Tag Archives: race

Lovely family day out?! aka Very late race report (found unpublished in draft folder!)

Last weekend I took part in an extremely painful duathlon in Cambridgeshire. Actually, as far as duathlons go it wasn’t any more painful than the next… it just helped me reaffirm my conclusion that ALL duathlons are painful, fullstop.

Our morning started at 5am, when I dragged my thirteen year old daughter out of bed and told her to dress in VERY warm clothes. She muttered something that I was clearly supposed to not quite hear under her breath which contained the phrases “middle of the night”….”standing next to a freezing lake”….. “lovely family day out….huh”

I then finished packing the car, forced down a bowl of porridge and bravely woke up Jon, who rather strangely  muttered something along the same lines as Rosie.

Troll was happy to get up at 5am, she likes a good adventure (declaring daily that she is going to be “an explorer and adventurer” when she’s bigger) and was smart enough to recognise that a 1.5 hour car journey in both directions would almost certainly at some point equate to sweets to shut her up.

Racing can be stressful enough without five children to entertain at the same time, so the remaining children, Violet (6), Daisy (10) and Clyde (12) had been split between two sets of grandparents the day before. This pleased Jon, who would be left entertaining the children by a freezing lake whilst I was two miles into a hilly run, wishing that i’d stuck to triathlon racing.

Google maps for once produced a shockingly accurate route for us, which only involved one very minor discrepancy at the end of the journey – when we pulled in to the wrong carpark at Grafham water and had a 20 second we’ve-got- the-wrong-day panic, with no runners or bikes to be seen!

The one good thing I can say about duathlons, is that at least you don’t have to climb into a freezing lake to kickstart your race. No, but you do have to either opt to strip down to your lycra racing clothes and freeze for the first ten minutes or, do what I did (which is ultimately more painful) and decide not to take off the layers you had put on as a keeping-warm measure over your tri-suit, race in them and boil.

This was only one of a handful of duathlons that I had ever done (being more familiar with triathlons) and the first race ever that had an “open” transition. This meant that you could rack your bike/collect your running shoes from anywhere you liked, rather than a specifically numbered place in the rack. I quite liked this idea, as I have a bad reputation for running up and down the racks like a head-less chicken and completely missing my bike. Despite this bonus, I still managed to run past my bike and almost steal another competitor’s cycling shoes (which were the same brand as mine)…

The start to the initial 5k run was fast, painful and made me feel like a baby elephant trying to keep up with herd of antelope. That’s duathletes for you. Mainly thin, mainly fast, mainly men, mainly sewn into tight black 2XU compressing lycra. I raced in my Aldi bike top.

I enjoyed the bike ride and final run because by then most of the mega-fast people had disappeared and the surrounding competitiors were more in my league and somehow (because 25 year old men’s results made no difference to my agegroup’s results) my overall performance managed to secure me a roll-down place for the GB age group team for the European sprint duathlon champs in the Netherlands in April 2014.

This blog has been sitting in my draft folder since 2013, April is now only a few weeks away and my nightly dreams mainly encompass baby elephants wearing lycra GB tri-suits…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under age-group, children, comedy, duathlon, family, fitness, funny, funny things kids say, grumpy husbands, health, humour, ironman, Running, Sport, thirties, Triathlon

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tips of the Day

For the last 18 months, I have been regularly posting “Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tips of the Day” on Facebook. These are usually based around some day- to-day drama involving children, horses, Basset hounds or exercise, or a combination of these things.  For those of you who would like to get a flavour of the chaos and disorder that is the Saxelby household, I have made a collection of the most “liked” tips for you all to read…

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: When your 11-year-old son asks: “Mummy, how long will it take to warm up my cup of tea in the microwave?” and you reply “turn it to 40” – make sure you specify that you mean SECONDS. Failure to do this could lead to 40 MINUTE CUP OF TEA ARMAGEDDON.

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day:- If, after a night out you have mysteriously acquired a plastic hen-night penis-shaped drinking straw, do not leave on the living room table when you crash out. If you do, then you risk coming in from mucking out to find your five-year-old daughter using it to drink Ribena under the watchful eye of your 84-year-old mother-in-law.

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: If you want to test your reflexes, go into a small stable and throw a large rug over the back of a mare but misjudge your throw so that it lands on top of the foal behind her. This technique will also test your fast twitch mucle fibres and your swearing reflex.

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: When you are bringing in pure-bred Trakehner two-year-old boys from playing in the sand school, do not under any circumstances think to yourself “it’ll be quicker if I just sling a rope round one of their necks and the other one will follow” (even if this is what you have done without problems for the last three days) because, when the loose horse decides not to follow his friend, buggers off and does 35 laps of your mother-in-law’s front garden, his friend will pull away from you and follow …and you will wish you had just put a head collar on to the little b*******s in the first place.

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Christmas Tip of the Day: Next time your husband tries to persuade you to “nip out” for a “quick” eight- mile bike ride before Christmas dinner, say “NO DARLING” because: (a) when you are blasting back home as fast as you can to get back in time to put the turkey in the oven – with 8 people waiting at home and (b) your front tyre explodes with a loud bang TWO MILES from home and (c) you have to run home pushing your bike in bike shoes with SPD cleats on the bottom… you will be wishing that that had been your reply..

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: If you decide to enter a “Santa Run” and you, your friend and two of your children are dressed in head to toe Santa costumes with beards, it is advisable to take a house key with you, especially when your husband AND mother-in law are out for the day @AnotherEpicSaxelbylFail

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day:- If you are in Tesco car park on a cold day, parked next to a hot-boy and the windows will not clear on your car, do not (a) Use a pair of your mother-in-law’s scrunched up granny pants (that for some reason were in your car!) to clean the window (b) Go outside to open the boot and in doing so relax your grip on the scrunched up pants – thus revealing them to said hot-boy @yeah, I looked cool

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day:- When your four-year-old is starting big school and you decide to be extra-organised and get to the school playground 20 minutes early (because you are always late) it is advisable to check first that you HAVE THE RIGHT DAY. @AnotherSaxelbyEpicFail

Lucy’s Handy Housewife tip of the day: When entering a gruelling 11k adventure race and completely relying on your friend,Vicky Clarke to give you a leg up over the EIGHT- FOOT WALL at the end of the race, it is much recommended that you and your friend put down the same start time!

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: If you put your car and horsebox keys down on a hay bale in your hay barn, it is helpful if you don’t (a) forget to pick them up again and (b) have a hay and straw delivery later in the day…

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day:- When faced with the question “Mummy i am bored, what can i do?” from your eight-year-old daughter, I strongly recommend suggesting writing something in fake tan on the child’s forearm. Daisy Saxelby’s fake-tan-arm is still several hours away from “developing” and I haven’t heard a peep out of her since doing it!

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: When one of your friends drinks too much Blue Curacao-rum concoction and passes out on your sofa, filling her bum-crack in with play dough is not only highly entertaining but is also a fabulous opportunity to unleash your artistic and creative flair.

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: If your husband is well-known in all circles for forgetting and losing things then do not (a) Allow him to be responsible for locking the house when you go out in separate vehicles when you drop off the horse box for its MOT or (b) let him keep the keys rather than give them to you. Failure to comply with ((a) and b) could lead to scenario (c), which is husband leaving house keys in the horse lorry at the MOT centre in LINCOLN…which is NOT where we live.

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: Feeding your hound left-over sushi directly on to the kitchen floor because you can’t be bothered to fetch her dog bowl or walk an additional 5.5 feet to the kitchen bin is a false economy as, when said hound chews it up, coats it in basset-slober and then spits it out everywhere, you will wish you hadn’t been so lazy.

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day:- If you have been prematurely disturbed from your sleep by six noisy children at an unholy hour on a Saturday morning, I can suggest that watching the said children carefully assemble a Scooby-Doo-Haunted-House-Mouse-trap-esque-game on the living room carpet and then calling the dog over for a cuddle, knowing that hounds prefer an “as the crow flies” route, is a satisfying revenge tactic…

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day:- If you are not in the mood for a vigorous cross-country cardio-vascular workout involving a large drainage dyke, a 30-year-old precarious-looking bridge, 50 metres of tangled electric fencing, a horny pony and some brambles, it is wise not to (a) choose your two-year-old Garuda K colt to be on lawn-mower duty and (b) think to yourself: “It’ll be ok, he has an acre of over-grown lawn to entertain himself with, he will never bother to squeeze down the tight passage at the side of the sand school” because, when your hypothesis is found to be wholly incorrect and he (1) squeezes down said passageway to get to some fillies (2) legs it along the edge of the drainage dyke to escape from you (3) attempts to jump over the dyke into another field but fails and lands in the dyke (4) scrambles out into an ungrazed field and does 45 laps of honour before (5) crashes through electric fencing to have a quick dance on the ancient bridge (6) side-steps alongside the dyke until he has no other option but to turn round or become trapped in brambles…you will wish that you had either chosen your lawn-mower more wisely or sweet-talked your lovely husband into mowing it instead…

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: If you want to a) Save time b) Polish your saddle c) Recreate the feeling of first learning to do sitting trot d) Get the sensation of sliding around on ice whilst sitting on a baking tray and e) Look like a complete moron, then f) Go out for a run wearing a pair of skin tight, nylon, shiny, more-mile running pants and then g) Change your running shoes for Hunters but be too damn lazy to go through two extra rooms to find a pair of jodphurs. Trust me this is not only a bad “look” (that would certainly put wind in the “that woman is mad” clan’s sails) it is also a highly un-workable combo and I cannot truthfully say that the young horse I was riding benefitted one iota from the so-called “schooling” it received.

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: If your husband is constantly finding new reasons to moan about your hound, it is advisable not to put horse after-birth on the muckheap in a field that is accessible to the hound or, when the after-birth is found spread out all over your mother-in-law’s lawn, your husband’s whinging may increase…

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: If you have zillions of grubby kids with zillions of grubby patterned socks that are all odd or so dirty that they are impossible to get clean, then follow my example. Empty all of the contents of your children’s sock drawers into the bin. Do not look at what you are emptying (as you will start to feel sympathy for some of the socks and try to save them and give them a second chance). Be brutal. Bin ALL the socks and go to Tesco and spend £20 on new dark coloured ones, all in roughly the same colour. @completely fed up with trying to pair up patterned socks when their twin has clearly been eaten years ago by the washing machine.

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: If you are experiencing difficulty operating the “tip” lever of your dumper truck because it is particularly heavy when full of stone, you can get round this problem by standing on the lever instead of using your hand. Do not, however, get complacent after successfully doing this nine or ten times and start to think that you are the DUMPER TRUCK MASTER because you are NOT. Approximately 10% of all foot-tips result in the shock-waves of the tip knocking your foot off the tip-lever onto the gear-stick and turning your dumper truck into a BULLDOZER

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: When your pre-school child comes out with something less than polite like: “Mummy, I can “f**t out of my bits!”, then it is recommended that the grown-up does not show even the slightest flicker of amusement. Showing amusement will result in the disgusting phrase becoming the default greeting for your child to everybody they meet for several days…

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: If you are training for triathlon, then follow my example and go lane swimming in Ollerton on a Monday night at 7pm. Admittedly, you will find that you have got the wrong time for lane swimming but, if you whinge enough, they’ll put a rope out and let you swim anyway. The best part of this carefully planned training technique, though, is that the rest of the pool is filled with ladies the size of small submarines doing aqua-aerobics to a Beach Boys soundtrack. Every time they plunge to the left, your usually calm indoor pool turns into a turbulent open water/tsunami simulator…

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: When “Operation remove pregnant mares from the stallion’s field” goes extremely smoothly, do not start to feel over-confident and let yourself relax because “Operation introduce a new-companion to the stallion” might not go as smoothly and “Operation husband needs to build a new fence” could be required!

Lucy’s Handy Housewife Tip of the Day: If you do not want to have a humiliating conversation with your credit card’s fraud protection team, do not make risqué purchases from multiple European websites for your (previously) unsuspecting husband’s birthday present, then follow this up by attempting to buy £3000-worth of horse semen from France, using the same credit card on the same day. This not only has a low success rate but is also embarrassing to explain. If you are indeed stupid enough to do this, then trying to authorize the initially refused semen payment at breakfast time is a very bad idea. Explaining the above to fraud protection is one thing but explaining to eavesdropping children over their Cheerios, is completely another…

If you have made it to the bottom of this page and have a smile on your face, please take the time to sign up for email notifications to this blog – by clicking the “follow” button at the top of the page – thanks, Lucy 🙂

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January 23, 2013 · 1:39 pm