Wednesday, 27 April 2011

post-camp, london marathon, pre-lanza update

yet again i find myself apologizing to regular readers (if you exist, then get a life! Only joking, please don't) for recent lack of contribution to the blog. as usual this is a sign that my life is being so interesting that i've not had the time to sit down and write about it, let alone ponder on ways to make it seem even more interesting, relevant or exciting. So, i'm just gonna spend a little time recounting recent activities, news and significant training observations and plans. hold on tight!

you might have followed out training camp blog on www.everydaytraining.org.uk. we're extremely pleased with how this turned out - it was so much fun, everything worked out really well with the accommodation, catering, training and support crew, and we had really positive feedback form all the athletes who came along. We're pretty proud of our first effort and it was well worth all of the hard work that went into it. No question about it - there will be more to come. We feel that this is really something unique that Steven and I can offer and definitely a direction that we'd like to steer EverydayTraining in. Of course - its not a big earner, and our own training was somewhat compromised by the camp (which i'll talk about later) but there are remedies to both that we can work on, or at least plan around, in the future.

post camp we both felt a little down - not only the physical and emotional exhaustion of the week but a very low feeling once its all over. when you feel like that but too tired to really go out and train then there's only one thing to do - go straight to london and run a marathon!! having been to 'busy' to book cheap train tickets (i forgot) i borrowed mums purple micra and we wizzed up the motorway to west london. whilst rachel was out smashing course records and getting a 'taste for wildlife' in South Africa, she had kindly given over her flat for my stay in town. It was good to have a bit of isolation to catch up on sleep, coaching work and cookery programs on tv, and great to see her and hear all about the race on their return

I was properly excited about this year's marathon. pior to our 2.5 week traip to lanzarote i'd been seeing some great power numbers on my bike, and running really well. I'd even managed to sneak a few long runs in. During the camp, i got sick with a sore throat and cold ( the first in 6 months or more - great timing!) and so made a point of taking it as easy as i could get away with - luckily some one was required to time -keep and ride with the back-markers! Mid-way through the week, I came right (thanks to my regular supply of Vitabiotics Wellwoman and Immunace!) and enjoyed putting in a few more intense sessions. I was feeling so good running - being out of the gym and a low intensity spell seemed to bring something extra to my run speed. So, with my long runs banked, some good form prior to the camp, and easy couple of weeks and i was all set for a new marathon PB. oh yes i was. Unfortunately, i left my brain on the crowded train to Blackheath and, despite all the good advice about pacing that i'd given my athletes - set off at 2:50 pace. Which felt bloody easy to start with, of course. I bumped into an old club-mate who was running an 'easy' 2:55 and we strode along chatting through the first 12 miles. Of course it was not really an easy pace for me, and since i was not really out to push very hard on this run with ironman in a few weeks, i decided to ease off the pace to a more sensible 'just about ironman' intensity. unfortunately, i discovered that the damage to my legs had already been done by that point - it probably would have been as well to commit to 'racing' it. The second half was a miserably painful barely ironman paced 100 minutes of regret. 3:06 isn't such a bad time- and had i paced it well, that could have been a comfortable run that had little impact on my preparations for lanzarote. If i'd pace it really well i might have broken 3hrs and been really happy and full of confidence for lanzarote. As it was my legs were screwed for a week, and i'd run a minute slower than last year. Luckily, my sister is training in sports massage and needs screwed up legs to practice on. the things i do for my little sibbers ;o)

aside from letting her fix my shredded calves, i was also kind enough to bundle hr and her bike into mums micra at 5:45am on Thursday in order to drive her 40miles out of london and deposit her on the side of the road near Basingstoke (of all places!), point her in a generally south westerly direction and clear off. She wasn't smiling much when i left her but she really did look pleased to see me 5 hours later, after i'd ridden out to meet her in Castle Cary. She was still going strong and at the end of her 175km trip, came out for a short run with me too. I reckon she'll survive an ironman - and probably survive it pretty quickly, too.

the weather in somerset has been absolutely glorious and it's been perfect weather for riding around through spring-filled lanes, looking through the hedgerows at the new-born lambs, on my brand new Litespeed Archon c3. wow - it's a nice bike, just seems to fly up hills. Qunitana Roo and Litespeed are now being distributed in the UK through Evans, which is great for me as it means this year i have a very specific TT bike ( the cd01) and a good road bike that i can use on some of the hilly or more technical courses - like Wimbleball, or IM france - which the CD01 is not most suited to. I had put drops on the QR last year, but it was a real compromise, and absolutely horrified the tech development guys when they saw it at Kona!

So, it's now 3 weeks until i'm back in lanzarote and i've just started back into 'proper' training after almost a month out of the routine. Hopefully the break will have freshened me up a bit, and i do now feel really motivated to get back on it...but i must admit, only 2 days in, it feels harder than i remember! Ah well, keep bringing it on ;o)