April foolery indeed! SJ and I spent the first day of this week with a character from last year. Yes, Monday was spent in the company of Chris. Not Chris Hodge (aka Mr Orange) - he's away in Bulgaria, badger baiting or something. Not Chris Edwards (Mr Potato Head) - he's safely away in Newbury, with the rest of the Berks! (Pun, Ha!) And no, not Aunty Chris - that's just silly. Our evening was spent with 'killer' Chris (aka Chris PT). This Chris was the guy who provided SJ and I with personal training sessions for a few weeks last year before mysteriously disappearing. We weren't sure what happened to him, but remembered his sessions were fun although left us feeling crippled each time. Anyways, Chris PT got back in touch and we had another session. And we left feeling crippled. It was fun doing all sorts of exercise (including boxing, running, sit-ups etc) at Morton Stanley Park and we plan to have another session next week.
Tuesday was my first cycle of the week. I took Florence out for a lap of the TTT 20 route in the morning and have now cycled 100 miles on this new machine! Was a good cycle and I completed this in my quickest time (which is still 1 hour and 11 minutes). I wore my heart rate (HR) monitor today just for fun and it revealed that my average HR (AHR) was 142 and my maximum HR (MHR) was 179. This basically means that my heart was working out at about 70% of it's maximum and reached over 90%. Wow, how cool. I might record my HR the next few times I cycle the TTT 20 route and see (hope) I can reduce my AHR and quicken my time.
Wednesday's April Madness was clear to see and feel. Despite only being 4 days into April, the weather had gone mad. Last week (for my wedding) we had glorious sunny weather, on this day we had rain, sleet and snow! So bad was the weather, I decided not to take Florence out as was previously planned. Florence has no mud-guards and is a fair-weather bike. Instead I did a solo run around the Studley Triangle. It felt strange not having SJ running beside me (she was at work).
No exercising on Thursday, however another goal was accomplished! SJ had raised a total of £1,500 for her chosen charity (BackCare). SJ pledged to raise this total for her bond place in the London 2012 marathon. Big, big thanks to all those who have supported and sponsored SJ - that's one weight off her shoulders. At time of writing, SJ has just 16 days to go until another weight is lifted and she runs said marathon. For those who would like further updates about SJ's progress or for those wishing to donate to her cause, please follow this link: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/sarahbigrun. Well done SJ!
On Friday, SJ laced up her new kicks and took me for a run. We ran the extended Studley Triangle. For such a miserable looking day, we soon heated up.
Saturday saw me complete the Sam Weller's April Foolery audax (as pictured above). This was a 204k cycling event, scoring 1.75AAA points. Started this audax at 8 a.m in Tewkesbury. This was the first 200k I had ridden this year, and my first as a married man. (Some of the random pictures on this blog are choice cards sent for my wedding). The first stage wasn't too bad and led to Bromyard where I stopped to eat beans on toast washed down with a mug of tea. The second stage was quite fat and flash initially but soon reverted to undulating again. The weather was pretty awful and waterproofs had to be used. The second control was in Ludlow, a very pretty area. Had just a shortbread biscuit, apple and cup of tea here before heading off. This next control was very long (77k) and very hilly in places. Stopped about halfway through this stage just to eat a hot cross bun. Yum! Got to the control at Wormelow Tump feeling pretty whacked and decided to stop for quite a rest and more food. At this junction there was just one cyclist ahead of me. Whilst I sat down and ate a bag of crisps, sausage roll and boost bar, I saw about another 5 cyclists come into the control and promptly leave. With just 50k left to go, I remounted my cycle and sped off towards the arrivee. This last section was still undulating but mostly descending I think (check the profile below). Felt pleased once I reached the arrivee, at last a 200k under my belt and the necessary AAA points for April.
During this audax I covered 126 miles and it took 10 hours and 3 minutes. Strangely, Mark Rigby (the organiser) was able to validate brevet cards at the finish and return them straightaway instead of having to post them out. Great stuff.
Weekly totals: Ran 7.2 miles; Cycled 147 miles.
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