Monday, 29 July 2013 10:29

A May-zing Month

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The month of May has become synonymous with The Brathay Trust 10 in 10 since I took part in it last year and became only the 47th person to complete this epic endurance challenge. More to follow on that later.

During April I had started training on the bike and also swimming. The swimming was the one discipline that worried me the most, I can swim but this 2.4 mile swim that had to be completed was definitely entering unknown waters. (get it, waters, swimming, oh never mind). I started having swimming lessons to get my technique sorted and after only 45 minutes had learnt that I was doing so much wrong I was surprised I managed to float. Fortunately, nothing was to major and within a couple of lessons I was straightened out, breathing right and swimming like a fish, well not quite, but things had definitely improved dramatically. May saw me in the pool upto 3 times a week and steadily improving all the time.

The bike was a bit easier to get to grips with, I mean after all, how hard can it be. Ahh those lovely cleat thingys!! Due to immense global warming it was still freezing cold and I found myself going out to ride 20ish miles with hat, 2 pairs of gloves, various tops, leggings, 3 pairs of socks and waterproof over shoes. Guess what, I was still coming home unable to feel my fingers or toes. This was in late April and I thought the warmer weather would never come. By May I was stomping along, still getting a bit cold but not as bad, but may be getting a bit cockier. On a 50 miler I slowly pulled up to a junction and being lazy didn’t want to un cleat my foot. I was going slower and slower keeping my balance waiting for a break in the traffic when all of a sudden I lost my balance and did a comedy fall to the ground. Fortunately no one saw me but this was not to be the first comedy fall. This time I cut my right knee, a week later having not learnt my lesson at all, I promptly did the same and cut my left knee, d’oh.

Things were moving on though and my mileage was slowly building, although I was still getting some horrendous back ache.

Back to the 10 in 10, after last years event I wanted to volunteer my services to the running of the event this year. It is such unique event that raises money for a great charity helping young people that I wanted to be involved. As it happened, both myself and Trudi helped as often as we could over the 10 days. It was great to give something back and experience the event from the other side of the fence, as it were. Out of the 15 athletes that started, 14 finished the event with one unfortunately dropping out after 8 days with a stress fracture. It’s a tough event, really tough. The last marathon of the event is the mass event on the Sunday. I was entered into this but due to the fact that I had been helping for the previous 10 days had only managed to get out for a run on a couple of occasions. It was a great day for running, weather wise, and there was plenty of support as the 10 in 10 guys started an hour before the main field. The rest of us started to the accompaniment of a shotgun, and began the tortuous journey of hills around Lake Windermere. I was having a good run until the wheels decided to come off around 19 miles or so. By now I had started to catch some of the injured 10 in 10 guys so did not mind having a chat with them and giving any words of encouragement that I could. They were all doing fantastically well, some with quite serious injuries. I struggled up ice cream mountain but once I had been jelly babied up at the summit I felt much better and was able to carry on at a reasonable pace. This is a tough hilly course but the last 3 miles are fairly flat and even downhill so it makes it a bit easier for the run in. The pint at the end was well deserved and a lovely pre cursor to the evenings celebratory meal with the 10 in10 runners and support crew.

After nearly 2 weeks being involved with the 10-in-10 it was time to get back into ironman mode and get back into the pool and on the bike. At least the weather was a bit warmer now and my hands and feet were not getting as cold.

Next time, open water swimming for beginners, Manchester Marathon, Hardmoor Marathon and a Day in the Lakes, all in a months training!!!

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