Tag Archives: Good Fri Tri

2014 race awards

18 Dec
For this post, I’ve linked up with Montana at Pretty Lil Mudder  and a few other fab fitness bloggers – be sure to check out their posts. Here are my 2014 race awards… drum roll, please…
Most Scenic Course
For me this award has to go to Lanhydrock parkrun It’s in a beautiful location, but as the course profile shows, it’s not an easy route:
Lanhydrock parkrun course profile
The event takes place on a National Trust property, which is a stunning old country house. This photo of the gatehouse shows just how magnficent it is.
IMG_1922
Most Challenging Course
This was a difficult award to decide on. The profile of Lanhydrock parkrun made it a runner up, but overall, I decided to present it to Adidas Thunder Run. This event is a 24 hour relay on a 10k cross country course. It has lots of different sections: uphill, downhill, short grass, compact ground, mud. The weather conditions were also quite warm.  I ended up running 50k as part of a 7-person relay team.
Best Expo
This was a tough choice as the only races that tend to have expos in the UK are marathons, and I only ran one this year (Brighton). In the end, I decided to award it to the Triathlon Show with Primera Tri Expo as runner up.
 IMG_1966 IMG_1965 IMG_1964
Best Post-Race Food/Beverages
Braishfield 5 mile beer race – beer, cake and water – what more can I say?
Best Swag
This was another tough category to judge. The goodie bag at Brighton Marathon was good, but the prize has to go to Good Fri Tri, where finishers were not only given a medal, some dried fruit, a drink and their choice of free gift (mug and coaster; bike bottle or buff), but also a lovely Cadbury’s Easter egg 🙂
Good Fri Tri finishers

Stuart and I before collecting our Easter eggs

Most Unique Medal
I loved the ribbon on my Brighton Marathon medal, but probably the one that I liked most was from Eastleigh triathlon:
medal
TryTri have custom medals for every race 🙂
Favorite Race Shirt (tech tee or reg)
I’ve not received many tshirts from races this year. I quite liked the Wiggle Spring Sportive tshirt, but the one that I’ve worn the most is the  Gu Energy Classic tshirt from Bustinskin. It’s a wicking cotton tshirt that was produced in both men’s and women’s sizes 🙂
GU tshirt
Favorite Overall Race
I really enjoyed taking part in Weymouth Half. An advantage of taking part in triathlons is that the order of the disciplines is the same as my confidence levels. I started the day feeling nervous, but my confidence soared when I was on the bike and although my run didn’t go quite as I’d hoped, the crowds were brilliant. The whole event was amazing and I would recommend it to anyone.
Tamsyn running in Weymouth

It was such a relief to see the finish arch © Katherine Anteney

Best Course Support (aid stations, volunteers, people cheering you on, etc)
I loved the crowd support at Weymouth Half… but there wasn’t a huge amount of support out on the bike course. I’m awarding this one to Brighton Marathon as I desperately needed the crowd support during this race and it didn’t let me down!
14 miles © Emily Smith

14 miles © Emily Smith

Race You Are Most Proud of Yourself for Completing
This has to be Weymouth Half – as someone who couldn’t swim 18 months before the race, it has taken a lot of hard work and determination to get to a stage where I could take part in this race. I also had various health battles this year, so I was proud to make the start line and even prouder to finish!
Lap 3 © Marathon-photos

Lap 3 © Marathon-photos

I’d recommend checking out which races my fellow Girls Gone Sporty Ambassadors have presented their awards to:
Which events that you took part in this year would you give prizes to?

Good Fri Tri

18 Apr

This was my first triathlon of the year and my second triathlon with a pool swim. I hated my last pool-based triathlon (Ferndown Try-a-tri), so I was hoping to lay that ghost to rest.

We got up at 5am, and I knew that I move to move quickly as I hadn’t packed all of my kit for today. (I intended to do it yesterday, but ended up spending too much time rushing around to the doctors and sorting out my coaching diary to do it then). Fortunately, most of my kit was in easy reach and I managed not to forget anything, so Stu and I were able to leave on time at 6am for the drive to Abingdon.

On arrival at Radley College, we parked, got our bikes off the rack and had to walk to the registration hall. At this point, I was glad that Stu and I had everything packed into rucksacks as I wouldn’t have wanted to have to balance a basket for the 10 minute walk.

Registration was very easy. We were given goodie bags and our hats and were also offered a choice of a Try Tri water bottle or buff. I think this is a nice touch, as they’re both useful items (and I saw a lot of people using the bottles during the event). Chris Stocks and his partner Ali were in the hall, so we stopped and had a chat with them, before we spotted Katherine.

Tri Try Goodies

Tri Try Goodies

We then were directed out to the transition racks. Stuart was told that he had to place his bike towards the exit, so I followed Katherine and racked up next to her. I laid everything out and started feeling more confident.

My race number

My race number

Stuart was in one of the first swim waves, whereas Katherine was due to start at 9:30 and I was in the wave after her at 9:40am, so we went up to the viewing gallery to watch the first swimmers.

There were some incredible swimmers in the pool, with perfectly executed tumble turns in many lanes and the majority of people demonstrating beautiful freestyle, but there were also a few people who had obviously over-estimated their abilities. As a slow swimmer myself, I don’t have a problem with that, but I really felt sorry for the poor chaps (I think they were all men) who were slowly slogging it out when everyone else had finished. It’s never so bad when there are other people around you finishing at roughly the same time, and a difference in ability is far less noticeable on the bike and run legs as no-one knows when you started, but in the pool, all eyes are on you and the next wave can’t start until you have finished. I don’t think the waiting athletes minded and there was applause for the first person out of the water as well as being applause for the last person, but that always feels a bit awkward and patronising, even if it’s meant in a supportive way.

It wasn’t long before it was Stuart’s turn. he had been very quiet in the morning as he had been ill, so I was pleased to see him chatting with other people poolside. Each lane had four swimmers in it with different coloured hats on: blue, green, orange and red… and that was the order that we had to swim in. Stu had an orange hat, so he was third to set off. He wasn’t sure of his swim speed, so I had asked his coach on Monday who suggested 7:30. Stu was swimming really well and Katherine and I were impressed by his beautiful tumble turn at the end of the first length, but he decided to conserve his energy and did touch turns afterwards. It wasn’t long before he passed the swimmer in the green hat and he made good progress on the swimmer in the blue hat, but Katherine and I were surprised that he seemed unable to get past that swimmer. We asked Stuart about it later and he said that he hadn’t tapped the other swimmer on the feet, but the blue-hatted swimmer paused at the end of the next length anyway for Stu to go past. The time for the swim included a brisk walk around the edge of the pool and down a corridor to the timing mat, so Stu did brilliantly to complete his swim in 7:05. Go Team Smith!

Shortly afterwards, Katherine and I went down stairs to get ready for our swim. It was the first time that I had swum in my Team Soas tri top and shorts, so I was wondering how they would fare. We headed out to the pool and were given our timing chips. Then we were separated as Katherine had to line up on one side of the pool and I was sent to the other side. I started chatting to a couple of women who were also in my wave, which helped to keep my nerves at bay.

The Swim

We then moved around the pool again and Ben came past and said a cheery hello. Finally, Katherine’s wave started, and a marshal came over to check us in. There were meant to be four people in a lane, but the swimmer who should have been in second place in my lane had withdrawn, so there were just three of us. I started to sort myself out, which is when things started to go wrong. until that point, I had been wearing my glasses, but I took them off, to put my goggles around my neck and my swimming hats on (yes, hats… I hate getting water in my ears and find that with my lovely Maru hat, I don’t have any problems, so I didn’t want to try anything new). As I put my goggles over my head, the elastic strap snapped. I tried not to panic as I figured that I could fix it, but it had snapped at the widest possible point, so I could barely thread it through the side and there was no way of securing it, not even with a knot. I started to panic and the stress got to me, so I burst into tears. I was so hoping that I’d be able to do well and was then starting to wonder whether I’d even be able to start. I asked the marshal whether there was any possibility that I could start in a later wave, but they said no, so I had to think of a solution. The other girls in the lane suggested that I borrowed some goggles, but I’ve only swum without my prescription goggles once (in Cyprus), so I was nervous that it would mess up my swim. One of them proposed that if I were doing breast stroke, I could keep my glasses on, but I didn’t think that would be the right solution for me!

Broken goggles :-(

Broken goggles 😦

I couldn’t see Stuart, and the only other person I knew was still in the water. I felt very flustered and by the time I realised what I should do, Katherine had exited the pool and was heading for the door. I walked after her as fast as I could, aware that there weren’t many people left in the pool. As I chased after Katherine, I suddenly realised that I had reached the timing mat, so I had to stop. I frantically appealed to a marshal, who kindly went over to Katherine (who was just out of sight behind a bush) and got her goggles. I was aware that my wave would be starting very soon, so I then had to run back indoors.

Unfortunately, my disastrous experiences didn’t end there as I managed to run into something and cut open my elbow. I could see it bleeding (so I probably shouldn’t have got in the pool – sorry everyone, but I can promise that I don’t have any blood-bourne diseases and I’m sure the chlorine would have killed everything off!), but there was not time to stop and think. I got back to my lane, just as the last swimmer was getting out of the pool – phew!

Elbow injury

Elbow injury

It was then onto the small matter of swimming sixteen lengths (400m). When I did Ferndown try a tri, I panicked in the pool and ended up having to do breaststroke, but having managed two 400m sets with Coach Peter at Tri Club, I was confident that I should be able to do the distance without stopping or changing stroke. I did my best to turn quickly, although I will admit that a couple of my turns were somewhat tardy. I caught up with the swimmer in front of me and she let me go past, but the first swimmer in my lane was probably 30 seconds ahead of me. I felt really pleased that despite the panicked start, I maintained my pace and managed to front crawl the entire distance. I got out of the pool, picked up my goggles and glasses and headed for the exit, pleased that I was not the last person out of the pool.

My fastest recorded time for 400m is 10:36, so I was quite pleased that including the  run to the mat, my time was 11:07.5

Transition 1

This was horrendously slow and is an area that I need to work on. I was surprised that my clothes were a bit disordered when I got to the rack, but tried not to let this bother me. (Katherine later told me that she’d had to stop a man from putting on my clothes in transition – if my cycling jersey were plain black I could understand, but it’s a vibrant pink, which isn’t the most popular colour for men’s tops!) I dithered about what to put on, but decided to put on my jersey and not my arm warmers. In hindsight, this was a mistake as it wasn’t very cold and it wasted a lot of time. I also failed to take my watch off and put it onto my bike, so the jersey stuck to my wet skin and I couldn’t get it over my watch – doh! I then had to put my sock on, put my shoes on, put my watch onto my bike, put on cycling mitts – just in case I crash – put on a headband and put on my helmet… oh yes, and there was the small matter of inserting contact lenses. (Added to this, my bike was racked at the furthest point from the timing mat.) This clearly far too much faffing and is why my transition time was the fifth slowest. I also made the same mistake as I made at Winchester Duathlon and managed to mess up the timing on my watch 😦 I think the issue with the goggles and the time it takes to put in contact lenses in transition (30 seconds) are key indicators that if I want to continue with this sport, I need to start researching laser surgery sooner rather than later.

My time was a shameful 4:23.50

Bike

As soon as I had crossed the timing mat, I went to get on my bike, but the marshals shouted at me that I had to run another six steps to the edge of the road. This threw me a little bit and I was surprised at how many people were watching, which made me feel self-conscious, but I managed to get started. I know from recent rides that I ought to be able to maintain an average pace of 25.5kmph, so I decided to reset my watch, so that I could monitor my pace.

IMG_2415

I really enjoyed the bike ride. It was a nice route, with the only off-putting element being that we were in such close proximity to oil seed rape fields, which seems to make my hay fever worse. I was also feeling quite confident on the bike, and for once there was a steady stream of people for me to overtake, which is highly motivating. I was only passed by three people, who I assume were the fastest cyclists in the novice event as they had expensive bikes and all of them had aero bars. The marshals out on the course were great, giving very clear instructions and allowing the cyclists to know when it was safe to cross roads in plenty of time to take the most appropriate course of action.

I knew when I was getting close to the finish, so I undid my shoes. Unfortunately, this caused me to slow a little and a couple of men passed me. One of them stopped quite abruptly so I didn’t manage a good flying dismount like I did at Winchester, but it did mean that I knew I wouldn’t have to take off my shoes when I got to the bike rack.

IMG_2413

IMG_2414

The ride was 22km long and I managed it in 52:41.05. I don’t have the full data on my Garmin, but of the almost 20km that I recorded, my average pace was 26.8kmph, which I’m quite pleased with. I also managed a new PB in terms of cadence (63) 🙂

Transition 2

This was much better than my first transition as I only had to put shoes on, remove my bike helmet, put my watch on and twist my number around. This was my best discipline of the day with my time of 1:30.85 putting me in 131st place. (I count this as my biggest triumph of the day as I managed to beat both Katherine and Stuart!)

Run

I knew that I would find the run difficult as I was starting to wheeze and my legs were tired… I don’t think the swim and cycling had affected them as much as Brighton marathon and the training that I did on Monday and Wednesday, but I didn’t feel that I could skip those sessions as Challenge Weymouth is my A race this year).

IMG_2416

IMG_2417

IMG_2418

I fiddled with my watch a bit and managed to reset it, so that it was recording my run. I wanted to keep my pace under 6 min/km, but I was tired and realised that the slight incline that I had barely noticed on my bike felt very steep. I could see a woman up ahead who didn’t look to be moving too quickly, so I tried to gain on her, but don’t think I made very much progress. We headed out onto an open field and I realised that I could see the finish funnel, so I knew that I must be almost half way around. The runner up ahead turned off as she was finishing her run, but I heard some cheering and realised that Stuart was sitting on the grass watching out for me.

As I turned off for my second lap, I could hear someone gaining on me.

IMG_2419

IMG_2420

IMG_2421

IMG_2422

IMG_2423

IMG_2424

IMG_2425

IMG_2426

We passed friendly marshal at the same time and both commented to her. We then started talking to each other, which really helped me. I know I should have been pushing as hard as possible, but my body was just not cooperating and by staying with this lovely American guy, I was maintaining a better pace than if I’d been on my own. It turned out that he’s also training for a half iron distance race in September (Crescent Moon). I don’t know what his name was, and can’t read his number in the photos, but he really helped me.

When we got to the track, he took off, but I just couldn’t push any harder. However, I realised that I was catching up with a lady up ahead, who appeared to be struggling.

IMG_2427

IMG_2428

IMG_2429

IMG_2430

She had a friend who was in the centre of the track, motivating her to run faster. This spurred me on and I managed to pull out a sprint at the end.

IMG_2431

Yay! Passing someone!

Yay! Passing someone!

I hope Coach Ant's proud of my slight forward lean

I hope Coach Ant’s proud of my slight forward lean

Just about to cross the finish line!

Just about to cross the finish line!

My run time of 28:12.90 is rather disappointing, but I know that I can improve on it!

Overall

After crossing the finishing line, I thanked the American guy who had run with me and was presented with a medal and a bottle of water… and the biggest surprise of the day, a lovely Cadbury’s buttons Easter egg 🙂

Good Fri Tri bling!

Good Fri Tri bling!

I met up with Stu who had cheered me over the line. We then saw Chris, the director of Try Tri, who took a photo of us both:

Good Fri Tri finishers

Good Fri Tri finishers

In conclusion:

Good Fri Tri results

Good Fri Tri results

I finished in 1:37.55, which is not as fast as I’d hoped for. I can see the aspects of my race that I need to work on, and am hoping to be able to improve my run speed (in particular) in the coming months. It was a really enjoyable event, and despite the traumatic start, the pool swim went far better than I expected 🙂

I’ve moved!

10 Apr

Woo hoo – the information for my next race has arrived!

I’ve got a sportive this weekend and then I’m doing my first triathlon of the year – Try Tri’s Good Fri Tri. I hated my last pool-based, but I get less stressed about swimming in close proximity with other people now, so I’m hoping that it will go well.

I also had a totally fabulous sports massage with the lovely Pete at YOU Massage Therapy. My calves weren’t too bad as I had them massaged before the marathon and I wore calf guards during the race, but my quads and glutes were quite tight. Pete finished off my massage by working on my neck and shoulders, which are always horribly tight. I’ve been told to relax my shoulders for as long as I can remember (by my ballet teacher, karate instructors and various other people), but when I’m told that, they usually feel relaxed to me. At some stage soon, I’m going to book a neck and shoulder massage in the hope that I can release some more of the tension there. I think going back to yoga regularly will also help me… as would spending less time using my laptop.

Anyway, onto my big topic of the day… you may have noticed that I’ve bought a new domain:

http://www.fatgirltoironman.co.uk

I’m hoping to find some time during the Easter break to make a few changes around here.

Is there anything that you’d like to see on my blog? Anything that you think I should change?