22 Mile Classic Quarter

22 Mile Classic Quarter
15 June 2015 Janine

Just another weekend of Ironman training seems to = just another epic sporting achievement

SUCH IS THE LIFE of an about-to-be-hopefully-if-all-goes-to-plan Ironwoman, in the peak of physical fitness after 25 weeks of training. It’s paying off! I might sound a bit go-me there, but I am feeling my confidence grow, as all of the events that I had in the diary are achieved, slowly but surely, in their own good time. After last weekend’s cycling activities of epic proportions, this week it was the turn, not of my trusty Brooks Ghosts, but of a pair of barely worn Mizuno Wave Harrier 3’s that I was given for Valentine’s day not this year but last year. And yet they have only done about 25 miles! 
Views on the Run
I haven’t exactly been doing an awful lot of trail running, so this weekend’s Classic Quarter, a 44 mile coastal relay race (or solo) which I took on with one other, thus running 22 miles, was going to be some challenge. 
Bugs n foxgloves 
The most I have run so far in this training season is 15 miles (it was meant to be 16 but I ran out of fluids and hit a semi wall). And that was on the flat. Imagine my joy then, to discover that not I only could I complete the 22 mile course mostly running, but despite by painful IT bands and glutes thanks to the climbs and descents and rocks and pebbles and styles and sand, I felt as fresh as a Cornish daisy and mostly felt great. I was super puffed out especially going up hills until mile 5 when I found a rhythm and started to enjoy myself. When we wet off at 7.15 am after a 4.30 alarm, the cool mist was still hanging over the sea. In the hours that were to come, all of it by the sea, the mist cleared and eventually the lush summer coastal pastures thick with bugs and snails and foxgloves, packed a colourful, hot and seasonal punch to the nostrils.

The run took me around 4 and a half hours which I was pleased with. I had a close call 15 miles in when I started to tire and tripped over a rock, going flying with a yelp, but came away with only a cramped right calf and a shin full of little scratches. I was the second Southville RC relay runner home, much to the pleasant surprise of my running buddy who got the baton a little gone midday and sailed off towards Land’s End. I love Cornwall. It always fills me up and makes me feel light of heart. I decided not to go out for SRC post-race drinks, and instead head back to my parent’s for a bath and an early night, ready for my peak week of training.

My legs already feel better, and tonight I completed a brick session in the sunshine, an hour on the bike and a 5k speedy run. (i was running sub 7 and sub 8 for a lot of it, but stopped to chat to friends which dragged down my Strava average, nightmare!) 

And so, here we are. It’s day one of the final five weeks. It’s starting to feel real. I am starting to find myself imagining the swim start and the butterflies flutter their wings in my tum. I didn’t feel a thing leading up to the Classic Quarter, nor the Dragon Race, not even the Half Iron until the night before. And yet, here we are, I am five weeks away from the day and already I am feeling the flutters! Big red admirals.

And the dreams have started. Last night I dreamt that two weeks away from the race, I accidentally left my bike in a cafe, and when I remembered, I phoned up the cafe and they said that a man had walked away with it saying it was his. And I woke myself up in tears! I kissed my bike when I saw it nestled comfily in its spot today.

I am feeling strong, fit, happy and just confident enough, with a little handful of fluttery nerves. My wetsuit is arriving tomorrow, I really (really!) hope it fits because I am going to go to the lake this weekend after my mammoth BIG brick session of 80 mile bike and 15 mile run. And when I say after I mean on a different day. Obviously!

A secret.

When I was getting ready to go out the other day, I realised that I had had no time to paint my nails, they were all chipped. And I have had no money to spend on cute outfits because I have spent all of my money on race tickets, protein powder, energy bars, jelly babies, bike maintenance, petrol to get to races, accommodation to stay in training / race locations, plane flights to get to races, photos of races, lycra shorts, lycra tops, sunglasses, bike bottles, swimming costumes, goggles, neoprene, vaseline, spit spray.. the list goes on.

But you know what I realised? With all this focus on triathlon there is one thing that looks after itself, and that’s me getting to feel pretty good despite my lack of new clothes or nail varnish because I’m in peak fitness. I feel FANTASTIC! Seriously, if you want to lose weight or get a confidence boost, train for an Ironman because you are so busy getting it done that you don’t even notice what’s happening and then you realise that you can’t eat enough to keep the weight on you. Like when in the modern western world does that ever, ever happen?

Which reminds me. I need to pop downstairs for my pre bed snack and get some sleep before getting up for my 6am swim session tomorrow.

Phew. Almost there now. And then it’s summer party time 🙂

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