Skipton Triathlon Recap – 31st August 2014


In Which I Swim, Bike And Run

6am on a Sunday morning and my alarm was beeping, because that’s what alarms are designed for, so it was doing it. 6am though. Ugh.

Ironman Tony was picking me up at 7am which gave me plenty of time to check through my stuff and have a coffee. Didn’t feel like eating so took an energy bar for when we got to Skipton. Time passed (as it tends to do) and Tony arrived. Loaded my bike into his van and after a ‘Good luck!’ from Sarah, we were off.

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Got to Skipton and walked across to the registration to get our start packs. We then went to the transition area to rack our bikes and put race numbers on race tops.

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We then made our way to the swimming pool (for the swimming bit.) After the swim you come out the back door to the pool and loads of people had used the outside area to put some stuff they’d need before getting to transition one (T1) like a towel and stuff. I decided to leave all my stuff here like shorts, socks, towel and running shoes rather than stopping to get ready twice.

Swim: 400m

Tony directed me to poolside (he’s done this one before so knew the setup) and there was a few nervous faces (mine especially) listening to the briefing. I was in Lane one (6 lanes, 4 in a lane) and was given a red swim cap which meant I was setting off first, with the next person 5 seconds after and so on.

We were told when to get in the pool and it was nice and warm, which was nice (and warm) and I floated about treading water a bit but then the countdown was on and before long the whistle went, and so did I.

I’d put down a swim time of 15 mins so everyone else in my start group must’ve put the same. Which is why I don’t feel so bad about saying everyone else in my start group IS A CHUFFING LIAR.

The person that started 5 seconds behind me overtook me on the first turn around, and before too many more laps I’d been overtaken by everyone. YOU SHOULD ALL BE EQUAL TO MY RUBBISH SWIMMINGNESS! I was one of the last out of the pool and the next start group clapped for me (bit condescending, but a nice gesture) and my watch said I’d done the swim in 14 minutes. A PB by a full minute!

Bike: 20km

Exited the building and got my stuff on. I’d swum in tri shorts so just put my normal shorts on over the top. This was followed by a 200m jog to T1 to get my bike. Helmet on, gloves on, bike off the rack, then an uphill walk up grass to where you were allowed to mount your bike.

A Marshall told me I could get on my bike so I told him I’d wait til I was at the top of the hill first, and when I got there I got on. As soon as I set off I decided to have my energy gel which I almost threw away because I couldn’t get the chuffing thing open. Managed to bite a hole in it and had the gel, then I got going properly.

I’d riden the course last week with Tony so pretty much knew what to expect from it. There was a bit of a headwind which didn’t help but didn’t think much about it. Figured I must be near halfway and checked my watch, which said I’d only gone 4km. Pft.

Followed the directions of the marshals and felt quite lonely out there seeing as though everyone else had set off before me. In fact I didn’t see another rider until around 10km, and that was only because they had a puncture at the side of the road.

Reached halfway, felt good. Decided to get my legs going a bit more, plus the second half was a bit easier than the first. Saw another cyclist in front so aimed to pass them. Caught up, rode by. Felt mean when I saw it was a girl on a mountain bike.

Ah well. Kept on pushing and saw another cyclist going up a hill as I neared the bottom. I pushed on and managed to keep a good speed uphill so overtook another. I was surprised at the pace I’d gotten to, and before long flew by another rider.

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Saw a sign saying Skipton was three miles (5km) away which gave me a boost and then before I knew it I was approaching the end of the cycle. Everyone (Sarah’s grandad, mum, sister, and sisters boyfriend) was there cheering me on as I got back and I felt quite good!

Run: 5km

The run was out of the park and along the main road uphill for a bit, then a nice downhill stretch back into, and through, the park. There was a water station at the turn around point so I walked through it as I drunk some free water and then started on the uphill return bit.

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There was then a short but steep path up to the wooded area (which I also walked) and then ran through the wood bit and got a wristband to say my first lap was done.

Pointed back to the road for the second lap and I ran it exactly like the first, walking through the water station and the steep bit, and then this time was directed to the finish line.

Then, done. Finished. Officially a triathlete. (Changed my twitter to say so.)

Had some coke and took some melon, but remembered I don’t really like melon so gave it to Hannah, Sarah’s sister.

Was aiming to finish in around 1:40 so chuffed enough with this!

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Especially pleased with my 5km run time! That was my favourite bit of the day. That, and the full English breakfast later on.

Ironman Tony started at 11:10 and obviously was quicker than me, finishing in a PB of 1:25! I’d like to point out though, that my run was quicker than his. Even though his swim, bike and transitions were a LOT quicker than mine…

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Ice Challenge & Other Things


In Which I Get Iced, And More (Tossers)

Yesterday morning I woke up and checked Facebook (as is the norm for the time I’m living in) and I had a notification.

An Ice Bucket Challenge notification.

Things like this normally pass me by, I didn’t do that necknominate thing and no one wanted to see my make up free selfie pic, so didn’t expect this. I work with some wazzocks though, so should’ve seen it coming…

No doubt you’ve seen celebrities do the challenge, dunking a bucket of ice filled water on your head, to raise awareness of… (and I’m a bit ashamed to say I’m looking this up right now, because I’ve watched heaps of these vids but have no idea…) so I’ve nicked this from Wikipedia:

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For a few days my Facebook has been filled with 45% ‘Yay, ice bucket! Raises awareness for charity!’ And 45% ‘Boo, ice bucket, does nothing for charity!’ (Also 6% Wrestling news, and 4% comedy pics.)

I’m not sure why people decide that stuff like this is something to have a go about, but the charities themselves say they’ve raised EIGHT TIMES the amount of donations that they normally do, so can’t be all THAT bad.

Anyway! Sean Ridley (Captain Cheese String) from work nominated me, and that nomination is the notification that nominated my… notific… Challenge…

First though, I had a ten hour shift at work. Went by easy enough. I then decided to run home so that I’d be all nice and sweaty, ready for a (n)ice shower.

Got changed, handed in my radio and keys and signed out then set my Nike+ going and got going. Ran my usual route home, 5km with half of it uphill. I’d not long started on the uphill stretch, so was maybe about 2km into the run with my mind on the Bucket of ice waiting at home, when BAM! Felt something hit my backpack as a van sped by.

I stopped and looked behind me. Egg shell in the road. I then noticed some raw egg on my backpack which I found odd because I almost NEVER put raw egg on my backpack.

Hang about…

I’d… I’d… I’D BEEN CHUFFING EGGED!

CHUFFING EGGED IS WHAT HAD HAPPENED IS WHAT HAD HAPPENED!!

Did I live in the mid 90’s?! I’ve not heard of anyone getting egged since I was at school, in the mid 90’s!

Why me? I didn’t order any eggs! It’s not like I walk around with a target on my back!

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K, maybe a bit of a target, but I’d imagine for helicopters if anything…

But yeah! Some Tosser tossed a chuffing egg at me! Tosser!

I carried on with my run, up to the roundabout (is it true there’s only like 3 roundabouts in America?) and then over the other side for a nice 1/2km downhill. I don’t know whether it’s because I wanted to get the Ice thing done with, or because I was… *ahem* egged on… but I ran my quickest 5k run home yet. (Bear in mind 2.5km is uphill)

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Anyway, I got home and Sarah had thoughtfully bought a bag of ice. Easiest way to describe this, is to show it. (My video blog debut!)

And to prove my donation:

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So there you go! Busy day! Both Rob Novis and Ironman Tony have done their ice bucket challenges too (Ironman Rob did one too) and Sarah’s been nominated by Rob Novis, but she’s not in the slightest bit chuffed…

Next Event

Skipton Triathlon on Sunday 31st August. I put my swim time down as 15mins (not a good swimmer) and they must agree as I start at 8:50am and am number 25!

Long Bike Ride!


In Which I Ride, Get Wet, Ride, Get Wet And See Roadkill

Last week I worked six days at work, a total of 58 hours, and so on my one day off I relaxed in front of the tv and did bugger all.

I wish.

What actually happened was that last week I worked six days at work, a total of 58 hours, and so on my one day off went out for a bit of a cycle with (4 x) Ironman Tony.

I knew it was gonna be a fair way so on the morning of the ride I had some coffee and porridge (caramel flavour.) Tony got to mine about 9am and he gave my bike the once over and inflated my tires to the right… inflatage… and then, watches and Strava activated, we were off.

We first rode down into Shipley and through to Saltaire, heading towards Skipton then Settle. (We only goto places beginning with ‘S’, it seems…)

After we’d riden through Keighley (Skeighley?) it started to rain. Bad day to wear shorts and short base layers, but it was sunny when I got dressed so it’s not my fault really.

There was another cyclist who Tony chatted to for a bit (I could hear the distances of Ironman disciplines being mention I’m sure) and he (the other cyclist) pulled out a waterproof jacket and just sort of let it flap behind him for a while, getting an arm of it VERY close to his back wheel. I backed off a bit incase it got caught up, but he turned off to Halifax as we carried forwards.

Got to Skipton easy enough, averaging 14.5 mph, and we stopped for an energy gel and a Tracker bar. Still raining. Setting off again a few minutes later we followed the signs for Settle, and after a mile or so the rain stopped.

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Settles a small market town in North Yorkshire (near the brilliantly named village of Giggleswick) and was where we’d be making our halfway stop before coming back.

Halfway between Skipton and Settle Tony pulled over to the side of the road and asked if I needed another energy gel. I said no (foolishly) and away we went. It’s pretty much small villages and country roads all the way after Skipton and quite a lot of hills, mostly small but some a bit of a challenge. (For me.)

About four miles before we got to Settle my body went ‘shame you didn’t have that other energy gel, you wazzock’ and decided it didn’t want to pedal much anymore. On the hills I dropped to around 6mph and my brain wasn’t being much use either.

There’s a nice uphill climb from the main road into Settle which was just what I needed, but then a few minutes later we arrived at the cafe, our halfway point and lunch time.

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I had a bacon and sausage sandwich and a cherry bake thingy and a can of full fat coke, which was so nice I went and got another can of full fat coke. We sat outside in the sun (sunny in Settle) and then after about 25-30mins pit stop it was time to head back home.

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Fully fed and watered, we did the same route but in reverse. Riding back felt a hell of a lot easier, and I was in a better mood too now that I’d eaten.

Time went quickly, and we were back in Skipton after some miles and so we had a small break for an energy gel and a Tracker bar. I got another coke. As it’s Skipton, it started raining again so we set off back towards Keighley where I had another energy gel and could feel the finish line approaching.

On pretty much the second to last climb before home it started to rain. Proper rain. Proper full on torrential rain that flooded the roads and made rivers at the sides. Pushed through it though, back through Saltaire, Shipley and then the last mile climb. Top of my road, near my house, outside my house, done.

Knackered.

Before this ride my longest ever was 40 miles. This one was 35 miles.

IN BOTH CHUFFING DIRECTIONS!

70 miles in total.

Here’s the proof:

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I was tired, but not as tired as I thought I’d be. For the rest of the day I had junk food, beer, and watched The Hobbit Desolation of Smaug (very good!)

My legs were a bit sore the next day, but nothing major. Just my thighs ached a bit. Must be getting better at this recovery stuff!

Now I know what you’re thinking and I know why you’ve read this til the end, you want to hear about the roadkill. Lucky for you, I’ve made it into pie chart form for ease of understanding:

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Enjoy!

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Just A Little Info


In Which I Take It To The Next Level

Just a quick update today because I have a long blog update coming in the next few days, which will be a prequel to this sequel or a threequel or just another one I guess..?

Whatever, me. Anyway! Today I went to Eccleshill swimming pool to do a bit of swimming. (Obviously.)

I’m not the best swimmer in the world (if I was I wouldn’t be a security guard, I’d be a swimmer full time showing off my swimmers) so needed to time myself for 400 metres.

Whys that? You ask.

And I’ll tell you if you let me get a word in!

Its because I’ve entered my first ever triathlon! Skipton triathlon on the 31st August. (Next chuffing week!!)

The course is a 400m swim in a pool, a 20km (12mile) cycle, then a 5k (3.1mile) run. Its only the swim that’s slightly worrying me (only learnt to swim last year) but I’m sure I’ll be fine.

As a reward for… err… Wanting a reward, this is tonight’s entertainment. (You’re damn right that says 3D!)

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In Other News
My official, lanzarote ironman hemingwayrun training top arrived, and I love it!

Front:

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Back:

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If you see me in this, come say hello! (Or throw stuff. You might be that kinda person.)

Let’s Have An Update!


In Which I Run Quite A Bit + Cycle Quite A Bit

Hang on, I’m thirsty. Need a drink.

Right I’ve got a drink. (Lemonade.)

Monday 21st: I ran the 3 mile route home that I normally run, uphill mainly. About halfway up the hill there was a woman in her pyjamas who started cheering me on and slapping her stomach with both hands. Made me run faster, I can tell you!

Tuesday 22nd: Went a longer way round after work (mainly to avoid stomach slappers house) and so ended up doing 4.4 miles.

Weds/Thurs/Friday – Nothing. There was a party in those days somewhere so what with drinking too much and having to recover, was lazy. Thus (thus!) I made up for it on:

Saturday 26th: I ran to work because I wasn’t starting til 11 which meant I had plenty of time for a shower when I arrived. 3.3mile, mainly downhill, meant an average pace of 8:42 per mile.

THEN! I ran home after work. But didn’t go my usual way, I ran into Shipley where I got on the canal (the canal path, wasn’t swimming) and ran to Apperley Bridge, and I then ran up Hemingway Road (named after me! Possibly not.) then ran back towards Shipley for a bit and the mile uphill towards home. Total distance – 10 miles. Total for day: 13.3miles.

Sunday 27th: I ran a recovery run home of 3.3miles which brought my weekly mileage to 27.3 miles! Nice!

Monday 28th: Day off today so decided to go out for a proper bike ride. Pumped my tires, filled my water bottle with energy drink and taped an energy gel to the bike frame. From home I cycled up to five lane ends roundabout and then went down towards Bradford town centre. My fastest ever speed on a bike is 38.7mph so did my best to beat that, but due to traffic the speedometer only got to 39mph. However, when I got home I checked my Strava app and it registered 40.3MPH! I actually broke the chuffing speed limit!!

I navigated through town, then got onto Thornton Rd which is a steady, slight uphill for 2 miles and then the next few miles have some climbing.

One long drag of just over 8 miles of uphill

One long drag of just over 8 miles of uphill

Getting to the end of the road I turned right, heading towards Keighley. Having never gone this way before I was pretty much having a guess as I kept forgetting to look at road signs. A long stretch of road with its ups and downs, getting up to 36mph in a 30 zone (rebel) and before long I was in Keighley town centre where I’d decided I’d treat myself to my Mixed Berry Energy Gel Warm Jam Tasting Goodness. Oh goodness, it’d fallen off. Didn’t even realise. If you’re even in Keighley and you find an energy gel, keep it, it’s yours now.

I was a bit chuffing put out, but there wasn’t anything I could do so just carried on. A shame though, that from Keighley to home is mainly uphill and my energy was getting low. I got to Shipley before long and then began the two miles uphill to my house. It was tough, but didn’t stop or get off once. Finally, the last turn. Little down hill, then home.

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28.4 miles done in 2:13, averaged just under 13mph with 1’740ft of uphillness. Not too shabby!

So now its 10 weeks until the Yorkshire Marathon in York, (which means no beer until after that) followed by a week off (LOADS of beer!) and then just 30 short weeks until Ironman Lanzarote 2015. Times going by waaaayyyy too quickly!!

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Leeds 10k Recap – 20th July 2014


In Which I Get All Sweaty

Once upon a time (as all the good stories go) there was a boy. Handsome, dedicated and headstrong. I hated him, so decided to write about me instead. 

I’m sure you’ve been looking for Ironman training updates but alas, a combination of illness and injury put a damper on all that jazz for a bit. A couple weeks ago I stepped funny at work and twisted my ankle a bit, which caused my knee to twinge, which made me miss out a full week of training. (I still walk about 10-12 miles a day at work though, but at a slow pace.)

The following week I got a bit of flu. Not enough to phone in sick, but enough that it hurt a bit to breathe and sneeze and cough. Another week missed.

That brings us to last week, where I found myself lining up for the Leeds 10km run in 25 degree heat with my mate Rob. It’d been almost 2 weeks since I last ran, and didn’t have much confidence in my legs, figuring they’d be about as much use as a chuffing baby giraffes. 

Bloody hell it was warm.

I did my best to conserve the water I’d brought along as I hadn’t remembered to check where or how many water stations were along the course. (Rookie mistake Hemmy!)

Feel free to tag yourself

Feel free to tag yourself

The race started at 09:30 but due to 10’000 other runners (well, 9’998 if you don’t count me and Rob) we didn’t cross the start line until about 09:45. Hot.

It was a slow start due to the amount of runners, but I didn’t fancy pushing myself in the heat and with the lack of training so it suited me well. We were keeping a decent pace of around 8:30min/mile and were chatting quite happily. Don’t really get much time to chat so it was a good excuse. A little into the race I saw another friend, Neil, who was running the race for charity but didn’t look too chuffed about it. 

A water station arrived around 2miles ish (I mean we got to it, it didn’t just turn up along side us) and the water was a god send. Rob lost his energy gels somewhere around here, so if you found some, keep them.

5km went by easily enough and we were still keeping a pace of 8:45min/mile which wasn’t too bad considering the crowd and heat, but my word was I sweating! 

Turn around arrived and on the way back I saw Neil again so gave him a shout of encouragement, and saw a girl I went to school with (Kirsty?) so waved to her too. 2nd water station, and grabbed a bottle of lovely refreshing cold  warmish water. It was water though, so wasn’t gonna complain! At around 8km I saw my other mate Duffy up in front so we caught up with him and had a bit of a chat (because he’s moving back from Newcastle next week) and he said he’d catch up with us at the end, so we carried on. A little bit further on there were four lasses dressed as cheer leaders cheering at the side if the road so I did the grown up thing and squirted my water at them. 3 laughed, one looked pissed.

The heat was obviously a little too hot as we went by a couple of runners receiving medical attention on the ground at the side of the road. I didn’t hear anything about them after the race, so hope they’re both ok and recovered well.

Leeds has a nice slight uphill right before the downhill that leads (leeds) towards the end which is just what you want, but we carried on running and got towards the finishing part. Rob said we should go across holding hands (in the air), so thats what we did and both finished in exactly the same time of 57:12. Happy enough considering the conditions!

Like REAL men

Like REAL men

New medal, new tshirt and a kit-kat chunky were my reward, along with a LOT of sweat.

After a shower and a change of clothes (into my new tshirt, naitch) we all went over to Bolton to watch Rob (other Rob, Ironman Rob) race the Ironman UK triathlon. He finished in a VERY impressive 11hours 38mins. Chuffing machine! 

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So after my 10km on sunday I’ve trained both monday and tuesday, back into the swing (run) of things. I’m toying with the idea of concentrating on marathon training because York Marathon is in 12 short weeks, and having missed a few weeks of Ironman training, it’d make sense. I’ll still chuck in a long ride once a week though. We’ll see what happens!

In Other News

I know I’m rubbish at replying to comments, but I read them all and love the messages of support. Eventually, I’ll reply to each and everyone. Not ignoring them. Thanks!

Ironman Training Week 3 (of 52…)


In Which I Ride LOADS

Monday
Today, I began week 3 of ironman lanzarote training with a run home. The training plan I’m following called for a 45 min run, which took me 47 minutes. Quite warm.

Tuesday
I rode the normal way to work then had a shower. (After I got off the bike.) After work I rode for 45 mins aiming for 100+ rpm but as I’m too lazy to set up my bike gizmo rpm track thing, I was trying to count in my head. Think I did it. Total of 12 mile for the day.

Wednesday
I was working 6-6 today but swapped my shift to work 10-9 (see? All going on over here!) this meant I could get my run out of the way in the morning, so I ran to work. Totally misjudged the distance though as I went a different way round, and so ended up looping quite a bit through the nice (ahem!) areas of Bradford. 10km done (including lots of hills) in just over an hour.

Thursday
Rest day! Hooray! Also, it was Sarah’s granddad birthday. (Norman, who did his first ever triathlon last year at age 83. Read about it here ) We went up to his house on the evening and he told me that I could borrow his road bike that he’d bought the year before, so that I could get some proper practice in. Very nice of him! (4x) Ironman Tony said we’d go for a ride on Sunday.

Friday
Today was another hour run, so did the 10km circuit around home which takes in plenty of hills (and so plenty of downhills.)

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Later on in the day I had my first ever go on a road bike. Chuffing hell was I nervous! Only did 2 miles, due to having tired legs, but I got up to 32mph!

Saturday
Brick day. Rode to work on the road bike, too it steady due to nerves. After work I rode 30 mins home then went out straight away for a mile run. (This was after a 12 hour shift..!)

Sunday
As promised, Ironman Tony picked me up at 08:10 ready to get out for a proper go on Normans road bike. Drove down to shipley where we got ready to set off in the rain. Tonys brother Peter was gonna come, but turns out he’s scared of the rain. Think he might be from Oz. While we were getting ready, Nigel (another brother) pulled up to say hello. He was on his way north to take part in the great north swim in the Lake District (2 mile swim.)

Then, we were off. Pouring down so were soaked within the first mile. I thought we’d be the only idiots riding in this weather, but no, there were loads out on the roads.

I followed Ironman Tony and kept his pace through Saltaire, Cottingly and around Bingley. There were a lot of ups and downs (as the road went up and down) and eventually we reached Skipton where we stopped for a coffee. (Tony had tea.)

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We’d covered 15miles in little over an hour. That’s the fastest if ever gone!

Drinks drunk (drank?) we were off again and the rain stopped. More hills on the next part of the ride, but more countryside which was nice. Saw a sheep that reminded me of our cat, which isn’t something you see everyday. Unless you have a sheep and a cat and the sheep looks like your cat.

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Skirted around North Yorkshire to Bolton Abbey, saw a big horse show then a big horse shit, then joined the main rode again and headed towards… I want to say Burnley in Wharfdale? Not sure. We stopped for a pit stop though, and I took this pic.

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Right, last bit of the ride. Went up a long, steady upwards hill towards Guiesley and then turned down the big hill towards Shipley (got to 35mph.) Saw Tonys car, but asked if we could ride a little bit further to get my tomtom watch ticking over to the next number. Finally, done.

Before today my longest ever ride was 20 miles. Today we did 40 miles in just under 3hours. Chuffed!

Ironman Training Week 3
Swam: 0 miles
Cycled: 64.17 miles
Ran: 18 miles
Total time: 7h 54m 15s

In Other News
This:

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