DNF and the aftermath

The run up to Bala was a mixture of cramming too much in, and distraction technique for me. The boys went back to school/nursery, and for some reason I got obsessed with photographing food rather than preparing for the race. I entered because I wanted to have an end of season race to aim for, and to see if I could qualify for the European championships.

We camped at Pen Y Bont campsite, which is very convenient for the race, about a 15 min walk to transition, and went to Ruthin for the day on Saturday, the weather was not great, cooler and quite wet!

Ruthin Jail

Ruthin Jail

Anyway, to cut a long story short on Sunday I DNF (did not finish) for the first time. You can read the full race report here.

Getting back home this week I have been looking at the reasons why I DNF; there are many!

  • I wasn’t really inspired by the race, and only entered because I had done it before.
  • I set an unrealistic goal for my swim.
  • I wasn’t prepared mentally.
  • Even if I had qualified for the European champs I wouldn’t have been able to go, as I have entered Half Outlaw 2 weeks before.
  • I sabotaged my race by panicking on the swim.

On a positive note I asked Devon what his favourite part of camping and going away was. He said it was watching me coming out of the swim. I’m sure he said it just to cheer me up, but it brought a tear to my eye! 🙂

Abergavenny, Welsh Champs, more visitors and next years races!

Welsh Champs in Abergavenny

At the beginning of the summer, we decided that we would go camping for a few days if the weather was good. As I had entered the Welsh championships in Abergavenny I suggested a camping trip there! We had a great few days and I had a PB on the 10 mile course of 25:36, which I was pleased with.

Results here, and photo’s here

Great park in Abergavenny

Great park in Abergavenny

Visitors again

Patricks brother, wife and daughter came to stay over the bank holiday weekend, we made the most of the weather and it sent me into a cooking frenzy again! So I started experimenting with  some photo’s of my food, (not as easy as it looks), but you have to start somewhere!

Next season

‘Tis the season to be bombarded by emails about events for next year. As I wind down, I have entered Half Outlaw (which sold out in record time) and the Tour of Pembrokeshire, unfortunately Patrick and I clicked on a link for the Wasdale triathlon, and I now have another on my lake district list, (Helvellyn being another). Too little time and too many races !

Pleased with the year overall, but I think I’ll do a bit more high intensity stuff next year before Half Outlaw, as I am a collector of numbers, here is my data from the year….

I just need to figure out which power meter to buy, as I’m hiring one at the moment from the lovely Nick Brown. I suppose I should give it back soon, seeing as I’ve had it for a year!

Performance management chart for last 365 days

Performance management chart for last 365 days

All my lovely graphs!

All my lovely graphs!

Women’s stuff

Found a great site about hormones, which explains quite a lot, like why I just shouted at the kids! There is a bit about men too 😉

The website is here I found it quite interesting, and useful!

Baking frenzy, visitors, and time trials.

Baking

I began a baking frenzy last week, making cakes picture here and then ordering new cook books after going to a friends birthday and feeling inspired.

Contrasting books.

Contrasting books.

Adding to my collection

Adding to my collection.

I used a trip to Caldey island with the in-laws to try out a recipe from the feed zone book, and made some pancakes with spring onions in. They were very tasty and enjoyed by everyone. Have ordered some mochi flour, corn flour, and black glutinous rice, to make more snacks, I haven’t used the clandestine cake book yet, but made chocolate buns out of my bread book for the boys.

My attempts at food photography.

My attempts at food photography.

This then got me thinking about trying to photograph food, so I have another book on its way…..watch this space! Oddly I saw this article in Total womens cycling just after I wrote this post about DIY nutrition.

Time trial

I did the Bangeston 10 on Wednesday and used it as an opportunity to try out my rice cakes, after bonking the other week on the way home. I had one before I left, and then had a waffle and some homemade sesame snaps before I rode home, (didn’t bonk)

I posted a PB by 1 second!!! Remembered to press my lap button for a change. I was number 13 and had a near miss on the roundabout on my warm down, as a white pick-up pulled out in front of me.

Power for Bangeston 10

Power for Bangeston 10

The dip in the middle is the roundabout, where someone overtook me, I tried to drop back a bit so as not to draught. Starting to feel a bit stronger, and slowly building my fitness back up, before the Welsh Championships in Abergavenny at the weekend

Beginning to pick up again

Beginning to pick up again

Womens sport in the media

I read this in the i (newspaper) last week and was flabbergasted. I have read something similar before. I think it was a man saying that Chrissie Wellington didn’t “win” Ironman Hawaii because men had beaten her, it sparked off a big online debate about physiology, and somebody replied with a very good analogy between boxing weight classification, and asked, would you put a heavyweight boxer against a welterweight? On the plus side there were some women promoting the European U19 women’s football championship, Wales v France next week! Have some free tickets so may take the boys:-)

I almost can’t believe this letter is serious.

Can you believe this letter!

Can you believe this letter!

Belated Mountain Biking

I promised my husband I would put a link to his mountain biking video in so here it is! Probably didn’t do it before as there is footage of me being a wuss!!

Dynamos LEJOG and thoughts on womens cycling

Narberth dynamos lejog and thoughts on womens cycling

Last few weeks events:

  1. LEJOG on turbos with the dynamos.
  2. Devons Birthday.
  3. Thinking about the gender differences.
  4. Time trialling again with Power!

LEJOG

Narberth Dynamos decided to cycle as a Club from Lands End to John O’Groats in 24 hours on turbo trainers. This was part of Narberth Civic week to raise money for Paul Sartori (a local charity). It was Devon’s birthday on Saturday so I managed to get a Friday afternoon slot, and avoid the graveyard shift. We completed hour slots, most people did at least 2 but I didn’t think my husband would appreciate me doing 2 hours! Anyway, people managed an average of 25mph so we made it!! Next year there is a rumour of going further 😮

The boys came up to see me but Devon refused to get his photo taken with me. Milo obliged though

Narberth dynamos lejog and thoughts on womens cycling

Milo, future Dynamo.

Devons Birthday

It was Devons 7th birthday on Saturday, its been a long run up with countdowns from June onwards and early wake ups because of the excitement! Finally the day came and we planned to go to Blue Lagoon, a pool down the road from us with water slides and wave machine. As we were walking from the car to the pool, Devon ran past and tripped, falling on his arm, he was in quite a bit of pain, but soon chirped up when he saw his friends. We carried on with the day, and then the next day took him to hospital, where he had x-rays and a cast put on, a brilliant start to the summer holidays!

Can still do lego!

Can still do lego!

Thinking about the gender differences

I read an article on Total Women’s Cycling, here about the barriers to women cycling, and it got me thinking about the differences between the sexes. My typical male and female sides vary from day to day (probably depending on my hormones!) One thing that came through in the article, was that women don’t like being cat called when exercising. Its threatening and unacceptable, BUT I was cycling with the club the other week, past a pub, and a woman outside the pub shouted out “show em your tits…” to her friend. Nobody called back, I think the woman assumed we were all male. I wondered if the men felt the same way as a group of women would have done, if a male had been calling out to them. I was quite annoyed about it, and chatting to Patrick later on we came to the conclusion that sometimes it is better to behave like a man, and sometimes better to behave like a woman. If we could work out when those situations were and not be pigeonholed into gender stereotypes then we would probably all get along a lot better. Incidently the woman that shouted out was, in my opinion, just rude. Caitlin Moran, has a good theory, that we are all just “the guys” and if you think someone is being rude then you call them on it, then it isn’t labelled as sexism.

Also tweeted a production company about the women’s coverage of The Slateman and received this reply. I think its a bit lame, what do you think? Race is shown here

Narberth dynamos lejog and thoughts on womens cycling

Twitter feed

Time trialling again…

Another time trial with the Velos, improved my time, and got some power data, although I forgot to press start on my garmin and got 1 and a half miles in then realised, so didn’t have the whole distance! Data is here.

I cycled to the start for a change, which made for a long evening. I got about half an hour from home and started to get blurred vision and feel a bit clammy, luckily I had a gel on my bike (in case of emergency) and about 10 minutes later I was feeling OK again. Not pleasant. I have also entered the Welsh championship 10 mile TT in Abergavenny, will probably come in pretty slow compared to others but we might go camping up there for a few days before.

I’m starting to get loads of emails about events for next year now, which to enter?……

A hard week of training time trials and a hill climb.

Have had another busy week this week, and lots of time outside in the fantastic weather.

A few more QOM's

A few more QOM’s

I entered the Pembrokeshire Velos Open weekend Time trials and Milton hill climb after I got back from Barcelona. I checked with my husband who said this would be fine…. A few days before, he mentioned an event at Freshwater West that he wanted to go to on the Saturday, which was the date of the time trial and hill climb. This was fine as my TT was early, but the hill climb was at midday, I ended up doing the time trial going home, packing up for the beach, driving to the beach, dropping the boys off, then driving back to do the hill climb. When I got back to the time trial HQ I had £5 in an envelope waiting for me, as I had won the morning event (only 2 women entered). I stayed on for the presentation for the hill climb, and won another £5 (again only 2 women entered!) My power meter conked out at the start of the Time Trial so no power data for me. Most annoying, as I was going to use these as a test for my FTP! Now I’ll have to do another one 😮

Hill Climb Results

Hill Climb Results

The sea was great afterwards to cool off in. Beautiful clear water at Fresh West. When I got there the Pembrokeshire surf riders were organising their retro surf contest, which involved paddling races, flapping about in a puddle like a dying fish contest, and a mincing walk contest. (there was no surf!)The stars must have shone on us because Patrick (husband) won best adult male. I was so proud 😉 He won some surf wax, a wax comb, a T-shirt, a surf wax air freshener, and a bracelet!! We stayed for a BBQ which started to catch fire after half an hour, and spent lots of time in the water, lovely.

Freshwater West, so lucky to live near these beaches.

Freshwater West, so lucky to live near these beaches.

Got home for an early night for me, and beach party for Patrick, which was going to involve him sleeping on the beach and me picking him up at 6am to drive to the 15 mile Time Trial. I woke up at 2:45am to hear a van dropping him off back home, so I set the alarm for half an hour later, then woke up every hour until 6am, when I drove to Carew again. On the course there was a strong headwind on the way back, so I took it quite easy on the way out, probably too easy, but my legs weren’t working today, I finished 3 minutes slower than last weeks time, but still won my fiver (only 2 women again!) I got home to a very hungover Patrick, who I sent back to bed.

Getting back into the groove!

After analysing and stewing over my data I decided to ask someone about it and emailed Coach Cox to see if he would do an analysis to confirm what I thought. I payed for a report (really good value) where he gave me feedback on the event. I probably gave myself a bit too much of a hard time, thinking I could have done better, but there is always room for improvement. A few easy weeks a trip to Barcelona, and a trip to Abergavenny to do my level 2 cycle coach course later, I am back to training with a bit more vengance! (Only a bit!)

The taper continues!
The taper continues!

Went running in Barcelona and got lost, but managed to get directions in my poor Spanish, all the roads looked the same…. BIG.

Getting lost in Barcelona

Getting lost in Barcelona

Then repeated the experience getting lost in Abergavenny on my mountain bike. Actually the bit I went wrong on was the best bit!

The Blorenge after I missed the turning

The Blorenge after I missed the turning

I made another rare outing with the Dynamos, did the Pembrokeshire Velos 15 mile time trial , and have entered their open events in a couple of weekends time. So should be improving again for Bala. The weather has been amazing and we spent a lovely evening down on the beach in Tenby watching Devon race Taff kids. Loads of bikes around as its the long course weekend. I seem to be the only one not doing something, and the sea looked sooo inviting on Friday, still Its nice to see people out and about doing stuff, and it was great to watch Devon in his own race!

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An interesting week, and RTTC national time trial

This arrived through the post on Monday. After driving back from Wimbleball on Sunday I had a cursory glance and left it on the table for a week

Just what I always wanted

Just what I always wanted

I had an easy week and did nothing until Thursday. I entered this Time Trial when I was tapering, and full of energy. At the time I wasn’t sure it was such a good idea, but I thought I’d give it a try. Time Trials are great for improving fitness! My start time was 2.46pm (not used to such a late start and only having to remember my bike… a revelation!) So I left home, got to Penblewin roundabout and realised I had left my Garmin at home charging :-0. I always seem to remember something I forgot on that roundabout! Anyway I arrived in plenty of time to drive the course, which was very well signed and marshalled in any case.

Start list

Start list

I signed on at the village hall and helped pin numbers on someone and vice versa. Everyone was very friendly and asked my name and introduced themselves. I had a chat with someone I knew and then went to the car park to get ready, where I chatted with another woman about saddles and chafing, as you do! I was trying something different and set my garmin to beep when I went under a certain wattage, (normally I set it to beep when its above) In retrospect I should have set it 10Watts lower! I went off feeling good, and was overtaken within the first 5 miles. There were people dotted along the course clapping, which was nice. The dual carriageway seemed to go on for a long time (this is the first 50 mile TT I have done) It was a relief to turn off onto the old road, and I knew it was not far to the turn around point. At the turn around point it all changed, the wind was against us and I started to struggle to hold my power, then the dual carriageway just seemed to go on for ever. I was overtaken by several people (stopped counting). I got to the lap point and almost dropped out, but thought I’ll just try and finish, forget about the power. I turned my beeping pest of a Garmin off, and got my head down. I got to the point of no return and was now starting to get uncomfortable in my aero position, had to stretch out a couple of times and was really struggling, it was like the road to hell. I kept wondering why I was riding up a dual carriageway in pain, when I could be at home relaxing! (maybe not, its amazing what you’ll do to get away from the kids for a bit!) I dragged myself to the finish and then to add insult to injury I had to cycle back to the start, which also seemed to take a lot longer on the way back! Many people had parked in a closer lay-by. This was the most mentally challenging race I have done, and I am amazed at the women who do this regularly, well done everyone! Much harder than my race last weekend.

Full results are here, amazing times!

Couldn't take it!

Couldn’t take it!

Finish times, not quite last!

Finish times, not quite last!

I had to get back home to my understanding husband, so didn’t stay for the prize giving, it looked like there was some good cake though! I did an average of 20.4mph so I was quite pleased that I got over 20, I was aiming for that. Drove home and had to stop the car in a lay-by near Resolven as I thought I was going to throw up (didn’t thankfully) Got home and dumped everything in the doorway, could not even be bothered to open the garage.

Left in the doorway

Left in the doorway

And the next day this awaited me!!!

Tidy up time!

Tidy up time!

So would I do it again? Who knows! Never say never 🙂 Some great photo’s here. and another report. At least I got a good photo though!!

IMG_0584raw

Lead up to Wimbleball and race report

A hectic week last week, with all my preparation going into the race on Sunday. My mum drove me down to Dunster on Thursday, where we had booked a holiday cottage for the weekend, and Patrick and the boys came down on Friday after school. We arrived at about 4pm and had a walk round the village. The sun was shining at this point, but it was very windy!

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We had some dinner after the walk and then had an early night. The village of Dunster is really pretty and has an amazing play park for the kids, but….it also has a lovely church which does a LOT of bell ringing!! As we soon found out…

carillon (400 x 400)

The Carillon goes on for about 5 minutes and the church was opposite the house we were staying in. If you click on the picture above it takes you to a youtube recording. The bell also chimes on the hour and every 15 minutes!! So my restful few days were not quite so restful, as I kept being woken up by chiming! Read the race report here

1 week and tapering please donate

With a week to go I have spent the week tapering. The trouble with tapering is that I have had more time to think and worry that;

1 I’ve set my goal too high

2 I should have tried harder in my training

3 I’m losing all my fitness

So, to distract me

1 I have been obsessively putting numbers in to tri calculator.

(As I have never done a race of this distance before I have no idea how I will cope, and I know its hilly so will have to watch my power output A LOT, I think going for a top 10 position in my age group is a little over ambitious, but….we’ll see. It depends on the day. I also realised that I have been reducing my goal time. At the start of the year it was 6h30, then I changed it to 6h15 and I have put on my homepage 6h10!!)

2 Pimping my bike so that at least I feel like a pro 😉

3 Gardening in the sun

I’d also like to remind everyone who has been reading my blog that I am dedicating this race to Sulien Luckman, who died tragically earlier this year.

A trust has been set up to commemorate his life, and is going to;

  • support young people who may need a little help to realise their full potential in life.
  • fund outdoor activities for boys.
  • give grants to support or develop local services to encourage boys to develop their nurturing side.
  • fund local services for families who have experienced child loss.

Please donate here, and if you have donated please fill out the contact form, on here as I’d like to say thanks. So until next time, I say goodye x wish me luck!!

2 Weeks and feeling stronger

After last weeks illness I had a “moment” and entered a 50 mile time trial which is in Abergavenny the week after Wimbleball. It is also the national championships, and was sold to me easily when presented as a “brilliant opportunity” 😮 Anyway I will put that to the back of my mind as I am concentrating all my efforts on tapering for the big day. Finally I have seen some progress, and am feeling a lot more positive, I did a hill rep session on Wednesday and had an increase in average power of about 10-15 watts per rep. The week being ill and resting obviously did some good!

Hill reps 5 min intervals April 2013

Hill reps 5 min intervals April 2013

Hill Reps 5 min intervals May2013

Hill Reps 5 min intervals May2013

I have now written my race plan, which I won’t share (don’t want to give all my secrets away!) And written an extensive tick list, I do love a list 😉 Had an amazing swim from Saundersfoot to Wisemans bridge, then I ran back to meet the boys in Saundersfoot.

Thats me, that is!

Thats me, that is!

The weather has finally changed and I’m hoping its going to be good for 2 weeks time! Fingers crossed…

We had a fantastic day at the Pendine Fun run on Sunday to support Suliens trust  Patrick and Devon ran, and I took the photo’s for a change! The weather was beautiful, dare I say it….summer here at last??

Start of the kids 2km race

Start of the kids 2km race

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