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Monday Morning Motivation – Crying in the Rain

4 Sep Norseman triathlon
Norseman triathlon

© Agurtxane-Concellon

I liked last week’s motivational video about Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon so much that I went hunting for another one and found this one from 2014 – enjoy!

“The tears stream down my cheeks from my unblinking eyes. What makes me weep so? There is nothing saddening here. Perhaps it is liquefied brain.”
― Samuel Beckett

Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon is considered the ultimate triathlon on the planet, and the race that any hard core triathlete should do at least once. http://www.nxtri.com

Everybody who has done Ironman, I think it’s on the bucket-list to do.
It’s probably the most iconic, tough, ironman-distance race and there is such a mystique about it and a beauty about it.
You don’t know if you’re going to finish. You don’t know if you’re going to be able to do anything at all.
It is a true challenge, whereas an Ironman is more a parade where people are just clapping and cheering.
The process of getting ready for a triathlon is the hard part.
Coming here is the party.
It’s the combination of something I have worked so hard for to accomplish.
This is a good day, an easy day, I’m eager to get going.
I’ve got butterflies going crazy at the moment, so I keep trying to just think about my day rather than worry about all these very tall, athletic Norwegians.

Monday Morning Motivation – Ain’t no mountain high enough

28 Aug Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon 2016
Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon 2016

©kai otto melau / nxtri.com
#NXTRI2016

Earlier this month, some tough triathletes took on the Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon, which is one of the hardest triathlons on the planet. Here’s a video about last year’s event.

If you’d like to find out more, visit the event website.

HOWL aquathlon 2017

14 Jul Finish of HOWL aquathlon

This evening Stu and I took part in HOWL aquathlon. It’s the second year that the event has taken place and it was my second time taking part. Last year, I was pregnant when I took part, so I was grateful just to be able to do so. This year I was hoping that I would make it through the swim and would put in a good run leg.

Our lovely friend, Jez, has offered to babysit for us several times, so we decided to take his up on his kind offer. We figured that we shouldn’t be away from M for too long and if she was having a bad night then several of our other friends would be around to help out… plus Jez is a sporty guy (and amazing runner), so we thought he might like watching the aquathlon.

Tamsyn and M

We registered at 6:30pm and the event wasn’t due to start until 7:30pm, so there was

Waiting at the start of HOWL aquathlon

As well as the individual competition, there were also team prizes up for grabs. We had assumed that the first two men and two women from each club would count as a team, but were told that we had to pre-register as specific teams. This proved to be a little challenging as no-one was sure of their rank within the club – especially as many people are significantly better at one of the disciplines. In the end, Stu and I were registered in STC’s team 2.

STC at HOWL aquathlon

© Darryl Marcus-Hanks

STC at HOWL aquathlon

© Darryl Marcus-Hanks

Most of my clubmates were representing Southampton Tri Club in their club lit, but I only own an STC gilet and I wanted to wear my lovely kit from The Athlete’s Palate.

I set up my stuff in transition and then had some more time to chat with friends. Before long it was time for the race briefing. I should have been fully focused, but I suddenly realised that my swimming hat was missing. Panic! Panic! Jez kindly ran over to registration and picked up another hat for me, so I was able to start thinking about the race. [As an aside, it was great that women were given blue hats and men had the red hats – such a refreshing change!]

After the briefing, we were straight into the lake for a deep water start, so there was a bit of a warm up. To my dismay, wetsuits had been banned. I really feel the cold when swimming (because I am sooooo slow) and I also appreciate the extra buoyancy, but there was nothing I could do about it, so I just got in.

Getting in the water at HOWL aquathlon

Getting in the lake HOWL aquathlon start

I positioned myself towards the back, but was almost in line with the buoy as I didn’t want to swim any further than was necessary.

Start of HOWL aquathlon

I found the swim challenging, although I managed to get into a rhythm. I had forgotten how much I enjoy open water swimming as it’s so peaceful. I didn’t see anything strange out of the corner of my eye – usually, I spy my hand a lake monster and get freaked out, but not today.

I knew I wasn’t going quickly and this was confirmed when I got clopped in the head by one of the leading ladies heading towards the end of their swim.

I acclimatised to the water temperature fairly quickly, but was disarmed by some of the extremely cold patches that we had to traverse. I had thought that the water would get stirred up a bit by all of us swimming, but that didn’t happen.

I didn’t have a very quick transition. I tried not to faff, but I did exchange a few words with spectators.

My running is significantly better than my swimming, so I was pleased to see some other runners up ahead who I was able to hunt down. I haven’t seen the splits yet, but I think my run was quite good.

Running at HOWL aquathlon

© Darryl Marcus-Hanks

On the second lap, there was a lady in a yellow top up ahead. I chased her for a significant portion of the second lap. In the end, she beat me by about 6 seconds and was 3rd V40 lady. Maybe next year, my swimming will be back on track and I’ll be able to chase her down!

Finish of HOWL aquathlon

Last year, I managed:

Swim time: 21:47

Transition time: 1:16

Run time: 30:06

Overall: 53:09

Here are my (provisional) results for this year (based on my Garmin):

Swim time:  21:12

Transition time: 01:05

Run time: 24:30

Overall: 00:46:44.274

So, it was a PB 😀

I was 16/21 senior ladies and 19/35 women.

It was also great to learn that Stuart was first V40 finisher – well done, Stu!

Stuart finishing HOWL aquathlon

St Swithuns Tri

9 Jul St Swithuns Tri bike 1

St Swithuns Triathlon was to be my second tri of the year. It was a new event, so I was looking forward to seeing the venue. I also guessed that some of the route might be similar to the route used in previous years for Winchester Duathlon, which I thought would be fun.

My mum had agreed to come along to look after Baby M, so I knew that I would be able to do the race without worrying about her, but it did give me an incentive to go as quickly as possible.

The day before the race, we headed out to Winchester to pick up our race packs. As usual, the organisation was very smooth – I like not having to rush around on the morning of the race sticking labels onto my kit.

St Swithun’s School has stunning grounds and imposing buildings. I’ve heard a lot about the school before, but had never seen it, so I was very impressed. I’m guessing that there had recently been an event (prom, perhaps), so there was a marquee with a chandelier set up on the lawn for registration.

St Swithuns School

After collecting our kit, we went and had a look at the swimming pool. On our way back to the car we bumped into Tri Club team-mate Antoine, and his family.

We then went for a drive around the bike course. For other events, we’ve had a practice ride on the course, but we didn’t have time for that, so we decided to make do with a ride. I like to look for any hills that I might not know about as well as sharp turns and gravel on the road.

In the morning, we arrived with plenty of time to rack up. Sergio and Gladys were there, so I spent a bit of time chatting with them as we had a lot of time to waste. I also saw my friend Becky, who was taking part in her first triathlon.

Stu’s wave was earlier than mine, so I was able to watch him run out of the pool to the transition area, before I had to go and queue poolside.

My lack of swimming training showed. I found the pool to be reasonably warm. I was the slowest in my lane and there weren’t many people left in the pool when I finished, which is always frustrating. I would love to be a good swimmer.

Swim 09:47

It was a reasonably long run to transition, but I’ve managed to learn from past mistakes, so I didn’t have too much kit to faff around with. Also, as the weather was warm, I knew that I wouldn’t need to put any additional layers of clothing on. I know that I can improve on my transition time, but I was pleased to be in the top half of results for this section.

T1: 01:35 

I didn’t mount my bike as smoothly as I wanted to as there were quite a few other competitors around, as well as a 90 degree bend. It was a nice course and I felt that I was riding well, even though I’ve not had much of a chance to get used to my new bike.

Frustratingly, there were a few sets of traffic lights where I had to stop. It was hard to get going after them.

My ride wasn’t quick, but it wasn’t as slow as I thought to was going to be.

Bike: 48:29

St Swithuns Tri bike 2

St Swithuns Tri bike 1

I was unable to do a flying dismount as again there was a sharp bend, with a kerb, followed by some grass. I removed my shoes, helmet and mitts as quickly as possible and put on my trainers. I don’t think I did too badly as my transition time was in the top half of the field.

T2: 01:05

As soon as I headed out onto the run, I realised that I should have paid more attention to the run course as the first section was uphill on grass, which was challenging. There was then a section on the grassy school field with a short uphill. I saw fellow tri club member, Sandra, and managed to catch up with her on the field. We had a short chat before I continued.

I headed toward where the main group of spectators were waiting. It gave me a much-needed boost to see Sonia, Stu and my mum – Baby M was sleeping.

I kept pushing and felt a bit more confident as I knew the route that I needed to take for my second lap.

I was really pleased that I was able to complete the 5k run in a good time.

Run: 25:12

Overall: 1:25:09 103/179 finishers; 4/14 in my age group and 30/77 female

I really enjoyed this race and would definitely think about entering it again next year. I was surprised that I did so well as I have not been training much

Thursday Tri Reads

12 Feb

I’ve had a bit of time to be able to read some articles on line this week, so here are the ones that I felt were worth sharing…

fisherprice turbo

What have you been reading this week?

What Valentine’s Day means to triathletes…

7 Feb

swim bike run Valentine

There are several challenges for non-triathletes who are dating triathletes…

The first challenge is buying the right gift. Typical Valentines gifts include:

  • underwear
  • shoes

Then of course, there are the activities. You’re thinking you might need some lube to get your pulse racing, whereas we want a HRM (or some body glide)!

Anyway, there’s no reason why you can’t fall back on these Valentines favourites for the triathlete in your life. There’s plenty of sports specific underwear available – if your partner is female then there are lots of gorgeous crop tops and sports bras available and either gender could appreciate some Runderwear.

When it comes to shoes, there are so many options:

  • swim bootees (especially useful if you live somewhere where the water is cold!)
  • cycling shoes
  • trainers

Remember that your triathlete partner may be on a strict training schedule, so a late night out or a boozy meal may not appeal to them… but some healthy treats and a massage would probably be appreciated.

What I’ve been reading this week:

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Monday Morning Motivation – Bad to the bone

30 Jan

If you have 10 minutes to watch this video of Isklar Norseman Xtreme Triathlon 2015 then you’re bound to feel inspired (and in awe of the athletes who take part).


“If you’re looking to test your personal limits and find your mental and physical boundaries in a single day event, I think this is the only place you can come.”

“It is unique to jump in the cold water, to climb the mountain, to share with all the family. That makes it unique to share – to know that we’re not alone”

“This is the coldest water I’ve ever swam in in my entire life. There will be a time when I’m warm again, it might be tomorrow or tonight, but a time will come in the future and just put your mind on that – this is temporary, you just have to work through it. I think you’ve got to be strong up here!”

“You know it wasn’t bad in the beginning, it got cold once we got into the bay.”

“This is ridiculous.”

“How was the water?”

“Freezing!”

“That was awesome!”

First 160 athletes allowed up to Gaustadtoppen checkpoint known as Zombie Hill.

“But we are ahead of time. You said like 14 hours and 30 minutes…”

“But there are 160. That’s our safety cut off!”

Monday Morning Motivation – Women for Tri

26 Dec

I love this video from Women For Tri.

One day, I’ll swim, I’ll bike and I’ll run.

One day, I’ll make my mum proud.

One day, she’ll stand on the sidelines and watch me finish…

because today, I stand and watch her.

One day, I’ll be an Ironman.

You never know who might be watching and being inspired by you 🙂

 

Monday Morning Motivation – Ironman Objective

12 Dec

Do you have two minutes to spare? This inspirational triathlon training video with Christophe Suquet is a great way to start your week.

Passion.

Determination.

Generosity.

Perseverance.

Ironman Objective.

If you’d like to learn more about Christophe (and can speak French), you can follow his blog: http://christophesuquet.over-blog.com

 

Monday Morning Motivation – Meet Non Stanford’s Toughest Opponent

17 Oct

Triathlon is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. Mastering three disciplines simultaneously puts an immense amount of pressure on an athlete’s body.

After a string of injuries forced Non Stanford to take a break from her sport in 2008, it was the mental strain of starting all over again that challenged her the most. It was during this period that Non had to learn true patience, accepting her limits, understanding her body and controlling the urge to push beyond what she could do. The gruelling and often lonely training tested Non’s mental resilience. While many athletes would have thrown in the towel, Non used the experience to emerge a more complete competitor.

There is no greater opponent than the one inside your own head. We explore the mind game that every athlete has to overcome on the path to greatness.

Non Stanford:

To go from World Champion to not even being able to stand on a start line was pretty tough. I was pushing a bit harder in training and got injured. Patience is one of the most valuable lessons that I’ve learnt as a triathlete. I’ve had to learn it the hard way. Everyone has self doubts or moments of weakness. It makes you more tough at the end of the day.

Tomorrow I will be more patient.