Saturday 23 August 2014

T184 - a learning

T184 - Thames Path from Thames Barrier in London to the source of the Thames. 184 miles / 294 km. 80 hours to finish. With cut-off times.
70 (out of 108 registered) started Friday 10:30
I stayed in the Antigallican the night before, which despite it's looks and area, is a very comfortable and clean hotel. Recommend if you ever need a night in Woolwhich.
Dinner in the Great Harry Wetherspoons with a number of other participants. Not met any of them, but again as in every running (specially ultra) event, great folks.

I also signed up to be measured by the Kent university. So in the morning saliva, urine and blood was taken of us. Shame the word will never see the result.

The run through London was interesting. Rob Jones was there to cheer me on. Thanks Rob really cheered me up. And later in the night he was trying to guide me through Walton. Well done again, because water is water at night, and Thames Path, alternative Thames Path pointing into what seem random directions doesn't help.

Thanks to Rob, Simon, Zoe, Kim, Wayde and Karen to be there.

Met great people, new people. Spend a good few hours with James Penson, as always we diverted around but got to the point in Teddington where we crossed the Thames to the South Bank and Karen was at Kingston Bridge.

I met a lady who knows explosives. Where else will you meet a woman that knows explosives?

Coming past my house may not have been the best, it plays with your head at about 50k in.

I made it to Walton through the dark and pulled out. My girlfriend, Karen had to come to the rescue after I called her after 23:00 to pick me up. Guess I slipped somewhat deeper in her debt.

My feet were shattered. Nerve pain, gout pain, blister pain, numbness pain.

Was it worthwhile. Yes. Do I want to do it again. 95% yes.

Is it hard, it's very hard. Is all I can say.

Not much more I can say. En route to the next adventure.

Well done to Shane to create a beast.

Saturday 2 August 2014

A catch up in so many ways

I noticed my last blog was 31 May 2014. The day before 70.3 IM Rapperswil-Jona. That means I am well over 2 months behind.
So a little catch up:

10 May 2014 - Transvulcania - DNF at 26KM - CP3
Great place, Wayde did  a fantastic job getting a great villa. Meeting new people. Wayde, Elliott, Alex and Simon finished. Rob and I did not. But such is life. Great event, held on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands.
It starts at 0600 at sea level at the lighthouse. A bit of a manic, chaotic start, but that is part of it. It goes up for the first 6km. Then it keeps on going up. For some reason with every step I felt the energy zapped from my legs. Like a little alien was shooting at my legs with a Zapper Gun from the planet Zap.
As it became harder and hard and I realised that with the best will in the world I couldn't make the CP3 cut-off, I just started to enjoy the scenery. And the scenery is almost second to none. Maybe not, but it is stunning.
Something very funny happened, I ran (matter of speech) past two people speaking Dutch and I responded to them in Dutch. How motivating is it if totally unknown people compliment and say well done, we couldn't do it. Still for me not enough, but it's one of the reasons for doing what I do.
The support and aid stations for the part I did are great, keeping in mind that you are out in the mountains where it is quiet.
So I DNF'ed at 26k but had a great day. Back to the villa, change. Meet up with Zoe, Alex, Rob, Veronique. And cheering on Alex, Simon, Eliot and Wayde.
All-in-all a great weekend out with great friends.

01 June 2014 - Rapperswil-Jona IM70.3 
Typical Swiss. Well organised. I had been swimming in the Zurich City Hallenbad 50m pool, but as my shoulder was still painful from the dislocation last year, I was a bit worried. The swim however was good, better than expected. Not my fastest, but very happy. The water was cold, about 14 C.
The bike ride is 2*45k laps covering a few hills. One short, steep and nasty. But once you are up, all the way down is downhill back to Rapperswil.
The run, as usual was painful due to my non-existing Mortons-Neuroma.
But I finished, and was glad I did another triathlon.
Around that time my colleague Carrie was doing here first triathlon in Blenheim Palace. She had been very serious at training. She did very well.
What I learned is that unless I can fix the the issue with my left foot of pain from running after cycling I will not be able to do a full Ironman.
I can cycle the 180k or run the 42.2k (or more for both) but not one followed by the other. So my quest to a solution continues.

Due to my father passing away this year some changes applied and I didn't do the 10K with Kim in Haastrecht. But we are doing the Singelloop in Utrecht on 28 September which is also a 10k.

Since the end of July I am back in London from Switzerland. Will miss Zurich a lot. What a fantastic place. So outdoors and so urban. Will have to find a reason to go back for Caliente (Latin Festival), Zurich Parade and Bohemia. Bohemia became my local establishment as it was 5 min away. Great place, wonderful staff.
Am working in the glorious City of London again. At least cycling is going up. 2 times this week 88km. It was only 10k on a daily basis in Zurich.

What is next:
03 August 2014 -Richmond Park Half Marathon
I believe this is a about a 5K loop. Not sure, but that would mean 4 laps. OMG - my goldfish mind needs to kick in. Hey a tree, hey a tree, hey a deer. But I will use it for the upcoming T184 (on which more later) using a 10kg weighted vest and my poles.
It's a training event rather than a PB/PR event. But it's Richmond Park so a home run.

22-25 August T184
T184 is 184 miles, 294 km in 80 hours. From the Thames Barrier to the Thames Source. Not sure what the training is for that, but it's going to be fun. Will I finish. I don't know. People finish it as part of the LDWA, but not in 80 hours. So far nobody I know is doing it so I will meet loads of new people. More on this after the event. But looking forward to it.

05-06 September - Transylvania - Lost Worlds Racing
I can choose 106k or 50ish. Or 2*50ish to do the 106k. As this is about a week after T184, not sure what to expect.

28 September - Singelloop Utrecht 10k
This is my home town, will run this with my daughter Kim and the only goal is to do it under 1 hour. Will meet up with an old school friend Eva who is doing this as well. So looking forward to this.

So much for now, will promise to try to keep this up better.