Outlaw Half – 20/05/2018

The Outlaw Half, is a middle distance triathlon/ half Ironman distance in Nottingham. For me, the Outlaw Half is a race in preparation for a race – later this Summer I’m racing the full Ironman distance in Mont Tremblant.

A few years ago, a Half Ironman was a terrifying thought… Approaching it for only the second time in my life, and as a “training race” rather than “focus race”, felt strange. When I trained for the Zell em See Half, it was my sole focus for the year… I put all my effort into training and being as ready as I’d ever be to get through the race and perform to my best ability.

This year, I don’t necessarily feel like I put that same amount of focus into my training. I’ve been training don’t get me wrong, but I’ve been doing so with a stressful job that involves a lot of travel and overtime, and with social plans not always taking the backseat. So training isn’t my sole focus… and when training isn’t my sole focus, I don’t feel as confident in myself ahead of a race.

I wasn’t nervous, but I wasn’t confident either… I knew I could get around the course, but I didn’t know how fast… or if I’d be faster than my race in Zell am See. It didn’t help that I was ill for about three weeks leading up to the race either, so though I knew I wanted to approach the race as a fighter, I was also just happy to treat it as a solid block of training and just saying to myself “let’s see what happens”. My mind was all over the place ahead of it all. I figured either way, my competitive self would take over day-of, and that’s pretty much exactly what happened.

Overall, super happy with my race… I felt smarter than the last time I raced this distance, I was comfortable on the TT bike, I learned A LOT in almost every stage of the race, and it was a good kick in the butt to make training a focus for the next 12 weeks so that when Ironman Mont Tremblant comes around, I am excited to race and ready to see what happens!

It was also amazing being able to share this with someone. Jodie and I signed up together, started together and cheered each other on when we crossed paths on the course. It helps a lot seeing a familiar face on the course! I’m glad that Mont Tremblant will be similar as I’ll be racing with Brenna, Alistar and Dan.

RACE SUMMARY

Total time:  5:47:03
Age group rank:  12/35
Gender rank:  53/332

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Semi de Paris 2018

My first race in over 10 months! Such a relief to see that my fitness is coming back after only a few months of training. Since December I’ve been focusing on getting back into shape in preparation for Ironman training this year. This race was either going to be a reality check on how unfit I’ve gotten, or an encouraging “pat on the back”. I’m much better with positive reinforcement, so I’m thankful it was the latter!

The Summary

  • Fastest 5k, 1-5km: 23m 23s
  • Slowest 5k, 10-15k: 24m 13s
Total Time: 1h 39m 52s
Average Speed: 4:44 m/km
Gender Position: 414 of 12,498

I totally thought this result was a personal best but my post on the 2016 Kingston Half Marathon has reminded me otherwise… Either way, I’m within seconds of my PB and I’m pretty stoked about it!

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Brighton Marathon 2017

THE SUMMARY

I signed up for the Brighton Marathon with the intention to train for a “Good for Age” finish time so I could race the London Marathon in 2018. Good for Age is sub 3h 45m in my age group, so that was my target. I finished the Edinburgh Marathon in 2013 with a time of 3:55 so I knew that with some dedicated training, sub 3:45 was within reach.

I built out my training plan and in January I was ready to hit the ground running – literally. Unfortunately in week 2 of training I managed to fall down a set of stairs and sprain my ankle…. I tried walking it off but there was no walking this one off. My ankle took 6 weeks to fully recover. I got running again at the end of February and managed to develop runner’s knee (too much to quick). All this, and I am convinced I can qualify. I knew I was stronger and faster than I was four years ago, and I figured that if my fitness fails me I’d at least have the mental toughness to make it through.

The result? I TOTALLY miss judged how tough a 42km race is. To my surprise (and probably me only), I am disappointed to report back that I didn’t get sub 3:45 as planned. But all things considered, I am actually really happy with this race. Here’s the breakdown…

  • 10k split: 52m 56s
  • Half marathon: 1h 50m 37s
  • 30k split: 2h 41m 25s
Total Time: 3h  55m 02s 
Gender Position: 350 of 4825

Should you pace your next run with a GPS watch/ app?

When I was preparing for the Edinburgh Marathon I lived by my Garmin – I used it on every run and kept track of ALL my stats. I was borderline obsessive about my pace and my progress.

After the marathon, I stopped training for a couple months and by the time I decided to get back into a training regime, it felt like I had lost so much fitness. All of the sudden, I hated my stats. I was slower; it was harder; and it was annoying how quickly I lost fitness after working so hard to build it up. As a result, I started to dread going for runs. Something I loved turned into something I avoided… I quickly realised that if I want to keep running, I needed to leave the watch behind.

There are many benefits to tracking your runs though and I’ve recently tried to get back into the routine of it.

If you’re wondering whether you should start tracking your runs, or if you should step back from obsessing over your running data, check out my list of pros and cons below…

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My first DNF in Triathlon

The Monster Triathlon just isn’t my race. Two years in a row… Year 1 – DNS (did not start), Year 2 – DNF (did not finish)…

IMG_6039Last year I came down with the flu a few days before the race and was unable to compete. This year I planned on racing the Monster Triathlon as my main focus race and my last triathlon of the season… There’s nothing worse than dedicating time and effort in training and then ending up with a big fat DNF!

The last time I got a DNF was in rowing when I raced at the Royal Canadian Henley with Becca. We were in the under 25 women’s double final and the collar on my oar wasn’t fastened properly; it slipped right off at the 1250m mark leaving us unable to finish the race; equipment malfunctions are the worst!!

So what happened this time? Well here’s the very short race report and a few silver linings from the experience…

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Run London – Racing the 2016 British 10k

In preparation for the British 10k this year, I wrote a post about setting executable goals. Personally, I was worried that I would approach the race with an expectation to finish faster than last year, and for it to take just as much effort as I recalled it did last year (recalling effort is rarely accurate… a tough race always seems easier in hindsight).

But it turns out this was the least of my worries as there is one crucial thing this year that I didn’t do last year and which I totally underestimated… Crew the Race Across America. I was knackered for about two weeks after RAAM and only started feeling myself again by the weekend of the British 10k. So having an expectation to feel the same during the race as I did last year and finish in the same time or faster was no longer a concern. I do love racing though, so I approached the British 10k last weekend with an open mind and figured it’d be a good test to see how fit I am given the circumstances.

To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised with my result! Only 30 seconds slower than last year I finished with a time of 45:41. I was pleasantly surprised that is, until I saw my potential…

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Crewing the Race Across America

2 weeks, 2 flights, 5 time zones, 3000 miles on the road and countless Red Bull’s crushed… where do I even start? Crewing the Race Across America was an experience unlike anything else.

I thought I set my expectations fairly well going into the race, but there are something’s in life you can’t prepare for without first hand experience… and RAAM is one of those things.

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