the Chinese Chicken
So, anyway, a month since the last post, who'd have thought it. And what a month it's been.... nearly 27 days... that's like almost February.. weird! Now, if it was February I'd e blogging about the Grantham Ultra, a 29.3 mile run along the Grantham Canal, but it isn't, so I won't.
Team Atomic Hamster have been to Frankfurt; ich bin ein Sausage. We went to support a group of Pirates racing (sic) in the Ironman European Champs on Sun 4th Jul. As part of the weekend, we decided to do some running, crazy fools that we are! The temp in Frankfurt averaged out at very hot, so most runs involved plenty of fluid, and loads of rehydration post run. In order to acclimatise ourselves with the Transalpine Run post-run ritual, we rehydrated with beer, mmmmmm, beer.... This may explain why I returned from Germany several pounds heavier than when I left! Anyway, race day saw loads of triathletes swimming 3.8k (without a wetsuit, as if swimming 3.8k isn't hard enough), cycling 180k(+ a little 5k detour, as if 180k isn't far enough) and running 42.2k, all within a 15hr cutoff time. Pah, easy I hear you cry, and apparently the Pirate Posse agreed as all finished and received their respective medals, t-shirts and towels, so well done, Mouse, Cougie, Iron Swiss Bobby, Orange Cannon, Slacker, WildWill, GOM, WildWill's mate, Cougie's BiL, gas man, Wickett, Aandersnog, Plum, Bouncing Barlist.
Can he walk at all, Or if he moves will he fall.... that's what we were wondering on the Monday after IMDE and the traditional post-race party. Again, the Pirate (not quite) Massive proved that it takes more than an extended Ironman race to dampen their spirits, so we sat by the river Main and supped beer whilst regaling the exploits of the previous days; although Team Atomic Hamster were quite quiet due to excessive supporting. Thankfully copious quantities of ale helped lubricate the vocal chords long enough to present awards to the deserving few. And then we left Frankfurt, Frankfurt in Germany, Germany in Europe; Europe, where the history comes from.
So, that was 2 weeks ago, and last weekend Team Atomic Hamster met up for some concerted training; namely running the Worcestershire Way. The original plan was to run 20 miles on Saturday and 11/12 miles on Sunday; a nice little 'back-to-back' training, but as with most plans......
So, Saturday dawned and I crawled out of bed at 7:30am having been partying Friday night until 2am (perhaps not the brightest pre-20 miler prep but it was too late to change anything and it had been a particularly good party, but that's for another blog). Packed, and off to Hamster Mansion, arriving in fine fettle at 11am. Quick lunch then off to the start with plenty of fluid to keep us going; weather was very hot and sunny, ideal! Things were going well; drink, chat, sing, tell jokes, repeat. Then I chose 'take gel' as an energy replacement tactic, about 8 miles into the run. One mile later and things weren't looking too good. reached some road or other at 10 mile and TOAH said, I think there's a pub at the bottom of this big hill, perhaps we can replenish our water bottles and eat some food. So, down the hill we went, with many a 'the pub is probably round this corner' or 'maybe it's the next road, no definitely this road' quotes. However, at the bottom of the hill we found a garage, which served a similar purpose. Sit on grass, drink water, drink energy drink, refill water bottles, start walk up hill.... reach top of hill and realise that the gel needs some fresh air, cue scene from the exorcist (without spinning head or green colouring (in fact it was more fluorescent orange)) Surprisingly, I felt much better after my film scene reenactment, but common sense being the better part of something, we decided to walk back down the hill, find the pub and call for a lift home. 12 miles completed.
Next morning, bright and early, we returned to Vom Bush and commenced the next 21 miles of the Worcestershire Way in slightly cooler temps but higher spirits. 5 hours later, after much upping and downing, we reached Malvern and celebrated with an ice cream.... we know how to party. 21 miles completed.
Things what I learnt from this weekend....... gels don't agree with me! It's only taken me 4 years of Ironman/Ultras to discover (Dis knew about 4 years ago and frequently reminded me of the fact, especially after a gel 'bounced' during IM Switzerland last year, effectively scuppering the race for me!) On the Sunday run I took bananas, bounty bars and rice crispy bars, with water and SiS PSP22 drinks, and had no problem, so...... lesson eventually learnt!
And that just about brings me up to date. TOAH is off to Woth this weekend to lose his voice again, and then another training weekend is planned for the following week.. now, where did I put those gels?
And so, with 51 days til the start, until next time......
Never put a sock in a toaster