Tag Archives: sports massage

“Have some electrolytes and eat a piece of kale…”

13 Jun

I just love the latest video from IFHT:

I’ve had a busy week. Wednesday started with a pool session. I wasn’t given session specifics, so I decided to do a pyramid. As my shoulder still isn’t quite right, I didn’t want to push it too much, so I just did 2000m (I LOVE that I can now say ‘just’ when it wasn’t long ago that this would have been a major achievement!!!) I did 100m; 200m; 300m; 400m; 400m; 300m; 200m; 100m. My intention was to have a minute’s rest after each one, but a slight oversight meant that didn’t happen. After I arrived at the pool, I realised that my prescription goggles and my favourite swimming hat were in my swim kit bag with my pull buoy, fins and hand paddles… and that bag was at home. I’m partial to my shark hat as it is comfortable and stops water from going in my ears, and without contact lenses, glasses or prescription goggles, my eyesight is very limited, which makes doing basic activities somewhat hazardous. I almost gave up on swimming, but I realised that I had a tri club swimming hat tucked in my rucksack. I rarely wear it as it’s not as comfortable as my other hat and it feels a bit pretentious to wear it when swimming in a public pool – I’d rather not draw attention to the fact that I’m desperately trying to be a triathlete, as I feel that other people have preconceived ideas about how good a swimmer I should be. (That’s probably in my head, but I don’t like attracting attention). I also realised that I have the cheap pair of goggles that I bought in Cyprus in my rucksack, so I put them on and went into the pool. I was able to read my watch, but even with squinting, I couldn’t make out any of the numbers on the giant wall clock.

My husband was just finishing his swim set as I arrived. I had seen him when I walked into the building (there’s a glass wall in the reception that shows off the pool), but with restricted vision, I had to wait until he was just a metre or so away to be sure that it was him. He had another 100m to do and agreed that when he had done that, I could borrow his goggles. They aren’t prescription ones, but they are quite expensive and more comfortable than what I had. I was really appreciative of them, although I’m not convinced that orange lenses are helpful. A plus side of not being able to see was that I think it helped my stroke. I know that I pick my head up far too high out of the water when I breathe and have narrowed this down to three problems:

1. I have a fear of inhaling water and don’t believe that I create a bow wave

2. I like to know what’s going on around me, so I try to have a look when my head is out of the water (when I couldn’t see anything, there was no point in trying this)

3. When I breathe, I relax and don’t kick, so my legs sink. I can’t believe that I’ve only just noticed this!

Tri club swim hat montage

In the evening, a lot of my friends did a cross-country race, but I went to see the sports masseur who had a look at my injured right leg. I don’t know what she did to it, but it hurt then and it’s still painful now 😦 Hopefully, tomorrow it will feel amazing!

Arriving at the Sports Centre

Arriving at the Sports Centre

Yesterday’s training started at the track at 6:30am.It was a session about cadence and pace, so we had to do multiple laps of the track at different paces (easy, 5k, 3k, 1k, all out, 1k, 3k, 5k, easy), which doesn’t sound too bad, but we had to count the number of steps each lap took. That requires tremendous concentration for before 7am!!! For me it was between 300 and 400 each lap. I’m intrigued by what my coach is going to do with the info.

Athletics track

Athletics track

We then moved on to a variety of exercises and the famous hurdles came out again. They were put in a square and we had to hop over them. Hopping forwards and sideways isn’t too bad, but hopping backwards over an obstacle that you can’t really see is challenging!

Ant demonstrating his new form of torture 2

Ant demonstrating his new form of torture

Ant hopping 1

Ant hopping

Yesterday evening, I had to do an hour on my bike, including 4 reps of a steep hill. It was meant to be a 2 minute hill climbing effort, but once again, I judged it incorrectly, so I found a hill that took about 1:45. I’m hoping that’s close enough!

Today was an optional 30 minute swim, but as I had quite a busy day at work and am feeling exhausted, I decided to take it as a rest day, so that I’m ready for tomorrow’s 70 minute run.

Does your coach get you to do any unusual drills? Who do you think wins the rap battle?

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Day 6 of Pyrenees Tri Camp with Embrace Sports

6 May

Tuesday started with a ‘fun’ aquathlon. Before my injuries, I had hoped that I might not be last or at least that I might not be last out of the water and that this would spur me on to run as hard as possible, but my painful arm put paid to that.

Originally, the aquathlon was going to be a 1200m swim, but this was amended to just 2 x 400m loops, although to make it more challenging, we had to get out and run around a cone between the two loops. The run was 3×1 mile loops, so before we got into our wetsuits, we went for a test run.

I had decided to try out my Team SOAS kit. I’ve worn the tri shorts lots as they are the most comfortable cycling shorts that I’ve ever tried, but I’ve never worn the tri top before. It was really comfortable, although perhaps I need a slightly smaller size.

After the run, I managed to put on my wetsuit, but because of my arm, it took a while, so I didn’t have long to get acclimatised to the water. I also spent some time faffing with my goggles. I haven’t quite worked out how to adjust the strap on them yet.

We were set off at 15 second intervals. I think if I hadn’t been injured, I might not have been set off first, but I know that I’m a weaker runner than all of the others.

I did just a few strokes before I realised that my goggles were filling up with water – doh! I stopped to empty and adjust them. My breathing was also bad as I hadn’t had much time to get used to having my face in the water. My arm was very painful and by the time I got to the rocks, I think I had been passed by everyone. As I rounded the corner, I realised that I had to make a decision – I could either quit after one lap or continue and complete the event. My arm was in pain, but it I figured that it couldn’t get any worse and my breathing was improving. As I neared the bank, I could see runners who were already on their second laps.

End of lap 1

End of lap 1

Helen made the most of the photo opportunity

Helen made the most of the photo opportunity

Neil asked whether I wanted to continue, but I decided that I needed to, so that I wouldn’t feel like I had quit everything on the holiday. I got back in the water and started swimming as well as I possibly could, but my arm was really hampering me, so it was mainly front crawl with just one arm.

Eventually, I got out of the water, ready for transition. Jose came over and helped me to remove my bad arm from my wetsuit, and I knelt down to put my contact lenses in. To save time, I decided to run without socks, but I didn’t dry my feet very well.

Whilst I was in transition, I saw Stu and Helen run past and 200m into my run, Jonno caught up with me. He was desperately trying to chase down Stu, who had passed him in the swim. I kept moving and soon completed my first loop.

Elena enjoying the run ©Embrace Sports

Elena enjoying the run ©Embrace Sports

On the second lap, I realised that my shorts are quite big for me and when they’re wet, they start to hang down a little bit, so I may invest in some smaller ones! I also noticed a patch on my left foot where my shoes was rubbing it. They are designed to be seam free, but something was definitely rubbing my foot. I kept going and when I got back to the start, people started clapping and I heard Bernie shouting to me about where I needed to finish the run, but I knew that I still had a third lap to do. I kept moving, but was aware that I was slowing down. As I reached the turn, I put in a big effort to improve my pace, so my final kilometre was my fastest one in the event. It wasn’t the kind of pace that I’d been hoping for, but at least it wasn’t terrible.

Overall, I finished last in the event, but even with my slow transition, it wasn’t the slowest one of the event. Coach Alan finished first, but Stu was the first triathlete over the line because of his strong swim and good run. Go Stuey!

The sun was out when we got back, so there was some time to go in the hot tub and also time to lounge in the sun with the lizards.

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In the afternoon, Kat took us into the local village to explore the chocolatier. It was a small shop, but it smelled wonderful!

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Stu and I just treated ourselves to a tiny bag of assorted chocolate pieces.

When we got back, I had time to get changed before the masseur, Peter, arrived. He was a nice chap who was originally from Dorset, but who had also raced in Cornwall, so there were quite a few events that we were both familiar with. Peter helped to loosen up my tight calves, but I don’t think that he really managed to do anything to my neck and shoulders, which were still aching.

Later on, there was a nutritional chat with Alan and Graeme. Graeme also talked about lots of different ways that people can trim their race times (including investing in race wheels and an aero helmet), but I don’t think I’m at that level yet. He also discussed the importance of practising transitions. I think that if I have laser eye surgery then that should help to speed up T1!

What are the best tips that you’ve heard to minimise your race times (apart from training!)?

I’ve moved!

10 Apr

Woo hoo – the information for my next race has arrived!

I’ve got a sportive this weekend and then I’m doing my first triathlon of the year – Try Tri’s Good Fri Tri. I hated my last pool-based, but I get less stressed about swimming in close proximity with other people now, so I’m hoping that it will go well.

I also had a totally fabulous sports massage with the lovely Pete at YOU Massage Therapy. My calves weren’t too bad as I had them massaged before the marathon and I wore calf guards during the race, but my quads and glutes were quite tight. Pete finished off my massage by working on my neck and shoulders, which are always horribly tight. I’ve been told to relax my shoulders for as long as I can remember (by my ballet teacher, karate instructors and various other people), but when I’m told that, they usually feel relaxed to me. At some stage soon, I’m going to book a neck and shoulder massage in the hope that I can release some more of the tension there. I think going back to yoga regularly will also help me… as would spending less time using my laptop.

Anyway, onto my big topic of the day… you may have noticed that I’ve bought a new domain:

http://www.fatgirltoironman.co.uk

I’m hoping to find some time during the Easter break to make a few changes around here.

Is there anything that you’d like to see on my blog? Anything that you think I should change?

I’ve been to Hull and back…

5 Apr

I seem to be constantly playing catch up at the moment and don’t have enough time to blog. I joked with friends that Brighton will be the first marathon I’ve done without anyone to chat to on the way around and that perhaps I should use Siri with the WordPress app on my iPhone to ‘write’ my blogpost on the way around, and I’m actually starting to think that might be a good idea (although 5 hours of me rambling might mean that all of you unsubscribe/swear never to visit here again!!!)

I’ve done very little in terms of training this week. Monday was the first night when I didn’t have to Run Lead, so I planned to go to the early swimming session with the Tri Club. Unfortunately, I wasted too much time faffing around, so I knew I wouldn’t make it there on time. I then thought I would make it there in time for the 8pm session, but I was feeling tired and when it started pouring with rain, I was put off. My car was at the garage as it failed it’s MOT and I didn’t want to get my bike back out of the shed to cycle to the pool in the rain, knowing that it would be nearly 10pm by the time I got home. Thinking back, I came up with too many excuses for myself, but I just felt exhausted.

On Tuesday, I went on a day trip to Hull with a work colleague to share digital literacies ideas with colleagues there. It was a really helpful visit that I got a lot out of, but it was also exhausting. On the way, Fiona and I got to stop at Kings Cross Platform 9 3/4:

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I was back at work on Wednesday and then on Thursday I worked from home as I had so much planning that I needed to do and I thought I’d get a lot more of it done if there were no-one around for me to talk to. I always used to worry that people would see working from home as an easy option, but I always end up doing far more than when I’m at work – I started at 8am and didn’t finish until 10pm, with only 40 minutes for lunch. I also remembered some things that I had forgotten this morning, so I did them before going out, even though I had booked the day off!

Anyway, today’s activity was going to Brighton Marathon Expo, to collect my race number. Stu and I had a bit of a lie in before he drove me to the Brighton Centre, where I didn’t have to queue too long to pick up my number.

Collecting my race number

Collecting my race number

The race number is one of the ones that incorporates a chip on the back, which is convenient.

Brighton Marathon number

Brighton Marathon number

We were also issued with a goodie bag that included:

  • various leaflets
  • teapigs lemon and ginger teabag
  • 2 sachets of spatone
  • 3 sachets of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 sachet of Nikwax base wash
  • 1 bottle of glaceau vitamin water i-focus kiwi strawberry
  • an issue of Outdoor Fitness
  • an Outdoor Fitness buff.

Most of that will be useful, although the Worcestershire sauce will be donated to my husband.

It was then time to browse the Expo. The first stand was by Saucony as they’re the main sponsors of the marathon. It was quite crowded, but I was disappointed by the small range of stock that was on show – I had expected there to be far more to look at and a few more bargains. We then wandered around the rest of the exhibition, but there weren’t many items that caught my eye. I managed to resist the Bondi Bands. I had hoped that there would be some lovely racer back sports bras to wear under my Team SOAS kit, but there were very few bras in that style.

We then had a look at the Nuffield Health stand where there were two smoothie bikes. Initially, Stu and I thought it might be a speed/distance challenge, but it was quite interesting as there was a computer screen with some characters on it, each one relating to one of the bikes. The aim was to keep the characters on a path by going faster or slower… whilst also blending your smoothie. I thought Stu looked like he was in the lead, but I won! My prize was a bottle, but we were both winners as we got to drink the smoothies we had made!

With our smoothies from the Nuffield Health bikes

With our smoothies from the Nuffield Health bikes

Nuffield health bottle

Nuffield health bottle

We went over to the Gatorade stand as they were offering samples of what will be out on the course. The orange drink was a little weak, so I may try another flavour during the race, although mainly I’ll stick to water (especially if it’s cold and wet).

Opposite the Gatorade stand was a map of the course. We studied it for a bit and I’m hoping that I’ll see Stu at 14, 18 and 24 miles, as the last part of the race is the toughest. I also picked up some pacing bands: 4:30, 4:45 and 5:00. All of those might be optimistic, but I’m refusing to contemplate anything over five hours, as it’ll be too painful! I’m not good at pacing, but might start out at the pace for 4:30, knowing that I’m likely to fade in the second half. Realistically, I always start too fast and have never managed a negative split, so I have no idea what will happen tomorrow!

A selection of pacing bands

A selection of pacing bands

We then had a look at some more clothes. There were some really lovely visors for sale, but none of them fitted my tiny head 😦 So, we headed off to the Compress Sport stand as I wanted to buy some calf guards. Stuart recommends them. I’ve run three of my four marathons in Skins compression tights, but I did the New Forest Marathon in shorts as it was so hot. I’ll be wearing shorts for Brighton, but some calf guards might help with my tight calves.

Compress Sport calf guards

Compress Sport calf guards

Before we left the Brighton Centre, I had a sports massage. Fortunately I had a pair of shorts with me! The price was £15 for 20 minutes, but as it wasn’t busy, I had 35 mins 🙂 My legs had been feeling very tight, and they felt much better afterwards, so I’m glad I stopped.

Stu and I then had burritos for lunch and had a bit of time to look around the Lanes in Brighton. I would love to spend more time here – especially looking in the jewellery shops! I tried to hint that it’s about time I got an eternity ring, but I think that might take a bit more nagging! (Traditionally, they’re given after the birth of your first child OR ten years of marriage, so I’m assuming Stu is waiting for a baby!)

We had just enough time to glance at the Royal Pavilion before heading back to the car.

Royal Pavilion

Royal Pavilion

In other news this week, I’ve been looking at a few interesting running apps on my phone. I’ve installed:

  • Nudge – combines sports data with other healthy living info.
  • Localeikki – helps you to find places to run/walk/cycle… unfortunately, the nearest places are 600+ miles away at the moment!
  • Waterlogged – logs how much water you drink and send you reminders
  • Beatrun – find music on your iPhone that matches your cadence

Have you tried any of these apps? What do you think?

I’ve also splashed out and have paid for a domain name for the next five years… but don’t hold your breath as it’ll probably take me that long to work out the technical stuff! I don’t think I’m ready to move from where I am right now, but it’s nice to know that I’ve got it 🙂

Challenge Weymouth have been drip-feeding information to all of their athletes about the event. One piece of good news is that the average sea temperature in Weymouth is 17C in September. That’s not exactly tropical and there’s no risk that wetsuits will be banned, but it’s not unpleasantly cold!

Next week brings some excitement as well, as I’m going sailing. Watch out for a post where I tell you all about it 🙂

Sailing details

We’ve also received the information about the Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive, which takes place next weekend. Unfortunately, it is on Sunday, so I won’t be able to support my friends who are running London Marathon, but I will try to keep an eye on their progress on the app.

What are you doing this weekend?

What have I been doing since my holiday?

22 Nov Gosport Half Marathon

I’ve been so busy in the fortnight since we’ve been back from Portugal that I’ve not been able to update my blog as much as I’d hoped to, so here’s a quick rundown of what I’ve been up to.

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The Sunday morning after we got back was a cross country race out in the New Forest. It was hard getting up in time for it as I was feeling shattered from the previous day’s travelling, but I knew I had to if I still wanted to be in with a chance at winning the club’s participation award.

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Near the start of the CC6

Near the start of the CC6 (all CC6 photos © Paul A. Hammond)

It was not an easy race, with quite a lot of it being muddy and hilly and the last section was a hard uphill slog.

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CC6 © Paul A. Hammond

CC6 © Paul A. Hammond

I played cat and mouse with Kathy for a while, but towards the end her superior speed won out and she was able to finish ahead of me. I felt quite pleased with my performance as I didn’t give up and I knew that I was running on tired legs.

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CC6 © Paul A. Hammond

CC6 © Paul A. Hammond

Swimming lessons

It was good to be back at my swimming lessons – I hoped that I would be stronger and would not have picked up any bad habits whilst I was away, although I know that swimming with a wetsuit on makes me lazy! I don’t think I’ve mentioned it in any of my blog posts, but in the last session before my holiday, I dived into a pool for the first time in my life. This probably doesn’t sound like a big deal, but for me it was massive. I’ve spent so long standing on the edge of a pool, but was terrified that I would get too deep and be unable to breathe, or would hit my head on the bottom, so I just couldn’t bring myself to try it. I’m now desperate to go swimming with Stu as I really want to show him how well I can dive.

Chris got us to practise quite a lot of butterfly, which is not (and never will be) one of my favourite strokes. I’ve now had two lessons since I’ve been back and I know that I really need to work on keeping my head more streamlined during front crawl as I lift it up and don’t even realise that I’m doing it. I was also given a few pointers when doing breaststroke to try to keep my hips lower so that my feet don’t come out of the water. I’ll report back on my progress soon!

I received the video of me swimming in Lagos, which has really shown me where my swimming is going wrong, so I’m keen to get in the pool and practise:

Lordshill training

On my first Monday back, I coached a session on hills, so we went to Holly Hill and I got my group to practice various aspects of downhill running which I think went quite well, but it involved more running (to and from the venue) than I had anticipated and my legs were a little bit grumbly!

This Monday, I had planned to do a core session. I had a long list of exercises, but unfortunately, it rained and I didn’t think it would be a good idea to make my athletes lie on wet ground 😦

Southampton Tri Club

Straight after my LRR session on Monday, Stuart and I rushed down to The Quays to have a go at our first session with Southampton Tri Club. Katherine had originally tried to persuade me to wait until she was back, but I wanted to join asap and Huw at work persuaded me to go. I was in a lane with three others: Liz, James and Jo – all of whom are bloggers and LRR members! We did a 200m warm up, which felt like hard work, before being asked to do ‘200 off 4:40’. I didn’t know what that meant, so the coach explained that we had to swim 8 lengths of front crawl and have a break within 4 minutes and 40 seconds. unfortunately, I’m quite slow, so it took me over 4:30 to swim 200m. This would have left me with no break, so I waited for the others to do 2 lengths before joining in again. We had to repeat it 5 times, which felt really hard – I don’t often swim that far in a session. (Later when I asked Stu what he had done, his main set was exactly the same!!! How is that fair?!) We also had to do a variety of sculling drills, but I had to work extra hard as I didn’t have a pair of fins.

Overall, I really enjoyed the session and know that I need to work on my technique if I’m going to do OK at Challenge Weymouth, so I signed up to Southampton Tri Club yesterday evening and am now an official member 🙂

I’ve now done a second swimming session and know that it takes me 4:44 to swim 200m. I’m definitely towards the bottom end of the group, but I am not the slowest and I hope that I’ll start to make good progress.

Yoga

On Tuesday evening, I went back to yoga with Stu. Our usual instructor, Wai, is away, so we have a different instructor. It’s nice to mix up the sessions a little. We did a few shoulder stands and plough pose, which is one of my favourites… although I can’t seem to stop my feet from going right over and touching the ground, whether or not my legs are straight!

Weight Watchers

At my first WW session after our holiday, I found that I had lost 4lbs. I went again today and had lost another pound. I had thought that I might have lost more as several people commented on how good I looked today and I felt that I was looking more trim. My WW leader said that she didn’t think I needed to lose more weight and as I my BMI is now 24.47, which is within the healthy range. I am happy to be classed as a gold member again as the money that I save can be used for my tri club membership, but I would still like to lose at least another stone – I’m sure that it will help me to run faster! Every time I so much as glance at something ‘bad’ I ask myself whether Kat would eat it and the answer is usually ‘no’!

Interval training and social run

On Thursday morning last week, Stu, Liz, Katherine and I met for an interval session. This is when I usually have a Run Camp session, but as there are no more until after Christmas, we decided to have ‘Run Gang’ instead (it’s like ‘Bike Gang’, but with running!) Stu had devised times for us to do 400m intervals, but my Garmin decided to amend my pace and breaks, so I wasn’t getting any rest. In the end, I reset my Garmin and just did the best that I could. My last interval felt really good – for 200m I felt like my technique was as good as Mo Farah’s or Usain Bolt’s – but I was unable to sustain the pace.

On Thursday evening, I went for a lovely 11km run with Teri. It’s nice just to be able to run and chat. We had intended to run around Portswood, but we ended up going through Bevois Valley and then back towards the Common.

This week on Thursday morning, Stu and I met Liz and Katherine for a gentle run around the new parkrun route (Route C). I didn’t want to get out of bed, but was glad that I did the run when I had finished.

Sports massage

On Friday I had a sports massage at You Massage Therapy. The masseur, Pete, is a really nice guy who is interested in sports. I’ve had sports massages from other people, but Pete seems to get the pressure just right. I thought that a massage would be a good way of preparing myself for my forthcoming race.

parkrun

On Saturday morning, I was Run Director at Southampton parkrun. It was meant to be Stu’s turn, but I wanted to save my legs for Gosport Half Marathon. It was the first time that Route C had been used and quite a few people got PBs, so I’m looking forward to trying it.

Tri Expo

After parkrun, we drove down to Bournemouth for the Primera Triathlon Expo. I ended up buying various goodies for myself:

– Endura overshoes

Endura overshoes

Endura overshoes

– Endura toe covers

Endura toe covers

Endura toe covers

– Bike bag

Topeak top tube tri-bag

Topeak top tube tri-bag

I also bought three bags of blueberry protein powder.

Superlife blueberry super protein powder

Superlife blueberry super protein powder

We were both given Bustinskin swimming hats and USN bottles and vooma gels.

USN vooma gel and bottle

USN vooma gel and bottle

Stu decided to check out the bike porn and decided that he liked a Storck bike, but at over £9.5k, it’s a bit out of his price range!!!

Stu admiring a Storck bike

Stu admiring a Storck bikeIMG_1597

To console him, I let him buy a couple of sachets of recovery hot chocolate.

Apres recovery hot chocolate

Apres recovery hot chocolate

Christmas presents

After we left the tri expo, we went to visit Stu’s parents with an ulterior motive in mind… members of Southampton Tri Club are expected to bring a pull buoy, fins and hand paddles to every swimming session. Stu and I had added these to our amazon wish lists, but realised that we need them now. Unfortunately, Stu’s mum had already done her Christmas shopping, so we collected our presents early – thank you, Brian and Sally!

My Christmas presents from Brian and Sally

My Christmas presents from Brian and Sallyspeedo-8-027610006-zoomspeedo-8-017910004-zoom

Gosport Half Marathon

I have kept Graeme’s words in my mind about self-limiting beliefs, so I decided to aim high despite not being on form since April 2012. I decided not to look at my watch for the first two miles of Gosport HM as it takes me nearly that long to warm up, so I was delighted to find that I was running at a reasonable pace when I finally glanced at my watch. I chose to continue running according to how I felt and was delighted to achieve a 5 mile PB (42:10), which meant that I was on track to get somewhere near my HM PB of 1:52:19.
It was an overcast day that was about 6° C with no breeze, so it would seem that those conditions would be ideal for running. Unfortunately, although my breathing was comfortable and my legs felt good, between 8 and 9 miles, I started to overheat and got tunnel vision, so I had to slow down. I took on plenty of water and was fully hydrated before the race, but I could not cool down. At 10 miles, Stu was by the side of the course (he had cycled to the event) and he could see that I looked ill, so he kept popping up for the next three miles as he was worried about me. I was determined to finish and hoped that even if I wasn’t near to my PB, I would still get a sub 2 hour time. I was also aware that I was my club’s leading FV35, so I hoped that I would be able to retain my position.
Alas, it wasn’t to be. In the final mile, I was passed by many of my clubmates. Full On Sport’s chip timing system failed, but according to my Garmin, I finished in 2:00:13. I was incredibly disappointed, but Stu has pointed out to me that not only did I get a 5 mile PB, it was also my second fastest ever HM and it was over 30 seconds faster than I did the race last year. I also managed to completed it (and a cross country race on the day after I got back from Portugal), so as long as I complete a cross country race on 1st December, I will win the Lordshill Road Runners Championship participation award alongside Di Mattingly.
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dsc_4789(1) dsc_4790(2)dsc_4791(1)dsc_4792(1)dsc_4793(1)dsc_4794(1)Gosport Half Marathon Running and smiling at Gosport Half Marathon © Paul A. Hammond

Shopping

As I know that I need to work hard on my cycling, I realised that I had better buy myself some winter cycling clothing, so I went online to Wiggle and ordered myself some bib tights and a long-sleeved jersey. There wasn’t a lot of choice, so I chose DHB Team Wiggle Honda kit as it had great reviews. Orange isn’t my favourite colour, but it all arrived today and I think it looks quite nice.

My new Wiggle Honda kit

My new Wiggle Honda kitIMG_0032

I was also lured in by SportPursuit… it’s such an evil website, as it knows just how to suck me in. I wanted to get a pair of plain black shorts and ended up ordering a pair of black shorts, a Pearl Izumi jersey and a pearl Izumi winter jacket for cycling.

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I think these goodies should arrive just before Christmas 😀

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Mmmmmm…. massages

21 Sep

This has been a week of recovery and preparation. After last week’s challenges:

  • 14 miles of running on Thursday
  • 50 miles of cycling on Friday
  • an early start and a day of enthusiastic cheering and spectating at the London triathlon on Saturday
  • Victory 5 mile race on Sunday
  • Run Leading on Monday
  • A freezing lake swim on Tuesday

I decided that I needed to look after myself, so on Tuesday evening, I booked myself in for a well-earned massage with Renee.

Renee is currently training to be a masseur, so the massage was beneficial for both of us. She got a chance to hone her (already excellent) skills, and I got to enjoy having my aching legs rubbed and soothed for 90 minutes for free. After everything I’ve done recently, my legs were very tight, so the massage was quite firm at times, but I appreciate the results. It was the first time I met Renee, but I would thoroughly recommend her. She was professional and polite, but also very friendly. I enjoyed being able to chat to her about sports, as she’s also a runner and triathlete.

I’m not always as organised as I’d like to be, so yesterday I had a fantastic sports massage (which I’d forgotten I’d booked) with the brilliant Pete at YOU Massage Therapy. I’ve been seeing Pete for quite some time now, and I usually book to see him after I’ve had a big race. I think I’d planned to see him, so that I’d be as well prepared as possible for the New Forest Marathon… but my preparation hasn’t really gone as well as I’d hoped, so I’m not sure a massage is enough to help now.

I asked Pete to work on my shoulders as I’m conscious that I spend a lot of time hunched over a computer, and I’ve always had very tense shoulders. I also found that my shoulders were aching during Friday’s ride. OMG – my shoulders were far tighter than I thought. This image illustrates perfectly how they felt:
knotty shoulders

Fortunately, my legs didn’t feel too bad, so not having as much time spent on them as usual was OK.

I’ve also got a recovery massage booked in with Renee on Friday, in the hope that my legs have some energy left in them for my first ever triathlon… and then I’ve booked a massage with Pete ahead of Ferndown triathlon.

Do you have sports massages? How often? How long before/after a race do you have them?

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