Monday 3 October 2011

Cotswold Porker

Health and fitness is a funny thing. Prior to PBP I tried to reduce my weight (which is ok) but this did not really work despite my efforts. There was also little change in my blood pressure and resting pulse (again, they are ok). I had bloods taken about 1 year ago and my cholesterol level was sky high - it was over 11 mmol/l. A cholesterol level over 5 mmol/l is considered bad news. Further bloods were taken a week ago and I'm pleased to say that my cholesterol level had dropped to 6.4 mmol/l! Cholesterol level could be considered too high, but alongside my triglycerides and HDL-cholesterol results were not considered too bad. My triglyceride level was 1.9 mmol/l (less than 2.3 considered good) and my HDL-cholesterol level was 1.9 mmol/l (more than 1 considered good). So, my question is, does this justify eating a big mac and fries?!
Started my training this week by cycling 'Ron's 1 hour loop' in reverse on my mountain bike. As expected, it took me over an hour. Was good to be out on my bike but I felt a little spooked cycling these dark lanes at night by myself (with only half my Ay-Up light set). My knee's had felt dodgy all week, but strangely enough, after this ride felt fine.
My next venture was with Ron and Sarah M. We trekked a pretty awesome route on our mountain bikes. We started by heading for Burial Lane and continued over the Bridge of Rightness, up Mars Hill, through the Woods of Doom and down Dog Butt lane. We finished our evening by star gazing.
My last cycling adventure of the week saw me complete the 100k Cotswold Corker audax. I have completed this audax before, but not as a permanent. This time round was much harder - this was one of the hottest days England has seen in a while and I forgot just how tough a 1.75 AAA event really is!

The audax started in Bishops Cleeve, which always makes me grin each time I say it. My grin soon became a grimace as I started to climb the first hill. This hill comes at you almost straightaway and is a horror, it has a 25% gradient. This hill has now beat me twice - only managed to climb about a 1/3 of the way up. Grr! Maybe a triple chain set or a mountain bike is the way forward?!
Ride continued in a hilly fashion past the control in Winchcombe and up to Guiting Power. So hot and much sweat. Incredible views along nice roads. Northleach control was situated in a pretty market town and just passed this control I found a nice place name.
Sweet roads continued to take me Daglingworth. I found no suitable control here, so took a picture of my bike against sign instead. Stopped at the Bisley control to eat my first proper meal - bacon and egg sarnie with chips!
Started to hallucinate on route to Andoversford. Was so convinced that I saw a wild pig that I turned my bike around and back tracked a little way. The little pig turned out to be a jack deer. Further on route, I was convinced that I saw another creature and back tracked again. What I thought was a snake actually turned out to be a snake! Horrors!
After Andoversford I was feeling quite whacked. It was real hot and I had just climbed some 288 metres. This climb was now rewarded as I took a super fast descent by Belas Knap and whizzed along. Sadly, at the end of this descent, I was lost. I should have been in Winchcombe, but was about 10 miles away. The finish point was nearer so I headed there instead. I had cycled over 100k and climbed big hills so felt justified that I skipped a control but 'magically' had proof of passage...

Cycled a total of 105.8k during audax.

Weekly totals: Cycled 98 miles.

Yearly total (thus far): Cycled 4,616 miles.

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