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Your manuscript "Don't Pay $25 to Access Any of the Articles in this Journal: A Review of Preprint Repositories and Author Willingness to Email PDF Copies for Free" has also been rejected, but nice try.
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kellyu
104 days ago
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I need to find the black power salute emoji.
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3 public comments
Zaphod717
104 days ago
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Relevant to my interests...
The Belly of the Beast
alt_text_bot
109 days ago
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Your manuscript "Don't Pay $25 to Access Any of the Articles in this Journal: A Review of Preprint Repositories and Author Willingness to Email PDF Copies for Free" has also been rejected, but nice try.
alt_text_at_your_service
109 days ago
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Your manuscript "Don't Pay $25 to Access Any of the Articles in this Journal: A Review of Preprint Repositories and Author Willingness to Email PDF Copies for Free" has also been rejected, but nice try.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

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I entered Endure 24 on a whim.  A friend of a friend had a solo place that he could no longer take up so we organised transferring it to me.  That was in November last year and, other than noting the date in my calendar, I didn't think much about it until a few weeks ago.  Of course I knew what Endure was, I'd seen my friends' Facebook posts about it in previous years and always thought that it looked interesting in a mad, no way would I do that sort of way.  But actually training for a 24 hour endurance race as a solo athlete was so far outside my comfort zone that I couldn't even begin to comprehend what it might involve. 

Pre race info was sketchy in parts.  What were these 'solo wrist bands' that some people were talking about?  How much did they cost?  What did they cover?  I relied on the knowledge of friends who had taken part in previous years for information, without their insight I would have been even more nervous than I already was!  The confusion carried on when I arrived at the site on Friday evening with Husbando to pitch my tent.  There were no marshals to direct us at the entry, so we followed a sign that said 'Solo camping' and found ourselves in a mass of tents, so assumed we had found the correct place, pitched the tent (in high heels and a dress as I had come straight from work) and then discovered we were in the 'small teams area' and a fair walk from the start.  So down came the tent.

Luckily my 'non-specific deities' (NSDs) were out in force this weekend, and just as we were contemplating the move a friend from parkrun came along and carried my airbed so that we didn't have to deflate it to get it in the car.  After pitching the tent again, bending more tent pegs, borrowing better pegs from yet more of my NSD friends and having a gossip with a few people I headed home for a good night's sleep in a proper bed.  At some point in the evening we managed to find out that a wrist band could be purchased (£35) that allowed solo runners to get unlimited food during the 24 hours of the race and to go to the front of the queue in the catering tent.  Husbando decided that this was a good idea, as I was going to be on my own for much of the time without anyone crewing for me.  It took some detective work though as there were no signs up about the band - this meant that I felt guilty every time I made my way to the front of the queue to get a cup of tea and a bacon roll!

Saturday morning, nervous and panicking, I arrived back at Wasing Park.  I faffed around with my kit in the tent, I chatted with friends - who made me cups of tea, I ate breakfast with another friend who was marshalling the event, and then I sat outside my tent and read my book.  I don't really remember much of what I read at all!  I was too anxious to get on with running.  Waiting until 12 noon seemed like torture, but there were more people arriving all the time. 


EDITED 14/06/16:  A brief explanation of 'non-specific deities!'  About a week or two before Endure I had a bit of a flap on Facebook as I realised that I was going to be a 'solo solo!'  Husbando was not able to be there for long at all as he had work, school fete and child care responsibilities (the children have a negligent mother who dashes off to run silly distances at the weekend!) so I was on my own.  One of my friends, part of last year's winning team, said I would need to trust to my non-specific deities to get me through.  Turns out there are a lot of very lovely people out there who all deserve the title.


The start of the race was well worth waiting for.  Simply the best race start I have ever experienced.  The first runner for each team assembled on the start line with all the solo runners, but every single runner from all the teams seemed to be at the start, along with all the supporters.  The first 300m was an absolute wall of noise, quite an emotional experience really.  I really had to struggle not to get carried away by the support and stick to a slow pace.

Laps 1 to 3 (each 5 miles) were fairly fast and great fun.  My lap splits on the results page include the time I spent between each lap grabbing a drink, changing shoes (trail shoes were not necessary) and sorting out underwear malfunctions, so are not really representative of my pace at all.  Lap 4 was run with my lovely, bubbly friend.  I had told myself that, if I bumped into a friend who ran at a slower pace than I did then I would run at their pace, so we walked and ran and chatted - generally putting the World to rights.  I completed lap 4 just as 4 hours of the race had gone, and went to the catering tent to grab a cup of tea and a sausage baguette.  Lap 5 was great, had a chat with another of my NSDs after that - poor lady had to watch while I cleaned off my disgustingly dusty feet so that I could put compeed on a blister and I think it was at the end of this lap that I ran an 8.50 minute/mile with my airbed carrying friend.  Lap 6 was run with the husband of my lovely, bubbly friend from lap 4 -  started that lap before him, as he was waiting for a team mate to come in,  and said that I would walk until he caught me up.  2 years ago he thought he would never run again due to knee problems, but now he is running Endure!  Well done.  A quick change of clothing (sleeves needed as getting chilly and head torch needed)  before setting off for lap 8 with a much speedier friend who has been so kind and supportive this weekend.  I told him that we were walking all hills and just running the flats and the down hills.  We ran and chatted, walked and chatted and still managed a lap in 59 minutes.  I loved that lap.  At that point I thought I could go on forever.

Then lap 9.  Properly dark.  Running with a head torch makes me feel as though I am running in a jiggly tunnel.  It is isolating and disorientating.  I thought I had adopted the same strategy as in the previous lap, but obviously the fairies in the Fairy Wood and the glitter distracted me and it took me an hour and 25 minutes.  I knew I didn't want to run in the dark again, in fact I wasn't sure I wanted to run again all weekend.  As I finished lap 9 I saw Husbando waiting near the solo support tent.  He, blinded by the head torch, didn't see me!  We grabbed some food and chatted.  I decided that I was going to get a massage and then go to bed for a few hours.  I had run 10 miles further than I had ever run before, it was little wonder I was tired.  It didn't make sense for him to hang around - we only had a single air mattress and I was in no mood for sharing - so he went back to a friend's house in Basingstoke where he could sleep comfortably but still be close enough to get back in a hurry if I needed him.

My massage was lovely, my shoulders had become really tight and my legs very heavy.  The massage loosened all that up.  Layers of dust and insect repellent had to be removed from my legs, which was just as well as otherwise they would have been transferred to my sleeping bag!  Retiring to my tent I was convinced I wouldn't sleep at all.  But after a few minutes of listening to other people's conversations I nodded off, to be awoken at 4 by my alarm.  I felt surprisingly good for having had 3.5 hrs in bed and having notched up 45 miles the day before.  I grabbed my head torch, ate a cereal bar, drank some water, laced up my shoes and went out for a dawn run!

This lap was magical.  There were far fewer runners now than on my previous laps and it was dawn.  The music had gone and, while the VDUB bar/disco had cranked out some great tunes at the bottom of Heartbreak Hill, listening to the dawn chorus was magical.  I was amazed at how easy I found it to walk and run.  I was convinced at this point that  I would exceed my 'stretch target' of 70 miles with ease.  I sent Husbando a text to say that I was up and running and suggested breakfast might be a good idea after lap 11 (my next lap) and merrily set off for my next lap.

Such bravado was short lived.  Before I got to the 2k marker I was convinced that if I didn't get a cup of tea and a slice of millionaire's shortbread soon I would actually die.  Not a metaphorical death, an actual death.  Trouble was that the laps are 8km long.  Even in the state I was in, I knew that I had a fair way to go before I could get my hand on a cup of tea.  It wasn't until later that I realised that I had probably hit the wall.  This had never happened to me.  All I knew was that a) I needed tea and millionaire's shortbread and b) if I stopped moving for an instant it would be impossible for me to start moving again.  I plodded on, repeating the phrase 'relentless forward progress' in my head - at least I hope it was in my head!  Just after the 7k marker, or just before I'm not sure, another solo runner asked me if I was OK.  I said yes, but he was wise to me.  The fact that I was swaying and actually closing my eyes much in the same way you sometimes do on a long motor way drive only to jerk awake seconds later may have been a clue.  He walked with me and talked at me to get me back to the race village.  I don't know his name, but if anyone does, please pass on my heartfelt thanks.  I know that, if the St John's Ambulance people had picked me up instead of him, there would have been a very real possibility of them stopping me running altogether.  He was running to raise money for Royal Star and Garter Homesand had walking poles with him - so if you know him please tell him that I say thank you!  It says something about how out of it I was that I struggled to recognise by best friend at the end of this lap!  She was waiting for a team mate to finish so she could go out on her lap but called out to me as I finished... I sort of waved at her (to be polite) but the person I recognised was standing behind her - Mr K - 3 time Comrades runner and one of my running inspirations.


Tea and millionaire's shortbread with Husbando followed.  These accompanied by a handful of salt and vinegar crisps and a banana seemed to do the trick.  I had completed 11 laps, 13 laps would mean I had run over 100km (65 miles).  But I don't like uneven numbers, so I was determined to push on to do 14 laps and 70 miles.  That meant 3 more laps and I had nearly 5 hours left on the clock. I walked lap 12 with a friend, only running a couple of the downhill sections, walk ran lap 13 - this lap was followed with a quick second (or was it third or fourth?) breakfast with Husbando and the friend I now recognised, before setting out to walk run, the last lap.  It was simultaneously sad and a relief to think that this was the last time I would run through Faraway Forest and Shotgun City, Little Steep and Heartbreak Hill would no longer be something to anticipate with dread.  I made a point of thanking all the marshals who had supported us throughout the 24 hours.  I crossed the line about 10 minutes before the 24 hours up.  Technically I could have gone out for a 15th lap, but I'd achieved what I wanted to do, as Husbando said, 75 would be a tougher target to beat next time.  The finish was great, but not as great as the start, although it did have the distinct advantage that it meant I didn't have to spend the next day running!

And, talking about next time.... On Friday evening when Husbando suggested we got together with friends and entered a team I thought this was a brilliant idea.  By Sunday lunchtime I was convinced that the only way I would want to do this event was as a solo runner.  It was incredibly tough, mentally more than physically, at times, but I really enjoyed the feeling of camaraderie amongst the runners and the ability to run (or walk) when I wanted to rather than to a schedule.  Hopefully we'll sort out a team for him and I enter as a solo.  I've tried to sell this to him on the basis that we can run some laps together this way... we shall see...

A HUGE thank you to all the people who helped me out.  Looking back it all seems to have happened a long time ago, and it felt like a real break from the world.  I don't think I heard the 'R' work mentioned once, although the football did intrude somewhat with a massive screen showing the England:Russia match!  I've learnt so many lessons that should, hopefully, ensure I enjoy any future 24 hour race even more than this one.



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kellyu
882 days ago
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Oh now I want to do this.
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Striving For 50% Participation at IMWA

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Ironman and Women For Tri have announced that they are aiming for 50/50 split of female and male participants at Ironman Western Australia, December 4, 2016 – a feat never achieved before in an Ironman event.

Text by Witsup | Lead image by Ironman

 

Ironman and Women For Tri are encouraging more and more women to sign up for the 3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42.2km run in the beautiful town of Busselton, WA. Ironman Western Australia has averaged 22.5% of female participation in the past (which is slightly above the global average), and the most any other Ironman event has achieved is 31% at Ironman Chattanooga. So if you’re on the fence about signing up, jump off that fence and land firmly in the Busselton backyard to be a part of triathlon history.

In 2015, Ironman rookie, age grouper Holly Ransom, fell in love with the sport and was overwhelmed with the support by other athletes and the crowd out on course at Ironman Western Australia. However, during the race she became acutely aware that the numbers of women racing were significantly lower than the men, and that her role of inspiring and encouraging other women and girls to get involved in triathlon had become an important one.

 

Busso

2015 IMWA swim start (c) Witsup

 

“There was a mum sitting on the front lawn of her house with her daughters, and the older of the two said, ‘Mum, mum look it’s a girl just like me!’ … and it was at that moment that if there was any chance that I thought this might be too hard, that I just stopped and said to myself, oh we’re doing this, we’re smashing it!” Ransom said.

“I was conscious it was male dominated, but I didn’t realise that so few were young women,” she continued. “I was then so conscious that there were girls on the sidelines yelling your name, running alongside you, and high-fiving you and not the boys. I then realised that there’s this really awesome element around what this means to them to see women do it. I think about that a lot … Female role models in a leadership sense and an athlete sense have an enormous impact on me, but I hadn’t thought about what I was doing in that sense, until that moment.” See Holly Ransom’s BE INSPIRED video.

Witsup is a dedicated platform that supports women in triathlon and pushes to break down barriers of entry into this sport. Therefore we are excited to help push for more women on the start line at Ironman Western Australia and will be rolling out initiatives over the coming months. We will be hosting our renowned Witsup Breakfast and Pro Panel (supported by Women For Tri) to be held over race weekend – expect some exciting new twists – in addition to working with Ironman on some expert women’s specific race course commentary.

Groupshot

2015 Witsup Breakfast and Pro Panel (c) Janine Kaye

Ironman and Women For Tri will also be encouraging athletes and spectators to ‘light up the night’ with special glow sticks at the 8pm women’s hour in a show of support for female participation in triathlon creating a stunning finish line and race course spectacle. So make sure that when the time comes on race day if you’re either racing, or if you’ve already finished, try to come back to the finish line, or if you’re a spectator, snap your glow stick in support of women in triathlon.

 

Things to look out for:

-        $10 of every female Ironman registration fee to be donated to the W4T Grant Fund

-        Organised pre-race female group training sessions

-        Pre-race webinars

-        Ironkids – Striving for 50% female participation.

-        Women’s Only Function proudly brought to you by Witsup

-        8pm Women’s Hour – Light Up The Night in a show of support for female participation

 

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kellyu
893 days ago
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Yes!
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Invest in Yourself – Prehab Or It Will Be Rehab

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If longevity in the sport is what you’re after, it’s time to start looking after the most important piece of equipment that’ll always be with you, and that you can’t sell on triathlon market place – YOU! Strength and conditioning expert, Amber Johnson, stresses the importance of prioritising functional movement exercises to keep you in this game long term.

Text by Amber Johnson of First Wave Fitness | Images by Witsup

 

I think we can all agree that there is no greater feeling than that high of crossing the finishing line. The reward of weeks, months, even years of hard work paying off in one very unforgettable moment. The involuntary grin that shines from ear to ear as you find a burst of energy you never thought you had left in you. That moment you run through the finisher chute and know that it was all worth it!

It’s this feeling that keeps us chasing, keeps us pushing, to train harder, to be stronger, faster and hungrier, to find the one percenters that are going to give us that edge.

Janine finish (c) Witsup

 

But along with that drive, this very feeling can also so easily cloud our judgement and unknowingly derail our goals. That thirst that has you training both ends of the day, turning up at pools in the dark, hitting the pavement when it’s pouring outside, spending hours pushing into a headwind and answering the question “what’s on for the weekend?” in kilometres , can also be the very thing that convinces us that the niggle in your knee isn’t really that bad. That you don’t reeeaaalllllyy feel it ALL the time. You know you probably should see someone about it, but you’ve so desperately wanted it not to be anything that avoidance and denial seem like perfectly reasonable strategies. Plus, you have squad on Monday and Wednesday, ride and run Tuesday/Thursday and well the weekend is out, so there just isn’t the time to check it out. Seems reasonable yeah?

 

“FIRST MOVE WELL, AND THEN MOVE OFTEN.”

Gray Cook

 

Being sidelined is never fun, believe me I can completely identify! When this sport is going good, it can be SO GOOD! But when it’s not, it can be so, so cruel…

 

So what if I was to tell you the secret to fewer injuries and longevity in our sport?

Would I have your attention?

The hard truth is we need to change our priorities! There is no magic pill. There is no secret!

If you don’t make time for the prehab, sooner or later you’ll be making time for rehab. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again first move well, and then move often (actually Gray Cook Said it once, and I keep saying it again).

So many athletes spend hours tweaking their bike set-ups, thousands on new wheels, hundreds on accessories and trialing every new gimmick. But how much do they invest in fixing themselves?

Your body is the most important piece of equipment!

I am sure if your bike could talk, it’d say “It’s not me, it’s you.” It comes down to; do you want a bike fit that works around your poor posture? Or, do you want to work on getting your body into the optimum position that facilitates maximum power output, efficiency and endurance? And once you’re there, actually know how to engage the muscles to do it?

Vodickova2 bike Geelong (c) Witsup

With the rise in popularity of strength training and the increasing awareness of habitually bad posture, athletes know this is something they “should” be doing but how many really value or perhaps to a greater extent understand why they NEED to be doing this?

 

Have you heard this analogy? Try swapping; “I don’t have time to_______” with “I don’t value______.” Does this ring true? Resistance to changing routine is a very common roadblock for athletes who already feel stretched for time. The honest truth: We all have the time; it’s how we prioritise that time that shapes our results. Invest in having your movement patterns screened and your areas of weakness identified, because as little as 5-10mins daily on basic drills can make a big impact long term.

 

 

“We all have the time; it’s how we prioritise that time that shapes our results.”

Amber Johnson

 

 

Often athletes start with the best intentions and quickly become frustrated with the process based on their perception of poor or slow progress, but the reality is, restoring proper movement function and re-wiring motor patterns is a slow burn. Frustration comes from our expectations and our realities being misaligned, again demonstrating a lack of understanding and conversely education into not just why you’re doing it, but how the body works, how it responds to stimulus and how that translates when you are swimming, riding or running. It doesn’t work like Strava. You’re not going to get a KOM every time you rock out a glute bridge. Our bodies have done thousands of repetitions in typically poor posture which has led to how we currently move, so it takes that many, AND more to get us back out of it. Our bodies will always choose the path of least resistance, so an injury or niggle poorly rehabbed or simply ignored may be the catalyst to a myriad of other problems down the track as your body shifts and alters its movement to avoid pain. Think of pain like a noise on your bike… IT’S TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING!

Glute First Wave Fitness (c) Witsup

This sport, and our bodies reward consistency. Like a race build, its pivotal that you build solid foundations first.

 

In times of fatigue and intensity, our bodies resort to old motor patterns which is why consistency to the program is so pivotal to its long term success and ultimately your success in the sport. As with each aspect of triathlon, you need to have commitment to the process, to your coach, to trusting and understanding that what you are doing now, is building towards making you a stronger athlete tomorrow. This means doing the work! Is it always going to be exciting? No! But being inconsistent only serves to reduce the program’s effectiveness and, if it’s an injury you’re rehabbing, extend your recovery. Put simply, nothing changes unless you do.

 

“You’re not going to get a KOM every time you rock out a glute bridge.”

Amber Johnson

 

How many times have you gone to a doctor, received a script, bought the antibiotics, and then just left them sitting on the kitchen table, and actually expect to get better? I’m guessing never! So why spend time at the physio or with a strength and conditioning coach who give you all the tools and information that you need, and then you miraculously expect your body to do amazing things, when you haven’t done anything to help prep your body for greatness?

S_C (c) Witsup

 

Your body is the one piece of equipment that you have 100% control of. It is the one piece of equipment that when functioning properly has the ability to improve your speed, power, efficiency and endurance. But strangely it is the most overlooked, undervalued and often neglected. It’s time to start understanding it better, to start valuing proper movement above all else and switching on more to how you move.

 

Does it mean injuries will never happen, no. When you are training in excess of 15 hours a week you are likely to run into some form of strain at some point. But, it is within your control to minimise the damage and speed of recovery if you are working from a stronger base.

 

“Success in the world of injury prevention is defined by the things that don’t happen.”

Perry Nicholson

 

I cannot stress enough that you need to invest in yourself! If you have a niggle or an existing injury, listen to your body, don’t ignore it. If your body is completely flogged, is that easy run really more important than that massage that’s likely to aid recovery and help restore proper movement?

 

A great quote I read from Perry Nicholson about working in this field resinates quite well with how it can be hard for people to quantify how all those small efforts are paying off in training. He says; “success in the world of injury prevention is defined by the things that don’t happen.”

 

In the end, as with everything, you always get what you put in.

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kellyu
960 days ago
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