York Yorkshire Marathon Recap 12th October 2014


In Which I Am Forgetful And Wet, But Am Light On My Feet, Which Get A Bit Bloody

Myself and Sarah were booked into (one of) the Premier Inn(s) in York for the night before the marathon so we’d have an easier morning on the morning if the marathon. Also, we’d get a night in York which is always good!

We got checked in and set off into York for a bit of shopping and some tea. Walking from the hotel and down Micklegate, it started to rain. Sarah looked at me and said ‘why aren’t you wearing your coat?’ So I said I’d forgotten it.
‘It was on the table when we were leaving.’
‘Yeah I know, I forgot it.’
‘You didn’t bring it.’
‘No, I forgot it.’
*Sarah sighs, looking at me in jeans and a T-shirt, with no coat.*
Luckily, I had a plan!
‘Lets find a charity shop and I’ll buy a coat!’
*Sarah sighs.*
(For anyone not in the know, charity shops sell donated goods that have been worn to death. But hopefully not worn in the act of death-ing…)
Few minutes later, I was in amongst the mothballs trying on coats. Well, I tried one on and decided that was the one for me. £6.99. Bargain.

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We got into York and bought some Chilli Jam from the Chilli Jam Man, Sarah bought some posh soap from Lush and we spent about £25 in the American sweet shop. (Americans: if you ever visit England bring a suitcase full of sweets/candy. You’ll make a killing. Hopefully not LITERALLY a killing, but I suppose you could then donate the death clothes to a charity shop?)

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Pizza Express for tea (carbs) and then back to the hotel for an early night.

Marathon Day
I’d slept quite well, considering I felt nervous. Sarah didn’t sleep so well because she said around 2am some people were going up and down the hallway shouting they were the ‘cabin police’ (?) and that she could hear the guy in the next room snoring, but maybe he was a chainsaw or something. That doesn’t even make sense…

We’d booked onto a bus from the train station to York University, where the marathon began. Chuffing heck it was cold and foggy! (Coggy?)

It was about a ten minute walk to the start part, and when we got near we got inside the expo centre to get warm. I went to the toilet. (At the designated toilets, not just in the middle of the expo centre.) Came back and had a small breakfast bar. Then I saw Stacy that I know from work so had a bit of a chat with her and wished each other luck.

On the way to the start line I queued up for the portaloos again and had to wait longer this time because obviously other had had the same idea. I was stuck near a right chuffing moron. He kept sighing and saying things like ‘what’s the hold up’ and ‘I’m going to be late for the start’, but as soon as someone was coming out of a portaloo he was saying, LOUDLY, “go go go, there’s one free.” EVERY. CHUFFING. TIME.

So close to saying to him how annoying I found him, but decided against it. I just don’t understand why people like that think that their needs and their race is more important than everyone else’s. Unless you’re a guest of honour or
The Celebrity of the race or something, just wait your chuffing turn like all the other 6’999 people do. Or go piss yourself. Either way, don’t be a dick.

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It was chuffing foggy, but there was a lovely atmosphere. Everyone looked nervous, but happily so. I looked like this: (red top, not the angry looking hi-viz guy on the left)

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Over at the side, Sarah looked like this: (blue scarf)

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Then, go time!

Set the nike+ on my phone going and my tomtom watch got going too, and then after 20 metres or so an energy gel got going out of my race belt and onto the floor where it got left. I took the other one out of the loop and held onto it for when I needed it.

Ran from York University into York, ran by a shop that sells good quality coats for £6.99 and around the beautiful York Minster. There was, it seemed, a lot of people cheering at me. I figured it was because I was wearing my HemingwayRun running top but then realised I was being a chuffing moron so had a look around, and noticed I was running right next to Tony Audenshaw who plays Bob Hope on Emmerdale, so I said hello and he said hi, and I couldn’t for the life of me remember his real name, could only think ‘Bob’ so didn’t try carry on the conversation. (Fact: Bob has the world record for the fastest ever marathon, dressed as a baby.)

Mile 3: I heard someone shout my name and saw Ironman Rob at the side of the road, which was a nice boost.

Mile 5: Someone tapped me on my shoulder and said my name, and it was Angela from Twitter (@ilovelivingwell) who had only just done the Berlin marathon like two weeks before and got into this one through a competition! (Yeah, here’s your prize: a 26 mile run! Yay!)

Mile 6: Toilet stop. Same place as last year.

10k Time: 56:53

Mile Unknown: Ran by the same church as last year somewhere between mile 6-10 (I think) but the female vicar from 2013 wasn’t there. There was, however, an equally jubilant male vicar jumping up and down and shouting ‘KEEP THE FAITH!’

Mile 10: Saw Mr Burton from the show Educating Yorkshire. Should’ve asked if he taught P.E. (Gym) but didn’t really think of that til a after I’d finished.

Mile 12: Not counting the toilet stop, furthest I’d ever run without walking. Started negging out a bit (To Neg Out: To let negative thoughts get to you) so decided as soon as I got to the 1/2 marathon marker, I’d get my music on.

Mile 13.1: Got my music on. Oddly enough, the vicars advice came back to me. My iPod has around 20’000 songs on it, and I put it on shuffle. The VERY FIRST SONG was Bon Jovi singing Keep The Faith…

1/2 Marathon Time: 2:02:34

Mile 18: Saw Rachael from Twitter in pretty much the EXACT same place as last year! Will probably look out for her next year too.

30k Time: 3:01:10

Mile 20: Ugh. This is where the struggle started and the ‘telling myself off for not running longer than 13miles in training’ kicked in. (Authors note: only ran 13milea once in training, 2nd longest was 10 miles.) Last 10k though, so zipped up my man suit and got on with it.

Mile 22: The sun came out and it got chuffing warm.

Mile 25: Text Sarah saying ’15 mins.’

40k Time: 4:13:06

Mile 26: Ahhhhh, that hill. Forgot about that hill. Sod the hill, I thought, I’ve run steeper, so ran up the chuffing hill. Walked a bit halfway up but then got running again. 400 yards. 300 yards. 200.

100 Yards: Heard someone shout my name from the sidelines (Sarah) but was concentrating too much on my time.

Mile 26.2: Done. Finished. Over. A new PB of 4:27:30, knocking 21 MINUTES off last years time! Absolutely chuffed!!

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We got the coach back to the train station and Sarah said she’d walk up to the hotel (5mins walk) for our suitcase so I could have a sit down in the station pub. Getting towards the pub door, almost tasting the beer, I realised I had no money on me.

Bugger. (Turns out Sarah realised too and came back to find me, but I’d gone to find a bench so missed each other. I was only waiting ten minutes anyway.)

(The bench I sat on had a sign on saying it was a priority bench for elderly or disabled people, and I decided I more than qualified for the latter.)

We’d left the car at Ironman Tonys house but they’d set off on holiday a few hours before we arrived so let ourselves in to collect Lily (our cat, that had stayed there the night) and got into our car.

Which wouldn’t start.

Tried family, but no one was answering so tried Sean (Captain Cheesestring) who I work with and he picked us up. Seemed a bit confused that we had a cat with us.

Arrived home (finally) and got my running shoes off.

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Ugh. Was only a little cut though. Had a shower, then had this:

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And a few beers too! Why not, seeing as though I now introduce myself as ‘Triathlete and 3 times marathon finisher.’

Next Event
Ready…? Save The Elephants 10k run on 22nd November in Central Park in NEW YORK!!! CHUFFING NEW YORK!!!

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How Far Is Your Marathon?


In Which I Tell You That It’s A Fixed Distance, 26.2 Miles

You could stop reading now, I guess. I’ve answered the question. Or you could read the explanation? S’up to you really.

Earlier this week, this came up on my Facebook newsfeed:

WWE legend The Undertaker Runs A Marathon!

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I was impressed! I’ve been a wrestling fan all my life and always liked The Undertaker. He’s not been on tv since Wrestlemania 30 back in April, so obviously is keeping fit by running.

Wanted to find out how fast he did it so read a few more websites, and it turns out The Undertaker and his wife (former WWE Diva Michelle McCool) ran the marathon for charity:

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Confirms it! He ran a chuffing marathon!

Another site, however, said this:

“The Undertaker and his wife, former WWE Diva Michelle McCool took part in the CC4C Micro Marathon 4 Inspiration over the weekend. The event is a 2.62 mile family fun run.”

Wait, what?

MICRO marathon? 2.62miles?? The other sites didn’t mention that bit! I’m in no way taking anything away from a (almost) 7 foot, (almost) 300 pound (almost) 50 year old wrestler running any distance for charity, but why is it reported as a marathon?

A marathon is a fixed distance. It’s set as a specific measurement. 26.2 miles, or 42km. That’s it. The third site had it right, calling it a micro marathon, but you can’t really have the headline missing out the ‘micro’ bit.

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I’m sure before I started running I knew how far a marathon was. I thought it was a common knowledge kinda thing, but I’m not sure that it is. I have a few people at work asking me what my next race is, so I say “York Marathon” and they say either “how far’s that?” Or my favourite “is that a 10k?”

No!! It’s a chuffing MARATHON!

I was talking to someone once who told me they’ve run LOADS of marathons, with a PB of 32 minutes. (Yep, ‘marathon’ = 5km.)

So here you go, a quick guide to the most common races:

*Ultra Marathon: Anything over a normal marathon distance. 30miles, 50km, 50miles etc.
*Marathon: 42km or 26.2 miles
*Half-marathon: 21km or 13.1 miles
*15K: 9.3 miles
*10K: 6.2 miles
*5K: 3.1 miles
*Micro Marathon: 4.2km or 2.62 miles

Each is as important as the last to each separate runner. They should all be respected equally as races, but call them by their right names!

And now you know.

(If you’re The Undertaker, and stumbled upon this by mistake when looking to read about your run, please don’t get mad and decide to come Tombstone me. Thanks.)

Next Race:
York Marathon – 12th October!!

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Two Years On


In Which I Compare Stats And Stuff

Last week was the Great North Run (I didn’t do it. See my Great North Run post from two years ago for reasons why.) That means it’s two years since I ran the Great North Run (but I kinda just said that) and that was my first ever 1/2 marathon. It took me 2h 38mins.

A few days before the run (last weeks, not two years ago. Keep up) I decided to go out and run a half marathon around where I live. (Around the area where I live, not laps of my house or anything. That’d make me chuffing dizzy and the neighbours would prolly get annoyed, as we live in a semi-detached.)

I mapped out (what I thought was) a loop of 10k (6.2miles) figuring I’d do it twice and then just add a bit on at the end.

I set off from home, up the hill to the roundabout (thanks to all the Americans that gave me roundabout info a post or two back) and then ran towards Eccleshill where I turned left down Harrogate road and had a nice long downhill stretch before turning left onto Leeds rd and then started the uphill section of around 3.5km.

I had a gel around 7km to keep my energy up and felt good as I ended the first loop. Didn’t feel as good when I saw it measured 9km, not 10. Ah well.

Carried on, did the same lap again but a bit slower and with heavier legs. Had another gel at 14km. Uphill bit, got to the top of my road where I’d planned to just have a kilometre left to run but it turned out I had 3. Stupid map measuring app…

Ah well, carry on and get it done. Which I did.

New half marathon (13.1miles, 21km) PB and the first time I’d ever gotten under 2 hours:

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An improvement of 41 mins in two years. Chuffing chuffed with that!!

In Other Similar News

4 weeks tomorrow until York Marathon and this arrived:

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Unfortunately so did a pain in my shoulder and neck, feels like I’ve pulled a muscle while sleeping. Not run in a few days because of it, so it needs to hurry up and chuffing piss off!

Good luck to everyone at Ironman Wales tomorrow! Remember: Don’t Be Shit!

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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.)