After April showers May saw some sunshine and a drier month, first thing was to get my big girl pants on and slip into the lake for my first chilly open water dip of the year. Change of venue as Claire took me to Bristol Triathlon lake as it was a few degrees warmer than my membership lake in the Cotswolds.
Braving the chill with a four swim caps, one of which was neoprene and gloves & booties I slipped into the milky water parting the fish and getting brain freeze from my cheeks & lips. Just the one lap completed this dip, but the following two weeks I increased a lap a week so that I was over 2000m by my third visit and ready for Outlaw Half.
Return to Castle Coombe for some fast laps on the race bike and to test out the new wheels. As always Castle Coombe circuit has a cross wind at some point but nothing that troubled me or the wheels. In fact I managed to clock three hot laps at 75 seconds quicker than previous years PB’s. My ride distance got up to 70 miles thanks to Ride the Night Women V Cancer charity ride into and around central London on the bank holiday Saturday also Outlaw Half 56 miles.
Ride the Night is a fantastically well organised ride that sees 3,000 women dressed in pink tutus, fairly lights and fancy dress ride into central London. We even had a midnight feast at one of the feed stations next to Buckingham Palace. Staying at a friends we rode 70 miles finishing at 3am. Amazing sight seeing tour of central London and the London Eye illuminated pink for us.
My longest ride of the year and at 2am as we rode along beside the Thames back to Windsor race course the mist descended and affected my asthma. But a coffee at the last feed station and we were soon back at out beds for the night enjoying a cuppa and the sunrise and catch up on my inhalers.
Running has been building steadily and I have run a couple of half marathon distances, no land speed records but continuous forward motion. Long slow runs being mixed up with sprint intervals otherwise known as my PPP sessions – Piss, Pants or Puke as thats generally the feeling during and after these high HR sessions. Or Marmite sessions, hate them whilst doing them, but love them afterwards.
Outlaw Half was my main event this month and it was tough. I wanted to go back to the course where my asthma started to conquer ! Some small victories – I didn’t drown, I managed to cycle up Oxton Bank (last year I had to walk it) and I ran the majority of the run and crossed the line with my Tri-mate Vicci.
The downsides – I got duck poo in my eye which left me blinded in one eye when trying to sight into the sunrise on the swim and squint through the bike ride. The road surface was atrocious and felt like I sprained my wrist and asthma made an appearance at mile 8 in the run. But with a couple of loo stops and my inhaler I continued to run feed station to feed station then finished in just over 7 hours.
Outlaw was a test event to see where I was in fitness & asthma control – it was a tough day on course and I realised I wasn’t ready for Lakesman full 140 miles 4 weeks later. I looked into the insurance I took out and got the required Doctors notes and paperwork to send off.
A refund from Lakesman will also come in handy as after 10 years of working in the UK & European parliaments my marketing work is coming to an end. Mainly due to Brexit – British MEP’s can’t get meetings, rooms and are being frozen out of activities in Brussels. Then the General election has seen the British MP’s in campaign mode and purdah so no UK parliamentary activities. So it was decided at a meeting with all my clients that we bring the marketing activities to a close this summer.
So time to refresh my CV which is so old it was on floppy disk, the last job interview I had was 21 years ago as since I’ve been headhunted or self-employed. All change and time to find a job.
I have now officially withdrawn from the start line of Lakeman, refunded in full for the entry fee and looking for a job !
My focus is on Hamburg in 10 weeks, I fully intend to get to the start line but finishing will be a tough call as its a 15 hours cut off not the normal 17 hours. I will keep building the miles on the bike, keep the running ticking over and mix up pool & OW swim sessions.
The good news is that the warmer summer weather is generally helping my asthma and the new hayfever drugs are working well (apart from dropping to 10c at 2am on Ride the Night) so training and events should get easier as my training builds – well here’s hoping, but also expecting the unexpected grip of asthma to take hold when least expecting it.