Swimming and running… and not a lot of cycling

Sign saying, "The heavier you are, the harder you are to kidnap. Stay safe and have pudding".

The last couple of weeks have been tough. I’ve been busy at work and busy at home, which hasn’t given me a lot of downtime. I’ve been swimming as much as I can, have visited the Isle of Wight and completed Fareham parkrun.


I’ve managed to make the last couple of Monday night swims with Southampton Tri Club and am quite pleased that I can still sprint 25m, but my speed over longer distances is definitely declining as I’m getting much more tired in sessions.

I also managed to swim at Lakeside on Thursday 30th. I had hoped to complete 6 laps (each one 300-350m) to give me more confidence ahead of the Long Course Weekend, but Stu is such a speedy swimmer that he was going at twice my pace. After he’d done 8 laps (somewhere between 2.4k and 2.8k), he’d had enough, so I stopped after 4 laps.

I had decided to try my old 2XU wetsuit (that has a little tear at the back). When I got my new Zone3 Aspire wetsuit, I wasn’t sure of the difference between the two suits, but putting on my 2XU suit helped to highlight the differences. The 2XU suit is thicker, so it is warmer, but it is definitely less flexible than my Zone3 suit. It also has a much higher neck, which is less comfortable. I’m going to take both suits to Tenby and hope that my Zone3 will zip up!

Weekend on the Isle of Wight

As my mum recently celebrated a milestone birthday (her 70th, but shhhhhh! don’t tell anyone I let that slip!), we spent a weekend together on the Isle of Wight. I’ve only been to the Isle of Wight a few times – once to visit a friend and then at other times to complete races – so I’ve not seen much of the island.

I was excited about doing Medina parkrun on Saturday morning, so I got up early and had breakfast. We then drove from Ryde to Newport. After I’d parked the car, I saw a few other runners, so I followed them. Someone started asking me whether I knew where the start was as she’d never been there before. I admitted that it was also my first time. There weren’t as many people around as I’d expected (about a dozen), but it was relatively early.

Some people were putting cones out on a field and there were some young girls in club vests. I sprinted after one of them and asked her where the start was. She explained to me that the start was by Appleby beach… back in Ryde. I felt so frustrated. Apparently, the event moves there from May to September every year, but that information is not apparent on the website. We drove back to Ryde, but as I didn’t know exactly where the start was, I decided to give up on taking part.

Sandra playing crazy golf
The extent of my sporting activities on the Isle of Wight

Visiting Fareham parkrun

Last weekend, Southampton parkrun was cancelled because Race for Life events were taking place on the Common on Saturday and Sunday. This was a chance to do some parkrun tourism, so Stu and I agreed to go to Fareham parkrun with our friends (and fellow Run Directors) Rob and Kim.

Cam's Hill - the start of Fareham parkrun
Cam’s Hill – the start of Fareham parkrun

It was a beautiful morning and the setting was lovely. The event is fairly small and is on an out and back course, so there’s no chance of getting lost. There are some undulations in the course, but nothing too difficult. I tried to keep a steady pace but also spent the first few minutes saying hello to familiar faces from Southampton (Jill and Malcolm) and others from Netley Abbey (Kenny and Robert, who was doing his 300th run).

It was nice to see Rob, Rikki and Stu doing well towards the front of the pack, and Jill was 2nd lady as well as setting a new record for her age group.

My goals for the run

I had three aims:

  1. Complete the run without walking
  2. Not be last
  3. Finish in under 30 minutes

I managed all of my goals, finishing in 29:50. It was a much hotter day than I had expected, so I was quite pleased with that.

Towards the end at Fareham parkrun
© Kim Kelly
Fareham parkrun 2nd July 2016
Cam's Hill
Lovely pub with an honesty box for refreshments at the end of Fareham parkrun © Kim Kelly

Unfortunately, the parkrun was pretty much the end of my weekend. I’ve been struck down by another cold, which arrived with a terrible headache and has left me with a sore throat and breathing difficulties. I LOVE pugs, but do NOT want to sound like one! I really hope that I recover quickly as I’ve got the Long Course Weekend to look forward to.

Planning ahead to the Long Course Weekend

The plan is to drive to Tenby on Friday. In the evening, the swim takes place. Stu, Roelie and Sergio will be doing 3.8k, whereas I’ve opted for the 1.9k swim. There will be a 15-minute acclimatisation swim before the briefing and then the swim starts at 7pm. I have one hour to do the swim. I ought to be able to do it in that time but am a little nervous that I won’t make it. The cold, fear and jellyfish might make me swim faster!

On Sunday, there is the sportive – again the others have opted for the full distance (112 miles), so they’ll be starting between 8am and 10:45am, whereas I’m doing the shortest option – 42 miles. I’m number 3565 and am starting in the blue wave at 12:45. This is a little frustrating as I don’t really know what I’ll do in the time between getting up and starting. I would prefer to start earlier and then be able to get back, shower and change with enough time left to cheer the others in!

On Sunday, Sergio is definitely doing the marathon, whereas Roelie and Stuart are considering the shorter options. I had hoped that Stu would be able to do the full marathon, but he has been struggling with twinges in his calf and just ahead of his first full Ironman, I don’t want him to sustain an injury. I will be doing the 10k, which starts at 1:30pm and I’ll have to catch a bus to the start at 11am. It’s rare for me to run at that time of day, so I hope it’s not too hot. To add to the party atmosphere, there will be a samba band accompanying us to the start!

And finally…

And finally… I went out to a colleague’s leaving do on Friday and liked a sign that I saw in the pub:

Dessert humour



6 Responses

  1. Hi Tamsyn!

    Not to be weird but I read your blog and I’m also going to be doing the LCW this weekend for my 30th birthday! Similar to you I’ll be doing the 1.2 mile swim, 45 mile ride and half marathon (so…nearly a halfironman, spread over three days? Hehe). My bike number is 3440 in the 12:45pm wave – I’ll come say hi if I spot you!

    Good luck and all the best – LCW is a really great experience and I love it so much!

    • Hi! It’s great to hear that someone else will be there, but won’t be doing the full… I reckon the hills will making up for the missing 12 miles on the bike! Please do come over and say hello – I expect that I’ll be wearing Team SOAS kit in turquoise and I’ll have a white helmet on 🙂

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