Tuesday, 23 September 2014

After the Thunder Run 2014

27/07/2014 - Now - Well the race complete and if you've read the post about it you know I learnt a lot, a lot about how not to do it. So I've determined to do a proper job of it next year and so I decided that I would have another crack at an Ultra, but I'll get onto that later.

Since the TR24 I've not booked any other races for this as I've been too busy with other things, mainly moving my daughter up to Birmingham for her first year in Uni. Before that though I did manage to pop over to Lake Garda for a weeks break with the family - lovely as always. The weather was not as hot as last time but still hot enough for some lovely swimming in the lake. I was also that "weird guy" at the hotel as when I was not swimming in Lake Garda I was doing lengths of the pool for hour long stretches. It was not a massive pool so I was a bit like a hamster in a wheel.
Straight on the Prosecco
While there we discovered a lovely new Champagne drink - Ferrari, bloody lovely stuff. We liked so much we even bought a couple of bottles back, sadly they did not last long. Got to find a UK supplier.

Anyway after a relaxing break it was back to old Blighty and back on the bike, out for runs and a bit of open water swimming (not that I'd not been swimming in Italy). We've been having some cracking weather for old Blighty so the lake I've been swimming in (http://www.boxendpark.com/watersports/open-water-swimming.php) has been lovely and warm. The bikes been my main "thing" this summer as I expect to be running more in the winter months due to the weather. This has proven to be the case as it's got colder and wetter but I did manage to get out recently and cycle to Cambridge. Not expecting to get to Cambridge but I got a bit carried away in the sun but 60 miles later I'm enjoying a beer and sporting a big grin.

Back home and back on the bike.
Oh I nearly forgot, while I visited Malcesine I popped into my favorite bike clothing shop at the base of a mountain (Monte Baldo) and bought a couple of new tops. Now I know Italian cyclists are tiny but still it feel wrong buying "large" tops but that's what I went for. Taking the tops to the shop owner and asking if I could try them on he took them from my hands, looked at me, looked at the labels, looked at me, looked at the labels, shrugged and replied with a shrug of the shoulders "Well you can try." Well they were a bit.... aero.... but in no way was I going to exit the changing room and swap them for the XL. Firstly because.... well... just because, and lastly I did not want to give the shopkeeper the pleasure. Anyway I was going to be losing some weight wasn't I, that's what I'd said to myself, after the holiday of course, at least before Christmas, certainly in time for next seasons races!

Super Aero !!
So I've been doing a fair bit of cycling, some running - keeping running on the low as I've picked up a bit of Plantar Fasciitis - and a weekly lake swim. I really need to start beefing up the running now though as I've booked myself on the Manchester Marathon and the Blenheim triathlon already, especially if I'm going to do a proper attempt at an ultra than I achieved this year. It's 100k on nothing! (by nothing I mean something less than 100k). I've got a big old plastic boot thing I wear to bed which is supposed to help it heal but at the moment the only thing it seems good for is accidentally kicking my wife awake in the early hours. Still she got her own back by dropping my "garden" shoes in the bin while I was distracted. These I've had for years, sure they had no laces, sure she "claimed" they were "dangerous", sure I used them up ladders etc but I loved those shoes. I will point out that the number of accidents caused directly by the wearing of those shoes, excluding people tripping over them, was barely into double figures. In retaliation I have taken to wearing her flip flops.
Looking good in my new flip flops.
With two races booked the TR24 emailed to advise the date they were opening up for booking at 12 in the morning. On the day I sat up watching the clock sitting at the laptop and as soon as it clicked into 00 I hit the refresh button. Then spent a massively frustrating hour trying to book myself into the race as a soloist. The site was overwhelmed and just not working. Towards the end of the hour I'd got as far as the payment screen to be met with a screen that actually gave no method of payment. By 1am and needing to be up at 6 am for work I admitted defeat and went to bed. I set my alarm a little early for 05:30 and struggled to sleep. Beep! Arse 05:30 and I felt crap. Got up and logged back onto the laptop and the TR24 website to be told that all places had been taken. So after four years of attendance I was not going to be doing the TR24 next year and if that's the standard of the booking system I'll not be doing it again, life's too short. So I bought myself a consolation 2014 TR24 buff as a reminder of the good times.

So no TR24 but a desire to have a better crack at this ultra running lark I looked for an alternative. In the end I opted for a new 24 hour race much closer to home, the Spitfire Scramble (http://www.spitfirescramble.co.uk/). So I booked myself in as a soloist and it'll be fun being part of a race at the beginning of it's hopefully long and successful life. 

Oh and I got stitched up for this ice bucket challenge ...... here's where a devious character comes in useful. My neighbours granddaughter and a member of my family both nominated me, both got suitably soaked and waited for my response. My neighbours granddaughter in particular was out to get me back for a previous misdemeanor on my part. Here's my ice bucket challenge.

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