Thursday, 18 June 2015

Ousting the Outlaw Half Triathlon

Statistics. Maximum Heart Rate, Average Cadence, Elapsed time, Power as a % of FTP, Average speed, Watts per Kilogram, VO2 max
and the list goes on and on.... the sports world loves statistics!

However the Garmin memory bank doesn't hold all the stats.

There were 13 days between Slateman Triathlon and The Outlaw Half Triathlon
In these 13 days:
4 showers were taken in a single day (the cleanest day on record, or just a ridiculous amount of exercise!)
6 (probably more) occasions we talked about cutting the hedge (well done Adam for cutting it, I did clear the trimmings. Joint effort, makes sense for the person with the longest arms to do the cutting!)
1 lawn mower cable, mowed through and cut (& patched back together)
13 broad bean plants moved from pots indoors to the vegetable patch
4 loads of washing done in a single day (that's a lot of lycra)
50% more porkpies were eaten than normal
4:1 was the ratio of abusive texts vs congratulation text from my 'mates' in response to them seeing Slateman on the TV.
75% of beetroot seeds survived to seedlings and then planted in vegetable patch
 As the above shows, there have been some serious personal bests in recent weeks.
"Sharing Pork Pie" If you are a mouse! Grow, grow, grow little vegetables and on the box as part of the Slateman Triathlon coverage.

The biggest personal best was achieved cycling home from the pool; most groceries fitted and carried in the backpack. 11 bananas and 2 pints of milk. Hurrah for the granny gear, especially up hills!

I had ticked off the first triathlon race of the season, Slateman Triathlon and it was onto Outlaw Half Triathlon, my first foray into Middle distance racing, otherwise known as 70.3 (no idea why it is called this,anyone know?please enlighten me). There is a first for everything and for the first time ever, I had been labelled one of the favourites with writing this Pre race preview and then publishing this interview I had done, several weeks before and had completely forgotten about. Nothing like going into a race, under the radar.

My first 70.3 race. I figured if ever there was a time for preparation, this was it. As they say preparation, is key.
Customising the water bottle at 10.30pm several days before, the art of using a power drill while wearing Pijamas (all this effort and then it pops straights out on kilometer 89.8 of 90 on the speed bumps).

Nutrition. Race weekend is a good excuse to visit friends and family near the race location (ok i mean, coach surfing between friends and family for a free nights accommodation). Thursday night was spent on a huge cooking spree...snacks, meals, race food. Can't turn up at your hosts without a cake! 
My new cook book bible "Feed Zone portables" more about this in due course.

Getting acclimatised. Saturday morning, the day before the race, I had a quick splash in Otley Sailing club lake, at the Leeds Bradford Triathlon Club open water swim session, a bit of running and then it was time to chuck the gear in the car and head to Nottingham to register and hear the race briefing. 3.30pm was the last briefing, I had plenty of time.... isn't it amazing how quickly time flies!Especially when you are trying to pack wetsuit, bike and remember work clothes for the following weeks meeting in London. But no need to panic, remember if you register last thing, and you don't have to queue for your number.
Pre race day splash

I have written a more detailed race report on The Raceskin Website here therefore I will concentrate on a more visual summary, because I love a picture and a caption.

Saturday, this was the picture posted by Outlaw Triathlon on their facebook page. Weather forecast said wind and rain, this could be interesting!
The forecast proved correct. At least swimming in the rain is fine, you are already wet. Bit choppy with the wind, but all ok, came out in the front group, 28.58 for 1.9km, happy with that.

The 90km bike was wet and windy
Did I say, wet and windy. I meant torrential rain, like heavy, no chance of being able to read the Garmin, sort of rain. My bike split can been seen on strava here. 2.41 for 90km. Good job I am use to riding in all weathers. I was glad I put on arm warmers and a gilet after the swim. What's two more pieces of clothes to put in the washing machine? 
Post bike, taking off the gilet and arm warmers to begin the run. Wishing I had dry socks to put on.

Having never done a longer distance race, I have never carried gels on the run. One minor detail had slipped my mind, where to put the gels. When setting up my trainers in transition, at 5.30am, it was chucking it down with rain. I thought it would be clever to put the gels in my shoes to help keep my shoes dry. Obviously, the flaw came when I came to put my shoes on after the bike! Down the triathlon suit seemed logical at the time once I had removed the gels from my trainers and pondered my options. Good job my cleavage doesn't fill my sports bra, space for energy gels, ideal. I have explained in more detail in this blog on the OTE website my nutrition plan for the whole race and why I decided on 221grams of carbs and how I split this between rice cakes, cup cakes, energy gels and drink. 

The longest stretch of headwind in the world. The run was 2 laps, around Holme Pier Point Lake and out and back along the canal tow path. The tow path was quite reminiscent of cross country, with the path becoming nice and muddy with all the rain, the lake path, a tad windy! My run split is on Strava here.

What do you do when they throw confetti down the finish shoot? 
Looking like I have run a cross country race!

Breaking the tape as 1st female, always a sweet feeling.

The atmosphere at Outlaw Half was fantastic. Despite the weather, so many people came out to support, so thank you. I was especially amazed at the number of "Go girl" "Great running" from fellow competitors during the run section, especially the Leeds Bradford Tri contingent. Races are all about the atmosphere and it was great sharing the experience with University buddy  Tanner, who had a great race (she is doing IM Bolton and you can sponsor her here) and Esther who drove across to cheer us on. Big thanks to Adam, Julian, Chris and Jane for the shouts of encouragement.Chris made an awesome highlights video which you can view here.

A hug from, Simon Ward, who was on the commentary mic. This man spends most Wednesday mornings telling me off for arriving on pool side at 7.02am! 

My first Half Ironman Distance race done and dusted.
Well done Karl for winning the Men's race and everyone else who made the podium and who raced.

Thank you for all the messages of support and congratulations, they mean a lot. I felt well and truely loved! Here is the race report on

Two races down. The season is in full swing, but there is no time to rest on ones laurels. The lawn has to be cut, the vegetables to be watered, kit washed again, and again, work done (glass trophies unfortunately don't pay the bills!) and training continues...

Have fun with your own hard graft, I am sure you will be well rewarded.

NB: Talking of hard graft, I have just discovered this website check it out, Kajsa also raced the Outlaw Half Triathlon and has set her sights on attempting a world record in 2016! This is one incredible lady.

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