Archive for June, 2020

Ironman VR13

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 | Sport

My long-awaited return to Ironman VR racing. I completed all of one to eight (except five, so not all one to eight), but then had my first ever DNF in multisport racing when my rear mech exploded 30 km into the bike route. Since then, my Bianchi has been at Woodrup getting repaired. Thankfully, it is now back in my possession and racing again.

I did the run in a 13 km on Saturday morning and then settled in on Sunday for the 40 km bike ride. Stormy winds eventually convinced me to stay inside on the turbo, but only after I had stopped at 27 km on the Saturday after the Zwift race. I should have thought that one through.

I had a look around the Watopia courses and settled on big loop. At 42 km it was the closest match to the distance and, compared to the others, did not seem that hilly at 650 metres of climbing.

It was very hilly. The first thing it did was take me up Epic KOM, which took 35 minutes. On the flat, I can nail that distance in 1:20:00. I was still peddling at around 1:33:00 after the jungle loop also included a long and sustained climb. And because of GVRAT, I still had to get off the bike and do a 10 km run, even though I had already finished the run for Ironman VR13.

Oh well, lesson learned. Next time I might just grit my teeth and do four boring laps of the 10 km flat route.

93 minutes on the turbo wasn’t too uncomfortable. Having the smart trainer gives a bit more wiggle, but I did have to get out of the saddle a few times to give my ass a break. Less unpleasant than previous training sessions, though. I’m not sure whether it’s the smart trainer, the change in evaluation or the new shorts but it feels a bit less unpleasant than previous 90-minute rides.

Grand Canyon virtual ultra

Wednesday, June 24th, 2020 | Sport

Just as my medal arrived for Hadrian’s Wall, yesterday I crossed the finish line on the Grand Canyon challenge. This one was somewhat longer: 450 km but with all the running I am doing for GVRAT, I managed to get through it in 28 days. Pretty happy with that.

GVRAT t-shirt

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020 | Sport

Important Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee update: my t-shirt has finally arrived!

I’m just over two-thirds of the way across now. I keep checking Street View and it is mostly farmland and some woodlands. I am about to arrive in Knoxville so that may liven things up a little.

Hadrian’s Wall medal

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020 | Sport

I finished the Hadrian’s Wall virtual ultra three weeks ago. Yesterday, my medal arrived. I’m impressed by the quality. It looks great, has a chunky feel with the cut-out edges at the bottom and a lovely soft strap.

Endure24 NHS

Monday, June 15th, 2020 | Sport

With COVID-19 cancelling this year’s Endure24, the organiser’s created a virtual version to raise funds for the NHS Charities. I only found out about the race a few days before but it sounded fun so I thought I would give it ago.

The race takes place from noon on Saturday to noon on Sunday with the object being to run as far as you can. I set my car up as a basecamp with spare clothing, food and drink. I spent Friday night testing out potential routes and decided on one up the call and down Kirkstall Road, giving me a 5 km loop where I could return to the car each time for nutrition.

I started by running the first four laps before taking my first break. After that, I ran another two laps, then switched from my Nikes to my Hokas for a bit of added cushioning while I walked the next two laps. By this point, it was 6 pm, so I started cooking tea (there’s no escape from parenting) while I ran another swift 5 km before taking a proper break to eat.

I managed another three loops but by this point, my hip was starting to hurt. At 10 pm, I decided to walk a final two laps as the sun went down.

At midnight, I headed home to grab some food and get some sleep before getting up at 6 am. Between being wired and in pain, I didn’t get much sleep, but that’s pretty standard after a long day. I managed to get a bit of breakfast in me and back running again just after 6:30 with a best-case scenario of running another six laps. I ran the first two, but my hip was increasingly unhappy and by the third loop my run, turned to walk, was a slow limp so I decided it was time to throw in the towel.

In total, I managed 86.44 km. Not bad for my first 24-hour race. Fair play to everyone who managed 100 miles, which is almost twice what I managed. As the time of writing, the JustGiving page has raised £17,602 for NHS Charities Together.

Doctrine ORM course

Monday, June 8th, 2020 | News, Programming

My new course on Doctrine ORM is now available. If you are a PHP developer, adding Doctrine to your CV is a much=sought-after skill to have, being used by Symfony and thousands of other projects.

Here’s the trailer: