Sunday, 12 August 2007

Smells like team spirit...

I had another fairly relaxed but good week of training this week and was over the moon to PB in the Pool Triangle (the weekly Wednesday 20km Time Trial) where I broke 36mins for the first time - 35.25 to be precise. I'm loving shaving time off my rides and feeling the benefit of harder, shorter sessions. On Tuesday Tom killed me & Tony on a new hill session that he made up about five minutes before we left the gym and on Thursday we got out for an easy 40 mile ride. I managed to get a swim in every day (except today - we ran 13 miles before leaving for South Shields) this week, concentrating on speed work and really varying the sessions which I'm really enjoying. Then on Saturday I raced in our club team (Leeds & Bradford Tri) in the National Club Team Relays in Nottingham. It was a fantastic day and team spirit was high. The girls team raced in the morning and the boys team raced in the afternoon, so when we weren't racing we were supporting our fellow team mates. Racing for a team not just for yourself is a whole different ball game. Every time I wanted to back it off I knew I wasn't just racing for me, I was racing for three other people & then the club as a whole, it's a fantastic incentive to make you push that little bit harder. Oh & the fact that our best mate Sam is determined he's going to beat me in The Vitruvian, that also made me push that little bit harder. Catch the pigeon Sammy, I'm gonna be ready and you ain't gonna catch this pigeon...(I hope!)

We've got three weeks of really hard training which I'm hoping are going to get me in sharper shape for The Vitriuvian which is more-or-less a half Ironman distance race. I can't wait. I can feel the sluggishness of Ironman gradually disappearing and I'm ready for some hard graft, and some painful sessions. Racing that 5km in Bushy Park last week has brought me back to earth & to respect the distance no matter how short. Having gone off like a nutter in that race last week & paying the price for it in the last km I ran a very different 5km in the team relays and paced it well finishing strong. I'm also feeling a lot more competent on my bike now. Gone are the days (I hope) when I switched off and pootled along like I was out on a ride with my granny. I'm learning how to hurt myself on my bike which is giving me a better insight into how I should be pacing things in different distances and I think I'm starting to enjoy actually being out on my bike. As for my swimming, well I feel good in the water at the moment but am in desperate need of a few coached sessions to tweak my techninque and help unlock what I'm sure is a faster swimmer in me.

The picture in my post this week is from a wedding we went to today. My brother Jonny (far left) was the Best Man for his best mate Kev - and a grand job he did too on what was a lovely day. It made me think that my whole weekend had a very team like theme running through it, and in fact how much life is like being part of huge team. I hope Kev (the Groom) enjoys life with Stef & baby Jack as they start their life as a newly married team. I couldn't train or race as hard as I do without all of the people I have supporting me. Living with Tom is like having constant love & support on tap, we are a great team. Going home to sunny South Shields today and spending time with my family was the perfect way to end the weekend which just had team spirit running right through it. Jonny's got to be one of my biggest supporters and I'm loving sharing my Ironman experiences with him and my lovely niece Kelsey, long may our adventures last.

However, Jonny has already started saving for a trip to Hawaii next pressure then ;)



Khara Mills said...

Hi H

I love reading your blog, you write brilliantly with such feeling and it's a great way to keep up with what you're up to. Obviously I can hardly identify with it as my training is a totally different kettle of fish, but I find myself being inspired by what you're achieving and aiming for, so I get a lot from it.
Looking forward to catching up with you on saturday at the marathon meeting - I need to keep focused now that my running partner is out for a while as I've hardly ever run on my own, certainly not for any distance, and it's more than a bit scary to think about it let alone do it!

See you soon
Khara x

H said...


Glad you're liking the blog. Training for a marathon is no mean feat as you're already aware but you're so mentally equipt (especially after such a hard day in the office at Amsterdam) so I know already that you can do it and do it really well. Losing your training partner (was it Barbara?) will only be tough for the first couple of long runs but I think you'll actually get even more out of them once you've done a few on your own. When you've finished & you're tired and all you want to do is eat & sleep you'll also be rewarded with a great sense of acheivement because you've done it on your own. Enjoy them. x See you on Saturday petal. xxx