Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Southwell Tri, 2013 Season review and whats new for 2014!!!

Southwell Triathlon
So as the season comes to a close, the last race on the calendar was the Lastminute Southwell Triathlon...having not done a sprint distance tri since....well....this one 2 years ago I decided to enter and have a little "smack down" with some of the new and old lads in the Lincoln Tri club....loads of high expectations and lots of sandbagging!!

As my swimming has improved (not much!) we got to start later in the field at 11:08am compared to the ever so cold 7:45am 2 years ago! but this was to have its downside as for September it must have been one of the hottest days we have had this year...gorgeous!! So we all got lined up at the side of the pool, last minute talk me downs and it was game on.....

Swim:- 10:31 (inc run to transition) - 400m
Went off quite well, got into a good rhythm, but tried not to look to the side and see my competition as I knew this would make me go hell for leather and be blowing out my ass in no time!... but it happened and I had to slow down abit to get my heart rate down and stop 3x to sort my goggles as kept leaking water! nightmare....

T1:- 0:57
This time I opted for no socks just get the bike shoes on, helmet, belt, glasses and get the hell out...

Bike - 32.06 - 18km
No fancy shoes already clipped in mounting jobby, just pull up to the line, clip one in and get going..........except my left shoe wouldn't clip in! (not used my tri shoes for 2 years so this will teach me!)...75-100m down the road I eventually got it clipped in and started playing catch up as I knew I was the last one in my lane to get out the pool. No sooner had I got 1km down the road my contact lense started coming loose in my eye and flew out! lucky it landed in my sunglasses...i didnt pull over to put it back in otherwise I would of wasted more time....so carried on squinting out of one eye making sure I could at least see something!... Managed to take a few of the guys out on the bike and saw them on the way back so could work out the time difference. Soon I was coming back into transition, I though I would be clever and leave my shoes clipped in to save time....having not practiced this for a while I thought i would be ok.....wrong! I got my foot stuck and couldn't get it out! I feared I was going to crash big time but lucky I got it out just in time, but scuffed my shoes on the tarmac!!!....

T2 - 0:40
Barefoot into transition...running shoes on...no socks again, helmet off, belt switched round...go!

Run - 20:36 - 5km
Soon as I got off the bike my right hamstring cramped! So the next few hundred meter or so I had to try and slowly "run" it out and hope not to pull anything (actually do some brick sessions in future!) Got my stride back but it just kept niggling as I ran....eventually I got overtaken by Dan who I managed to overtake on the bike, but this guy does sub 17min 5k's!....so I knew I had to make up a lot of time on the run to beat him...but it wasnt to be....so I just took it steady and got to the finish line to fish my now stuck contact lense from out of my sun glasses....

Total: 1h 04mins

Looking back, I beat my PB on the course by 6mins....and last time I was training for it big time!, this year....I had not done anything since Ironman in August so almost 2 months of no training and just the odd swim, run and cycle to work...I wont hide the fact I was still disapointed in my time but I only had myself to blame as I got lazy....but end of the day, it was a great race with the lads, chilling out after the race and soaking up the sunshine!

2013 - Review

Well not much to really report apart from 3 races I have done this year, due to the fact of going through a stressful relationship split and adapting to changes to my life, caring for my boy, trying to study to get a new job and trying to keep a roof over my head, but the light is finally at the end of the tunnel so that chapter of my life has now closed and a new exciting one has opened (more later!) Did the Lincoln 10k, got the sub 40 I had been after for so long!! took alot of effort for the last 100m to get past the line in time and to stop myself almost puking! Ace!...but the big race was the IRONMAN UK.....love it so much and wanted to do it again but £400 a pop...I just can't afford it this time so will have to wait till 2015....amazing race, great support from my friends and the local community...its one race you just have to do for the experience! Southwell.....well, its just reminds me that you cant slack off too long as you will loose your fitness quickly, plus dont practice anything on race day!!!

2014 - New Beginning

So whats in store for 2014? Well as I couldnt afford Ironman, I was tempted to go long again and do Outlaw instead...but my bank ballance said "NO"....I was gutted, I really wanted to do at least one big race!!.....so opted to go for the OUTLAW HALF instead as was cheaper...So whats my aims for this race then? Well...Ideally I would love to start getting competitive rather than just finishing the race to say like "Yeah! I did the distance, I have done the maximum commercial distance of Ironman (I am no way doing double, tripple ironmans!! that really would be pulling teeth out pain!!) So I can now go back down the ladder and speed up my times for sprint, and half-ironman....with looking to go all out at Ironman 2015 and see if getting a Kona slot is achievable....it looks like a long journey, but I will happy the day I am treading water in Kailua Bay waiting for that cannon to fire at 6am....








Thursday, 8 August 2013

The Glassman is now AN IRONMAN!!!!

July 10th 2011 - My first Triathlon....from that moment I was hooked! I started this blog as my journey to complete one of the hardest endurance races - The Ironman Triathlon. A 2.4mile Swim, 112mile Bike and a full 26.2mile Marathon....crazy?....yeah I guess! Having watched the Hawaii Championships I was in awe at this race and wanted to do it, so started from the little sprint distances and worked my way up. August 4th 2013 was my moment to shine.....this is how my day unfolded...

3am - Woke up 5mins before my alarm went off (surprised I managed to doze off so quickly in the evening!), I quickly put kettle on for a cuppa and down some porridge while making final checks of what I was going to be taking with me and putting in my white transition bag for after the race. 4am came round very quickly so waited outside for my taxi that I booked.....10mins later nothing.....text from the taxi company saying its here waiting for me! A young couple ask me if I would like a lift as they was doing the race too, so took them up on the offer as I didnt have time to wait for the taxi company to fix their screw up.

I thanked the couple who gave me a lift (Number 321! how could I forget that!) and made my way to the transition area to put my bottles on my bike and nutrition on my bento box. Now its was edging toward 5:15am....my friends from Lincoln said they was on there way and was going to try see me before the race so got changed and hung around like a billy no mates... one last check of my phone before putting it in my white bag and got an sms they had made it!! handed my bag in and waited to see them just before being ushered into the water, quick hugs of good luck and there we was...slowly marching toward the water....here we go....

6am - Hooter goes off!!! and its a mad rush of arms and legs kicking, punching and fighting to get to a clear space to swim, I positioned myself toward the back right...well so I thought but didn't have time to check and just went with the flow....managed to get halfway down to the first buoy an realized......I hadn't started my watch!!! oh FFS!!! its the Dambuster all over again!! so quickly started it and would work out the difference when finishing the first lap....going out was ok but coming back the sun had started to rise and with my goggles steaming up I had no idea where the hell I was going so blindly followed some feet....eventually made it back to shore...."Well done!! Well done! 40minutes guys you're doing well!!" shouted one of the volenteers as I was being pulled out of the water, ace! 7mins up on my PB! round the corner and back in for lap 2....not much different from the first, got winded by a sharp kick and almost puked in the water, but held on to it as I would need that energy!....came in at 1h 25mins, a new PB!...

Swim - 1h 25min




On to transition....

T1 - 11:56

Took my time in transition as wanted to make sure everything was good to go for this 112mile bike ride I was just about to undertake! dried myself off, put my jersey on, race belt, shoes, helmet, shades....lets go!...grabbed my bike and headed out....just before the mount line I saw my Lincoln Tri buddies Clint, Jo and Shelley with a banner screaming and shouting at me to go go go!!! :-)



Bike -  The little journey out to the 3x loop was very calm, chatting to a few of the guys on the way down (being careful not for too long as didn't want to get a penalty for drafting!) Got chatting to a cheeky scoucer, who was bigging up the supporters on the side of the road to give us abit more a cheer...eventually decided to leave him as was going at a pace too slow for me...and before I knew it we hit the bottom of the noturious sheeps hill lane, supporters was a little thin but enthusiastic, clapping and cheering as we slowly made our way up, soon I got to the hill and hit the high gears and made my way up slowly...not too bad, but see how I am on the 3rd attempt!!! got to the top, saw some crazy dudes in a VW camper van having a BBQ and dancing around in mankini's and big afro wigs!! defo brought a smile to my face! nutters......after that is was a nice down hill affair and long roads to make it to the next aid station, but this point i didnt feel really hungry, but took a few gels and tried to stomach my sorean loaf which I had used on training many a times with no issues...today, it made me feel abit sick, but I got some down me and sailed through the halfway mark food station not taking anything on (big mistake!)....Soon I got back round again to start the 2nd loop, starting again at the bottom of sheeps hill lane and now the crowds was out in force!! It was crazy! just like the tour de france, people inches from your face ringing cow bells, blowing horns! PA systems blasting out queens "another one bites the dust" EPIC! really got me in the mood....


yet again the food station came into view and decided I was ok again on my sorean loaf so just took on energy drink and water....up the steep sheeps hill lane...now it was getting tough!...still the crowds of supporter was running along side me shouting "Oi!! stop smiling! this is pain you not meant to be enjoying this!! keep it up lad!!"


By the time I got to the top....I felt very tired, I knew I was about to start running on empty!!....and then I bonked, I was struggling....15-20miles till the next food station, I crawled along watching riders over take me and I cruised along trying to save what energy I could, until pulling up at the food station putting my bike down and heading for the portaloo for a quick pee....I could tell I was dehydrated and needed to take on more liquid so without further a do, I mounted my bike grabbed some energy drink and some bananas (Clint had advised me in his Outlaw race that he got sick of cliff bars and switched to bananas so thought I would give them a try)......10mins later I was back in the game!!! felt amazing!...soon it was the final loop, I stocked up on bananas at each food station, by now the crowds at sheep hill lane and the villages was staggering, this is what really kept me going, raising my hands and the crowd chanting my name....brilliant!!! loved it so much!! third time up the hill was a real killer!!!




I was determined not to get out an walk...the same guy came along side of me saying I was still smiling and was obviously finding this hill too easy!!!! made me laugh and too my mind off it at least....reached the top and knew it was down hill all from here......eventually coming back round again and making it into T2 at the school, ready to start the marathon!

Bike - 7h 16mins

T2 -  8.33

Gave my bike to the crew and slowly made my way up to the school to get my run bag, sat down took my cycling shoes/jersey off and changed into my running shoes, took in a gel or two, fuel belt on, downed 2 cups of coke and hit the road!

Run - A slight shuffle to get the feeling back in my legs after being on the bike so long, as soon as I knew it I got my running legs going, my plan was to stick to 5min run/1min walk as didnt want any injuries to stop me from finishing this race! plus my training had only got me as far as 12miles!! 2miles in and I was feeling great, got to the first food station, more coke and water....and off I went heading down the roads and riverbank, several women spectators commenting on my body and calling me a "fitty" raised my spirits!! loved it!

 
Eventually made it to the town center to start the 3 loops...first loop went without an hitch..came into the center of Bolton near the finish line to see my Lincoln Tri buddies waiving my banner again!!!


Quick hug and got back on with the job in hand, now it had started to rain heavy and I really felt sorry for my supporters coming all this way out to support me in the pouring rain!! So I wanted to get this race over and done with asap!...back out for the first loop picking up my green band! it was so hard not to look at other peoples arm with all 3 knowing they could walk down the finishing chute on their way back....hit the 1/2 marathon mark about 2hrs 15mins in, now I could feel some pain in my achillies as it started to get tight! I had to resort to walking abit to save it and pray it would not cripple me and finish my race off!! eventually I made it to the food station got some water and downed some painkillers, off I trotted again and made it back into the town to tell my friends I may be a while to which they asked me to MTFU and get going! so back out for loop 2...red band this time....walking/running was getting me though every time I felt a twinge I would back off and rest...the walk breaks was getting too frequent but there was nothing I could do....soon I was the final loop, my friends said they would see me at the finish line, so one final time I went back out...picked up my final yellow band and tried to run as fast as I could on the 5km back into the town square....until I saw the finishing chute!!! I now had the right to walk down it!! there was people with there hands out wanting high fives! cheering it was crazy!! so much going on I was dazed and confused I walked past my friends waiting for me!!! I managed to hear them and went over for one last hug off them all and proceeded down to the big archway....where I heard the words I had been waiting for since 6am....

ANDREW ROBERTSON..........YOU.......ARE....... AN IRONMAN!!!!
 






Finish time - 14hrs 8minutes - Run - 5hrs 6mins




I walked into the finishers tent, picked up my finishers t-shirt and sat down with 2 huge slices of pizza, downed a cup of coke and just looked at my medal......I had done it!!! Quickly woofed down my food, got changed into my street gear and met up with my amazing (very wet!) supporters! Without them my Ironman experience would of felt a bit empty with no one there to celebrate it with me as I crossed the line, so a big THANK YOU!!! goes out to Clint, Jo and Shelley!!!

So where do I go from here? Is this the end?........its only the beginning! having learned from my mistakes I now want to get a better time for Ironman UK and the ultimate goal in 2-3 years time....start gunning for a slot at the World Championships in Kona, Hawaii!!!














Friday, 2 August 2013

IMUK Hours away!!

Well....the past 8 weeks went like a blur and now I am less than 48hrs from doing the Ironman UK...how am I feeling? nervous? yes, Sore? abit, Sick, nope.....So how do I think im going to do? In all honesty I just want to get past the finish line and be an Ironman, Its been a shitty year to start off with and nothing went as planned, I was hoping the journey to Ironman be a stress free, happy event that I wanted to blog but such is life you cant see what lies ahead and what its going to throw at you....so in all due fairness Im kinda blaggin this Ironman, I know I can swim 2.4miles and still have juice in the tank, I can bike 112miles, slight sore neck but legs ready to run, I can run a 1/2 marathon...the rest is going to be mind games to get myself to the finish without doing any serious damage to my knee or achilles......so......Im hoping I do it!!!...fingers crossed!!!

Lets get this party started!

:-)

Sunday, 9 June 2013

8 Weeks till Ironman...shit is getting real!!

With about 8 weeks to go, how are things shaping up?...Well.....my action plan, has gone totally out the window and its now just a case of getting what training I can get in, but most importantly the long slow workouts so I feel comfort in the distance and can at least finish the race...from being a case of getting a nice time its now a case of finishing and becoming an Ironman, even if i have to walk the marathon or crawl across the finish line!!!

Swimming - This saturday while down at the lake a few of my tri buddies was down and going to do the 5 laps (A tad over the Ironman distance) as they are doing the Outlaw triathlon and they have even less time than me! So they said I might as well give it a go...this time I hired a Blue Seventy wetsuit as my Orca 3 is now starting to feel very tight and constrictive (Nooo I have not put on weight if anything lost a few lbs). So off we set.....now im useless at front crawl and sighting...it messes me up so have decided to do the Ironman with a mix of breast stroke and front crawl....and 1h 40mins, I completed the 5 laps!! I was chuffed! Sure im not going to win any age groups or Kona slots, but its built my confidence up that I can survive the distance and cut off!!....boom!! now to just maintain that distance until race day.

Bike - Up to 70miles now, a bit hit and miss with the nutrition side of things, some rides ill feel amazing and finish good, others I just bonk and want to call my dad to get the car and pick me up!! trial and error I guess but its a leanring curve :-)...just got to get used being on the bike for such long periods, saddle sores, aching lower back, neck pain...I know I should get a bike fit but cant afford it :-(....so man up...get on with it.

Running - New pair of trainers bought, but not 100% with them, even though my old Nikes have aboot 460-480 miles on them, they feel snug, but the soles are really showing wear and tear, so sticking with the new ones for now, but if I dont feel happy on the day then the old ones are coming out for one last dance. Up to 10-12miles at the moment which is no good considering I have 8 weeks left, but this leads on to my injury report....


So far I have been getting a niggle in my left knee cap since my bike rides have gone more than 60-70km, adjusted my seat and this looked to have resolved it, but still comes back after each session. When I run this comes out 2x as worse and I have to stop at 10miles....its annoying as I had all the injuries on my right leg, now they are coming out on the left!!! aaarrgggghhh!! So trying to space my long run out from my long bike and trying to stretch and do what it takes to not make it hurt :-(....but like I say, I may have to walk the marathon, or just run through the pain! which I can do but I know I need my knee to be able to drive home the next day! :-)

Hotel is booked, staying about 4 miles down the road from the swim start...so will have to get a taxi in the morning or one of my Tri buddies to take me.....and pick my corpse up at the end of the day!!

So exciting times, just hope I can hold this all together!!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

First month training and Lincoln 10k PB!!!

Almost at the end of my first months Ironman Training.....how well has it gone? Hmmm....not as good as I hoped as trying to juggle single life/training/studying is hard and have been missing about 20% of the workouts. Most of this is due to having my boy to look after when hes been ill or having done a really hard workout only for it to make me so fatigued I didn't want to do the next one in the evening... a few cock ups in the swimming time table ment my parents came over to babysit only for me to have got the day mixed up and the pool was not open for another hour!!!

Running on the treadmill had to stop, it was too noisey and I could hear a slight knocking sounds which didnt sound too healthy either so scrapped that idea...Turbo is still as torturous as ever and I cant stand the thing and being stuck in!!!! but I have no choice and its the only way to get the miles in on the bike untill its the alternate weekend for me not having my boy so I can get out and ride to my hearts content.....thats when its not raining/snowing/windy with this god awful weather we are having!! its bloody April ffs!.

So how we looking?

Swimming - Got some short tipped fins so I can use these at my local pool....the 2 female lifeguards didn't stop me last week so I can get some drills done now! if it had been the males I bet I would of got a talking too...my swimming is just crap and always will be since I cannot get to the swimming sessions with the Tri club...So this time Im biting the bullet and getting 1:1 Video Analysis with stroke correction...something is just not right, I stop swimming for 2 weeks and loose everything, I struggle to do 8-10 lengths freestyle if I take some time off and its so frustrating!! I have had it done before in my previous post but It didnt go to plan on the day and felt abit rushed...This session is a full hour 1:1 watching my stroke, recording and correcting it on the day.

Cycling - Now im back in my house Im cycling to work again and building up the miles per week, also have started joining the Lincoln Wheelers for their Tuesday night 5mile time trials..first attempt was crap...I turned up all unprepared and sucked....no gloves! my hands was freezing! This week...15:18, not bad starting block but I know I can do better, my legs was dead too because of the next bit....

Running - My strength of the 3...going well, millage going up each week, no niggles so far (touch wood!) decided a few weeks back to enter the Lincoln 10k...never usually do as I do 10k's on my lunch breaks and didnt want to pay out....but got talked into it so I did it....Now recently I managed to get my 5k PB down to 19.23....but my 10k's always been about 42-45 area because I never really bothered, but this time I thought I will go all out for a sub-40, no wind, pretty flat course, sun was shining....brilliant crowd!..PERFECT!....so off goes the hooter, start my watch.....every 1km I check to see where I am time wise and to keep it under 4min km's....get to the 5km mark in 20.05 going by the race clock! ffs I better get a move on! each 1km I sprint for 20-30sec and recover slightly keeping my pace level...I could feel myself wanting to give up!! last 1km, the crowds are cheering like mad, look at my watch 35.45...got 15sec to play with dont loose it! running into the castle square and I see the finish line at clock 39.20! I gun for the finish line to get the Sub 40 I have been after for sooooooo long!!!............and amost puked up twice!!...Well chuffed :-) 39.42!







Sunday, 17 March 2013

6 months of torture! Now I see the light....game on!!

After 6 months of pure hell of a relationship breakdown I was beginning to think my Ironman dreams was going to be over, nothing was going right in my personal life and training was non-existant apart from the odd run here and there....but now its finally over and I can get back on track! Got my house back, got routine starting back up again, sacked off dating women....its Ironman time!

So with the clock ticking I worked out how long I got left till the big day....21 weeks! sh*t! is there a plan out there for such a short time? YES! low and behold the 20 week training plan...

http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2011/02/03/super-simple-20-week-ironman-training-plan

Will it be any good I was thinking?.....if Dave Scott 6 time Ironman champion can use it, then so I can :-). Tuesday is the first day of the plan....now it don't come without its difficulties...I am a single dad with a boy to look after 3 nights of the week and a Saturday, the last thing I want to do is sacrifice my time with my boy or palm him off on my family...soooooo, I now have a turbo trainer and a treadmill!! The days I cannot get out the house, I can at least get some training in when my boy is asleep :-)....not the best but better than nothing.

Roll on Tuesday!!!