White Rose Classic Cycle


In Which I Ride And Ride And Fall And Ride

The White Rose Classic is a cycle sportive organised by the Ilkley Cycling Club, and therefore starts (and finishes) in Ilkley. There were three options of route: Short (50 miles), medium (84 miles) or long (114 miles).

I chose the medium route, and it turns out so did John (Sarah’s uncle) and Peter (Sarah’s uncle, not the same uncle as John, obviously) whereas Ironman Tony opted for the long route. (He changed for the medium route on race day to ride with me and his brothers.)

Tony picked me up Sunday morning and after we’d loaded up my bike we drove over to Ilkley (Ilkley rugby club to be precise). There are two feed stations on the medium route, but just incase I’d put two extra bottle cages on my bike behind the seat to make sure I had enough energy drinks.

  
(Race number 333: Number of a half Beast)

We could get going anywhere between 7:30-9:30 and we were on our way just after 8am. 

This report will be quite rubbish because all the hills and stuff kinda blur into each other. There was a decent hill around mile 10-12 where I had to have a breather halfway up before getting on with it and getting to the top. I think it was not long after this that there was a beautiful downhill section looking down on a reservoir and woodland area, which then led us towards Grassington and the first feed station. (This isn’t my pic of the reservoir, but it is A pic of the reservoir…)

  
The feed station was a welcome break as my right knee had been complaining quite a bit, but it wasn’t gonna stop me. They fed us up on pork pies and pasties, along with sweets and crisps and the chance to top up drinks bottles. Before long we were off again.

A steady section followed, and we followed the valley floor. Went by some massive rocky hills with people hanging off them (or climbing up them) and then we turned left into the rain and uphill, deep in the Yorkshire Dales. 

  
Thing about Yorkshire Dales is there’s plenty of cattle, so plenty of cattle grids. For the inexperienced rider, this might mean you’re out of the saddle on an uphill climb, and might mean your back wheel spins on a chuffing cattle grid. You’d then unclip, lose your leg down the cattle grid and go over with your ankle at a funny angle and wait for a snapping sound. 

This all happened, of course, to me. (Luckily all apart from the snap. But it was close!) John came to help me but slipped down the cattle grid too. Eventually we both got up with help from Tony and Peter, but I had to walk to the top of the hill from there to test my ankle. Seemed ok. The pain in my ankle took my mind of the pain in my knee at least!

  
Before long we arrived at the next feed station and the sun had come out. Filled up on more pork pies and pasties and had a coffee, then went and did the last third of the ride which I found tough. Plenty of big hills where I had to get off and push, but I kept going forward. Eventually Tony told me we were at the top of the last hill, and the last few miles were downhill or flat. Then before I knew it, we were done.

  
 
84 tough miles done. (Well, 80 tough miles and 4 easy). At the end we got a food voucher each so I had cottage pie. It was proper nice.

  
Massive elevation though! No way I’d’ve gotten through the ride without the support of Tony, John and Peter, or without the support of the pork pies. Also the support of Norman and Peters wife (Sarah) and daughters (Rachel n Mellissa) who cheered us on from a few different places. Oh wait! We got given a snood too at the end!

  
  
That’s pretty much all I can do with it…

Still looking for sponsors!! 12 days til Ironman UK!!! Argh!!!

SPONSOR ME PLEASE!
Only time for one more blog update before the big day… Oh dear!

Bad Luck Comes In Threes (Or, Like, Nines Or Something)


In Which There’s So Much Bad Luck Going Round, If I Played Tetris My Next Shape Would Be A Circle

Our yearly trip to Lanzarote to support the Ironman Triathlon had come around for the fourth time. Along with Ironmen Tony and Rob, we were there to support Jim from the Gym who was making his Ironman debut.

(There’s not much of the Ironman event in this post, as the day is similar each year for spectators so I’ve blogged about it a few times already. Just so you don’t think I’ve missed out the most interesting bit!)

We flew out on a Tuesday with the airline Ryanair instead of Jet2 who we normally use as Ryanair were less than  half the price for the flights. Turns out they can offer cheaper flights because they give their crew zero personality or friendliness training. 

Sarah asked for a menu card or magazine when they came by so we could have a look and we were told they didn’t have any with them. This was followed by one of the staff pretty much running up the aisle saying ‘Any hot food?’ and not giving anyone a chance to buy anything. I can honestly say I didn’t see any of the staff break a smile. 

 

So tempted so save everyone from the moody crew

 
Ah well, we were off on holiday!

We arrived, and it was cloudy. Rob and Karen were on our flight so we shared a taxi into Puerto Del Carmen. We couldn’t get into the same place as everyone else so we booked a little down the road. Very nice apartments (Relaxia LanzaPlaya if you want to nosey on TripAdvisor.)

Mordor, just in the distance

A couple of pigeons were flapping about so we fed them some bread.

The next morning I woke up early to go for a run, but then fell back asleep. I woke up a bit later on to go for a run, and went for a run. It’s lovely and flat along the shore line and checked my watch thinking I was around 8:30-9:00 minutes a mile but it was saying 7:40..! I was aiming for 5km so turned back when it said 1.5 miles and tried keeping the same pace. God it hurt. It was hot and I’d almost done a full bottle of water. Got to 5km the fastest I’ve ever done it though!

Heat, hangover, and too much food is the way to a PB, it seems

After my run and shower there was a cat near our apartment so I made chh-chh sounds and it climbed up to our second floor apartment and I gave it some ham.

Later on myself and Sarah bought a padlock and added it to the ones fastened onto the chains on the seafront.

  
Bad Luck 1

Relaxing on our balcony, drinking beer and reading a book, a couple of the pigeons turned up so I chucked breadcrumbs at them. One was hopping around under the chairs when the other squawked and flew off. I looked over and the cat was there. I jumped up to scare it away from the other pigeon but the little bastard dove forward and STRAIGHT UP MURDERED THE PIGEON ON OUR BALCONY!!! It then ran off with the bird in its mouth. Me and Sarah were horrified, but I’m chuffing glad it took it with it, no idea what I’d do with a dead pigeon on holiday…

Bad Luck 2

The next day – Thursday – Tony, Rob and Jim went out for a bit of a practice ride before the big day on Saturday. On the ride Jim hit a pothole in the road and came off, puncturing both tyres and injuring himself so much (think he cracked a bone) that the physio he went to see told him he can’t exercise for six weeks, and won’t be able to do the Ironman Triathlon. 

Ironman Day

We all made our way down to the beach at 6:45am and the swim was starting at 7:00. 

 

Always awkward when someones wearing the same as you


They were off, we were cheering, and we paddled in the sea til we figured it was about time to watch them coming out from their first lap of two 1.2mile loops. We seem to do quite well at spotting them to say that everyone looks the same! This year though, we only saw Tony and missed Rob. Half hour or so went by and we moved further up the beach towards Transition where we could get a better view of them finishing the swim.

Bad Luck 3

Whilst we were looking out for Tony and Rob, Rob turned up behind us on the beach which was odd as he should be swimming. It turns out that around 3/4 of the way round the swim his leg had cramped down the full length of his muscle and so went to one of the speedboat guys and said he can’t carry on.

Bad Luck 4

After Tony had set off on his bike and we’d had breakfast, I decided to go force swim in the pool. 

 

Fist pump

 
I did my furthest ever swim, which was the distance of the Ironman swim:

  
The bad luck here is that my whole back got sunburnt, and it was quite chuffing sore for the rest of the holiday!

After he came back of his bike ride and had set off for the Marathon section, we went into a place called Mojitos and had some lovely pizza. We ran across the road and back each time Tony ran by us.

Tony showboating for the crowd

We made our way to the finish line for when he was about an hour away from finishing and cheered on everyone that came by. Before too long Tony arrived and finished Lanzarote Ironman for the fourth time (5th IM in total) and got a new Lanzarote PB of 14:25:42.

The time went by, as it does, and soon we were checking out, back stat he airport, flying home and unpacked. I still had a few days booked off work so on the Friday I met up with my friend Jemma (who’s training for her first ever 10km in Leeds in July) and we went for a 10km run. (With hills.) Furthest she’s ever run on the road, and we got round in a very respectable 1hr 4mins.

The next day was put aside for a long training ride with Katie (from my last post) as we’re both entered into Ironman UK. I mapped out a 60ish mile route and arranged to meet in Dewsbury at 11am on the Saturday.

Bad Luck 5

I rode the 15 miles to the meeting place and was a bit early. My phone rang, it said ‘Katie’ on the screen. I answered and a woman said ‘Hi, you don’t know me but your friend Katie has had an accident.’ I asked how she was and was told ‘I’m not sure, but there’s an ambulance here.’ I told her to pass on my good thoughts and hoped she was ok, then we both hung up. (As it turns out, Katie had been knocked off her bike, was unconscious for 20 minutes and as a result has a dislocated shoulder which has forced her out of Ironman UK. Truly gutted for her and feel guilty about it for organising the ride. I didn’t find this out til later though, so at the time decided to ride on solo.)

Bad Luck 6

Three miles down the road I got a puncture. No problem, I have a spare inner tube. The inner tube I’d brought was for my mountain bike, so useless. 

  
Bad Luck 7

As I was taking the tyre off to get to the inner tube, one of the two levers that you use to pull the tyre from the rim pinged off, over the wheel, through a fence and into a bunch of nettles ten feet down.

Landed somewhere near that plastic bag

No way I was going down there! I eventually managed to find the puncture and repair it with my kit, then set off again.

Bad Luck 8

Puncture repair thing blew off, back to flat. Checked my phone and the nearest place for a new tube was 3 miles in either direction. Checked for buses, none. Sod it, I walked. At least it wasn’t raining…

Bad Lu… Only joking, didn’t rain.

Got into Brighouse, bought two new inner tubes (to be safe) and changed the flat. The section of the ride which should’ve taken around 25 minutes had taken over two hours. I headed for home, deflated (but tyres inflated.)

Bad Luck 9

Saw my neighbour in her garden, her husbands been ill for a while and she told me he’s died.

Bad Luck 10

Decided to make some food, pulled a cupboard door off.

Bad Luck 11

Dropped my food on the floor. 

So there you have it, ten days of crappy luck for everyone. (Apart from Tony, maybe he’s jinxed us all to get his PB?) Little under 7 weeks til Ironman UK now and I’m proper nervous. If you’d like to sponsor me (any amount is a bonus!) then this week would be the time to do it, as I got this email:

  
I’m on £230 at the moment so need to get it to £480 by Sunday. Thanks!

Sponsor me please!

Want To Be Friends?

Facebook: HemingwayRun

Twitter: @zepalm

Instagram: Zepalm

Nike+ : Marc Hemingway

Strava: Marc Hemingway

Leeds 1/2 Marathon Recap 10th May 2015


In Which I Get Hot And Run Upwards More Than I Was Expecting

With the hours I work, it’s hard to find a running club to join. The earliest I finish work is 6pm, and so the earliest I can get home is around 6:30. Most running clubs are already out by this time so I joined a group on Facebook for motivation instead. 

The group is called “Did You Run Today?” (DYRT for short) and is full of a load of nice people who run. (Or walk, or jog, or probably skip every now and then.) I mentioned on the group that I was doing Leeds 1/2, and a few people replied saying they were too so I said I’d look out for them. 

Couple days before the run, my hoodie and tech tshirt that I’d ordered from the group arrived.

  
(Hoodie is the grey one, which leaves the tshirt as the red one, Sherlock)

I’d heard Leeds 1/2 was quite a fast, flat-ish course, slightly uphill for the first half then downhill for the second. 

Whoever told me that lied, the wazzock.

Ironman Tony was doing the run too, so along with Susan (Sarah’s mum and Mrs Ironman Tony) we got the train into Leeds. (Sarah had finished work at 3am so stayed asleep.) Made our way from the station up to the race start, then split off as we were in different start areas. Katie from the DYRT group mentioned she was in the same start as me, but with 12’000+ people entered I doubted I’d run into her. 

After I tripped over a dog I walked to the massive queue for the toilets and recognised Katie! We did the whole ‘glancing-at-each-other-then-looking-away-a-few-times-because-is-it-you-or-not’ thing, then said hello.

We chatted easily as we queued because it turns out shes also entered into the UK Ironman in July. Her strength (my weakness) is swimming and she’s aiming to be one of the first women out of the water at IMUK! (Which will be about the same time I’m halfway round my swim.) 

She had a friend to meet (or was that an excuse to get away?!) so we wished each other luck and I made my way to the start line. The first few colour groups had set off, then before long we were off too, then the clouds were off too so it started getting warm…

First mile or so went by quick enough, ran by a guy dressed as a bunch of carrots, then around mile 2-3 someone shouted my name, and it was Katie from the group again. It was getting hot so we were happy to see a car wash place spraying all the runners with a hose. We chatted for a few minutes on an incline, and then I carried on. 

Then I saw a big chuffing hill.

Nevermind, I thought, I run up a big chuffing hill quite often, I’ll give it a go. And you know what? It was bigger than I thought. I almost got to the top running all the way but walked a bit towards the top of it. Still a long way to go and didn’t want to do myself in just yet! Plenty of support at the sidelines!

I took on a gel after running for 40 minutes, and sipped on the free water that they were giving out, then came to a lovely downhill stretch. I got to 10km in pretty much bang on an hour. 

Another long uphill stretch followed by plenty of clapping crowds giving out sweets and oranges. Another hosepipe was a welcome site and the sun stayed sunning up until around 10 miles when I was near Kirkstall Abbey. I’ve done a couple of runs in Leeds that goto the abbey and back so it felt I was almost finished. 

Again, brilliant support all the way back into Leeds. The heat seemed to get to a few runners as I went by at least half a dozen at the side of the road being attended to by paramedics and hopefully every made a full recovery and got to the end.

I saw the finish line so I sped up but it turned out to be a fake finish line saying ‘almost there’ then I saw Tony and Susan on the corner so I waved, then I carried on uphill (stop putting finishing lines uphill people!!) carried on speeding up and I was done. Collected my bling then went to meet up.

  
I finished in a time of 2hrs 5mins and Tony did 1hr 55mins. The course which I was told was flat-ish, looked like this:

  
That’ll teach me not to check the course route before hand I guess..!

  
Chuffed.

Want To Be Friends?

Facebook: HemingwayRun
Twitter: @zepalm
Instagram: Zepalm
Nike+ : Marc Hemingway
Strava: Marc Hemingway

Tour De Yorkshire (Sportive Bit)


In Which I Do My First Ever Sportive

If you read my last couple of posts, you might remember that I’d forgotten I’d entered this. Also in my last blog entry I put that it was 30 mile cycle, as I thought it was 50km. Turns out the distance was 55km (said so on the entry bit and on the emails) which made it around 34 miles. Ah well.

The Morning Of The Ride

I was woken up by the sound of rain. Which is quite tough, as I sleep through anything normally. Peeked round the curtains and saw it was proper throwing down. Rivers running down the street kinda rain. I switched on my phone and a text came through.

  
I thought seriously about not doing it for a few seconds then sent this reply:

  
My original plan was to have a slow, sunny cycle into Leeds (12 mile-ish) and then do the Sportive and get the train home afterwards. No way I was cycling in this so I rung for a taxi. My usual taxi firm said that there weren’t any minibus taxis available til after ten (needed a big ‘un to get my bike there) so I said I’d try another firm. Other taxi company said they had one and that he’d been shuttling bikes there all morning. After I hung up my regular taxi people rang back saying that she was trying to get someone to start early for me! I, guiltily, said I’d got it sorted but thanked her muchly. Good service! So if you’re ever in Bradford needed a taxi, phone Idleways. I should approach them for a sponsorship deal! 

Anyway, other taxi arrived and obviously I wasn’t ready, so I started running round gathering up everything I might need. With a good luck wish ‘n’ kiss from Sarah, I was off.

The Journey And Arrival

It never fails to fill me with confidence when a taxi driver asks you for directions. If you get paid to do a job you shouldn’t really asked the pay-er to do half your job for you, surely? I work as a security guard and if a customer asked me how to get somewhere, I wouldn’t say “which way do YOU think you should go?” No. If I didn’t know, I’d ask a colleague, not the person themselves! 

Anyway, as it happens I did know the way because I’d been studying the route there thinking I’d bike it. I told him the way and he said “Nah, I know a different way.” 

WHY CHUFFING ASK THEN?!

Nevermind. Got to Roundhay Park in Leeds (where it was starting and finishing) and after being robbed of £28 for the trip, I wandered down to where all the cyclists were. 

(I was gonna take a picture but it was still pouring down so didn’t. Imagine, if you will, a load of wet cyclists. There ya go.)

The rear brake on my bike seemed a bit loose so I took advantage of the mechanical tent. A French mechanic had a look and told me I was greasy. (A Frenchman calling someone else gre… No, I’m not doing that joke. Don’t wanna offend!) I said ‘what?’ which he understood as ‘wut?’ and explained there was grease on the brake pad. 

“Ah,” I said, “probably from when I used my shusher bit on the hose pipe to clean it.”

He looked at me, frenchly I might add, and said “wut?”

Which is how I found myself, at 9:30 on a Sunday morning in a park miles from home, soaking wet, miming a hose pipe action whilst going ‘shhhhhhhh’ to a Frenchman I’d never met.

He mimed to me the action for if I needed to pump my tyres (at least I HOPE that’s what he was miming!!) and I said the French word for ‘no.’

‘Non.’

He shrugged, I went away.

The Start

Ironman Tony, along with his brother John and Ironman Martin were doing the big boy course, 142km. Luckily that one and the medium course (109km) had sold out when I entered so I was doing 55km. This meant they set off at like 7:30 or something whereas my start time was 10:30. Due to the rain, the organisers said you could start as soon as you were ready so I found myself lined up just before ten am.

A safety brief and a mention of which signs to follow (blue) and we were off. In an uphill direction. 

  
I never know if it’s a good idea to check out the route before an event so didn’t bother. Let what hills there are come at you and worry about them when you’re at the bottom looking up. 

God I wish I’d know how many hills there’d be…

I was out of the saddle as much as in it I think, and I told myself to look at my tomtom watch as little as possible. Do it all by feel without worrying about how far there’s still to go. Plenty of superfit people flying up and down the hills on bikes worth more than a year of my mortgage, but also plenty of average people like me, some even on mountain bikes, and one who I’m sure had one of those bikes that has a little motor for going uphill. 

I found myself being overtaken on the flat, but I was overtaking a few on the hills and FLYING by most on the downhills. I think because I’ve never come off my back, I’ve no fear yet OF coming off my bike. I went like this: WHEEEEEEEEEE!!!

A good bit of time had gone by (I thought) and was chuffed to see 10km already done. Ignore the 45 still to go. After an hour I was averaging 14mph but wasn’t confident of that lasting. 

I planned on having an energy gel after an hour but forgot and had it after an hour and 20 mins. Before long is reached the food station at halfway in Otley, and everyone had stopped to get some refreshments. I had enough with me, but took two energy bars and two energy gels to use next week at Leeds 1/2 marathon (says the security guard.) They’re like £1.50 each those things! 

Out of Otley was a loooooonnnnngggg slow drag, followed by a massive, fast, downhill segment. I thought we must be nearly done, but no. Still like 10 miles left. 

Then I saw this.

  
A BIG chuffing hill. The photo doesn’t do it justice as it carried on and carried on, getting steeper and steeper. Would I let it beat me? Would I let this hill make me get off and push, after battling up all the others?? WOULD I GIVE IN AND WALK?!?!

Yeah, of course I would. It was massive! I only saw one person cycle up it! Everyone else got off and pushed. No dishonour there. (If you look at the elevation chart below, it’s the one that starts at 25 mile.)

  
The Finish

After that, the rest was steady all the way to the end. They had signs up for 10km to the end, where I saw the guy who I think had a motor pushing his bike (must’ve run out of juice) and then the signs counted down from 5k, 4k, 3k, 2k, 1k, last bit, finish lined with crowds cheering, shouting, banging the boards at the side and then done. I figured with the weather I’d do about 3 hours. I finished in 2:56. 

I took some coconut water (dunno why, don’t like it) and a bottle of normal water, then a girl was trying to put a medal on me. I told her not to worry as I have a big head and she said ‘yeah you do’ but she managed.

  
(The medal is a bike wheel, and it SPINS!)

The Journey Home

Roundhay Park to Leeds was about 3 mile, mostly downhill, so decided to cycle down to the train station. When I got to the station I said ‘sod it’ and got on the canal path and headed for home. Took it steady, apart from when there was a couple of morons on mini motorbikes who weren’t giving a shit about people out walking with kids and dogs (they both looked to be in their 20s) and so I went hell for leather as I overtook them (at 30mph.) Would’ve loved to have seen their faces!

Turned off the canal, main road to side street to main road to side street to cul de sac which is where my house lives. Total miles for the day: 50. (81km.)

Showered, then went to the supermarket and spent £27 on beer and junk food. It was great!

Today, I noticed a post on Facebook so I ended up doing this:

  
We’ll see!

Next Event

Leeds 1/2 marathon, Sunday 10th May

Please feel free to look and sponsor!!

Facebook: HemingwayRun
Twitter: @zepalm
Instagram: Zepalm
Nike+ : Marc Hemingway
Strava: Marc Hemingway

12 Weeks To Go…


In Which I Start Getting Some Proper Miles In

Weathers been nice as of late, so my main excuse for not training has gone. That’s obviously a good thing though, what with Ironman UK only being 12 weeks away… Getting seriously close now..!

Last week I dusted off my mountain bike so I could go down to the canal and get some slow, steady miles in. Very sunny and warm afternoon and saw loads of cyclists and runners ont’ canal. Seemed everyone had the same idea. Just under an hour later I was in Leeds, 13 miles away from home. I don’t live in Leeds, I live 13 miles away, so I turned around and headed back. 

I stopped around 20 miles to eat a cereal bar and nodded at a duck, then got going again. Still felt alright so I extended my ride to 30 miles. Averaged 12mph, which is about right for a slow steady ride I think.

Wednesday was swimming training. I still can’t do the breathing for front crawl/freestyle so might have to resign myself to the fact that I’ll be doing the 2.4 mile ironman swim breaststroke. 

This week, I had Monday off and as it was nice out again, I decided to go for a run. I was aiming for 10 miles but it was quite hot and wasn’t sure my water would last. Took a gel with me too.

Ran down to the canal (love it down there) and carried on up and down. Got to 6 miles and felt fine, so the ten mile marker didn’t seem so bad. “Let’s go to half marathon distance!” Said the voice in my head. Water was low though but luckily there was a burger van selling drinks and I’d brought a bit of change. Sweating my head off, I asked for a water.

“Warm isn’t it!” The woman said.

Sweat running down my face, no, POURING down my face, I said “yeah it is.”

“Ah,” she said, I’ve just opened the last bottle of water for myself!” And then she LAUGHED. Laughed! 

“Right…” I said, “I’ll have a can of coke then.” 

Then she DRANK HER WATER BEFORE GETTING ME MY COKE! Bit rude. Anyway, filled my water bottle with coke and I was off. Got to 13.1 miles in just under two hours. 

“May as well get to 15…”

Sod it.

Very warm, very achey, very sweaty, but I got to 15 miles in 2:15. Happy happy. Also ran a 5k and a 10k this week to so on about 25 miles. 

Forgetfulness

Got an email from the Tour De Yorkshire people reminding me that the event is on the 2nd may. Next weekend. Was sure I had a few weeks yet… Ah well, 30 mile bike ride should be fine! Then Leeds 1/2 marathon the week after… 

Wow I’m tired.

Fundraising Still!!

SPONSOR ME?
Fanks! x

Skipton Triathlon Recap 12th April 2015


In Which I Get Battered By The Elements

Skipton short course triathlon is held twice a year, once in the spring and once in the late summer. You might remember my first ever (and only) tri was Skipton, last late summer. (Being lazy by not looking up when it was.) 

Ironman Tony picked me up at 7:40 and with Sarah waving us off (she was working later) we loaded up my bike then headed to Skipton. I ate a cereal bar on the way.

The car park this time was nearer which was nice on the legs, but the weather was worse. It started raining a bit just as I was racking my bike. Nothing much though, so wasn’t worried. (Idiot.)

The swim is 400m in Craven Pool, 16 lengths. There’s an area outside the pool to put your shoes and towel for after the swim, so I put my shoes and towel in the area outside the pool for after my swim.

There was only one other in my lane, a bloke called Andy, so they told us that instead of swimming up one side and down the other we could just stick to a side each and go up and down til done. Andy told me that the order of triathlons don’t favour him because he prefers swimming, then cycling, and running is his worst discipline. I’m the opposite, swimming is my weakest then cycling but I’m goodish at running.

Whistle whistled, we were off. Not much to tell you about 16 lengths of a swim and I wish I could make it more interesting for you but can’t I’m afraid. While I was swimming Susan (Mother in law, Ironman Tony’s wife) and Ironman Rob (Sarah’s uncle) and Karen (Sarah’s auntie) turned up to support me. 

Last time the swim took me 14 minutes, this time was 12 mins 32 seconds. Very pleased. Especially seeing as though this time I wasn’t the last one out the pool!

While I’d been swimming the weather had worsened and it was pouring down. Even though I’d just got out a swimming pool, my towel was wetter than I was. Pulled on my shorts, running shoes and top and set off to transition one, with Rob shouting “Hurry up, getting wet here!”

Jogged up to T1 and unracked my bike before putting on my helmet which is a penalty but no one saw (think Tony might’ve, saw him wince a bit) so I just buggered off. Pouring down.

Walked quickly up the grass verge pushing my bike then got on it when I got to the ‘mount bike here’ sign and started the second part of the triathlon. Overtook a few people then settled into a rhythm. Had my new cycling glasses on but the rain was so bad I had to take them off. Wind, rain, windy rain, rainy wind, proper horrible conditions. Quite a few hills on the route but even going down hill felt like an uphill slog on some parts. I actually pulled to the side of the road on two separate occasions because I honestly thought I must have a puncture, it was that slow going.

Halfway round the wind and rain stopped and just after halfway round the wind and rain started up again so that was nice. Didn’t want to get too dry. The pop up bit on my drinks bottle came off in my mouth so I spat it on the floor instead of being sensible and putting it in my pocket so I could fix it later.

Eventually I saw the signs for Skipton and was heading for T2. The last mile or so was a struggle and knew the run would be similar. Racked my bike then set off running. Bike was just over an hour, almost ten minutes slower than last time.

The run is two laps of the park area and it stopped raining for me to do it. My legs were aching from the bike so it was tough. Got to the water station at the bottom of the hill and walked it whilst I drank, then ran back up the slope. Ran by Tony and Susan each way. Through the little wooded area, collected a band for the end of lap one then did it all again. Before too long I was turning towards the finishes bit and was done. 

  

This picture perfectly sums up my experience. I went to the timing tent, put in my number and got a print out of my times. I then got my bike and the stuff I’d left in transition then asked tony to get me another printout as mine had dissolved due to how wet I was.

  

Ten minutes slower than last time but I didn’t think that was so bad due to the weather conditions. I’d brought a change of clothes so went to the swimming pool changing area to get changed. No change of socks, no dry towel. Made do without socks and contorted myself under a hand dryer for a while.

Then we went for breakfast. (I had cheeseburger and chips.)

Later on in the day I heard that the weather had gotten so bad that the bike section was cancelled, leaving the competitors that started later on doing an Aquathon (swim then run.) Not sure if I should count myself lucky or unlucky that I did the bike course…

Nigel (Ironman Tony’s brother) rang me later on to see how I’d done, he started about an hour after I finished. Told him my times and how tough I found it, he agreed. (He was one of the last waves to be allowed to do the cycle bit.)

I asked him what his time was and he said “Dunno yet, the timing tent blew away”…!!!

Sponsorship

Still doing Ironman UK, still begging for sponsorship! ANY amount is more than welcome! (Only 90 days to go!!!! Argh!!!) 

SPONSOR ME PLEASE!

In Other News

We adopted two rabbits and Lily decided she likes sitting in their hay…

  

Want To Be Friends?

Facebook: HemingwayRun
Twitter: @zepalm
Instagram: Zepalm
Nike+ : Marc Hemingway
Strava: Marc Hemingway

My Worst Tri Training Week Ever


In Which I Swear A Lot

Bike Trouble Part 1

I pride myself in never having a puncture in the 2 1/2 years of riding a bike. Neither the mountain bike nor road bike has ever let me down, and so I knew I was over due a puncture or something.

That puncture happened on Feb 27th. Wasn’t anything major, I only noticed I had one when I was leaving work, so (as I pass a Halfords bike shop on my way home) I called into the Halfords bike shop (which I pass on my way home) and asked if they’d have a look.

I turned down their offer (upselling action) of offering to change the inner tube and had Ironman Tony come rescue me in his van. Got home, Tony showed me how to change an inner tube (never had a puncture so never done it before) and bike was back to normal. 

Swimming Trouble

My birthday is March 14th, and my lovely wife Sarah had bought me triathlon swimming lessons. The course started on March 5th however, so I got my present early. She’d been into the pool, said I could only do breast stroke and wanted to learn front crawl because I was a novice at it, and they told her which course to sign me up to.

After work on the 5th (12 hour shift) I ran to Shipley Pool (3.5 miles) and got all giddy about my lesson. Giddyness soon buggered off when I saw the other people in my class, each looking more triathlete than the last. They even had water bottles and stuff for the side of the pool! Lining up at the pool edge, I was relieved when the instructor told me I was in the other class. (Read: less athletic.)

The group I was with was mainly older people, but a girl around my age and a boy about 20, so I relaxed myself out. The new instructor told everyone to do eight lengths (200m) however we wanted to warm up. I was lapped by everyone. 

Next, she said to do a length front crawl.

…Wut?

I got her attention and said I couldn’t do front crawl. She said ‘why not?’ I said ‘I can’t do it, which is why I’m here, to learn how to do front crawl.’ 

She looked… What’s the word… Pissed off. ‘Ok,’ she said ‘Do what you can in front crawl.’

…Wut?!

‘I, erm, can’t do front crawl?’

‘Not at all?’

‘Well no. Which is why I’m here. To learn it. Front crawl. To learn how to front crawl. Here.’

‘Right… Well then, use the float behind you and do your right arm like this’ (she motioned an arm movement) ‘and do the strike three times.’ 

Right, Yep, start at the start and that, let’s go! 

*splutter* *gasp* *cough*

‘You aren’t doing the breathing properly’ she told me.

‘Ah ok, how should I do it?’

‘Well, how you do it in front crawl.’

…WUT?

After a few more attempts and a few more ‘why are you raising your head?’ ‘Because I don’t know how I should have my head?’ and ‘You need to roll your head on your shoulder when breathing’ ‘I have no idea’ she pulled me to one side and said ‘you might be in the wrong class.’

(I’m doing my best to think of a Sherlock Holmes / swimming pun but can’t. So we’ll go with ‘no shit.’)

Another person came over and told me I should be on a lower level of lesson. I explained that my wife had explained about my swimming ability and was told this class would be ideal. I was told that there was another class which would suit me, but it’s at another pool. Another 4 miles further down the road and from home. Fine, I said, swap me onto that one. They did.

Literelly, out of my depth.

Bike Trouble Part 2

Saturday the 7th of March was the next time I rode my bike. Wasn’t starting til 10 so decided to get a few miles in before work.

Within the first half mile I stuck my arm out to turn right and made sure nothing was coming towards me on the other side (english roads remember) looked over my shoulder when a Mini was slowing down, got into the middle of the road and I turned, WHICH THE DRIVER OF THE MINI DECIDED WAS THE OPTIMUM TIME TO TRY OVERTAKE ME LIKE A BIG CHUFFING WAZZOCK!!!

They even had the nerve to beep! Tossers.

I carried on, and got onto the two mile stretch of straight, downhill road. Halfway down it my foot slipped off the right pedal (at 30mph) at the front wheel started to wobble. I noticed a car overtake me as this was happening and my wheel wobbled more. There was no panic, oddly enough, but a voice in my head said ‘Yeah, I’m coming off here.’

Seconds felt like hours, but my wheel straightened out and I sighed a relief filled sigh. Luckily enough, nothing else was filled.

Bottom of the hill, over the lights, then: *whuppawhuppawhuppawhuppa* 

Another puncture, two in eight days, two in two rides. Rescued again in the evening by Ironman Tony but this time it turned out I had TWO punctures in the same inner tube. Ironman changed the tube again as it was a right bugger to take off, then the next tube blew as it was inflated. About right.

Since Then

Sarah rang them the next day to have a go about being on the wrong course (well her mum, Susan, pretended to be her at first but then Sarah took over.) She spoke to someone who told me I could actually do the other course at the original pool which is a lot better for me.

Rode my bike to work and back, no trouble. Run a bit too. Started my newest swimming lessons and as it turns out my new instructor is the instructor that taught me to swim originally two years ago. I’ve had a birthday. I’m now 33, and have somehow ended up agreeing to adopt two baby rabbits. Spent a day converting my shed into a rabbit house.



(The ginger one is a girl, called Steve. The grey one is also a girl, called whisper. I named both.)

I also got a load of Tri stuff from Sarah for my birthday including cycling glasses, new swimming goggles and this brilliant medal display:



Hopefully got all the punctures and set backs out the way, training starts proper now. Also, reached over £200 raised so far. Help out if you can. :)

SPONSOR ME PLEASE!!

Want To Be Friends?
Facebook: HemingwayRun
Twitter: @zepalm
Instagram: Zepalm
Nike+ : Marc Hemingway
Strava: Marc Hemingway