How was your weekend?
October 13, 2015
Although we’re coming to the end of the triathlon season, I had yet another busy weekend. I can’t wait until November, when things start to wind down a bit for me (although I mustn’t forget that I’ve signed up for Gosport Half).
On Friday, I managed to squeeze in a run with Teri. Neither of us is on top form at the moment, so it felt like quite a struggle. I shouldn’t complain about having sunshine at this time of year, but it also felt really hot. It was lovely to have a catch up with Teri – I’ve missed having time to run and chat. We did a loop through the Common and then up to the Sports Centre. We were really pleased to see the amazing Alice Burch doing laps on the track. Alice is attempting to run 60 marathons in 60 days, which is a massive challenge. Teri and I joined Alice for a lap before we had to head home. Alice is currently battling some injuries, but she just keeps going. Please do check out her website, and Facebook page and make a donation, if you can.
Saturday morning started with Southampton parkrun, which was getting involved in World Mental Health Day. Stuart and I had both done our best to find white clothes to wear (although technically we were wearing cream/ivory), and we were proud to be given Time To Change t-shirts to wear on top. Southampton Ukelele Jam were at parkrun serenading the runners. They have quite a wide repertoire, but my favourite rendition was when they played ‘Rawhide’. I’m not sure who the lead of the group is, but he was fantastic! I think all of the #TimeToChange activities also encouraged a lot of people to try parkrun for the first time, as 733 runners took part, which is the second highest attendance figure.
The point of the Time To Change campaign is to try to get people to consider their attitude and they language they use when discussing mental health issues. I’ve struggled with depression in the past and think it’s really important that the stigma that surrounds this illness is tackled.
On Saturday evening, Stuart and I went to watch our niece swim in a regional swimming gala that was taking place in Southampton. I’ve never been to a gala before and found the heat of the swimming pol combined with the noise to be quite an intense experience. Most of the competitors were aged 10-15 year old and I have to say that they were completely awesome. My brilliant niece came second in the 10-11 year olds 100m breaststroke. I can’t remember her time, but it was much faster than anything I could ever imagine doing!
Sunday’s activity was the Gridiron 100 (which was not an American football event, despite its name – it’s a cycling randonnee, that goes over many cattle grids). Stu and I arrived reasonably early at the event and met up with Teri and a couple of her friends. It felt a bit chilly, so we went into the cafe for some hot drinks… where we discovered fellow triathlete Donna, who was raring to go, despite only recently having completed an ironman.
The event had a relaxed start in approx. 5 minute waves, which was quite refreshing after the mass starts at Wiggle sportives.
I’d been undecided about what to wear and had opted for some bib tights and a cosy jersey, however, as it had felt cold, I’d also put on Stu’s waterproof jacket. This turned out to be a mistake as I soon warmed up and wished that I had on my usual SOAS jersey and shorts with arm warmers and leg warmers.
The first rest stop was at about 26km. When we got inside, we spied some more STC members who had already bagged a table with a platter of biscuits. Although the event had been very cheap to enter (only £6), there was plenty to eat and drink, and bananas were only sale at 30p each, which was another refreshing change from the gels on offer at large sportives.
The second section of the course was a bit more lumpy and there was a strong headwind for much of it, which made it more challenging than I’d hoped. As we cycled past Sandy Balls, I spied someone wearing a Thunder Run t-shirt and wondered whether I knew them, but I was busy concentrating on the road and didn’t look back. When we got to Blissford, the cyclists immediately ahead of me turned to go up Blissford Hill (which has a 25% gradient), but Stu had been adamant that it was not part of the route, so I stopped to check. As I looked back, I saw the lady with the Thunder Run t-shirt again… it was my friend Jenny out on a ride .
We cycled on and arrived at the second rest stop, where (yet again), Donna was getting ready to go. We got our brevet cards stamped and then headed off on the final leg. The last section was much flatter and felt a lot faster, however, I was glad when we got back to Lymington, where we collected the final stamps on our brevet cards. Despite having done a lot of cycling recently, the early pace meant that I found this hard, so I’ll need to pace myself better next weekend.
Finally, it’s yet another mention of the Blogging Edge 2015 awards. If you haven’t voted yet, I’d love it if you would vote for me in the sports section: http://bloggingedge.com/blogging-edge-2015-uk-blog-awards/