One ManOne RoadOne Lake

Paul Dewar takes on the ULTIMATE Tri Challenge

Get up to date with all the latest developments, from training to sponsorship to the event its self

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Day 4

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Day THAB 5 A day of 2 halves and some great support along the way through Cumbria and a little update for BBC Cumbria Radio The first half was great, support wise, I had people waving at crossroads and on the roadside. Hoppy (Paul Rodger) joined me at Carnforth and accompanied me into Kendal. Here we were met by a nice support group of friends and family. It was great to see them all. Here also we, as in Hoppy and I, were joined by Barry ( Bro in law) for the ride over Shap and onto Penrith. This was great for me and the three of us enjoyed shooting the breeze as we trundled over the top of Shap. The run down the far side was great, lovely and fast. From Penrith I was on my own again and made my way up to Carlisle were I went on a little sight-seeing tour and ended up getting of my bike to find the right road. From there up to Longtown and then the left turn into Scotland. Here the weather turned a bit nasty and I struggled into the wind. This was a bit of a hard slog, head down and waterproofs on. Thankfully after a couple of hours the sun was back and I dried out in time to enjoy the run up from Dumfries going north. I was tired by now but the scenery was lovely and kept me going. Finally the day was done 147 miles, 6500ft of upness and 10 hours and some minutes of riding. Not so far tomorrow but Glasgow and some spikey climbs around Loch Lomond and up into the Glen Coe range. Time for bed guys. Thanks for reading and your support
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day 3

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Day 3 THAB   WOW. What a day of two halves and a lovely visit. More of the visit later. I was off on the road a shade before 7, the sun was shining but unfortunately was shielded by the hills so I was really cold. Quite surprising really but there was still frost in the fields at 8am as I finally emerged into some sunshine. I had struggled in the cold to get going but was still happy ticking along, but as soon as the sun warmed me up I was a different man and had a splendid hour or so with my head down speeding along.   My first stop was Shrewsbury, looking glorious in the sunshine, closely followed by a lay bye somewhere some 28m miles later. Then onto Warrington. This first half had been a real pleasure to ride, lovely countryside and nice roads.   The second half was through the towns and cities of Lancashire, lovely though they are, they are full of traffic lights. The constant stop/starting was playing havoc on my knees, at points I was struggling to put any weight through my right knee. Hopefully a nights rest will help as I have to go over Shap tomorrow.   A shade before Warrington I was met by a school teacher from Woolston School who cycled with me through the town and we stopped just after the town centre to be met by a group of children from the school. These youngsters had clearly had a bad childhood, through one reason or another. They had been following me since Monday and as I was passing came out to see me.   These guys are exactly the vulnerable and disadvantaged young people that Brathay helps and it was a great pleasure to meet them. One of the young girls even wrote me a lovely poem which will be framed and I will keep as a momento of my cycle ride. The work that Brathay does will help people like this and I certainly hope that I will see some of these young guys at Brathay in the future. They need our help, they need your donations.   Sorry about the brevity of my info and the lack of photos but I'm sure as you can imagine I am a tad tired. Photos will follow at some stage, probably about a month!!   So another day out of the way, legs are aching a bit now but so be it.   Long day tomorrow, See you later.   134.5 miles, 4600ft climbing, 8 hours 45 ish
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Day 2

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Day 2 THAB   So, I gently eased my body out of bed at 6am and didn’t actually feel too bad. After my 4 weetabix I got ready for the off and was on my way a shade before 7 in sunshine but with a chilly wind.   I hit Taunton shortly after and had a fun argument with my Garmin as I wandered down river paths and all sorts, in the end I found my way out and headed towards Bridgewater. Here I forgot yesterday’s lesson that my Garmin was bought up on the wrong side of the road. So, when it says the first exit on the roundabout it’s actually the last, guess what, yep I had a brief tour of the salubrious parts of the town.   So, having wasted valuable time I got back on it and find a nice rhythm for the next 20 or so miles, ticking along nicely nursing my legs. I hit the docks at Avonmouth and was astounded that every vehicle that went past was a wagon, no surprise really as it was a dock area. I must say that all the wagons were very courteous to me, as indeed they have been throughout the 2 days so far.   Once through here it was onto The Severn bridge and Wales, I had a bit of a wobble here, felt tired and struggled to get going but once through Monmouth was in a much better place.   Then onto the finish for the day. Another day done, tired, legs ache a bit more but have given them a good go on the roller. Another day tomorrow. We are trying to meet up with some young disadvantaged school guys in Warrington, the kind of people that I am raising money to help. Might be a bit hot and miss but would be nice to see them.   Most unusual thing, an old lady collecting her washing in a night gown.   Most interesting, actually the best bit, cycling up The Wye Valley, stunning   134 miles in 8 hours 35 ish with 6,500 ft climbing roughly   Be back tomorrow.
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Day 1

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Day 1 THAB Quick update for you as I feel extremely tired, surprisingly. I got away on time at 6am with a nice following wind to help me along. This was great start and set me well on my way. The ride was pretty uneventful, undulating but nice until the third stop of the day at 80 ish miles. As I set of from here the heavens opened and a wicked cross wind came into play, great I thought as the road went steadily up and up and up. This was Dartmoor, I have been here plenty of times as a school boy and know what the weather can be like, but for a couple of hours it was terrible, really lashing into me and trying to push me into the middle of the road. By the time I staggered into checkpoint 4, I was unable to feel my feet and my hands were dangerously numb, I was struggling to change the gears as I couldn’t feel anything. After a nice warm oxo I was back on the road to what was going to be a wonderful 20 miles or so, a lovely meandering road of the moor with the sun trying to come out. The rest of the day was uneventful with a nice pleasant run into the end. Most unusual thing today, 2 ice cream vans on Dartmoor. Why? I could only just see them in the fog Most interesting thing, going past Digger World! !51 miles, 12,500 ft of upness in 10 hours 30 something minutes of cycling. Let’s see what the legs are like tomorrow.
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Here Goes Guys

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Yikes, here we go   Well here we are on the eve of what I can safely say is the scariest, toughest thing I have ever undertaken. For several days now I have been nervously visualizing the different scenarios that I expect to happen during the next 21 days, hopefully it will all go off incident free and I shall emerge at the other end in one piece, if a little tired.   The last week has been a whirlwind of collating kit and supplies, checking everything, packing different bags, run and swim stuff for Brathay, the bike and food for the van. All of this whilst marking out maps, checking the itinerary and route directions for the support crew. All this and having to work as I foolishly gave my Head Chef the week off!! Idiot, me that is. There has not been much time for training, but to be honest the legs have been getting a good rest with me just ticking over.   The injury to the calf/achilles has been behaving itself, I am under trained for the marathons, but so be it, I know what’s coming, I know it’s going to hurt a lot and that I will be visiting some very dark places going around the Lake, and indeed through it, but hopefully I am now mentally prepared and ready for the next 3 weeks.   During the event I will try to keep you up to date on a daily basis, Trudi will be keeping Facebookers and Tweeters up to scratch on a regular basis and publishing updates several times a day, maybe even some pretty pictures.   Before I sign off for today, I need to quickly thank a few people and sponsors who have got me to the start line, sorry but needs to be done;   Everyone who has donated money, you make a big difference to people’s lives and get me out the door to do the training.   Sponsors: Paul & Anita at Ulverston Brewing Company, for beer donations and general good guys.   Furness Building Society, great support and continued coverage.   OSL Holdings for their wonderful generosity and Chris’ mind bending motivation.   Alan at ASU Web for the website and availability to help with all things techy at the drop of a hat. Trackaphone for their software stuff for tracking, (beyond me)   JF Hornby Trust for their wonderful support, generosity and ongoing encouragement   Mickey Sutter, for the massages and the two of us putting the world to rights whilst he inflicts the pain.   Adam Smith, for his expert opinion on the injury and keeping me under control running wise..oh and he still let me wear flip flops.   Aly & Mac, for their support, for their van, for giving their time freely, for their belief in me and their encouragement throughout, not to mention Aly’s blue file. In my naivety I thought Trudi and I could do this on our own but now…
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It's the final countdown

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  Just a quick update for you lovely people, after all it is well past your bedtime. Well this last week or so has seen a blast of sunshine at last, although looking at the forecast for this weekend it looks like it isn’t going to last, snow forecast for the London Marathon. I’ve had a pretty decent period of training, having been in Coniston Water and Windermere a few times, guess what, it’s still cold, but I have learnt a lot on the longer swims. So, what have I learnt I hear you grumble, well after a couple of hours I can’t feel my feet, that’s not brilliant but so be it. Also according to my excellent support crew I am not fuelling myself properly in the water, so they are going to tell me when every half hour passes and make sure I get some form of energy in my body. This isn’t just for the swim but to make sure that I don’t suffer in the following days when running. Talking of running, I have now managed to run a few back to back days and had no issues with the injury that has been plaguing me for the last few months. I still have done nowhere near enough run training but I am happy to be at the stage where I am running consecutive days and also getting up to 14 miles for a long run. As I say not brilliant, but hopefully manageable. As we move into the later stages of preparation, myself and the support team (Trudi, Aly & Mac) are beginning to flap about the finer details of the journey. Our lounge is beginning to resemble a small warehouse containing kit, spare bits of bikes, lots of chocolatey sticky stuff and neoprene with more supplies added every day.
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One Month and Counting

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One month and counting………….   And another week goes sailing by……..the final countdown has begun as I approach the final four weeks before the start of the event. This week has bought some good vibes and some worrying vibes.   The good stuff first. I have had a flurry of activity in the local press which has created a lot of interest in what I am up to and plenty of locals who are coming in the pub want to speak to me, ask questions and most importantly give me some cash for Brathay, which after all is why I am doing it. I have also spent a lot more time on the bike, I have been on it every day this week, even if it is only going for a quick thrash down the coast road (a local route roughly 21 miles long) before having to get back to work. When I get out for longer I am trying to get on the hills as much as possible as in the back of my mind I have the stats for day 1, 156 miles 12,800ft of climbing. Ouch!   I have also tickled the running up a little and yesterday (Tuesday) ran 12 miles without any problems and no aches or pains so far. I am really trying to look after the achilles and calf, massaging and rolling it every day to keep it nice and loose. So far so good on that front. It may not be ideal mileage but at the end of the day it is what it is and we will just have to manage the running side of things when we get to it, the main thing is with a month to go we seem to be wining the injury battle.   And then there is swimming, it’s cold, so cold. My swimming is going well but in a pool I only get around 1.5 hours maximum before getting booted out so not great for endurance training. What I try and do is swim in the pool and then go up to Coniston Water and jump in there for a while so at least my shoulders are getting a good workout. This works well and I feel good but I am struggling to stay in the water for much more than an hour or so. When I am swimming I feel the cold but as soon as I stop I realise how cold I am and invariably stagger out of the water shivering. Thankfully, Trudi has the de-robbing of the wetsuit and assorted hats etc down to a fine art to get me warmed up as soon as possible.   I worry about all aspects of the challenge to some degree, but the swim is really worrying me at the moment, I need a heatwave, not the snow on the tops that we have at the moment. I can’t wear any more rubber, I already wear two wetsuits, two rash vests, two pairs of…
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All aboar the express

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All aboard the express Another week seems to have slipped past without me really noticing. It seems that May 2nd is hurtling towards me at breakneck speed, I really am trying to cram in the training now, whenever I can. Monday saw me back on Adams slab having my calf muscle and achilles sorted out. Just for good measure he had a graduate student in attendance, Sharynn, who was tasked with softening up my other calf. I am sure Sharynn won’t mind me saying this but she is a petite young lady with what can only be described as thumbs like sledgehammers and a knack for finding the lumps and bumps in my calf. At one stage I was sure that she must be using some kind of torture tool, but no, it was just her bendy thumbs. At the end of the hour I felt like I had 2 new calfs, what Adam likes to call calfs like whipped cream!! Shortly afterwards I was in Lake Coniston and can report that it seems to be no warmer than last week. On a positive note I have hopefully sorted out the leaky goggle situation by simply having the goggles on under the hood, they sit better on the face and seal better that way. I am really, really hoping the water temperature is going to increase a few degrees by the time the challenge takes place otherwise I may be entering the realms of hypothermia after a few hours of swimming!! Not what I want particularly.     The rest of the week has been going OK. The running is coming along slowly. I am running every other day and slowly increasing the mileage, I might struggle come the event but at the moment I am positive that we are finally on top of the injury. Just need to keep doing what I am told. Cycle wise, as normal I am finding it difficult to find the time to get the really long rides in. Work and life in general keep getting in the way. This is one of the difficulties with endurance events, trying to fit everything in. The mind is beginning to focus now as the start draws nearer. I have planned training days with my support crew for both swimming and cycling, this weekend, and again in a few week’s time. The logistics are coming together also. List have been written for, food spares, clothing and all sorts. Bet we still forget something. Finally a word of thanks to everyone so far who has kindly sponsored me, with your generosity I am over half way to my target of £16,000. Thank You.
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Stung into action, or not as the case maybe

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Stung into action, or inaction as the case maybe. After cramming a few more rides and swims in, we were off on our jollies. I was looking forward to getting some sea swimming done and testing out my paddles that I will use during the challenge. Once we had settled in, I got myself ready and strode off into the sea and started swimming. Within a couple of minutes I felt a stinging sensation on my face and chest. I carried on swimming not really thinking much about it other than it felt itchy. Just about an hour later I emerged from the sea and headed back for a shower. As soon as I was out of the water my nose started leaking like a tap. This, unfortunately, is nothing new for me as I quite often get a runny nose after swimming, in fact, I normally take a piriteze before swimming in a pool to combat the runny nose effect. Anyway, I didn’t think much of it until I was stood in the shower and realised that my lips were swelling up and that my right eye was getting a little puffy. I also had a red rash spreading on one side of my chest. I realised that I had been stung by something in the water and that the swelling and puffiness was a reaction to it. The next day my eye looked like it had done a couple of rounds with Tyson, red and swollen badly, but worse was to come. The following day I had a fever and ended up in bed, under a duvet while the temperature outside reached 32°C. This was not how I envisaged my holiday training to be going. One good thing was that my achilles was getting lots of rest. Adam, the head therapist for the 10 in 10 had given me some stretches to perform 8 times a day, yep that’s right, 8 times a day. I tried. I had also been told not to run until he saw me in clinic when I returned. Cycling and swimming were fine though and I was soon back in the water once the eye had returned to its normal size. Two weeks later and I was on Adam’s slab getting my calf pulled apart and my achilles put back together. You know it’s going to tickle a bit when you hear the words “take a deep breath now, this might be a bit painful”. I went through a full hour of pain in the end, and was reassured that it was nothing that couldn’t be fixed, in fact the achilles was a symptom of an underlying problem that no one picked up on as I was constantly moaning about the achilles! I was glad to hear that, as I am so close to starting now and really need some good news on the injury front. Three days later and I tackled my first run in a month. It’s funny, I consider myself…
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OUCHY

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OUCHY!!!!     Quick spot the difference competition for you. I have an issue, some people would say that I have lots of issues but this one is beginning to get to me. Achilles, no, not the one who was a hero in Greek mythology but that massive tendon that links the calf muscle to the back of the heal. It is the thickest and strongest tendon in the body and at the moment my right one doesn’t want to play. It started a long time ago, in fact, I first had problems back in 2012 but for whatever reason after months of stiffness one day it just seemed to vanish and I have enjoyed running for ages without any issues at all. I certainly wish it would do one now. For the past few months I have noticed a certain tightness in the morning that soon fades away as the blood gets moving around the body, I was even ok running and it didn’t affect me until the next morning when again the tightness would return. Now, however, as I have tried to step up the training it seems that my body is rebelling against me. I had a good long run the other day which was fine up until about 15 miles when it became massively painful to run. Fortunately, I was near to home and managed to get back without making it any worse. After lots of ice and self-massage, it was just about OK to walk on but, I don’t think that I would have been able to run on it the next day if I had to. Needless to say, I got a rollicking from my physio, who, while checking to make sure I was following his treatment plan asked how it was. I replied that ‘it had seemed better until I ran 16 miles on it’, to which he replied that ‘while I was contrast bathing it, that I was better not to run on it’. OOPS I am away on holiday soon and I have decided that I am going to take some time away from running and really concentrate on trying to get it sorted. It’s a bit of a big decision at this stage of the game with less than 3 months until I start out from Land’s End but I need to get it sorted or I am going to be in all sorts of trouble. I have been trying to maintain it and tick along, but I think that I can warrant the time off running to try and sort it out. The good news is that at least I can still cycle and swim. The plan was always that when we are away on hols I was really going to concentrate on swimming and get that up to scratch. Running is great abroad but I never really run massive distances so I feel that I won’t miss it that much. I will also hit the gym for some…
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