Tag Archives: Heartbreak Half

Heartbreak Tailwind 10 race recap

13 Dec

I ran my last race of the year today: the Heartbreak Tailwind 10 by Race New Forest. It’s a new race this year, and about the only race I’ve seen in December that doesn’t have a festive theme (I love Santa dashes and Christmas pudding runs, but I’ve run one of them competitively!)

I’ve been so busy recently that, yet again, my training has taken a nose-dive… since Gosport Half, I’ve done a parkrun and gone out for a 12k run with a friend, but that’s the sum total of my training :-S

Stuart and I agreed that we would run together as we’ve not seen much of each other recently. I love running with Stu, but it’s also frustrating as he’s so much fitter and faster than me.

Tailwind 10 is mostly on the same route as the Heartbreak Half – that’s on a T-shaped route, starting at Sandy Balls Holiday Park. The difference from the half is that we only had to run west on the ridgeway, rather than going east first and then west.

The biggest challenge of this race is that it starts at the bottom of a steep hill, which means that there is no time to warm up and get into your stride at the start of the race. Frustratingly, the race doesn’t end at the bottom of the downhill. It’s definitely an undulating course and there’s also a water feature to cool off warm feet 🙂

The weather has been unseasonably warm (about 12°C/54°F), so I was surprised to see a number of runners wearing tights, long-sleeved tops and gloves. I was very grateful to get to the first drinks station where water and Tailwind drinks were available. I know the mantra ‘nothing new on race day’, but I didn’t expect to get a PB and have a cast iron stomach, so after drinking half a cup of water, I also tried the Tailwind. It seemed pleasant enough, but I have no idea what the flavour was meant to be!

As we headed down towards the turnaround point, Stu and I saw various runners we knew, including a number of people from Lordshill Road Runners. I was particularly watching out for Jacqui, my fellow Lane 1 swimmer from Southampton Tri Club as well as Flo and Becky from SUTRI and Becky’s mum, Ruth (who’s a fellow LRR).

At the turnaround point, we saw our friend Jonathan marshalling. At this point, Stu sped up (I think he wanted to look good in the photos!) Thanks to Jonathan for the pics:

Tailwind 10 4

Tailwind 10 2

Tailwind 10 1

Tailwind 10 5

I did my best to maintain an even pace, but think that I slowed in the second half as I as feeling really hot and my breathing wasn’t great… I’m sure I’ve run the half at a faster pace. Stu and I crossed the line together in 01:42:57. It’s a long way off my 10 mile PB, but it was an enjoyable event. Overall, I placed 116/150, was 16/21 in the female vet category and 41/62 women.

After the race, we were given medals and a welcome cup of soup with a bread roll. Runners were welcome to use the shower at the holiday village, but we just wanted to head home.

This was an enjoyable race with a fun and friendly atmosphere. There was great camaraderie amongst the runners, with lots of shouts of encouragement and conversations with runners who were going at our pace. I will definitely consider adding this to my event list for 2016.

Just a quick reminder – please vote for me in the Bloggers’ Lounge 2015 Awards. I’m in the Health and Fitness category, which is at the bottom of the page. Thank you 😀

Heartbreaker Half Marathon

22 Feb

The first time I ran the Heartbreaker Half Marathon (14 miles) was in February 2012. The course changed slightly in 2012 to remove a downhill start and move the turnaround point, so that it is now 13.1 miles and not almost 14 miles, however, that hasn’t affected my time very much:

  • 2012 2:16:56
  • 2013 2:14:53

I chose not to run the race last year, but Stuart persuaded me to enter this year as he thought it would be a good preparatory race for him as he’s doing London Marathon in April.

The course is quite picturesque. It takes place in the New Forest and most of it runs along a ridge way. Essentially, the course is shaped like a capital T – runners start at the bottom of the letter, run up the ‘stem’, turn left and head out to the east, before turning around and heading across the top of the letter to the west, then turning around until the ‘stem’ and heading for home. (That’s not my best description – it might be easier to look at the map).

My goals for today were to beat my previous times and to go under 2:10. An optimistic goal was to go under 2:05, with an optimistic goal of going under 2:00… however, having been ill recently, I knew that would be a very optimistic goal.

We got up early and I ate a bowl of apple and cinnamon porridge before we headed out to the car. We had a hailstorm last night and then when the temperatures dropped overnight, everything froze, so the pavements were quite slippery. Stu’s car was also covered in ice, but the magic of a heated windscreen and wing mirrors meant that we didn’t have to scrape the ice off (I wish my car had such luxurious features!)

I had checked the weather forecast several times: dry, but cloudy until midday when rain was expected. The New Forest looked beautiful as we drove out to the start of the race. We had to arrive quite early to collect our race numbers and didn’t want to get in the way of the marathon runners who were to start at 9am. Fortunately, we didn’t have to arrive quite as early as the marshals. My friend, Donna, from tri club was helping out at the event and she managed to snap several beautiful shots (including the one below) before getting down to work.

View of Godshill with early morning sky

© Donna Lovelock, 2015

We parked the car at the campsite (which is humorously called ‘Sandyballs‘) and said hello to various members of Lordshill Road Runners before heading off to race registration. I was given number 543, which I pinned to my SOAS vest. Stu and I then went to sit in the briefing room to wait for 45 minutes.

It wasn’t long before we were joined by some other runners that we knew… and I also saw some running celebrities, including Martin Yelling and Steve Way. (I’m told that Tony Audenshaw [who records the ‘Tony’s Trials’ section of Marathon Talk] was also there, but although I recognise the sound of his voice, I’ve never seen Emmerdale [the soap opera that he appears in], so I have no idea what he looks like.

There was a lot of discussion about what people were going to wear, based on the ice outside, however, I didn’t think the temperature was too bad, so I had opted to wear my SOAS vest, a pair of double-layer shorts and calfguards. I chose not to wear gloves or a headband as I thought I would probably warm up so much on the first hill that I wouldn’t need them. I accessorised with my inhaler, which was definitely a good move as I was so nervous at my last race without it! Most of my friends were wearing long tights and long-sleeved tops, with most of them also wearing jackets, gloves and hats. This made me start to question my choice, but I know that I get  a lot hotter than most of my friends when I run.

Eventually, it was time to start. We were led down to the bottom of a deep ravine and then the race started. I tried to pace myself cautiously as I knew how hard I had found the first hill previously, so I started with a 6:27/km pace. This turned out to be a sensible move as it didn’t take me long for me to recover my breathing. After leaving the campsite, we turned to the east and headed out along the road. After a few minutes, I was passed by Lisa, a club mate. I know that she is running very well, so I didn’t try to stick with her. We then turned off the main road and out onto a forest trail. It was a lovely long downhill… but it was also a little daunting as we could see the long uphill that came after it… and there were already runners all of the way up the next hill.

It takes a while for my breathing to relax, so I found the long hill quite challenging. At one stage, a runner I know who is 30 years older than me came alongside me, which made me want to fight harder and push on. Finally, I was onto a flat section, when Jenny a friend from Southampton Tri Club and Run camp said hello to me. I had completely forgotten that Jenny was doing this race. I tried to keep Jenny in my sights and when we came to the next downhill, I was able to pass her again. A male runner called out something about taking care of my knees, but I love running downhill and didn’t intend to slow down.

Then came a section that I had been dreading – a river. It’s not large, but I knew I would have to cross it and that it would be cold. One year, it was so dry that I could leap it, but not this year. Fortunately, I was able to spring across fairly quickly and didn’t notice my feet getting wet.

On the next uphill section, another member of LRR, Paul, passed me. Again, I decided not to try to stick with him as I wanted to maintain a steady race and just do the best that I could do. Chasing someone else’s time would jeopardise my ability to stay strong until the end.

We then arrived at the aid station, where we had to turn left to head out along the ridgeway. I love this part of the course as the runners all pass each other and shout encouragement (especially as there were already plenty of marathoners out there). It’s also very difficult to see who is running the marathon and who is doing the half – maybe next year the organisers could give people different coloured numbers. I was watching out for runners I knew and managed to spot Andy Griggs, but I couldn’t work out how close to the front he was – it looked like maybe he was about 5th. Then I saw Mike Akers, who also looked to be having a strong race. Stu was aiming for a steady tempo run as part of his marathon training, so it was a little while before I saw him, but he looked to be running well, which was a relief as he has had severe back problems recently. A short while after Stu, I saw Steve who I used to lead a running group with. He looked like he was running really well, so I felt pleased for him.

Lisa was just ahead of me at the turnaround point and I was then able to see how far ahead of my other friends I was. It was lovely being able to shout hello and cheer on Jenny, Gary, Carol, Paul, Sarah, Rachel, Loraine, Sharon, Cary, Inez and Mike D. I also cheered on a couple of girls who had spoken to me at the start and told me that it was their first half marathon. I didn’t know their names, but hope that my words of encouragement helped them.

The path back to the aid station included a steep uphill. I ran up most of it, but decided to conserve energy and power walk some of it. Fortunately I didn’t feel the need to walk for long and was soon running again. Gary passed me on the hill and looked to be catching up with Lisa. When I got to the aid station, Lisa was having a drink and Gary was tucked behind a bush! I grabbed a cup of water and chose not to stop, but I knew that Gary and Lisa would pass me again soon.

As I expected, Gary and Lisa passed me, but I didn’t mind as I was enjoying myself. We had had a tiny bit of drizzle that had cooled me down and the sun was starting to peep out from the clouds. I kept watching for my club mates, but the very fastest ones had already passed by. I was delighted when I saw Stu and he was still looking strong.

The path to the west felt like it was going on forever, so I was happy when I saw the long downhill to the turnaround point. I ran down it as quickly as I could. It felt great to be passing other runners. At the turnaround point, I could see Gary and Lisa, which helped to spur me on and I knew that I would see plenty of other friends as I was heading back. As I neared the top of the hill, I could see an official race photographer. Why do they do that? It’s so mean! There was nothing for it, but to grit my teeth, smile and do my best to run with perfect form… however, I haven’t seen the photos yet, so I probably still look terrible!

When I got back to the aid station, I took a sip of energy drink and also some water. I had no idea what the energy drink was and I can’t even remember the flavour, but my stomach si generally fine with such things. In hindsight, I probably should have drunk more, but I didn’t want to stop. I headed down the hill towards the river. Unfortunately this time two men were crossing it very gingerly, so I had to slow down. This meant that I didn’t spring through it and my feet got wet 😦

I was starting to get tired, but I would not let myself slow down as I knew that wouldn’t help, so I just kept pushing myself to catch up with whoever the next person ahead was. On the last big descent, I passed a few men who gave me a cheer and encouraged me. I knew I had to make the most of it as my legs were feeling strong, but my lungs weren’t. I did my best to charge up the final hill, but halfway up, I knew that I was slowing significantly. I decided that I would walk as quickly as I could for 100 steps and then would start running again at that point, no matter where I was. Fortunately, this strategy worked and I was back in my stride by the top of the hill.

I turned left back out onto the road and was pleased that I was nearly back at the campsite. Unfortunately, I was also feeling really tired by this point and although it was mainly downhill, I just couldn’t muster up any more energy. Also the road had become quite busy. There were uneven grass verges at the side of the road and the gutter at the edge of the road was made of rough paving, so running in the road was preferable, but the traffic meant this was not possible.

I was really starting to flag when Stuart arrived. I hadn’t expected him to run back as he has had back problems, but he decided to extend his run and come for me anyway – what a hero! Stu had a bottle of water with him, so I took a sip. I also asked him if he had a gel, but he didn’t have one on him. He said a few encouraging things and kept reminding me of how close I was to the finish.

Eventually, we could see the turn into the campsite. Donna was waiting there cheering people on. I put on a massive final sprint (registered at 3:07/km on my Garmin), so that I looked strong crossing the mat.

I had done it! My final time was 2:04:21, so I achieved almost all of my goals. It’s 12 minutes slower than my HM PB, but it was a tough course!

I received a lovely medal and a bottle of water. Baggage collection was mercifully swift as it started raining hard shortly after I finished. I quickly put on my hoodie and tracksuit trousers, but that wasn’t enough to stop me from getting cold. I had the free soup and roll that was on offer, but Stu and I decided not to make use of the swimming pool and hot tub as we were both tired and just wanted to go home. Overall, this is a great race.

Heartbreaker bib and medal

My Garmin data shows that my average pace was 5:55/km, which I was pleased with. My fastest pace (excluding the final sprint) was 3:27/km, which was when I got to a lovely downhill. I LOVE downhill running – it’s so much fun! Sadly, this is a net uphill course, with a 337m elevation gain.

I’m now feeling tired, but happy (and no, I don’t intend to have a spliff to help me push on to a longer distance next time – Marathons and marijuana: the loneliness of the long-distance dopehead!)

Well done to Andy Griggs for finishing 2nd overall (1:24 ahead of Martin Yelling!) and to Mike Akers for finishing 11th. Coach Carol from LRR was 3rd female Supervet (what a great category name!) Despite Stu’s plan of ‘jogging it’, he finished in 1:36:03 and was 21st. I was 138/272… which is frustrating as I was hoping to finish in the top half. However, I was 27/111 females and 17/98 in my category, so that’s not so bad!

Salisbury 10 mile race logo

My next race will be Salisbury 10 mile on 8th March. I’ve had mixed experiences at this race. It is my 10 mile PB course (87:44 in 2013), but I’ve also had some horrible runs there on the two years it was hot and they ran out of water (2012 and 2014 – 96:08 and 1:40:42). I’ve run 11x 10 mile races and my times for this race rank 1st, 8th and 10th. Anyway, I’m hoping the weather will be kind for the race this year – preferably cold and dry. I’ve been emailed my race number: 647. Let’s hope it’s a lucky number and that I get my first PB of the year!

Progress towards Marafun

13 Feb

Until, I got ill, my training for :


was going well. After being unable to run for a month because of having laser eye surgery, my parkrun times started out quite slow

parkrun Jan 2014 26 mins

10th January 2015

but have started to pick up again.

24th January

24th January 2015

I’m hoping that when I’m well, I’ll be able to run 5km in under 25 minutes again.

Next weekend, I’m doing Heartbreak Half. I didn’t run it last year, but I did do it (and blogged about it) in 2013. It’s a challenging course, so it took me 2:14:53. My aim is to run it in as close to 2 hours as possible (and ideally in under 2 hours). There are some tough uphill sections, but the race finishes with some great downhills.


As preparation for the Heartbreak Half, I went out for a long training run with Pete and Aleesha, last weekend. We met on The Common and followed almost all of the route for Southampton Half, so that by the time I got home, I had run 21.2 km in 2:00:16. This was much faster than I had expected to do on a training run, but my Garmin has frustrated me and refuses to upload the file as it has somehow become corrupt.


I also signed up for an Endomondo challenge a while ago and was emailed a certificate to recognise my participation 🙂

Endomondo challenge

Endomondo challenge

I had been intending to do a long run on Sunday morning followed by a bike ride in the afternoon, but I’m now unsure whether I’ll be able to manage either of those, so I may just sit down and start planning my training more carefully. I’ve got so many evnets lined up that I keep forgetting that I’ve entered Ironman Dublin 70.3

Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 10.37.38

Whilst browsing the internet today, I saw this:


How many of these apply to you?

I also saw a humorous graphic about different types of runners.

Which type of runner are you?

My goals for 2015

30 Dec

I’ve spent the last couple of days discussing the races and events that I want to enter in 2015. Stuart is a firm believer of quality over quantity, whereas I want to enter everything! I quite enjoy doing cross-country running and usually do some of the local cross-country series (CC6) but Stu doesn’t want to risk injury; also he is leading Marafun training runs on Sunday mornings and these clash with the CC6s, so we have agreed to do these runs together.

I’ve also been considering my SMART goals for the year. These are goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

I have four goals:


I am going to eat healthy food for 20/21 meals and assess my progress at the end of 100 days (14th April). I hope that I will lose 14lbs (6.5kg) in that time. I will record my progress on Give It 100.


I am going to work hard on my speed between now and 26th April by attending Thursday night track sessions. I will also run on Monday evenings. My aim is to complete Southampton HM in under 1:55, with under 1:52:19 as my ultimate goal as that would be a PB/PR.

Ironman Dublin logo

I want to achieve a PB/PR at Ironman Dublin 70.3 on 9th August. I completed Weymouth Half in 7:24. I think that a time of under 7 hours is possible if I work hard on all three disciplines. I will train for 14 weeks from 3rd May.


I want to complete the Scilly Swim Challenge on 5th September. To do this, I will need to go open water swimming at least once a week between June and September. I will speak to my coach about how to train for an endurance swimming event such as this.

I need to work on my training programme to support these goals. I’m not allowed to swim until the middle of January, but for the next few months, my training schedule is going to include the following:

  • Monday: Crossfit; running; swimming.
  • Tuesday: Spinning; swimming.
  • Wednesday: Rest day. (Maybe lunchtime yoga).
  • Thursday: Track running.
  • Friday: Swimming.
  • Saturday: parkrun or swimming.
  • Sunday: Long run. Bike ride.

I’ve now scheduled most of my races and events for 2015. There’s a whole range of different events that I’ve entered:

  • HRRL – this is a league of 12 races for local club runners. The events are open for any runner to enter, but only the results of local club runners are counted in the league.
  • RR10 – this is a spring/summer local off-road running league. These races are free for local club runners and are 4-5 miles long. Dates for 2015 have not yet been confirmed.
  • parkrun – this is a free, weekly, timed 5k event. I will be adding them in accoridng to my training schedule, but I suspect that I will need to prioritise swimming over running for much of 2015.
  • Eastleigh aquathlons – this is a series of races hosted by TryTri events on Thursday evenings. Entry to them is free for SUTRI members.

Stu and I are also going cycling in Japan with a friend in early April. We’re expecting to ride about 60-70 miles a day, which will be tiring, but good training.



  • 01/02/15 Marafun training run
  • 15/02/15 Marafun training run
  • 22/02/15 Heartbreak Half


  • 01/03/15 Marafun run
  • 08/03/15 Salisbury 10 mile (not yet entered)
  • 22/03/15 Winchester Duathlon (not yet entered)
  • 29/03/15 Marafun training run










  • 15/11/15 Denbies Duathlon or Gosport Half Marathon (TBC)


Off-season rest!

2015 is going to be a busy year. What have you got planned?

Birthday running

4 Mar

Well, it’s been a few days since I last posted as I’ve been so busy.

The big event on my birthday was the Heartbreak Half – a 14 mile race out in the New Forest that is known for its steep hills. The course had been altered slightly from last year’s route, but that didn’t make it any less tough. The start of the race is at the foot of an enormous mountain. Luckily I was aware of what was ahead, so I took it fairly steadily with Irene. The course wound its way out of the caravan park and out onto the main road. Just before the turn off into the forest, I noticed a runner making his way towards us on the road. He seemed to be running too quickly to be an early casualty, so it seemed odd that he was going against the flow of the runners… it took me several moments to realise that it was my husband who had run the 18 miles from our house to cheer me on. What a hero!

Heartbreak Half race number

Heartbreak Half race number

During the race, several runners spoke to Irene and I including someone who ran Paris marathon last year. She told me that 80% of the runners are male, so women in the crowd are very supportive whenever a woman runs past.

Last year, I found the Heartbreak Half to be incredibly difficult. I struggled with hip and leg pain and ended up walking quite a few of the hills. This year I felt on great form and didn’t feel the need to walk at any time. I particularly enjoyed running down the final hill and am convinced that I could have run it at least 5 minutes faster than my eventual time. Anyway, I had decided to enjoy it as it was my birthday, so I took it steady and still managed a PB. This has helped me to feel more confident that I can do well at Paris.

In the evening, I had my first swimming lesson. I was incredibly nervous, but the instructor was friendly and reassuring. There are 3 other people in my group, an older lady called Victoria, a young Portuguese woman and a Chinese lad called Liu. Liu was absent, so there were only 3 of us. The first thing we were asked to do was to swim a length of crawl, so I had to remind the instructor that I can’t do it. He asked me to try, so I managed to move from one end of the other by waving my arms around. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be, and the instructor thinks that if we can work on my breathing I should be OK. We did quite a few drills to focus on crawl breathing, including one that involved swimming on my side with one arm stretched out in front of me. I didn’t like it much as I was convinced that I would swallow lots of water.

After a while spent on crawl, we did a couple of lengths of back stroke. This is the stroke that I find easiest as I don’t need to worry about my breathing. Unfortunately, I was too focussed on travelling down the pool quickly and didn’t spend enough time concentrating on my legs. I now know that I kick from the knees and not from my hips, so I will have to work on that.

Next, we moved onto breaststroke. I was feeling quite confident that I would be able to hold my own for this part. The instructor told me that I need to slow down and not bring my arms in such a wide sweep. I thought I did really well, doing two strokes underwater and one stroke out… it was only when I spoke to Stuart in the evening that he pointed out that in competition your head must come out of the water once in each stroke. Doh! I never knew that before, so clearly there’s a lot that I have to work on.

Overall, I think I made progress even during the one lesson as I feel more confident and understand a lot more about how each stroke should work.

After swimming, I drove down to Sprinkles Gelato for my birthday treat of an ice-cream sundae. It broke all of my diet rules, but it was my birthday!

On Monday evening, Irene and I were leading a circuit training session with our running group. Irene wasn’t confident about leading the exercises, so we agreed that she would devise various running/hopping/stepping exercises and lead half of the group through those. Half the group did an exercise while the other half ran and then they swapped. This seemed like a great idea until I realised that I would have to spend 45 minutes squatting and doing various other strength training exercises. I’m never impressed when an instructor expects people to do things that they wouldn’t do themselves, so I just had to grit my teeth and get on with it!

On Tuesday and Thursday morning, I did Run Camp. It wasn’t too bad, but the squats were hard work after Monday evening. It’s quite nice that it’s getting lighter in the mornings, but a disadvantage is that The Common seems to be getting busier, so we have to move out of the way for bikes more often. I think the exercises are working as it was quite hard to do squats first of all and now I can do one-legged jumping squats.

I didn’t swim on Monday morning as I was feeling exhausted, but I did swim on Wednesday morning. It seems odd not to be focussing on counting lengths and going as fast as possible, but I’m hoping that working on my technique will pay dividends in the end. I did quite a few arm exercises and tried to do a length of crawl, but I still feel very self-conscious.

On Wednesday evening, I went to see Pete at YouMassageTherapy for a sports massage. The last few times I’ve visited, I’ve had holistic massages and deep tissue massages, so I had forgotten how painful sports massages can be. I really must get myself into the habit of stretching properly after running. Pete only focussed on my neck and thighs. I felt so bruised afterwards and was stiff on Thursday. I hope it’s doing me good.

I was tempted to be lazy and not run on Thursday evening, but then realised that ‘Winners never quit and quitters never win’, so I laced up my shoes and headed out for the social run. There were quite a few people there, which was good. We did a run that went to The Common and then when we got there, we headed towards Glen Eyre before going back to Oasis. I managed to chat to quite a few different people, which was good.On Friday evening, Wai was unable to take our Yoga for Runners class, so her friend Zhao was taking the class. Zhao is very enthusiastic, but used to stronger, more flexible people than us. We did a lot of core exercises and I was disappointed by how weak I have become. I really miss the abs and core classes that I used to do at Bournemouth University. My arms also seemed to be very feeble 😦

On Saturday, I had an entire day’s break from running as I was Run Directing at parkrun. It was a pretty stressful event as 2/3 stopwatches didn’t start, but fortunately, I was able to resolve it all in the end – phew!Yesterday, I managed to get myself back into the swing of things. I had planned to run to the CC6 (cross-country race) at Fleming Park with Kirsty and then run home again, but I came across two problems. Firstly, Kirsty was ill and unable to run. For most people, this wouldn’t be a problem, but I’m a social runner and I find it hard to run alone as I like to chat. My second problem was that Stu pointed out that he thought it was 7 miles to Fleming Park and I didn’t get myself ready on time. yet again, I had to remind myself that I can’t quit now, so I left home and realised that I’d just have to do the best I could.

The route from my house to Fleming Park is mostly downhill, which was a relief, but I was still concerned that I might not get there on time. I had worked out a safe route to get there, but it was quite a long route, so I foolishly took my life in my hands and ran about half a mile down a busy dual carriageway to try to cut some of the distance. The roundabout by the motorway was quiet, so I was able to sneak across and managed to cut the distance down to 9.5km (under 6 miles), so I arrived with enough time to change into my trail shoes.

As women’s captain of my running club, I am aware that some people expect me to be one of the club’s fastest runners, however, my role is to participate in events and encourage others to attend. I knew I wouldn’t be one of the scoring runners for my club, so I enjoyed the 4 mile route whilst chatting to Irene. Rob and Stu had been for a long run, so they ran about half a mile of the route with us before heading home. At the end of the CC6, I stopped long enough to congratulate the female runner from my club who won the series and for the men’s team to be crowned winners (and to eat a slice of cake) before it was time for me to run home. My training schedule told me that I should run 20 miles, but my Garmin is set in kms and I reset it at the start of each run, so I didn’t do the maths properly and only ended up running 19 miles, which was annoying as I had enough energy to run another mile – grrr! Oh well, at least I was still feeling strong after running that far.

In the evening, I had my second swimming lesson, which was even more of a success than the last one. We did a few lengths of crawl, backstroke and breaststroke, before doing some breaststroke drills. We had to do two kicks to each arm stroke. It felt odd, but my breathing worked better. Then we moved onto to trying butterfly and tumble turns. We had to swim half a length, turn and then swim half a length back. My first half-length seemed OK until I remembered that I hadn’t been using my legs properly. The second half-length was better. The tumble turns and somersaults in the water were rubbish. I was too afraid that I would somehow get stuck underwater and drown. Victoria tried to reassure me by telling me that after the initial panic apparently drowning is a peaceful experience. That does not reassure me. I think I need to spend some time in a pool with Stu learning how to somersault. I saw this article on Facebook on doing sub 10 hour triathlons on less than 10 hours of training and thought it was interesting:


I also saw this post on how to “Super Charge your new training Phase” By Neil Aitken of Embrace Sports: http://www.run-fast-retail.net/know-how/super-charge-c-378_486_491.html

I was sent this link to an Open Water swimming article written by Chrissie Wellington: http://www.220triathlon.com/article/chrissie-wellington%E2%80%99s-guide-open-water-pt-15

Oh well, I’d better publish this now, or I’ll never get back to date!!!

34 years and 360 days…

19 Feb

It was so hard to get out of bed this morning to go to Run Camp. I really wanted to have a lie in, but I also knew that it was the day of our time trial, so I forced myself to get up. If I’m ever going to fit in Ironman training, I’m going to have to give up any semblance of a social life that I have AND learn to live with less sleep AND get faster, otherwise there’s no way I’ll fit it all in!!!

I ended up running a little late, so I didn’t really have the warm up that I would have liked before we had to do the 2k time trial. We did a loop on Southampton Common including the hill that I hate, but the good news was that we had to run it in reverse of what we do for parkrun, so it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. My time was nearly 11 minutes, which I’m disappointed with as I know I should be able to do it in under 10 minutes… but I can still feel Sunday’s run. Anyway, I managed to get through the rest of the session and just need to keep reminding myself THE LAST MILES COUNT THE MOST in any endurance event.

I tried to sneak in a few minutes online before going to work and was surprised to find an email in my inbox from Heartbreaker Run Festival. I had agreed to do the Heartbreak Half (a 14 mile hilly trail run) with my friend Irene, but forgot to enter on time. I felt terrible telling her that she’d have to do it on her own, so it was great to receive a message telling me that there is a place for me now. It also fits nicely into my training schedule which dictates that I should do a 15 mile run on Sunday… I think steep hills must make up that extra mile! Last year I did the course in 2:16, so hopefully, I can improve on that this year. I also intend to take advantage of the free soup, sauna and swimming afterwards… but need to remember that I have my first swimming lesson at  6:20pm and I want to go to Sprinkles Gelato afterwards. (I’ve never been there before, and it doesn’t fit into my diet plan, but it sounds amazing!!!)

I had a short bike ride to work before I got to sit down for an hour or so. It’s a gloriously sunny day outside, so I’m looking forward to cycling off for a work meeting… and I get to cycle home via the Post office where there’s a parcel waiting for me. I suspect it’s a birthday present from my sister that has arrived early – how exciting!!!

Run Leading… on a bike

18 Feb

This evening I tried Run Leading on a bike for the first time as I thought it would be sensible to give my legs a break after yesterday’s 23 miles. It was actually quite an enjoyable experience. The hill on Southampton Common that I absolutely hate when I’m doing parkrun is much more manageable on a bike going at a runner’s pace. I’ve also realised that I’ve done about 23k on my bike today, which might not sound like much, but it’s the distance that I’ll need to do in my duathlon 😀

The best part of Run Leading on a bike was that I was easily able to hold a conversation and encourage other people without being the slightest bit out of breath myself; the worst part was the fact that I wore my running trainers and I got really cold feet!

I went to the coaching meeting this evening. I managed not to eat in the pub, but I did have a hot chocolate as I was so cold. When I got home, I had soup with a slice of rye bread and a yoghurt. Perhaps not a perfect dinner, but better than I thought I would eat.

I also received a great email this evening telling me that I can have a place in the Heartbreak Half on Sunday. It will be my first race as a veteran as I’ll be 35 on the day. I’ve asked Irene if she’d like me as a running buddy, so hopefully she’ll say yes.

Tomorrow morning I’m doing a 2k time trial at Run Camp 🙂