Thursday, 15 April 2010

Paris Marathon

Here is what I posted on the RunnersWorld forum about my race in Paris:

"Unfortunately for me, I had a shocking race! Felt bit rubbish from the off actually but the first half passed ok with the half mara coming up in 1hr 56. Perhaps in hindsight too fast but I actually felt worse when I began to back off the pace. Before I had even got to half way my gel belt had broken so I lost two of my seven gels and my IPOD wasn't working properly. I was also really struggling in the heat (Paris was warm!) and getting flashbacks to the only other really awful race I have had which was the Great North Run where I got sunstroke - this felt similar as I was feeling nauseous, tired and thirsty. Was really struggling by 30kms when I met my inlaws but I was still 2mins under target at this stage. However, then the wheels came off. I have never walked in a race but I did. A lot! It truly became a matter of surviving rather than racing and I almost comtemplated stopping a number of times. By 35kms, I was a minute over time and I resorted to walking one minute and running 4minutes as it was the only way to break it down small enough mentally to keep me going. Those last seven kms took an absolute age, I was down to around 9.30min/miles when running and then off course this average was brought down further by my walk breaks.
All in all, a very awful race for me - not good at all. Considering this, I am extremely pleased I managed to push on and hold it together just enough for 4.06. Not my target obviously but on reflection, this is still 20 MINS off my PB so I should be absolutely estactic. And I am content at least, sub-4 will have to wait! As most of you know, I am training for other goals this summer and this was only ever supposed to be a 'B' race for me, and the training for the other sports has definitely impacted on my ability to train exclusively for this marathon. So, on reflection: Very hard race which I didn't enjoy but which I am content with and pretty philisophical about!"

Think that about sums it up! I am disappointed not to go sub-4 but it was always supposed to be a 'B' race for me and I couldn't possibly have had as perfect a preparation as I would have liked as my goals are elsewhere. It was also a tough race on the day so c'est la vie! I may try and target sub-4 again in an Autumn marathon or I may just save it for another time. Recovery has gone well - I felt surprisingly ok and was ready to train again by Tuesday. I gave it another day of rest to make sure and I am now ready to hit the pool in an hour for a 3 x 1km swim set. On the turbo this evening in advance of my bike fitting at Velomotion tomorrow!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

It's all about the bike!

So, I don't know any triathlon or cycling blog that doesn't use that title at some point! This play on the words of the infamous title of Lance Armstrong's book is now prolific in the consciousness of people training for crazy biking challenges! In this case, it is about the bike. A very beautiful new bike complete with blue Kona flowers that has been leant to me by a local MK distributor (http://www.multisportdistribution.co.uk/) of Blue Competition Cycles. Our local bike shop, Corley Cycles, sponsors a team who are utilising Blue Competition Cycles and Fusion clothing and I watched the team clean up at the first of the Big Cow duathlons a couple of months ago. The bike is beautiful and I am so looking forward to getting out on it after the stupid marathon is done! Maybe it will finally inspire me to become a great cyclist or at least enjoy getting out there a bit more. Either way, I'm going to look a lot smarter come August! :)

Speaking of the marathon, it is driving me nuts! I have true taper madness (a phenomena that sets in for all people training for the marathon in the last few weeks before the race where they have to fully cut back on training and starting feeding their faces with carbs!) which is making me grumpy, sluggish, lethargic and generally cursing the marathon daily. It is exasperated by reading the forums (http://www.tritalk.co.uk/) and seeing quite how much stuff other people are doing while I am confined to the sofa! I am starting to panic slightly about my lack of biking and am planning to hit it hard starting Monday, well, maybe Tuesday, hmmmm, or Wednesday! I would absolutely love to go sub-4 in the marathon and plan to race as hard as I can even though I should be not knackering myself (it's only supposed to be a 'B' race!) because I would love to get the season off to a great start and a sub-4 would fill me with confidence. I know I have done slightly less training than I would have ideally especially because of the need to cross-train and I know it will be close on the day. A hypotherapist friend has got me doing positive mantras on a daily basis and really all I can do now is relax, be confident in the training I have done and give it all on the day. Fingers crossed for me please!!