Welcome to Wonderwoman! Wonderwoman just ran her first 10k race and raised over £200 doing so!
Wonderwoman didn’t think she was a runner. But she wanted to get fit and lose weight. She made a new year’s resolution and started a walk/run regime. She was pretty grumpy when her beautiful new trainers got muddy. (But the superhobbit was very proud!)
She managed her first 5k run all by herself in February:
Health issues intervene
But she wasn’t losing weight and she felt like she was trying to run through treacle. Every morning she woke up feeling like she had a hangover – and she never drinks! Luckily, she visited the superhobbit and happened to mention about her woeful tingly hands each morning. One thyroid blood test later and a diagnosis of underactive thyroid was made. What a difference a normally functioning thyroid makes! She was back on the program, storming ahead.
But superheroes surmount one challenge, only to be thrown another curve ball. Wonderwoman’s stepfather was very poorly and had to be admitted to hospital. The hospital was a 30 minute drive away and she was spending a lot of time visiting, as well as supporting the family.
Running was really hard, but she managed some swims and kept up with power dog walks.
As he got better she could start to run again and by May she was training hard, with our superhero pal, marathon girl. The plan was a 10k on July 1st. In true superhero fashion, she also decided to apply for a new job (which she got!) But then her stepfather took a turn for the worse. Now she was determined to “race for life” and take him her winners medal.
1st July 2017
The day was warm and sweaty. The park in Brighton was full of women in pink – T-shirts, tutus, sparkly facepaint. The hobbit minions had cheesy chips, superhobbit and wonderwoman got in the queue for the loos. The great thing about race for life is the spirit of superheroes overcoming all sorts of challenges to run, including those who’ve had cancer themselves. The hip hop power warm-up was totally enlivening – if challenging for the mostly over 40’s who wished for Jane Fonda…….or the green goddess……..(don’t tell me you don’t remember!)
They split us into runners, joggers and walkers. A minutes silence was held to remember why we were doing it:
and then off we trotted. A surge of pink ladies jogging sedately round a field must have been a sight to behold and we were doing swimmingly until………..THE MOUNTAIN. If you’ve done the London-Brighton bike ride you’ve ridden up Ditchling Beacon (well, admit it, you probably walked!). We hadn’t realised we had signed up to run up its steep backside. Less than 1k into the run and we were almost kissing the ground as we tried to get up the first hill. Everybody walked. Eventually the ground levelled out and we could run a bit and wonderwoman was getting nicely into her stride.
There was an ambulance at the top of the hill, but we gave it a miss and we were rewarded with a long comfortable downhill stretch where we could even chat to other runners. As we got to the 4 km mark we could hear the sounds of a choir singing uplifting songs which really spurred us on. Later as we started loop two we picked up water and were encouraged by a lady apologising that we had to go up THE MOUNTAIN again. This time wonderwoman’s technique was a backwards shuffle – very effective! But we couldn’t talk it was so steep. It took a while to recover and wonderwoman’s legs were feeling a bit leaden. Luckily, I had a caffeinated gel on hand – banoffee pie flavour! – for just such an occasion. Full of sugar to fuel your muscles and the right amount of salt to prevent cramp and (if taken with water) to hydrate you perfectly.
She said it tasted like sperm.
Probably I shouldn’t have kept it in my back pocket where it got warm…….. However, it seemed to do the trick – she started running after that 😉 Suddenly we could hear the choir again, (emosh), we were out in the open again and the field was in sight. Hobbit minions came to race us home, a little bit of walking to gather final strength and whoosh – she was sprinting.
The final 300 yards was flat out, full on, hobbit-gasping racing and she pegged it over the line ahead of me in 1h21 fabulous wonder-minutes. Medal over head, water bottle received, snack-stealing attempt by hobbit-minion 3 – rapidly retrieved and inhaled by wonderwoman and we were done.
On the way to deliver the medal to her stepdad’s hospital bed – for the record – wonderwoman said “I don’t feel like that was too bad – we should do the Brighton half marathon”. The lessons are, therefore, as follows:
1 – with the right motivation you can do anything
2 – anyone can be a superhero, you just have to take adversity and turn it into motivation
3 – do not make any binding decisions when you have endorphins in your system!!!!
So, thank you wonderwoman – you are an inspiration to hobbits old and young. I’m researching half marathon training plans and I’m looking forward to what you will do next! But I know the world is safe in your hands 🙂
We did it 😀😀😀. Thank you for supporting us, sponsoring us, coming on the journey with us. There have been ups and downs, a bit of sideways, laughter and tears, injuries, illness, recovery, a new bike, a resignation, a house renovation and an election.
It all started when the multi- tasker’s sister thought it would be fine for a couple of slow sprint triathletes to upgrade to double the swim length, more than triple the bike leg, nearly triple the run and add a bit of kayaking for good measure…… Safe to say, we had never been in a kayak before: although Meg was a rower at uni, she struggled with the concept of forward motion in the water! We knew we had to do 6 months of training and we started off well. We had a bit of injury and a horrible virus impeding progress, but we got back in the saddle (Meg literally did most of her training in the saddle – lesson number one, cross training is effective!)
We were doing marvellously but then Meg had to move out of her house for it to be renovated and an election was called. Other things were suddenly a priority. The training schedule was abandoned early on – from the other side I can now report lesson number 2: you can still race without the training but it takes significantly longer.
The last supper
We were both supposed to register and listen to the safety briefing on Friday 16th, but the hobbit was still saving lives in Beccles, so Meg had to freak herself out and have a panic attack on her own. Luckily there was a carb-loading supper for her, unluckily, we found out there was a cut off for starting the run of 16.30. Pressure! The upside of lifesaving was a very civilised “last supper” with as many carbs as possible – two bread rolls!! – for the hobbit when she finally rolled up.
Good morning sunshine
Saturday morning was beautiful. A sleepy Norfolk village, a lovely hotel, beaches nearby. And we were planning to swim a mile, kayak 3 miles, bike 45 miles and then run 8 miles. Breakfast ensued! What a dilemma. Facebook came to the rescue – More carbs and salt:
So far so civilised. You can tell I was in denial, really.
My bubble of calm evaporated when I got to the race site and saw ironmen and women setting up. This is it. The multitasker had her superhero t-shirt on, she’d picked us a kayak and some lifejackets and we had a spot on the bike rack.
The idea is you set out a coloured towel (to identify your spot) under your bike and lay out everything you need in an orderly fashion to swap between disciplines. There was a lot of gear (and food – second breakfast!). The multitasker was flirting outrageously with a young lad with “thighs like pony’s” (and I quote).
We got our tatts done:
And our ankle tags. Always a bit disconcerting to be tagged and enumerated….for ID purposes in case we were found drifting out to sea in the kayak…..?
Swimming – 1 mile
Next step was getting half in the wetsuit and being shipped out to a beach 1 mile up the creek from which we would swim back. Being in the boat stopped the nerves as it was a gorgeous day and you could pretend you were going on a cruise. 😂😉😂🤔. The other competitors had mostly done it before and were extremely helpful explaining how fast they could go😶. We had a quick acclimatise in the (surprisingly pleasant) water, were corralled through a headcount and then off went the hooter and we splashed in.
Of course, everyone worries about the vicious tactics of the open water swim. Certainly supergirl and ironwoman, our fellow Beccles superheroes, got kicked and pushed around. The solution is to breastroke calmly at the back having a nice chat. The multi-tasker needs calming and reassuring that there are no sharks or dead bodies coming to get her and the hobbit is incapable of doing freestyle. It’s true that the RNLI kayakers and paddle boarders going alongside for safety got totally bored with us but on the brightside, the multitasker got to flirt with some more muscle-bound teenagers…….
Hilariously, there was a point at which we hit a sandbank and everyone stood up and walked, there were two jellyfish, one stung me a bit, but otherwise it was a glorious swim and by the end even the multitasker had stopped panicking and enjoyed it.
Kayaking – 3 miles
33 minutes after the hooter we were dashing up the quay to our kayak ripping off the wetsuit and wheezing only very slightly. (Big improvement on last year – shorty wetsuit recommended). The kayak was heavy and we had to go barefoot over gravel to get it back in the water. Hope there’s no video 😱. We had our very own safety kayaker beside us as we were last, but we motored down the course due to the engine powerhouse that is the multitasker.
And then there was an unexpected snag – the creek ran out and we had to push the kayak 100 yards across a mudbank before getting back in to finish the course. Spoiler alert – this was not the only time I was nearly lost to the mud…..
By the time we finished (49 minutes) we were no longer last. More kayak manhandling, with the help of an elderly lady (respect!) and we were back in transition, squirting on sunscreen and ready to bike. We even saw supergirl and ironwoman dashing off just ahead of us, so we knew we were doing OK. The multitasker has decided kayaking is her next sport – I have to concur, it was a fabulous addition to triathlon.🚣
The bike leg – 45 miles
We started riding at 12.50, anticipated a time of 3.5 hours so it was going to be a close shave to get on the run before the 16.30 cut off. This didn’t really make us go any faster but we absorbed gels and flapjacks and rehydration drinks for good measure. The bike leg is extremely undulating. Great road surfaces compared to all the potholes in Suffolk, but it was all up, down, up, down. We never quite managed to draft each other very well as the hobbit could get up hills quickly and the multitasker could get down them quicker. However, we stayed together and did more chatting. There was a banana and water oasis at mile 20 by the Sandringham stud where we found other cyclists, saw various people with punctures and learned someone had already broken their collarbone falling off. Undeterred we pedalled on. At one point the multitasker got ahead and two nice “sweepers” picked me up and let me draft behind them to catch her up. I swear we were doing 60mph! 🚴😁. We made it to Holkham Hall where there is a little “out and back” round the obelisk. This was the only time we could see who was behind or ahead of us and I was grateful to be able to say “we’re not last!” As I realised the person 200 yards behind us was supergirl. This was extraordinary. Supergirl is a top cyclist averaging 18 mph. She had set out on the bike ride a minute or two before us. What had happened? Turns out, supergirl and ironwoman’s team name was the prescient “wrong direction”! There were moments on the bike ride when the multitasker was flagging. But like a true superhero she didn’t moan about her creaky knee or agonising sacroiliac joints, she just pedalled. I hadn’t taken on quite enough hobbit nutrition so by mile 43 there was a loss of momentum (understatement for grinding halt) but a gel soon sorted it and then suddenly we were back in transition, more sunscreen and off on the run. (3h32mins on the bike – just made the cut off!)
The “run” – 7 miles sand dunes 1 mile mud
The first bit of the run goes past the finish line where loads of finished superheroes were basking in their glory – so we had to run past them really fast to look as though we were trying! But then we got to a raised bank where the heat was radiating up off the ground and it felt like an oven and we just had to stop and walk. At this point, the small voice of supergirl was heard and she came running up behind us, with ironwoman trailing behind. They had got lost, had to stop at a bike shop and ask directions, then lost each other again after a pee stop. Ironwoman did not look well, but she was absolutely determined to carry on, so we agreed to stick together and walk. But then we reached the sand dunes and almost ground to a halt. Even just walking across the sand was hard in that heat so we struggled on slower and slower. There was a curious mirage in the sand of a tropical cocktail bar with grass skirts, Hawaiian Lei & pina colada. The multitasker had one (pina colada) & perked up considerably!
Eventually we got to the wooded area off Holkham beach and tried a bit of jogging but ironwoman suddenly felt faint and got goosebumps and looked really poorly. Luckily there was a Marshall station so we took on water and poured water over her and just walked on – no more running.
Finally, we got to the last bit which involved crossing all the creeks to get back to the start over the muddy marsh. Getting wet feet was initially lovely but soon we were meeting deep creeks which we had to jump down and crawl up trying not to lose our trainers in the mud. I failed. The multitasker hauled me out but the trainers were unable to come with me. Actually it was better barefoot. By this time I had lost the capacity to make any decisions and nearly got stuck on one side of a creek with sheer sides wondering if I would ever make it out of the mud. The multitasker was clearly enjoying herself – times like that you need an army Major sorting out the troops: luckily, the great thing about Norfolk Superhero is you have your superhero buddy to egg you on (or drag you through the mud!) whenever you are flagging. I think we even ran a bit towards the finish and then stumble-waded through the final creek to cross the finish line – all 4 of us hand in hand. (2h 34 min)
……and we beat number 77 & 78 who got the wooden spoon!
7h38min27seconds all done.
Massive thanks to everyone who has put up with us, massive thanks to the organisers and the amazing marshalls who were SO supportive and a massive rest. Before we started the multitasker said – “do it again next year?” the answer was NO! But now it’s – “can we do it every year?”
If we keep going, we could win the zimmer cup (combined age of superhero team > 100) in 2024 – so we’ll keep you all posted!
Easter Sunday – a day of rest! Surprisingly got 10k steps in walking up Dover’s Hill.
Slow 5km run but at least I did something
Work – official rest day. Snap General election announced. This means the justice crusader will be standing for parliament and my training will take a backseat. Clearly we must get rid of the current government so this doesn’t happen again 😂
21 mile bike ride very slowly. Apple crumble Torq gel is delicious and putting hydration tablet in water bottle meant I actually peed when I got home. Neither of those things made me faster, but I definitely recovered better…….
Rest day – lego exhibition of superheroes! 24,000 steps, 3 godsons in a state of perpetual over-excitement and SUPERHEROES!
Election- related tasks
Election related campaigning.
So it is with sincere apologies that this is the last blog post. Hope you’ve enjoyed it and got something from it. Electioneering has taken over until June 8th and then I will need a rest.
If I recover I will post a report from the actual event, because I will need to moan about how much pain we both went through!
Multi-tasking major activities
Easter Sunday – must be a day of rest?
24.95km on the bike and the wonder that is new watch app feature 🙂
3km run including dog collection. (that’s the red splodges indicating slowness)
33.65 miles on the new bike in glorious sunshine! 1343 kCal burned – more than my daily intake…….lesson one – take more fuel, had to walk up one hill due to exhaustion and Kendal mint cake had not yet kicked in.
Rest day – working
We’ve decided real superheroes only train 3 days a week! (see below)
“active recovery” day (yes, I did make that up!) a bit of treadmill at work at 3km/hr which I’m counting as active recovery. Oh, and a mad dash over to a heart attack on the ward……which wasn’t!
6km run in 40 minutes, which is OK. Didn’t have time for more as had leaflets to deliver for the justice crusader. 23091 steps in all today!
Bought a range of energy gels and hydration tablets for training bike ride tomorrow with super-bikegirl (the competition) – learning from my mistakes 😉
31 mile bike ride with super-bikegirl in unexpectedly good weather – have tripled my average bike mileage this week! I like riding with girls – we do civilised things like stop for coffee and stop for lunch! No walking up hills this time.
Did try the Torq rhubarb & custard gel which was addictively delicious & highly recommended and also the mango chew which saved me from shaky legs after a 9 mile top speed dash for the train home! However, then I got a sugar crash 2 hours later despite milk and nuts for protein. More fuel testing required!
Rest day – with leaflets which don’t seem to deliver themselves 🙁
Ran 11km of a 12km loop. Orange-banana torq gel during the 1km walk – effective but not very nice! It was hard work in the Cotswolds: hills don’t really feature in Suffolk. Had a rehydration tab after which was great and an Ote protein bar which I wouldn’t have again (a bit like a milky way…..). Need to start thinking about a hydration belt……..
Multi-tasking Major activities
It’s official. Running and biking hurts my knees. Real superheroes only run once a week and train 3 days a week. Overtraining syndrome is a thing, right? So we’re avoiding that!
New routine – 30 minutes biking and running on a Monday
Rest day – spoiled by having to shout at children
Walked 20km (that’s 12 of your old -fashioned miles!)
Shouting at kids instead of cycling with the hobbit & super-bikegirl – a bit cross.
Have we recovered? Have we taken our own advice about retraining slowly?
goings on in Hobbiton
Well, I did actually manage a yoga session and a 30 length swim last week, in the end. Today I ran a circuit which turend out to be 4.57 km at an average 6.36 minutes per kilometre. So far I am taking my own advice and retraining slowly. I even had a multivitamin and mineral afterwards!
work day so rest day
work – did manage the desk treadmill slowly
Cycled to the swimming pool for a 1km swim and back with a lunch stop. Not exactly training, but definitely gentle!
another rest day – taking own advice!
Muscle pain after kettlebells – totally deconditioned. Managed a 6.48 km run at an average 6.39 minutes per kilometre. Slow progress, but progress!
Multi-tasking Major activities
I’ve been team chasing today: four horses thunder round a (huge) cross country course together. Fastest team wins. I’ve never done it before but it’s been on my bucket list for a good twenty years. I was worried it might be the last thing on my bucket list if it didn’t go so well.
Anyway, it was amazing, one of the most exciting things I’ve done for years. So now I’ve done that I can get back to focussing on superheroes!!
yes, I know I’m not really focussing on superheroes……
Still have a fever! Taking my own advice is VERY hard. No training this week, no duathlon next sunday. Only reassured by knowing another superhero from another team has had the same thing for 4 weeks. The end is in sight!
multi-tasking major activities
Feel better! went running 🙂 3.5km run with four kids and four dogs
6.4km run with four dogs and the sunrise
my knee hurts – running is bad 🙁
horse-related activity. 37000 horse steps. Horse was pretty tired too.
work, so rest day
Went off to save horseriders from certain death, so managed a run round the course before hand
Bit of running, bit of life saving – all in a day’s work
The multitasker’s last week of regular rides and hilarious bike/horse bricks. Next week we start team training!
goings on in Hobbiton
Hampstead Heath is rather hilly! I ran 10.66km up hill, down dale, through muddy puddles and I was very slow.
usual rest day
unusual rest day – oops. Work doesn’t half get in the way of suffering!
A little bit of gardening……not quite on the schedule! Feeling below par.
Distinctly below par. Managed some yoga and a short bike ride on the new bike. Extraordinary lightness of bike uphill is great, but it was quite windy so on the flat I kept getting blown off course which was alarming.
Still feeling dreadful. A 1km swim helped, short term.
Really feeling rough – it was sunny and warm so finished weeding the garden.
Have not managed a long run this week or a quick run. Supposed to be doing a 50 mile sportive tomorrow…….
multitasking major activities
Extreme wakefulness: after driving back from Newbury and getting home at half ten Saturday night I did an overnight shift, 90 minutes sleep, then went riding, mucked out four horses then went back to work for five hours. Hideous. Haven’t seen my kids since Friday morning except for ten minutes this morning. All my family cross with me as a result. Not keeping all the balls in the air with the juggling this weekend. Must try harder. If only I could exercise in my sleep.
4km run around the fields with four dogs: they make any run more fun. The Labrador checked out all the ponds.
1 3/4 hours in the gym – bike-run brick. Fasted so fat burning. Excellent. I was tired but feeling pleased to have done a longer training session(finally)
Bike/Horse “brick” workout. Satisfying. 26000 horse steps. Exhausted by the end of this.
Good swim, 1400 metres.
Went out for supper. Very tired. Drank wine.
11000 steps walking round a cross country course working before driving back to work for another 12 hours. After 26 hours of continuous work I’m a bit tired.
12km run done. Surprisingly legs and brain coped at the time. I am going to lose a toenail though…..
extra rest day – 10k steps done but otherwise body too tired. Obviously the extra running distance has knock on effects.
Brick number one in the bag. 10 mile bike and 5km run straight afterwards in a PB of 29.06 – every km under 6 minutes.
Not sure what got into me! Amazingly, this was actually on the schedule.
Swim – feels like recovery. This week garmin said I had done 70 lengths so I believed it.
Sufferfest time (violator !) – so enjoyable on new bike, can’t wait for cadence and speed meter for power stats *geek face*
Strength training: sufferfest has lots of amazing yoga videos, no suffering involved!
multi-tasking major activities
This week: recover from cold.
half hour bike ride, faster than last time but shorter only 13km, and an hour on a horse.
20000 horse steps, not riding my horse (he’s got heat rash which is really sore) and riding in some horrid hard saddle which gave me a blistered bum. Nice.
16000 horse steps. And some looking after ill daughter. (Bad multitasking in action)
7000 steps, looked after ill daughter but made her come and look at kitchens which was a bit mean. Actually she was feeling better and enjoyed opening and shutting every single door/drawer she could.
Hideous 13 hour day at work. Returned home from work at half eight and couldn’t face swimming. Felt guilty. This neither got me fitter nor made me healthier.
Supposed to finish work at two, finished at half five, drive to a course in Newbury.
Got up early. Ran round Newbury racecourse. 5km. Felt smug all day that I’d managed to run before the course. And learnt lots on a really great course. Had to spend the afternoon kneeling in the mud and rain getting pretend casualties onto stretchers. I fear I’m turning into a trauma pervert, like all the trauma doctors I’ve despised over the years. I will be in an orange jumpsuit before I know it (HEMs rather than Guantanamo Bay).