European Championships? Ready, set, ….

So: I qualified to represent Team GB in the European Championships for middle distance triathlon (half ironman) in Rimini, Italy in 2015!!!  What?!!!  Not me surely – the kid who would have got 10/10 for effort at school but never quite made the netball or hockey teams, and was only ever involved in sports day because no-one else could be persuaded to run the 1500 m?rimini

Continue reading “European Championships? Ready, set, ….”

Adventures in protein shakes

One of the ways I wanted to train differently in 2015 was to eat better.  My in-race nutrition strategy was now OK, after 2014’s run-ins with the demon sweetener sucralose (don’t ask), and learning to rely on High5 (sucralose-free) energy, mineral and hydration sources.  But I suspected I could probably ‘eat smarter’ during training, to the benefit of my racing.  And as a veggie I suspected I wasn’t getting enough protein in particular.  Don’t get me wrong, I love tofu (and if you don’t you must be doing it wrong!) and Quorn/beans/lentils, but I get lazy.  Protein is needed for muscle maintenance, growth and repair, so without an adequate supply some of the training I was doing to strengthen my muscles would be wasted.  And why would I want to waste training?!!

Enter the protein shake!   Continue reading “Adventures in protein shakes”

Race Report: Aberfeldy Middle Distance Triathlon, 17th August 2014

Exactly three weeks after the amazing Castles Challenge Middle Distance Tri in Bamburgh I competed over the same distance at Aberfeldy, in a race that also happened to be the British Championships.  The ‘British Championship’ part had been of little interest to me until after my success in Bamburgh, when I realised that my training had paid off and I was on my best form ever.  Now I started wondering what might be possible at Aberfeldy – it was a course I knew and enjoyed, and the age group I’d be competing in would be smaller than the whole field at Bamburgh, BUT the field would be much stronger, attracting triathletes from across the country, and the swim would be much shorter, so I wouldn’t have ‘the Bamburgh advantage’!  That way madness lies, I quickly realised, so I sensibly concluded that there was no point getting hung up on whether I could finish on the podium again (don’t believe a word of it: it nearly drove me mad!).

Continue reading “Race Report: Aberfeldy Middle Distance Triathlon, 17th August 2014”

Race Report: Castles Challenge Middle Distance Triathlon (27 July 2014)

Hello there blogosphere, it’s been a while!  Almost a year since I wrote about my first middle distance tri – Aberfeldy 2013.  I enjoyed Aberfeldy so much that I concluded that the middle distance tri (aka half ironman) really suited me: I decided to concentrate on this distance in 2014, so I entered two.  My first was on July 27th – the Castles Challenge in the beautiful setting of Bamburgh, Northumberland – and the second will be Aberfeldy again, on August 17th.  So, here I’ll recap on my training and report on the Bamburgh race. Continue reading “Race Report: Castles Challenge Middle Distance Triathlon (27 July 2014)”

Race Report: Aberfeldy Middle Distance Triathlon 2013

In the week before the race I intended to write a short blog post about how I thought I could have prepared differently for the event, without the benefit of post-race hindsight.  Then I’d reassess after the race and see if I was correct, or was worrying about nothing or about the wrong things.  It would have been so neat, but I never got round to it (such an amateur blogger).

Continue reading “Race Report: Aberfeldy Middle Distance Triathlon 2013”

Week Twelve and a half: emotional rollercoaster

I am not a lover of rollercoasters.  I’m so prone to travel sickness that most fairground rides leave me regretting I got on them in the first place.  Some great exciting things happened this week.  One really awful thing happened this week.  I’m not quite over the disorientation yet, but I think it’s time to write about this week.

Continue reading “Week Twelve and a half: emotional rollercoaster”

Week Twelve: MOT fail

I won the Edinburgh Triathletes Club Championship last year, and got this rather splendid trophy: look it has my name on it!  It is a little large for drinking malt whisky from, but I gave it a good go on the awards night.  In truth I sort of won it by default: I competed in more of the club’s target races than any other lady, so it actually didn’t matter how well I did.  In most years the competition is a bit fiercer, and I wouldn’t normally stand a chance.  But hey, I’m proud of my achievement!  I’ve never won anything for sports before, so this means a lot.  The reason I mention this fantastic achievement, in passing you understand, is purely because part of the prize was the physiotherapy equivalent of an MOT check, which I finally claimed this week.  (MOT = car safety and roadworthiness test in the UK).photo (10)IMG_0517 Continue reading “Week Twelve: MOT fail”

Week Eleven: virtual 10K

This week I competed in a 10K race with 4349 other people, even though I was running alone, and could pick my own route and start time.  Most of my competitors weren’t even in the same country as me.  This was a new experience for me, and a good one.  Before explaining how it worked I need to introduce you to my favourite bit of running/cycling geekery: the mobile phone app Strava.  It’s not an exaggeration: this app has revolutionised my training, and has really motivated me.  The app uses the phone’s GPS to record speed and distance during my runs and cycles: while there are other apps that do this I’ve never found one that works as well as Strava.

So why is it so good?   Continue reading “Week Eleven: virtual 10K”

Training plan = more what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules

I’m just past the halfway point in my 18 week training plan.  Does this mean I’ve done 9 weeks of solid work and ticked off everything on the training plan?  Not quite.  Not by a long shot.  All the unticked activities on the training plan mock me, and highlight the gaping chasm between me and the half ironman race.  What was I thinking? Continue reading “Training plan = more what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules”