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bio
 
real name: Nick
age: M40-44
live: Dorset
Mhero: Mark Allen
Fhero: Chrissie Wellington
best toy: treadmill
coffee or tea? coffee
Je regret: rien
Job: Body Mechanic
Long term goal: Kona
In a nutshell
 
Saw Ironman Hawaii on TV Christmas 1992
->Instantly transfixed
->Knew some day I would do it
->Chewed the Cud
-> Uni
-> Work
-> Marriage
-> house
-> baby
-> chewed more cud
-> children
-> went on holiday to Hawaii in Ironman week. Itch has not gone away.
-> chewed cud
-> kids at school now
-> getting creaky still chewing
-> chewed cud long enough
-> IMUK '07
-> that feels better
-> Alpe de Huez tri '09, '11
-> that was good
-> Sprint worlds, Budapest '10
-> that was fun
-> won 1st race, in 21st season
-> kids doing GCSEs
-> still feeling the love
-> one day... Kona.
-> one day...
________________________
 
A good half
Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:12 pm fruit thief
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Today was the Blackmore Vale Half Marathon. The sixth time I have run this toughish early season half marathon. I like it because it is my local race, and gives something to focus on during the dark winter months.

In 2007 I trained for a marathon and an Ironman, and set my half-marathon PB on this course of 1:22:15

That year was exceptional, in recent years my times have been:

2010 = 1:26:22
2012 = 1:27:54
2015 = 1:30:47
2016 = 1:29:19

So - a decade on - how would I do?

Excuses first: I'm a older (43) and heavier (72.4kg) than I have ever been starting this race: My PB was set at age 33 and weighing under 69kg, after a winter of marathon training the likes of which I have never repeated

And yet I have been running consistently through December and January, stepping it up to 2 good runs of over 1 hour per week and 2 good running club sessions as well. Perhaps 30 miles per week since Christmas. On running club rep sessions I'm hitting 6 minute miles with a short recovery. Mid-week I am running with a friend who is faster than me, and somehow have found a new love of pounding the pavements.

This morning at about 8am I sat down to a bowl of porridge, a large glass of water, 3 cups of coffee, and at 10am I had a Cadbury cream egg. And then with 5 minutes to go a handful of jelly babies - I know they must have helped because they were still repeating on me by mile 10.

Conditions were ideal for running. Cool, damp after recent rain, 5 degrees, light 12mph wind from the North West. I wore a T shirt under my vest. But no gloves or hat and no glasses today.

Mile 1: (downhill) 6m17
Mile 2: 6m40
Mile 3: 6m21
Mile 4: 6m38
Mile 5: 6m35

I deliberately started off at a steady pace. I wanted to get to the half way point without really feeling I had started to work yet. After about 2 miles I tagged onto 2 ladies, who were steadily moving up through the field. Their pace was perfect for me. Comfortably quick, but I had another gear ready to deploy.

Mile 6: 7m02

At mile 6 comes a long hill. In previous years, having started too fast, this has often been where the wheels have started to come off my race. Not this year. I picked up the pace and left the ladies, catching and then passing a group of men in front. One of these young guys hung with me although I could tell by his breathing he was really working. (We ran together for the rest of the race, him puffing like a steam train the whole way - he really earned his finishers medal).

Mile 7: 6m19
Mile 8: 6m23
Mile 9: 6m13

At the top of the hill I was in the red zone for a minute, but there was a gentle descent to recover. After this, three flat fast miles - the middle miles of the race. I allowed myself to work during these miles, concentrating on form and imagining I was running reps on a Tuesday evening club session.

Mile 10: 6m51
Mile 11: 6m33
Mile 12: 6m34

In this race, Mile 10 is where the mental race starts. Runners turn left off the fast flat road, into the wind, and up a long but gently rising lane. From this point, the rest of the course is undulating and twisty. I achieved my main goal of hitting mile 10 ready to work hard, and so I dug in. The legs were feeling tired now, but I kept making them try to run fast.

Mile 13.1 (uphill): 8m04

The last 600m involves about 40m of vertical gain. Everyone slows and so did I, but perhaps I allowed myself to slow a little too much. Two runners I had passed earlier came back past me- the only two runners to pass me in the whole race, in fact.

I went through the halfway point in 43 minutes and 13 seconds, and the finish line in 1 hour 26 minutes and 33 seconds. Not quite a negative split, but as close as they come on this course I think. That's the result of getting the pacing right: my 3rd best time - despite being older and fatter than ever.

Could I go faster? Possibly. But I need to lose a few kilos and up the miles before my next race, Weymouth half marathon on the 12th March.

Onwards and upwards TTers

winter run training
Wed Nov 25, 2015 1:12 pm fruit thief
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My 24th winter in this game & I'm mainly running.

Started to ramp things up in October and have been running about 5 times per week, including 2 longer runs of 10+ miles and 1 club interval session. About 35 miles per week. One of the long runs is with a training partner and slightly faster, one is solo and slower. Having a complete break from cycling and swimming.

Looking at lifestyle for "the edge"

Alcohol. Now then. There is a certain amount of sacrifice, but a beer after work is one of my big pleasures. However, so far this month I have been able to limit it to one single alcoholic drink per day at most. (bought a bucket, the rest was easy)

My aim over the next few weeks is to increase the mileage to 40-50 miles over 6 runs. Have a break over Christmas. Lining up a half marathon in Feb, another in March and a 10km in April.

Don't human beings behave oddly at times? So much effort into something so gloriously pointless. Sweating blood to run a half marathon in 90 minutes yet I have a car which could transport me 13.1 miles in quarter of an hour. 5 minutes on the Autobahn.

Lanzarote
Wed Oct 07, 2015 12:25 pm fruit thief
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Our 3rd trip to Club La Santa as a family. Great place, can't recommend it enough. We flew Easy Jet, hired a car, and booked a few days all inclusive elsewhere first on the Island to preload, and afterwards to recover. To keep things affordable CLS we self catered - Arricefe has a LIDL now. Love Lanzarote- the volcanic scenery and the marine life. Amazing off road running, in different parts of the island. My favourite was from Costa Teguise up around the caldera of a volcano and back - did that several times after we had finished at Club la Santa.

Notice the unusual tapas being advertised directly above my head



Above is Famara beach with its breath-taking cliffs and angry lifeguards.

I'm still ticking over in a low key way, this is my 24th year in the sport & I have done at least one tri every year. Competition is not a big motivator for me, I mainlyl love the discipline of training. The movement and relaxation, the feeling of being a little bit fit and strong, and the social angle of training in a group. Also the freedom to run or bike places instead of getting in the car. There really is nothing not to like about this sport IMHO

Good luck everyone in your own endeavours- long may you tri.

Pre-season kit test...
Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:19 am fruit thief
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A dip at Sandbanks on New Years Day
Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:41 pm fruit thief
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Sandbanks on New Years Day. The water was a bit cool, but we had the whole pool to ourselves...


~   Last edited by fruit thief on Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:19 am; edited 2 times in total
A wet dash at Wincanton, April 29th
Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:55 pm fruit thief
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Wincanton is a small town in some way associated with Terry Pratchett, and horse racing. It is however destined to be thrust onto the international stage thanks to a new triathlon organised by Total Buzz events...

I have never slept so badly the night before a race. The wind was howling and rattling the windows, and someone seemed to be standing outside throwing buckets of water at the walls. Every hour I woke up in a cold sweat, rethinking my race attire. At one stage (I must have woken from a cold dream) I was planning to chuck on a pair of bib tights, a big flappy waterproof coat, and then a long sleeved bike jacket over the top for good measure, plus gloves, hat and overshoes.

Sure enough, the weather was shocking. Really shocking. Branches in the road, 50 mph gusts from the North, 4 degrees, cold heavy rain. And... the organisers made the only sensible decision and chopped out the bike, leaving a 400m/5km swim run. Have to say, I was relieved!

Despite the cold and rain I really enjoyed it, and on the run felt like I was really flying. What a great feeling. My legs just wanted to turn over faster and faster, and I was really delighted. I came 4th, with the 5th fastest run split of 18m10s. If only there was some way of capturing that feeling, and putting it in a bottle on a shelf to be uncorked for an A race. Anyone???

A lost shoe at the Leweston 10km, 11th March
Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:43 pm fruit thief
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Despite heavy rain overnight, we woke to a beautiful morning. And what better way to spend it than by charging round the fields and woods of West Dorset. Sheep, cows, goats and even the odd alpaca scattered as we hared up hill and down dale.

Being a TRIATHLETE, I wore elastic lock laces. That was a questionable decision for a multi terrain race, particularly as the dominant terrain was mud.

I felt OK, and the crowd was very unhurried this morning, but even so I was positively baffled to find myself leading at the 2km mark. Around 4km a runner from Exeter caught me and we ran side by side for a bit. By about 6km, he had opened up a small gap and whoops... on a soggy cattle track... squelch... DORSET MUD 1, SAUCONY FAST TWITCH SHOE WITH ELASTIC LACES 0. Extracted it from the mud & hopped around putting it back on. By now in 3rd place.

Big effort on the final hill put me back in 2nd & I held this position to the end. Very pleased with that. The prize was a bottle of 2008 Corbiere, which went down very nicely for lunch with a hot chicken salad. Lovely job.

Meanwhile, when sober, I'm building a time trial bike from old odds and ends off Ebay. Putting the thing together is a learning curve to say the least, but that's another post

So train hard all, tis nearly the season...

Cheers
Nick


~   Last edited by fruit thief on Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:20 pm; edited 2 times in total
Blackmore Vale Half Marathon 5th February 2012
Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:04 am fruit thief
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Well that was painful. Back in November I plucked from a hat the (foolish) target of running sub 1h20 at this local half marathon. I ran steadily almost every day in November. Kept it going through December, but since Christmas have had a lot of other things to do so lost focus a little. I did plenty of short quick sessions on the treadmill, around 5km often at 16-17kmh. But I could tell on road runs that the real fitness wasn't there, fading badly when trying to hold a 7 minute mile for longer than about 40 minutes. Sunday confirmed this, I missed the bar by 7 minutes- some you win, some you lose.



This is me at mile 4 (blue leotard, orange disco shoes, number 21 because that's how old I am not). At this point, 24 minutes in, I was on target pace but all was not well below the waist. The legs- especially the hamstrings and calves- were getting tight, stride length was shortening.

Here is what happened next:



The blue line is my speed. The areas filled in red are the periods spent below 15.8kmh, which is the average speed needed to run a half marathon in 1 hour 20. I just got slower. The last 3 miles were particularly shambolic as half the world passed me, including a rambling club and a family of ducklings following their mother to the pond.

I haven't unscrambled all my thoughts yet, but I have a hunch that my often weaker-than-desired run may be to do with the amount of time I spend sitting at a desk. It has been 50+ hours per week recently & I need to alter this. It can't be a good thing. EJ's interview on IMtalk about stretching got me thinking about this some more. Even now, 3 days on, my hamstrings are hating me.

On the positive side, the base running has been fun & I'm feeling healthy. I still felt a glow of satisfaction lying in a hot bath with a tin of Fosters before Sunday lunch, the room gently spinning as the feeling came back in my frozen toes. I'm also coming to realise that I prefer shorter stuff, and that short training fits in better with my lifestyle. It's all just play really. So I swallowed some pride and entered the Alpe de Huez SHORT course (rather than the long course) at the end of July. Now it's time to get back in the pool and back on the bike...

Happy days everyone, Spring is nearly here, good luck with your training & thanks for reading

very overdue replies to Sue, DHCM & Carlito: Thanks for your encouragement. The Bond lair it is then... Very Happy

Building the base: part 3 of 3
Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:21 pm fruit thief
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We spent October building a base of the training HQ variety. Think James Bond or Thunderbirds type base- bear with me please- the original plan was to have a huge steel structure emerge skywards from an underwater volcano at the touch of a button. But that proved too difficult (we live 25 miles from the sea) so we opted for a log cabin in the garden.

Anyway, with mission control operational...



... November is time to start work on the base proper- my aerobic base.

I am leaning towards entering the Alpe de Huez Long Course again, did it in 2009 and loved the event but there is unfinished business. Essentially I was a little undertrained, spent all my effort on the rather lumpy bike course, and as a result stumbled dazed around the 22km run course at slightly below walking pace, howling at the moon and salivating at strangers. I sure won't make that mistake again. 2010 I went short (Sprint tri in Budapest)) and 2011 I concentrated on other stuff like work, so the endurance machine is a bit rusty, but I'm hungry to do another big tri in 2012 and Alpe de Huez is ticking the boxes at the moment. The fromage, the vin rouge...

So in my head the campaign starts with a 3 month running block ending, all being well, with a solid half marathon in February. And what better group to run with than TriTalk's Nobbie and co?

I'm planning to follow (as and when life allows) a training plan from a book which should see me running 40-55 miles per week over the next 3 months with longest runs building up to 18 miles.



IMtalk podcasts will be my friends. I'm planning to mix and match road / treadmill/ off road / commuting on foot/ and running with my club once per week. The crucial thing I think is going to be avoiding injury, so pilates and the fitball will be coming out too. In terms of intensity, for November I'm not going to leave zone 2 at all in training, and I'm going to enjoy it Dammit YOU WILL ENJOY IT MAN OR ELSE THERE WILL BE TROUBLE.

There is method in my madness. I know from past years that if I can get in a solid block of aerobic running with enough long runs I can run OK, but that otherwise I run like Jabba The Hutt (viz Alpe de Huez debacle in 2009). In terms of time 1h19.59 would be awesome, maybe too lofty a goal though, particularly for the hilly course I have in mind (it would be a minute faster than the women's course record so I'll be running in a dress and wig, oh the glory). And there you have it. That's what is going on in my head at the moment. Good luck everyone with all your winter training.

Will report back in December...
replies:

Arhy- the bit I suspect may be exciting is wiring it up, still havenít quite got that one sorted & an working off an extension cable from the garage!
Sue, Carlito- muchos gracias!

building the base: part 2
Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:10 pm fruit thief
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So, we built a gym in the garden...



...now just need to move the toys in and start using it.

Thankyou Maca Lad. Last month when I was toying with the idea of building a garden gym (posted in "off topic") he said "it is well easy, it is logical". This was the comment that made me decide to go for it. Not sure it was easy, but I'd agree it was logical, and there is plenty of "how to" info, good and bad, on Youtube.



All available hands were recruited, big or small...



... and it was fun to build- a bit like Jenga.



Last step is to find an electrician to fire it up- that bit is for a pro! And then to plan a campaign... bring on the 2012 season!

replies:
Wheezy: that was then, this is now Wink Very Happy
SteveR: Absolutely, its something to do for fun and fitness, the races are just icing. At the moment I'm thinking a spring marathon and then Alpe de Huez triathlon again, family holiday permitting.
dhcm: Oh yes, and I feel we are sailing pretty close to both limits! Luckily the gym equipment we already have, although I do need a new turbo as my Tacx Flow died last year
Queasy: Chapeau, great IM result you had, will watch your next race with interest

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