Ironman Nice 2014

So now the dust has settled and safely home, I suppose I better write some sort of report…

The French Air Traffic Controllers strike affected lots of people in different ways, Some lost kit and still haven’t been reunited, others spent ages sitting around airports and some of us were lucky with just a 20 minute delay. Arrived OK in Nice, spent ages waiting for the bike bags to be sent out, 5 or 6 very worried looking triathletes hanging around the baggage area…

Hopped on the bus into town, only to find it driven by the Wicked Witch of the Cote D’Azur !  She refused to stop at the bus stops, full on slanging match in French between her and a passenger after she drove past another stop…She sailed passed our stop even tho Sue was shouting “Arête Madam” and I was leaning on the bell. PMT from hell ?

Checked into our apartment and it was perfect, Quick plug YNA= Your Nice Apartment, brilliant service. Went and did some shopping and had lunch. Decided to go and check out the Expo and Transition, even registered in 5 minutes.. Early to bed, but soon up again, Algeria had managed to draw a wendy ball match and all the local Algerians decided to tour Nice waving flags and blowing car horns, Went on from around midnight to 2 am.

Friday morning, and joined up with the arrived Pirates for a swim, CompresSport had a boat out in the bay that were giving out drinks and free sweatbands so worth a swim out. Spent the rest of the afternoon putting my bike back together, all seemed OK, and went for an easy 10 miles just to check everything was OK. Finished off the day with an easy run down the prom with Sue, just to keep all my muscles moving.

Saturday.. Faffing day… Went through each bag a dozen times, and showed Sue I had packed the factor 50 sun cream in my bike bag, so I wouldn’t die of heat stroke on the bike. (yeah little did anyone know). Dropped bike into transition and racked my bags and spent the rest of the afternoon chilling.

The Race

As anyone who knows me, knows there is no point me getting up at 4 am and eating, as I just get sea sick and throw up. So a mug of coffee and stroll down to T1 at 5am was fine, Sue excelled herself only 4 minutes’ walk from the apartment to T1 & 2. Checked the tyres and stuck my bottles on the bike, and sat and watched the water for a bit.

Last kiss from Sue and down on to the beach, Very helpful Italian yanked up my wetsuit zipper, and pulled the runner right off the top so it went into quick release and I had to strip it off to set it up again, Had a splash about in the shallows with M.ouse and Little Sister. Watched the Pros set off and then bang.. it’s our turn, I’ve been in some biff fests but this one was a nightmare, swimming over, being swum over didn’t get any clear water on the first lap, Out and over the beach to get back in, managed to get a decent space and started to enjoy myself, until at the last turn buoy I managed to swim over a jellyfish, Didn’t see it but the left side of my face felt like I had a thousand hot pins stuck in it, (Even now on Weds I can’t shave over it as it’s still swollen and sore), Staggered out onto the beach and up the ramp to transition, (1hr 35m 20sec, a great swim for me) Spotted Sue and she had a quick look at my face, Could tell from her reaction it wasn’t good. Dived into the medical tent and 2 paramedics and 1 Doctor stood around looking at it, going Ah jelly fish….. Finally another Doc put some antihistamine cream on it, whilst make jokes about “dopage” Funny guy.

T1, I wish I could do the swim and bike and run in the same kit (I do for half’s, But not for IM), so stripped off and stuck on my good cycle shorts and Pirate top, and then covered myself in factor 50, decided I didn’t need my arm warmers, so jumped on the bike and set off down the prom, got chatting with the guy alongside, and it turns out he lives less than 20 minutes from me back in Cheshire. Finally left the flat of the prom and turned up into the hills, and boy did it turn up, little residential street at 10% just to wake the legs up. Feeling good tho and pressed on, long climb up to Chateauneuf and turn right for the climb to Gourdon, We drove this a couple of years back and the hired Corsa struggled ! Felt I had been climbing OK, Face still very sore and stung like mad every time it got wet, Reached Gourdon and turned left for the Col de l’Ecre… EEEk You can see the road zig zag up the mountain, Still being a fat old bloke allows me to ride a triple with a 30 sprocket, Just keep turning the pedals, around this time a few drops of rain started to come down, Hadn’t been much sun to that point but now things turned nasty. Long flat section through a valley starting to pour with rain and  I was getting cold, Couldn’t open my power bars, Fortunately following my test at Bala I had emptied all my gels into a bidon so at least I wasn’t struggling to open gels every 30 minutes, Thanks to Rosey for the tip. The long descent to Greolleres would have been fun, if I wasn’t getting so cold. Stared to struggle braking, fingers slipping off the levers and no feeling as I braked, all got a bit scary.  The section through the village itself went past a little bistro we had lunch at a couple of years back, All I really wanted now was hot coffee, began to look forward to the next climb to try and get warm, Stopped for a pee and a nice Gendarme arrived on his motorbike to check I was OK. So I got him to tear open all my power bars whilst he was stopped ! The out and back bit was fun and managed to shout encouragement and helpful comments to other Pirates, I knew I wasn’t going as fast as I had hoped, and around this time seriously doubted I would make the cut off, Had a talk to myself and decided to just go for it on the next 20kms of downhill, Scary stuff.. Managed to catch my tame Gendarme through a set of hairpins as I was quicker than his motorbike (EEEK), Sadly for lots of competitors their races came to an end around this point, kept passing stricken cyclists being tended too by medics and a stream of ambulances coming past, One of the aid stations all the helpers were sat in the back of a large truck, Reminded me of the famous day at Bala. Still pouring with rain and bits of low cloud making sighting the road difficult in places and I admit to taking a few silly risks cornering on very wet roads and hoping to come out the other side.  Finally made it out of the hills and onto the flat for the last 20 kms to Nice, managed to chew on a power bar and a banana or 2 from a feed station. Back onto the prom and… Bright sunshine and a clear blue sky, past all the runners on the marathon course and towards T2, Pirate massive cheering me in and Suzie still looking concerned. 8hrs 04m for the bike, almost an hour more than I was hoping for, But it was what it was and it was so close to disaster, just be thankful you are back into T2 in 1 piece and with about 6 hours to do the marathon in.

Not sure what happened in T2, just didn’t seem to be able to get my fingers or brain to do what I wanted and put my shoes on before 1 calf guard, all a bit messy, and longer than T1 where I had the excuse of the medical stop. Plodded out onto the run and straight into the massed Pirate support, Where thankfully Sue retied a shoe lace for me, and Dawn straightened out my calf guards.  Plodded along the prom, feeling OK but not great, decided a loo stop was in order. I must now apologise to anyone who used it after me, and to the poor person who had to empty it, But wow did I feel so much better, started to actually run the marathon, which considering my longest runs this year have been Helsby 4 Villages and Bala HIM it was always going to be a grim run. Just before the turn Siggy shouting vocal encouragement (or was it something about me being old and slow ?) took me a while to work out he was in civvies and not racing, Sadly the swim biff fest had got him. Stop Press moment, at the turn round point I had my first ever Red Bull Me at my age and never had Red Bull before, Back onto the prom from the airport and Sue had run up to support and leave the Pirates by T2 to keep me going at that end, Had a quick word and one foot in front of the other, Lots of Pirates to abuse/encourage on the run, Ghost giving loads of support at the turn around and then past the Major orchestrating the Pirate Wave (it’s like a Mexican wave, But with added yellow & black). Second lap seemed to go really easily, Not fast but quick enough and the time cut off was no longer an issue. Heading back to start the final lap Sue ran alongside to keep me company, Well I sort of ran and she jogged alongside, She had even found time to get medical help for 2 collapsed competitors whilst keeping an eye out for me, She went off to find a place at the finish line leaving me to my final 10km lap. The weather decided to have one last laugh, with spectacular lightning flashes over the hills. Last turn at the airport and 5kms down the prom, the lights and noise of the finish line away in the distance, one foot in front of the other mate and it will be the comfy sofa next to Fat Buddha.

I don’t think I have experienced a wall of noise that hit me as I turned onto the finishing carpet, having been running alone for 30 minutes in the gathering gloom to suddenly be hit by the noise and the dancing girls, cheers leaders etc was really disorienting for a moment, Great cheers from the Pirates hanging over the rails and a quick stop to say thanks, Then another few yards and Sue hanging over the barrier, Massive hug and a promise that it is the end of going long for me, Then 10 yds and over the line. Medal and a bottle of water, The organisers then tried to take the bottle off me so they could take some finish photos, that I am unlikely to buy, But hey if it makes them feel good.

Wandered over to collect my street bag and pull on the Iron Spartan T shirt again, Wandered through transition trying to answer text messages from those who had been following and also talk to Sue, Difficult as I hadn’t got my specs on. Collected my bike, and even tho I keep lusting after Cervélo R3’s my trusted Trek 1500 ASLR hadn’t let me down for a moment. Strolled out of transition chatting with Barlos, and straight into Sue, more hugs and kisses. back down the road towards the finish line with “TimeBikes” and his family just in time for the fireworks to signal the 16 hour time limit had been reached. Joined all the Pirates still waiting back at the finish line, and swap stories of how we had all faired. Sue even had a bottle of beer for me in her rucksack she had been carrying around for hours as well as my camera to record proceedings.

5 minutes and we were back in the apartment, Whilst I showered and answered loads more texts and Facebook messages Sue popped over the road and came back with a fresh pizza, So we spent a happy hour sat on the balcony watching the lightning flashes over the mountains whilst having pizza and beer.

As usual the Pirate support was amazing (and loud), and I could never do half of what I achieve without the support, understand and understanding of my wonderful wife and partner Sue.

Monday morning and I left Sue to have a run down the prom on her own, whilst I packed the bike away ready for travel, The rest of the afternoon was taken up with the Pirate award ceremony, the prizes, tall tales to be told, and of course the most hotly contested event of the whole weekend, You thought the IM was the big event ?,  wrong The Pirate Mince Off is far more important (Sorry, You had to be there)

Chilled out evening meal, and back to the apartment to finish the packing.

Yet again a great trip, and a stunning event, Had everything, scenery, weather (good and bad), great racing and best of all great mates to share it with.

No one fails at an IM, The effort to get to the start line defeats most, To be unable to start because a well-known airline has “misplaced your bike bag” wouldn’t have had the laid back attitude Meldy gave it from some of us, Some sadly crashed, fortunately without serious injury to person or machine, and some didn’t beat the cut off (No failure in giving it everything tho)

Everyone has a tale or 2 to tell, and of course some of what happens in Nice, Stays in Nice !

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Bala Middle 2014

Well, Bala HIM.

 

Not sure how to categorise that, Swift kick up the pants, bad day at the office, or one to put behind and forget about ?

Apart from last Tuesday’s unscheduled trip to A&E, I’ve been feeling pretty good, training going OK, I’ve  been starting to get that tired all the time feeling you always get coming up to a big race, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Spent the last couple of weeks trying to decide (and failing) which kit to use at Nice, You might think it simple but there is a hell of a lot of climbing on the bike course, so would using the TT bike be better than the roadie with tri bars ? and shoes, I have been using Saucony Omni’s since they very first came out some 12 or 13 years back and I have used just about every version, so back in Jan I raided the piggy bank and bought a new set on 12’s…. And they are crippling me, anything over 4 or 5 miles and my right hip is agony, so I have been doing my training in an old pair of 10’s, with longer runs in the 11’s I used for the Paris marathon last year, with no issues whatever.

So to Bala, Easy drive over in just under an hour, Parked up at the rugby club and wandered down to registration, a couple of new Pirates came over to introduce themselves (I was wearing the ancient DTeS T shirt). Managed to get the number transfer to half stick on my arm, but it wouldn’t stick to the hairs on my leg at all. Suppose this is a way to get us to shave our legs ?

Dragged the bike out of the car, and went to check the tyre pressures, I was using my deep section rims, so screwed a valve extension on and.. The core blew out of it, used my old and bent extension and the pressures were OK. Went and racked up, lots of Pirates to chat with, Most I hadn’t seen since the Outlaw 2 years back, so always good to meet up.

The lake looked ok, Not flat, but certainly not as bad as 2011. Listened to the brief, pulled on the wetsuit, stuck my ear plugs in and said a silent prayer that they would come out ok. Watched the first wave set off, and Oh it’s choppier than it looked, Oh the rescue boat already bringing people back…

Klaxon went and it’s our turn, Yep choppier than it looked, kept getting waves in the face, as well as the odd first, foot etc (I always reckon tho if I’m getting punched by others at least I’m not last), Seemed to take ages to the first buoy, turned and headed for home and WAVES, Big waves had a couple lift up my feet and bum, which of course plunged my head deeper underwater, wasn’t very nice, struggled to sight the arch due to the waves, finally bashed a hand into the rocks on the bottom and staggered to shore. a few bikes in transition, decided I didn’t need any more clothes, so in just my Monaco headed out on the bike.

Took a few minutes to warm up, but the pull up out of Bala got the blood flowing, The next descent almost had something else flowing, I had the most almighty tank slapper doing about 34 mph whilst down on the extensions, haven’t had a shimmy like that since I rode a knackered Suzuki 250 GTa back in the late 70’s. Real heart in mouth stuff, The guy behind pulled alongside and asked if I was OK, He admitted he had watched from behind and was trying to decide how much skin I was going to lose when I hit the floor ! Stopped and checked the wheel was locked in Ok, and couldn’t see anything obviously wrong. Carried on and made the top of the big climb with no great issue, but on the long descent to Trawsfynydd the moment I got over 30 mph the front was shaking like Viking at a Spice Girls Concert…, Nothing for it but to feather the brakes and watch everyone else zoom away, Long haul down the A470, a few Pirates cheers swapped with others already heading back, Grabbed a bottle at the turnaround and set off for home, Reached the top of the big climb almost before I realised it, Think I was worrying about the descent back into Bala fortunately a sudden rain come hail shower distracted me, started downhill and eeek wobble wobble tried to just hang on but ended up shooting into a lay bye at about 35 mph, so spent the rest of the cycle back feathering the brakes, T2 went ok and out onto the run, managed a decent plod along the lake spurred on by the young lady from COLT Tri who was riding up and down cheering, She insisted that this year there was Guinness at the turn around point, She looked so nice and well brought up… But she lied !

Starting to struggle with my hip, and cursing the shoes, Kept plugging away as I knew Meldy and M.ouse weren’t far behind, Hurrah I can see the arch down the lake, Then I can hear the dulcet tones of Julian doing the prize giving over the PA, Must be getting close, The last half mile was a bit squelchy under foot over the path, a shout from the road above to smile, Thanks Ghost, and it was under the arch, as usual the Pirate massive were on hand to cheer everyone home. Just had time to grab a drink and join them to help cheer the final Pirates in.

Think the only time I have been slower at Bala was during the monsoon of 2011, But I survived, and even made it to Sprog 2’s for a BBQ on the way home (Actually I wanted to nick his bike bag for Nice)

So 2 and a bit weeks to go, decided that the TT bike isn’t worth the benefit for the few flat bits, and I would need to get my wheels checked out asap, there is the tiniest bit of play in the front hub, but nothing really massive.  and the Omni 12’s have been consigned to round the house, and my last decent pair of Swerves will be heading to Nice.

A night in the hot tub drinking beer is on the cards tonight, But Manley awaits tomorrow and  I’m in Cumbria for meetings Weds / Thurs so should manage a couple of easy runs down Derwentwater.

The clock is ticking down…….

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Well at least the training has been going better than the blogging.

Well at least the training has been going better than the blogging.

Really do seem to have slipped into a sleep, work, train, eat, sleep cycle.

Been rushed off my feet at work, financial year end for my biggest customer and had to create all new purchase orders for the 10 sites, and just to make things easier (not) they have moved to a new computer system to generate all the orders.

Still the training has been going well, managed to cycle 50 miles on both the last 2 Sundays, A week last Sunday did 50 hilly miles on the road bike and then jumped on to the TT bike and did another 10, This Sunday it was 50 very hilly miles on the road bike and then a 5 mile run.

Been struggling with the running recently,  I have run in Saucony Omni’s since Adam was a lad, I currently have 7’s 8’s and 11’s in various states of decay around the house, Did Paris last year in 11’s and had a breeze. Well I’ve bought some 12’s and I really can’t get on with them, So much so my last couple of runs I have resorted back to my 11’s. Thanks Saucony.

Just feeling really tired all the time, which I don’t think is helping much.

First Tri race of the year coming up on Sunday, The great Chirk sprint always a fun race and of course the place is dominated by the blue of Chester and the Red & Black of Wrexham, Will be interesting to see how the road surface has declined, Haven’t made up my mind which bike to use. Last year I used the roadie as having spent all winter training for the Paris marathon I hadn’t done any bike riding, Just not sure I want to risk my good wheels, Plus I am intending doing IM Nice on the roadie as I see no advantage in the mountains by taking the TT to Nice, although I will be taking the aero wheels.

Suppose I will look out of the window on Sunday and decide, Being a crap swimmer does have the advantage of an early start time, So I can be home in time to watch the big race of the day, (No silly) Paris – Roubaix.

As an aside, we were out for dinner with Sprog 2 and his good lady at the weekend, Sprog 2 is the MTB fanatic (and has even formed his own race team this year to compete in a downhill series), Well over dinner he calmly asks my opinion of Planet X road bikes… after I had picked myself up off the floor I explained why I ended up with a Cervélo rather than a Planet X, But why did he want to know ? Seems he thinks a few road miles would help his fitness, and living on top of a hill just past Min’s every ride would finish on the up ! Doubt I will ever challenge him down hill on an MTB tho.

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When the Spartan met the Guardia Civil…

Must get down to doing a proper trip report of my training in Tenerife, But I know lots of you have seen my phone post, and asked what went on so here’s the detail.

1st day out on the bike in Tenerife, Done a nice gentle climb of sea level to 2500ft in 11 miles just to shake the dust off and heading down the long hill back towards our apartment and descended into the small town of  Granadilla.

Was minding my own business and keeping out of the way of pedestrians (and not keeping an eye on the speedo) when I heard the 2 tones of the local Guardia Civil right behind me, Quick glance over the shoulder and was instructed to pull over, There now followed an entertaining (well it was afterwards in the bar) interview between a Spaniard who spoke no English, a Spaniard who spoke limited English and an Englishman who speaks no Spanish (and only limited English according to some)

GC 1  Your Identity Card please

DteS  I’m English we don’t have identity cards

GC 1 Your passport then

DteS I’m in a Trisuit and I’m not carrying it (Yeah I know I should but..)

GC 1 to GC 2 Burst of Spanish , possibly along the lines of we have a right twat here Miguel

GC 1 If you have no passport and no identity card what would happen if you crashed and couldn’t talk ?

DteS I am wearing this, shows him road id

GC 1 That is very good

GC 1 Did you know you were speeding ? It is only 30 kph here.

DteS No I’m sorry officer I hadn’t noticed

GC 1 to GC 2 Burst of Spanish , Definitely a right twat here Miguel

GC 2 Lights up his 2nd Marlboro of the interview

GC 1 I am going to fine you, You have to pay the fine on the spot

DteS OK, Fair enough.

GC 1 The fine is 100 Euros,

DteS OK (gulp)

GC 1 Do you have 100 Euros on you ?

DteS No, I’m sorry officer, I seldom carry that much cash in a trisuit

GC 1 to GC 2 Burst of Spanish , Complete twat Eh Miguel ?

GC 1 How much do you have ?

DteS A scrunched up 10 Euro note and half a power bar

GC 1 Only 10 Euros ?

DteS It was for a cake stop….

GC 1 Cake Stop ?

DteS Yeah, You know coffee & cake ?

GC 1 to GC 2 Burst of Spanish, Do you think we can deport him Miguel ?

GC 1 Where is your money ?

DteS At my apartment, over there, just visible on the horizon about 20 kms away

GC 2 Lights up his 3rd Marlboro of the interview

GC 1 Removes his Rayban’s and indicates I should remove my Oakley’s ( 1 nil to the Spartan)

GC 1 In Spain many many cyclists are killed every week speeding, and I am sure that in your country many many cyclists are also killed speeding every week

(DteS decides not to point out it was only 30 kph, and it’s artics you need to watch out for here)

GC 1 In fact I was only at the hospital this morning following an accident to a cyclist who had been speeding.

GC 2 to GC 1 Burst of Spanish, I’m bored can we go and chase proper criminals now ? (or possibly I’m out of fags)

GC 1 So you must not speed, Because if you do speed you will die and it will spoil your holiday !

GC 1 You may go….

 

Back at the apartment I checked my gps, I was only doing 34 kph when he pulled me over, When I took the bike back to the hire shop they suggested it was the usual bored plod syndrome and as I was in my club top I was obviously foreign target. I spent the rest of the week alternating between a Croatian National Champions jersey and a bike shop in Sallanches in the French Alps jersey.

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2014 and IM Nice

So here we go again… And last night running in driving rain and the cold I do have to ask myself why sometimes.

Spent last year 2013 with the focus being on the Paris marathon, and in fact I only raced one triathlon all year and that was Chirk sprint. The lack of gainful employment didn’t really help, tri is an expensive business at the best of times and when you aren’t earning anything it’s a little difficult to expect your OH to fund it all. Even spending a day out on the bike training felt rather disloyal knowing Sue was hard at work and I was enjoying the sunshine.

But thanks to a persistent employment agency who worked hard to get me to ignore the job title and focus on the role I found myself arriving back from Croatia (Sam & Matt’s wedding) interviewed and starting work all inside a week…. Now that has been a shock to the system. Of course it did mean I could look around to find something to enter for this year. I really did think I had got the IM bug out of my system, But when the pirates decided on IM Nice for 2014 I couldn’t help but wonder. Sue, Annie (Sprog 4) and me had been in Nice and Provence the week after IM Nice a couple of years back, and had driven the bike course. All the time muttering nasty bike course it’s all up hill for most of it, and it’s hot and and and.

The owners of the apartment we had rented directed us to a lovely park just outside Mougins where everyone went running and I did get a lot of attention due to my M-Dot tattoo (yeah far more than I deserve) so perhaps IM Nice might be doable.

Now I have said before that spectating at an IM has to be the most boring occupation on the planet, and following The Outlaw in 2011 Sue said she was happy for me to go training, happy for me to race IM, But I would be on my own, I must have missed the rider of “Unless it’s in Nice at the end of June”, I had only got half way through the entry form and she had found an apartment 200yds from transition. She has said she won’t actually be spectating more laid on the beach and shopping, Still it’s the thought that counts.

She did enter into the IM spirit over Christmas and bought me not only an updated copy of Don Finks Ironfit, but a waterproof Speedo MP3 player, now I hate swimming at the best of times but having Elbow or Doves blasting out in your ears does make the lengths pass by.

This week’s focus is the 4 Villages half marathon on Sunday, as is well known I enter most years and then drop out at the last minute, Last year I was fighting fit and raring to go and it snowed, so let’s hope this year works out better.

Spent most of yesterday morning on the pc, as  the Tour de France will be in Yorkshire in July, and the Giro d’Italia starts in Belfast, I happened to say to Sue ages ago that if we holidayed in northern Spain in late August early September (after the schools go back cos it’s cheaper) we could watch the Vuelta….. and the route for the Vuelta was announced on Saturday morning.  So Santander here we come !

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The Outlaw Long Distance Triathlon Race Report

Arriving Friday meant I could have all day Saturday to faff… Great meeting up with old friends and meeting some new ones.

Bike and bags racked nice an early on Saturday afternoon, had my 10 seconds of fame when 2 guys walking behind me spotted the DTeS t shirt and one whispered “he’s ones of those people in the book”, Must mean the Don Fink one ?

Sunday alarm at 4:30, but was already awake, couple of slices of malt loaf, I know I should eat more but whatever I eat I throw up in the swim, so why make it worse than it has to be ? Dosed up with ibuprofen and went over to the start. Last hug and wishes from Sue and off to get the wettie on. Another couple of ibuprofen and into the water, quick word with Holgs and GO… Really got a kicking at the start and couldn’t find clear water for about 2 miles ! Within 5 minutes I knew I was in trouble with my shoulder, It hasn’t been right since I was knocked off the bike 2 weeks ago, trying to swim normally was agony, trying not to pull hard with my right arm meant I veered off left, so just settled down and found a pace I could cope with. By the time I was approaching the finish line I could hear the announcer talking about the cut off time…. Out of the water in a 1:40:31 nearly half an hour down on my last 2.4 mile swim in June.

Quick change (and another couple of ibuprofen) and out onto the bike, trod on a channel 4 camera man laid on the ground in transition as he tried to get artistic shot of a young lady’s bum leaving before me ! Good to have the lap of the lake to get settled and have my breakfast. Had a bit of a moment leaving the water sports centre as the back wheel stepped out on me. First few miles flew by, really enjoying myself, and having got the swim over I could relax. Stopped at the second feed station to fill my aerobottle and one of the helpers decided to “launch me back into the fray” as he had seen on the Tour De France, all he managed to do was bash me in the small of the back and split a gel that was in my monaco pocket, had the sensation of blackcurrant SiS dribbling down my bum for the next 20 miles…… Pirate feed station as brilliant as ever, sorry for hitting Min with the drinks bottle, but I was after the goal honest. Yet more ibuprofen and keep pushing the pedals. As usual let the mind wander, did anyone notice how noisy some peoples bikes are ? I can’t claim to be perfect but there is hardly a sound from mine even when really pushing hard, but the number of bikes with clattering gears and strange rattles would have driven me insane. Saw an old mate of mine Chris from my pre triathlon motorsport days who had driven over to watch, sadly hadn’t seen Sue which always makes me worry, just as I finished the 2nd loop it started to pour down and I finally saw Sue so was able to throw her my shades. The last 15 miles or so were very slippy and the rough section through the hall was a bit of a joke, meeting an ambulance coming the other way at full tilt gave me a bit of a moment.

Into T2 and handed the bike over, quickish change (another couple of ibuprofen) and out onto the run. Started alongside Nicko who had just completed his 1st lap of the lake, Having only run 13.1 miles in training, as my longest run and that was the Chester half, the marathon was always going to be one foot in front of the other. The first couple of laps were OK, stopped and had a quick chat with Sue and of course loads of Pirates both on course and supporting to motivate me. Thanks to Cake for the swift Guinness at the end of my first lap…. anything would have been better than more High 5, the black stuff was perfect. Managed a quick chat with Holgs at one of the feed stations, he was in a world of pain by then. Last hug and kiss from Sue and it was off for one last lap of the lake, steady plod down the lake and turn left to the finish…. Stopped and grabbed a beer of a Pirate supporter, muttered something about retirement in general and then completely missed Sue hanging over the barriers ! (Yes I have grovelled and been reminded several times)

Met up with Holgs and Wild Will in the food tent, and stuffed my face with chicken and rice, then out on to the grandstand to join in the Pirate merrymaking.

Highlights, Brilliant bike really enjoyed myself, but possibly left too much out on the road, low lights the swim, I suppose I really should have withdrawn, but if it was easy etc….. Managing to take a whole packet of ibuprofen without killing myself….

Monday morning and being told by Sue that I was free to carry on going long, she doesn’t mind the training etc, But she wasn’t going to watch anymore and as she find it so stressful, Having missed me on the bike everywhere she went to spectate she was convinced I had come off and even asked an ambulance crew to check and see if I was reported retired !
She then presented me with a voucher for a pamper session at the gym / health club we are members at so Tuesday evening spent 2 hours being massaged, hot stoned and generally being repaired.

So thanks to Sue, the kids who spent all day cluttering up mobile network trying to get text reports of how I was doing, and the Pirate Massive for support, High 5 and generally being all-round good eggs !

Well I did a long distance The Big Woody (well almost the distance), I have done an IM branded event, IMUK and now I have done the Pirate Championship event… Ticked all the boxes, and last weekend got the biggest tick of all.

Thanks to all of you for making the day what it was. I will enjoy watching the next one from my bath chair parked alongside Fat Buddha’s………

Suppose though if anyone needed a cyclist for a relay ?

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Blog 20 5 days and counting….

So here we are, Last few days and rather a lot of time being spent looking at the weather.
Will it won’t it ????

Had a couple of easy training weeks, interspersed with some jollies and work !
Took Sue to the Coldplay concert at Manchester Cities ground, I know Coldplay get a lot of stick, but they were amazing, great show. Then a busy week in the office, preparing to give a presentation on our latest tender to the customer.

Sue’s birthday, and a weekend trip to Harrogate. Sue wanted to spend the day at the RHS garden at Harlow Carr, and had found a place up the road advertised as “a restaurant with rooms” owned and run by one of only 5 female Michelin starred chefs in the country. Stunning food, stunning wine, stunning bed room… equally stunning bill… But what the heck.

Last week and the cold reared it’s snotty head again, Feeling really rough, and the shoulder I landed on when I had my bike crash seems to be sore again…

Still bits and pieces at work, and finished with Annie (Sprog 4) getting her degree result, a first combined with top in her degree so one a prize, Saturday spent in Leeds (twice over the border in a week… aarrgh) helping Nic (Sprog 3) and his girl friend Kat move into their new flat, we might not have trained but 12 car loads of “stuff” down 3 flights of stairs driven across Leeds and into the new flat was a decent training session in itself.

Sunday and Sue and me had a great run around Delamere forest, just nice and easy running. Spent the rest of the day servicing the race bike ready for action, as well as getting the camping gear dragged out.

Ended the evening with a gentle turbo session to keep the legs turning over.

Decided on a treat for last night and headed to Old Trafford (not that one silly, the real one) and enjoyed an evening of T20 cricket. Made better by Lancashire thrashing Durham.

Planning on a gentle OW swim at Manley this evening, But have woken up in loads of pain from my shoulder, so we will have to see how that pans out…

For anyone with nothing else in their lives there is an online tracker for Sunday..

Entrant 891 Dave Bottoms

http://www.onestepbeyond.org.uk/the-outlaw-triathlon-live-results.php

That should give you the link to the athlete tracker……………

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