I was running well at the beginning of October and looking forward to achieving a half marathon pb at the Manchester half. All went wrong after 10k and I ended up hobbling back to the finish. Nearly 3 months out, and all signs of fitness disappeared. Running started again in January, with plenty of parkrun tourism. In a way I was embarrassed by my running, I could barely run 5k anymore, so I felt running with strangers hid me from my inabilities. As much as I tried, it was getting harder and not any faster. I may joke about my couch to half ironman training, but in reality it was. I even reduced the amount of activities that I put on Strava to give myself excuses to fail.
However, at the ‘run for beer’ event, I suddenly felt like I had a small breakthrough. As much as my times were slower than previous years, they were still better than I had been running by some distance. Then parkrun the next day I broke 26 minutes and the following day the Trust 10k on a difficult Hanbury hall course at just over an hour. The only problem, this was only a week before the event.
So unprepared for the event, I had to get MR to register for me, and then travel the evening before and sleep in the camper on the road and hopefully not upset any of the neighbors for the night. It’s difficult to describe how I felt when I first got into the water. Panic, sickness, survival? There was no doubt I was going to start at the back of the wave and when the whistle went, I tried to give myself as much room as possible.
The swim was surprisingly ok, sub 38 minutes. After jumping onto the bike, I knew a lack of practice on my road bike would affect me. The tri bars were redundant as it was not only uncomfortable in that position but the roads had lots of rough areas. I lacked strength in my legs and couldn’t get in my top gear, so my average speed suffered. 3hrs 10mins on the bike at 17.3mph was acceptable but 30 minutes different from last year. While in T2, the arrival of Andy Gwyer, made up my mind on the run. We made a plan to survive the 21.1km run. We had lots of fun which kept us going, encouraging others as they passed and some gentle banter with the marshals. Great to see John Legge at the end when we finally finished. Run time of 2hrs 42mins.
So why disappointed? I suppose you always want to improve.
To my fellow club members who took part, you were awesome, you did the club proud. To the support crew, you made me smile when I felt like crying. To all who commented, thank you, I’m not awesome just incredibly stupid. – Kevin Parsons
Weather was good, price affordable and I recommend it to others.
– John Legge
Well Louise and I did ride 70 miles across to the Cotswolds the day before the 113 and then an other 12 miles in the morning to get to see the 6 Triathlon Redditch boys on their running laps so you could say Louise and I put the most effort in to team support on Sunday!!
The ride over in the morning entailed a conversation with me asking Louise as I thought the font of all knowledge in triathlon, being a Tri trainer and all, “why is it called a 113 is it to do with the distances of the combined disciplines in the event I suggested”. “Actually I am not sure” said Louise that made me feel not quite so stupid. We then spent the next few miles cycling and trying to do the math. Turns out I was right the lads each covered a distance of 113km on Sunday. That is mighty impressive swimming 1. 9km, cycling 90km and just to finish it off a mere half marathon or 21.1km!! I was so Impressed watching them coming through the 3 lap run. I can forgive Robs look of pain and suffering on his first pass at the end of the spine road. We were then worried when it seemed a while before we saw him again I am pleased to say as the laps went by he did look better even managed a little grin as we cheered him through the second lap. John, well John just looked so relaxed he always makes running look so easy! He was at a more sensible steady pace today for the distance and not shooting round like I usually see him lapping me at the track or round the park!
Kevin well what can I say just how does he do it, he says with very little training but he smashed it, even jumping about for photos as Louise said looking like he was out for best funny photo at the Arrow valley park run!! Louise came up with the best joke of the day when she told me Martin Rodgers needed to sort out his event nutrition he is skeletal. Well he looked full of energy as he bounced around the run past us. Head coach Martin was looking strong but I was unable to get anything other than a pained unhappy face with every photo! My best shot I think of the morning was of Chris flashing past us in the distinctive Redditch triathlon blue suit. We also caught Ian making it look like a walk in the park, or rather he saw us first giving us a shout and wave as he passed us the first time round! so mission accomplished saw 6 out of 6 and cheered them all on.
I am still impressed at the distance triathletes can manage and to think this was only a half distance event the next one is a 226!! I should be inspired, but I am going to stick to my sprint and preferably super sprint distance tris. But I will take the inspiration to keep on pedaling on my bike this year as planned to raise some money for charity. Well done team Redditch triathlon you are all awesome!