Sunday, 27 February 2011

Raring to go

Thanks for all the notes and suggestions over the last week re my knackered 808.  Thankfully the insurance came through, and yesterday I picked up a shiny new wheel from the ever obliging Capital Cycles.  So the bike is ready for next weekend. 

I've made quite a few changes to the bike over the build, changing to a tri saddle whilst dropping it down a touch and forward a long way.  Also I've moved my cleats back on my shoes so the pedal axle is behind the balls of my feet.  There's been a lot trialing but it's been locked in for over 6 weeks and I've not ridden anything but the TT rig since Christmas so it's feeling pretty comfy.  Importantly I feel like I can stay on top of a bigger gear now. 

This week I'll try get some pics of the full bike and maybe even some of the newly logo'd race strip.

This morning was my last decent session before race day on Saturday; a race sim of 1.5hrs bike and 30mins run both, at race pace. The legs are starting to feel good and the apathy and tiredness I've come to expect from the start of a taper is wearing off.  

I got some advice from an ex-pro Kiwi long distance triathlete the other day. She said "when it comes to taper whatever you think you should do, do less and make sure you have loads of energy on race morning".  Sounds simple ;)

For once I'm managing not to gorge myself and put on a couple of last minute kilo's during my taper.  Two more days of work and then it's up to Taupo for the Ironman Circus.  Seems like everyone in Wellington is going to be up there next Saturday so fingers crossed this year I'm in the mood for a party come Saturday night.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Good stready half marathon

New Balance Half Marathon (Wellington)

not looking too bad for 19k

Not quite the 1:12 PB of Mr Vaughan at Wokingham but I was still satisfied with today's run out.

I just checked back and this was my 25th Half Marathon. If only I'd followed the pattern of the first six and pb'd every time I would be running sub 60 by now... 

Today was probably the best day in Wellington this summer, mid twenties and still - as in no wind!!  Well there was a bit of wind, Aucklanders probably would have complained about the roaring gale, but for those conditioned to force 6 as a normal day, it was super.

I did this race last year as a sharpener for Taupo and came away a little disappointed, it was my first half marathon in New Zealand and was expecting to run 1:16-18 easy enough, but somehow halves are harder here (that's the excuse I'm sticking to).  The courses don't tend to be designed for speed and they are always honest. Garmin had the clock at 21.5k today.

Last year I went out hard looking for a 1:15, held that for about 5k, and then started going backwards, finishing in 1:21:30 ish and pretty unhappy.  This year I didn't go out with too much of a target, I wanted to try and beat last year and to go under 1:20 would be great.

I warmed up well and it all rolled out to plan.  I hit 10k in 37:18 and felt like I was cruising, the course is a partial out and back and at the 13.5k turn I was in 6/7th with another chap.  Shortly after that we got overtaken and I jumped on to this guy to hold on to 7th place and we moved away from the 8th place guy.  Around the 18k mark I was still holding the 6th place shoulder when we both got taken and I couldn't hold on to these two as their pace picked up.  The last 3k were pretty tough but I went through 20k with a second 10k of 37:54.  A push through the last k and I crossed the line somewhere around 1:20:15.  I'd been checking the pace through the race and was confident I'd be under 80mins, probably around 79.  But I hadn't allowed for the Garmin being so far off reality.  RUN THE RACE LAURENCE!!

Time to chat?!
I worked hard today, the course is almost pancake flat and with only light winds it was a consistent effort, my HR went from 172 to 182 rising by a bpm every k or two.  Mostly I was pleased with how easy it felt.  The pacing was probably about right, I was shot at the end, but I was able to mentally stay on top of the race.  Two guys came through me in the last 5k, but they were better runners (on the day) and it didn't impact my pace.

Prior to Taupo it was great to hurt myself a bit, be faced with the option of slowing, and still push on through to a good result.  I wasn't expecting to PB today, the last months of running have been around consistent volume and preparing for 4:30k's when I'm ruined, not smashing out 3:35's but it's left me confident and I don't feel I did too much damage.  Perfect.

Training Load is dropping down to half by the end of this week and I travel up to Taupo next Tues / Weds for the pre-race fun.  Last few bits to sort (like a race wheel and HPU kit) otherwise I'm ready...

Quick thank you to Mark for taking some great pics today (thanks especially for catching me chatting), more soon, Laurence

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Cracked Zipp rim disaster

Tuesday night I picked the TT bike up from Capital Cycles, and it was looking awesome, everything ready for Taupo in 2 weeks.

Weds was my last decent long ride and I was really pleased to roll through 5hrs and 177k without too much drama.  Drama that is apart from hitting a bloddy great pot hole.  A big cracking noise, no hiss and I thought I'd got away with it.

However, I got up for a steady 2hr spin this morning and noticed a slight catch on the rear wheel, further investigation in the dark and there's a decent CRACK IN MY 808!!!

Does anyone know if they can be fixed?  And if so does anyone know anyone in New Zealand that could do it in 2 weeks...?

Alternatively, anyone want to lend me an 808 / 1080 for two weeks - I promise not to pull it through any pot holes!

Any great ideas?


Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Valentines Scorcher - Oly tri

After my flight cancellation and subsequent cancellation of last months Scorching tri I was keen to race this Sunday to test legs and race gear prior to Ironman NZ (just 3 weeks away)

Unfortunately, this month the race route was changed due to a road closure so they took us over a stupid great hill, twice. Meant for slow times on the bike and a bit of a sense of humour failure from me.
The swim was long - I hope - but I came out where I'd expect in the field.  After some really good swim sessions recently I thought I might be a few seconds up, especially as the conditions were great, but I'm pretty happy that with three weeks more swimming I should be able to reproduce, or better, my 57 minute swim last year.  Transition was great, no fuss, nothing to think about and I was onto the bike in under a minute from hitting the beach.  The transition at Taupo is long, but hopefully I can still cut a bit off last years 4minutes.  If I can be on the bike in under an hours I'll be happy.

The altered bike wasn't really hilly, rather in the middle of the ride it had a 2k wall to ride up, twice, that said I wasn't firing on all cylinders on the flat.  I was overtaken straight out of transition and it was all I could do to maintain pace with this guy rather than warm up and go through him.  After a lot of riding since last October I would have though I'd be a little better, but Dave and I have been working hard on locking in the Ironman race pace, so to expect to kill 40k at the moment is probably mis-guided. Still 4th fastest bike (and one dropped out after the bike) is ok.

I do however need to make sure I have some tactics for dealing with negativity, I let the fact someone came past me really get to me this weekend.

Out onto the run I was in 5th, or so I thought, with the next guy was about 1:20 up the road.  I set about trying to run him down; after a couple of 4min k's settling in I easily got into a 3:50k pace which I held to the finish.  Didn't catch the guy but I was pleased with my run, a rel. low heart rate and not too much damage to the legs, best of all 38mins felt easy. 

4th fastest run and in the end one guy dropped out at T2 and another did a short swim, so I got a 3rd place. 

All in all, it would have been nice to smash the bike - it's in there - but I'm very happy to save that for Taupo.

Just a couple more big session over this week and then it's quality sessions, lots of sleep and good food and RACE TIME. 

Not quite the confidence builders I was after, but still great to get out and test gear, etc.