Monday, 1 August 2011
Well, for some crazy reason I decided last November it would be a good idea to do the London Triathlon again. Then having signed up, for some strange reason I didn't get on with my training... Last year I trained for about 6 months, this time, TWO months! Aicarumba... Rach Chia and Alex Evans also did the triathlon, and I blame them for this torture. 2 months ago I sent them an email to see if they had been training and whether they intended to go through with it. The tone of the email was crystal clear there was only one response: NO! But what did they say?!?! "Yeah, have been doing a bit of training, but really need to ramp it up now!" Yeah, thanks guys...
Anyway, this lack of training (on my part!) was why I didn't do any fundraising this year - I don't think I earned the right to ask folk for their money! But that means next year you all have to give twice as much!! :)
Anyway, I'm typing this so it means I survived, but it didn't start out that way. The swim was the bit I was most confident in, having spent more time in the pool than cycling or running. The water was really choppy and I took a couple of knocks from guys swimming past and in the first 100m swallowed quite a bit of 'water' (i.e. dock-water, ewwww!). From there I found it really difficult to breathe and had no rythm, and after about 200m I really thought I was going to have to quit. I felt completely spent and had nothing in the tank, but decided to push on and do breaststroke instead for a while. That "while" turned into about 1km, with intermittent 50m bursts of freestyle. Breaststroke is not an easy stroke when you've not done it for about 20 years, but after about 1km, strangely I started to feel quite good and breathing became easier and so I tried swimming freestyle and the rythm came back and managed to swim the last 500m at quite a good pace. Managed to catch about a dozen or so guys as well, which was nice! Let's leave out the bit about the front-swimmers from the next wave over-taking me... ;)
Anyway, I finished the swim about 15 minutes slower than last year, and felt like hell on earth, but hey, I finished it when I never thought I would! It was through fuzzy eyes that I saw Mel, Tara and Becca cheering me on out of the water. Walking was a struggle at that point, so I probably looked a bit worse for wear...
I then got on with the cycle leg - 40km, taking in 12 hills! Despite last year saying I'd never do this again on a mountain bike, I didn't listen to myself and tried to prove that I didn't need to fork out for a new bike. However, once again I proved that mountain bikes are SOOOOOO slow!! Pushing it at times as fast as I possibly could, folks just cruised past on their road bikes! I reckon there's probably about 15 minutes between a road bike and a mountain bike! If I'm stupid enough to do this next year, it will DEFINITELY be on a road bike! Despite this, I still managed to complete the cycle leg about 2.5 minutes quicker than last year. It was awesome seeing a whole bunch of folk from the Barge along the route - Mel, Chris, Tara, Becca, Rosemary, Amy & Paul all made their way down to cheer Alex & I on. And boy did I need it... Ask Rosemary what I said last year when I got out of the water - I thought the same this time too...
Then for the run! 10km of joy!! Well, not quite... It was 25 degrees and sunny, so a beautiful summer day, unless you're doing a triathlon... The run consists of 4 x 2.5km laps, and the layout this year was really good. Most of the route has crowds and charities along it, and they are such a boost to make you want to run and not walk. I felt quite tired starting out, but as soon as I started I saw Tara, Becca and Jim! I didn't expect them at all, so that was a huge lift! A little further on I saw the rest of the crew, then pushed myself on. Half way through lap 1 I saw Pete "Super Coach" Andrews!! He was on his bike, so he cycled along the side of the track alongside me for about 500m! It was great having someone to talk to, and this kept me distracted so I kept running, and when he couldn't cycle further, the charities took over, then everyone from the Barge, then it was lap 2, then lap 3, then all of a sudden it was the final lap! I was knackered, but knew I had another 2.5km in my legs! When I got to where Pete was waiting for me, he called out "hurry up, I've got to get home" - I think that was supposed to motivate me - thanks Super Coach! :)
Interestingly, all of my laps were almost identical in time - only 25 seconds separated my quickest from my slowest. Nice and consistent... The run leg was about a minute quicker than last year as well! It's awesome as you finish as well - it goes from outside, to inside the venue and as you round the last courner they call out your name over the loud-speaker! "And not we have CLAYTON RYAN crossing the finish line!" The sweetest words I'd heard all day!!
I didn't break any records, but I finished, and that was all I was aiming for! Alex did awesome for his first triathlon, so well done big man!! And RACH, legend extraordinaire, in her 5th (??) triathlon, did her best time of 3:13:27!! Amazing stuff!!
So, anyone want to do it with me next year...? No...? Ok, maybe it's time to retire anyways... ;)
Tuesday, 3 August 2010
What a friend you are. The money you raised for us last year gave our funds a terrific boost. We have a few new children on our help list now, so it was most welcome.
Thank you for offering to raise some $$$ for us again this year.
The details you need are:
Friends of Brain Injured Children ACT Inc
c/- SHOUT Office
PO Box 717
Mawson ACT 2607
We have had a few good changes this year. Three new babies have come into the group. This will allow an early start on their intensive therapy programs. We hope this will help them make great progress. One of our lovely girls has reached 18 and moved out of the group. She has a terrific future ahead of her, disability free, I believe.
The other children are growing well. Some have made significant progress. All the others are more healthier and have less pain.
One of our little boys has been a pioneer with stem cell therapy, helped a little by our funds. we are really intersted in his progress. In four months his dribbling has stopped (this is often a problem for children with poor muscle tone), he is much stronger and can push himself upright in his chair, and has had his first winter without infections.
The kids had the best Christmas party ever. A really great Santa brought gifts for all, a choir sang and we had two magicians. The kids loved it. We get help with the costs, so our own money can go completely for children's therapy.
Our grant has been increased to $7,500 (not big bikkies, I know) for admin and we've increased our office administrator's hours from 4 a week to 8. This has proved a real help as we are now able to visit the local maternity hospitals and give the staff information about how we can help children brain injured at birth. We are also talking to pediatricians and special schools to see if there are other children and parents we can help.
Of course, the more successful we are at finding children with brain injuries the more we need to help pay for their therapies.
Thanks for offering some more help for the kids. It is really encouraging to our efforts.
Keep in touch, on my new email, though.
Have a fun run.
Tuesday, 13 July 2010
On 8th August (i.e. in less than a month!!) Rachel and I will be putting ourselves through a lot of pain when we'll be swimming 1,500m, cycling 40km and then finishing it all off with a short 10km run...! I know it is all self-inflicted, but to help ease the pain and at the same time helps some disadvantaged kids, it would be great if you could sponsor us so that Barnardo's can continue the fantastic work they are doing with disadvantaged children.
Barnardo's believe in the potential of every child and young person, no matter who they are, what they have done or what they have been through. Whatever the issue, from drug mis-use to disability; youth crime to mental health; sexual abuse to domestic violence; poverty to homelessness; Barnardo's believe they can bring out the best in every child and run over 415 projects across the UK. Learn more about Barnardo's on their website.
You can sponsor us through our fundraising page with Virgin Money Giving.
We really appreciate all of your support and donations.
Watch this space for details of what it's like to swim again after several years hiatus...
When I did the London Marathon with the support of a number of people we managed to raise $2,823 - at roughly $60 a session you all helped provide 47 much needed sessions, including physiotherapy, massage, osteopathy, chiropractic or acupressure. None of these services are provided by any government source, so the parents are always struggling to pay therapy costs. This is why I want to raise funds again for FBIC as I aim to swim 1,500m, cycle 40km and run 10km on 8th August.
As many of you know, my Godson, Ryan, had a few ‘complications’ when he was born which resulted in him being born with brain damage. Cara & Jeff, Ryan's parents, were provided with a lot of support from FBIC who helped them get through some very difficult times.
You can learn more about FBIC on their website.
If you would like to support FBIC, please send a cheque made out to “Friends of Brain Injured Children (ACT) Inc” to the below address. All donations of $2 or more are tax deductible and a receipt will be provided. Please let them know you are supporting my triathlon so we know how much we’ve raised together.
Friends of Brain Injured Children
PO Box 717
Mawson ACT 2607
Or alternatively payments can be made electronically to their Commonwealth Bank account at:
Friends of Brain Injured Children
BSB: 062 902
Account number: 00903646
Please email Libby Steeper at email@example.com with your name and address, date & amount donated and receipt number (if known) so they can send/email you a receipt.
Thanks for your support!!
Friday, 25 June 2010
The triathlon will be a 1,500m swim followed by a 40km cycle followed by a 10km run.
Each on their own looks fine, which is what I've been thinking until recently when it struck me that I have to do them one after the other, which no longer looks so easy...
Anyway, I'll be doing some fundraising again this year and I hope everyone will be generous and help me raise as much as possible. Like last year, I will be raising funds for a UK and an Australian charity - more to come on the charities and how you can help support me.
I'll be raising funds in the UK with Rach, who will also be competing at the same distance.
Stay tuned for more details!
Thursday, 30 April 2009
In just 12 months I've gone from 2 flights of stairs to 26.2 miles (42km)! It's still a bit surreal that I've run a marathon, but Sunday, 26th April I completed the London Marathon, all 42 kilometres of it. I'll start off with a quick summary for those with less time / patience, after which I'll give a step-by-painful-step break down of the run.
In summary, it was an absolutely amazing experience! It was one of the most painful yet rewarding things I've ever done. It only took about 8 minutes to cross the start line, then 4 hours and 52 minutes to cross the finish line... I was hoping to 4 hours 30 minutes, but a combination of very hot weather and underestimating just how difficult the last 6.2 miles would be led to the extra 20 minutes. Still, am very happy with my time and amazed that I've achieved something I've always wanted to do but never thought I would! If you've never done a marathon, doing one of the big ones is well worth it - the crowds from start to finish were amazing.
Now that the summary without any detail is done, here's the detail...
It was a superb day. 3 days before the weather forecast was heavy rain and showers, but 3 days and many prayers later and it was blue skies and not a rain drop in sight! I started off in Greenwich Park with my entourage - Mel, Mel's folks and Chris (trusty running partner in crime!). It was a great buzz walking to the start line, seeing thousands upon thousands of runners, most in normal running gear, some in costume, some dressed as Elvis, some as donkeys carrying sacks on their backs...madness!!
For the first 5km we ran through Charlton and from the start line it was literally lined with families on both sides of the road! I spent most of the time on the edges high fiving all the kids as I ran past which was great fun - such a great atmosphere. This also led to me being unaware of my time and when I reached Greenwich I was about 9 minutes ahead of schedule.
Fortunately Mel and her mum saw me and yelled out - what a great idea that they wave Aussie flags as there's no way I would miss an Aussie flag in the crowds. I ran past them and was really happy to see them, then a few steps on I heard Chris shout out. I'm sure she was on top of a wall of something as she was above the crowds. A short way on was Mel's dad, but he had no idea I was there. I yelled out "dad" a couple of times, but to no avail. So I shouted out "Peter" and that got his attention!!
Forgot to mention, through Charlton there were 2 priests outside the Catholic churches blessing the runners with holy water as we ran past! At least I'd hoped it was a blessing and not our last rites... :o)
Running along the Embankment was painfully great! The crowds really started to grow again as many of the charity support crews had their main cheer squads along here. I kept looking out for the Crisis cheer squad, but never saw them... In a daze I heard my name yelled out and there were Rox & Dan! I stopped for a few seconds to say hi, just because I'm so nice, not because I needed to rest... I then plodded my way with what was to be the longest 2 miles of my life! I think I saw Chris again at this point, but I can't quite remember... I also saw Ben at one point, but again, can't remember where! It was all a bit of a blur by this point...
Thursday, 23 April 2009
This is what I hope I'll be looking like towards the end - all smiles!!
It will most probably all grimaces and pain though...
I can look out for you. See previous blog entry for when I expect to be at the various mile markers.
Below is what time I expect to be at each mile marker. It is based roughly on being able to do 10 minute miles for the first 15 miles, then 11 minute miles and then 12 minute miles. I'm hoping to be slightly quicker as I'd like to finish inside 4:30, but this schedule, which is perhaps more realistic, shows me taking about 4:37.
Use it as a rough guide but perhaps look out for me a little earlier just in case my legs are feeling good on Sunday!! :o)
Mile / Time / Landmark
1 / 10:10 / Leaving from Greenwich Park
2 / 10:20
3 / 10:30
4 / 10:40
6 / 11:00
7 / 11:10 Near the Cutty Sark
8 / 11:20
9 / 11:30
10 / 11:40
12 / 12:00 / South side of Tower Bridge
13 / 12:10 / Tower of London
14 / 12:20 / West end of Narrow Street
15 / 12:30
16 / 12:41 / Westferry Road
17 / 12:52 / Mudchute & Crossharbour DLRs (Eastferry Road)
18 / 13:03 / Marsh Wall (near South Quay DLR)
19 / 13:14 / Entering Canary Wharf area
20 / 13:25 / Back of Canary Wharf (onto Commercial Road)
21 / 13:36 / Commercial Road (behind Narrow Street)
22 / 13:47 / Tower of London
23 / 13:59
24 / 14:11 / Along the Embankment - look out for Cleopatra's Needle
25 / 14:23 / (Crisis Cheer Squad opposite Cleopatra's Needle)
26 / 14:35 / Buckingham Palace (no time for scones with the Queen!)
26.2 / 14:37 / FINISH - Pall Mall
Will post a photo of my running gear tonight after I pick up my race number. Let me know if you might be watching the marathon so I know to look out for you - and where you might be.
Getting very exciting now!!! Difficult to focus on anything else...
Wednesday, 8 April 2009
Miles 0 - 14 are pretty comfortable
Miles 14 - 17 are harder work but still reasonably comfortable
Mile 17 - 18 is harder work with thoughts of walking running through your head
Miles 18 - 20 are quite hard work and with encouragement you can keep going, but by yourself it's difficult not to walk at times
It then struck me that 12 months ago I was puffing when I walked up the 2 flights of stairs to our apartment. I considered walking up those 2 flights of stairs, after walking home from the DLR (an 8 minute walk), to be exercise! Now, though, I can comfortably run 14 miles and no real problems running 20 miles.
12 months ago I was in the worst shape of my life and in less than 3 weeks I'll be running a marathon!! I've lost around 17kg and am worrying more about how I'm going to afford replacing my suits and jackets than anything else...
Actually, that's not entirely true - I'm a little worried how I'm going to complete miles 20 - 26.2 having never run that far before. I've been quite knackered after 20 miles, but thanks to so many of you that have donated, both in the UK and Australia, together with the crowds and Mel + family/friends cheering me on, I'm confident I can finish it! Andy has also challenged me and is sponsoring me "per mile that I run", so I'm going to do my best not to walk any of it!!
Anyway, just thought I'd share that with you. I'm in wind-down mode now leading up to the marathon. Running a half-marathon this weekend, after which will only be doing 6 mile or so runs.
It's getting kinda exciting!! :o)
Saturday, 28 March 2009
Aicarumba, what have I signed up for?!?!?!
In my recent half-marathon I felt pretty good after 13.1 miles. Last weekend I felt good after 15 miles. Today, I was feeling good up until about 17 miles, then I started to get a bit tired. Fortunately I was running with my new running buddy, and fellow marathon runner, Ang. She has run 20 miles beforehand so was a good encouragement and kept me running right until the end. Well, except for when we came to a hill - there's only so much we could do... ;o)
I'm glad that I managed to run the full 20 miles, but boy oh boy was I sore afterwards! And still am sore! All over! But no rest was to be had - Mel's folks arrive at 7:20am Sunday morning, so after an hour of R&R is was cleaning and clearing and moving boxes and furniture around. It was probably a good thing though as it didn't give my body a chance to go into freeze-frame, but still, was looking forward to veging out on the couch all afternoon...
Not looking forward to tomorrow or Monday - I'm gonna hurt I reckon!
Next weekend I'm doing another 20 mile run, so will try and do that a bit quicker - today we ran it in about 3:55, so to be under 4:30 for the marathon need to be doing the first 20 miles a bit quicker. Will be doing a few runs during the week - only 6 - 8 miles each, but at a much faster pace. Hopefully that will help.
If there's any runners in the East London area that want to run part or all of my 20 miles of fun on Sunday 5th April, send me an email.
Will let you know how I get on with my training and recovery! That said, going to be difficult with Mel's mum in town - quite possibly one of the best cooks on the planet!! You haven't had chicken satay until you've had Mel's mum's satay! Anyway, must focus on running... Not food... Running...