was quicker then what I expected and very pleasing. So my plan was to do a couple of week’s good training and then race Hever Castle middle. After the last two nightmares I was really excited about racing Hever Castle, the castle series do a great job at putting events on and make you feel really welcome.
So after the relay I got back in training again, everything seemed s though it was going really well. The week before Hever Castle I did a 25 mile time trial on a sporting course in 55 minutes and as soon as I finished I went for a 4.6 mile run with thee plan to hit half Ironman pace. My legs felt like jelly at the start as I tried to finish the tt really hard to give me the worst possible feeling in my legs and I started literally within a minute of finishing the time trial. I started off slow with a 6 minute mile but got faster as it went on without really trying. My average speed by the end was 5m44 pace and it felt comfortable so I was very pleased with this and new that all being well next week I would be in for a good race.
Disaster Strikes again! After the Time trial my tooth started hurting really quite bad. I had a terrible nights sleep and in the morning decided to book into the dentist at the first available opportunity. I had an infection in my gum and was put on Anti Biotics, my god the pain was bad. They even numbed half of my mouth which felt so strange and made me look as if I had a stroke. I had never had my mouth numbed before and while eating a bit of toast managed to bite my lip, I didn’t even know and if it was for my Mum noticing the blood streaming down god knows what state I would have been in. Anyway on the Thursday before the race I felt so weak, I could only manage 8 minute efforts at the pace I did my 25 mile tt at a few weeks before and that felt as if I was trying really hard so I decided that I couldn’t race Hever castle only being at 85%.
Despite not feeling my best I was actually able to train pretty well on the weekend and then had a good weeks training this week just gone. My running is really improving at the moment, I’ve actually only been running for 4 years so I think there is still a lot more to come. The sessions at City of Norwich have really helped and when your referring to a training session as “race night” I think that’s all you need to say about how hard I’ve been pushing myself in these sessions.
As well as training with City Of Norwich I have religiously been going to the gym now for 9 weeks and I think it’s definitely helped. A lot of the exercises are run specific and a mixture of harder run sessions and gym work has seen my performances increase massively.
On Sunday I did a long brick session on Sunday which consisted of a 100 mile ride and a 10 mile run this was a really key session for me as I haven’t really done any endurance work and with Florida being 5 weeks after this session I would know what my weaknesses are, so would I need to work more on my endurance or if I do really well carry on working more on my speed.
The session went really well and I managed around 100 miles in around 4 hours 1 minute http://www.strava.com/activities/87324728 this was done on training kit so power tap wheel with winter tires, standard road hat, 4 bottles on the bike, and normal top and shorts, so in the Ironman I will have much more free speed from the above. The interesting thing to me was the 283 watts as I think I will be able to hold at least that in the Ironman and if I can do that I should be in the mix. I also don’t think I managed to run to badly off the bike as well
This session shouldn’t be taken lightly, I think it takes a big toll on your body as afterwards I felt as if my abs were bruised, my ribs as well, I had the shits to, and I felt really tired, but it was bloody good fun! Also Jay Lingwood if you are reading this thanks for the company on the ride and run you Beauty!
As I write this I’m currently sat in Terminal 5 at Heathrow and as you all know, I always have some drama when traveling and this is what I wrote up on facebook a little while ago:
First big drama of the day has happened. As some of you know me and Airports don’t go well and today has been no different so far. I booked the 12.05 flight from Heathrow and had confirmation from Holiday Genie who I booked the flight with stating that this was the correct flight. However when I went to check in online last night BA had me down for a 4.15pm flight, I was like oh S**t what’s going on here. It was 8.30pm and so to late to speak to someone from BA so I still planned on getting to the airport in time to make the 12.05 as that was the flight I wanted to get and I wasn’t sure what was going on.
When I arrived at the Airport BA had me down on the 4.15pm flight and it turns out that I was never booked on the 12.05 flight as previously stated. Holiday Genie tried to deny this at first and state that it was first BAs fault and then my fault for booking the wrong times, even though I have proof and confirmation of being on the 12.05 flight. However they quickly back tracked and apologized for everything and have accepted responsibility but I now have to travel on the 4.15 flight by myself and have to sort out my own transport now to San Diego!
Oh as well as this they also informed me on the phone this time that I’m not on the 5pm return flight as previously stated I’m on the 8pm flight. Absolute nightmare!
O.k. so that’s a little ride on my emotional roller coaster, while I’m out in California I’ll be doing regular blogs so you see how I’m getting on and what I’m up to. I want to try and take a few Strava segments as well while I’m out there!