2014 Roundup

This is a long (and therefore probably boring) post, so please feel free to scroll down and think of other things while you “read” my roundup! I saw a few blogs were doing a review of their year so I thought I’d join in!

So I traced what I wrote last year on Facebook…

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Running:

So I definitely got over the 3,000 mile mark this year, but by how much I’m not sure. My computer crashed a couple of months ago and I lost my spreadsheet where I keep track of things and kinda just went “meh I’ll track training in the New Year again”. So that’s that.

I do know that the most miles I did in 1 week this year was 103 (suck it Debbie-from-2013, I beat you!)

My goal of a sub-18.45 5k was done once in ParkRun in 18.32 in August, and again as a split in the Paisley 10k in August (18.15 – TOTALLY went out too fast and died #standarddebtactics), and then again in my split for Ribble Valley 10k on Sunday (18.40ish).

My goal of a sub-40 10k was also done at Paisley, where I came 5th in 38.43 (I got injured during this race and was out for about 10 weeks afterwards 😦 and, was demolished on Sunday at the Ribble Valley 10k (inc North England champs) where I came 9th in 37.32

I haven’t really done a PB worthy half marathon course this year so my PB still stands from Feb 2013 (oops). Inverness would have been a great course to do it on back in March, but it was the day after a Michael Buble concert in Glasgow and a road trip the morning after a few cocktails and Buble wasn’t going to get me that PB…My best time this year actually ended up being in Lanzarote but I’m not going to count that one!

I think that my best run was the Edinburgh Marathon in May. I entered it the day after the Manchester marathon (coincidentally the deadline date) because I was disappointed with my (12 minute PB) time of 3.05. I’d trained for sub3 and I felt fit enough to do it. But the wind, along with my mental strength wasn’t there that day. Then, 3 weeks later, I did the Balmoral 5k and 10k within an hour of each other, and fell down my stairs that evening so spent my Saturday night in A&E (I was actually heading to Nicolle’s bday party – sorry I missed it again Colley!). I was in crutches for a few days, slowly came back to running, tried to be sensible, and another 3 weeks later I broke 3 hours!!

In amongst those races, I also won my 1st real race in the Stonehaven Half marathon (hills and wind must have been my forte that day!) as well as the Fare Challenge 10k (it was such a fun day!! Do it next year if you can!)

Triathlon:

So the “dabble in a triathlon or two” mentioned above was a slight understatement. I always told myself if I broke 3 in the marathon, I’d get back in the pool and buy a bike. I just never realised it would happen so quickly (my 1st run was the Great North Run in September 2011 where I was a total novice; apparently holding a hand-held water bottle isn’t what real runners do in a 90min race…well, it took me 95 minutes that time!)

I called on my friend Max who is a bike expert to help me choose a bike, then when he left for a superstar job in London, I annoyed Noodles, Andy and Doug until they took me out for cycles. I learned so much from them and still have so much to learn! I also pestered Gordon who allowed me to swim with his speedy squad at COAST, where I have met some great people that keep me motivated and enjoy getting up at 5am 3 x per week!

So far, I have done 3 triathlons, won 3 triathlons (in course records), and have done 2 duathlons, winning 1 (the other being a DNF because of a technical issue) and have entered an Ironman (duh, otherwise this blog would make no sense.)

Travel:

I have been so fortunate to be able to go away to so many places this year! At the start of the year I went to Berlin, then after Edinburgh marathon, I went on a girls’ trip to Turkey, then Barcelona/Salou, Lanzarote and Budapest! So far, next year will include Rotterdam in April (Kyle’s debut marathon – he will be PHENOMENAL), Ireland in May (my 1st half iron distance tri!), and Sweden in August! Hopefully I can throw in another training holiday somewhere (Doogz and Kyle were thinking Tenerife…Thoughts please people? For tri training??) and maybe a celebratory trip at the end of the year. Oh, and Hawaii? Let’s hope Hawaii.

Other:

Other awesome things that have happened this year are getting a great job as a contractor in a major oil and gas operator (fingers crossed the market picks up!), getting laser eye surgery (one of the BEST things I have ever done!), Kylie Babez moving in (I ❤ how Kirsty’s household now calls him Kylie Babez – sorry Kyle!), Mum getting engaged at Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Paris, and Emma ROCKING another lead role in the Pantomime this year! I have ALSO just found out one of my besties is pregnant, but I can’t reveal that just yet as it is a bit too early!! Aunty Deb is so proud as she will be the best Mummy ever!! 😉

2015 Goals:

Finally, my main goal for next year is to stay healthy! I was SO CLOSE this year to making it to the end without injury, but September and October ended up being write offs running-wise (I was so thankful I could still swim/cycle)! I want to get to every start line next year without any niggles!

Ironman Sweden is the main goal. I would love to give it my all there and finish with some good news, “A” goal being to make Kona, “B” goal being to beat Phil (muhahaha) and “C” goal being to finish strong!

I would also like to do well in the half distance I have entered in May. Between now and then I will really work on getting a cycling base so I can rock that race!

Running goals will take a slight back seat, but let’s make some time goals just for the bantz:

5k: break 18 (probably won’t happen as I can imagine there will be little speed work in Ironman training)

10k: break 37 – I think a 36-something would look great on a triathlon CV if my swim times were also considered

HM: get that 82 mins I was talking about last year

Marathon: Sub 2.55 

Kind of on the side, but I was disappointed with my 400m free time in Lanzarote (long course swim plus transition = 5.58, so maybe swim time 5.20?) so I would like to break 5 mins again (I think my pb back in the day was 4.24), and I would love to get my 1500m time into the low 19s, maybe even high 18s (again, back in the day I was in the mid-17s) so I can have a solid start to an Olympic distance tri. We shall see – Gordon you have your work cut out for you!

Well, here’s to a successful and amazing 2015!! May all of you achieve – if not surpass – your goals and have the best year of your life (so far!)!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!!

Christmas Week

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas?!

I feel like this was the most unorganised I have been – usually all the presents have been wrapped and are under the tree by the start of December! I suppose I’ll let myself off, given that Lanzarote and Budapest made for a busy month (not to mention Leeds!)

Christmas week I was working, but I still managed to fit in my swimming reunion at Brew Dog and 6 Degrees North #ladsnight!

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(Robbie, me and Phil (who I’m doing the Kalmar Ironman with!))

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(Scott, Andy and Martin)

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(Phil, Wan and Scott)

There were no girls in our swim squad at COAST for a good couple of years so my teenage years were spent trying to fit in with the boys! I love how successful my team were – Robbie won 2x Commonwealth Games gold medals and has swam at the Beijing and London Olympics, Andy made a Commonwealth Games final, and everyone else was in either Scottish or GB teams, having won at least 1 national gold medal! …Look at us now :S

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Christmas Eve after work Mum and I went into town to watch the panicking-last-minuters do their shopping while we had our Starbucks, then Emma came over for our annual baking evening! We made Cinnabons, Salted Caramel Butter Bars (make these as soon as you can!) and churros made in my waffle-maker!

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(Cinnabons)

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(Salted Caramel Butter Bars)

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(Waffled Churros)

The following day was CHRISTMAS!! Emma picked me up to take me to Parkrun, where Freyja (another Olympic qualifier!) and I decided to dress up and join in for fun…Half way through and neither of us could handle taking a “race” easy, so Santa and his elf decided to go sub-6 miles for the 2nd half. It was a PW for the both of us of 21.03 but it was the most fun personal worst ever!

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(it was too cold to break a sweat!)

Then Emma took me to Mum’s house where I got a nice long shower and an extra hot chocolate!

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The rest of our day looked a little like this:

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(2 robins just chillin’ out together = unheard of!)

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As for presents, I got a bluray player with surround sound from my uncle (!), lots of makeup and clothes from the rest of the fam, BUT ALSO…:

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Lots of cycling stuff (cycle clothing not pictured!)

I sent this to Noodles straight away, thinking he’d be proud. This was his immediate reply:

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Merry Christmas to you too, Scott!

Kyle and I had our Christmas when he got back the following night, but no rest for the wicked as we had to leave the following morning bright and early for the Ribble Valley 10k that was on the Sunday….!


Questions for you:

What did you do for Christmas?

Any Christmas traditions?

What did Santa bring you?

Ever raced Christmas day?

Ribble Valley 10k Recap

Kyle’s 2014 main running goal was to break 31 minutes for the 10k (again, not a typo people – he is that fast!)!

For 7 months, until around May time, he was injured. He couldn’t even run for 1 minute. Dollar was his 1st race back in June where he got 2nd in the Scottish hill running champs, qualifying for the Scottish team in the Snowdon International hill race (where he came 9th).

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He then got injured again after slipping down Snowdon in the final mile.

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SO this only gave him a few months to recover, train his butt off and try and achieve this goal.

At the Stirling 10k, he got 31.10 and was pleased it was a PB, but he was still chasing sub 31. He tried again in Paisley and River Ness, but still couldn’t get it.

His last chance was the Ribble Valley 10k, held on 28th December. This meant his bday (19th December) and Christmas (if you don’t know the date of Christmas you have issues) would have to be semi-sensible for him. He was happy to make this commitment and bookings were made. I tagged along as I wanted to play cheerleader and fancied another 10k (I did Paisley too, as my 1st real 10k but was unhappy with my 5th place time of 38.43, got injured, and wanted to redeem myself for my 2nd 10k). I also predicted he would get a PB so knew champers would be involved – it was a no-brainer that I went along!

Anyway, onto the race…

The road trip was so much fun! We brought semi-healthy snacks and stopped off at the Gretna outlets for some shopping in the sales, and did a run in Kendall.

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(Meet Perry – the lucky Platypus. I go cray-cray on long road trips btw…)

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(“Why not run up a hill the day before an important race?”)

Anyway, 5 hours later we arrived our our gorgeous hotel, visited the spa, went for a nice dinner in a cosy Christmassy pub, bought our breakfast for the next day (he had a couple cereal bars sandwiching a banana, and I had 2 crumpets with almond butter and a banana) then had an early night.

Everything went smoothly the following day. Everything ALMOST went smoothly the following day. We woke up early, had our coffee and breakfast, and left in plenty time. The car said -3 degrees and there was ice everywhere. Kyle nearly skidded at a roundabout but his awesome driving meant we didn’t hit anything! We did get a great parking space about a mile from the start line, and we picked up our bibs with no issues.

HOWEVER, the port-a-potty line was MENTAL so I knew I wouldn’t have time for a warmup. We’re talking about a 30 min queue. A question: why do people take so long?!?!! It’s not like they’re nice places to do your business?!?!? And can’t boys go in bushes?!! Anyway, I started doing some mobility exercises, did a couple jumps and BOOM I open my eyes on the ground with my coccyx in AGONY. I had slipped on black ice and hit the ground with a THUD. I refused to cry and was a little angry with myself for not noticing the ice, but I was doing the race no matter what! I found Kyle and told him what happened but I couldn’t get ice or painkillers because they had called us up to the start line. I let him do his thing and we went to different areas at the front of the line. This was slightly difficult considering there were around 1500 starters, but I have good swimmer shoulders to push my way to the front of any line! 😉

The gun went off, my adrenaline kicked in and the pain in my butt (literally) was pretty minimal. It was an undulating course (a couple of painful hills!) but there was no wind and people around at all times which really pushed you on!

One thing I would say is the fact that they closed the roads for the race was great, but they should have checked it better for ice. I slipped a couple of times which did slow me down. Also, after 5k, you go up a hill for a 180 degree turn around some cones. Everyone walked this part as it was so slippery, and the way back down the hill had black ice so I walked for a good 5-10 seconds. Apart from that, I was happy with the course! Oh wait, no I’m not, the final hill with 0.25 to go was a killer!!!

Mile 1: 5.49

Mile 2: 6.05

Mile 3: 5.56

Mile 4: 6.09

Mile 5: 5.58

Mile 6: 6.00

Final 0.24 @ 6.14 (THAT HILL!)

Can you tell it was undulating?! My watch said 37.30 (6.01 average pace) but results said 37.32 – never mind! I was pleased with my 75ish second PB and 9th place!!

AND KYLIE BABEZ GOT HIS SUB31!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He was flying in 7th place in 30.46!!! That is an average of 4.57 PER MILE!!! Bear in mind it was the North England champs so a top 10 placing for both of us was great, and our times were good considering the conditions! Kyle even stayed with Derek Hawkins (Commies runner) for 3k! And NO ONE broke 30!! That shows he was right up there and it certainly wasn’t record breaking conditions!

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(I didn’t pose for the camera this time! Coach Kyle was so proud.)

As soon as I finished, my pain in the butt was back and I had to hobble to the car 😦 We went straight back to the hotel, had a shower and checked out before heading to Leeds. We took the country roads instead of the motorway (I’d say on purpose, but that would be a lie…) which ended up being stunning! And as soon as we got to our hotel, the Champagne was popped!

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That went down nicely, as did his the following bottle (his favourite, Asti)

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Our room was ace! It was on the 16th floor so our views were great! We ended up celebrating on our window sill as it was so pretty!

We headed out for dinner and for a few more drinks, before collapsing back in our room at about 9.30pm. Rock ‘n’ Roll! Wow we are getting old….

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Well done KYLIE BABEZ!!!!

Budapest Photo Dump!

Kylie Babez was so excited the entire trip to the airport (I booked a Travelodge in Dunfermline because “Edinburgh Airport Travelodge” for the night was a bit of a giveaway) and we were like little kids all the way to Budapest!

The nerds athletes in us actually had a marathon paced tempo run to do that day and, being quite the planner, I also picked our hotel based on running routes. We were less than 2 miles from Margaret Island: an island that had a 5.5km RUBBER running track surrounding it! It was a runner’s paradise!!

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The session was 5 miles at marathon pace, but I got carried away trying to keep up with Kyle in the distance so I averaged 6.24 pace (don’t get excited, people – I would be happy with 6.44 pace in a marathon) to his 5.20 pace (that is not a typo. He is THAT fast. And that was his ACTUAL predicted marathon pace!)

Our hotel was in Buda (the old town), right on the Danube and we had the best views from our room! After a quick shower and change, we headed straight over the bridge (the sun was setting about 3.30pm – it was gorgeous!) to Pest to explore and there were Christmas markets everywhere!

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We watched children ice skating, took in a light show ON St Stephen’s Cathedral, drank mulled red, white AND rose wine and walked for ages taking everything in! It’s so cheesy but it was actually magical!

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(If I knew how to show you videos I would – this light show was spectacular!)

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(This is probably the best thing we ate – a cinnamon “chimney”!)

It was one of those nights where you think you have only been out for an hour but actually we had been out since 3 and got home about 11pm! We were feeling so festive!

The following day was Kyle’s actual birthday! He chose to run the 3 miles to City Park, which holds Europe’s largest outdoor ice rink, as well as the Szechenyi Baths which we were really keen to go to! We ran with our swimming bag packed (he carried it!), hoping to dump it in the “private cabin” we booked and run longer around the park, but they didn’t let us leave once we were in. I wanted Kyle to get a proper run in as opposed to hauling an uncomfortable bag full of my makeup and our winter clothes for after, so I manned up and took over bag duty for a 45 minute run around the park! I even have the chaffage to prove it (TMI?)!

We finished our run in Gundel, a famous and delicious patisserie where we had hot chocolates, scones, swiss rolls and the 2014 winning Hungarian cake…I can’t remember the name 😦

Then it was on to the baths:

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The baths were thermal and they went up to 38 degrees I think AND they were stunning!

We walked back through the city, stopping again for roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and more market browsing before we went on a champagne cruise down the Danube for his actual birthday treat!

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I hope it was a good birthday, oldie!?

Saturday called for another run session. This time 4×1 mile, 8 hill reps, 4×1 mile. This was a toughy! We did it back at Margaret Island (I could run there every day!) and other runners were so nice – if they know you are working hard they cheer for you and everything!

After a long shower, we headed to the back of our hotel and up a wee hill to real old town Buda. Castles, churches, monuments – the views were incredible!

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We even popped some bubbly at the top of the hill (people love drinking outside there, so we followed suit… “when in Rome”)

We toured Buda and headed over the river again to Pest to find a chocolate shop and pay a visit to the Ice Bar!

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And the night ended with a Ferris Wheel ride (romantic, until we reached the top and thunder and lightning hit. We were terrified)

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(view from the top)

Then came the final day 😦 We ran up to Gellert Hill and over the bridges we hadn’t done yet! It was super windy though  (I didn’t realise this until we turned around so shorts and tshirt = couldn’t-feel-my-limbs type of run

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All in all I think it’s safe to say a) he had a nice birthday, b) we left feeling festive, and c) we ❤ Budapest!

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The birthday surprise…

He wasnt told where he was going.

I said it was a long road trip and we’d have to leave early.

I also told him to take his parkrun barcode (to make a UK destination more believable).

Our alarm at 5.45am was George Ezra’s “Budapest”.

Upon getting up, I told him repeatedly that I was “hungaaaary”, to which he replied “well we still have Krispy Kremes left”. He never got it.

At 9am, we left on a plane from Edinburgh airport.

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Where are we (if you havent already guessed)?!

This is our hotel room view:

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KYLE!!! Xxx

Monikie Duathlon (1/3) – My 1st Official Duathlon Win!

I wasn’t too nervous for this race: I am not the strongest of cyclists (as I’m sure you are all aware of by now), and the run was only just over 4km so the cyclists would have the advantage for this race in the series (there are 3 races in the series – the next 2 are run/bike/run, but this one was only run/bike), and I took a couple of days off last week with my cold. Despite this and my weekend of fun, I was still determined to give it my best shot!

However, it wouldn’t be me without some sort of drama.

Ok, so we wake up nice and early (race started at 11; we got up at 8). Immediately, I realise I haven’t used my bike outside since before Lanzarote, and haven’t even thought of pumping my tyres up or lubing the chain etc. At 8.05, after a mild panic, I call mum and Keith offers to do all that if we bring the bike over to them. I thought “great – plenty time” and that we could take the back roads to Stonehaven from their house.

A quick pack (yes, I know I should have packed the night before but it’s Christmas and I wasn’t as organised as I perhaps should have been…), then we were off.

Kyle was very (I mean VERY) hungover from his work night out. But I can’t be mad, because he still managed to get up and ready early to come with me (I only knew a couple of people going and they both had to pull out – Phil was stuck offshore, and Jim, quite rightly so, didn’t want to risk racing in this weather – more on that later!) I am needy and must know people at races. However, hangover Kyle = silence in the car. I love to rap, sing my heart out to a Disney soundtrack, play eye spy, chit-chat etc on road trips, so I knew this would make for a long ride.

Anyway, back to the bike. Apparently the back tyre only had about 50% of air in it (oops). I do have a pump and the flat but noone has been able to get it to work (am I allowed to blame Amazon?), but my next task is having all this ready at mine so I don’t need to venture the 8 miles to Mum’s every time for my “bike service” – Noodles come home because you were only a mile away to help me!

I’m glad it was worth the trip (Mum also gave us a bunch of homebakes to take away with us!) and we were off! Those backroads I was telling you about? Sunday morning drivers were taking them up and, combined with icy roads and incredibly strong gusts of wind, the journey took a lot longer than I had anticipated. Luckily, for once, my Google maps app was working on my phone – so we never got lost – but registration closed at 10.40am and we arrived at 10.39am (this is not a joke – I couldn’t believe how tight on time we were!) I apologised profusely, got my race number/chip while Kyle put my bike in the last available space in transition (furthest away from everything – maybe adding 5/10 secs each way from the fast ones in the prime spots), and I got my transition box opened and laid everything out.

I didn’t even look at the course, nor did I pay enough attention at the race briefing because I was putting my bib on. That meant I missed the fact the run was ON GRASS. IN MUD. I was wearing RACING FLATS. The two, I was about to find out, DO NOT GO.

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We were whisked to the start line and I made my way to the front. Stupid hasn’t-managed-a-warm-Debster, as soon as the gun goes off, does a Usain Bolt in her over-excitable attempt to warm up and, seemingly, attempt to win the entire race:

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(in hindsight, I am quite the idiot. 10 metres in and I am winning by 3. I would pay for this later, do not worry)

Ok so about a mile passes by and I am goosed. Probably shouldn’t have gone out at the speed of light. A girl overtakes me (I found out later this girl won the World Age Group Duathlon Championship earlier this year). I don’t recognise girls in triathlon/duathlon yet, so I go into competitive mode and want to beat everyone. I therefore overtake her and try to extend my lead.

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The wind was HORRENDOUS (my chubby cheeks were like chipmunks sneaking acorns) and my mindset was horrible. I wasn’t warmed up, the conditions were horrible, I went out to fast, and now I was paying for it. I just tried to hold on and not let any of the guys I was running with go.

I end up winning the female run by over 30 seconds, and went into transition in 11th place overall (I wasn’t happy with that, but this was a big learning experience).

I nailed it to my bike (the people in around the same time as me had their bikes right by the timing pads so I was annoyed with myself for being late), I throw my stuff on and head over the timing pad to mount my bike for the 21.5km cycle. My chain is off. I never checked my chain when I took it out of my car. What an idiot. And I panicked. I had no idea if you put it on and back pedal or pedal forwards. Yep, I chose to go backwards and the chain stayed off. I am so fortunate that a marshall helped me and I was on my way after about a minute of struggling:

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(hard to see but that’s me not being able to understand the physics of bike chains)

And I was off. During this struggle, 2 females passed me. I went into beast mode and passed one girl in the 1st mile. The wind was on our backs for the 1st maybe 5km and my speed was in the 50kph+ zone! Mental wind!! The hills werent huge so I used a lot of momentum in the downhills to make the most of the uphills. I was passing people with fancy helmets and bikes – I was so mad at myself I took it out on the bike! I was just hoping I could hold on! I passed the other girl after about 10 mins, when we were into a strong headwind. Then I just tried to keep my cadence and keep picking off people ahead of me.

Don’t get me wrong: I am not the best cyclist. So guys came flying past me as well. But I tried to stay with people that looked fast to me, and even managed to overtake on uphills!

Turning corners was a MASSIVE problem for me! I don’t have the skills at the best of times, but the wind made me terrified that I would come flying off. So I took them ridiculously slowly. Even on the straights, when a gust of wind hit me, I had to work my butt off to stop my bike veering off into the field! Any tips on what to do when the wind hits you would be much appreciated!

The final turn brought the wind to our back again and we had about 5km to go. No girls had passed me (yay!), I was back in 1st, and I felt I had so much energy! I used the last 5km as a time trial and caught up with a group in front! It was so much fun, because we were flying (thanks to the wind!) and it was a straight road! I powered past 1 of them, but when we got to the last junction, he passed me again (skills, Debbie, work on skills). The marshall at the junction shouted “you’re safe to go lads” and I shouted back “I’m a girl!!” and then we turned back into Monikie park and I sprinted as hard as I could to the finish line, pipping one guy over the line!

It ended up being so much fun (apart from the times I thought my life was at risk) and knowing I gave everything I had (given the circumstances) was a great feeling!

Oh, and TO ADD TO THE DRAMA, we had a flat tyre!!!!! We got help fixing it (thank you!!) and had to drive home under 60mph (if you know me, you know this was a very difficult task. Especially since it had to be in silence for Mr Drunk!)!

Now next time I must pack the night before, have my bike ready the night before, arrive in plenty time, warm up, wear appropriate clothes, get a good spot in transition, and try not to get a flat tyre en route. I also must work on skills such as changing shoes, having warm enough fingers to clip my helmet (that took a while – they were numb!), and learn to turn corners faster!

I was 1st female and was pretty surprised that my bike split was less than a minute faster than the woman who came 2nd, considering I was over a minute faffing with my chain! The 3rd fastest bike time was another 3 minutes after that!

To celebrate, Kyle and I went to House of Farnell for some lunch and a look around (it was very Christmassy, but I don’t think they had their heating on….we were frozen!) and came home to laze around and cure his hangover with nice food and Walking Dead (he said he’s never drinking again but considering IT’S HIS BIRTHDAY ON FRIDAY, he will shortly change his mind, I’m sure…!)!

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Run Time: 16.39 (1st female; 11th overall)

Transition Time: 48 secs 

Cycle Time: 44.37 (2nd female; 24th overall)

Overall Time: 62.06 (1st female; 17th overall)


Questions for you:

Ever raced a duathlon? How was it?

Worst weather in a race?

Last Week’s Festive Roundup!

Last week was relatively quiet. I got ill on the Tuesday (I think it was going from a warm place to the freeeeeeeeezing reality of Aberdream!) I took a couple days off, felt sorry for myself, watched a couple of Christmas movies before a weekend of festive fun with a race added on at the end!

On Friday night, it was my work’s department’s meal and night out. Quite the opposite of our formal dance (well, the posh part of it involving dressing up and bringing partners!); it included lots of Prosecco, wine, vodka and last – but by no means least – haggis bombs (jagermeister and irn bru!), as well as karaoke in a gay bar.

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(I think you can tell by my general expression I was rather confused with life singing karaoke in a gay bar that night…)

On Saturday morning I woke up fresh as a daisy, went for a wee run, then had a lovely festive lunch with “genuine mulled wine” (no idea the difference between fake and genuine?) with Kyle’s parents and Andy.

Then we were ready to watch Emma star in the Sleeping Beauty pantomime (go and see it if you’re in Aberdeen NOW – it’s soooooo good!)

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(a backstage pic: she is on the right, her “Mummy Rowie” on the left (her friend Mike))

Afterwards, she ran out to meet us and we couldn’t get a word in because all these little kids – forming an orderly queue of course; this wasn’t a rock concert – asked for her autograph and pictures with her!!! I was SUPER PROUD!!!!

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(I think you can tell from my white knuckles, I was so proud I was gripping on to her!)

We walked around the shops, went for a beer at 6 degrees north (we HAD to show Kylie Babez’ parents how amazing it is, during which we beat them at Connect4 (!), then it was time for them to catch the train 😦 come back soon please!!

Kyle stayed out (it was his work’s meal and drinks) and I had a quiet one before my race the following day…!


Questions for you:

HAVE YOU SEEN EMMA’S PANTOMIME? IF NOT SEE IT NOW!

Do you have any Christmas traditions? Nights out? Mulled wine? Pantomime visits (see Emma’s now, yes please!)?

Days 6 & 7: Our Last Days :(

We both wanted to make the most of our last full day, so we had an early night after making only the 2nd round of the pool competition the previous evening against prepubescent rich kids

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(I blame the cheap sangria)

We got up early; Kyle for his long run and me for my long cycle BUT I never realised everyone had the same idea and I never thought to reserve a bike.

Absolutely gutted (I was REALLY looking forward to a 4-5 hour bad boy), I ran back to the room hoping Kyle had not left yet, and I joined him for his long run. I only managed to keep up for about 4 miles before he bolted off. I managed 12.5 (with 8 at a steady state pace of around 7min mile in sand, and 1 up the ridge again – I wanted to see the pretty views!) and he did 15.5 – he only arrived back at the flat about 10 mins after me!

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I went to the pool to do a straight 1.9km swim (the half iron distance) to see what kinda time I’d get – just under 28 so I was happy with that!

We got changed and rode up to Tinajo for some tapas (one of the best tapas we have ever had!) and THEN SOMETHING BIG HAPPENED. Kyle taught me how to drink while riding my bike!!!!!!!! Half an hour was all I needed!! I was so so happy!

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(Scott you better be proud of me!)

No time for sunbathing and before we knew it, it was time for the sunset (after another body bike class of course!)!

We just picked at some nibbles and wine from the shop, got packed up and headed to bed early – our flight left at 7am the next day and we decided (perhaps stupidly) that we would get up at 4.30am for our last run around the lagoon!

…no pics of course – I wouldn’t know how to work a phone at that time in the morning! I believe we did 2.5 miles at around 8.40 pace – look out Bolt! It did make us feel better and more awake for our flight!

It was 16.5 degrees during our run that morning.

When we landed in Edinburgh, it was 1 degree.

I was freeeeeeezing! The plan was to head to Glasgow to try their Christmas market, and we stopped at Strathclyde Country Park to do another 6 miles because the weather was so crisp and refreshing we couldn’t resist!

The markets were actually pretty pathetic, so we headed to Hard Rock Cafe and did some Christmas shopping instead!

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Back on the road, we got home around 7 – enough time to sort out washing and get back to reality 😦

It was an AMAZING HOLIDAY!!


Questions for you:

Ever been on a training holiday/camp? Where? How was it?