Posts Tagged ‘leeds’

Brownlee triathlon centre launch

Thursday, October 18th, 2018 | Sport

After my first visit to the Brownlee cycle circuit I found myself back there for the launch of the triathlon centre. It’s not really clear what that was. It looks the same. But, in any case, British Triathlon was providing some free training.

There were three sessions: transition, run and bike. I will be changing the way I do things based on the transition session but it was the bike session that was most useful. It was led by Coach Morg, who runs Blue Lagooners and the Evolve triathlons and really helped me build some confidence with leaning the bike over and taking more speed through the corners.

Panini at Roundhay Park Cafe

Friday, August 31st, 2018 | Life

Here is the latest update in my series on people pluralising the already-pluralised word panini. This one from Roundhay Park cafe. No wonder Facebook stopped syndicating my blog posts.

Pride Parkrun 2018

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018 | Sport

Every year, the Pride team turn up to Parkrun to cheer people on and hand out free goodies. Last year, I got a pair of rainbow laces, which I was wearing at this year’s Pride Parkrun.

I had a triathlon to so the day after, but I also felt like I was losing fitness. So, I decided to forgo the “take it easy” approach that would involve resting my legs and instead, go hard and hopefully give myself a confidence boost that I was still performing well.

I did and I got it. Thanks to a sprint finish when I realised I might just make it within the minute, I managed to run:

22:58

This is 19 seconds off my personal best, but it is only the second time I have managed to go sub-23 so I was very pleased with it. Did it give me the confidence to smash it at the Allerthorpe Classic triathlon? Find out soon…

South Leeds Duathlon

Monday, August 13th, 2018 | Sport

Recently, the inaugural South Leeds Duathlon was held at Cross Flats Park in Beeston. There were three races: a junior, a Leeds Girls Can and an open adult race. I took part in the latter (obviously), which was 2.3km run, a 4.5km cycle and then a final 2.3km run.

I finished in 36:11. That is about a minute faster than GO TRI Temple Newsam last year. Which isn’t too shabby as the Temple Newsam course was longer for both run and bike sections. It’s not going to get me into ITU either, though.

The worst part is that I forgot to collect my free t-shirt :(. It would be easy to blame Venla for distracting me with her mixture of whining and running into places where she should not be. So I will.

A non-talking horse

Monday, August 13th, 2018 | Photos

As far as I know, this horse can’t talk. But it’s a nice picture, so I thought I would post it anyway.

Humanist summer social at All Bar One

Monday, July 30th, 2018 | Humanism

Earlier this month, we headed to All Bar One for the first in a series of summer socials at West Yorkshire Humanists.

They have this new policy where they will only serve food in the “restaurant area” now. It’s really annoying because it means we were crammed into a small space while most of the rest of the bar was empty.

In many ways, we were a victim of our own popularity. A table of four was available, but as there was around a dozen of us, we had to keep expanding.

I enjoy the talks that the society does but I prefer the socials because you get so much more time to talk and catch up with people.

Leeds Anxiety Clinic opens

Monday, July 9th, 2018 | News

We’re pleased to announce that Leeds Anxiety Clinic has opened its doors. Here are my personal thoughts about it.

I’ve been working in mental health for around five years now, running the charity Anxiety Leeds, blogging over at Worfolk Anxiety and conducting research into mental health technology as part of my master’s degree. Getting involved with a company like this seems the next logical step.

The feedback we’re getting at the moment is that Leeds IAPT has a 9-month waiting list. Therapy takes time to work, so if you’re looking for help, realistically you’re looking at more than a year of your life before you can see any change. That’s too long.

And whether you go via the NHS, or you go via private therapy, you will usually get a generalist. Some organisations run “mental health” group sessions, for example. You might be a high functioning anxiety sufferer but you find yourself sat next to a schizophrenic. They’re both very different conditions that require different skills. Or your counsellor also does bereavement or addiction, and sidelines with anxiety. They don’t have the specialist skill set. It’s like taking your boat to Kwik Fit because “all vehicles are pretty much the same”.

We’re aiming to fix both of these problems by providing specialist care, with a range of options to suit different circumstances. Including some educational events that we’re planning to announce shortly.

All of this runs alongside my existing commitments to research and Anxiety Leeds, which will be unaffected by anything we’re doing here. Although, I very much hope that what we do at the charity will be informed by anything we learn at LAC, so that we can continue to improve the group.

Rothwell Parkrun

Monday, June 25th, 2018 | Sport

Last Saturday, I headed over to Rothwell for the Parkrun. It’s been running since last summer, making it the baby of the Leeds Parkruns. Or at least it was until Middleton Woods launched in April. And another launching soon. But who’s counting?

I had a triathlon the day after so I decided to drive to one rather than run there. Given I was already in the car, driving somewhere else for a change of scenery is my prefered option. And, a hadn’t done Rothwell, it seemed like an excellent choice.

I liked it. First, it’s flat. One slight hill, probably a smaller rise than Woodhouse Moor. If that is the case, that would make it the flattest Parkrun in Leeds which are, on the whole, all on hills.

Second, a lot of it is on grass. Not great for speed, arguably, and not so nice in the wet. But kinder on the body.

Third, it is fairly small. 188 runners in the field on the day I did it. At Woodhouse Moor, which regularly attracts 400-500 people, even running a sub-24 is unlikely to put you in the top 100. At Rothwell, my 23:28 gave me a position of 27th, and second in my age category of male 30-34.

The only thing that didn’t go too well was the pace. I was aiming for 24-25 minutes so that it would be a nice easy run. Something I nailed in Skipton. But I got a bit carried away in the final kilometre and sped up.

The other issue with Rothwell is there is limited parking. But given there seems to be a huge amount of on-street parking all around the park, it doesn’t seem like the big issue that the website made it out to be.

World Triathlon Leeds elite races

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018 | Sport

Long after us age groupers had packed up and gone home, they gave the elite racers a chance to race the same course at World Triathlon Leeds.

It’s a very spectator friendly course in Leeds because they make them do seven loops of the course on the bikes and then four loops of the same course on the run. So, if you can get a good spot, you can see everyone come past eleven times.

Many people opted to view from The Headrow where they could enjoy the sunshine while watching the race. We’re from Yorkshire and Finland, and we have a Yorkshire-Finn baby, so we chose Greek Street, which was firmly in the shade for the entire day.

The barriers they put up are brilliant. I wish they were there all of the time. We could let Venla run around as much as she wanted without fear that she would run out into the middle of the road and get knocked over by a car (or in this case a bike, or a runner).

It was awesome to see Vicky Holland and Georgia Taylor-Brown take a one-two for Team GB. Not quite as perfect as if Jessica Learmonth had won it, given she is the local girl, but still a superb result.

In the men’s race, both Tom Bishop and Marc Austin ran awesome races. Bishop came home in 6th, which I think is his best ever result in ITU.

Unfortunately, Johnnie Brownlee had to pull out with stomach issues. In fact, a lot of athletes who had swum in the River Trent in Nottingham on Thursday had the same thing. It struck a chord with me because I assumed I had food poisoning last month. But it was only a day or two after I had done Wetherby Triathlon in the River Aire.

World Triathlon Leeds

Friday, June 22nd, 2018 | Sport

Back in November last year I was wondering whether multisport might be for me. So, I took part in the inaugural GO TRI Temple Newsam duathlon and decided it was fun enough to register for the World Triathlon Series event that was taking place in Leeds next summer.

Since then, I’ve been busy. I’ve done a bunch of GO TRI events, Skipton, Evolve and Wetherby triathlon, so I had already hit my goal of completing an Olympic distance triathlon. But it was gratifying to reach the race I had targetted for almost a year.

With it being an ITU World Series event, it was big. There was 2,000 of us doing the standard distance alone, plus many more people doing the sprint distance and GO TRI events that ran the day before. So big, in fact, that we had to go check out bikes into transition the day before the race.

You also had the chance to do a familiarisation swim on Saturday while checking your bike in. This was fairly relaxed: there were no rules, you could swim wherever you liked. I did two laps of the 750m course.

On the day itself there was mist on the lake, so they cut the men’s age group swim to a single lap of 750 metres. This was a little disappointing as I was ready for the full thing. But did mean that I only got caught by one of the waves setting off after me, which were spaced five minutes apart. So, at least I didn’t have a bunch of people swimming over me. The mist cleared up soon after and the women, who set off an hour later, got to do the full distance.

Tragedy struck at transition one, though I didn’t know it at the time. My timing chip bracelet fell off my ankle, so I don’t have an official time after crossing the swim exit map.

The bike went well. I managed to maintain an average speed of 26.5 kph. This is slightly slower than the 27 kph I averaged at Wetherby, but I am more than happy with that because Wetherby was flat. In contrast, I thought the drag up Stonegate Road would slow me down a lot.

Nobody was laughing at my low-geared cross bike as we hit the 8% section. Nobody laughed at any point; everyone was very friendly. Even the officials in transition were firm but fair when someone unracked their bike without their helmet on. No DQ, but he had to take his bike back, re-rack it, put his helmet on and start again.

I saw two or three mountain bikes on the course, so I wasn’t the only person there without a £5,000 tri bike.

I felt pretty crab when starting the run and I was glad that I had an additional gel flask to take with me. More aid stations on the run would have been nicer. The city centre run was cool: not huge crowds, but enough people cheering that it gave you a bit of a boost. Including Julie & Tim.

Thanks to the shortened swim, I made it home in:

2:43:00

This was comparable to Wetherby. 20 minutes faster, but then I saved 20 minutes on the shorter swim. The bike was also 4km shorter, but it was hillier and there was about a kilometre of running inside transition that added quite a lot of time.

More importantly, I finished more than seven hours before the so-called “winner” of the men’s race, Richard Murray. Sure, the elite race had a later start time, but in my defence, I did ask if I could switch to the elite race so that I wouldn’t have to get up so early.