The Road To The Road To Ironman Lanzarote 2015


In Which I… Oh Dear.

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What: 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, 26.2 mile run.
Where: Puerto Del Carmen, Lanzarote
When: May 2015
Why: I’m wondering that myself…

In the 18 months since I started running, I’ve completed 7 x 10k runs, one 1/2 marathon and 2 full 26.2 mile marathons. I don’t think that that’s too bad for someone who struggled to run to the end of the road a year and a half back!

Not to take anything away from marathons (or any other distance for that matter!) but I’ve done a couple now and wanted to go bigger and go further (literally, it seems) so I decided it was officially time to get another challenge under way.

Ironman.

An Ironman triathlon has been in the back of my mind since I first saw Ironman Tony and Rob finish Ironman Lanzarote in 2012 (which inspired me to take up running in the first place), and I think it’ll be chuffing impressive to finish the same race, especially within 3 years of starting running!

Entry to 2015 doesn’t open until the day after the 2014 event, so I won’t be officially entered til then, which is why I’m on The Road To The Road To Ironman.

Before I enter the race I need to improve all 3 disciplines, running swimming and biking, and have been looking into targets to reach by next May to prove to myself that I have the dedication needed. That’ll then give me 12 months to get proper race fit. (Unless I give up. Or like, die from exhaustion.)

I’ve not finalised my targets yet, but will have them up in a week or so. (Any suggestions welcome!)

Also, Ironman Tony says he’ll help with my training so that’s a start!

Both Nigel and Four Burgers Rob are entering 2015 too, and as far as I know so is Martyn. Plenty of us to keep the motivation going!

Recovering from flu at the minute so not done any training for a week or so (not the best start…) so spending my time reading any and all training/nutrition plans. So far, so inspired!

As always, all advice and/or constructive abuse is welcomed either on here, Twitter, or my Facebook page.

17 months and counting…

Oh poop.

Sarah’s Granddad Completes His First Ever Triathlon… At 83!


In Which You Are Impressed. Admit it.

Last Sunday was the day of Skipton Sprint Triathlon, 400m Swim, 20k Bike Ride and then a 5k Run.

Running the race were two of Sarah’s uncles, Nigel and John, and her Granddad Norman, who is 83 years old and decided that he fancied completing his first triathlon. At 83 years old. A triathlon. He’s 83.

I stole borrowed this from the Telegraph and Argus website:

“Spectators in Aireville Park were treated to an inspirational display of courage and determination as 400 athletes battled against blustery conditions to complete the Skipton 2 Late Summer Triathlon.

The event, held over the same course – 400 metres swim, 20 kilometres cycle and 5km run – as the popular Skipton Triathlon in April, attracted entrants of all ages.

The youngest was 15-year-old Zoe Kitching of Leeds, who completed the race in a time of 1hr 24min 24sec to win the female youth category.

 The oldest was 83-year-old Norman Redmond, also of Leeds, who clocked 3:10.40 as he finished his first-ever triathlon after spending many years watching his sons compete in the sport.”
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It was a very cold and windy day on the day of the triathlon and we were all VERY impressed with Norman (at 83!) and very chuffed for him when he finished. If he can do something like that at 83, there’s no reason the rest of us can’t do something similar at our age! (Unless you’re like, 84 or something…)
Update for Marathon Training
Last week myself and Rob arranged to go on a bike ride from Bradford to Skipton and back, 19miles each way. We went the wrong way at Keighley and so ended up cycling back on ourselves for a few miles, then found the canal so followed that towards Skipton. Instead of 19miles, we rode 26miles to Skipton, where we stopped for some food and then due to Rob working nights, caught the train back towards Bradford. I then cycled home another 4 miles for a total of 30miles. (Missing the target by 8.) Going to try it again this week but with a better idea of direction. (Also, we almost missed Skipton completely but luckily when we pulled into the side of the road, another cyclist stopped to see if we had a puncture or anything and directed us the right way.)
On Thursday I arranged to meet my friend Clare early in the morning (Half 8! Ugh!) for a practice run as she’s just started doing the Bradford Park Run and wants to get her time below 40mins. (Her best time for the 5k was 42:06.) I ran a couple of miles before meeting up with her and then we ran along the canal and through a bit of woods, then finished up in Idle.
The 5k route took us just over 40mins, so looking good for her next Park Run. I had therest of the day off, and after calling in at the Supermarket and walking home it wasn’t even 10:30. I was amazed, I’d done my run for the day, gone shopping and now had a full day off to feel smug about exercising early. That might be the way forward, instead of getting up on a day off and watching TV til lunch, THEN going for a run, I’ll get up early and run before lunch! (We’ll see how well that goes…)

Ironman UK (Bolton) Spectator Re-Cap


In Which I Become A THREE TIME IRONMAN…………….. event spectator

3rd August

With Ironman Lanzarote not being enough of a challenge in May, Father In Law Tony had also entered Ironman UK. Two in three months.

Everyone went over to Bolton to check into the Premier Inn sometime on the Saturday afternoon. I was working until six, so made my own way there via Manchester and McDonalds. I thought everyone would’ve eaten by the time I got there, but they’d been waiting an hour for a table in the restaurant so Sarah text me pictures of the menu and I then text Sarah my food order. (Technology is MARVELOUS!)

Everyone was fed, I had a few beers, then it was off for an earlyish (not at all) night.

4th August – Ironman Day

We got up early. And I mean EARLY. When we watched Iron man Lanzarote the event began at 0700. That meant we got up around 0600 – 06:15 and had a short walk down to the beach to watch the swim start. For what ever reason, Ironman UK starts at 0600. And we were staying nowhere near the swim start. Luckily, the events organisers put on coaches for the athletes and supporters. The coach left at 0515. Ugh.

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Going In

The Ironman UK swim course is in a lake thing called Pennington Flash. It’s a two x1.2mile lap course, and the athletes have to start in the water. Before the gun goes, they have to tread water for 5-10minutes or so which must use some much needed energy. After the first lap, they have a run of about 80m before doing the second lap. Pretty much every athlete that ran out of the water slipped on the mats. Not very safe.

Coming Out

Coming Out

Tony came out of the water in just under 41minutes then got straight back in for his second lap. After we’d cheered him on, we moved up the course towards where the bike part would start. We got a good spectator spot and waited for him to run passed. We were also keeping an eye out for another family(ish) member. I think he’s my Wife’s cousins cousins husband. Or something… Anyway, while we were waiting for Tony, we heard “And coming out of the water, Martin Stoney!” and because that’s my wifes cousins cousins husbands name, we looked out for him. I think he’s done marathons and such, but this was his first Ironman event. A minute or so passed, and then he ran passed looking strong.

Martin

Martin

Not too long after, we saw Tony running up towards us and he stopped for a quick chat before running up to Transition 1 (where they get changed) and then he was off on his bike.

Sarah Helping Get The Wetsuit Off

Sarah Helping Get The Wetsuit Off

It’d be AGES until we saw him again due to the course set up. We got on the free bus back to the hotel, and we all had breakfast. (Which was our Transition 1.)

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After about an hour we made our way to the train station and got on a train (obviously) to the centre of Bolton. Only took about 10minutes and so that wasn’t enough time for the conductor to come round and sell us a ticket. When we got off they had a couple of guards checking tickets so we went up the counter next to them where you could buy a ticket for the journey you’ve already done. I think if they’re too lazy to come round with tickets, it should be free. But it’s not.

When we were waiting a scruffy lad tried to run down to the platform but Guard 1 stopped him because he didn’t have a ticket.

Guard 1: “Tickets please.”
Bloke: “My f***ing trains there, I don’t have time for an f***ing ticket.”
Guard 1: “You can’t go passed without a ticket.”
Bloke: “That’s f***ing stoopid. My f***ing trains there.”
Guard 1: “You still need a ticket I’m afraid.”
Bloke: “F***ing F***ing F***ing F***ing.”
Guard 1: “The ticket counter is over there.” (Bloke goes to ticket counter, f***ing all the way)
Guard 2: “He could use the machine, no ones using it.”
Guard 1: “He’ll be too stupid to use a machine.”

The bike course for Ironman UK starts where the swim finishes, but ends about 6 mile away from the centre of Bolton. This meant that we could make sure we were in plenty of time to see Tony and Martin on their run. The bike course is a point to point 14 mile ride, before then going into a three lap route that starts at Adlington in Lancashire and takes in quite a few hills and villages. It then finishes at a high school where Transition 2 is waiting, after a total of 112 miles riden on the bike.

Our Transition 2 was the pub.

Finishers Chute

Finishers Chute

There were plenty of splits on the bike course so it made it easy for us to track Tony and Martins progress on the Irontrac App. (Lanzarote only had one split so had to be more vigilant.) Plenty of splits on the run course too, which makes it much easier as a spectator. Looking at the App, we saw that Tony had finished the bike section in 6:44 and Martin in 7:11. The Marathon for Ironman UK is a six mile run into central Bolton, followed by a three lap course for the other 20 miles. The first split the app tracks is at 10k, but then they’re every 1-3k or so. We thought that the first split was near where we were stood, but it wasn’t. We were expecting them to run passed us at anytime, but it turns out that we were closer to the 4th split, so didn’t see them for almost an hour later than we expected. And it poured down.

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Before long though, we saw Tony running up towards us and he stopped for a few words. Then he was off again. With part of the run being 3 laps you see the person you’re cheering on six times. (With the last time being the finish.) We figured out which splits were which and made sure we were at the road side in time to cheer. (Inbetween was a combination of McDonalds and a pub. Or two.)

When they were on their final laps we made our way to the finishers chute and got a place in the stands. Again, using the Irontrac app, we had a good idea of when they’d be finishing. Martin came passed first to finish in a time of 14hours 17minutes. As we were waiting for Tony, the big screen broke and didn’t get fixed until after he’d crossed the line which was a shame as you could’ve got a brilliant picture of him finishing. Maybe next time.

Tony came down the chute and we all cheered. Susan had made her way to the front of the barriers and Tony stopped to give her a hug, before going over the finishers line in a time of 14hours 24minutes, (almost half an hour quicker than Lanzarote) and becoming a Triple Ironman.

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5th August

After breakfast we went and had a look at the Ironman Expo. It was a LOT better than Lanzarote, with loads on sale. I bought myself an Ironman training book as motivation. Hmmmm……

Tonys Medals

Tonys Medals

When we got home we went and got this:

Tiger Lily

Tiger Lily

Our new kitten. Indy seems to be tolerating her so far, so that’s good.

Amazing People


In Which I Talk About A Couple Of People You Might Not Of Heard Of But Will Probably Tell People About

My marathon running training is going quite well, and to plan at the moment too. (Which is new!) I’ve done a couple of 5 mile runs home, which is roughly 2 miles of uphillness, followed by a nice stretch of 2 miles down hill, then a mile of steady uphillness to finish.

The first 2 miles has a couple of proper hills in which are good training (I keep hearing) but the best part is obviously the downhills. I when I get to this part I feel like holding my hands up in the air and going WHHHHHEEEEEEEEEE all the way down, but as it takes about 15-20 minutes I’m not sure that I could WHHHHHHEEEEEEEE for that long.

The first time I ran the 5 miler I did it in 55:45 and the second time I did it in 54:00. I’m running the same route home tonight, but it’s due to get up to 26 degrees (78F) and have forgotten my water bottle, so might cut it short to 3.5 miles then run to work in the morning to get the miles in.

My training plan for Monday is a steady 7.5 miles and have worked out a route along the Leeds-Liverpool canal to run where it’ll be flat all the way. Not going for hills because that runs about distance, not time, but Monday supposed to be even hotter than today so will have to get up early to go run. Feel free to join in!

Anyway, back to the title of the blog and to your lesson for today. That’s right, it’s not just entertainment here, it’s education too! (Edu-tainment!)

Madonna Buder

Have you heard of her? If so, you can go play outside for a bit while I talk to the class.

Madonna Buder is an athlete. A triathlete, even. Actually, she’s an Ironman triathlete athlete. She didn’t start training until she was 48 years old and since then has completed 45 seperate Ironman events, and over 300 triathlons.

Impressive already, but it gets better:

She’s the oldest person to complete an Ironman event (The event was Ironman Canada) and she finished in 16:32:00.

She was 82 years old.

Those aren’t the best things about Madonna Buder though. The 2nd best thing about her is that they have to keep creating a new age bracket for her as she keeps entering the Ironman events.

The best thing about Buder, however, is this:

She’s been, since the age of 23, a Nun. (Nicknamed, obviously, ‘The Iron Nun.’)

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Madonna Buder ‘The Iron Nun’

Cliff Young

In Australia, they used to have an Ultra Marathon which goes between Sydney and Melbourne. It was 544miles (875k) and was said to be one of the toughest in the world. Before the race was officially run for the first time, the fastest anyone had run between the two places was around 7 days.

Ultra Marathoners and elite runners, 20-30 years old, turned up and the day of the race, as did Cliff Young.

Cliff Young

Cliff Young

Cliff was a farmer. A 61 year old farmer. With arthritis in most of his leg joints. A 61 year old farmer who turned up to race the 544miles in boots and overalls instead of running shoes and shorts.

Obviously, the reporters descended on Cliff and asked him what the hell he was thinking. He told them that he lived on a farm and had 2’000 animals, sometimes he’d have to run after these animals for a couple of days, sometimes three days, before getting them all herded together, so the way he saw it it was only a few more days of doing the same.

The gun went off, the pack went off, and Cliff did a sort of shuffle-walk-stumble run thing. He was left well behind by everyone else.

After 17 hours of running, the Elites and Ultras bedded down for the night, the plan from the get-go being that you ran as far and as hard as you could for 17 hours, slept for 7, then repeated til the end.

When they woke up in the morning to start again, they were told that Cliff Young, in his boots and overalls, was a dozen or so miles in the lead.

He hadn’t slept, and hadn’t stopped.

Turns out that when Cliff said he chased sheep for 2-3 days, he meant continually, never stopping, never sleeping. For three days at a time.

He wasn’t caught for the rest of the race, finishing in a time of 5 days, 15 hours and 4 minutes, a full 10 hours in front of the closest Elite and close to two days ahead of the record for the fastest run between Sydney and Melbourne.

They presented him with a check for $10’000 for winning the race, and he was shocked because he didn’t know there was any prize money. He felt bad about keeping it saying ‘Everyone else worked just as hard as me’ and so divided the money equally between all the runners.

At age 63 he ran 150 miles within 24 hours.

At 76 year-old he attempted to run AROUND THE EDGE OF AUSTRALIA but had to stop after 3’800 miles (6250k) as his only crew member (who was driving the route) passed out from illness. (That’s about the distance from one side of America to the other, and then halfway back again.)

At 79, he became the oldest man to finish a six-day Ultramarathon, and it was while he was dying of cancer.

Cliff died in 2003, at the age of 81. He never kept any of his prize money, and gave it all to charities or friends.

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On A Lighter Note

Sometimes you only hear of someone dying when the radio plays a few of their songs that you haven’t heard for a while. Yesterday, they played ‘Right Here Waiting’ by Richard Marx in the morning. ‘Haven’t heard one of his songs in a while!’ I thought.

In the afternoon, they played ANOTHER of his songs. I got on to Twitter and looked to see if he had an account.

Richard Marx: Alive!

Richard Marx: Alive!

PHEW!

Happy First Birthday To My Blog!


In Which I Give You A Load Of Stats And Stuff

27th June 2012 – I posted my first ever blog post, about how I was trying to be a runner.

27th June 2013 – Still trying to be a runner.

Hello! How are you? Hope you’re well. I’m fine, thanks for asking! I’d go so far as saying I’m ‘Good’!

‘Very cheery’, you’d say back, ‘Have you won a free Twix?’

‘No!’ I’d reply. ‘It’s because it’s one year exactly since my first blog post!’

‘Wow!’ Would come your response. ‘I hope you have lots of stats ready!’

‘I do!’ I’d say.

How much do you now wish you lived at my house, when you see you’re missing out on brilliant conversations like this?!

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The first time I ever tried running, it was horrible. Really horrible. Couldn’t even do 1/4 of a mile without walking. I pushed and pushed though, and managed to get a mile done with a mixture of run/walk. After that, my legs were killing me. Did I give up? No! I carried on and on, and gave up a bit, then started again and carried on and on and on and on!

Since then I’ve run the following officially organised runs:

Run Stats

1 x 5k Run

1 x 8.8k Run (Sent wrong way)

5 x 10k Runs (Best time: 56.57)

1 x 1/2 Marathon (02.38)

1 x Full Marathon (04.55)

I’m signed up to the British 10k in July and also the Yorkshire Marathon in October.

I’ve collected 7 medals, 10 T-Shirts, One Water Bottle and One Towel.

As well as the above I’ve started riding a bike a few times a week to work and back, and have learned how to swim. (Not swim to work, not sure how that’d work or why you thought it to be honest…)

Blog Stats

As of yesterday, I reached 1’000 subscribers to my blog. (The DAY before my blog turned a year old! Good timing or what?!)

I’ve had over 15’000 views on the blog in the past 12 months. (Works out about 40 views a day, but  about 14’000 or so must be me.)

I’ve had visitors on my blog from 89 different countries. Google says that there are 194 countries in the world, so that’s almost half!

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One of my favourite stat things on WordPress is that it tells you when someone has found your blog through a search engine, and most of the time what they searched for. (A lot is ‘unknown search term’ and it’s unknown to me what that means.)

Search Stats

The number one search that brings people to my blog is ‘Guide Dog’ because I blogged quite a bit at the start about raising money for the guide dogs. There’s a lot of ‘hemingway run’ or ‘run hemingway’ or ‘hemingway run blog’ searches that get people to my page too, obviously people that know me or that have been on the site before. Another popular search that brings you here is ’50 fat diabetic ahead of you’ which is people searching for the image that I took from the internet and put on the Inspiration bit.

50-fat-diabetic-and-ahead-of-you-tshirt

Most search terms that come up I don’t look at anymore, because it’s obvious how they ended up here. Ones like:

‘Great North 10k Medal’

‘Blackpool Marathon’

‘Leeds 10k 2012 t-shirt’

I’m sure I’ve mentioned each of them quite a few times in various blog entries, especially Blackpool Marathon. (…did I tell you I ran a marathon..?)

Then there’s searches that people do that somehow lead them here, but I can understand why, when it’s those certain words in that certain order. Things like:

‘Bonfire the Manor Eccleshill’ I live near Eccleshill and have ran passed The Manor pub, and have also blogged about a Bonfire Night 5K.

‘Road running Etiquette UK’ I once did a blog entry about running etiquette, so guessing that’s why they got here.

‘Tattoo in Blackpool near the train station’ I’ve mentioned Tattoos, Blackpool, and Train Stations on various entries.

‘Wrestlemania 29 showing in Blackpool’ Bit obscure, but on the Blackpool Marathon blog I mentioned that I watched Wrestlemania afterwards.

Those searches, I can understand why they ended up here.

What I don’t understand is how searches like these ended up here:

‘Homemade radio’ As far as I know, I’ve never made a radio in my life.

‘Guy who got ticket for driving and consuming too many energy drinks’ No idea.

‘Sayings around waiting so long on the toilet’ I don’t even understand what they were asking.

And then there’s this:

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‘Great North Run Tit Flash’

Amazing.

 

EDIT: Thank you to everyone that takes the time to read my blog, and having done so doesn’t send me any abuse or anything, but instead leaves a nice comment, or follows my blog, or ‘likes’ the posts. You’re great. No YOU are. Oh, stop it, you!

Ironman Radio: Homemade Video


In a post last week, I mentioned that Father In Law was going to be on the radio to talk about Ironman (competition, not the movie.)

The other day, he was on it. The link to it was put on the radios website, but the sound quality was poor, so I decided to do a bit of technical wizzardry and make the sound listenable. Then decided to take it a little bit further and make a video to go along with the sound.

(Also, does anyone know how to change the background so it’s not a baby? Thanks!)

Enjoy!

Ironman Tony In The Local Fish Wrap


Our local paper has done an article about Father In Law, and apparently a radio station wants an interview too:

Ironman Tony Redmond has won an award for superhuman effort after the 50-year-old postman did the gruelling swim, bike and run competition for the first time last year.

The ardent Bradford City fan trains at Bingley Pool and is being presented with a “b active” award from Bradford Council for his constant success in pushing himself to the limit – and raising cash at the same time.

When he did his first Ironman challenge in Lanzarote last year, Mr Redmond, of Eccleshill, raised £1,400 for The Bradford City Burns Appeal.

He became keen on triathlons after hitting 40 and took part in the Ilkley triathlon in 2004 and 2005 with a young Jonny Brownlee, now the current World Triathlete Champion.

He said: “Lots of 50-year-olds may think it is time to put your feet up, but I think that is the time to push yourself even more.

“I love the challenge and it makes me feel good when I achieve my goal.

“It’s so important to keep fit and particularly when you get older.”

The Ironman race has a time limit of 17 hours, an average time of 12 hours and the current record time is 8.04.08.

It consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile cycle ride and a 26.2-mile run to finish.

Only qualified triathletes take part in the world championship, having gone through a series of qualifying stages. The Lanzarote Ironman is one of those stages.

Mr Redmond said: “I had done some running and cycling, but wanted to take it to the next level so I joined swim triathlon training sessions at Bingley Pool.

“Swim coach Di Whittaker proved to be a great boost, building my endurance, improving my technique and passing on invaluable advice about competing.”

Coun Andrew Thornton, Executive Member for Environment and Sport, said: “Tony deserves a b-active award as he is a great example of someone who is really motivated and sets himself new challenges as he gets older.

“Keeping fit is important for keeping healthy and enhancing the quality of your life as well as helping you to live longer”

Mr Redmond and his brother-in-law Robert Thornton plan to do the Lanzarote Ironman again as well as the UK Ironman in Bolton in August.

The b-active awards are given out by the Council’s Sport and Leisure Service to people in recognition of their outstanding achievements in encouraging others to be more physically active.

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