Sunday, 24 June 2012

The Outlaw... The Final Countdown

So that's about it folks, all the work is done, now just a few hours training this week, and this time next Sunday I'll be out there. I've been pretty relaxed about it all so far but it's starting to get very real. The thing with Triathlon is there is so much kit and so many things to remember, this is multiplied when it come to Iron distance with all the extra nutrition/hydration and the changes of clothing. I've made a list so fingers crossed I don't forget something, I guess it's not far to nip home if I do, but it's fair to say I'm pretty stressed about it all.

I've been so incredibly touched by how generous people have been when it comes to sponsoring me. As I'm sure you're aware by now I'm racing for the Karen Green Foundation, find the details of what they do by following their logo on the right hand side of this page. I just want to mention a few people who have helped me raise the money so far, I'm pretty hopeless when it comes to asking for money. Ann Lumley has been amazing in asking pretty much everyone to sponsor me, Ella at work has asked anyone who has come into the office, and Sally and Sue took my sponsorship form home to get people who I've never met give generously, thanks guys you're amazing. Everyone has given so generously, some of the individual amounts have been amazing. I also want to tag on a little extra thanks to Sue at work, she offered to cover for me so I don't have to work on Saturday. It may not sound much but I can't explain the amount of stress this has released, it also means I can get my mug in group photo that is being planned :-), thanks Sue.

A few more special thanks, Lummo, all your support and enthusiasm and words of wisdom are always appreciated (not to mention your Garmin) see you at the Nottingham half-marathon??? Sam, who has had to put up with triathlon 24/7, I have been incredibly selfish and I really appreciate your support. Whether it be that you don't see me for hours while I'm out training or that when you do I'm too tired to be much company. Thanks for humouring all my talk of triathlon, I can't imagine how boring it must be for you ;-). And finally someone as yet I've overlooked. Matt my housemate, he's kind of been there through everything I've been through in the last few years. He may be untidy but he does have very straight hair. Thanks for all your support (I think), and thanks for the amazing donation Gonzo.

I want to just quickly mention a club mate too, someone who inspired me to even enter this race in the first place. Unfortunately she has had to pull out due to injury, she will still be doing the bike leg of a relay but I know this is a poor substitute for her. It really affected me when I heard the news last week, I didn't know what to say, I can't imagine going through everything we've been through (winter and all) and then pulling out so close to the race. But needless to say she will be back fully fit and stronger than ever, I know she has set her sights on next years Outlaw. She is stronger and more determined than even she realises, when it's her time she'll be an Outlaw without doubt.

Finally a word for my Mum and Dad, I had a nice chat with them yesterday catching up after Dad had gambled badly all week at Royal Ascot, still they had a great time I think. After we finished the call Dad rang back, he often does this if there's something he's forgotten. Well this time it was just to tell me how proud he and Mum were of me. Thanks guys, brought a tear to my eye too Dad. We're not overly emotional when it comes to words as a family which is why I told him to stop being soft :-).

Some final race info for anyone wanting to come and spectate. My race number is 302.

I'd recommend checking out the info from One Step Beyond:   

An estimate of my race day for anyone supporting:

06:00 - Swim Start
07:30ish - Swim Finish/Bike Start
14:00-15:00 - Bike Finish/Run Start
17:30-19:00 - Finish (hopefully)

NB: All times are subject to change :-/

Everything starts and finishes around Holme Pierrepont. You'll be able to track my bike splits after 40.2, 66.4 & 89.5 miles, and periodically on the run via StuWeb Timing website.

It'll be great to see some friendly faces along the way.

I guess that's about it for now, if anyone wishes to donated, please follow the link on the right to my Just Giving page, Matto_out xx

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Let the Taper Commence...

Today feels like a major battle won. For all those following the Fink training schedule or something similar then the last 3 weeks is the taper, the gradual decrease in training until race day, and that's where I'm at. My programme peaked at 20 hours this week and comes down to what seems like a breeze at 14.5 hours next. To put it into some sort of context that is the kind of amount I was doing 10 weeks ago around week 17. I'm delighted with my commitment and the amount of effort I've put in, since week 16, 12 weeks ago, I've only missed 2 training sessions. It's taken a large degree of effort and a huge amount of sacrifice but that's what it's all about. If you want something hard enough.

Now I'm under no illusion. Race day will be something else altogether. So far I've swam 1.9miles, I've ridden 100miles and I've ran 22miles. I've done as much as 7.5hours in a day. But July 1st will really be into the unknown, just to remind you I'm aiming to do 2.4miles swim, 112miles on the bike and 26.2 miles run all under 13hours.

Whilst doing this challenge to become an Outlaw I'm raising money for a great cause. The Karen Green Foundation is a new charity raising money for organisations and individuals researching, treating and fighting leukaemia and cancers of the blood. Please follow the link to there website on the right or if you like you can sponsor me via the link to my Just Giving page.

Thanks Matto_w xx  

Saturday, 2 June 2012

4 Weeks To Go...

Not long now folks, 4 weeks tomorrow to be precise. Just over a week of peak training before the taper begins, and to be honest I can't wait. I really love training but for the last few weeks it's just been too much, 19.5hrs this week, and 20 next. It's starting to take it toll. Thanks to all those around me for there support, especially Sam who gets the short end of the stick more often then not, and often can't do right for doing wrong. I'll make it up to you soon I promise.

So this week, I was way too tired to get up for the early morning Tuesday swim session with Absolute Tri Club, so I stayed in bed. Got back from work as usual and did a decent hour run. Wednesday is my usual tortuous day... up at 5am to do a brick session before work, an hour on the bike followed by a 30 min run, it was distinctly average and as with most of my sessions of late, I've felt tired. Finished work in time to make it to open water at Holme Pierrepont, thanks to Steve's instructions I managed 3000m, a bit of neck chafing but all good. I love the feeling of swimming open water. Thursday, pool session after work followed by a 1 hour 30 min run, not keen on finishing training after 9.30pm, but needs must at the moment. I had Friday off work so did my long ride, 5.5 hours at 16.5mph with an hour run off. Trying to get the balance right as I don't want to leave my marathon on the bike course. Today keeps it real! I did 1 hour 45 mins on the bike at a steady Z1 16mph, the long run off was really tough for the last 2.5 miles, I have at least got through the psychological barrier of 20 miles, but it's hard to keep the mind straight. I'm still daunted by the fact I've got to run another 6 miles, not too mention the rest of the bike first. I finish the week tomorrow with an hour in the pool and a 1 hour 30 min ride (probably in the rain looking at it), before spending the rest of the day with my closest friends and family. I'm not especially up on the news as I'm so busy, but I think it's something to do with the Queen.

I want to tell a little anecdote if I may? I've always been a decent runner, but at school I was always second best, there was this other guy, and for the sake of this story we'll call him 'Tom'. He was a great runner and way better than me. Year 11 at the end of term was the whole schools cross country run, I was already resigned to come second, and second I came, behind 'Tom'. So.. the following year... I was in Lower 6th Form, and 'Tom', he'd left to do A-Levels at some other college. This was my year. As we set off this young undetermined runner set off at lightening pace, I followed and awaited him to blow up and burn out. Needless to say he didn't, he won and yes you guess it, I came second :-).

The moral of the story isn't that I'm going to lay this demon to rest and win Outlaw, you may laugh at this, winning is finishing :-). It's to highlight the support I received from all areas. I've not seen 'Tom' probably for at least 10 years, but via social networking 'Tom' has been keeping up with and 'liking' stuff, and has sponsored me, for which I'm very grateful. Not just him but to everyone. It's going towards a great charity with great people involved. The great thing about the people behind the charity is the basic mentality. When something tragic happens, the thought wasn't who/what is out there to help me/us, it was how can I/we use this to help others. I think this mentality is amazing and inspirational, and it's why I'm getting behind the Karen Green Foundation. Hit the KGF link on the right to find out more, better still hit the Just Giving logo and pledge your support.

Thanks for your time y'all, I'm off to pretend I have a life. It's not even 5pm yet the evening is my oyster :-) Matto_out xx

ps I wouldn't call myself a Coldplay fan (at all!) but this is one of my favourite songs, and has a special meaning to me from way back. The lyrics suit how I feel right now...

"Nobody said it was easy, no one ever said it would be this hard"