Bank Holiday Bonanza

Sorry all its been three weeks since I blogged, this has been due to the intense Ironman training, dealing with mountains of sports kit washing and work which pays for all the washing powder and sports events !

In the last three days alone I completed a Big Ass Bank Holiday training Block that looked like this:

Sat – 30 km run 
Sun – hour swim, 90mins bike & 30mins run. 
Monday – 2 mile swim, 100 mile bike & 10k run. That’s 108 miles in a day.
All planned sessions completed this weekend. Funny how my coach Neil set the session then disappeared to Hawaii for a holiday, so he couldn’t hear me scream !
Of the 7 session only 2 were dry so I now have a mountain of soggy kit to deal with tomorrow. 
Total of 157 miles in 3 days. Very chuffed with that, but very tired today.

Big Ass training block - I completed you
Big Ass training block – I completed you

Its been good to get into the lake for swimming too. This weekend was quite a contrast – Sunday was choppy and chilly yet Monday was flat calm waters and sunshine (briefly at 8am).

Come on in the waters lovely :-) Lake 32 Cotswolds
Come on in the waters lovely 🙂 Lake 32 Cotswolds

In the three weeks prior to this massive Monday  I swam, rode and ran 364 miles in 40 hours of training. Plus estimated about five hours of laundry, 3 hours in the shower or bath, 20 hours eating & refuelling, 154 hours sleeping, plus 3 working weeks that saw me in London, Coventry, Cardiff and conference calls with British & European Parliaments.

Not a bad looking office for a day
Not a bad looking office for a day

In the last three weeks I have also completed two sportives and two 100 mile bike rides. The over ridding theme has been the weather, well heavy rain and wind which seems to have been ever-present. Starting with Taunton and my last soaking yesterday.

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I drove down to Taunton on the Friday night and stayed in a Premier Inn just a few miles from the race course which was race HQ and start/finish. I was up and out  too early for breakfast in the hotel but the racecourse catering did everything a cyclist could need from coffee, tea, porridge, bananas, bacon buttes or a full fry up. There were trucks of racing pigeons waiting to go off, at least they’d benefit form the windy conditions.

Racing pigeons getting greedy to fly
Racing pigeons getting greedy to fly
Dakota - 100km route
Dakota – 100km route

Heading out from the race course somehow I was lead rider behind the motorcycle for the first mile. Then the rain began, my jacket zipper was up and down like a yo-yo until at 40 miles it jammed itself – grrrh So I was now overheating on the hills or it was a bit drafty on the downhills as it was stuck half way up/down. At the end I had to pull it off over my head. It was a good route, well sign posted, the feed station was stocked with every kind of sweet, salty & savoury delight. Not the toughest of rides in elevation but the heavy rain and winds sorted that. Instant finish results – Bronze classification for me and a medal and t-shirt. The race course catering also had plenty of hot food and drinks and showers which were welcome before the drive home.

The following weekend was to be my first 100 mile  ride, the Great Western Sportive. Starting at Nationwide HQ in Swindon we were soon out on country roads heading to Wroughton, Calne, Marlborough and Lambourne. With 6,000+ft of climbing this was a tough, challenging but rewarding ride. Riding time 6:55, chip time 7:13 which brought me my first silver classification 🙂 Very pleased and proving that my cycling is getting stronger, or that as the weather was the best its been for any of my sportive rides I didn’t loiter in the feed stations too long!

101 miles - Silver classification
101 miles – Silver classification

In terms of gear and gadgets I finally managed to get some 650 tyres for my FELT race bike, having small wheels is a real limiter in tyre choice. Luckily Continental have just updated the popular Grand Prix 400S II and product stock has got to Wiggle.com. These were so easy to fit to my bike unlike  the Gatorskins which I battled with on my road bike in the winter. But being lazy I inflated them with CO2 cartridges which was great for the first two rides, but when I went to head out for my 100 yesterday they had deflated so no choice but to get the track pump out.

Best rubber for the road
Best rubber for the road

Riding last week I hit a bomb hole which jettisoned my water bottle from my seat carrier and now my computer is completely kaput. Checking the rims and tyres I was happy no further damage but cursed the road surface.

On Sunday morning I noticed a couple of knicks in my wetsuit, asking around I found a friend who had some BlackWitch repair gunk. No idea how I got them as usually very careful with my suits.

So after yesterdays and the weekends efforts today is a rest day and I have repaired my wetsuit. Just need it to cure and hopefully all will be OK.

Easy week ahead the miles and hours are building. Three weeks to Wimbleball iron am 70.3 and 8 weeks to ironman UK – eeekk.

Mileage build up in last year
Mileage build up in last year

 

2 comments

  1. Great block of training Zoe. Very impressed. My hours are now building. Outlaw Half this w/e and then it is four very hard week into the taper. Looking forward to it in a funny way. Like lots of people, I have trained hard, but still feel undertrained……especially when I read your training diary 🙂 Keep up the good work.

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