I have been busy at the computer again this week, after an epic ride with 4 of the Pembrokeshire Velos to receive my plaque for winning the 100 mile time trial. I met them at Kilgetty at 6:30am and rode 71 miles up to Resolven. I managed to hold on to their wheels for most of the way, but during the last hour I kept getting dropped! Considering I hadn’t been out for longer than an hour and a half since Ironman on the bike, I was pretty pleased. They had cycled from Pembroke Dock and ridden 83 miles in total. I was a bit annoyed that my garmin wouldn’t download to Strava afterwards as I’m sure I would have had a few QOM’s!!
The full trip, I was there too honest!
Strength and Conditioning
I have been putting together some videos for my coached athletes, which has taken up quite a bit of my time, I am aiming to show exercises that can be done easily at home without equipment. Hopefully they will find them useful!
Since ironman Wales I have been pretty busy, and I had a cold for about 2 weeks. Its taken a while but I have relaxed into the minimal activity that I have been doing! I have started planning next season, I’m feeling pretty relaxed about next year though. Meanwhile here are some of the things that I have been up to and enjoying again in the last 5 weeks;
Going to a wedding
I had a cold unfortunately but enjoyed eating, drinking and camping in the New Forest, beautiful…
Or attempting to, not ideal conditions the times I’ve been out, but have had fun splashing about in the sea.
Windy and cold in my ancient wetsuit!
Cycling with my husband
My husband has bought a road bike, so I have been showing him a few routes.
Cooking, cooking, and more cooking
Lots of baking, and experimenting has been going on in my kitchen.
My oldest boy has developed an obsession with identifying mushrooms, which has meant lots of foraging in the woods.
Not edible, but interesting.
The big smoke
As a surprise for my husbands “special” birthday I took him to London. We had a great time wandering around Brick Lane, eating and drinking, and made a special visit to Nopi, which was fantastic, I even saw Ottolenghi at the bar and got a bit star struck. I wanted to go and say hi but by the time I had decided to go over he was leaving, (let that be a lesson!) We spent the next evening watching 3 back to back surf films at The London Surf Film Festival which was a real treat for us.
A bit more bike maintenance
I have been meaning to get my mountain bike gear cables changed, so I did that and then went out on my road bike. The gear cable snapped for the rear derailed, and I had to cycle home in a very hard gear, ouch (luckily it happened at the end of the ride). I investigated and have bought a new derailler, and shifters 🙁 It is now in quarantine in the garage! I am suddenly desperate to get out on my bike, so I had to go off road this week, which is no bad thing!
My lovely bike, needing repair
Launching my website
I have spent far too much time in front of a computer setting up my website, but I think its looking good, here is a link, and take the time to like my Facebook page if you haven’t already 🙂
(To skip straight to my Ironman Wales race report click here)
It has been a week since I completed Ironman Wales, and I have spent the week doing gentle walking, and a couple of swims. I haven’t really considered next year yet, but I have learned a few lessons from the race. The race itself was a fabulous day, the weather was perfect, the support on the course was incredible, and I would love to experience it again.
Sams amazing banner, thanks 🙂
One of my pre race mantras was “through my race I learn”, so here I go… Overall I was really pleased with my result. The swim was hard work, I knew I would be slower than hoped but I still came out in an OK time. I pushed myself on the bike, and stayed in the right power zones.
What the book says!
What my power looked like.
I still think my Variability index was a bit high, there were a few instances when I went way over threshold, but it was so hard to keep a lid on it when everyone was cheering and you are going uphill, however my V.I. was 1.08 compared to 1.11 at Wimbleball last year so I’m pleased with that. My intensity factor on the bike was .73, and it should be between .70 and .76 so that was spot on.
Power graph, power dropped off towards the end, but not too much!
The run was OK, I had wanted to run about an 8:30 min mile, and thought I may be able to go quicker. You can see that I sustained it for the first 2 laps then didn’t manage to keep up the pace, my heart rate dropped, and I was just trying to keep going.
Pace and heart rate dropping
Pace dropping from halfway
When I finished I wandered around for a bit before realising that all I wanted to do was lie down.
I ended up in the medical tent and had 2 drips. Looking back now I started to get a headache on the second lap of the bike from Carew to Cross Hands. I thought it must have been because I was tired, as I was still drinking and peeing. (I peed 4-5 times on the bike) I had calculated the liquids that I needed and I had enough water (7 bottles). I used electrolyte tablets in my water, but after a bit of research I may have lost too much salt. Next time I will pay attention to any headaches! And carry salt tablets.
Saying all that I still had a brilliant day and was within my goal time, I did my best, and next time…..well I will learn from my experience!
A few weeks before a race I start thinking “If I had……. it would make my life better” Cue ordering unnecessary stuff. I have so far accumulated energy drink, gels, tyres, and new gloves. The energy drink I won’t use as I haven’t used it in training, the gels I will use, as I have had them before (but I accidentally ordered 3 lots!) and the gloves are not as nice as my old ones. However I did need new tyres.
Moral of the story, “new things will not make me faster”, (repeat, repeat, repeat)
Crazy cooking woman
I also get obsessed with cooking, and have started making yummy things to take on the bike, which I have blogged about here. I did just read in Tri220 that Chrissie only has energy gels, drink, and some dark chocolate on the bike and can’t understand how anyone can eat sandwiches etc on rides, as she is working too hard. “Must try harder on the bike”, (repeat, repeat, repeat) Anyway I made the most of the fantastic weather and sat out on the lawn to calculate my intake of food for the bike leg, and have now planned out what I am taking.
Like summer again!
Time to take stock
So its time now to reflect on what I have done up to this point and hope that I have a good day next week. I feel ready, but also still wondering if I have planned my peak and taper right, (need to get rid of a few gremlins here!), We will see on race day. I will give it my best.
We have been to Asturias 3 times on holiday now, the area is lovely, and part of my reasoning to go back this year was that I knew a lot of routes that I could run or cycle without having to navigate too much. So it was less stressful for me in the run up to Ironman.
The area around us, Picos de europa
With limited time I have condensed the holiday into the good, the bad, and the ugly! (Its mostly good)
Watching a fixie criterium at Gijon, (I was actually entered for this but then realised it was fixie only and didn’t have a bike, (didn’t stop me having a mad dash to find one, even though I have never ridden a track bike before! Maybe next year ;-))Patrick has done all the hard work with pictures here and a short video here
A nice top end endurance ride around Cabrales getting a few QOM’s
My longest ride
Swimming in the sea, feeling more confident about donning my wetsuit and dodging beach goers to swim
Great food, lots of sea creatures
Devons birthday, I managed to order a cake in my limited Spanish, and he requested “hiking in the mountains” as his birthday treat.
Too many more good things to mention, and I came back to do my best ever hill session, averaging an extra 4-5 Watts per interval, and on longer intervals too! A change is definitely as good as a rest!
Some dodgy fabes con almejas (clams and beans) at a sideria in Ribadasella, which had me up all night with stomach cramps, wondering if it would hinder my training :-/
Our plumbing in the holiday let. After a day or 2 every time we flushed the toilet the contents came up in the bath. This coincided with the above (eurgh) it may have been Devon shoving half a toilet roll down there on the 2nd day, but I didn’t mention that. Luckily a man with a mop turned up after I reported it, and fixed the problem 🙂
100 mile Welsh championships on Sunday with wind and rain forecast, good to be home!
Easter has been a busy time, with visitors staying over both weekends, and a lot of furniture being delivered, which is now in boxes waiting to be assembled! I haven’t had any time to do anything except train and entertain the kids, now they are back at school I should be able to get back to some sort of routine.
A lot of work to be done..
First time trial of the year
I did the Neyland 10 , and was fairly pleased with my effort. Unfortunately I had a mechanical, my chain came off and got jammed against the frame, so I spent nearly 2 minutes on the verge wrestling with it and pulling paint off my frame :-s This meant my time wasn’t great but my power output was about the same as last year and I had a VI (variability index) of 1, which I was pretty pleased with. This means that I didn’t surge in power too much and kept a steady pace throughout. If you are interested in the full definition, then a lot of useful information is here
Trianing peaks data
The Tour of Pembrokeshire
My friend Rachel and I planned to do the tour of Pembrokeshire 75 mile route. She arrived on Friday evening with her family, to lovely weather, we even ate outside. I had seen the forecast for Saturday, but was hoping for a change, it does do that sometimes, anyway it was pretty awful, I was quite jealous of the husbands still in bed when we left, with children still sleeping!!
We started out and agreed that if it didn’t improve then we would do the 50 mile route instead. At the feed station we decided we should cut it short, it was windy and wet so we couldn’t even chat! So we arrived back in St Davids to a welcome pork roll, and warm cafe, then went home to takeaway and Prosecco . I attempted to make a video with Patrick’s “go pro” the battery ran out way before the end but I managed to get a small amount of footage. which is here.
Just when I thought I was getting somewhere I caught a cold again. I was coughing all last week, feeling crap. I have adjusted my training again, so I won’t be hitting the targets for Half Outlaw. I’ll just have to use it as a practice race, I haven’t had the run volume or consistency in training that I would have wanted so we’ll see what happens. I am building up my running very slowly. Last week I did a 40 minute and 30 minute run, so not too bad! The 40 minute was another risk assessment for run club. Is dog poo a hazard?
Risk assessing again!
Time Trial bike fit
I went back to see Andy at Cranc Cyclesports to get my Trek fitted properly. Again I was really pleased with the results. I went out after recovering from the cold and was comfortable. There was no pain in my shoulders or back, as there has been in the past. You can see why on the pictures below too!
Retul fit at Cranc cyclesports
Really enjoyed being out on the bike after a week off, the positive of that was I managed to do a bit of bike maintenance that I have been putting off for a while on my mountain bike. I was so excited at the results that I went off road for the first time in ages. I thought that I had better have at least 1 off road ride before the Dyfi Enduro, which is in 4 weeks, Mountain bikes are so heavy!!
First ride in new position on Time Trial bike
Even managed a couple of QOM’s off road, not much to write home about though!!
With 10 weeks to go until Half Outlaw, (:-o) I have been increasing the intensity of my bike workouts. Had a great turbo session on Thursday. (I never thought I’d say that!) I used a Sufferfest video for my intervals, but ignored their instructions and focussed on 4 sweet spot intervals with long recoveries. There was a bit of stupidness at the end when you were meant to attack on and off, which I did do, which accounts for my power surges at the end. I also managed to run for 30 minutes on Monday without pain in my knee, so I’m feeling a lot more optimistic on that front. I also had a good swim on Friday, getting a PB for 400m, what a great week.
Training peaks data
My mum found some old photo’s of my grandad which she let me scan in. He was a cyclist, and died before I was born at the age of 49. He had the same birthday as me too, a bit of inspiration for me.
Robert Le Poulain 1950
Marked on the back is “Paris-Dieppe 1950”
First meeting of the Dynamos running group
On Saturday I organised the first meeting of the Narberth Dynamos running group. We met up at Templeton airfield and did a couple of intervals at tempo, trying to keep the same pace for both intervals. My volunteers did really well at pacing, and said they enjoyed it, so they will be back for some hill reps next week!
I did the risk assessment for it a few days before, as you can see my Garmin is still going crazy, so I phoned Garmin, and they are going to send me a refurbished/new one, the only trouble is I have to send it back! Without data for a few days how will I survive?
Its been a hard month, with a combination of the start of my knee niggling again, a bad cold, and a bout of food poisoning to contend with, mixed up with being away for 2 weekends on the trot and a trip to Baildon a few days after. I am feeling the strain, and so is my training. The weather isn’t helping either!
A mixed bag!
I have been to see Kim down the road at Valley gate a couple of times, and seen some improvement in my knee. I have only run for 30 mins at a time for the last 2 weeks, so am a little worried that I won’t have much time to build up my distance again.
So its foam rolling every day and have a great book and resource that I have been using by Martin Koban
My new best friends.
Trying to be positive, its an opportunity to build up my bike and swim endurance! I am sure that it will teach me something…
The good news..
My power meter arrived on Tuesday, so back to the number crunching, and data woo hoo!!
I have recently decided to try to simplify my life a bit by not downloading everything to Strava. It has also coincided with a long break from training due to illness, so I have had more time to think about the pro’s and con’s. I found another feature the other day, where there is a leader board for clubs, so that you can see how you stack up against other people in terms of distance, time, etc. This is one of the reasons I dislike Strava. I find myself constantly comparing myself to others, which I am trying to do less of! So here goes my list of positives and negatives
It allows me to compare my efforts and power data for a certain segment, or hill climb.
My record, while being chased by a dung laden tractor.
2. I quite like the social side of having been out on a ride with others, it shows up that you had a ride with someone, and also allows you to comment on peoples rides. (I do have friends really!!)
3. You can see where you are compared to others, however there is a limited women’s pool on Strava.
1. If you compare yourself to others on Strava you don’t know what the conditions were like, so you are not comparing like for like, they also may have been time trialling while you were on a long ride.
2. Sometimes people can comment negatively on your ride/feed.
3. If you look at what other people are doing it can cause anxiety about not doing enough.
If used wisely it can be fun to use. My husband has just recently entered some of the challenges on there, which got him out riding more than he would normally, so it can be good at motivating people.
I have started making my rides private, then I can still see my results and where I stack up, but I will probably not download everything, ultimately its something else to distract me from other stuff that I should or want to be doing, and I use Training peaks for analysis of data so I don’t really need another programme. However it did show me that I set a personal record on a section of road to Marros, and would have picked up a queen of the mountain had my ride not been private, while being chased by a tractor pulling s**t, maybe I should visualise that in future races 😉
Don’t know which is worse, being behind or ahead of one of these.
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