Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Headin to Jordyland

All right, where shall we start? How about the beginning. Last time you got a posting, it was Vix telling you about my Newcastle to Leeds leg. Shall we go back a bit? How about the first day on the bike?

Firstly we lined up in Edinburgh with Mark Cavendish (see photo) we rolled out headed towards the borders, Berwick upon Tweed actually. So, off we went and it was just as I expected. Lots of different riders, trying to show how strong they were. I picked up with a group or two, but couldn't really find anyone that provided a good combination of conversation and geeky bike talk.

Once we hit the borders however, the elevation started; and the weather came in. Really awful weather. I'm sure that the views were great, but with the rain and the mist, you couldn't see a thing. Well, apart from the road kill. I think that I saw just about every type of animal that a vehicle could hit. And then the hills came. Not hills, but big 17% inclines that were just trying to slow me down. And then, once I did get up it, I had to deal with the incredible decline. Normally, it would have been fun, but with the limited visability and the wet roads, caution won out.

We wound our way through about 62 miles on the first day, and ended up in Peelham Farm, a great sustainable farm that put on a great campsite with live music and some of the best food I could eat. Here's another photo.

So, you probably want to know how I felt, and how I did. The group on the haybales are the first in, and I was about 13th in. But, it was all due to John a guy from Surrey who helped me on the last climb. Nice guy.

Good thing about getting in with the first groups mean that you get more recovery time. And first into the showers. Excellent.

The next day was Berwick to Newcastle. A big day, with over 100 miles. Great! Again, I fell in with a pretty strong group that consisted of Dan (IronMan) from Imperial who I had met earlier. He's a strong rider and was using this as a cool down from his IronMan UK competition. How's that for endurance? So, I hung with Dan most of the way, and we rode out with a great rider named Ruth. She was absolutely awesome! Strong and real confident in a group ride. And she was funny, which isn't that easy when you have been hammering along in the big ring for hours after hours. Here is a picture of both of them.

So, we headed out to the pub, while some of the riders went to see Newcastle play Sheffield Wednesday (1-0). I expected some really good beer at the pub, but all Ale was off, so I had a lager. As you might guess, I'm not a fan of Newcastle. Especially as the halls we stayed in were like a rabbit warren. And they had no Wifi. Hence the reason for not posting.

Well, thats it for tonight. I'll try to post the SufferFest that was Newcastle to Leeds and the next day (Leeds to Nottingham). But, you'll have to wait. I'm going to bed.

Tonight, I post

I've done it! The ride is over and so am I. Fear not, I will post tonight (with Pics). Just have been a bit slack with posting.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

It was a long one today!

Well, it's the wife again. Bill called at 830pm to let me know he had just finished! He cycled 127 miles today averaging 21km per hour and that was in the rain in hilly North Yorkshire. The bizarre thing was he cycled close to where we lived when we first came over here, how weird is that!

He is sore but ok and was one of only about 25 finishers today so I guess that competitive streak is still hanging in there! He might get here himself tomorrow, if not I'll let you know how he gets on.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

From Berwick to Newcastle!

When Bill first told me he was going to do this cycle ride, or Epic as he likes to call it, I thought.....nah, that will never happen......then his excitement took over!

He committed and is doing it and loving it. Today was apparently brilliant and the only reason I am blogging on his behalf is because they are not allowed access to the Uni computers. He is, as always, being far too competitive a strength of his that I adore however annoying it can be. He reports that his recovery is good but tomorrow is going to be tough as it is due to rain and it's a long one. He has taken loads of pictures (quite how whilst riding a bike I will never know, surely he should be arrested as it must be similar to using a mobile while driving? Or is he just showing off riding no handed like you did when you were a kid)

Anyway, my hat is off to all of them. I found running, or rather bumbling the 5K Race for Life a challenge so can't even imagine what this must be like. Keep up the brilliant work and if anyone reads this who hasn't yet sponsored him, look on his sidebar and go for it!
Love you Bill

Monday, 17 August 2009

Why do they use oil paints?

Wow, how cool is Edinburgh? This city is amazing. Firstly, its the Fringe so everyone is here, and secondly the architecture is incredible. Lovely gothic buildings, with some Georgian and Elizabethean here and there. Incredible.
So, here's how the first day of the Epic began. 5am wake up call, and the bags were already
packed. I'd bought some fruit toast to ensure I had some decent food prior to getting into London. But, as usual, I faffed about and at 5.55a realised I needed to get to the station. And quick! So, grab and go, I was off and on the 6.06. Whew.
Whilst in London I stopped off at work to catch up on some emails and ensure that all was ok. I also used that time to tidy my office. Then off to Euston to drop the bike off to the guys in the Luton to take it up to Scotland.
Onto the train and I finished my book before we even got to York. Great, and now what am I going to do for reading material in the evening? Met another rider on the train who is doing the ride.
Checked into the accomodation and then had the day to myself. It's about this time I realised that I left my helmet at the house. What an idiot! So, I had to buy a cheapy just to tide me over. Then I went into town.
I got to see a few shows, and most importantly a Blue Man Group rip off called 'Brown Man Group' they were good, and I was pleased. But, I did hop over to the Scottish National Gallery and what an amazing collection they have of Rafael and Tititan. Also, some Lippi and even a Van Dieke. The Tititan was the jewel in the crown, as it was the one that showed Diana being interrupted whilst bathing with the Nymphes. This is an amazing work of art, and to see it in the flesh just cannot be described. Amazed.
The whole collection is impressive and I would even say it rivals some of the National Gallery in London, but I'm sure that I would be debated to death.
We had the ride debrief and tomorrow we go out. Can't wait.
Oh, due to using Uni PC's I won't be able to post photos as the USB's have been disabled. But I'll try and get ahold of a personal computer. Tomorrow is tough as we are at a campsite in Berwick on Tweed, but I will post on Wednesday evening in Newcastle.
So, friends, stay tuned. The big event is at hand.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Why I love the sherpas

So, its the last weekend before the ride. Here's some pics of the packing this evening. Looks fun, huh?
I don't know how you are when it comes to packing, but I am rubbish. This is pretty good, I have to admit; however most of the time, I just shove things into a small place and forget most items I needed. This is really overstating it, but when it comes to holidays I just think if I forget something, we can buy it when we get there.
This might explain a few of my questionable purchases. And my awful way of keeping track of expenses.
Anyway, its the night before I head out and I hope I am ready. The weather looks bad for the week, and its going to be really awful on Thursday. Great. But, here we go...

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Forgive him, he's American

All ok here, just trying to rest in preparation for the BIG RIDE. Went for a run this morning, and feel a bit heavy (must be the BBQ at Maynard's last night), but all good now. Spent the day at Imperial in a meeting for the upcoming term. Interesting to see the line ups and here what our governing body is doing to represent us. Also got to meet up with some of the other riders for the RTP, which was encouraging.
I am wondering if my training will come through. Dan (IronMan) spoke with me briefly and reminded me that it wasn't a race, but that he was expecting me to ride with him on some of the tougher bits. Great.
So, a few more posts and then its off to Edinburgh (by the way, how the hell am I supposed to say it? Edinbro, Edinburr, Edinboro?).

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Every Rose has its Thorn

So, whats going on? A lot by all accounts. Firstly, some family friends had their baby girl (Molly Mae) so congratulations to the Payne's. Vix and the kids are having a great time in France, and the Grandparents are loving having them. Mabel is being a perfect French dog, and might have developed the ultimate 'gallic shrug'.

Me? Well, its been a revelation really. Firstly, I am rubbish on my own. Without the kids around, I forget to eat, leave my clothes all over the bedroom and have the TV set to watch Top Gear reruns on DAVE. I thrive on my kids and my wife. Its kinda like my grass (bear with me).

As you can see, new shoots are starting to develop. This is due to the weeding, then adding of seed and then finally lots of loving care. If you take care of things, and have them loved things develop. Whilst the kids have been away, I don't think I have developed. In fact, I might have regressed. When I was a batchelor (long time ago), I used to race bikes. Because I was lazy, having the race season take over my life meant that I HAD to do things. Without the family around, I have realised that I don't have to make the bed. I don't have to tidy up my clothes. And I have regressed to a slob. But.......

If you have been reading these posts you know that I am training for a long distance ride in Edinburgh (462 miles!). I have been training, but without having the family around, I can ride at strange times. Like yesterday. I went out at 6.30am and returned at 11.30am. No problem. But if the kids had been around, it would have been hard to be away for so long. Not for them, but for ME! I then woke up this morning, at 6.30am went for a run for 45 mins and then went for a MTB ride with Maynard. Then this afternoon, went for a quick loop on the road bike. Just random acts of training. But, I would have traded it all in for puzzles with the boy, or watching the girls ride their bikes. And most importantly, some time with Vix. I really can't wait to see her at Hyde Park.

Sorry, if this got a little TOO personal. I'm just in one of those moods. Now, back to the geeky stuff!

Here are some photos of what may be the best bike ever. Now, I know what you are saying, (but its got risers, but its carbon) but I mean it. This bike is comfortable, and wants to be ridden in ANGER. My friend Paul let me borrow it since MY bike got stolen, and I have been a bit worried about how it looks and rides (especially after riding Patrick's Pride and Joy (see earlier post) on the Col). But this bike just eats up miles. And it shifts. Or at least it makes me feel that way.
All right, thats enough for now. Long week at work shaping up, so will try to post when able to. However, I'm tapering the amount of training so will not be doing much other than a quick 1.5 hours here and there.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

This little piggy went home

Interesting few days. Sunday evening I rode back from Orpington after work. Good ride and the weather was with me. Speed was up, and I felt great. Monday, woke up to a raging headache, runny nose and body aches. First thing I thought, Swine Flu. Called work and let them know that I wasn't coming in, and checked the NHS website to see if I had it. I didn't. Excellent. Now, I just felt awful. Called the doctor, who said that it was either hayfever or overtraining. I went with both, and bought some meds, and took some time out of training.
So, nothing on Monday, or Tuesday, and today. Instead, I have rested and I feel better for it.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Nice weather for ducks

Bit of a mixed bag this weekend. I was working on Saturday and Sunday, so was planning on riding home from London. However the rain on Saturday made sure that the only riding I was going to do on the way home was in a train. I still rode from the uni to the station which soaked me right though to my skin. Add in the ride from the station to the house, and I looked like a drowned rat (and felt like one too). However, the bonus was that it rained so much that it was easier to clean the bike. So, now its nice and shiny.
This morning (sunday) I wasn't sure if it was going to rain, so went for a 10K run and then off to miss the train in. Yep, I got there at 7.25a for the 7.30a and it wasn't there. They had decided to cancel it, and I had to scramble to get there for just before 9a.
Must do better!
So tomorrow is another week, and I am determined to put in around 225 miles on the bike. With a combination of riding from work/to work (42 miles) and some intense riding on the weekend I should do it.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Kinda like riding through marshmallows

Great run this morning, starting out at 5am for 30 mins at a moderate pace. Then this evening I went out on the road bike for a trip into Ashurst Woods. Good speed, and I met up with 3 other riders who were out so hooked up with them. Pace was warm to say the least, but they allowed me to stay with them. Thanks guys!
Looking for a mtb ride or a road ride tomorrow night and then I'm working over the weekend due to holidays. Should be interesting as I intend to catch the train in the morning and ride back on both days. Let's hope that the weather cooperates.
Sponsorship is doing ok, but I'm starting to sweat things now. Just a few more weeks to go, and I really need to start banging the drum. With my registration, I'm just over 400, but really should be at 500 by now. But tomorrow is another day.
I might not blog tomorrow, unless the spirit moves me.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

I don't think so, Tim

Not much to report from yesterday's training. Busy with work, so spent most of the time dealing with the little emergencies that our short staffing levels lend. Went to dinner at a friends house last night (thanks guys!), which meant my first meal which wasn't eaten on the couch. Maynard and I also endulged in a little TV. I forgot just how funny, 'Home Improvement' was.
Meetings mostly today, with a view to do some light riding in the afternoon, and then out on the bike for a hour and a half blast tonight. Oh, and some laundry. Living the Dream, baby!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

You gonna ride it, or just look pretty?

The Tunbridge Wells Half-Marathon is very popular around these parts. Its a bit of a tough one though, and known for some of its hills. Fordcombe Hill is the most notorious. So, thats what we did on Monday night. Just a quick ride out with John around the course. I don't think we did it in any fast speed, just turned the pedals. Then came Fordcombe, and John bolted off. He's superstrong right now, and just uses his Big Ring. I, however used my gears. And didn't climb very fast. But, better than normal, now that I remember that nothing around here is as steep as the French trip.
Today, I did a hour session on the Spin bike. Intervals mostly, with a bit of heavy sprints in the middle. I felt good, but still wish I was spinning the wheels around France.
I'm really missing the family and wishing they were here, but engrossing myself in work and training. Millie has riden a pony and really enjoyed it, which I'm really quite proud of. William is doing ramps with his cousin, and Jaime is just being Jaime. Drawing and running around. They are all beautiful and I really hope that we can have a fantastic holiday in France shortly.
I'm just in the gym tomorrow and off for dinner at a friends house after work. I'll probably not blog tomorrow evening, but might have something to say, so just tune in.. You never know...

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Careful, its Patrick's pride and joy

The great thing about France is its always sunny (most of the time) and when I'm there its a holiday. We drove the whole family down on the Saturday, leaving at 5.30 (exactly!) to head over to the Chunnel. The kids were anxious, and so were Vix and I. We went straight thru and ended up at her mum and dads house about 14 hours later. Tired, but driving in France is so less stressful than over here in Blighty. We were treated to the mountains and a lovely breakfast outside. What else?
The weather was excellent, and while I was only there for a week (need to be back at work, and have the cycle ride in Aug) packed in load. Vix went into Pau with her Cousin in Law (is that right?) and Steve and I had the kids. Easy when you consider that they have a big house and a pool, similar to the situation over at her parents house. The kids were happy and we spent the time catching up and planning a ride in the mountains the next day. Steve had borrowed a bike (bike isn't exactly the word to describe it), and we ate a leisurely dinner at their house once the girls had returned and Nanny and Bampie were there. Vix fell badly whilst carrying most of our dinner out, and had to pick gravel out of her beautiful knees. Sore, and really in pain, she nonetheless carried on.
The next morning broke early and the weather looked great. I drove to Steve's house and we went to Banere to pick up the bikes and head to the Col du Aspin (1489m). Steve really came through with a Titanium framed beauty, finished off in Dura Ace and all types of spankly kit. A real looker, and just about the right size. We headed out and I just wanted to sprint away, but Steve just reminded me of our target for the day. I eased into it, but still had issues with the warm up. I've always had a problem getting warmed up. Not sure why, but it takes me about 45 min of high BPM to get ready. But this did happen, and once we approached the Col, we went together. Steve told me if I felt good to stretch it out, and I did. The bike, my heart, my legs and head all working together. Next thing I knew, I was at the top. Yeah! We blasted down the Col (well Steve did), he reminded me that I was on Patrick's pride and joy. But we played cat and mouse on the way back to Banere.
Steve let me use his bike on Friday (as we were meeting at his mum and dad's for dinner) and I got in some more riding. Strange that the climbs were much tougher this time.
But, now I'm back in England, and really missing the family. I think tonight will be the worst as they aren't here in the house. But, I do have a webcam that works....
I'll most likely do some work around the house and garden tomorrow, and then will get in some riding, but doubt it will have the same enjoyment as a few days ago.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Sick Scout

'I feel sick, Bill'. Those are the words that I heard just as one of the scouts threw up at the top of our first climb. So, now that I have your attention.....
The last weeks training was great, and even though it lacked the mileage that I was hoping for, it still was quality. First off, we have purchased a new Spin bike at the Sports Centre which is absolutely amazing! The Star Trac ESpinner is just like a spinner, but has a display which does a spin class for you. Yes, a real live instructor (well he's a bit wooden with his comments 'You can do it') takes you through a class. Choose what you want and away you go. This was a great way to 'motivate' and had me sweating it in true style.
Then we had the MTB rides. William had his 5th (!) birthday on Thursday and we did the playframe party thing. Great to see a few dads and mums running through the playframe with the kids. The girlies ran around like they were five and Vix did a great job with the cake (a guitar) and the organising. She really is fantastic like that.
The next day, John S and I went for a ride at Bedge. We had planned on doing the Singletrack lap twice, but my rear mech went out due to shonky maintenance (I should have changed my cables months ago). Then the Scout trip on Saturday.
The lads (all 10 of them), Maynard and Stuart took them on the family trail at Bedgebury. They all did a great job and as a treat we had them do a 'special section' of the singletrack. It really hit home how much fun riding can be when you see the look on the kids face. At the end of the section, I asked them if they liked it and would they want to do it again? Resounding YES from all and it was climbing up to the top to get in another run. This time with a little bit of the skills section thrown in for good measure. All in all, a great result. Most of them will get their badge for it, and Maynard was really pleased to see that we ended right on time.
So, this week I am in Bristol for a bit of idea sharing/comparing, and then off to France to see if the Pyrennes still are as challenging as they were last time.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

And the wind cries Mary

Road biking can be fun. Especially if its blowing a gale. Thats what its been like lately. Sorry I haven't been updating the training. Its not that I haven't been getting it in, I've just been overwhelmed with this Sports Strategy I've been working on.
Heading to Bristol U, UWE and Cardiff for some inspiration next week. Until then, its pedal, run and pedal.

Monday, 15 June 2009

'Are you guys in a club?'

What a week! It started off with some simple gym work and Saturday had the hottest, driest ride ever.
The gym work was the normal; Spin bike, followed by 20 minutes of strenght work and then some stretching. I knocked this out M, T, W, missed Thursday. Friday I was off, but spent a fair amount of time cleaning and fettling with the bike for Saturdays epic.
And epic it was. Not a lot of singletrack, and the descents were a bit mild; but the climbs and the views were legion! All in, we did 36 miles but the elevation had to be in the 2,000's. My normal athletic prowess was dropped to that of a wimpering, snivelling worm whilst trying to maintain a 80RPM cadence whilst going up. Add to that, my ego of staying in the middle ring on the first of the 6 big climbs and I was in for a whole lot of hurt.
But, its over, and I feel that I really earned my stripes. At least thats what my farmer's tan/sunburn is telling me.
I'm off to ride in the gym now, and looking forward to my cycle home from work on Wednesday with Fishpool. You have to find opportunities to ride when you can.....

Thursday, 4 June 2009

And then, breathe

Not much to say really. Gym, gym and more gym. I haven't gotten outside on the bike or run since Sunday. Good session on Monday, rest day on Tuesday. Small session (sprints) on Wednesday, that I really didn't feel up to; and now hill intervals this afternoon (if I can find the time). Work has been a bit manic right now, with end of year and budget planning for the 09/10.
I'm feeling quite good, and am still stretching. Babysat for some friends last night and spent 20 mins stretching. Either I was bored, or I'm starting to enjoy it. Yep, I was bored! The Apprentice-The Final Five just didn't keep my attention.
Here's to the rest of the week.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Ride, Flow, Ride, and Flow

Ride, flow, ride, flow. Thats about the state of things over the weekend. First, we had amazing weather. Beautiful sun, along with a nice breeze to keep things interesting. The goal was to come back from my back strain on Tuesday, but to be honest on Wednesday, I really didn't think I was going to be riding at all.
The strain came from a simple game with some colleagues on Tuesday in Hyde Park. I struggled home from the A and E and took a long train home. On Wednesday, there was no way I could even think of work. I even tried to work from home, but it was a bust. After seeing the doc, and taking it easy I started to feel better on Thursday. By Friday, it was about 75%.
But, Saturday morning screamed for a ride! I met up with 11 other riders at the start of our local ride. Nice and easy to start, and then I eased up to the front to stretch my legs up a moderate climb. No issues and then, I started to move up a gear. By the end, I felt awesome. A small group decided to try 'the reverse ferret' to add a little more time. All and all, pretty good.
We went over to Leeds Castle and enjoyed the sunshine and the jousting (yes, jousting).
I spent most of Sunday thinking about riding. Originally, I was to meet a training partner at 6.15am for a road ride, but I still don't have a bike to use. A friend was kind enough to let me use his for the RTP, but I didn't pick it up by Sunday. So, I tried to talk him into a MTB ride in the evening.
Instead, I went out on my own and discovered some old local trails. And thats were the ride, flow, ride, flow went out. I really felt one with the bike and just cruised over the trails. Effort was high, and I walked away feeling that I had just gotten a great taste of local training.
So, thats the weekend. And I can't wait for the next. In two weeks the Ferrets have the South Downs Way, now thats should get the mileage up.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Speed is your friend

What a weekend! I went for a run/bike block on Friday at the gym which went excellent. I've started doing the Power Plate and it seems to have helped the knee (but mad me look like a complete idiot in the process). Ferret ride was held on Saturday morning and the trails were so dusty, I had to ride at the front the whole time. Super fast fitness, minus technical skills added to the fun and it wasn't until I was finished with the first lap that I felt really comfortable on the MTB again. But, we only had time for the one lap, so that's how it goes.
Went to a friends party Saturday night and woke up with a slightly sore head in the morning. But, I have discovered Redbush tea which is now my all time favourite. What a great drink.
Sunday was spent house cleaning and getting ready for a family friend, and Monday William and I dug up some trenches for his schools veggie gardens. That was great fun, and we followed it up with a longer than usual ride over to his friends house. The boy is absolutely fearless on his bike when it comes to downhills. He's still not gotten to grips with the brake levers and just tries to ride it out instead. I made the mistake of saying 'speed is your friend' some time back and now he uses that as his reason all the time.
Good training week ahead, and looking forward to getting some time in the pool, now its open.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

How do you train without motivation? That must be the toughest question out there, because I am really struggling with getting 'out there'. Let's go back a bit....
On Friday last week, I took my bike to work in an effort to ride home from Sevenoaks. If I get off the train then I would have no choice right? Oh, but remember I work in Central London. So dutifully, I lock my bike up outside of work and sometime between 7a and 1.50p my bike is stolen. Liquid nitrogen on the lock and then a hammer to smash the mechanism. Great! So, not only do I not ride home, but I ruin my whole weekend by being in a bad mood as the insurance won't cover the theft. Yep, you guessed it; the coverage only applies to bikes within my home!
And then there's my knee. I took 2 weeks off to recuperate and get it to full health. It feels fine, except when I go downhills. But, being the lazy sod that I am, I still haven't tried to put in a decent run. Think you know guilt? Try having a springer spaniel look at you with dissappoinment because you didn't take her for her run. Thats priceless!
But, there is hope. I am riding on Saturday with the Ferrets on the MTB. And I really haven't been turning pedals in anger in a while. So, lets see how it goes.
I have kept up the strenght training and the stretching so at least it isn't all bad.

Here's to the coming week!

Where's my motivation?

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Because it hurts more

Good session on the bike today, with maybe about 1/3 of my body weight in sweat falling to the floor. I'm sure I looked a state, but I really felt good. This was all about recovery, so a lot of hill intervals.
I've started up on what I call 'Jacob's Ladder'; which is basically two levels up with one level back in 45 second intervals. I'll do 5 of them after 20 mins and find it absolutely kills my legs. All of this whilst listening to Metallica's Battery.
So, all in all a good session. I'm hoping to go out on the bike tomorrow evening if the rain holds off. Until then...

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Training? What training?

Before we discuss the training update, let's talk about the weekend. I get a call that a meeting I'm supposed to be at on Friday has been relocated to Lord's Cricket Ground to watch the West Indies take on England. What a result! I've never been a massive cricket fan, but I do like the traditional element. And what better place to go to than the 'home of cricket'. I then get a call that I've been invited by the V.C. of our University to attend the 4th day of the cricket on Saturday. At first I thought, no way. Vix is off to Legoland with William, so thats not able to happen. But when I tell her, she immediately says go. They rearrange the Legoland date, and I am free to go on Saturday with a friend.

My tickets for Friday I give to a friend, telling him not to worry about the meeting. No codes, no passwords, just enjoy the seats and the hospitality. And then England go and win the thing in 3 DAYS!!! Usually, you can bet the farm that it will either draw or at best a win (albeit scappy). So, that means no cricket and a rather sullen Bill.

But, in true style; we get an invite to go to a village church fete (a fair) with some really good friends. We have a great time, and the unfortunate win from the day before is truly forgotten. Vix and William head to Legoland on Sunday, and me and the girlies go for a hike with some friends. All in all, a GREAT weekend (but no cricket).

Training was ok this week. 5 hours on the bike (mostly at the gym) and no running due to the knee. But I feel strong, and am ready for this week's mileage. Vix is off to a run on Sunday for Breast Cancer and me and the kids are going to go and support her. She's been a bit overwhelmed with all of the last week's stuff, but she'll be fine. And I have a feeling she'll surprise herself with her finishing time.

I've started my fundraising for the Capital to Capital (I'll refer to it a lot, but only as RTP). The page is:

Please sponsor me, as I've got a long way to go. The goal is 1K, which given the fact that I've only got a few months till the race, I better get my skates on!

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Thats why I ride

Interesting title, but very apt. Beautiful day yesterday, about 15 degrees (60 in old money?), sun shining and I knew that my knee couldn't hold onto the run. So, a call from a friend, and an impromtu MTB ride on the local trails. Both of us commenting how great it is to get out, how we have been spending too much time on the road bike, and a few twitchy moments regarding technical skills. But, what a great ride. Smooth, flowing singletrack with a few exposed roots to keep you honest. No bugs, just a few people (scouts) in the forest along with me and John. Sweet, sweet, singletrack, why have I left you so long?
Here's to more sneaky trails.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Capital to Capital

Big step yesterday as I have gotten my registration in for the Right to Play - Edinburgh to London cycle ride/race in August. 462 miles in total, riding in the rain and sun that Britian has to offer. I'm really excited, but a bit nervous as....

Last nights training was a 4-6 mile run at Zone 2 (medium pace). I played football (if you could call it that) on Sunday in a charity match with some friends. My left knee felt tight afterwards, but I didn't think anything of it as I hadn't had a knock or anything. No hobbling on Monday during the work day, so didn't think I'd have a problem on the run.

As I headed to Dave's house to meet up, my knee started to throb, then crunch like something wasn't in place. I kept it up running around 3 miles and then just couldn't go on. Jogged back to the house (I told Dave to go on, email in the morning) and just sat there and looked at it. No swelling, but still a bit of pain. No ice, but rest and ibuprofen gel to help with any inflamation. Oh, and a beer to chase it away.

So, here I go signing up and then an injury. Well, I think its an injury. No swelling this morning, so I will ride the trainer this afternoon at the gym and see how it goes.

As you can imagine, I'm doing the ride for charity, so I will be asking for some funds to help. I'll do that later, but just keep it in mind when the time comes around. Total I want to raise is at least 1K.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

So who's a lazy boy?

No apologies...

Training has been good, with an emphasis on the running. I've just finished a fantastic book regarding long distance which really sparked the bug up. To be honest, I've never really enjoyed running. Cycling is so much more fun, and even swimming in the pool beats running on the road. But, add a few training partners and a dog who just wants to go and go (and go), and then your in business. I've also found a great off road loop in Hurst Woods which has added much more 'knee friendly' terrian.

Work has been great, with a large amount of prebudget prep going in. My case study on Wellbeing was received with thanks and plaudits (published!) and my recent grant application was turned down (but the letter was very encouraging).

We got through Easter in a blur. Either it was a church event, or an egg hunt or a dinner. But it was fun, and a bit more poignant this time. You see, my parents came to visit prior to easter. We had a blast, and I forgot just how much I miss them. And it really hurts to say this, but I realised that they are getting older. Now, my mom doesn't act a day over 30. She is go, go, go. But my Dad, the guy who was Superman, Ironman and 10 ft tall and bulletproof is starting to show signs of slowing down. Not that the children saw it. And to be fair, it was more me than anyone else, but I just started to remember all those great times together (I don't remember the bad, although I am sure they do). Dad used to say, wait till you have children; I'm not waiting anymore. Let's hope that my kids think of their Dad the way I do. Hopefully, without the sulky teenage years. So, Mom and Dad, sorry for being a pain as a kid. I love you both.

Swim training is next, and prep for the Capital to Capital. Promise a post soon.