Sunday, 24 January 2010

Here we go...

Finally... after quite a few weeks of joint posting, late posting and the occasional very late posting here I am on a Sunday evening typing away, just like old times.

It's been a crazy month or so with loads of exciting goings on and our feet barely touching the floor. Since early December H and I have been alternately ill and have managed to tick most of the possible flu, cold, sore throat, snivelly, snotty, bunged up, Delhi belly etc etc boxes. But... for the first time in ages we are both fit and well, and hopefully it will stay that way for the remainder of 2010. All that, combined with the snow, has seen our training take a serious knock but with clear roads and even clearer heads a good February will no doubt see us back on track for each of our major athletic goals (London Marathon for H on April the 25th and Lanzarote Ironman for me on May the 22nd). We both raced the Brass Monkey half marathon this morning and with all things taken into consideration it was, as our great friend Ian put it, a fact finding mission to see where we we currently stand... I'll let H talk about her race but for me things went pretty well...

I've put in really strong performances in this race for the last couple of years and didn't expect to get close to my previous best of 1:19:35, I also really couldn't predict what my legs might be capable of so the only real race strategy was to run on feel, start fairly cautiously and just enjoy racing. I'd also trained right through (two hour turbo sessions on Friday and Saturday) so knew my legs would be a little slow to react. Last year I'd kept my heart rate in the low 160s for the first five or so miles so hitting the first mile in under six minutes with a heart rate in the low 150s things were looking up, coming through seven miles only 20 seconds down on my 2009 effort without seeing much over 159 things were really looking up... that was the point in last year's race though where I pushed on and picked up the pace right through to the final mile, this year was a different story... a few of us had formed a really good group and taking turns to push forward were maintaining a great pace, come mile eight however we were suddenly 30 seconds behind 80 minute schedule and with some of us (me included) struggling and some strong it was time for plan B... Dave and Steve pushed on (to pb's for both I think?) and myself, Ian and Rich H switched over to 'operation damage limitation'... I always look to have something in the tank for the ten mile marker and feel that if you've paced it right you should be able to find another five or so seconds per mile for the final three... this morning, although I did manage to up the effort level at that point, there was no corresponding increase in pace and it was time to 'survive'. Just when things were really going south however, around the 12 mile mark, a couple of female runners came flying by shoulder to shoulder and I managed to use their momentum to tuck in and hang on for a 6:10 mile thirteen and a 1:21:29 finish time. So, all things considered I'm super pleased to get within two minutes of my best ever half marathon and with a great swim banked on Friday (6 x 400 off 6:30 av 5:51) at least two of my three disciplines look reasonably positioned for a four month push to Lanza.

As for the bike... we'll see what happens in February. I know my two-wheeled fitness is someway short of 12 months ago, when I'd just returned from a 500 mile week in the Canaries, but with momentum seemingly returning, perhaps that sub ten Lanzarote Ironman and ticket to Kona is not such a lost cause... one thing is for sure though, this will be my final season of competitive triathlon and having chosen a non-mdot race for 2010 Ironman number two, May the 22nd will see my final chance to ever complete our road to Kona...

See you in seven,


p.s. Today's photo? One of H's great iphone snaps from when we spent the evening in London watching the musical Mamma Mia with my Dad and his wife Eleanor... good times :)


Anonymous said...

Hi Tom,
Top running! Great to hear you are feeling your old self again.
Spring is coming.
Emma x

Ben G said...

That's more like it 'Big Session Hunter'...good, solid running, nice swim set, now get out on that bike and start nailing some big weekly mileage, A168 session one is looming ha ha ha :)

Tom said...

Thanks guys... in the middle of another 'too much work and not enough training makes Jack a fat boy' week but with sixteen weeks to go after this week I'm about to go all Rocky IV on ya!