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The Red Arrows aren't as good as their 'counter parts' in Brazil. My brother's working out there at the moment and I've lifted this from his FB page!
It happens in Brazil......Picture the scene - You are in Brasilia (the capital) at the Supreme court building (a very large 2 storey completely glass covered building) Tuesday, its a national day and all the great and the good are dressed in their finery, Field Marshall's, Air Marshall's, Admirals all in uniform, politicians, the local army you name them they are there, the band's playing the national anthem, flags are going up the pole, everyone's saluting and the TV cameras are rolling.....its all going on the TV news that night. To cap the event you organise a fly past from 2 of your top fighters - French Super Etendards who amongst there greater claims to fame fly at twice the speed of sound and create an impressive sonic boom. As they fly so fast they have the turning circle of a super tanker so 5 miles out the pilot points in the direction he wants to fly, kicks the after burners into gear and at 200 feet above ground level flies/screams over the countryside to get to the ceremony at the anointed time.......just brilliant as everyone watches in pride and then.......in a fraction of a second see their faces turn to horror as the sonic boom proceeds to smash every window on the supreme court building - just as it happens in the movies....Absolutely brilliant. Pilkington's there's a good market for you over here.......
My report is too long to post in a single message and I'm too bloody lazy to split it up. On top of that there's a couple of photos in my report as well, and I'm sure you all love to see photos of me (eh ladies....
Just to whet your appetite I mention toilets, chocolate ice cream and a few other bits and pieces.
So what are you waiting for....
Great reports. Loads of yellow and black to cheer on. You mostly looked happy and relaxed I saw the red arrows whilst out on the bike course!
what red arrows? head down all the way, fecking wind!!
Loving reading the reports.
I think I was still in the lake when the Arrows went over
Likewise, I don't remember anything like that. Too busy staring down at my tyres, willing them to stay inflated .
Warning... my report is long, but as it's my last IM distance (never say never) I think I'm allowed.
Pre-raceIt was a weird lead up. I had a below par last couple of years with a lot of personal stuff getting in the way. Supporting at Regensburg last year made me want to enter another IM distance because I knew I had a better finish time in me and to be honest, I was jealous I wasn’t doing the event. However, once back into training, I quickly remembered that I’m not good at maintaining high volume training – work, life, general stubbornness and hating long bike rides all conspire to get in the way. However, I supposedly got a great deal handed to me in an unexpected shortening of contract, so theoretically I had 2 months “off” which I could devote to training. Trouble is, when you’re not earning, it’s hard to focus on training and instead you spend days chasing interviews, setting up meetings, preparing for and attending interviews.
So I was consistently training at a sub-optimal level...same as usual then.
Managed to get about 4 hours sleep. Finally got out of bed at 3:30am having discovered that all three of us girlies were lying awake trying to stay still and quiet and not wake anyone else up from around 2:30am... Until around 4:10am I think I was doing okay. Then I cracked. And my roomies had to cope with the Holly breakdown. As did Mitts on the way down to the swim start. Actually, there were quite a few new faces were there to witness the Holly breakdown. I suffer pre-race panic attacks. I know they will affect me up until the countdown and the gun, but I don’t know when they will start or how bad they will be. My Outlaw panic didn’t properly start til race morning which was good going. I think my Sherpa, waffy, was quite disturbed by “Psycho Holly”. Waffy and roomie, Jj - apologies girls.
Stood next to Mitten at the start (pen 2 – what a mistake!), had a hug and wished each other luck and then the countdown began. It was a crowded, choppy duck and swan poo infested swim. I didn’t get space until 750m and then only for a short while. I’m a confident (if lazy) swimmer, so I tend to just get on with it and swim into and over people to maintain my rhythm. That worked and I felt like I maintained a steady speed throughout. The turnaround seemed a long time coming and it was back into the maelstrom with accompanying headwind to create some rather unpleasant waves along with the mass of bodies. Thought I caught sight of Meldy alongside me for a bit and I was right. I was helped out, promptly caught my foot on the exit mat and with the dizziness from getting upright again, fell arse over tit, and when I got myself upright again, had a tap on my shoulder from chief witch. Witches together, safe out the water.
Swim: 1:18:33 (target 1:20)T1
Said hello to a few of the pirate girlies in T1, had a chat to mitten, spent far too long faffing trying to decide what to wear, and discarding each item I pulled out of the bag, so I overshot my target time
T1: 8:07 (target 6:00)
I have hated my long bikes this year and was planning to endure the bike. The sheer delight of getting out of the swim alive put me in a much better mood for the bike despite the shitty wind. Melds and I came out of T1 together and wished each other luck at the mount line.All things considered, I loved the first bit out into the countryside and put the hammer down as I had worked out that we should have the wind behind us at that point. I planned to keep to my target HR for the whole thing, and was bombing along at over 17 mph with the wind happily behind me. Mitten and I were doing about the same speed, although she had run out of T1 ahead of me and maintained a good distance ahead of me. I was trying to keep her yellow calf guards in sight and occasionally I would get a spurt on to catch up to within loud shouting distance, we’d exchange a few shouts about the wind and our sore bits, and then she’d drop me again. The wind was a bastard and a lot of the course was very exposed. I was doing really well with my nutrition. I had Waff’s voice in my ear telling me to drink a bottle an hour, and was shoving down the gels and peanut butter sarnies every 20 mins. Plenty of pirates overtook me, with customary shouts of ‘crap swimmer’. Passed WildWill at some point in the first 50 and he said he was dying on his arse... At about 50 ish miles I overtook mitts and we hit a section where the wind was behind us. It was an undulating section, and I was actually enjoying myself. Went through a village lined with supporters and exchanged lots of “Y’aaaarrrrggghhh’s”. There were lots of supporters out which always makes for a much more entertaining ride. Keeping to HR, the second half of the bike saw my average speed dropping...but I was still ahead of target so I kept ploughing on. I LOVED the pirate feed station, although it would have been great to have had it earlier on in the bike. I realised I needed the loo, so took the opportunity to stop at the Pirates. Had a quick chat with Mon, Min, oxy and Garr. Mon and oxy told me I was doing a fantastic job which really buoyed my mood, so I hopped back on Audrey and sped off. Could this be real? I was actually enjoying a long bike ride in the wind? Wow. Then the rain started. Balls. Wind and horizontal rain makes for an unhappy Holly. Luckily I’d managed to “pull” a bloke from Mersey tri who seemed to like following my arse, so I had a bit of shouty banter with him to break up the newly found misery with the weather. I was quite tempted to stop off at the Eden Spa that we passed twice on the second loop. All in all, the only trouble I had on the bike was a bit of a sore back (presumably from being down on the bars for longer than I’ve ever done before) and stomach cramps – a few ibuprofen took the edge of both of those.Coming into T2, saw Hollywood and Shiraz and nearly fell off – wasn’t expecting their smiley faces in the crowd! I unclipped too early and struggled over the speed humps but managed it without an ungraceful topple. Saw Fat Buddha wheeling someone else’s bike away and desperately tried to seek out Petal so I could hand Audrey over to trusted hands, and she appeared out of the shadows...Thank you! Got a hug from Petal, then a hug and kiss from FB and ran into T2.
Bike: 6:45:58 (Target 7:00) Whoop!!!T2
Fiddled with shoes, decided not to change my wet socks into the dry ones I had in my bag, then out the other end to shouts from Mummy_G who was standing on the bank waiting to take a picture of her favourite (ok, only) daughter.
T2: 4:01 (Target 6:00) Made up for the slow T1!
Run started well and I was happily motoring along at HR. Having just seen my mum out of T2, I then saw my brother and his family at the bottom of the lake to cheer me on and I loved seeing my nephew jumping up and down grinning and waving at me. Then saw my little pirate massive of Waff, Aitch, Deb, HH?? What was he doing there?!, BtS. At the end of the lake, coming in the finish area was another pirate massive – pom poms ablaze. It was grand! The first and second times round the lake I ran from the top into the wind, but by the third loop round my HR was drifting upwards if I tried to run it, so resorted to marching just that bit. I ran to every aid station, took a drink and walked til I finished it, then tried to keep my pace up again. Mr Mersey tri man shouted out to me as he caught me up on the run and told me again what a nice arse I had again and gave me a hug. That was a nice little boost (apart from the fact that every single part of me was hurting by that point, including my skin so the hug, while appreciated – really hurt) I was going sooo well that I thought I might even get a marathon PB, then it happened. My stomach shut down. Couldn’t drink, eat and couldn’t run without fearing a dreadful accident. So at 20 miles I started walking and started just taking orange segments at the aid stations. I can walk at a good 4+ miles per hour so it didn’t feel too bad and I’d managed to get further into the marathon than my previous two IM distances before resorting to the walk / march, so I was fairly happy. My back was in a lot of pain by this point and I took 4 ibuprofen on the run, to add to the 2 I took on the bike. I loved the number of pirates on the run. I think I must have said some words of encouragement to everyone on my first and second laps, hence being disgruntled at being awarded second grumpiest pirate... Although, by the time I got to my third lap I have to admit to being selective (Warning: Bit of negativity coming up...) The Pirates are all about support before, during and after the event. That means giving as well as receiving. You shouldn’t go into it expecting everyone to get you through if you’re not going to help everyone else on the course to get through their sticky moments too. So by lap 3, I’m afraid if you really couldn’t be arsed to even acknowledge my repeated words of encouragement from previous laps (which many people who were suffering BIG time were able to acknowledge) even with a nod of the head, then I wasn’t going to bother...
I saw oxy just before the finish chute and managed to hand over my water bottle and gels so that I wouldn’t have to hold them going through the finish, then I went for it. I managed to get my arms in the air (that hurt!) screamed a little and thoroughly enjoyed my finish. It was a PB by over 90 minutes. I had a realistic goal of 13:30 ish for the finish “all going well”, and to beat that was just amazing.
Run: 4:59:34 (target 5:00) Spot on!
Lots of people “don’t get” the online stuff but I’ve met and made some fantastic friends through this site, both BP (Before Pirates) and who have helped me through this last shitty 18 months – 2 years and especially the lead up to the race. So, to name a few of them... I couldn’t have done it without the support of my splendid Sherpa, Waffy... TC, oxy, my other roomie, Jj, or Melds and Ditchy – my cycling buddies, HH for hurling abuse and debbo and BtS for provision of tablet (I’m still waiting for my second piece though) and the twitter crew who make me feel guilty when they get up at stupid o'clock to go training while I'm still lying in my bed...
Finish time: 13:16:15 (target
Oops - that was too long! Here's the final ramblings...
Finish time: 13:16:15 (target 13:30 ish)I said before this race that it was my retirement race. I am not saying I won’t ever do an IM distance in the future, but I will not be doing so for the next couple of years. I just don’t have the will or time to put the training time in. Knowing this was my “last” made it so much more enjoyable. I knew I was in good shape and did the entire race to HR so I knew I would make it to the end, bar any mechanicals or disasters.
And maybe because of the attitude I took going into it, I haven’t felt any post-race blues yet. I did this race for me and my own personal sense of achievement but I also did it for my ever decreasing family and I am so pleased that all but one of them were able to be there to cheer me on. And I especially ran my race in memory of Roger and Sheila.
Christ - sorry about that! I'll forgive anyone who gives up after the first sentence...
Good effort Holly! Good reading too! Well done
Holly_Golightly wrote (see)
managed to get my arms in the air (that hurt!) screamed a little and thoroughly enjoyed my finish.
managed to get my arms in the air (that hurt!) screamed a little and thoroughly enjoyed my finish.
It was a great finish complete with chicking. Love all these reports!
excellent report Holly, you did a great job of the race. I was proud and jealous in equal measure xx.
Great report Bird..
See - now you've made me late for my "oh look it's the village madwoman" Sunday run...
Nice one Holly. Not at all phased by your panic attacks - it's just frustrating not being able to offer any practical help to someone who is in a bad place - I did try to get us lost on the way to the start to take your mind off it - but you were being too vigilant about my erratic driving.
Was it any good?! Should I bother going back & reading it, esp as its a bit smokey in here?!
awww, lovely story Holly x