2015 British Sprint Triathlon Championships

Having had a disheartening end to my 2014 race season with a DNF at ETU long distance championships I was keen to get my first race of 2015 completed without any drama. My winter training has been quite different to the previous couple of years seeing me having more rest & increased focused training whilst reducing overall training load.   As always, I put my faith in coach Musty, but being me, I was always thinking in the back of my mind, am I doing enough.

So on Saturday morning I went for my first OWS of the season and it was freezing, I’ve gone soft over the winter it seems! Needless to say I wasn’t looking forward to my first ever river swim on Sunday morning.   We got to the race venue in St. Neots at around 6:30am after a 4:30 rather unsocial alarm call, I was excited but not nervous at all.

I was in the second wave so got myself to the front line of my swim wave, treading water and waiting for the gun I was pleased to be right at the front – however the gun went off and in a milli-second I was already being overtaken by loads of athletes, I certainly need to work on my deep water swim start!   The swim was fairly straight forward for once, no elbows to eyes or kicks in the head for a change, I knew it wasn’t a particularly good swim as my sighting and direction was well off, but I was pleased over all the with my first swim race of the year (15:01). T1 went amazingly well (1:05), and I was off on the bike – getting my feet into my shoes on the move was interesting as my feet were like ice blocks.   Once into my shoes and pedalling properly I took the bike really steady and was hoping to push the run harder than I normally do.   Coming into T2, again had problems with my shoes and frozen feet so my speedy dismount ended less speedy and more stop, get off and run! (0:45). Trainers on and off out on the run, coach Musty was at the start of the run course encouraging me so I had to push hard from the off so he didn’t think I was slacking, the first lap was like running on concrete feet but by the time I got on to the second lap I could feel my feet again and was getting into a good flow. The second lap hurt, I had a stitch in my side the whole way around but I continued to push as hard as I could and was very relieved to see to the 200m to go sign. I was aware of another female trying to overtake me so I gritted my teeth and pushed hard over the finish line – as my race picture shows, I call it my Quasimodo pout! My run was a surprising 20:10, a 5km PB for me by well over a minute so I was so really happy. Once over the finish line the stitch had me doubled over in pain, I couldn’t stand up straight – seriously, these sprint races hurt like hell, bring on the long stuff!


My overall time was 1:22:00, making me 9th in my AG. Because the field was so strong being the British Championships, I am over the moon with this, although I wasn’t at first, but looking at the stats and splits I can see how well I did now coming 9th of 29 in a field of people who race this distance all the time. I am really happy with this having never raced this distance before I cant call it a PB, but compared to the super-sprints I’ve done in previous years, this shows my winters training is definitely working In the way Musty has planned.

Bring on the Beaver (my next race this coming weekend!).




Thanks as always goes out to our squad sponsors; Triathlon Zone of St Albans, MPG, Bowller and HKR Architects.

And special thanks to my personal sponsors RaceRX for providing me the best ever race fuel to get me through all this training and my races (http://www.goracerx.com/)

Milton keynes festival of running and another PB!

I went, I had a plan, I stuck to the plan – it hurt!

It had been a very up and down week for me post La Santa and wasn’t at all sure how I would do at this race – I really wanted to improve on my 1:45 from Bedford but being as I had thrashed myself for a week in Lanzarote I wasn’t sure how fresh I would feel, but to be fair, my legs were feeling good again by mid week so I was hopeful of a PB. This was a bit of a last minute race as I was gutted that Wokingham half got cancelled due to flooding last month. I definitely wasn’t feeling as ‘race ready’ as I did pre-Wokingham, I was genuinely gutted that race was canceled as I have never felt fitter and stronger than the couple of days leading up to Wokingham, but hey ho!

I stuck to my race plan 100% and I gave it all I had on the day – straight after the race I thought I had given it 100%, now, i’m doing that umming and ahhing thing, what if I could have pushed a little more here and there… well thats human nature isn’t it? I’m very self critical so i’ll never have a ‘perfect race’… theres always something to learn;

Lesson 1 – a sports bra makes a great place to place to stash your shot blocks even if you do look a bit uneven ;o)

Lesson 2 – when its bottles of water at aid station rather than cups, don’t go over the top – I nearly puked twice because I was guzzling it to greedily

Lesson 3 – prepare for the worst when removing socks after a hard run – I had blood blisters the size of 10pence pieces in several places on both feet!

Other than that – amazing day to be running, great race, fairly flat with a couple of hills and a damn evil long hill at the end that I wasn’t expecting, everyone groaned when saw that one looming around a corner!

Got my PB – 1:42:08, a PB by 3+ minutes. Not bad for 2 months work since Bedford!

Happy? Yes, very! And thank you to Musty who coaches me and helps me on a daily basis! I couldn’t make improvements like this on my own, Musty’s advice and training plans are helping me – a lot!

8 of 145 in category

50 of 860 female, that’s top 5% :o)


Deserts, wind, and bikes!

La Santa

Having spent a week cycling in Majorca last spring I was well aware of the endurance gains a full week of training away from work and home commitments can make to your early pre season fitness. This year I was very lucky to be treated to a week away to Club La Santa which Is superbly situated on the north west coast of Lanzarote.  The terrain of Lanzarote is best described as undulating. There aren’t so many of the never ending 10% gradient switch back climbs that I experienced in Majorca last year but I have to admit to having never known a place like Lanzarote for its ability to have only up and down – no flat seems to exist there at all!

The scenery out there is amazing.  I’m a huge fan of the lush green mountains you find in Scotland and the French Alps so for me to be completely breath taken by the stunning volcanic, but very baron landscapes of Lanzarote was actually quite a surprise.

Coastal road below Tamanfaya

Coastal road below Tamanfaya

I spent a large amount of the week training alone and this was great training for both the physical and mental aspects of going out on 3hr runs or 6+hr cycles back home as we get into pre season.    One of the rides I really enjoyed and repeated more than once was a ride deep into the Tamanfaya national park and down to seaside village of el Golfo. The route I took, takes in a lot of typical Lanzarote farmland before hitting the vast lava fields of the national park and finally onto some amazing coastal roads around the South West of the Island. I would say of the Ironman man bike leg this has to be the most fascinating scenery.

Tamafaya national park - lava fields were impressive

Tamafaya national park – lava fields were impressive

As for running – I have to admit, la Santa has totally trumped Majorca as far as my preference for off road running is concerned. Around half a mile from club la Santa is a dirt track that takes you up to Cuchillo up a nice steady hill which gradually changes from dirt track to sand.  A small almost hidden fork in this dirt track then heads you out to a road crossing between Soo and Munique. Once you cross the road (I called it the temple of doom road, as it reminded me from a scene from Indiana jones where the sands where blowing over the road from the desert) your into the El Jable desert.

Temple of doom Road!

Temple of doom Road!

Small tracks in the sand fork off in all directions and you can easily run for 2-3hr without seeing another soul (apart from goats and a single goat herder). The desert running here was amazing – I really loved it and will miss that more than the cycling once back home.

Amazing scenery in El Jable desert

Amazing scenery in El Jable desert

The pool at La Santa is 50m which means your average 1hr swim set zooms by. Most of  my swims were before breakfast but I had one mid afternoon and was very Impressed with the facilities and the lack of crowding in lanes. Just had to get used to the fact that everywhere apart from the UK swims anticlockwise in all lanes – unlike our preference for alternating directions in lanes. There is a huge sea lagoon too but this seems to attract more wind surfers and kayakers that open water swimmers so my wetsuit never got unpacked.

Mid afternoon at the 50m pool

Mid afternoon at the 50m pool

If you are new to road cycling or not very confident I would opt for Majorca over Lanzarote for cycling simply as the wind here literally has you swerving all over the road on the windier days. I’m not the most technically proficient cyclist on skinny wheels (as an ex downhill MTB’er I’m more used to jumps and drops than high speed) and riding a Tri bike with very deep section frame meant on 2 days I’m actually not afraid to say I was really scared! One ride in particular the wind seemed to whip up over lunchtime and hit over 12m/sec which doesn’t sound that fast, but when you take into account descending at around 35-40mph between mountains and the funnelling effect of the wind as it’s gusts between mountain peaks and then lulls again this lead to me literally being blown into the wrong side of the road at one point which was very scary but even that didn’t my get my heart racing as much as when a passing bus driving very fast In the opposite direction created a kind of vortex about 20m afterwards and sent me flying into the barrier, luckily it was a glancing touch of the barrier but made me realise, another half inch and i would have been over the barrier and into the ditch which was quite a way down. Even climbing at low speed, there was a section of road with a deep drop over the side and the number of times I was blown to within a inch or so of the barriers there was scary. Needless to say I was very pleased to get home that day in one piece and celebrated with a beer!

The lagoon

The lagoon

Now I’m sat typing this blog on the plane home I feel very sad.  I think getting away from the stresses of home and work and training to that intensity for a week can have quite an emotional effect on you and I’m sad to be leaving Lanzarote but very happy to be heading home to see my little hairy companion Chilli and her friend and my current ‘dog lodger’ Ellie.  I guess I’m very fortunate though, not everyone has the ability to drop everything and jet off for a week training and for that I am truly thankful. I also have to thank Will for inviting me on this holiday and giving me the opportunity to thrash myself for a week. Hopefully this will have given me an extra bit of endurance ready for my ‘warm up’ race in Majorca before the big one of 2014, Ironman Austria.

Roll on May for the next ‘boot camp’ in the like district with my Tri club friends!

The fourth discipline of triathlon….

The Fourth Discipline of Triathlon

I have heard many times as recovery being termed the fourth discipline of triathlon.  Many people talk about recovery runs, swims, rides, stretching, consumption of protein shakes etc. as recovery but what i’m going to discuss here is just plain recovery – i.e., rest and things we can do to speed up the recovery process (although obviously low intensity recovery training does that also).

I decided to write this blog whilst sitting in my cold bath cooling my legs after my long run on Saturday morning. I haven’t partaken in ice baths for about a year, but did so a lot during training for my first marathon and for some reason stopped it during the peak of my ironman training last year and i cant fathom why?  So anyway, after a couple of very hard run sessions in the last week and a couple of very poor sessions on the bike due to unrecovered leg muscles, I decided on Friday night I was going to give ice baths a try again for a couple months and see how it helps my recovery.

What Happens to your Body During Recovery?

Most coaches would say that building recovery time into a training program is crucial because it is in this time that the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real training effect takes place. Recovery can also allow the body to replenish energy stores and thus repair some tissue damage. Any form of exercise can causes changes in the body such as muscle tissue breakdown and the depletion of energy stores in the muscle as well as fluid loss. For these stores to be replenished sufficiently and to allow tissue repair to occur, the body must be allowed to recover. Problems from overtraining can often occur from a lack of recovery time. Signs of overtraining which most of us will have experiences at some point can also include an increased risk of injury, among others.  For me personally, reducing this risk of injury is or prime importance – hence my new found interest in speeding up recovery in any way possible.

So the question / focus of this blog;

Does a post-exercise ice bath help recovery?

I'm sure this is good for us!!

I’m sure this is good for us!!


My latest ‘google’ research shows that;

Taking an after exercise plunge in an ice water bath (12 to 15 degrees ice water) is a common practice among many elite athletes as a way to recover faster, and reduce muscle pain and soreness after intense training sessions or competitions. From elite runners like Paula Radcliff to nearly all professional rugby players, the ice bath is a standard routine. In addition to the ice bath, some athletes use and contrast water therapy (alternating between cold water and warmer water) to get the same effect.

So, what’s behind the ice bath and does it really work?

The Science Bit! 

The theory behind ice baths is related the fact that intense exercise actually causes microtrauma, or tiny tears in muscle fibres. This muscle damage not only stimulates muscle cell activity and helps repair the damage and strengthen the muscles but it is also linked with DOMS (delayed onset muscle pain and soreness) which occurs between 24 and 72 hours after exercise.

The ice bath is thought to:

• Constrict blood vessels and flush waste products, like lactic acid out of the muscles

• Decrease metabolic activity and slow down physiological processes

• Reduce swelling/inflammation and tissue breakdown

Although there is no current protocol regarding the ideal time and temperature for cold immersion routines, most athletes or trainers who use them recommend a water temperature between 12 to 15 degrees Celsius and immersion times of 5 to 10 and sometimes up to 20 minutes.  Again – my personal preference is cold water – not iced water (although I did try using old 2 litre milk bottles of frozen water to chill the bath prior to getting in, I found this was so cold I could barely stay in 2 mins, so my own protocol involves water closer to 8-12degrees (depending on time of year, its pretty chilly at the mo!), and i stay in for 10 minutes (after having a hot shower first to wash)

The Scientific Research

There are loads of peer reviewed studies out there that have tried and tested the hypotheses, a few are listed below in references but I’m not going to bog this blog down in the details – for me, it seems to work, and the evidence shows it does work for a lot of people, some it doesn’t.  The evidence un-equivocally shows there is certainly no negative effects from using cold water therapy, so even if there is only a placebo effect – it it works for me, it works!

Cold Water Therapy – How to Do It

Cold Water Immersion

If you are going to try cool or cold water immersion after exercise, don’t overdo it. Ten minutes immersed in 15 degree Celsius water should be enough time to get the benefit and avoid the risks. I find that getting showered first then wrapping your upper body in a very arm fleece you can sit in a cold bath covering your legs quite comfortably for 10mins. I usually take a hot coffee in with me and my iPhone and before you’ve even finished a couple of emails and looking at twitter, bingo, 10 mins is up!

Whether the science supports the ice bath theory or not, many athletes swear that an ice bath after intense training helps them recover faster, prevent injury and just feel better – and I’m one of them (if you can cal me an athlete) so I’m going to give it the the next few months and see how I get on!




Vaile, J.; Halson, S.; Gill, N.; Dawson, B., Effect of Hydrotherapy on Recovery from Fatigue. Int’l J. Sports Medicine, July 2008.

Kylie Louise Sellwood, et al. Ice-water immersion and delayed-onset muscle soreness: a randomized controlled trial Br. J. Sports Med., Jun 2007.

Vaile JM, Gill ND, Blazevich AJ. The effect of contrast water therapy on symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res. 2007 Aug;21(3):697-702.

Bedford Half marathon 2013

My ‘first’ half marathon experience was back in 2000 (had to find my GNR medal to work out when it was) when I was 23, unfit, fat and didn’t think you had to train for such events! Having taken me a ridiculous time to complete – around 3 hours i’ve decided to erase it from my race results section of my brain and treat this weekend as my first half!

So having looked for something to do after my pelvis locked up and shoulder impingement injuries of late summer were sorted, I saw a member from my Triathlon club (Shires Triers) post this race and thought it would be a good idea to give myself a base half marathon time to work with heading into next season.  Nice and local and the bonus of a cheap entry so seemed perfect.

My primary race goal was simply to get a PB, if I failed that one I would have gone and have hidden in a very dark corner…… my secondary race goal was to go sub 1:50. On Saturday I felt quite ill – sneezing and feeling full of cold, wasn’t sure if it was a cold or dust allergies from doing DiY all day so by 7pm sat night I was thinking this might end up being a training run only and not a race at all, however,  went to bed super early with a lemsip and olbas oil and thankfully woke up on race morning feeling fine.

My race partner for the day was a friend from the Tri club, Robin, for the second time this year, we were both flying the ‘shires triers’ flag at a running event!  We got there nice and early so had ages to put the world to rights and critique the weird and wonderful stretches and poses some people seem to do for warm ups – I even spotted one guy with his foam roller out on the floor of the registration area!



My race morning prep simply involved my usual bowl of porridge 3 hours before race and a bottle of Advanced TRI Fuel, slowly sipped during the lead up to the race. As I experienced stomach issues last year I have a new strategy for this coming race season which involves using nothing wheat based as I have a slight intolerance to wheat and discovered that nearly all sports energy sources use wheat based ingredients. For solid energy products this year I am using a combination of Clif products as they use rice and tapioca based sugar syrup rather than wheat derived. They are also much less sweet than the gels and bars I used last year.  For pre-race and during the bike leg of ironman I also needed to find an easily absorbed liquid energy source that was gentle on my stomach and different from I what I have used previously. This is where Advanced TRI Fuel comes into the equation. My friend Tom has been raving about this fuel since we trained together for ironman bolton in the summer but I had already been using certain products over the spring training sessions I didn’t want to swap mid season and try something new, with hindsight I wish I had…….Advanced Tri Fuel delivers a slow release of energy and contains no sugar; instead the HDA starch complex is slowly digested to release a steady stream of energy into the blood giving no stomach distress.

Anyway, back to the race – we both set off nice and easy but I drifted back from Robin almost straight away as knew I had to pace slow and crank up over the event so get a good strong negative split and work out my pacing without crashing and burning early on.



First hour was really comfortable, perhaps a little too comfortable, it felt no different to being out for a normal weekday run, then after 60mins I cranked the pace up, and after 1:30 went all out full steam! I passed the halfway point where they have a big clock and it said 56mins at that point so I knew I had to do a good negative split or I would be over 1:50 and disappointed with myself.  The last 45 mins I was really pushing and that felt great as I do so much low heart rate training its great to get an excuse to go full power!  Finished in 1:45:13 – yes, gutted it was 14secs shy of a sub 1:45 but also happy that I achieved my two race goals of PB’ing and going sub 1:50.  Don’t think ill ever be happy with a race result – I always know there is more I could have done or a few second/minutes faster if I have had done this……



I came 460 out of 1232 and was 63rd female.  Not bad I guess for me first crack at a half marathon!

Weekend musings of a ‘sandbagger’

Weekend musings….

The last couple of weeks I have been thinking about races and goals for next season. As I have already stated in my blog, my primary goal in the next 5 years is try and qualify for the Ironman World Champs in Kona, Hawaii. This is a personal goal to me and I may or may not achieve it, but Ill do my best to make sure I know I did everything I could to achieve this dream, and if it doesn’t come to fruition, it wont be for the lack of trying.

It always amazes me that everyone in life has so many different thoughts, dreams, and aspirations but what still surprises me at times is what some will do to try and make false gains and claims in life. I like to think of myself of a humble person that counts my blessings and is very thankful for the things in life others can take for granted. I have always worked hard, and been ambitious but very grounded at the same time and I have never been one to accepts handouts, i paid for my first car, i work hard for my ‘toys’ and believe the old age adage of ‘you don’t get owt for nowt!’.

Within the sporting areas of my life I have been classed as a bit of ‘sandbagger’. This is not an intentional thing but just my nature, I will always talk myself down rather than big myself up, ‘selling myself or talking ‘a good race’ is not something I am comfortable with. In recent years since starting ‘proper’ training, my friends have all come to realise i don’t do this intentionally but as a newbie, to running and Tri i have tried to gauge my estimated race times by my training times, however as a naturally competitive person this doesn’t work for me and I tend to race a lot harder than I train, hence have some surprising results when I race – I am usually the person most surprised at the results!

What I cant understand is the way that other people can make claims of fame and fortune so to speak and ‘sell themselves’ as being something that they very clearly are not. To put oneself forward as being an achiever without evidence does not sit comfortably with me, whilst many it seems do not have such morals. There seems to be the opposite of a ‘sandbagger’, thats is the race ‘bullshitter’. The people that talk about what they are and what they want to be as the same thing. The ‘been there, done that got the T.shirt’ types who celebrate the T.shirt before its even designed let alone earned and worn!

Anyhow – all of this aside, I discovered this weekend I apparently have qualified to race for the 2014 ETU European Long Distance championships. I’m not 100% certain with how all this qualification malarky works, but I’ve been told its all to do with how you close you place to the winner in your age-group – and on those grounds, I’ve qualified! So what I have to do now, is put forward my entry and see if i’m picked to race for Team GB. It all seems a bit of a farce really as I did my first Ironman on a 8 week training program following a last minute prize entry through Sport Pursuit who now sponsor me as one of their Brand ambassadors.

So then – watch this space. From IM newbie to European champs – whatever next, Kona may not just be a pipe dream after all…….


An ironman keepsake

Last week I received a parcel that I had to go and pay custom duty on. I didn’t have a clue what it was going to be. Then I remembered – a night after doing my first ironman I decided I wanted a keepsake with my first race time on it. And that is what arrived from America – my first Ironman memories as a lovely necklace.


To race or not to race? – that is the question!

So this week I came face to face with my first injury induced ‘to race or not race’ dilemma.  Following my intensive 10 week training programme and then the actual ironman race itself, I have been experiencing during my recovery weeks what can only be described as a couple of ‘niggles’.

The first issue to present itself was a weird feeling in my upper arm when swimming.  I couldn’t even call this a pain, just a bizarre awareness of something not quite right in the area between my biceps and triceps.  This started in week 1 of my training plan when I was in the Lake District and doing a lot of open water swims.  Because there no pain as such I assumed the sensation was purely because I had increased my swim sets from around 2 hours a week swimming to more in the region of 4 hours a week.

Post ironman I had a week of gentle swimming which felt OK, then following my MDot tattoo I had a week of no swimming at all. After the week of ‘swim rest’ I had my normal club swim session on the Monday evening and my arm was really hurting so I ended up a bit disheartened after a really slow and weak swim set followed by  a night of constant pain and throbbing in my upper arm. Needless to say, I went to see my physio the next day and it turns out I have an inflamed bursa on one of the tendons in my shoulder. Plenty rest, icing and TENS with twice weekly phyio and its actually healing up really well and I couldn’t feel the sensation I had previously been experiencing in swims at all during  my race last weekend….. but thats when the next injury reared its head!

Injury/niggle number 2.  So during some of my longer training sessions I have to admit to losing the inclination and time to perform proper stretching afterwards.  When you’ve been out on a 6hr bike followed by a 90min brick run, the last thing you want to do when you cross the threshold is get on the floor and stretch, particularly in my household as Chilli seems rather fond of licking sweaty legs and arms post training (I love my dog but I’m not one of those dog owners that likes to have their face or any other body parts licked – I know what that dog has had in her mouth!).  So some days after training or sometimes during a session I sometimes feel that a particular muscle of part of me is tighter than it should be and I put this down to poor warming up and stretching.  In recent weeks I have been aware of a tightness in my left hamstring.  So on my last visit to the physio to see my shoulder niggle sorted, I mentioned the hamstring thing to him.  Now my expectations were that it would get a good pummelling, kneading and unknotting, not what actually happened next!

The next half hour was basically me, wearing not much clothing, bending over, twisting, stretching and do all kinds of things whilst the physio had his fingers stuck in various parts of my hips and back.   The next thing I had to do was lie on the physio bench in various positions whilst my legs were pushed and pulled in all directions with a variety of noises and shrieks from me!  After this half hour of manipulation I had to repeat the stretches again and was amazed at the results – I had regained the flexibly i hadn’t had in weeks. RESULT!  The diagnosis was a locked pelvis, apparently common in endurance athletes and runners and a result of bad posture and rubbish glutes – mine don’t fire well apparently!

So anyway – I’m well on the road to recovery but the upshot of all this is I had to pull out of my triathlon this coming weekend.  Because of the locked pelvis I had some minor bruising and tears to the muscle fibres in my hamstring.  Not an issue if the triathlon was a standard olympic or sprint, but the race I had planned included a 30% climb up ‘the struggle’, a ride along several large and hilly passes in the lakes and then a fell run up Helvellyn to finish it off.  When I told my physio this, his eyes said it all!   He didn’t tell me not to do it but did warn me than when muscle fibres are already bruised and torn its quite likely a massive effort on them can result in a major muscle tear which would put me out of training completely for at least 6 weeks.

So decision time – am I risk taker? Do I really want to jeopardise my autumn training, arguably the most important block of strength building and technique work?  The answer was staring me in the face, so rather reluctantly I emailed my friends to tell them I wouldn’t be doing the race – this weekend instead I am going out with friends, drinking wine (i don’t drink at all during each 12 week training block), and enjoying myself – the start of my 4 week ‘off season’ where all training is optional and non structured, the only rule is I must run 3 times a week and do my strength sets 3 times a week – anything else is social or recreational exercise.

Now where is that bottle of Rioja??…….



38 days remaining……

Week 3 on team sport pursuit has been fairly uneventful – lots of training, lots of blisters on feet, no where near enough sleep and way too much eating out.

I’ve been working in Scotland so had to link up training with my overnight stays. I discovered whilst staying next door to Edinburgh Zoo that the hotel pool was only 13m – not ideal for an hours interval set! That said the hotel staff pointed me in the direction of a local council pool which was 25m – it was a 3 mile run away so managed to use my laptop backpack to run there with swim kit, do my swim set, run back and still be in the restaurant for breakfast in time to meet my work colleagues. Got to say, the biggest problem with training is time and fitting it all in.

This weekend was fairly intense too – over 8 hours of training and then my friend decided to take me for a ”little local walk’ with my dog – i didn’t realise this was a 2hr walk with a big hill on my already blistered feet just after my 17mile run…….the next day, he turned my planned training ride into a longer 72mile ride over 4hrs long, and me getting lost on the way home didn’t help!

Ah well – only another 38 days……. :o)