Monday, 29 March 2010

zummerzet


Here’s the ‘before ‘picture of the Carritt sisters at last weekend’s Orion 15. I was pleased and amazed at how well I ran this – felt light and fast and strong finish despite having done only one 90 min run since my injury – which itself was a very testing experience for my legs. I was convinced that I would find my muscular endurance very much wanting on this hard 15 miler. It’d certainly be over 2hours of running – and I was genuinely concerned about making the 9 miles cut off at 90 min. Turns out that endurance was no problem. Perhaps it was the more forgiving surfaces, perhaps you don’t loose as much fitness as you might suppose, perhaps it’s down to the fact that I’m a few kg light at the moment ( god knows how!) perhaps it was just such fun that I forgot to get tired!! There’s nothing quite as exhilarating for me as tearing through a forest on a cold winter day, splattered head to toe in mud with a bunch of other nutters all pushing you along at pace. Just a couple of hundred metres into the race, my shoe was sucked right off in a large ‘puddle’ of mud, forcing me to turn against the hordes of the race to go back and retrieve it! You know its gonna be a tough course when it steals your shoes!

I enjoyed gloating at my sister, too, who had a shocking run. She may be able to knock out a sub 38min 10k n the road, but she simply is not used to and does not enjoy the mud and uneven surfaces of cross country. Finishing 15 min behind me, I had a good laugh at her and called her a lazy cow….she was in a right moooood. I have a feeling that I am going to get seriously ‘served’ in two weeks when she comes to Taunton for the half marathon!

On my arrival in Taunton this week, I was greeted by my mother who has kindly driven through Taunton traffic (the worst!) to collect me from the station which is all of 1km away! It was raining though an I did appreciate that :o) When we get in , like christmas morning, I’m straight away looking for the packages that have been awaiting me. First is a load of sports nutrition products from Powerbar. The package was mostly comprised of boxes of the different types of bars that they now make - I’m used to the classic, solid chewy Powerbar that is typically distributed at Ironman races, but was interested to try out some of the different higher protein options that are available, as well as the more natural Harvest bars, so I have a good selection. I will be using these instead of my home made date and nut bars for the rest of the year (they sent enough!), assessing their merits in the following critical areas:
On- bike openability
Mouth feel/chew time/number of bites /bar – eatability
Hunger satisfaction (saitiability)
Energy boost/release rate
Taste
Flatulance factor
Nutritional balance and number of alien sounding ingredients
Powerbar have not asked for this feedback – but that’s just the sort of thing that keeps me entertained on long solo rides, so they’re gonna get it!
I’ve also got a stash of Ride shots, which I know are great, and their gels – again I’ve always favoured these for my races, and various protein powders for when I step up the training load/can no longer afford real food.

The other box …tat dad a…my new bike! A Bright Green painted ( yes ,that was an extra surprise for me, having been anticipating a white frame!) Qunitana Roo CD.01. in my room – and mine! The detailing on the frame is absolutely gorgeous and is currently being admired by the guys at Bicycle Chain in Taunton who are sawing it to size and running the cabling through the frame. I admit that I was a little concerned as to whether I’d be able to find a anyone in a local bike shop familiar with this sort of highly specialist bike, but the mechanic, at Bicycle Chain has worked on a number of tri bikes and after our first meeting I was totally reassured. In fact, it is ready for me to collect tomorrow morning ….and I’ll take it out for a spin. If it’s dry.

The weather this weekend has improved over what it was earlier this week, and I’m just back form a great ride with 6 guys, associated with the Somerset RC Tri club who are doing their final training preparations for the Etape of the Tour of Flanders next weekend .It was a fast paced ride, as i expected, but such friendly bunch they made sure that I stuck with them by easing up over the tops of the hills..and one or two hefty shoves on the backside if i lost the back of the bunch!! Despite my slower pace, I have been invited to join them regularly which will be good for my riding. I think that actually they appreciated my presence as it tempered the testosterone hammering that they normally serve to one another. Alan commented that this had been the nicest group ride that they’d managed. Which of course I take full credit for ;o)

Saturday, 20 March 2010

monkey


just over week back in the uk now, and fortunatly it has taken that long for the weather to sort itself out and resume it's proper, wet grey british behaviour! Up until yesterday it has been glorious glorious in a cold way, of course - but really only 2 pairs of socks + over-shoes cold. I'm joking to all my friends here that have been complaining about how terribly cold and icy the winter has been that it doesn't seem so bad to me, but the shocking state of the roads is evodence enough that it has been very harsh. twice i have punctred trying to leap pot-holes bigger than a bike length and the lotte's brand-new Claud Butler training bike that Lotte is loaning me has certainly been throuh the rattle test! She picked it up on friday evening ( teh day that i returned) and kindly offered it to me to ride for teh week. It's kinda heavy, 7 speed, but a bit more versatile than my fixie for social riding. Its done +500miles with me since then - reckon its already due for the '6-week tune up' that Evans offer!


i've really enjoyed being back in london - as usual it's all go trying to catch-up with as many people as possible - friends, teh tri club, massage and chiro appointments, interviews and meeting up with a couple of new athletes that i've been coaching . Training does tend to be a bit random during these periods - partially through access to facilies, but mostly that these engagemnets take priority before i dissapear to the peace and quite of somerset and it can be difficut to fit everything in .That said, many of my friends train in london, before of after work hours, so i get to kill two birds with the same stone :o) It is really refereshing to train with these guys again -in paticular its great to get out and ride with Gabriel - so competative, but charming with it, he is always up for a hard ride. And to swim with stephen T - same thing the guy is fit and super keen. For runing motivation i have my sister Lotte is in great running shape and we had a great cruise inteval session thursady lunchtime - she was certainly pushing me (and i her) and it was quite interesting that during those LT efforts, we found our stride, breathing and even heartrate (yes, really) fell into sync.


The week has been slightly marred by putting my opposing thumb out of action having used it to stop a car on monday night. david bro' kindly pointed out that i had reverted to a more lowly primate status as he whatched me struggling to chop onions single handed, before reverting to just eating the whole damn thing in one lump. and now i understand why monkeys dont wear cloths with zip fastenings...and never hasten to assist with punture repairs, either! As i rolled over the bonnet of her car, the season ahead of me flashed through my mind. 'shit. how long am i gonna be in plaster because of this???' i was asking myself - am i writing off lanzarote?... and 'why has she got so many cushions in the car ? - no wonder she cant f*ckin' see where she' going!!' (i think it was probably her airbag, on reflection!). luckily i landed on a rucksack full of dirty kit ....and that thumb took the full load. swimming, riding and gym with sore and rigid thumb is pretty ridiculous, but i gave it a go and it wasn't so bad - jsut easy swims and use the fixed (trying to avoid pot holes) fortunatly i'm pretty sure it is not broken because its feeling better each day and hasn't hampered me as much as i'd feared it would.


so, with 50 (!!! - i just added that up. oh my god) hours of training in the last 7 day period, kipping on a sofa plus a good deal of early mornings/late evenings and rushing about town in between...i'm pretty shelled and looking forward to getting outta this crazy city!!

I know it woudl be nice to spend a little longer here and ctahcup properly with more folk, but at the same time the chaotic nature is unsustainable whilst trying to train through - usually i visit during periods of post race down time and can relax a little more- and the 'freshness' of training with these guys again would soon wear off.

AND i cant wait to get to mum's because she has my new QR bike and a whole stash of Powerbar goodies waiting for me there.



Monday, 8 March 2010

blog update from IMNZrace site

Our experience of Taupo this year has been a whole lot more enjoyable than it was in 2009! For a start we are all on functioning limbs, and though between us Steven and I were still one Ironman short of a pair, this non participant is not only able to manouver unaided but has been enjoying some short runs along the beautiful lakeside paths, that we had not even had a chance to notice last time we were here. The weather has been gorgeous ( compared to the cold drizzle of last year) which makes a huge difference and we are staying with the warmly hospitable family of David (friend from Epic camp) in their holiday home. Which just happens to be directly on the run course! They missed their grandkids joining them to follow the race this year, so I did my best to make up for that as we got out the paints and boards to make supporters signs.


As ever, race day itself was a long, hectic whirr…lots of rushing around and clock watching. Steven had a superb swim – out of the water in 51 minutes, and on the road for my camera in 57 – exactly as a large truck passed between us, I I almost missed him. At that point, I believe that he was the 6th age grouper on his bike, and was officially leading his age group. With several months of very strong cycling in him, I had high hopes for another Busselton-esque domination of the bike course – with allowance for a certain former commonwealth champion cyclist (Illingworth), also riding his age group. Sure enough by the time I saw Steven again at the start of the second lap (halfway), Illingworth had caught and passed Steven and put 3 minutes into him. Steven was on 4:40 pace however, which was really exciting! visit steven's blog for his account of his race. Russ and David passed not long afterwards. In fact, ‘our guys’ Steven, David and Russell were pretty close together – especially by the mid point of the run – with a few place changes along the day. Russ was flying and David got himself a Kona slot! They were passing by not far behind the leading women – a race that I enjoyed watching though was disappointed for Gina, who, having chatted several times at the QEII, I now consider a personal mate of mine! It’s not like she talks to many people, I’m sure ;o)

I was watching that race with interest of course since it would have been my race too – though in reality I would have been unaware and unaffected by the changing lead ahead. Jo Lawn raced superbly, and broke her own course record – 9:14. This super fast time meant that although both the first two females had pre-qualified, the female pros in ‘roll down ‘ positions for a Kona slot were ineligible to claim them because of the 5% ruling – their race times were not fast enough! So, of the 3 available slots, none were claimed. Only one of the male slots was taken, too. It will be interesting to see how the year of racing pans out for the Pros, and what Kona will be like assuming this pattern is reflected in all races. It could be a very small field of Pros, but I suppose a better quality one.

Well, its all over and we are now about to start our rather drawn out journey back to the UK. After a final long ride – from Wellington to Taupo - on my Orbea, I handed her over to a new owner on Friday. I hope he enjoys riding her as much as I did – and that he is ale to keep her in the manner to which she is accustomed – about 500km a week, of late! I was a little sad to see Obi go, but treating myself to a good look over of the Quntana Roo’s expo stall and demonstration model of the CD01 that awaits me at home softened the blow. As will the pleasure of a bike-free journey home and the several hundred pounds that we wont have to give to Quantas for the excess weight off luggage!

It’s been a lighter training week – despite the long ride _with a definite air of being on holiday. I think that I needed a bit of a break after a pretty solid month n Christchurch…and its unavoidable really with all the traveling now…but I should be freshened up for another decent 4 week block in the UK. Weather permitting!