Weeks 36 to 39 – House of Fun

When I first decided to write this blog, I promised myself that if I didn’t have anything interesting to write about, then I wouldn’t bother writing anything at all. It’s largely a testament to how dull my life is that my last post was over a month ago. In that time, in the last 32 days, a grand total of 3 relatively interesting things have happened to me. Brilliant. What’s more, as I am able to recall this adrenaline-filled trio of events as if they were yesterday, I can, if so minded, write about them in such mind-numbing detail as to leave the reader feeling that they are actually living the life of a tubby, de-motivated Ironman competitor.

However, and with a certain amount of good fortune for my ever-dwindling audience, I am not so minded and will only spend a few brief paragraphs glossing over what I consider to be March’s highlights (technically a bit of April’s too, but I’m in no mood to be pedantic).

Highlight number one was an opportunistic ride with the Vietnamese national cycle team (women’s). We happened across these Lycra-clad lovelies (incredibly patronising, mildly misogynistic AND wildly inaccurate but I like the alliteration) at the halfway point of a recent 160km training jaunt along highway 13. After a brief slow down for drinks, they came gliding past us at around 36 kmph which meant we were able to jump on the end of their train and enjoy the twin benefits of drafting a large group and having motorcycle outriders close traffic junctions for us.

With cycling etiquette in mind, we were careful not to intrude on their carefully planned training ride and trundled along quite happily for 15km or so. It was at this point something went wrong (though he denies it, I’m convinced it’s because of something Darryl said, thought or did to them.) and the team stretched out into single file before lifting the pace to about a 40kmph average. Ten minutes later and I was done for, my one chance of being scouted and making as a female pro disappearing over the hills in a cloud of turbo-charged oestrogen. Still, it was a good experience, and one made even better by the fact Wayne missed it.

The next event is only tenuously linked to training in that it excuses my recent sheer bloody laziness. My training plan is starting to

Thresher shark in the Philippines. One of only 3 exciting things to happen to me of late.

Thresher shark spotting in the Philippines. A good reason not to train.

get fairly serious – the last 4 weeks have been down as 13 or 14 hour weekers. My actual training has been decidedly less serious – the last 4 weeks have been 5 hours, 13 hours, 11 hours and 6 hours respectively. Part of this has been down to the need to rest following the glorious events of Madagui (see last post), but most has been down to being idle. The past 8 days has been spent in the Philippines, drinking beer and diving with very rare thresher sharks (which makes number two in my list of minor marvellous moments), as opposed to running and biking. I’m now very much rested, and also very much off the pace. Over the same period Ben, Wayne, Darryl and Wayne’s brother Guy have been flogging their guts out in the blazing Vietnamese sunshine meaning that I’m now having to play catch up. 12 weeks to go, no more shortcuts, especially with the bloody running.

The final exciting instalment has nothing to do with Ironman, but I’m delighted to have finally succeeded in ‘taming my inner twat’ (thanks Wayne) during a job interview and will be taking the fatdan (potential) ironman road show to Bangkok from August. I figure Thailand is as good a place as any to enjoy a year off. Hooray.

Fatdanironman award for athletic endeavour – week ending whenever the hell it was.

The Richardson brothers square up ahead of their Frankfurt showdown. Note a youthful, and vengeful, Darryl keeping watch in the background.

The Richardson brothers square up ahead of their Frankfurt showdown. Note a youthful, and vengeful, Darryl keeping watch in the background.

Take a bow, Guy Richardson. This is Wayne’s younger brother. Not content with being more intelligent and generally more successful in life, Guy also has a faster UK Ironman time than his slothful sibling. Admittedly, it was about 5 years and 25kgs ago, but it still counts. Guy is also down to race Frankfurt and has, with two and half months to go, finally kick-started his training. The way he tackled the Phu My bridge the other week was a sight to behold and those in the know are already talking about him as a serious contender for a place on the age group (85+) podium….

Training totals (doesn’t take a genius to work out where I’m missing sessions…)

Week 36 (Post jungle race rest week)
Swim:   Plan – 3hrs        Actual – 1hr
Bike:     Plan – 5hr45      Actual –  3hrs
Run:     Plan –  4hr15      Actual – 1hr

Week 37

Swim:   Plan – 3hrs        Actual – 3hrs
Bike:     Plan – 6hrs30    Actual – 8hrs
Run:     Plan – 4hrs30    Actual – 2hrs

Week 38
Swim:   Plan – 3hrs        Actual – 2hrs
Bike:     Plan – 5hr30      Actual –  6hrs
Run:     Plan – 4hr30      Actual –  3hrs

Week 39
Swim:   Plan – 3hrs        Actual – 0hrs (Not that it counts for anything, but I did see chuffing cool sharks during my 7 hours of  diving. That’s sort of like swimming…).

Bike:     Plan – 6hr30      Actual – 6hrs
Run:     Plan – 4hr30      Actual – 0hrs


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