Tuesday, 29 September 2009

7th Blog Post...The Vitruvian Triathlon Race Report

The Vitruvian Triathlon - September 5th 2009
1,900m open water swim - 85km cycle - 21km run (half marathon for the slower readers)

Well, my forage into the world of Half Ironman...ahem...racing continues for another year.
Last year I did the same event, and managed to *pick your own description from - scuttle, roll, limp, crawl, cry, meander, flop or painfully cross the line in a commendable 5hrs 08mins and 03seconds.
I wrote a race report for Tritalk.co.uk last year for my first attempt at the distance. Here it is...

With that all in mind, I managed to get myself a coach...Matt Tippett from Elite Triathlon Performance Australia. I met him whilst living in Melbourne for 6 months and decided to give him a shout when I got back to Wales.
Turns out, he enjoys planning out sessions with, in my opinion anyway, the sole intention to make me hurt, go sick and cry. (I went sick once, hurt A LOT but never cried...ish).
Anyway, I started his sessions and at every event I entered in the lead up to the Vitruvian, I could see genuine signs of improvement! PB's were tumbling at nearly all events, which was doing my confidence wonders!

So with a solid improvement, high confidence and a well earned taper in the bank, I set off for Rutland Water in Leicestershire. Plan was to sleep in the back of my girlfriends van - awesome, parents, sister and her fella would set up a couple of tents, and dogs would be shipped off to a kennell to catch kennell cough and rabies.

After last years sham (didn't get up till gone 10pm), I decided to leave early to get up there to have plenty of rest and register before the big day.

So, after helping my sister set her camp up after arriving past 10pm (as you can see, the plan worked perfectly) I set about trying to do what I do best...sleep. And I did. And then the alarm went off at 4am. Meh.

Off to register, set up the bike, put my clothes on (I wasn't naked registering - I ment put my racing gear on) and then slip in to the wetsuit...slip/struggle...wa'eva,

Got a photo taken with two mates....

Left to right - Random dude, random dude, random dude, random dude playing with goggles, Thomas 'the peoples' Peoples, Richard 'no facial hair' Jeggo, random dude, John 'swimming hat matching my beard combo' Williams, random dude, random dude, random dude and Keith Cornish

...then set about the 1,900m swim. A two lap affair of Rutland Water and a trying to swim as close to the Rutland Belle without shitting my knickers by seeing a propeller (for some reason, I find anything large under water eerie? and also guide ropes when you can't see the bottom...that's right, I'm 26).

SWIM - 1,900m

Nothing much you can write about the swim to be honest, bar the first 10m being caked with sea-weed, then somehow, I must have hit the shallow end on the far side of the lake due to me stroking the floor for a few meters?
Avoided shitting my knickers by not looking at the Belle...if you laughed at that, grow up.
My mother managed to take a pretty sweet photo of me diving back in for the 2nd lap - even more impressive when you consider that she started on the wine at 4:30am. Amy Winehouse's got shit on her! 1 good photo, and the rest are blurred...not a bad effort.

Swim done in - 30:58 (2:15 quicker than 2008)


Got into T1, struggled with my really slack wetsuit...pah, couldn't get it past my watch nor timing chip...then, if you check how long I was in there, I apparently made a cup of tea, watched 3 episodes of 24, dismantled then re-assembled my bike, read the bible....twice, put my gels in my back pockets then set off...
Good thing about this year was, I didn't feel dizzy or sick...kicking for the last 150m really works?!!

T1 done in - 2:04

CYCLE - 85km

Got out of transition, played frogger with the two dudes in front of me. One struggling to get his foot in, the other just fell over. Bless him.
2 laps including the infamous Rutland Ripple...which I find a lot easier than it looks!! From the hill looking down, it's quite impressive, but with the speed you can carry going down then it isn't that much trouble...the biggest issue is the amount of traffic and other cyclist (even if one of them is Thomas Peoples who raised himself off the seat to fart just as he passed me...it smelt like burnt hair), especially the 2nd lap, but other than that, it's a pretty quick course. What made it a little trickier this year was the headwind, pretty tough on the way out, but then more than enjoyable coming back...great fun!! The disc was a good choice...and it sounds fast. Sweet.
Managed to stick to my nutrition plan of 2 x 750ml bottles of 100g High5 and a High5 banana bar...worked a treat! Also took 500ml of water in case things went pear-shaped!

Bike done in - 2:30:32 (8:08 quicker than 2008)


Now, I thought I was in and out. But apparently it took me 1:02. Tits.

RUN - 21km

This is where I struggled last year...I managed to bumble around in 1:55 and it hurt a lot. So much so, I promised myself that I wouldn't enter anything more than a sprint from then on in. Ah well, I had some scores to settle!!
I had intentions of, realistically, running anything under 1:45...but had a feeling it would be around the 1:46-48 margin.
Again, a two lap affair.
As soon as I got off the bike I settled into a comfortable running rhythm, it felt weirdly good?! Had my 4 gels to take at the 5km marks, then 1 for emergency. The first three 5km were brilliant, managed to get around with no fuss and got down my 3 gels and water...although I nearly choked on water at one point - note to self, learn to run with plastic cup and not end up blinded, drowning and covered in spit. Sweet look!!!
The last 5-6km was and still is, pretty painful! Although 2008's run made this half marathon feel like an easy jaunt...it hurt nigh on the entire 21km in 2008.

Run done in (great rhyming) - 1:37:04 (18:32 quicker than 2008)

Total - 4:41:53 (30min+ faster then 2008)

Over the moon with the result and can't believe the improvement in my run!? Awesome!!

Post event feelings - I've had some time to think about the even (hence the report being written nigh on 4 weeks after the event finished, DOH!) and it's given me a great stepping stone to move on. My targets have changed for 2010. I've entered Ironman Austria 70.3 in July, more then likely doing the Vitruvian again and also got the Yak Attack in March. I've also got one plan, that if I manage to pull off, then that would be, without question, my greatest sporting achievement. But I'm not going to reveal what it is quite yet....

Laterz amigos!

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

6th Blog Post...James 'I have the same first name as James Bond, and will try look like him in all my photos' Martin...or, 'captain twat'.

Follwing a link I that was brought to my attention...LINK I sent an e-mail to the people that represent him. No, not Little Chef, some other company...


Howdy partners,

Just a quick e-mail to forward onto that guy who makes food for people that you represent. James ...something.
I was sent a link to the review of some car that he wrote in some fantastic daily publication that he writes for, in-between dreaming of cakes, sausages, fish fingers and rutting birds. So, I'm going to aid him in his goal of killing off all cyclist and show my utter disgust at the fact that they seem to think they can cycle where they like? The cheeky so and so's. How dare they get in our way, don't they know that presumably safe, quiet country roads are used for Little Chef chef's finest 'English breakfast buns' maker for his private really fast car testing route?! Idiots.

Anyway, I'll add to some of the points that Jeremy Clarkson...sorry, James May...sorry, James...something wrote.

Names James...James...er...Martin? And I hate buttocks...

God, I hate those cyclists. Every last herbal tea-drinking, Harriet Harman-voting one of them. That's one of the reasons I live in the countryside, where birds tweet, horses roam, pigs grunt and Lycra-clad buttocks are miles away. But recently, there's been a disturbing development.

Now, I won't lie to you James...something, but I'm a cyclist and a triathlete - we wear even less lycra and occasionally, rubber. But, I can confirm I have never voted for the Lord Privy Seal, nor has anyone else I know. I also have never put lip to cup on something that contains herbal tea. But then, I do have fantastic buttocks. Imagine one of your finest Little Chef peaches if you will.

I couldn't find a photo of two eggs in a hankey...meh

When you say you live in the countryside, where birds tweet, horses roam and pigs grunt, it seems as though you don't take this into consideration when you 'stepped on the gas' to overtake these spider-man cyclist...(I'm not sure I get this? Are you taking some kind of hallucinogenic drug?) So, you seem to be doing a fantastic job of announcing yourself as a bit of an idiot. But then again, you make food for a living. Like Ronald McDonald and the guy from KFC. And the guy who owns the local Kebabery, Abra-Kebabra. So, I suppose we could be asking too much for 'a pinch' of common sense and 'a teaspoon' of intelligence. Hey-ho.

Each Saturday, a big black truck appears at the bottom of my road, with bikes stuck to the roof and rear. Out of it step a bunch of City-boy ponces in fluorescent Spider-Man outfits, shades, bum bags and stupid cleated shoes, who then pedal around our narrow lanes four abreast with their private parts alarmingly apparent. Do they enjoy it? They never smile. I'm sure they just come here to wind me up.

A big black truck? Is it the A-team? And I bet you wouldn't go no-where near Face, Hannibal, Howling Mad Murdock or BA Baracus on a bike, which in turn makes sense since he 'WONT GET ON NO PLANE.....FOOL!

How dare they pull up on the bottom of your road. Ponces indeed.

I enjoy it, but then I have fantastic buttocks, so cars slow down to admire it, then slowly whilst indicating with friendly wave and a flash from a camera amble past without a 'dash' of fuss.Ha ah ha, yes, yes. I assume the A-Team travel in their big black truck, just to wind you up. They haven't got anything better to do, i.e. save the world from terrorists who can't shoot straight and shout a lot in really warm weather. Duh.

Anyway, the other day Live sent me the new eco-friendly electric car. Not a G-Wiz (if they did that I'd be off (oh...we all but wish) ), but a Tesla Roadster, trumpeted as the world's first battery-powered sports car. It costs £90,000, does 130mph, but emits 89g/km less carbon than a Toyota Prius - ie, none at all.

G-Wiz? Could explain the reason you've been seeing Spiderman on a bike on your road?! Trumpeted, vintage reporting James...something?.

So naturally, the first customers were tree-huggers Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney. It's very Californian, this car. Company boss Elon Musk is a Silicon Valley multimillionaire, so that's where they build them - but it's actually based on Norfolk's own Lotus Elise.

Yes, naturally. If it's based on Norfolk's own Lotus Elise, then I'm guessing you must have driven the entire duration whilst holding your breath? Or did you rustle up some eco friendly lube in your kitchen then winch yourself in...? Anyway, I'm impressed. Chapeau.

But I don't care about any of that, and here's why. Twenty minutes into my test drive I pulled round a leafy bend, enjoying the birdsong - and spotted those damned Spider-Man cyclists. Knowing they wouldn't hear me coming, I stepped on the gas, waited until the split second before I overtook them, then gave them an almighty blast on the horn at the exact same time I passed them at speed. The look of sheer terror as they tottered into the hedge was the best thing I've ever seen in my rear-view mirror. I think this could be the car for me.

Recession hit hard...even Spidey hit the crime wave...couldn't even afford a gun. Tut tut

Enjoying the birdsong? Right, that's it. What were you taking? Was it some sort of homemade brew with extracts of garlic, tree bark, dog hair and dwarf saliva?!
Well, since you were more than likely holding your breath whilst driving, I'm sure you snuck up like a stealthy sea-lion with a steering wheel...

Now, in all seriousness, what you did makes you sound like an absolute clown. You idiot. So what would have happened if the cyclists hit the hedge? Cause serious damage to themselves...would you feel guilty or would you carry on in "the car for you" regardless and repeat the previous act of idiocy to the next group of cyclists? Did you consider that they may have had families and loved ones? Obviously not, you "birdsong" listening fool.

I have no respect for you and would have no qualms about telling you to your face that you are a 'twat'.


What's your beef with me? Peter Parker.