Sunday, 28 June 2009

Here we go again...

Doesn't time just fly? One minute there we are about to nip off to Lanzarote and before we know what's happened five weeks have vanished into the distance and it's Iron time once again!

Sitting here typing away we're all packed and ready to hit the sack before an early start and around a thousand mile drive to our favourite of all Iron destinations... Klagenfurt.

We'll try and post a few extra blogs during the trip (Internet access permitting) and will certainly be Tweeting every day ( and and with time waiting for no (iron)man tonight's scribbles will be both concise and joint...

This morning we both managed to finish off our Switzerland training with pb's over 50 miles on the bike, me with 1.58 and H with 2.20, on a somewhat wet and windswept dual-carriageway course hosted brilliantly by Otley Cycling Club. Seven quid for an accurate and well marshaled race with free coffee and 50p cakes at the end - pretty much the polar opposite to the average triathlon! To be honest both of us were looking to go a little quicker but with well over 300 miles in the cycling bank this week, a tough 20 mile run on Thursday and a rather intense aquathlon effort yesterday we know we're both heading off to Europe in great shape.

As I said, we'll try and post more while we're away and you can keep up with our adventure every day via Twitter.

So all that's left tonight is to say AN AMAZINGLY IMPRESSED WELL DONE to our friend Alison who tamed the mighty Ironman France today. To take on a 3,000 athlete sea swim followed by the most technically demanding of all mdot bike courses and finish it all off with 26.2 hot hot hot miles along the promenade in Nice is one of the biggest challenges in sport... to do it as your first ever Ironman is truly something special... WELL DONE AL ;)

See you soon and stay tuned,

T & H

p.s. H's latest pics of the week are HERE - all seven are taken on an iphone, as is today's blog pic from Wednesday's Otley cycle race. Just goes to show the 'best' camera is most certainly whichever one you have with you at the time ;)

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Status update...

Ever since we entered Ironman Switzerland 2009 (back in 2008) the issue of how to approach two mdot events separated by a mere seven weeks has been the subject of much discussion. My pre-Lanza strategy was to forget that Switzerland was even happening, put absolutely everything into the first race, and then deal with the second if/when I needed to. Missing out on Hawaii qualification on May the 23rd meant that from the 24th I've been trying my best to balance recovery, training and more recovery with the aim of hitting Switzerland two weeks on Sunday in the shape of my life. From talking to those who have previously raced two events in such close proximity it seems that the trick is to resume a decent level of training as soon as possible, take it to about 80% of peak stress achieved in the build up to the first event and then employ a shorter taper... and cross your fingers! So, with four-and-a-bit weeks down and two-and-a-bit weeks to go how are things looking?

The short answer is 'so far so good' but for a more detailed reflection I thought I'd break down the past month week by week...

Week One
Flew home on the Monday, felt pretty knackered so just one swim, one bike and two runs and nothing even remotely hard. Concentrated on sleep, rest and good food... easy!
Swim 1:00
Bike 0:45
Run 2:00
Total 3:45

Week Two
Felt great at start of the week so picked the volume back up to pre-Lanza levels across all three disciplines but still no intensity. However, by the end of the week my heart rate was significantly elevated even at low intensity work, perhaps by up to 20 beats, and my initial feelings of being recovered were proved somewhat false.
Swim 6:00
Bike 12:00
Run 3:45
Total 21:45

Week Three
Completely changed my planned training sessions around to aid recovery process - took Monday as a leg rest day and Tuesday as complete rest then swapped Pool Triangle TT on Wednesday for a very easy 60 minute run. Did bring some intensity back in the swim where I pb'd for 1500 in the pool (22:04) at about 9/10 effort (it was a weak pb, I think there's a 21:40 in there) and then managed some decent 300s on Friday (around 4:18 pace). Saturday saw a welcome return to racing with a new Olympic distance pb of 1.59.59 (accurate swim & bike, short run) however a total weekly volume of only 11 hours meant I felt much better at the end of the week compared to the start.
Swim 4:20
Bike 3:30
Run 3:10
Total (Including race) 11:00

Week Four
Finally feeling back to normal I was looking for a good week and took volume back over 20 hours combined with some intensity across all three disciplines. On Wednesday I managed to back up the previous week's triathlon pb with a similar result at the Pool Triangle, covering the hilly 12.6 mile course in 29:56 (an average speed of around 25.3mph). My all time pb was 30:30 and I'd never broken 30:50 prior to an Ironman event so a massive confidence boost. Friday then saw a return to the good old long bike with my friend Andy Scott when we covered 100 miles of the biggest hills we could find before taking in most of the Chevin Chase run course. With 23 hours and plenty of work crammed into the first five days of the week Saturday and Sunday saw complete rest and a time to reflect on my progress.
Swim 3:45
Bike 14:40
Run 5:20
Total 23:45

So, there we are... with some good pb's and plenty of volume I feel justified in saying that I've recovered pretty well. I'm noticeably less fatigued than at the same stage prior to Lanza and the recent intensity has certainly increased my 'match fitness'. Importantly I've held onto a good quality diet and at 67.9 kilos I'm about a kilo lighter than seven weeks ago, sleep has been a little less controlled and with a current seven day average of 7.6 hours I certainly need to hit the sack a little more effectively. This week has already seen a reasonable amount of time on the bike and with a 20 mile run planned for Thursday and 50 mile TT for Sunday it is sure to be the biggest test yet as to my condition. If I can pass those then with two weeks to go I'll be in a great position to arrive in Europe confident of achieving my sub-9.30 target and a place on the most famous start line in triathlon.

So far so good,



A hectic weekend has pushed the blog to being written today! Apologies for that but sometimes there just isn't enough hours, minutes, seconds and priorities have to be made.

Priorities have to be made every day, all day, everything from the food we eat to the amount of time we sleep, see friends, see family, train, rest, write blogs, take photographs...everything has a priority. What we don't always realise is that the brevity of that priority can often get distorted. Take training for Ironman or any other race for instance. If you're serious about it you give it your all, sometimes to the detriment of others. You have to be selfish in some shape or form otherwise you wouldn't always be able to give your all so that's certainly not a negative or bad thing. Paula Radcliffe, Lance Armstrong, Chris McCormack...they couldn't excel in their sports without that selfishness. But this week has been a mixed one for both Tom and I. As you know we give our all in training, we still try to keep our priorities in some kind of order but basically our lives revolve around our training. It dictates when we eat, when we sleep and if we can make dinner with friends or not.

Tom's pa, Brian was coming over for the weekend and so we pushed our training to take up the whole of the week so we could have an entire weekend off to spend time with him. Brian lives in Geneva so he & Tom don't get to see as much of each other as they'd like, although they are always on the phone to each other, but that's never quite the same. The reason I'm telling you this is that our good friend Andy (who is also training for Ironman Switzerland) lost his 19yr old son last Saturday in what was a tragic accident. It's been a terrible week for him and his family, as you can imagine, but he has a great support network around him, an amazing wife and good friends. It opened my eyes to the real world again, having been in the Ironman training bubble for a good few months. The outcome doesn't matter, it really doesn't. I've always said I just want to enjoy things, do my best and be happy with how I perform. That hasn't changed, but seeing how lucky Tom and I are that we can concentrate on something that actually really doesn't matter makes my Ironman priority look a little different now. Tom took Andy out for a long, long ride last week, and his other friends are all there for him to get him out of the door. Ironman Switzerland is still a priority for Andy but now it sits in a very different place. It's there to get him out of bed when he doesn't feel like it, tire him out so he can sleep when he doesn't feel like it, make him eat when he doesn't feel like it and spend time on his own, a very hard thing to do right now.

The loss of Joel made this weekend more poignant. Tom and I got to spend quality time walking in the Dales with Brian, and just generally spending relaxed time with him. Tom is certainly a chip off the old block. They could talk for hours about how something works, or doesn't work for that matter, their boyish inquisitive minds tick tocking over what I see (as a girl) as the oddest things. My dad buggered off when I was 3, I saw him until I was 7 and since then haven't seen or heard from him, so I lost my father figure in life. My ma thankfully found herself a wonderful man in Bob who I've grown up with since I was 13 or 14yrs old and it's great to spend time with him, he & my brother are the father figures I never had, but mostly he makes my ma very happy, that's more than I could wish for. I loved seeing the bond between Brian & Tom, it's a truly special one and so full of love and respect and I hope it's something we can replicate with our own kids one day. We spent Father's day in Reading with a whole load of the Williams clan who had descended from many corners of the world to celebrate Brian's Uncle Johnny's 80th birthday. Time with family is certainly special.

I have to avoid blogging about this week (seeing as it's Wednesday already) but I do want to wish my brother Happy Birthday for yesterday, it was great seeing you Kid, as always. But more about that adventure on Sunday!!

Before I go, I must say a HUGE well done to Ray (Tom's Step-Dad) who is currently cycling his way around France and doing incredibly well, can't wait to hear all about it Ray :)
And Alison, we'll be following your debut Ironman progress on Sunday, we can't wait, GOOD LUCK.

Oh.. and training's gone well this week :) And of course here's this week in pix, Week Twenty already!

H. x

Monday, 22 June 2009

A very polite notice....

It's been a brilliant but long day, we've been out of internet contact for most of it and with a rather exciting adventure planned for the next couple of days sleep has taken priority over blogging. So, we'll both write this week's blogs on Wednesday night for Thursday morning.

See you in a couple of days,

T & H

P.S. Good luck to Alison for next weekend and well done to Alistair for this weekend!

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Spoils in the bag :)

Quick blog from me today, the clock is ticking and there is much left to do this sunny Sunday evening. Firstly, the above picture is of me and my wonderful husband with our spoils from today's Olympic distance race -and quite a shock to the old system it was too!
Recovery from Lanza is all going well...except for my ridiculously high heart rate in earlier sessions this week. A ride with Ady and his pals for 80 miles saw my heart rate soar to dizzy heights. Now that could have been because I was hanging off the back for the entire ride or because I'm not yet recovered. Probably a combination of them both, so after a chat with Ady I agreed with him and had a lot of sleep, a rest day, an easy day and then today I went out and frightened my body by trying to make it go faster instead of the luxurious kind of plodding that it has gotten far too used to in Ironman!!
I hammered the swim and am really pleased to have been only ten seconds behind the first girl, getting out in 22.48. I hammered the bike as for a penny in for a pound I say, I was after a training session and a hrad one so that's what I gave my legs :) I passed the first girl fairly easily. I know I'm a fairly strong swimmer and now cyclist but I've never had run speed, especially over such a short distance like a 10km. Therefore, my theory was to try and put as much time as possible into any girl who can run. I maintained the lead until about 8km but I knew my time was numbered as one of the girls was ploughing her way through the field, I tried to go with her when she passed me but she ran a 37min 10km, I've never ran sub 40mins stand alone so I was never going to be able to stay with her. Still I had to be careful not to switch off incase I got caught by the many girls all trying to chase us down. I'm happy I ran 41 mins (although I think it was a little under 10km) and finished in 2nd place overall in 2:15. Big smiles all round. Tom came 4th overall, 3rd in his category so we both came home with pennies and a trophy :) :) :) Thanks to Simon who gave me loads of encouragement and kept me posted on the whereabouts of the chasing girls behind me, good luck in IMUK, hope the rest of your training goes well.

This weekend has seen a plethora of racing of which congratulations must be made to all of our mates. Yesterday my cousin Ben and his team won a round of the Fun Cup at Brands Hatch and came home with a trophy the size of his house! Big ups to ya Benj :)
Daz & Ozzer were out in Wimbleball giving it their all on the torturous 70.3 course, well done boys you were awesome, wish we'd been there. Ozzer, particularly impressed with you for doing the right thing and succumbing to your Plantar Faciatis and not finishing the run. Pulling out must be the hardest thing to do, but you've got far bigger fish to fry in Hawaii in October so you did right :)

Then our mates Ady & Khara were out in Bala in Wales. Ady is going to fly around IM Austria in a couple of weeks, I know it. He's biking so strong, it'll pay you tenfold on the run Ady. Now Ady...the swim thing... hopefully the lake will be pancake flat!!
And Khara, wow, you must be over the moon, first middle distance in the bag girl. Well done both.

Ben G (our good mate & regular training partner) smashed his legs on a 10mile TT, well done Ben, sounded more painful than the speed session we had today :)

On a completely non-triathlon related subject but well worthy of a mention has to be the launch of our very good friend Steve Dennis' new book which has just hit the shelves in every good book store.... wait for it... Britney: Inside The Dream.
Now I realise not everyone is interested in the pop princess gone mad, bad and a little bit sad but having read a few excerpts of it, it is exceptionally well written and drags you into a world that few of us can possibly imagine, I mean there's no swim bike and run in it for a start! Anyway, proud of you Steve, another great book to your collection :)

And finally the biggest congratulations go to our amazing friends Martin & Liz Yelling who have had us on tenterhooks all week awaiting the arrival of their late naughty little minx who came today. Beautiful baby Ruby Rose. Tom & I are soooo happy for you both and we can't wait to meet her. Very exciting news and times ahead :)

So if you've been racing this weekend... (or giving birth)... (or launching books) what a fab time to do it.

Week Nineteen in pix is here... Enjoy.

H. x

A great day's racing...

Having ditched the majority of my planned sessions this week in favour of R & R, Ben then riding me off his wheel in our Thursday training session and my heart rate and perceived effort being a touch high for yesterday's 12 mile Ironman target paced run I really wasn't sure what to expect this morning.

We entered Cleveland Short Course (Olympic distance) triathlon quite late and it was always planned as a training session. Racing is a skill just like any other and the only way to get better is to practice... racing. An Olympic distance event three weeks after Lanzarote and four weeks before Switzerland seemed a great way to get stuck into a solid training session without risking too much unwanted fatigue. With a start list of nearly 200 and my Olympic distance nemesis (and fellow LBT) Tim Ashelford also competing I had two goals to keep me motivated... top five overall and beat Tim onto the run (something I've not done before - Tim's great run speed was always going to be an issue). Chatting to H beforehand there was clearly only one 'sensible' race strategy...

Hit the swim and bike as hard as possible and hang on for dear life in the run! Perhaps sensible isn't the word but I fancied a good hit out and with nothing to lose headed off to the start...

The 'surprise' start was probably a good thing as it didn't allow for any nerves to build up and people were still pretty spread out across the line, increasing the chances of finding some space. I managed to find clear water quickly, knowing Tim was likely to post something around 21 minutes and me having swum 22.04 in the pool this week I fancied my chances of hanging onto his speedy feet. Despite the odd detour as I drifted off to the right I felt like I was swimming well and rounding the first lap in 10.10 with a HR of 151 (I know I know - concentrate on swimming... I just love the stats too much!) it looked like I was in the lead swim pack. Just over ten minutes later I popped out of the water in 21.34 and 5th place overall. Eventual winner Alan Copland swam 18.56 but with the second placed swimmer only 20 seconds ahead of me out of the water and Tim 20 seconds back (sorry mate, had to get that in there!) I'm hopeful that the course was accurate enough to call that a new swim pb :)

An uncharacteristically pedestrian T1 followed and saw me loose a few places getting onto the bike but once I settled into my cycling rhythm I felt pretty good. As with the swim I wasn't sure how I would ride but with such great bike volume in my 2009 legs I know that on the right day I'm capable of a solid performance. Within a few miles I'd ridden into second place overall and with no idea how far up the road the leader was I set about it like a 25 mile TT (remember that my run tactic was to 'hold on'). I had expected that due to my decent swim a few stronger riders would come by but it wasn't until about mile seven or eight that I saw anyone again (unfortunately not the guy in front). Dropping down to third place I was still feeling good and holding a distance of around 10-15 metres on the guy in second, my heart rate was dropping and I began to recover from the early exertions of my 'out of sight out of mind bike strategy'. Starting to feel strong I pushed on, re-took second place and thinking that my first ever overall victory might be within reach went looking for the leader... frustratingly my chain came off and jammed in the frame with a couple of miles to go (probably only cost me 20-30 seconds) and then thinking I'd reached transition I took my feet out of my shoes and flew down what I thought was the road back to the lake... only for the crowd gathered on the corner to dive for cover as I suddenly deviated off course, fortunately a childhood spent on a BMX meant I pulled off a world-class and 'match-saving' skid (probably cost me my new Vittoria tub but at £50 a pop I'm too scared to look) to get back on track and pedal the last 500 or so yards in my socks...

Coming into T1 in second place my Garmin said 60 minutes exactly for 24.53 miles and the official split (which includes running out of and back in to transition) was 1:00:39 so with two disciplines and two pbs down things were looking great...

Another, albeit slightly less, pedestrian transition saw me drop down into third, and I had to laugh when starting the run the guy on the tannoy announced 'only five minutes down on first - go get him'! Now, regular readers of this blog will know that the terms 'only five minutes' and 'Tom's 10k run speed' don't go together that well and with second place pulling away steadily it was all about surviving the next 40 minutes and holding onto the podium. Despite having come into triathlon through running and having dipped under three hours for the marathon (five times) my swim and bike have, certainly in terms of triathlon, become my best two disciplines. The shorter (faster) the race the more this applies and over Olympic distance I tend to assume the role of 'rabbit' these days and spend most of the run looking over my shoulder. Still, I knew I'd had a flyer in the swim and on the bike and with the run as a double out & back I'd be able to check out my pursuers within the first ten or so minutes. Figuring that Tim would put two minutes on me in the run I was hoping to be at least a minute back towards transition before our paths crossed, unfortunately it was closer to 20 seconds. He'd also had a strong bike and it would simply be a matter of time... I don't want to sound negative and I was giving it everything but when it comes to 10k my little legs just struggle to keep up. Once Tim moved into third and pushed me be to fourth I was even more determined to hang on, Chrissie Wellington said at our January training camp that a large part of training was learning to suffer and imagining myself in the final Hawaii slot on July the 12th with athletes queuing up to take it from me I set about living up to my pre-race plan and holding on... I think (fortunately for me) the run was a little short, perhaps only just over 9k and my run split of 35:58 would certainly reflect that.

One second short of two hours I crossed the finish line in 4th overall for a new Olympic distance pb (I think the swim and bike were pretty accurate, and even allowing for the run being short it would still be a 2.03-4) and the first time under 120 minutes. I'd be really pleased with that even without having done Lanza three weeks ago and with four weeks till Switzerland things are certainly on the up ;)

Well done to everyone who raced, competed, wrote, gave birth or did anything else amazing today (see H's blog). Today's picture is of my great friend since the age of 11 Ben with the extra-large trophy he won motor racing at Brands Hatch today... awesome driving mate! Also well done to H for taking second and getting so close to our first ever overall victory, and I mustn't forget Tim, great racing mate.... one day ;)

Right, it really is bed time and I really must dash,

See you soon,


Sunday, 7 June 2009

I'm so unfit....

... actually I'm not, I'm probably the fittest I've ever been and in relation to the population 'norm' I'd guess I'd be somewhere in the top few percent, but... self perception is a funny thing and having been around Ironman athletes, marathon runners and sprint distance triathletes on an almost daily basis for the last month or so I can tell you there are a serious number of seriously fit people out there... most of whom don't realise it... and the chances are I'm talking about you!

Let's get something straight right from the start, there are two things we can measure here 1) our own fitness and 2) someone else's. However, when we consider the the answer to question one we often subconsciously provide the answer to number two. What I mean by that is that the position we finish in a field or the amount of time we 'win' or 'lose' by is actually a measure of others fitness as much as our own. Unfortunately we too often find ourselves playing down our achievements based on these largely uncontrollable measures.

Unfortunately, the fitter we get the more fit people we hang around with and race against and the less fit we can seem (to ourselves). The first encounter I ever had with Ironman was back in around 1993 when I met a guy training for one of these crazy events. Although I raced cross-country mountain bikes at the time (to a fairly low standard) and considered myself a pretty fit 19 year old here was a whole other level of fitness... in fact it was so far out of my self-perceived ability that I couldn't even imagine getting to a level where I could consider not being able to do it let alone actually consider doing it. Here was someone who swam 100 lengths every day before work when I couldn't even swim 10 lengths in one go, someone who did 100 mile rides just for fun when my longest MTB races were 24 miles and nearly killed me and someone who ran for something other than a bus!

So what's my point?

Well, all those years ago I viewed Ironmen as absolutely the most phenomenal athletes with levels of fitness hundreds of times greater than I could ever hope to achieve. These were sporting gods who existed at a level I was not and never would be worthy of, yet... here I am at the ripe old age of '35thismonth' and within weeks I'll have completed my fifth. Add these five mdot medals to my 12 marathon medals and you'd think I'd be feeling like Buzz Lightyear on steroids but actually I feel, well... normal! You see, all those years ago I'd never met anyone who'd even done a normal triathlon let alone an Ironman, had I done one then I'd have been the only person that I, my family or any of my friends knew who had ever done one, I too would have been a true athletic god ;) But fast-forward to 2009 and not only do I know loads and loads and loads of Ironmen, I know plenty who can kick my a55 without breaking sweat... no sooner have I landed on a start line confident of a stellar performance than Chrissie Wellington or Chris McCormack has flown by me like poo of the proverbial (the former laughing and smiling like it was a quick recovery jog round the block)!

So what's my real point?

Just because the type of people I'm surrounded by has significantly changed for the fitter my own personal achievements are no less amazing... but this isn't about bigging ME up it's about bigging YOU up! The chances are you've achieved some pretty wonderful things in recent times, they could be anything from running your first parkrun or finishing your first triathlon to running your 50th parkrun or beating the worlds greatest triathletes into submission... the fact that someone out there is doing the same thing faster/higher/stronger (delete as appropriate), as I can assure you they are, that it no way diminishes what YOU have achieved.

So, stop beating yourself up, think about your best ever achievements (don't have to be sporty) and then think about how you would have viewed those achievements all those years ago when even contemplating them would have brought you out in a cold sweat... AMAZING aren't they!

I'll sign off with a quote (used before but I love it) for those of you who might be tempted to take this all a little too far and get a little ahead of yourself...

"no matter how good you get there will always be a 12 year old girl in China using your PB as a warm-up"

keep your feet on the floor ;)


p.s. today's picture was snapped by H on her iphone in our back yard in Lanza, she's an amazing photographer and I just wanted to remind her x

Getting back in the saddle...

Ironman Lanzarote??? That was AGES ago!!! It's so ridiculous that Lanzarote is nothing but a distant memory fading into the ever increasing amnesiac potholes of my brain. The body and the brain is so easily fooled. In the past my one Ironman for that year has been my main focus, my 'A' race and afterwards I've felt justifiably spent for quite a while. (I'm just going to add here that no, I don't think I'm superwoman or that Lanza hasn't taken a lot out of me and also that I'm sure I'm not completely recovered.) However, due to the increase in training volume in the lead up to Lanza I also feel my body has been able to soak up the training and allowed me to recover quicker than in the past. My main point however is just how easy it is to fool your brain. For example:
Pre-Ironman = train...hard.
Ironman = race...hard.
Post-Ironman = eat your weight in chocolate/sleep for England and refuse to get on your bike for quite a while...hard.

Yet, here I am full of the joys of spring, enjoying my training sessions and never having to motivate myself to get out of the door. I've cheated my brain, wonderful! It's going to go into melt down post Switzerland isn't it?! And I'll be found in a heap on a sun lounger surrounded by a broken bike, shredded trainers & empty Thornton's Chocolate boxes!!!

Sessions aren't intense (except a little elevation in heart rate after today's ride, see above pic...I'll get to that!) But I'm using them as active recovery. This week has seen 18km of easy swimming, 25miles of easy running & 167 miles of riding. I'm really looking forward to Switzerland whatever the outcome.

This weekend we did two brilliant things. The first was to support our mate Greg who entered Blenheim Sprint Triathlon on Saturday (his first ever tri) and although the weather was hideous he was brilliant and loved every minute of it. Quality time with mates is second to none and we had a brilliant time, thanks guys.

Then today Tom & I went out for a 5hr ride with our mate Alistair Brownlee (see above pic.) For those who don't know of him, this time last week he was bathing in the glory of winning the second International World Championship Series in Madrid, beating the best triathletes in the world and showing them all what hardy Yorkshire stuff he's made of. Tom's a far better rider than me, Al's a far better rider than do the maths!! (Jevon, you'd have been proud, no toys out of the pram from me today, I was on it :) Al was after an easy ride but so was I and somehow the two don't quite seem to match! However, he's fantastic at gauging pace & I enjoyed hearing all about Madrid and what it's like on the elite circuit, his training & life in general so the ride wasn't a lung buster for me, except when we got to anything remotely hilly & in a bid to stick to Tom & Al's wheels I had to hope my heart wasn't going to burst out of my chest! I got a great interval session out of today's ride and spent quality time with my husband and the best triathlete in the world, riding in the remote and beautiful hills of Yorkshire, and it's not often that you can do that. Al's one of the most grounded, hard working, talented and very personable lads you could meet. You wouldn't think that such a young, skinny lad from Yorkshire has the ability to tear the legs off any triathlete in the world! I just love excellence, especially in excellent people :)

Time to sign off now and get my well earned zzzz's in. Just want to wish Lizzie Lou Lou and Martin good luck for their imminent arrival (due on Tuesday) can't wait to see you guys, hope it all goes well. And of course to give you Week Eighteen in pix, as random as ever :)

I think it's time we were all excellent...

"Excellence is not a skill, it's an attitude." Ralph Marston

H. x