The Scribbler

22 August 2011

Lovely long weekend

Filed under: bike,Great North Run,run,swim,training,triathlon — The Scribbler @ 18:53
Four women with road bikes

The North Berwick Ladies tri-day team

I’d snuck in a day off work on Friday so was thrilled to see that Lesley was planning one of her tri training days. Directions in the sat-nav, bike in the back, shades on and I was away up the coast to sunny Scotland. A glorious drive along beside the sea, only getting a bit stuck behind some slow moving traffic near Holy Island and overshooting the road in the village and there I was, ready for a fun filled chat filled day with Lesley, Ann and new friend Lucy.

Soon we were off to the lovely light and airy pool which we had almost to ourselves. I watched our resident mermaid swim a couple of lengths and then dived in. It was so nice to have natural light coming in and swimming in a 25m pool felt so much easier. I was about to turn for length number 5 when i realised the longer distance meant I’d already done 100m.

A bit more rest and chat than I’d normally enjoy in a swim session, but it helped me relax and remember how far I’ve come with my swimming. A few more sets and then I just set off intending to do 400m. But I got into the flow and thought 20 lengths sounded better than 16. And then from 20, it didn’t feel too much to do 30. So with a kick and an adrenaline filled spurt I completed my first continuous 750m set. I’ve come a long way from two lengths at a time.

We enjoyed a leisurely transition, getting changed and driving back to Lesley’s house for soup and bread and cake, fuelling for our bike ride and photo shoot, with some gorgeous new speed machines on show. Then off riding on smooth country roads with very little trafffic. Just the sunshine and a slight breeze – perfect riding weather.

18 miles and almost an hour and a half on the bike has never gone by so quickly. I powered up a couple of hills and chased Lesley right up into top gear on the flats, thoroughly enjoying my bike and getting the thrill of it again. Just shows how much more I can push it if I try. And once I get the hang of cornering, maybe I’ll not use my brakes so much.

More welcome hospitality, and snuggles from Lesley’s gorgeous labradors Jed and Finn who were perfectly behaved as we scoffed luscious light lemon sponge and chocolate brownies. All that talking is calorie burning you know!

Too soon I had to go, but I enjoyed a great drive back home and slept like a log after my outdoors adventures. Can I come back again soon?

Saturday I took a rest day and felt a bit twitchy, not really knowing what to do with myself other than get on with jobs around the house and wander into the village for a look around the farmer’s market. I took my other bike to get the gear cable adjusted and then used it to do a couple of errands nearby, dropping off some cards and picking up some milk, but the mileage wasn’t worth logging.

Sunday I woke early, made my porridge, then settled back for a snooze and to let it settle before my long run. I was looking forward to this. And even though the day threatened heat, I wanted to be out there, clocking up the miles. I’d planned a nice route out along from my house, then around the Run for Bob route over trails and through the woods, with the option of catching the metro home at the finish.

I’d estimated it would be about 11 miles, but in the end it was more like 10, so I ran a lap of the promenade to complete my planned mileage. The rougher trails and little rises in the Dene and along the coastal paths were a good test of my legs and helped me keep the pace to something sensible.

I had a couple of little walks to take on a mouthful of water or snatch a bite of dried mango, but pretty much kept on moving the whole time. The welcome shade of the trees and the soft ground were good choices on a hot day. And as I emerged back onto the roads and the coastal sunshine I felt strong and smooth in my running, telling myself not to fret the pace over the last couple of miles, just to turn the cruise control on and enjoy it.

It wasn’t easy, and by the time I got to 11 miles I was glad to finish and reward myself with a post run ’99 with monkey’s blood. But it wasn’t too hard either and I felt in good condition to walk back to the station and make my way home. Hitting a slightly faster pace and sustaining it on race day won’t be easy either. But I am starting to believe that if I can push it a bit more, live with the pain when it hurts – then I might just be in the best shape to give that sub 2 hour half another shot.

There are still 4 weeks to go until race day, so we shall see. It is more important to have a good day. But it would be great to have a fast one too.

Stats and stuff
11 miles 01:43:47

1) – 1m – 9:07(9:07/m) – 104cal
2) – 1m – 9:10(9:10/m) – 104cal
3) – 1m – 9:34(9:34/m) – 107cal
4) – 1m – 9:11(9:11/m) – 104cal
5) – 1m – 9:27(9:27/m) – 103cal
6) – 1m – 9:58(9:58/m) – 105cal
7) – 1m – 9:51(9:51/m) – 105cal
8) – 1m – 9:33(9:33/m) – 103cal
9) – 1m – 9:20(9:20/m) – 107cal
10) – 1m – 9:06(9:06/m) – 103cal
11) – 1m – 9:20(9:20/m) – 104cal


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