Wednesday, 21 July 2021

Hathersage Hilly Triathlon 2021

On Sunday I completed my first triathlon the Hathersage Hilly. Back when I lived in Edale for the summer 2001 after graduating I heard about this triathlon when swimming at the pool, I remember thinking I'd love to do something like that but couldn't imagine being able to. Well 20 years later I did it!
On the Saturday Ali took me to register, I was quite stressed by it all. I'd made notes on all the rules but was ready to turn round and not register. Ali managed to calm me down and then the race organiser kindly answered all my questions. So I collected my numbers and we walked through the transitions so I knew where I would vlve going.

Sunday morning and transitions set up we got to the pool ready to be called for my start which was sometime between 730am and 8am. It had said you had to wear a mask when setting up transition and when moving around the event before racing, but no-one else seemed to be. There was also no social distancing. I was surprised as other events I have done have been strict about this and with triathlon having lots of rules I was expecting it to be enforced. But it did mean I was a bit less worried about making a mistake with the rest of the rules.
Once in the pool it was a lot quieter and I had a quick chat with the lifeguards which helped me feel a bit more relaxed. Soon it was time to start, first length and my Garmin flies off! I dived down to get it and swam holding it, I realised partway through I should be counting lengths as it might not be doing it correctly.... When it buzzed for 14 lengths I wasn't sure so did another 2, once out I knew I'd done 16 and checking my watch later showed it was correct. 
Into transition and I wasted some time trying to put my watch back on, until I realised the clip that held it to the watch was broken so shoved it into the pocket of my trisuit. But otherwise felt my transition was quite efficient and I was soon rubbing out with my bike.

It took me a little time to get my feet into my pedals, been a while since I've used one sided pedals, bit soon I was on the way to Grindleford. I know the road well from riding to and from the pool for a swim which was an advantage for the little hills that suddenly appear. Arriving at Grindleford I was talking to myself "put your foot down, put your foot down" as I was so sorry I'd forget. There is a stop sign there and the rule was you had to stop and put your foot down, usually I just pause in a trackstand.
Soon it was the left turn onto the Froggatt climb, this is my commute to work and it was lovely riding it on Ruby and without panniers. Near the top a tractor with a trailer went past me and when we turned at the top I got stuck behind it descending for a while, fortunately it turned off before I was on the long descent to Hathersage.

Into transition 2 and it was a quick rack of bike, change of shoes and grap my running pack so I had water before heading out on the run.

I had wondered if I should leave my pack as noone else was, but it was a super hot day and I was glad of the liquid to sip on the way round. The run route was lovely, super tough uphills but with some lovely downhills as well.  I walked all the uphills as my running is beginning to feel a lot harder with the lack of training.

Coming into the finish I could hear Ali cheering, no chance of a sprint finish in the heat but I felt strong still.

So would I do another one? Probably! I'd do this one again but not sure about one with a mass swim start and a road run. I also think I'll wait till I feel happier with covid and stick with the small running events that feel safer with their covid measures.

Also pleased with my time, swim obviously longer than expected due to swimming 480m instead of 420m and diving down to collect my watch. Bike was great and run wasn't embarrassing. Have to not think how fast and strong I was two years ago. The last few months I've barely trained due to CFS/ME so really really pleased, I was hoping for sub 2 hours and smashed that. Super big thank you to Ali for looking after me and taking lots of photos!

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Not the PB57

So last year we went into lockdown meaning the PB57 was cancelled, my entry was rolled over to this year. The original route was along the Pennine Bridkeway from Middleton Top to Hayfield. To make it work in Covid times the route was changed to an out and back along the Pennine Bridkeway from Hayfield with individual start times. This meant they wouldn't have to bus us to the start. Unfortunately this year's was postponed to September and the date was close to another event I am doing.

So I decided to run the original route and Ali kindly offered to support me. Ali suggested doing it midweek so the trails would be quieter since the trails here are so busy at the weekends at the moment. Then we had to find a date we could both have off work, which turned out to be yesterday.

The first 13 miles or so is along the High Peak Trail, so easy running. Unfortunately it was also into a head wind and the weather was being changeable so I had to stop a few times to put my jacket on and off.
Ali met me at two points along the way so I could replace my water bottles and top up my food. It worked really well and I couldn't have done it without her. She had new bottles ready every stop with torq mixed in which saved me loads of time.
Leaving the trail the weather closed in again and I couldn't see that far so it meant no enjoying the views. Meeting Ali at half way I had a stitch and my feet were getting sore. I knew that the route was about to get a lot hillier as well so it was time to get my poles out.

After what felt like a lot of tarmac I had some steep climbs, which actually felt good. I think partly as I didn't feel I should be running which I did on the flatter parts.
The weather even played ball and the mist cleared so I could enjoy the views now I was higher up.
Ali came up the hill to meet me when I was a few miles from the end and got some lovely photos for me to remember the day.
Finished still feeling strong, if a bit slow and sore. Really pleased with my overall time of 8hrs 30mins.

Monday, 2 November 2020

Spire Ultra

After my first ultra was cancelled in April due to the country going into the locdown for Covid I put my name on the waiting list for one in May, that then got rearranged for October and I forgot about it. On the 31st October I was meant to be running the Cani-Trail 22mile with Chip again but it was postponed for a year after the County in Wales went into lockdown. Just days after I got an invite for the Spire Ultra as unfortunately people in tier 3 areas aren't meant to travel. So on Saturday I was lining up for my first ultra without dog power.
I was in the first starting pod, pods were made up of six people and so lined up next to my smiley face.
On go I headed off, being careful not to head off too fast as my plan for the day was to be sensible for the first half in the hope I wouldn't die. It still took a long time till people started passing me.
The weather was pretty wet and very windy and the ground very muddy. A couple of times I nearly fell over.
As was getting close to nine miles I hear cheering and there was Ali, she'd been shopping after dropping me off so stopped on her way home.
After seeing Ali the rain got heavier but although my top was wet I was warm and it was keeping the wind out so I never put my waterproof jacket on.
On one section someone had put a selection of signs up especially for us which made me smile.
I stopped at a couple of checkpoints to fill up with water and took advantage of a couple of walls to add torq powder so I was keeping getting electrolytes as well as water into me. 

On one descent I thought I must be coming to the last checkpoint but no it was a pheasant shoot.  They moved soon after I went last and I actually saw them again on another section.
The last checkpoint mentioned in the toute notes was at 20miles and I was pleased that I had maintained a 12 min mile average. After this I had a long section straight into the wind that was hard going and it was starting to hurt. But otherwise I felt okay as I had been eating and drinking well.
About 25miles I started  swapping places with two guys and then the last six miles was mainly uphill so I did slow as I was walking most of it.

The last bit was over boggy fields but as I approached the finish I heard Ali cheering for me which kept me running. I crossed the line and stopped my Garmin at 6hours and 40minutes which smashed my Gold goal of breaking 7 hours.

Really chuffed to find i finished 3rd female and 25 out of 63 finishers.

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

AKA Mustard SwimRun - Spring Lakes

After winning the As Keen As Mustard swimrun series last year I was looking forward to racing this year however with Covid all the races were rescheduled for September and October meaning I definitely couldn't do the whole series. But on Sunday I headed to Spring Lakes in Nottingham ready to race the 21k, well as ready as I could be having done no open water swimming this year.
Registration was quickly done and I walked the dogs round to the start and realised it was actually a fair way so I'd better head back to the van and get my wetsuit on! 
Due to Covid the start was done as individual starts, people lined up and I just waited till the end to go. Luckily for me Ali was tail biker so cold be with me for registration and the start, Covid means no spectators to be brought with you to the event.
I actually caught the team in front pretty quickly before entering the water for swim one. Where Imanaged to head towards the wrong point bu sighting off the wrong flag, fortunately I realised I couldn't see any other swimmers going that way so only did about 100m extra. I went past someone on the next run and then for the first lap (it was a two lap course) the only other competitors I saw were two going the opposite way to me! Turns out they had pulled out.
I passed the finish just after an hour and a half and I was still feeling strong. Coming out of the first swim on this lap I was surprised to see another competitor ahead of me and went past him on the way into the next swim.
I was beginning to notice the cold on the swims but warming up enough on the runs, I was very glad when I got to the longest run to get properly warm and it meant there was only one swim left.
It turns out I actually did pretty well with the water temperature, considering I hadn't been swimming outside so hadn't had any acclimatisation. There were quite a few people didn't finish and one competitor had to have an ambulance called for her due to hypothermia. 
I finished in just under three hours so I did the second lap faster than the first which I was very pleased with and I finished 3rd female and 6th overall.

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Grindleford Gallop

This weekend I was meant to be at a weekend canicross race but it had been cancelled a few weeks ago as the ground was too saturated for parking or camping. Luckily I got a transfer place into the Grindleford Gallop which starts a few miles away from where I live and is a 21mile loop. 

I cycled to the start as it was close to home and there isn't a lot of parking there, this meant I didn't have to get there super early to get parked! 
All the registration was done outside due to the Corona Virus meaning we had to be careful about being around people. 

I'd already done a reasonable amount of running this week, including a 17 mile run with Chip on Wednesday, so the plan was to use it as a good training run. Then they said GO and of course I was running as fast as I could to the queue for the first stile! 

It wasn't long before the climbing started and I was walking! But the views were stunning. The day had started off misty but the weather kept improving with the sun shining by partway through, in fact I was wishing I had shorts on! I was behind a guy descending well into Longstone and I was able to stay with him. I mentioned to him I often find the Monsal Trail hard in races and he said just treat it like a parkrun. I may have took that too literally clocking a sub 8minute mile! 

Leaving the trail we headed up towards Chatsworth, I enjoyed eating my cake while walking up this that I had picked up at the checkpoint on the trail. Heading towards Chatsworth my legs seemed to be struggling and once I got to Chatsworth I started to really need the toilet but I knew it wasn't far to Baslow! Getting there it was a quick toilet stop and I got one of my bottles refilled. 

Up to hill onto Baslow Edge, it was just along Baslow, Curbar and Froggatt Edges before dropping to the finish. It felt like I was just shuffling along while more and more people came past me. But once descending to the finish I found some more oomph and even a sprint along the road to the finish! 

I was aiming for sub 5, with sub 4.5hrs being my A goal. So I was super happy with finishing at just over 4hrs!

After finishing they fed us soup, which was delicious, oh and lots of cake options! Then I had to cycle home.... It took me a while to set off and the uphill was hard, at least then it was mainly downhill to home! 

It's definetly an event I would do again. Also showed me I probably need to do some more long training runs without Chip so I don't just die! But the really good thing is I managed about three 500ml bottles of liquid and the day after my legs weren't sore, meaning I was right about a lot of the soreness after the Wales race being down to barely drinking anything! 

190th/387 runners
44th/147 females
27th/76 V40 females

Now to hope my main event in April goes ahead!

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Christmas Day Park Run

Ali had suggesyed we did the Bakewell Park Run on Christmas Day and why didn't I run it with Chip. I have to admit that I hadn't been interested before as it's just out and back on the monsal trail and there is much nicer running round there, also I wasn't sure about running chip somewhere so busy. Since I have been working on my running style and Chip have getting faster I decided to give it a go. I went the sat before dogless to check it out and ask if it was okay to start at the front, the event director kindly agreed, normally they ask dogs to start at the back. On the day we had a fantastic run getting a fantastic pb. Chip was a star coping with the legs around us.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

The difference a day makes.

Sunday we had a lazy start to the morning, I briefly got out of the van at 6:30am to take chip to the toilet. I couldn't believe all the ice had melted melt the car park was no longer an ice rink! We had decided to do a short one after the adventure, a 4km out and back.

Heading up the hill it was stunning and reaching the shooting cabin we decided to explore a possible circular loop .

We headed out over a Grouse Moor, Chip thought this was amazing! But it was slow going on two legs!

We descended down into a stunning valley before picking up a runable path, which was a shock to the legs!

A weekwnd to remind me to get out and explore more.