Sunday, March 30, 2008

A testing weekend

Oh'la peeps...

Well the forecast was for spring showers all weekend so why not make it a test weekend... turns out the weather forecast was about 70% wrong (today was supposed to rain all day and in fact it's been lovely)... Still....

Got up EARLY yesterday (yes a saturday.. humm) to make my way to Bushy Park for a 5k time trial... There is a great phenomenon happening here with 5k time trials (which are free) popping up in parks! The "park run" started at Bushy Park (which is where I ran on Saturday) but now exist from Brighton to Leeds and westwards to Cardiff.

This is a weekly event ran for free by athletes for athletes. This weekend was my first one, there were over 300 people and I set a PB (well I was bound to as I've never "raced" 5k before other then in a triathlon)... I expected rain for the 9am start but was relieved to find nothing more then a strongish breeze. Temperature was at about 10 degrees so almost perfect really. The only thing of note which went "wrong" was the fact my Garmin ran out of batteries on the start line so I ran blind to HR, distance and time. The 5k itself was flat, a mixture of grass, gravel and tarmac pathways.

It was HARD work and maybe I should have had something more then a cliff bar for breakfast! The gel 10mins before the start was not a good idea at all, I very nearly saw it again (eugh!) I've read somewhere recently that in doing a 5k well the worst bit is the 3 to 4k.... Despite the fact I didn't know I was in that distance zone I can confirm this is approximately where I was feeling the worst - physically I mean... stitch, shortness of breath and a real "I'm gonna barf any moment" kind of feeling... I managed to ask a kid (yes there were youngsters running too) what the time was and distance to go.... in between puffs of course - he must have thought I was a bit of a wierdo really given I was wearing a watch!!... Made me a little sick that someone, oh blimey, about 25 years younger then me was running with such ease!!.. But now I think of it I am old enough to be the kids Mother (and then some) so why shouldn't he be able to run the distance stronger then me (besides I must be carrying at least an extra 5 stone too.. the weed!).... Humm anyhow.. as you can see from the course map
it was a bit evil at the 4k marker as you can quite clearly see the finish and then you run away from it... blinkin rude if you ask me and it almost ruined me I can tell you.

Still I'm very pleased. My aim for the season is to break the 25mins marker for 5k, I didn't do that but I was quite a bit closer then I thought I would be....


So I'm very very pleased with that time to be honest! I was 212 from 349 runners, and 6 from 16 in my age group (note my age group "winner" did it in 20:29... OMG!). I celebrated my success with a powerade and a spin out on Bianca.

Which leads me to a moment of complaint;

Dear Wokingham Council,
Please note there is a rather large POT HOLE in the road by the Finchampstead Memorial. I was out for a nice cycle ride on Saturday afternoon when lucky for me I spotted it. Just in the nick of time as I managed to jump my front wheel over it. Unfortunately due to my speed and lack of technique my rear wheel slammed into it quite nicely leading to a rather large puncture. I say lucky I spotted it for if I hadn't and my front wheel had gone into the hole I suspect I may have had a rather nasty accident given the breadth and depth of the hole and cars behind me. I may have been a splattered Karen and thus not able to write this note! I know it's been winter, and I know it's been raining. But this hole in the road is a serious danger to anyone on a bike. Please see your way to fixing it before it gets any worse and someone (hopefully not me) falls in it! I pay my council tax so you can fix the roads to a standard where my life is threatened by the other road users alone and not by the hazards of the road itself. If I wanted hazards I'd get on Rockie and go off road! Yours sincerely Karen
PS I enclose a bill for one new inner tube and labour.

Note though this did give me rear wheel roadside tube replacement practice... I must get quicker as it took me 10mins... still I meant this to be a testing weekend so why not get a tube change in too ;o)

So yes I did about 1hr10 + the tube change on Bianca outside then a short 20mins on the turbo... Lucky really that I did just get home before the heavens opened and the rain came down (note the only bit of rain we did get when we were supposed to have it all weekend).

Still took it a bit easy today as to be honest I was a bit sore from the timetrial plus bike... so headed to the pool for a swim test...

Yes those 300m repeats with 30sec rest were back on the menu. Last did these at the end of December. So the idea is to warm up (today I did 200swim, 200 TI drills, 200 pb) then rack up 300m with 30sec rest between each and no more then 15secs between best and worst effort (ie to make sure you don't do the first set too fast).... Here's the results last time versus this;

Set 1:
5:52 Vs 5:40 (-12s)
Set 2: 5:58 Vs 5:43 (-15s)
Set 3: 6:08 Vs 5:45 (-22s)

Yippeeee-ti---doooo.... swim fishy swim! Not only faster but more consistent too, although I do confess that I think my rest time was nearer 40s then 30s... but I still count the above results. YESssssss.... Just gotta keep on at it and see where it takes me. My objective for the year is to clock a sub 7:30 for the 400m (a dream given my first tri about 18months ago I was over 9:30). I'd love to hit around the 28mins mark for Olympic distance, aiming for that in London in August (think May may be a bit early!)

Right so the clocks went forward last night so it's 9pm already and therefore must be nearly bed time as tomorrow I'll be getting up an hour earlier even though it isn't - if you see what I mean.


  1. How cool to have 5K time trials for free. I would love to do something like that! But I've never seen them around here. Bahhh!

  2. A free time trial would be awesome!! I would be all over that! You were super speedy!

  3. JulesR12:44 pm

    What a fab time trial result - only 10 minutes to change a rear tube = seriously speedy.

    The run and the swim times were pretty good too!

  4. Nice job on the 5K! Glad the weather held off for ya and you had an awesome time! English weather can be so fickle ya know :-)

    I feel your pain on the pot hole! LOL!! Good luck getting the guberment to pay for it though. Let us know how it turns out!!!

    Remind me again what week you are going to be here?!? I ride my bike on Columns Drive, conveniently located off of I-285 in Atlanta during lunch on Wednesday and Thursday, then I do a long ride and run on alternating days of the weekend at the Silver Comet Trail. You are welcome to join me for whatever you like!!

    In the mean time, I'll send you directions to my pub in Canton...

  5. wow! That is one speedy 5k time missy! Am a little envious of your athletic prowess! But well done you!

  6. Hang on. It's just clicked. Bushy Park is where they run the Thames Turbo Triathlon Series right? Have you taken part in any of these? / How where they?

  7. I'm glad you enjoyed BPTT, I haven't tried it since they started running it backwards a few months ago. I imagine running away from the finish line is a bit of a killer but surely can't be as bad as finishing on that deceptively long straight kilometre at the end (or start as it is now).

  8. Really? You started triathlon 18months ago, and you're already aiming for a half iron?

    Wow! You sound both exceedingly fit, and amazingly ambitious! I'm totally in awe.