Tag Archives: racing

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 aka Very late race report (found unpublished in draft folder!)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

A Happy New Year? Lucy’s 2013 Resolutions

Wow, another year has nearly finished. We are all a year older, wiser and probably poorer (particularly those of us who are stupid enough to own horses and are finding the cost of their feed challenging the value of gold and their market value dropping worryingly close to the price of goldfish!)

In 2012, for the first time in my life, I managed to stick to all my new year’s resolutions (through the simple expedient of not making any to start with). I’ve decided to be braver this year and not only produce a list of ten resolutions but also to publish them on the world wide web so that I have no chance of “forgetting” them.

Here goes…

To keep the hound’s bed clean – my mum has a greyhound and a whippet and their bed looks and smells like it wouldn’t be out of place in the Ritz. I am not sure how often she cleans and vacuums it but I try really hard to keep Annie’s “shoe-cupboard bed” just as clean and hair-free but fail miserably on both counts. Of course, it could just be that my mum has a rare form of dog-bed cleaning OCD?

To send all of my children to school in matching socks. By this, I don’t mean that all five children’s socks will be the same (although that actually would make life much easier) but that I am going to do my best to overcome my (fully justified) “her children always wear odd socks” reputation.

While on the subject of my “school reputation” – I am going to open all school book bags and read (and answer!) all letters at least every other day. This does not stretch to allowing the school to have my real and correct mobile number – I much prefer that they shower Jon with 3 texts per day about school cake sales (he ignores them anyway, including the odd important one).

To lose another 7Ibs of unnecessary fat, largely from my bum. This will get me down to my “ideal racing weight” as described in the last issue of “Runner’s World” and will make me run considerably faster.  I have been trying to apply this theory for the last few months and have already lost a few blocks of lard. I was greatly encouraged when I finished in the top 30 out of a field of 2000 in my last race, along with my friend Vicky and brother Henry. “Santa runs” obviously only attract the fastest and most hardcore runners – or that is what I keep telling myself (and not every one of the 1970 people behind us was a small child, an over-weight middle-aged lady pushing a pram or an OAP dressed as a turkey).

To sell at least 5 horses before our 2013 foals are born. This will please me because I will a) have less work to do b) be less poor c) go some way to helping reduce my husband’s whinging.

Learn how to mend a puncture on my bike. It is amazing that I have got through 36 years of life without ever doing this (especially as triathlon is now one of my hobbies). I have no rational excuse for this lack of bike maintenance but justify myself by telling everyone that I have repaired at least 50 punctured paddling pools/mini-bouncy castles over the past 12 years. The fact that my front tyre exploded two miles away from home on Christmas day and I had to run home pushing my bike has nothing to do with this resolution whatsoever.

To pick up all dog poo before Jon gets a chance to moan about it and give me a grid reference (example “There are three separate lumps, four steps north-east of the climbing frame”). Ok, this one might require some good black out blinds in the living room (which overlooks the garden) and maybe some DVDs of hot women in bikinis (which I could put on TV as a distraction method ready for when Jon gets up in the morning).

To clean behind the fridge again BEFORE this time next year. For those of you who don’t tune into my Facebook, this year’s behind-the-fridge find included a pair of Troll’s trousers, a packet of Jaffa cakes, several cans of beer (one which had a hole in and was glued to the floor in a fermented slop) and, the piece de resistance, an old  (and thankfully unoccupied) mouse nest.

To delete unimportant/uninteresting emails after I have not bothered to open or read them.  My unread Yahoo email list now just says “999+” because it can’t be bothered to count over 1000… (don’t worry, if you are interesting, my friend in real-life or want to buy a horse, I will respond to your email within minutes!)

To reduce my Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, MoneySavingExpert, 220Triathlon, Donedeal, Iomoio and eBay web-time…by not logging on after 11pm…on a Sunday. That sounds fair doesn’t it?

I think that should do it. Happy 2013 every one!




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