So it seems my most popular stat from my last Blog and the most tested since is that everything tastes amazing after you run 26.2 miles. Especially beer! I sincerely hope you’ve all been continuing to check this fact! Because I practice what I preach I have led by example, post Brighton, but due to this I have had to get back into training otherwise I would be rolling myself around my next marathon! So what's been happening since Brighton.
The following weekend was a truly wonderful weekend in London with the Buzzers and honorary member Kirsty. We certainly packed it in on Saturday with buses, boats, cable cars and Boris bikes; it was planned not accidental that we ended up by the finish line for the London Marathon!
Sunday was a magical day supporting and an early start too. Myself and Kirsty had decided to do our effort session early and were going to go out on the London Marathon route to do it, however we were so early the road closures had not yet been enforced! We ended up on Blackfriars Bridge running 1 minute efforts, which conveniently was the length of the bridge at our speed! One guy did ask us if we were running the marathon and I cheekily replied asking if the race start was nearby! After 8 sprints back and forwards across the bridge we ran the final 2 efforts along the Southbank taking us near enough back to our hotel for breakfast, and it still wasn’t 7am! We certainly were not the only ones at breakfast in running kit and brazenly said thank you to all the good luck wishes as we tucked into scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon! By 9am we were ready and stationed just past Tower Bridge at the Buzzers HQ cheering spot. Here we are early on saving ‘our’ spot!
It was an amazing day cheering everyone and exhausting too as every spectator knows! There were moments of envy that I wasn’t running and then equally of relief I wasn’t as the sun beat down and the tarmac became hotter, we could certainly see first-hand how it was affecting all the runners. I loved supporting everyone and will be back next year if the ballot is another fail!
Since then I have made a return to the bike and actually on the road not just in the gym! Last Sunday was the rescheduled Sportive from March which had been rescheduled from December initially! Fortunately it didn’t snow for a 3rd time but the temperature was less than tropical with it only reaching a balmy 6 degrees with strong winds! I felt quite strong but cycling into a head wind was draining and exhausting in so many ways; your speed could half with just a left-hand turn! There was a short and a long route but somehow I missed the direction for the long route and ended up back at HQ just over 48 miles when I wanted to cycle a minimum of 60 miles. I bravely set out in to the unknown, by myself, on an unsigned route to make up the extra miles. Of course I picked the stretch of road where I was cycling into the strongest head wind so eventually had to turn off and hope I didn’t get lost; I have little sense of direction! Eventually the road came to an end so I turned around and retraced my cycle steps making it back to HQ where Kirsty watched me cycle by, slightly concerned as I was her lift home! Well I wasn’t stopping at 59.8 miles so I had to carry on! Finally just over 60 miles cycled in just under 4hrs 30mins, hallelujah I’m improving!
Last Saturday I ran my 3.7 miles #finishformatt to Swindon parkrun; yes my warm-up was longer than the parkrun! It was my first visit to Swindon parkrun which is actually in rural Lydiard Park and I enjoyed it! The run is popular so the start was congested which suited me, and probably due to this I managed a 8:40 mile for the last one. I didn’t think my watch had an ‘8’ on it as it has been so long since it’s shown itself! I then ran a shorter cool down back to the car and with the heaters on full blast drove over to the lake for swim or an ice bath as it could have also been known as! I managed to swim about a mile before the coldness set in, there was only me and a goose in there who of course wanted to swim in exactly the same place as I was!
I was then back to the lake Wednesday evening for their first timed swim of the season. It is a monthly event and I was keen to give it a go so I could get practice in again for swimming and sighting. There were a choice of distances; 400m, 750m, 1500m, 1.9k, 3.8k and obviously you could change your mind during the event if you needed to. I opted for the 1.9k knowing I could drop down if I became too cold. The route was 2 x 750m loops and 1 x 400m loop and once I’d worked out where all the buoys were I was set to go. The water was a tropical 12 degrees so I made sure I was to the side of the main group of swimmers so I could set off slightly slower to adjust to the temperature and to be honest once I’d lost feeling in my face it was fine! With so many distances available you had no idea how you were fairing but after 1 loop and then even more so after 2 loops the number of swimmers really did thin out. After 2 loops I felt comfortable so carried on and as I came into the finish I could feel I was being chased but I managed to get my hand on the pontoon first #stillcompetitive! I wasn’t last and in a mainly male field I held my own and have a base to work on, especially when the water warms up! (I think I'm on the far right with the orange hat!)
This Sunday I am bravely out on the bike attempting the 90 mile sportive around the Forest of Dean. I was going for the ignorance is bliss approach but have just been warned that the first incline is 700ft over 2.1miles and ends up on a 20% gradient for 200 yards! I’m sure it will be fine as long as I can push my bike with one hand and hold my inhaler in the other!
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