Monday, 19 September 2011

18th of September 2011 - Challenge Henley Race Report

Photos will be added when I get the :)

Yesterday I took part in the first ever Challenge Henley race in the uk. Based in Henley on Thames and riding out into the surrounding hills sounded like a pretty beautiful place to be racing. The weather had other ideas but it was still a great venue to race at.
I was part of the 6:30 swim start. It was v cold (5 c) and my feet were freezing just standing around waiting. There was a lot of fog so visibility was pretty bad. I jumped into the Thames and instant shock took over! wow that was a cold start to the day. Anyway we started and I wasnt feeling confident, my swim training has been about 5 swims this year so its my fault. I panicked for a while and got dropped by the pack but it gave me some open water and time to deal with my head. Head sorted, breathing more relaxed I put some power down and managed to catch and overtake most of the pack I finished 18th (I think) with a time of 1:07. I am sure I could have been closer to 1 hour if not less if I had done a little more training and had time to warm up in the water before starting. Anyway I was pretty damn happy to just be out of that water.

I had a slow steady T1 of 8 minutes. The weather was cold so I made the decision to put arm warmers on and a cycle jersey, and socks. Off I went, onto my bike and I felt pretty good. The course was brutal, it was basically one big up hill and then a turn around and back the same way and then an even longer uphill to another turn around, repeat 3 times! man my legs were tired after the 2nd lap. I had a banana at one food stop and I felt really sluggish afterwards. I have had that before so maybe bananas are not the best choice for me. Anyway I did ok on the bike and had a split of 5:50 ish which was ok as it was a hilly course. I would have loved to have been closer to 5:15 but I will need to work on my bike a little more.

Ok, so I hop off my bike at the end and the run starts. I had a decent T2 of around 2 minutes and started my first of 4 laps. After the 1st lap I was destroyed! my stomach was a mess and I just felt totally dejected. My wife and kids were there to cheer me on and I stopped to tell them I was going to call it a day - my daughter who is 5 just looked at me and said "daddy you need to keep going so we can get a medal"...enough said, head up and start running was the order of the day. I somehow managed to focus on what she said and run the rest of the 42k. I have no idea how I finished I really don’t. I hadn’t trained hard enough for this race and I knew it.
I finished 23rd in my AG with a time of 11:30. I am very very pleased with that. I know that here on ST its not much of a time but just to finish that race I had to dig really, really deep. I have done 50 mile runs, marathons and IM races this was my toughest.

The race was very well organized and we had closed roads for the whole 180km, that is pretty cool in my book. I have to say that I think the Challenge team do a great job with their events. I know you pay a price but I have done 2 now from their series and both have been really good.

Lanzaroti is my next race and will now start to really put some training in. I want a 7 min improvement on the swim, 3 mins off T1, 30 mins off my bike split and 30 mins off my run time!! no small task lies ahead!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Wednesday 14th of September 2011

Wow, its been a while since I last posted! I have done a good amount of run training and I feel confident about my running  now. Cycling not so much! I hurt my shoulder really quite bad and was unable to swim or bike for almost a week. I managed to get some short sharp bike rides in but still this year I havent done nearly enough cycling! I know this is going to hurt me in 4 days time. I just havent had the time to do it. Also my swim training has been v v poor. I did do 3k the other day and I feel pretty confident that I will finish the swim. This week I have been feeling low and have no energy at  all so actually I am not looking forward to this race at all. I will be lucky to finish this one.
Anyway, ill go and I will try my best to do it, something deep down says Ill finish it so ill go with that!
Tomorrow I may do another small jog just to keep my legs going and maybe even a small bike ride.
Ill post a race report when I am done! bad or good!!