With winter approaching, my duathlon season has really kicked off now so I thought I should try to write a report about my latest races in the Shakespeare language (forgive me for all the grammatical mistakes).
October has been very busy and very enjoyable with 3 key races.
- Oulton Park Autumn Standard Duathlon on 5th October, qualifying race for 2015 European Standard Duathlon Championships
- British Age-Group Standard Duathlon Championships on 12th October
- Althorp Sprint Duathlon on 18th October, qualifying race for 2015 European Sprint Duathlon Championships
Oulton Park Autumn Standard Duathlon
On the 5th October, I competed in the Oulton Park Standard Duathlon organised by Xtra Mile Events. This event was the second qualifying race for the 2015 European Standard Duathlon Championships.
It was quite a long journey from Great Chesterford to Oulton Park, more than 3 hours. So I am glad I chosen to compete in the standard distance event taking place in the afternoon; the sprint one was in the morning. For once, I didn’t have to wake up at silly hours.
Back in May this year I had a great experience at Ironman Lanzarote. There were a few things I wanted to improve on though, so I decided to enter Ironman UK. This gave me just two months to prepare, aiming for a better swim, faster transitions, and to ride fractionally easier so I could really race the marathon. And to enjoy the day of course!
My basic plan following Lanza was to ease back into training for 3 weeks, jump back to peak intensity for another 3, then taper for the remaining 2 weeks. This went well, although at times I doubted the wisdom of 2 iron-distance races so close together. The swim distances were stepped-up, mostly open-water, usually followed by eating too much at the nearby Chinese buffet. Despite gaining a couple of percent body fat I redeemed myself with a 2:31 PB at olympic distance, the 'Dambuster' national age-group champs, putting me within 8% of the age-group winner's time. With that and a few more monster brick-sessions I felt ready for Ironman UK.
I took part in something a little different last Sunday called Tough Mudder with boyfriend Pete and his group of circuit friends. You know the type of event, thousands of competitors over the course of a weekend getting filthy dirty and muddying up the perfect beautiful country park of Beaumont House.
I had been a little apprehensive about this, never having done anything like it before and facebook and friends providing a plethora of horror stories. In fact, the build up to it included detailed videos of all the obstacles so that people can scrutinise the course and I'm ashamed to say, I was too afraid to look at them! Pete happily tells me the night before that he has borrowed a friends orange headband for me so that we can do the legionnaire's loop with extra running and obstacles for those who have done a tough mudder before! Great, thanks Pete, super news.
The original idea behind signing up for the Gran Fondo Dragon Ride, 140 miles of Welsh mountains, started back at the end of last summer when it was as a warm up ride for a planned group outing to La Marmotte in July. Being a bit worried about falling off the back of a somewhat more competent (and younger) group of riders I thought I’d give myself a better chance by getting in a decent warm up event. Not wanting to suffer alone I roped in a couple of ex work colleagues and the stage was set.