Tuesday, 5 February 2013

So whats happening

Wow, how long has it been since I last updated, well to long.

So lots has been happening and also nothing has been happening.

Since my last update as you know Jo has an entry into Iornman Florida, flights and accommodation have booked and training has started.

I am getting out the door and doing stuff myself but have nothing planned for this year.

I have started "park run" and this happens every Saturday morning and is a timed 5K run, it will be good to track my improvements in speed other the year (hopefully)

I have gained 2 people who wish me to mentor them to Ironman (gulp, sounds like I may know what I'm doing).

We got a copy of Andy Holgate's new book.

And have finished reading it, here is my review.
Its crap, apart from all the bits with me in it, which are great!.

No seriously, its a great read, as is Andy's blog, he seems to have a way with his writing that really connects with the reader and the fact that we have all been through he things he has (well, apart the saddle falling off that is).
The fact that we as a family get several mentions and a note in the acknowledgements and with what he says about us is in fact quite humbling, it can be quite strange to see down in print what people think about you.

You may remember from last time that my weight loss was going at some pace, well that stopped for the Christmas holidays and I put quite bit back on <cough>, well its started to come off again and as of last weigh in I was at 13 stone 8 pounds which is only 2 pounds more than my lowest.

Just a quick note for people to check out Scott Ragsdale, this guy is trying the RAM (Race Across America) one of the hardest races in the world.
Scott's Blog

Onwards and upwards as always.


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

All work and no play makes Q a dull boy

Sorry to all for no updates for a while, but and I know this is a poor excuse, I have been so very busy at work.
Quarter 4 is always our busiest time of year and we have just signed a new deal with a major UK retailer that will take the company from 90 Million turnover to over 100 Million. I have been working very hard to deliver the new systems which need to be in place to enable the business to deliver for the customer. This will all be in place on time.

Anyway enough of business stuff

After not being sure about our plans for racing next year, I have some exciting news.

We have somehow managed to get Jo an entry into Ironman Florida, this wasn't in the plan but things moved quickly. Carolyn, one of our friends got an entry due to having done IM Canada this year and said she was going to do it, we said we would come and support, we talked about trying to get Jo an entry but as it is so very difficult to get an entry and always sells out in minutes we didn't hold out much hope. Well the tri gods must have been smiling on us that day, the event sold out in record time, under 1 minute and Jo is the very proud owner of a confirmed entry. We will be making this a family holiday.

As IM Florida is not til November 2013, this means that I can have the early part of next year for my plans.

Double Ironman is it.

I will post more on this sone

Onwards and Upwards as always.


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The need for speed

I did the Macclesfield half marathon, it was hard and it hurt and by 9 miles I was shot but I still kept running and completed it in a little over 2:08 and while I'm happy that I completed it I am a tiny bit upset by the time, now I know it was only 2 weeks after IM Wales and that told and I also know the new diet I'm on takes time for your body to adjust but that is 8 minutes more than I should be running.
So with this is mind I have set a goal of the 4 villages half marathon (Jan 20th) in under 2 hours.
I have not set any other goals until this one is achieved and I know with some run specific training I can do this time.

I have lost 10 lbs in 2 weeks so the fat is coming off. I will post about my diet at a later date.

Went to the wedding celebration of Des (Horse) and Sharon at the weekend and it was great to catch up with Horse, Razor and Cake.

Onwards and upwards as always


Friday, 21 September 2012

New challenges ahead

After all my previous Iron distance races I have always complete drained and needed an extended break from triathlon.
This time there is something different, I feel invigorated and can't wait to get back out there, so much so that tonight I will be doing 30 mins on the turbo followed by a run with Jo, so the question has to be whats the difference? why I am I not knackered this time?

I honesty don't know the answer but it is safe to say that I have trained so much harder for IM Wales than the previous events, maybe its because of this, maybe other factors.

So what to do for the next challenge

I have the local half marathon in 1 weeks time

We have the Stockport 10 (10 mile run race) early December

 We have the 4 Village Half marathon in late January

These are all designed to make sure I'm out there keeping fit but what about the bigger challenges?

Well, no final decision made yet but I do want to do a double IM and have a couple of friends competing next year so maybe, also I really want Jo to experience an official Ironman event and there has been some talk of a smack down between us at IMUK which would be fantastic, could I do both? that's a big ask, but what a year it would be!

In other news, after seeing some of the pictures from IM Wales one of them had me looking a little tubby, so I got on the scales this morning and had a bit of a shock 14 stone 11 pound and I have lost quite a bit with the training for IM Wales, so first job is to try and shed some of this excess weight so have joined Jo and a certain Andy Holgate (Iron Holgs) on their diets after the results these two have seen.

Thanks to all for the nice comments after my race report.

Onwards and upwards as always


Wednesday, 19 September 2012


“Good afternoon ladies and gentleman, welcome to Ironman Wales, the toughest ironman in the world!” This was the opening line from the pre race briefing on the Saturday, this made me gulp a little, not sure if it is the toughest as Lanza would have to up there with a shout, but as an official Ironman race its one of the hardest.

Way back in January when I had to cancel my plans for the double IM, I started looking around for something else to do and with Jo committed to Outlaw, something latter on in the season looked to be the way forward and Ironman Wales was selected.

Fast forward to Friday 14th September and a seven and a half hour journey down to Tenby (stuck behind the Tour of Britain) saw us checking into our hotel and a dash across town to register.

I got a nice shinny rucksack with the M. Symbol everywhere, inside this was all my transition bags, lots of flyers for stuff and a small ceramic brick, which I still haven’t worked out what it’s for. Quick look round the expo and bumped into STIL who commented how fit I was looking!

Out for some food and meet up with Button Mushroom, Slagiatt and Mouse. Back to the hotel to start sorting the transition bags and nutrition out, slept quite well which is a little strange as I generally take a few days getting used to a different bed, the hotel by the way was in the best possible location as it over looked the swim start on North beach and the run passed the hotel 3 times each lap, the hotel was a little dated but would recommend it to all just for the location, Barley and Schmunkee also had booked the same hotel.

Saturday saw me getting lots of text and Face book messages of support, which I have to say made me quite emotional. A quick wonder round the town centre and you felt the atmosphere starting to build, having done the Outlaw the last 2 years I thought I would be used to this but this was a branded Ironman and the events just don’t compare, the atmosphere was way more intense, the athletes looked far more fit and trained than usually, in fact the whole town was behind this, all the shops had Ironman Wales flags either flying outside or up in the shop windows, everything  around town just seemed to be adding to the atmosphere as people where milling around town and you started to see people starting to take their bikes to transition.

Popped over to the expo again to get some gels for the bike and a quick chat to Cheerful Dave, nipped back to hotel to collect bike and bags and then of to transition, took me ages to actually get to rack my bike and bags as the entrance to transition had lots of people around and spotted Rachel (Sprocket) so had a long chat to her and then moved further along and stopped for a chat to Iron Pingu, then managed a quick chat to Jenny (who we meet at Eirias Half) who also mentioned how fit I was looking, which shows the last 3 months training have been pretty full on and the extra I was carrying have shifted, anyway, finally managed to rack the bike after having to had it photographed and then wrapped up in a plastic cover, backs put way in transition and then back to hotel to chill and watch them towing the buoys out to mark the swim course.

Had a bit of negativity but after Jo giving me a talking to that went. Off to the race briefing and a chat to Iron Tractor Boy (sorry it didn’t happen on the day for you), race briefing done, pickup up Jo and Jordy and try to find somewhere to eat, it seems everyone competing and their families where all in Tenby trying to find somewhere to eat, saw this chap running after us waving frantically, who turned out to be Hokori, really great to meet you, you day will come.

Back to the hotel and watched Dr Who (just for Jordy, honest!), lights out at 9 and drifted off to sleep soon after.

Alarm wakes me up at 3:45, then again at 4 and once more at 4:15, quick bath (the shower in the hotel was crap), first layer of bodyglide around nether regions and neck. The hotel had put on a light breakfast of cereal, toast and coffee which was a welcome change from a ham, cheese and pickle baguette. Picked up my iPod and went over to transition to unwrap and check bike, quick chat to Slagiatt and Button mushroom and finally caught up with Bobby Nobby then back to hotel to start the fight between me and my wetsuit and have the final toilet stop, another layer of bodyglide on, wander down to the start and put my hang my shoe bag up (there is a 1K run from the swim exit to T1), last hug from Jo and Jordy and then onto the beach, spit into the goggles, hat on, goggles on, listen to the welsh anthem, pee in wetsuit but it doesn’t come out the legs, it just sits round my middle, fantastic.

Line up at the back, then the cannon goes and we all run into the water, the levels gets to my thighs and I dive in, quickly into my stroke, bang, take a kick to the face, swear, back to my stroke, take a punch to my side, back to my stroke, to the first dingy at which we had a slight turn and everyone stops front crawl to do breaststroke, why? Back into my stroke again moving well can see the first buoy in the distance. I am swimming well and in a group of people, which is a bit strange as usually my swimming is not great, get to the first buoy and once again everyone seems to stop and do breaststroke round the buoy, can anyone explain why, you then head for the life boat station and this comes into view quicker than I thought it would, to the next buoy, turn and head back to beach, out of the first lap, run along the beach and back into the water, check my watch 40 minutes, oh my god, this is good, bit quieter on second lap but still swimming well, sighting is brilliant and no swimming off line, round the first buoy again and thinking about my time, to the final buoy and then head back to the beach aiming for the blue Ironman arch, get to the point when your hands are dragging the sand along the bottom, try and get up, fall over, get up again run out, over the timing mat, check watch 1:22:09 a swim PB by over 4 minutes, result, maybe the swim might have been a bit short but conditions where perfect.

Up the ramp grab my shoe bag, small bottle of water in bag to rinse the sand from feet, dry feet, socks on shoes on, wetsuit top half pulled down and begin the run to T1, see Jo and Jordy outside of hotel and throw shoe bag at her, well caught, shouted “PB Swim”.

Arrive at T1, grab bike bag and my own transition angel appeals (Iron Pingu) “what do you need?” take out from bag what I need and Iron Pingu packs everything away for me and then puts my bag back. Pick up bike and on mount line get a shout from Button Mushroom who is just coming in transition, start the bike and straight away start getting shouts from crowd “Go Pirates”. My T1 time was 15:16 which includes the run from the swim. Leave Tenby and notice the wind has really picked up and the first 30 miles are all into the wind, catch Slagiatt after a couple of miles, great swim from him, quick chat and I’m on my way again, the words from a friend saying take the first 60K easy ringing in my ears, past one poor bloke who had crashed and was being treated by paramedics, this served as a reminder to me to not drop the concentration.

My speed was going OK but was still trying to ease into it, got to the first proper hill and up that no problem, past the army barracks and the 2 tanks at the front, complete with the squaddies clapping and cheering us past; signs out saying this are live firing range! Better keep moving quick, the road condition here was not great but my new tyres performing well, you then get to see the people a few minutes in front of you as they are coming the other way and spotted Barley and a quick pirate shout between us, then cycle through the dunes and the full force of the wind hits you as you crest the top of one of the dunes and nearly takes you off the road, the road is very narrow and the first proper climb that involves you getting out the saddle, up this no problem, down to the first feed station, drop one bottle and pick a fresh one up, then you are on the road and you came see the riders a few minutes behind you, big shout to Button Mushroom and Hokori.

The wind is now at its best as its behind us the course is undulating and I’m loving it, 37 miles comes around and I’m a third of the way in, still riding well and enjoying it, one thing that I was starting to notice was that on the down hills I was catching more people and I would be passing them still freewheeling while they were having to pedal, just shows how good the Continental grand prix tyres I had on where.

At approx 56 miles I made my first mistake of the day, having read reports from last year and spoke to loads of who have done the course, I was expecting a monster, I started to think the bike course isn’t all that, how wrong I was. It also started raining at this time; I was cold and very wet.

The bike course is one long loop of 72 miles and then a shorter loop of 4o miles that joins the first loop for the last 20 miles, if that makes sense, so the first 52 miles is OK undulating with a couple of hills but really nothing to keep you awake at night, the last 20 miles of the loop is hell on wheels, the hills just keep coming and are relentless, there are some named climbs, Wiseman’s Bridge and Saundersfoot being the 2 that people know but, it’s the other ones that take the toll, one after another after another . After you have finished the first loop you know that the hills you have do again and they start to get inside your head. That said the support on course is fantastic, you pass through some villages and in them all it was party time and through Saundersfoot it felt like a mountain stage on the tour de France with the support, but also the quite country lanes that take you past a remote farm house and there are people there supporting. Finished the first loop and started the 2nd, the wind once again driving into us and making progress hard, the hills this time seemed to be slightly steeper and slightly longer, I know that this was in my mind but there you go, plus the thought of having get up Wiseman and Saundersfoot again was playing on my mind, my average speed was also starting to fall if only a small amount and I was starting to do the maths to make sure I would beat the cut-off, hill after hill and I was suffering but it’s not a knitting club, I got to 96 miles and I had just over 2 hours before the cut off and could afford to do 8 miles an hour and still make it, got to 100 miles and still hurting but still moving, at 103 miles I had under 10 miles left and loads of time in the bank but my speedo seemed to not counting the miles any more but this could have just been in my mind, then finally after the last climb out of Saundersfoot you start the descent back into Tenby and ride down the side of the run course, then you see the sign pointing you towards transition and what’s there? Another little pig of a climb, out of the saddle again but this is for the last time. Into transition and as if by magic my own transition angel appears again, “Great bike SA, what do you want me to do?” Noticed Barley still in transition and wonders over “Hey SA, so are we having a smackdown run then?” he asks, bring it on I reply, I ask Iron Pingu to phone Jo and let her know I’ve finished the bike and just about to start the run. Bike time was 8:07:37 and T2 time was 4:39.

Out on to the run, it’s a 4 lap affair with the first half mile being in the run out of town, you start to climb for 2 miles then a flattish mile, then 2 miles back down, then another mile zig zagging the small streets in the town centre, the support in the town centre was the most amazing thing I think I have every seem, with your name been printed on the number every was screaming your name and supportive comments “go on Quinton” “ go Pirates” you can do this Quinton”, problem I had was my legs didn’t want to, I had put so much into the bike that my legs really didn’t feel like they wanted to run, so I struck a deal with them, power walk the uphill’s (there are a lot) run as much flat as I could and run all the downhill’s. I had worked out that if I could each lap in 1 hour 30 minutes then I would be on for a 16 hour finish. The run was hard but was helped by the smattering of pirates on the course and the support and high 5’s we give to each other, I dug in when I had to and ground out the run, you picked a coloured band up each lap until you had 4, which then meant you could finish, so you start band envy of others that have more bands than you, I think the run was a tad short but you can only race the course put in front of you and then I had 4 bands and rounded the final turn and started the run down the esplanade, there was a marshal at the start of the finish cute and he said “There’s no one in front and no one behind you and this lot are waiting for you to finish, give them something to cheer” the wall of noise as you start on the carpet to the finish makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end and I was in a different world the noise the lights, people clapping cheering, shouting cameras flashing, it was like I had won the Olympics, the Tour de France and the World cup all rolled into one, arms up massive cheer from myself and I was finished, the mayor then put my medal round my neck.

Run time 5:22:52

Total Ironman Wales time 15:12:29

Off to get my t-shirt and a hot pork roll, tasty.

Pick up bike, bags etc and walk back to hotel for massive hug from Jo and Jordy, even though it still wasn’t 11 o’clock the hotel bar had closed, so dumped all my stuff in reception and went to the nearest pub that was still serving for a celebration pint!

I have a load of thank yous to people who have made this possible

Gareth (STIL) – For the constant nagging to get me out on the long hilly, I wouldn’t have finished without these.

Scot (Egoman) – For constantly challenging me to “make it happen”

Iron Pingu – My transition angel, amazing what a friendly face in transition can do.

Nick (Iron Rose) – The final race instructions and mantra kept me sane on the day.

Andy (Iron Holgs) – for the always supportive text messages.

Dawn (Hope) – For the most amazing FB message, gave me the strength and belief.

Sarah (Iron Muffin) – for popping up on the run course so many times, you never stopped smiling

Des (Horse) Dave (Razor) – for the training ride up Sheephouse Lane, unbelievable support.

My dad – for missing his birthday, because I was so wrapped in IM and him saying the best birthday present I could give him was to race well and safe.

Carolyn (Colourin) – Circles not squares, inspired.

Schmunkee and Mouse – for looking after Jo and Jordy for the day

Gary (The Count/10” tall man) - for calling me a bucker when I wanted to quit after my bike broke, making me think I’ll show him.

Jaffa, Horse, STIL, Dave TES, Slim Shady, Cake, Ridgeback Max – who all offered me their bike or to pay for the repairs to mine when it broke it looked like I might not make it.

Jordy - You know

Jo – you have always been there with the right words at the right time – love you.
Onwards and upwards to the next challenge.


Friday, 7 September 2012

I am not a number, I am a free man

Well not quite right actually!

A prize to the first person who knows who said that

I am number 1023 for Ironman Wales

You should be able to track me on the day and I will hopefully be able to post the link you will need nearer the day.

Easy weekend of training planned (for a change)

Onwards and Upwards


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

2 updates in a week, I'm spoling you!

Don't know if I was pushing to hard last week, but my last long training ride came around and tried to move my backside out of the bed, epic fail, another hour cuddled up to Jo.
Eventually got out and felt tried, started off up the first big climb with the rain streaming down, as I climbed up to what felt like the heavens you get so high that the low cloud was making visibility very poor as I got higher it got worse, when it got down to 10 metres I thought I don't like this, to worried about cars not seeing me til to late, so sacked off the planned hilly 100 in favour of some different routes, so first 50 was around the leafy lanes of Cheshire and round Jodrell Bank

I never tire of riding past the radio telescope as I am filled with with awe every time I see it, maybe its the engineer in me, or the sci fi geek!

First 50 done and back home to get more fluid, then out again for the next 50, but this time throwing a few hills in for FUN!

I started to feel really tired and my backside was killing me, got to 90 miles and couldn't sit on the saddle any more and was also struggling to continue to turn the pedals, enough, put a fork in me; I'm done, made it home with 93.5 miles on the clock, completely drained and exhausted.
Not sure if its the training taking its toll or my nutrition was wrong, but its done and now we are into tapir, so last night the nearest I got to training was the first part of bike cleaning, front wheel stripped, cleaned and new fast racing tyre fitted.

2 wonderful rest days and then a easy 6 mile run on Wednesday planned.

The nervous excitement is rising!

Onwards and upwards as always.


PS: thanks to Scott Ragsdale for the message "MAKE IT HAPPEN" cheers Scott, I aim to.

PPS: I have to say Well Done to Sarah Storey, amazing performance to win 2 paralympic gold medals. Sarah is the patron of the swimming club Jordy goes to and I have had the pleasure of meeting and chatting to Sarah on numerous occasions. Her husband Barney Storey has also won a Gold and Silver medal, he is the seeing rider for a blind cyclist, well done both of you.