SlokeyJoe


Latest posts by SlokeyJoe

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Sub 3h15

Posted: Today at 12:21
So she tells me...

Sub 3h15

Posted: Today at 12:21
she was her usual bemused self at events and she added in that I was a bit rubbish on the run and loads of people beat me. But she looked after me afterwards and was very patient. I really can't ask for more than that.

Sub 3h15

Posted: Today at 11:12
Bike yesterday with my riding buddy. We are normally very evenly matched but he dropped me a few times - so more recovery needed. Aggravated achilles too which is quite sore again today

To add extra gloss, I'm in a hospital waiting room waiting for my son to have an operation on his hand (wiring a broken bone from a football injury) - been here for 3hrs already and he hasn't even gone into theatre yet. I brought some crisps to keep me occupied....

Sub 3h15

Posted: Today at 11:02
TH3 - P&D is great but I struggled staying injury free. Every campaign was blighted with big layoffs. If you are robust then it's a sure fire way to a good race. I know many on here have used it to great effect.

Sub 3h15

Posted: Today at 11:00
Thanks folks
To be fair it's just a matter of entering something and then grinding it out - I think it lived up to its billing as the world's hardest IM distance race. I've heard a few people talk who've done this and Norseman (which had the tough rep before) and all say this was much harder. I also think a 100mile running event would be harder and something like Spartathlon takes it to a whole new level.
Interestingly, a mate of mine entered the Dragon's Back race this year and only lasted for the first half day (of 5). That looked pretty gruesome.
I don't think it's about being tough or particularly uber fit for these kinds of extreme events, it's just a case of preparing well, having the will to enter and the belief that you can do it. I only started on this path because I had the catalyst of a limiting injury forcing me to either do it or never try. Find something that you think you can't do. Then do it.

Sub 3h15

Posted: Yesterday at 14:59
Rest of the year:
Breca swimrun in August
Swim length of Windermere in September
Sub 3 at Frankfurt in October

Sub 3h15

Posted: Yesterday at 14:54
I can honestly say, that I've never been in such a harsh environment as that and the marshals that were on the mountain all day (and all night apparently) are a hardy bunch indeed.
The descent begins, but I'm so worried about falling due to a combination of tiredness, inexperience over this type of terrain, wearing the wrong kind of shoes, worries about my hip, fear of heights, that I'm not that much quicker going down than coming up. There was also the matter of climbing up the roped section which I wasn't looking forward to. I made it down in one piece and even managed a 7:30minute last mile (flat) to the finish (although I did get lost a bit in the fading light).

I crossed the finish line with relief that it was over and I wasn't interested in the finish time just happy to be in one piece.
I collected my medal etc and looked back up the mountain and you could still see headlamps coming down the mountain side in the dark. There were people still finishing at 21hrs. Of the 140 hardy souls that started, there were 98 finishers. A handful dropped out after the swim due to the cold, a few dropped out during and after the bike, more again dropped out after going up the Screes, a few stopped before going up Scafell. Brutal.
Was it the hardest race I'e ever done? Yes, physically demanding and mentally testing although I didn't ever get close to quitting or feel at the limit. The slow pace on the "run" was probably beneficial in this respect.
Would I do it again? I've softened from a "definite no" to a "probably not". The swim and bike sections are excellent and you'd struggle to find anything as epic anywhere in the world. The run just wasn't runny enough for me. It suits climbers, fast hikers, hard core fell runners but not me. After the bike,I felt like I could have knocked out a 3:45 marathon or maybe even quicker on a flat surface. As it was it took me around 9.5hrs for a total race time of 17hrs 50.
Am I glad I did it? Yes. It was an amazing, amazing experience and I'm sure it will stand out in the memory in years to come. The camaraderie between the competitors, the sense that you are doing something epic, the incredible terrain on the mountains and the views (when not in the cloud) were truly special.

Sub 3h15

Posted: Yesterday at 14:44
Quick change of shoes and top, a stretch of the back and on with my backpack and ran out onto the road. Nice and flat first mile and legs feel pretty good, 8:30mm with the brakes on and pull away from the chap behind me. The first 16miles are an out and back section over the Wasdale Screes (branded as the easy bit of the run course). The sun is out and I'm in the zone. Turn off onto trail and a slight incline over a bridge feels awful, up through a rocky trail and then I'm faced with what looks like a 40% incline into the sky up a grassy trail. Oww, march upwards, hands on knees for what seems like an eternity until I finally reach the top. Feel broken. One of my buddies from the tri club was waiting at the top to offer encouragement/ abuse / advice in equal measure which was most welcome and then it's an undulating jog over rough, boggy ground along the top of the Screes for a few miles before a descent down to a loop section on single track trail through the woods. I felt good here since it was flat and picked up a bit of speed again. Then I have to climb back up the bloody Screes. Long, long march later I think I'm at the top but no, it's a false summit and I have to drop down a hundred metres or to climb back up another 200metres. Finally get to the far end with a combination of easy running, walking and slower walking and then begin the descent down the steep slope that I was faced with earlier. I'm relieved that it is still sunny and dry; Coming down here on wet grass would be a tad precarious.
An easy run through the valley to the 16mile checkpoint at Wasdale Head Inn and my wife appears from the crowd, clapping. "I haven't finished yet, I still have to go up Scafell Pike" I inform her, "another 3.5hrs-ish" I suggest (lies!).
A quick kiss and then it's a nice flat mile out towards the start of the climb up the "corridor route". It is raining again. Now, I don't know what I expected having never really ventured into the mountains but I assumed it would be something like a walking trail meandering up a hillside which just went on a bit longer than I was used to. Imagine my surprise when even on the lower reaches the "trail" disappears and I'm having to climb over sharp rocks to make progress and there is an ever increasing precipitous drop just a few feet to my right. I really don't like heights.
I grind my way up and over the terrain and reach a checkpoint. "How far to the top" "1hour". That's OK. I'm feeling good cardio wise due to the rough ground making it impossible to actually push myself and I continue on for a while. The weather clears a little as I see another marshal "use the rope for the next section" he says, "eh?". Over the next rock and there's a rope tied to the rocks to hold onto whilst you lower yourself down a rock face, a few metres away is a rocky chasm. I don't like heights, have I mentioned that?
I navigate it safely and then continue upwards, I'm now in cloud and the wind is picking up. I ask a runner coming down from the top "how long to the summit" "an hour" he responds. I lose my sense of humour a bit at this point. I was told an hour ago that it was an hour to the top but have no choice but to keep going relentlessly upwards. I"m now in a steep boulder field with lots of loose rocks, it's windy, raining hard and visibility in the clag is about 10 metres. I'm losing sight of the course markers and have to stop a couple of times to look for other runners coming down to indicate the correct route. Keep going, keep going, finally there is a marshal at a trig point. The summit at last! Such a relief and I kiss the concrete obelisk.

Sub 3h15

Posted: Yesterday at 14:40
I jumped up and just got back on my bike as a spectator came to see if I was OK. I could still walk and still ride although pride was a bit dented as was my hand which was dripping with blood, and my shin and upper thigh suffered some road rash. At least the damage was on the opposite side of my body to the first crash.
The next section is "gently undulating" through to Ambleside and then it is a sharp right turn up Kirkstone Pass via "The Struggle". This is the only real deviation from the Fred Whitton course which takes the more manageable route over Kirkstone Pass. The Struggle is quite a long 20-25% section followed by a brief respite before another 25% plus section. Blowing a bit by the time I get to the top and the aid station. Swap a bottle and then the fast descent down to Glenridding, slow climb over Matterdale and then a super quick run along the A66 down towards Keswick, the only uninterrupted fast part of the course although into a headwind with added rain. I see a target ahead and work hard to catch him up.
The course then turns down the side of Derwent Water and I'm riding solo again and then reach Honister Pass (25%) and now have to use the width of the road, zigzagging upwards, to keep it as comfortable as possible. A nimble chap zips past me about 2/3rds the way up and the camera man at the top tells me that I'm in the top 10. Oooh - that's worth pushing on for! I took the Honister descent very carefully, there is a very fast straight drop which leads to a chicane over a bridge half way down and I've seen folks come off here in the past. A nice and easy section for 3 or 4 miles follows before climbing again over Newlands, long long drag up and over the top. A chap passed me in the valley and as I watched him pull away in the distance a car in front of him hit its brakes at a cattle grid to let another car through, he couldn't stop in time and instead launched himself and his bike to the side of the car, flew through the air and landed on his head. It was quite an athletic achievement. Like a drunk Spiderman. The cars' occupants jumped out to see if he was OK but he seemed to just get up, wave at them, mount his bike and was gone before I'd even caught up to him.
The route is pleasant then until Whinlatter but this is a long climb and the cumulative mileage is starting to take its toll. A couple of riders pass me on the ascent. Another aid station at the top and then a fast long descent and fairly easy riding for a few miles. Another guy passed me so I tried to stay in touch. He seemed to slow a bit so pushed into the draft zone to start to overtake and then I realised why he had slowed. He was relieving himself on the bike and so after being briefly doused by a mixture of fluids, I backed off to the legal draft distance.
One more climb to go up Calder Fell, very long but not particularly steep drag and then back to T2! 7hrs 40min (previous best on the standalone Fred was 8:05!) 23rd place.

Sub 3h15

Posted: Yesterday at 14:36
The race:
We must've been in the water for about 30seconds and the gun went, (they were worried about us getting cold apparently) and we were off.
I took it nice and easy for the first 400m, conscious to not let the cold water combining with going anaerobic get me into the shallow breathing cycle that blighted my season last year. The water was beautiful. This was easily the clearest, cleanest, tastiest fresh water that I've ever swum in. Even with minimal daylight I could see feet and bubbles 20metres ahead. I put in a bit of a surge as we approached the first buoy to get on some feet and joined a group as we turned across to the far side of the lake. Stayed on the same toes right the way across, just nice and relaxed (it was going to be a long day) and enjoyed the ride. We hit the far shore and turned back to T1 and then I pushed on a bit to follow some toes who were moving a touch quicker. Then out of the water - 35min on the clock and felt great.
The air temp felt reasonably warm (for 5am) so opted for the short sleeve option with arm warmers rather than a full jacket and set off on the bike. 5 minutes it later it started to rain. A sheep decided that it had time to cross the road in front of me on the Wasdale road - it didn't. No further dramas until I reached the bottom of Hardknott pass which kicks up immediately and ranges from 25% to 33% gradient and the toughest climb on the course. A chap who had just overtaken me hit the pass first and proceeded over the cattle grid at the bottom of the climb. I wasn't really watching him but he ended up coming off his bike with a thud and a shout. "Watch out, it's slippy" he said to me as I approached, so I took a very straight line over the grid and soon realised what his problem had been. As I pedalled, the wheel just spun on the wet metal surface and since it was on an incline I rapidly lost any momentum and ground to a halt then fell sideways with nowhere to place my foot other than in between the bars. Felt lucky to not break my leg but less lucky to have the rider behind me crash straight into me and have her and her bike on top of me. We managed to extricate ourselves from the tangle of carbon fibre and flesh and were all reasonably intact bar a few bruises (including the imprint of her chainring embedded in my shoulder). Luckily there is a passing place just after the grid so I could pull off a manoeuvre which took me horizontally across the road to generate a flat surface to quickly clip back in and then turn up the rather nasty slope. I managed to make it all the way to the top of Hardknott without stopping (huzzah - first time ever!) and then took the descent down the other side very carefully with the rain still coming down. Wrynose next (25%) a couple of miles later and again felt strong climbing and reached the top with no problem followed by an equally careful descent.
I flew down the next valley feeling quite proud of myself and then lost concentration a bit. I was admiring my speed as I was travelling along, looking at the watch on my wrist and then looked up to see a sharp corner ahead. Oh dear. Hit the brakes, nothing. Oh dear. Wheels were just skidding over the wet road, managed to slow the bike to 20ish mph and then had to try to take the corner as the wall approached. Promptly skidded, fell on my arse, bounced along the road and my bike and I came to rest in the grass verge next to the wall.
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Eco Trail de Paris 2014

Bonjour! Anyone up for a trot round Paris? 
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Quality treadmill recommendations?

Looking for a GOOD treadmill that can take a pounding.  
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