Sunday 30 May 2010

De-railed (again)

Grr! What started as a promising week, ended with me feeling ill again. Thought I was back on track initially, then a stomach bug and the associated squits kicked in.
Monday was a good day on the cycling front. Took the specialized for a trip from work to home. Was not a good day to be a cat - passed 2 victims of road kill that day. Later that same evening, Ron and I took the road bikes out and cycled 'Rons 1 hour loop', which took just over an hour but we were animal spotting. We spotted 3 ginger cats, 2 moles (the 1 of which Ron helped back to safety as he was struggling to climb the kerb and get back to his field) and a big fat super sized hornet! The following day cycled my road bike back into work, and sadly she remains there still. That was the end of my cycling efforts this week.

Ran only once this week. This was just a usual run over the Studley corn fields with Cody. Hmmm.

I did ok on my triathlon with no major training. Let's hope the same magic kicks in when I start this London to Geneva challenge. Grrr, is only a few weeks away now.

Weekly totals: Cycled 58 miles; Ran for 30 mins.

Sunday 23 May 2010

Back on track

After far too many leisurely weeks, I felt as though I was back on track with training this week. Did not return from Hungary until the early hours of wednesday morning, but even so, have managed to fit in several training sessions. As usual though, the week was not without menace, as recorded below.

Ran twice this week. Both runs were with Cody menace over the corn fields of Studley. Enjoyed both the runs as the weather was superb, beating the weather I experienced in Hungary. Yay, summer is here!Cycled a staggering 5 times this week. Go me! The first trek was over familiar ground and took Scotty to where the cart once was, through Coughton and back via the caravan place in Studley. The second trek on Scotty was where much menace happened. Cycled through woods near Sambourne and was bombing downhill following a hardened single track, where Scotty got stuck in a rut, and threw me off. I landed on a barbed wire fence! My left arm, stomach, right leg and left foot were all cut and my cycling tights shred to pieces (plus holes in top, bib shorts and socks). Still, nothing broken, so on I went. I continued through the 'Naughty woods', past Coughton and found this track which had a sign saying 'unsuitable for motorised vehicles'. This track was largely overgrown single track, but followed it I did until I reached open fields and various options of route. I continued into the unknown, ending up back where I started and passing Little Alne on route.

The Specialized had a trip from work to home. Am beginning to dislkike this bike, it is heavy and slow and am sure wants to be replaced by a zoomier commuter style bike! On this trip home, bumped into Ron (who was also cycling home from work - only he was using his zoomy road bike). We cycled together, following our TROAD route in reverse to get home. Took the Specialized back to work the following day.

My road bike 'Cayo', got a service this week. She has been equipped with new chain, casette and brake pads. Cycled her home from the bike shop and she appeared to perform well. Had planned to conquer Cobley hill, but an invite for bbq and beer won the day!

Weekly totals: Ran for 55 mins; Cycled 102 miles (6 hours and 35 mins).

Wednesday 19 May 2010

Hungary horrors

Late posting on the blog this week becuase I had been away in Hungary. Still, no need for concern because all my latest news, musings and ramblings are presented below. I really need to shift up a gear now though, because the holiday period is over and only about 3 weeks remain till my London to Geneva (via France) cycle challenge.

Prior to my trip to Hungary, I did manage to get some training in. This training was kinda triathlon stylee - helped along, I'm sure, by my recently completed triathlon. Cody and I started this training session with a run over the corn fields in Studley. Swimming took place at Hewell Road pool. And, the cycling section was a on and off road mixture using my beloved 'Scotty' mountain bike.
Hungary was a good break and didn't put an end to all training. I wasn't able to swim or cycle, but did manage to run a couple of times. Both these runs were at night, in the city of Budapest. Both runs were pleasant but the amount of poor homeless folk was not so good.

Whilst away, I heard news that John V had entered a cycling event raising money for the Olivet nursing home. Story has it, that he managed to cycle 30 miles in an hour on a stationary bike! Nice one John, way to go!
Weekly totals: Swam for 29 mins; Cycled 16 miles (1 hour and 17 mins); Ran for 1 hour and 31 mins.

Sunday 9 May 2010

Stratford 220 Triathlon and terrible training times

This was another week that saw a poor performance regarding my training efforts. Next week will be even worse (I will be away in Hungary). That said, the week ended with me reaching another milestone and completing another challenge. The week ended with me completing my very first ever triathlon!

Aside from the triathlon, my bike only hit the road once. Ron and I rode some familiar trails that we cycled last year. This particular trek took us up a steep climb (off road) and into a wood where there used to be a cart at the top. The cart is no longer there! Ron believes it has been taken away to be restored. I think it's been stolen! We cycled for just under 1 and half hours and finished with a friendly race up St Judes Avenue.

Played badminton again this week with some folk from work. I was a bit disapponted following all my extra games last week - I thought I would have the edge, but, oh no, I was beaten in pretty much every game. This random Rasta gentleman kindly kept scores for our games throughout and provided some tips.

Went for a training run - my first run since March 30th. This run took me across Studley corn fields. Cody accompanied me on this run, but she wasn't too impressed. I think we both have abstained from running for far too long.

The limited training highlighted above plus my poor diet (including the likes of Mc Donalds, chinese and indian takeaways), poor sleep and intolerance of too much alcohol paved the way for my first triathlon - the 2010 Stratford 220 triathlon!
At the registration desk I was given my race number (674) which I had to pin to the front and back of my running top. Stickers with race number also had to be placed on my cycle helmet and bike bars. Before I left the registartion area a young guy with a marker scribbled 674 on my left arm and right leg. I was given a goody bag which consisted of said numbers plus a pen, t-shirt, safety pins, bottle of Gatorade, 2 x high strength Jointace effervescent tablets and much useless leaflets attempting to sell products. Took bike to transition area and made ready for my race. My bike set up hasn't felt right ever since I removed the seat tube to add a bag bracket. Furthermore, my bike is also still equipped with those mudguards which, as good as they are, they rub a little (and the weather is much improved of late). No time to worry about that now. I placed my cycle shoes, helmet and gloves one side of the bike and my running shoes the other. In the middle was my towel and my running/cycling top. I was now just wearing shorts (slightly embarassing) and painted pink toe nails (very embarassing) and made my way to the swimming pool for the start of the race. (My nails were painted pink because my friend Roxy from work had a few idle minutes and painted said nails whilst I was busy in front of the computer).
At the pool side, all competitors started 15 seconds apart. My pink toe nails certainly gave folk something to talk about. At least they matched the swimming cap we had to wear (am not sure why this is compulsory). The swim course consisted of 12 lengths (4 lengths in 3 different lanes). The different lanes made length counting easy. I felt better than expected, but could feel a slight ache in my arms when I left the pool and my chest wasn't brilliant. A brisk walk took me back to the transition area.

Located my bike and gave myself a quick dry. I couldn't get my shirt on for a while (I wasn't dry enough and it kept sticking) but after much effort I was sorted. Dried my feet, put on shoes and off I went. The start of the cycle route was congested with traffic but after 1k the roads were clear. I didn't feel as good as expected (painfull chest) but was making good time during this part of the race. I passed a number of riders, quite a lot in fact, but was overtaken by 2 riders myself. The route was quite flat on the whole, but there were a few climbs. The original course should have been 23k, but due to road works was shortened to 18k. I would have made more time up given a longer route. Made it back to the transition area, placed my bike and changed into running shoes.

At this juncture my legs felt really weird. I felt dazed and the sun it was shining bright. Thankfully, some girls were handing out sports drink. I took a few sips and off I ran. I think I shuffled more than I ran. The run route was nice, very pretty, and followed the river for a while. The whole run was off road which I didn't expect. This 5k seemed to take forever too (it felt more like 10k). I felt I must have done ok, because I passed a number of folk who had race numbers lower than mine (we were started off in numerical order 15 seconds apart). When I passed the finish line I was a real sweaty mess, but felt great that I had now completed my first triathlon. I finished in position 425 out of 637, with a total time of 1 hour, 16 minutes and 33 seconds.

Triathlon totals: 400m swim - 11:12; 18k bike - 37:17; 5k run - 28:04
Weekly totals: Ran 1 hour and 3 mins; Cycled 27 miles (2 hours and 3 mins); Swam for 11 mins; Played badminton for 1 hour.

Saturday 1 May 2010

Motivation required

'Some say I'm lazy, and others say that's just me, some say I'm crazy, I guess I'll always be...'

Certainly lazy on the training front this week. Despite my first triathlon being next week, lacked the motivation to get out and swim or run. Managed to put a few hours into cycling and badminton though, which I guess is better than nothing.

Cycled with the 'Wythall folk' for the first time since I lost my teeth in that accident last year. Was a wee bit apprehensive at first but proved to be a good trek. I reckon there must have been about 12 of us in all (including Ron and I) and we cycled part of the TROAD route plus additional sections both on and off road that I have never cycled before. Cycled down 'pig trot' lane, which was nice. No accident for me this time round, but I did knock another fellow of his bike - all apologies Mr Harrison if you are reading this. My second cycle was a solo trek which took me through those familiar naughty woods from Astwood bank and into Oversley Woods via country lanes in and around Warwickshire and Worcestershire. My knee has not suffered any major pain and is probably now that I should get back on my road bike and start doing longer distance cycling.

Played badminton again after work with the guys from last week (plus Carl) which was pretty awesome. I purchased a new racket and it's had a fair share of use already. Indeed, after playing with work folk, I met up with my friend Sarah (who I nurse trained with about 10 years ago) and played some more. Sarah beat me big time! Grr. After we played for about an hour, we 'joined' a club (un-officially) and had several more (free) games with various others. Am not sure if we are gonna see the likes of this club again, but suffice to say, it was fun.

Weekly totals: Cycled 58 miles (5 hours, 14 mins); Played badminton for 2 plus hours.

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