8 Weeks to go – A countdown to Ironman Austria

piri at bognor

4.5 loss; 36lb total; 14lb in 2014.

What a week.  What an absolutely amazing week.

I’ve blogged about quite a lot of it already.  A PB and sub 50 minutes at the Hogsmill 5 followed by a sub 30 and massive pb (27.41) at the Dave Clarke 5k.

As I went for my 6.30am appointment with Peter on Friday morning.  I was still completely buoyed from the 5k the evening before.  Delight grew to ecstasy when I got on the scales and it revealed a 4.5 loss.

Oh my God.

And then Peter changed the run to kettle bells after he heard about my exploits of the previous evening.

Could this week get any better?

I’ve really fallen head over heels in love with weight training.  Gradually Peter has been adding more and more weight to the barbell and I get a real buzz from seeing that thing get bigger.  This morning, with a couple of spare weights left over and just one set to go, I asked him if we should add them to make the barbell even heavier.  I managed to complete the set, with gurning and heavy breathing (Nicky, you control your breathing, it does not control you).  And left for a day at work feeling like I was floating on air.

Next up was double spin with Barrie in the shed.  It wasn’t as bad as I feared but I felt really fatigued by the end and Barrie finally conceded that maybe the Max HR was a little too high.  He reduced it by three beats leaving me feeling a little subdued by it all.  In my heart I was glad, as I feel that at least now, the red zone is a little bit more achievable.  But at the same time, I feel like I’ve let myself down a little.

But, no time to worry about that now, the next focus was the 100 mile ride to the coast on Sunday.

We were joined by a motley crew from the running club, around about 10 in total.  I think Alan was relieved he wouldn’t have to stay with me.  Once he’d officially welcomed everyone and gave a brief description of the route, he set off with nary a look behind him and we didn’t see him again until Bognor.

The route was relatively simple following the main roads to Bognor.  Essentially the A24 followed by the A29.  The only significant climb of note was Bury Hill.  We’ve done this route a few times before.  Bury Hill has always beaten me.  Maybe today would be different?

We set off at a nice gentle pace, mostly keeping in a group.  It was going to be difficult to keep us all together as we would naturally cycle at different speeds and we’re not quite up to chain gangs just yet.  I was conscious of trying to keep everyone together at least until we were comfortably on the A29.  That didn’t last long when as we just got to Leatherhead, barely two miles into the ride and I saw Cliff turn right towards the leisure centre instead of left to cut through the town centre.  He was closely followed by Penny.

I was too far behind to shout but Penny had said she knew the route so I presumed she had gone after him to call him back.

When they still hadn’t caught us at Denbies Vineyard, Pauline and I waited for them.  It turned out they enjoyed a trip up Hawkes Hill and back down Young Street.  🙂

Safely ensconced back onto the A24 we carried on with our trip.  Catching the others who had waited for us a bit further along.  We spent most of the time spread out too far to be regarded as a peloton.  The only time we bunched was going through Ockley.  Cliff taking a drink from his bottle mislaid it and then tried to catch it as it slipped out of his hand.


With some master bunny hopping and swerving we all managed to avoid hitting each other (phew).  Nice bike skills everyone.  We then returned back to spreading out a little.  Probably a bit safer!

The rest of the ride down was relatively uneventful.  Some of us stopped for coffee in a lovely little antiques shop in Pulborough.  In the distance we could see the majestic rise of Bury Hill five miles further up the road.  Now there was a sense of nervousness in the group.  Some had tackled it before and not made it, some didn’t know what to expect at all.

Bury isn’t a massively difficult climb, but it has a gradual uphill run up (so no free speed on this one) and the steepest part (11%) is at the bottom giving it the impression that it’s harder than it is.  It also has one of the worst road surfaces under wheel ever, creating a massive resistance and stealing momentum and rhythm.

As we approached I steeled myself, dropped into the granny ring and off we went.  Once round the first left hand bend it flattened out a little.  Enough to allow a little recovery but it was hard going on that surface.  I tried to get a bit of Katy Perry ‘Roar’ going in my head but it wouldn’t come and so I just concentrated on counting instead.

One/two, one/two, one/two.  Sharp left followed by sweeping right followed by a sweeping left then another right then finally some better tarmac thank God and another right and yes the top, nearly there then finally the layby and phew, we’re done.  Ian was stood waiting when I got there and we enjoyed the views, celebrating everyone’s victories as they all successfully climbed to the top.  Yay.

Bury Hill is followed by nearly 10 miles of downhill into Bognor. Wheeeeeeeeeee.

As we reached the sea front, the smell of chips mingled with seaside.  Divine.  Although Bognor itself is a bit run down and shabby.

We enjoyed chips and onion rings ‘for the table’ and then got back on the bike and pedalled home.  The return trip was slightly warmer and slightly faster and slightly more tiring.  Cliff was struggling with his knee.  I stayed with him for a little while but he was insistent he wanted me to go on so he could go at his own pace.  I was really reluctant to leave him but completely understood where he was coming from.  So I raced ahead just before Billingshurst to try and catch Pauline and Penny.  I kept getting glimpses of them tantalisingly ahead before they would disappear over the next crest.  My quads were screaming, but I didn’t give up and eventually caught them as they turned right onto the A281.

Phew!  I then settled down to enjoy the last few miles home including a stop for the best fresh orange and lemonade ever.

It was fabulous to get just under 100 miles under my belt for my longest weeks training ever.  164 miles and two PB’s in the bag.  Yay.


About PT Nicky

I'm a girl in the world just trying to make 1% improvements everyday. I recently qualified as a Personal Trainer. I certainly don't fit the aesthetic of a PT and I wanted to demonstrate that ordinary people can achieve their hearts desire. Clean eating advocate with paleo leanings.
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1 Response to 8 Weeks to go – A countdown to Ironman Austria

  1. lcwaller says:

    LOVE IT!!!! 😀

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