21 December 2008

38 Km Baby!!

So I got in my planned 38 km running yesterday (in 3:25 I might add). Felt good. Much better than last week's stumble home. I tell you though, that recovery takes it's time. I'm still going to top off the week with a run after driving to Belgium so I can reach 100 km (woot). So I'll be blogging from my mother-in-law's throughout the week.

Eva's sleeping now (tfft). She's already 12 weeks old. Man we're going to have to start marking off her age in months now. This is the first time that we're taking the little one on a road trip. I hope that she doesn't freak! Channel Tunnel here we come!

Gotta get the car ready for the drive now gang. Anyway, expect lots of reports about food and running --some usual introspection as well!

17 December 2008

I even impress myself!

If only that were true. I just finished a run tempo session this evening. I have no idea what my stats are. In fact, I don't really care to be honest. I can only say that I felt really strong out there. I think that my training is really coming together now. I have about 6 weeks before the ultra and I believe that I might do better than just complete this thing. If my legs hold together, that may actually happen.

Time for dinner, but before that.... I am a bit ticked off! I've been mulling this over since I heard last week and now I just have to say something. NPR's show Day to Day is getting canned due to budgetary reasons. how freeking lame is that? This is a show that has given me so much. Most of you who know me knows that I pretty much listen to speech-based podcasts during most of my training. It so happens that Day to Day is my bread and butter. I listen to them every day! Come March of next year, it's all over. Finished! Nadda! Consequently, there are a number of sites, Facebook pages, etc. dedicated to saving this show. I for one will join this cause in some way or another. Once I decide how, I'll tell you. Anyway, it's just a frightening thing that this is just the tip of the iceberg. One can only imagine what Public services are going to be cut both in the US and here on my side of the pond in the UK. I guess we'll find out when it's too late and they pull the rug from under us once again. Rant over....

16 December 2008

Winter Training Can Be A Breeze

So he says. I'm just gearing up to hit the roads once more. Charging up the Garmin, my iPod, looking for suitable clothing, blah, blah, blah... and so it goes. Currently where I am in the UK it's 3 C which isn't so bad for this time of the year. I generally go out with way too much kit on. Originally being from Michigan just has me programmed to go out dressed for the worst. I guess that has to be it. That or I'm really a weirdo who likes being smothered in tight fitting running apparel. I digress once more.

I believe that I mentioned that I'm running the Tring to Town Ultramarathon (http://www.tring2town.com/ ). I'm actually doing day one which is Town to Tring and a total of 40 miles. It's the uphill direction towards Tring along the Grand Union Canal. It takes place on the 31st of January, so I'm expecting classic English weather which consists of rain and wind. Nice thought eh? Up to this point I've managed no more than 21 miles running for my longest runs and I'm totalling about 50 miles per week. On top of that I'm maintaining my triathlon training which consists of 2 swims, 2 bikes, and 2 strength sessions per week. I suppose that I shouldn't be too concerned about the short mileage due to the excess above that in cross training. Anyway, eventually, that mileage will creep up to about 30 miles for the long runs and about 70 or so miles a week. I sort of set a goal of about 600 km from this week on to get the hard training in. I'm a noob at ultra's, but my successive Ironman racing should put me in good stead to finish strongly, erm finish...

I've recently caught the twitter bug as I finally had the time to use it. I find it very infectious and at the same time therapeutic. There's so many like-minded individuals out there sharing there human experiences with the rest of us. Of course there's a lot of chaff, but that usually happens with these kind of things. What I really like about the whole deal around social networking is the interconnectivity between all the social networking sites. The transitions are smooth and somewhat seamless. It's pretty cool even if I don't always have a great deal to say. It's just a wonder that there are so many people out there that do!

Where was I? Oh yeah, uh Winter running. It's getting dark and quiet out there. That's just how I like it. A nice hour should do it. Back to the roads for now.

08 December 2008

The race that never was

What a weekend! I was down for the Luton Marathon relays with Darren and Mark on Sunday. What happened was completely unexpected. It was about -3C in the morning with frost everywhere. I think that we had 4 teams signed up. My team had a good chance of a top'ish finish. Unfortunately, it was not to be as there was an accident on the course. Apparently a car caught a bit of black ice and flipped on its roof. The road conditions degraded throughout the morning so it made it nearly impossible for the recovery vehicle to shift the wreck. It got to the point that the organisers had to call the event off due to the lack of time and daylight required to ensure a safe event (http://www.lutonmarathon.org.uk/). Most of my fellow Tri-Force club mates decided to go for a short run as we were all together and ready to go. We still managed about 11 km on a very slippery surface. Even with all the problems with a DNS for the whole field, it ended up a really pleasant day with loads of sun and good friends to chat with. I still feel that need to get some more competitive events under my belt before my Ultramarathon in Tring. I'm sure that I'll find one or two. I just need to start looking.

06 December 2008

Coaching Children

So I'm back to coaching the juniors today. It should be a gloriously crisp afternoon for it. S will be walking in the woods with the baby. What a nice plan for the day!

07 November 2008

Looking Good For The Winter

So I'm at a stage where I am keeping my training base at a percolating level. We had our baby about 6 weeks ago and S is giving me the time I require for my addiction. Little Eva is my greatest fan! Now it's time to start looking at gear, kit, technology to get me motivated! I know that running ultramarathons and competing in Ironman races should be enough to get the blood going, but still I need more. I suppose that it has to do with the darkness of winter closing in and all that. It certainly isn't the weather as it's been pretty mild up to November. Sipping hot tea is nice. Hmmmmm.... I guess that a bit of shopping for stuff will do it. I'm now on the hunt for an Ant+ compatible powertap wheel to go with my Garmin 705. That will be a sweet combo, but it's a big chunk. It's pretty much the same as buying one of those good value Planet X carbon road bikes..... Although I could get some more winter gear for those cold rides too.... Decisions, decisions.... but... but...those new wireless Sony headphones will increase my listening pleasure!

Bugger it, I better go for a run!

TTFN All!!!

25 August 2008

And then?

Well uh, I didn't actually make it to Bedford after all, but that's a whole other story.... Let's move on shall we? So we've hit uncharted waters at this point as my season has come abruptly to a halt. Is it running season? Do I really have to hang up my wetsuit for the year? Who is that lady in my bed? So this is where I figure out how to keep that fitness going and keep that keen edge that I feel that I've finally got. However, S and I have a baby to look forward to in about 4 weeks. Now that is going to be the next challenge! I am really in that continuous mode of excitement and anticipation. It's really a weird place to be as you want it to happen and it's really a feeling that you're out of control and you don't know what to do next. A triathlete who is not in control of things around him.... what an odd concept. It's time to get out of the triathlon bubble for a while I think -- as it does tend to get a bit stifling at times as many of you know. That doesn't mean to say that I'll vanish off the planet, never to be seen again... it'll just be different. I just really don't know what to expect.

Boom! Reality bomb... back to today. Think I got that off my chest. Went out with a few of the Tri-Force boys for a nice bimble on the bike. They were tuning up for the Vitruvian Half Ironman and I was just along for the ride. I think I was being a bit of a horses arse at times and I sucked wheel a lot, but it was some fun. The conditions were a bit breezy, but no rain for once. TFFT! It was good to ride with other human beings for once as the last few weeks were getting a bit tedious. We got a nice 80-ish km in and attacked a few hills as well as a few flats. It was a very useful day indeed. Now I need to start thinking of what I can do with my fitness. I'm looking to do some road races, time trials, and a marathon up until the end of the year. It should be enough to keep me busy, but I need goals people!

By the way, I didn't get the 705 running today as I left the darned thing on all last night..... There will be updates about it soon!

22 August 2008

Changes and Toys

For anyone who has been looking at my blog, I've just made a few changes. Just a few touches here and there. Anyway, it should have a closer look and feel to my website now.

And now for the rest of the story.....

I just took receipt of a Garmin Edge 705 bike computer. Edge 705 pushes you to do your best, then shows you the way back. This GPS-enabled cycle computer knows no limits. Get heart rate, cadence, turn-by-turn directions, power data (from ANT+Sport™-enabled third-party power meters) — the works. Even share your data with other Edge 705 buddies after your ride. All wireless with a color display, this is no ordinary cycle computer.

It is very nice indeed.I've taken it out for one ride and it fits nice and snugly on my old Profile Carbon X bars. It is totally badass!! Full colour screen, all the stats you want, and a great little colour map just in case you get lost. I'm sure to put in more updates about how it goes. I'll be putting it to the test at the Bedford Triathlon on Sunday, so maybe it will help me PB!

17 August 2008

A little bit of this and that

Good week of training. Another one before the Bedford triathlon .
This will be my last triathlon for the season. I feel like I'm actually getting faster this year. Not bad for a 40 year-old. Anyway, I'll try to make it count!

11 August 2008

London Triathlon 2008

I got in this year thanks to Paul over at Grove House. The consequence of this was a 6:30 start today. This was the first time I actually have done London, so it was something one should experience. The scale of this event it truly amazing! However, races like these tend to have issues that are blaringly obvious. I'll get to this later.

Anyway, here is how my day panned out. The alarm goes off at 3:45 as we had to get to transition at around 5:30. This hurt! Nevertheless, we had plenty of time to have breakfast, pack up the warwagon, and get onsite on time. Oh did I tell you than my 8-month pregnant wife insisted on joining me today? As it happens, the entry to the transition area was delayed due to "organisational issues". No worries then... Once I finally got in, there was copious amount of space to park your bike and kit. 10 minutes later and I was at the race briefing area. A bit more waiting, some kind words from the race organiser, and we were sent out into the water.

The swim:

This was an anti-clockwise swim in the Royal Victoria Dock. The water was nice and chilly (to me at least) and the sun finally decided to show itself. The gun went off at precisely erm 6:39? 6:45? and about 500 of us set off. I decided to take it easy and hang back for a nice enjoyable time of it. There was very little of the usual bum fight as with such sizeable groups, so I just kept with a steady rhythm and finished with an extremely slow 29 minutes WTH? A quick transition and...

The bike:

I was lucky to be able to do the Westminster loop. Apparently there were some nice sights to be seen, but I was too busy to play the tourist (you know how it is). This was a 2 lap course and well... the wind didn't decrease in any way, so we had to live with it. It was an easterly which meant that we had a testing headwind each time we went towards the City. There were some narrow bits after St Catherine's Docks and man oh man oh man were there ever bunches of drafting b@st@rds. There was very little to be done to break them up. So I concentrated on my own race. I finished up with about 1:08 on the bike, which I'm pretty pleased about. Another swift transition...

The run:

Well I finally got my mojo back since IM Germany as my running rhythm has finally returned today! TFFT!! This run is a simple 2 lap affair that encircles the Dock. There's a bit of cobble around, but it didn't appear to give me any trouble. I kept up a high cadence up to the second lap. Then disaster hit. I was behind about 4 guys and I believe that we turned to early and missed about 400m off the run course! There were no Marshalls to be seen at this turning point, but heh no timing mat, errr no finish. I didn't realise this until I made it to the finish line at around 41 minutes after passing a good number of fellow age-groupers! I guess I can estimate about 43 minutes for this run, but officially it will count as a DNF me thinks.

So a total of 2:23 and an estimated 2:25 if I bothered to go around the correct turn and the official timing mat. I still finished strong and enjoyed the event. I believe that there are some obvious holes on the organisational side, but even the big races have them. It happens....

So what does this mean to me? Not a great deal. However, I think I need one more official finish before I call it a season. I might actually do Bedford in a couple of weeks.

Anyway, I have to say that my wife Suhela was a real star. She was there for the whole event even with her present condition. She deserves today's medal more than I do. I also hope that the minor contribution that I have made to Grove House helps them continue the great things that they do for their fellow man.

06 June 2008

One Month To Go!!

Haven't posted for a while and it's really due to the huge number of social networking, blog sites, forums, etc..... but here I am. Anyway, I have 4 more weeks until Ironman Europe and I am kicking my own @55! I'll check in after a big training weekend. Laters everyone


13 April 2008

Wow.. awesome!!!

My buds over here in the UK have really done it today!!! A double win for the TBB twins Bella Comerford and Stephen Bayliss at Ironman South Africa.

Stephen actually smashed the course record and Bella recovered from a huge deficit following a puncture! I am sooooo pleased for them. I just don't have the words as it's been a long time coming. Congratulations to Bella and Stephen!

06 April 2008


Snow? In England? In April? I don't get it. Really.... I woke up this morning for my long run and there was about 3-4 inches of snow on the ground from last night's storm. It's Belgium all over again. I wonder what next week is going to be like.

Suffice it to say, I didn't run this morning. I planned on a long swim instead, but suddenly got hungry. What did I do instead? Went shopping of course. We actually went looking for baby stuff for the first time seriously. My god there are all manner of accoutrements for bringing up babies these days. I have no idea where to start so what do I do next? Start building a database for our needs over the next few months. I think I shall call it babdb. Catchy isn't it?

Anyway, I'm glad I didn't bother with a flutter for the Tour of Flanders. I would never have chosen Belgian champion Stijn Devolder as today's winner. Well done Stijn. What a great career this guy is having.

There was a great result for Team TBB today with Chrissie Wellington winning yet another Ironman at Australia. She is a machine. Big up for Chrissie. Chrissie, get on my Podcast please! ;)

I finally got my lazy butt out after 6:00 for a nice 18km bimble in a finishing time of 1:20. This included my warmup. I'm pleased with this as I wasn't even winded. Portugal is going to be better than I planned methinks! I just have 2 more weeks to sort my swimming out. Is this a mission impossible? I don't think so.

01 April 2008

iMultisport is online!

I finally got my website up. It needs a few bits and pieces like a feedback form and more details around coaching and such. Anyway, please have a look at www.industrialmultisport.co.uk

I'm pretty happy that things are really coming together at this point. iMultisport is a reality and I hope that it becomes what we wish.

31 March 2008

Maybe More? I really hope so.

I had a good weekend of training for once. The weather was unforgivable on Saturday and was so blustery that I really couldn't wait to get off the bike. We ended up with about an 80 km ride followed by a 30 minute brick run. This hurt bad!

Sunday was really supposed to consist of a 1:30 run, but of course I got lost. I just couldn't get off this trail! Ended up with 27 km under my belt and knackered legs. It was really muddy out there. A true baptism for my overly white shoes.

I came across an article that talked about Sheila Taormina. Man she really is inspiring. She first had a Gold in swimming and raced in the women's triathlon event previously. She actually is shooting for a third time at the Olympics doing yet another event, Modern Pentathlon! What a hardcore lady. If anyone knows how to get in touch, please tell me as she would be a likely subject on my Podcast. Here's a like to her video : http://current.com/items/76390862_olympic_badass

24 March 2008

Cycling in Belgium?

Hi gang. I've been in Belgium for a part of the Easter weekend. The first half of the weekend consisted of a horrible time at getting my studies done for my Level 2 British Triathlon course and the final exam. A few hours burned and we were on the road Saturday afternoon heading for Folkestone. It was horrible driving on the continental side. I was so glad to be at my relative's house in Overijse. Anyway, Suze and I decided to take an extra day off and come back on Tuesday. This gave me a few days to get out and ride. It was really necessary too. I've only had a few days of it, but I already feel the cobwebs blowing off. My routes have been out to Leuven... one of the capitals of beer! Anywho, I've done one of my favourite routes that takes me through Leuven and then onto the Dijle Canal. Which is a somewhat bumpy, but enjoyable of rides. Fortunately, I got a bit lost on the way back and almost ended up in Tienen! This gave me a nice 3 hours solid. Today I rode around Terlanen and over to St Joris Weert (SJW). I got in about 1 1/2 hours today and experienced the biggest variety of weather that I've ever seen! Wind, rain, snow, sleet, sun, and snow again! What an experience. Tomorrow we're going for a meal at SJW after about another 3 hour ride, then we're off back to Old Blighty!

On another note, I've been thinking about new bikes again. I'm really stuck between a nice (really nice) roadbike or that absolutely beautiful Specialized that was released this year. It's just my cup of tea. If I had a choice between this and the Cervelo P2C..... I'm not too sure. Any comments out there? I'm chomping at the bit at the moment. .... grrrr.

18 March 2008

Keep it going!

Well, I've kept on moving. This is a good thing as I have been pretty much consistent with my training over the past few weeks. Anyway, I missed out on Sunday's race as I overslept and it was peeing down!!! I did finally get out late in the morning and got a good 24 km in. I took Monday off and felt good for that.

Is this guy still in front of his PC? Shut down!!!

I've got my Level 2 Triathlon coaching exam and haven't studied very much! Ouch..... I must start today. I'm sure that I'll pass, but I need to get the time to do it over the next few days....

13 March 2008

Windy... and how!!!

What a windy day. I took my standard 12 km loop towards Frogmore yesterday. I ran it anti-clockwise and almost got blown over by those gusts!! This still took only a little under an hour. Considering the hills, I think that it's not a bad pace at all. I should be in good shape for Sunday's torture fest in Wendover!!!

Anyway, I've been thinking about who to have next on my Podcast. I've been taking several directions at once, but I still like the idea of having the series of technology innovators as an ongoing theme. I hope that we can get some more small endurance sport companies soon. If you have any contacts, drop me a message gang.

12 March 2008

Reading again!!

Another Reading Half Marathon has passed. It was definitely a good day out. I helped a mate through this event and paced him. It was a good event for the both of us!! Here we are before the event.

These are two tough looking dudes!! When are they going to take off those silly hats?

Here we are close to the finish. We finally hit the finish line at about 1:51 which is just fantastic for a first timer at this distance.

Well.... where to next Neil?