Monthly Archives: November 2012

My 1st Big Ride (& a bit of book review)

I’m currently enjoying a week of annual leave. God it’s good to be away from the city & the slog of work. I decided to take a few days break down at my folks place. Wouldn’t say it’s a ‘country retreat’ but it’s surrounded by greenland and therefore a great change in scenery for a week of training. I accidentally started the training a bit early, with a big ride from Manchester to Nottingham, 72 miles and 5hr 40mins. I usually get the train home, but having had a look at the weather and planned my route I thought I’d pedal it. It was annoying having a bag with me but I needed to be able to spend time at home in other than lycra.

I got to Stockport and thought ‘this is a silly idea’. I got to Buxton and wondered what the hell I was doing. I reached Ashbourne and was pig sick of it! But then at 2/3rds distance i got an extra boost that I was actually going to do this. I thought about what the guys at home would think of it. There was no way I was going to bail and I just needed to push on through Derby. I even took a slight bit of pride thinking I was probably the only person in the world to be cycling this route on this day. That’s not that impressive in hindsight but at the time I was pretty chuffed with my effort and found something to cling to mentally. It was also a good chance to do a bit of a nutrition test and also see how my new Kinetic 1 wheels rolled on a long distance ride. Both cases worked well. I used 3 SiS sports bars, 2 peanut butter sandwhiches and 1 banana. I had scrambled eggs on brown bread for breakfast and a high 5 sports drink at the end.

New wheels looks sick! Just heading up into Buxton from Whaley Bridge

The hills across from Buxton to Ashbourne were a killer but I was lucky to get such a dry and clear day. It really is a scenic ride and I’ll be doing this again. Below is the data from Speed vs Elevation. As you can see, I stopped for a couple of pee breaks and some snaps when I was double checking my route. My phone battery ran out at 60 miles, just 12 miles short of the folks house.

Speed over Elevation – Manchester to Derby

My missus’ Dad bought me a book for my birthday – The Man Who Cycled The World. Having read about his moans (and there are plenty of those) I put myself in a postion of what he must have felt like and why he was moaning so much. Mark Beaumont was aiming for this kind of mileage every day for 6 months. Fair play to him. I stop for a coffee and read a few pages of this book after a swim, and I’ve really had to stick with this as I keep getting increasingly annoyed with his negativity. I was expecting a lot more about the places he’d seen and the people he’d met rather than just a list of dodgy roads and ignorant policemen. What a let down. I appreciate his challenge is a race, but just enjoy it for gods sake man! Not a lot of people get to do that! Still, rather than skimming over his list of distances covered, I could actually now appreciate his effort since I’d had a go at riding one of his daily distances. Check your local bargain bucket for a stocking filler if you’re struggling this Christmas.


Sorry You’re Leaving

The motocross season is officially over. We had the end of season presentation last weekend and I picked up my 8th place trophy. Not an ideal season after hoping to stay in the top 3 for a second season, but bad luck and a sister’s wedding didn’t help my points scoring. But the significance of the 2012 season drawing to a close means I am now in full time training. No more days of my body suffering from a battering on the track, nor all those miles up and down the country. I have 7 days a week to train and really get my brain in gear for IronMan. As with every e-mail you get sent at work ‘Mr x is leaving to concentrate on other projects’.

She looks happy!

I was also tasked by the committee to produce this years end of season DVD. Have a look here if you fancy it:

I had a slightly quieter week last week and took down the volume of swimming and had a shorter Sunday ride. It felt like a breeze. It was nice to take it down and get my head around the next 4 weeks. It was like ticking over, warming up for a big 4 week block of training upping a notch. It’s amazing to think 3k in the pool is now something of the norm for me, and being out on the bike for 4 hours is a regularity rather than a one-off just to kill a day. I’m very happy to be back running again, admittedly it’s baby steps but I am so aware of my previous injury and I have the memories of how it felt which I am determined never to revisit. I’ve literally worked up from 1 mile / 3 times a week, to 2 miles / 3 times a week and now up to 3 miles. Have a look what I’ve been up to on my training log.

I feel stronger after each set, but taking it that further mile is basically a bit unknown each time. I felt a bit clunky and a bit rusty when I first started back, but the daily foam roller and stretching has defiantly paid dividends I’m sure. Because they are such short distances I have just been tagging them on to the turbo sessions, making a brick session out of a rehab run.
So for the first time in a long time, I am actually training in Swim / Bike / Run.

I can’t bring myself to put her up for sale, so my retirement is only temporary! My Dad and I love our weekends together so we’ll no doubt continue the odd race here & there but without the pressures of a season long campaign.

Work, Rest & Train

My usual work hours are 4:30am to 1pm so I am somewhat of an early bird naturally, but this last week I have been doing normal office hours while the boss is on annual leave and I’ve had to cover his unenviably tasks.

It’s not only interesting to see how little the gaffa does, but also how I’ve had to juggle my usual training times around my working life for the first time. Normally when I get back in an afternoon, I have an hour nap and then do my days training. This has endless benefits – swimming is quieter, I can turbo train before my housemate gets back and I can run in the light and then still have something of an evening if the missus is making time demands*.

Turbo sessions take over the flat

Doing 9 to 5 has thrown me out of kilter. On Monday I did my run before work which felt great and set me up for the day. Tuesday I battled through a busy evening swim session from 8:30pm which was more frustrating than productive. Wednesday I had to hop on the turbo as soon as I walked in to beat my housemate getting home. The last thing he wants to see after a day of work is a sweaty man in lycra in his living room. And because I have plans for Thursday evening, I had to swim before work, which was a 5:30am wake up to be at the pool for 6:30.
Friday and I’m on the turbo again before I have to quickly sort myself out for the Christmas Lights switch on that starts at 7pm. Popular boy band The Wanted don’t wait for anyone!

*Missus Demands

The days drag at work and knowing I have to train as soon as I get in has become quite demoralising. But when I get it out of the way in the morning, it’s nice to know I have an evening off.
Add a spouse, a couple of kids, an extra hour staying late at work and the training will take a hit in a lot of peoples lives. I’m lucky to have the hours I do and it’s easy to make them work for me and my training.

Boss loves a nutroast

And by manning the boss’ phone all week I also found out he is going to a posh dinner next week that he kept on the quiet. They called me to check if he had any dietary requirements, so by keeping us out of the loop on this one, he’ll be enjoying his vegetable soup and nut roast on a table that can’t have anyone eating shellfish on it. Just spread the love dude!