Sunday, 3 May 2009

I made it...

Wuhoo!!! I did it :)

I've been worrying about today's last 'Mega Brick' since Tom, Ben G and I decided on the route and the plan of action. Worrying because I'm really good at worrying. Worrying because I didn't want this last session to tip me over the edge. Worrying because the bike course is hard core with hills and descents that make me squirm and just in general worrying that I wouldn't be able to do it.

After taking on board what our great triathlete friend Steven Lord said about such mega sessions (see his very valid comment on my post from last week) I had a re-think about how I was going to approach it. The session was originally 6 loops (13.7miles) around the Leathley, Farnley area in Yorkshire. The loop is not an easy one. It's hilly with very technical descents and basically a good old leg smasher. The plan was to finish it and run 20 miles off it. Last year we did a very similar session (only on a flat course) and it absolutely killed me. To the point where I was so dehydrated & my blood pressure was so low that I couldn't stand up. This was my main concern coming into this session because I certainly didn't want a repeat of that with only three weeks to recover. However, this year I have biked, biked, biked and it's made a huge difference to my ability to run off it. I've also made a much more conscious effort to be drinking more and eating more. The pic above is the nutrition that we both took for the session...quite some calories in there hey! So, after having a think I decided I was going to only do 5 laps on the bike and if I felt good on the run I would do 20miles but if at any point I started to feel like I did last year I would stop.

I paced the bike really well. My loops were all practically dead on 1hr exactly, give or take a few seconds, and after 5hrs of solid hard work I was looking forward to the run. We'd parked our cars on a quiet road in Pool so we could leave our bottles and gels etc by the side. The run was done in 1/2 miles. 1/2 mile out 1/2 mile back x 40. It sounds like torture but 1/2 a mile goes so quickly it was brilliant. Ben G was already out there when I got on the run and we ended up running together for 7 miles. We did go off a little too hard but that's because we were chitting and chatting, but it made the miles slip by and I really enjoyed having company, thanks Ben :) Our good friend Richard was out on his bike and he came to support us for a good few of our laps, riding alongside Tom for a few of his and then with Ben & I, what a star! Thanks Rich. So, Ben peeled off after running 14miles and I had 14 miles left to go and I just got stronger and stronger. I could take on board the gels (which I usually can't face) and I made sure I drank something every mile and what a difference to last year. Infact it couldn't have been more different. I negative split the run, running the first 10miles in 1.25 and the last 10 in 1.24 and felt great :) And I could stand up straight when I finished!

So, that's it! All of the hard training is done. Time to recover from today and focus on getting sharp and strong for May 23rd. I can't wait. Who knows what the windy world of Lanza will bring, but as long as I enjoy it and I pace it right I should have a great day :)

Huge thank you's today for Ben G (you're super strong Ben, I'm looking forward to seeing what you can do out there in Lanza :) Tom, my ever supportive husband who keeps me going and is amazing x and to Richard L for his constant support and company (even though he thinks we're all nuts) cheers Rich. x

So all that's left is Week Thirteen in pix, which this week are mostly iphone pix. Well they do say...'the best camera is the one you have on you.'

Night all.

H. x


Ben G said...

Great performance today Helen. Lanzarote will be so much fun compared to today's session :)

Anonymous said...

Good work H. Get some good rest and recovery over the next few weeks. Looking forward to hooking up with you guys on the Island. Maybe I'll ride the IM course the day before race day and tell you the wind is fine;-).

Rob Bane said...

I'm so impressed I'm breathless. That's some awe-inspriring training. The almost casual manner of the report is stunning. You biked for 5 hilly hours then ran 20 miles in 2:49???

Really impressed by your picture diary too - that's a 1/4 of the year with a pic for every day (with only a couple of last minute grabs?)! Dedication and stretching achievements seem to becoming a habit for you. W.O.W. wow.

Khara Mills said...

You didn't just 'make' it or 'do' it, you nailed it girl! Well done H. So much hard work and with a strong body and mind has clearly paid off. You can be confident heading in to your taper that you're soooo READY :-)
Khara xx

Jevon said...

Great work, H. Go easy now until Lanza. YOu'll be flying. xx

H said...

I look forward to hooking up on the run somewhere Ben if it's possible :)
Can't wait to get out there Ozlet, you're right, rest and recovery is now the new black!
Rob, bless you my child for such nice comments, in fact I laughed out loud at the sheer genius of the one you wrote Tom. Hope to see you at run club soon.
Khara, I'm crossing my fingers that you're right, one thing I do know though is that I am ready :)
And Jev, as always thanks for your support, can't wait to be there in spirit on your big day :)

Anonymous said...

well what can I say being out of tri-action this year your blog has kept me fascinated......I wish when I had trained for my ironman last year I had kept a diary like this, it might have stopped the madness that hits you at least once a month when you train for these crazy events!!!!! It looks like you will fly round which is great to hear and more importantly enjoying every second of it which is really what counts, something I have learnt having not run and only been able to cycle for the last 3 months.....such is life! Good luck in 3 weeks time, rest, rest and rest a bit more. Oh and by the way I love the photo of the nutrition you guys should win hands down on getting through that lot alone!
happy racing and keep smiling
scouse tri bird!x