Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Arrived in Tempe

Just a very quick note to make you all jealous...

The bike and I arrived safely at Phoenix last night. This morning the weather is calm and bright and due to reach the mid twenties. Forecast for Sunday is much the same, althoguh perhaps a little cooler.

My hotel is just the other side of the lake from the start / expo so full of other athletes and very convenient. There is even a gym with an Endless Pool - going to have to give that a try.

After a few weeks of feeling really heavy and groggy in my peak/taper I had a great sessions on Monday, pushing out a really easy hour on the turbo at 250watts, before a fast light run.

Today I'm going to take a little spin on the bike in the sun, get a haircut, shave my legs and generally take things easy... it's a tough life.

Catch up soon. Laurence

p.s. Don't forget you can regsiter to keep update on the blog - see righthand side.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Testing and final preparation for Arizona

I took a trip over to the Human Performance Unit at the University of Essex last Friday, to get a couple of benchmark tests done and see if all the hard work over the last year has paid off. Thankfully it looks like it has. i am still waiting for the official results, but my cycle ramp test showed a maximal increase from 435watts in June to 460watts. Better still my run endurance test showed an average increase of 1kph for the same lactate levels and exertion as in the same test in June. Great confidence building stuff for when I need to remind myself I am well trained for a fast Ironman.

Everything is looking good for the race next weekend, which really can't come soon enough. I am starting to lose my sense of humour with the dark nights and wet sessions ! I also seem to be very tired and have several niggles at the moment; a sore hand and a tight hip flexor - I guess it's only to be expected as the volume drops and my body comes goes into a bit of recovery.

I'm ready, the bike is ready, all the logistics are sorted, the weather in Phoenix has dropped from the 30's to the low 20's, so I'm good to go. 12 days to keep out of the way of sick people, wash my hands every 5mins, take loads of Vit C, keep drinking water and sleep a lot...

I'll try to post something ASAP after the race but Lynz and I are taking a few week holiday in Vegas and California, so don't expect too much!

On race day, 23rd Nov, you should be able to keep up to date at, via their athlete tracker

Wish me luck, Laurence

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Stevenage Half Marathon

As a final bit of sharpening, before IM Arizona, I raced the Stevenage Half marathon on Sunday morning. At the back of my mind I was hoping I might nick under 75mins (after my 1:16:23 PB in the Spring) and although my running has certainly moved on a level it wasn't to be this weekend.

After a little messing about queuing for numbers and timing chips, which delayed the start by 15mins, the Mayor of Stevenage set us off at the very respectable time of 10:45. I'd hoped the Stevenage route would be 2 fast, flat lap, but straight into it we were climbing and the course remained 'undulating' on cycle paths and included some swift changes in direction. I got in a nice little group, with some clubmates ( and others from our intervals session and training mate Pablo (The self proclaimed fasted Spanish

The pack stayed together nicely for the first 8 miles or so, ticking away the miles at 5:50 pace - rather than the required 5:44's. Around 9 miles things started to break up a bit. I'd just taken a gel and felt strong, keeping the pace steady Pablo and I drifted away from the bunch. Going through 10miles in 58:30 I felt great, but knew is was all over for the 75. Pablo and I pushed each other on, running side by side (well me on his heels) for the next 3 miles, taking the 8th place runner, we had a little dash around the track and I surprised myself by having enough in the tank to take Pablo. The last mile was undoubtedly long,taking 40 secs longer than all the others, with that an the extra 0.1 to take us to 13.1 I missed the PB crossing the line in 1:16:52. 8th place overall and a bronze in the county was a nice surprise, the 75 will come in the New Year.

Well done to a teamates and friends who came out and all the finishers (Special thanks to George for being mum; taking photos and holding our bags!).

All in all a great mornings work and good luck to Pablo in the Ballbuster next weekend