Saturday 30 January 2021

Jolly Jan into Fantastic Feb

Oh man, it's the end of January and will soon be February. England, like many other parts of the world is still suffering with a crazy Covid pandemic. Currently in a lockdown and trying my best to be jolly and optimistic...

On the training/challenge/exercise front, not much took place in January. Actually, that's not true. A lot of activity took place but it was all indoors. Yup, have turned into a bit of a recluse (just like the rest of the nation due to these 'lockdown' rules), however, have cycled lots indoors. I've really become quite an indoor cyclist and am very much enjoying Zwift. Despite all the indoor miles, I have not cycled outside once this year and have not ran at all - indoors or out. The rules don't prevent me from going outside, however, we're not allowed to exercise in groups and all exercise has to be local. The weather has been unkind too - lots of rain and snow. Thankfully, it does not rain indoors!

On my last indoor Zwift cycle in January, some kinda weird things happened. I was cycling with my mates Jonny, Steve, 'other' Steve, and Ron the Phantom. After so many K's, Steve complained that his 'turbo trainer felt lumpy'. He carried on cycling for a spell and then realized that his tube had deflated. Not so weird one might say, however, on same ride my chain snapped. Grr, I had 'won' a couple of sprints and put the power down in an attempt to win a third and snap, crash, game over - snapped chain. Hmm, I figured I must be becoming mighty (I wish). Just before I could start cursing, my daughter came running up to me and handed a parcel that had just been delivered. I opened the parcel and wow, it was a beautiful medal I had won for completing the Roy Castle 60's Retro Run (1/2 marathon) last year. Aces! Better yet, the parcel contained a really funky running shirt and buff. Maybe it's a sign that I should move my butt outdoors and start running and brave the conditions on my other bikes?

I have a feeling in my waters that February will be fantastic!

Saturday 9 January 2021

Happy New Year 2021! (So long, farewell 2020...)

Happy New Year! It's 2021! I wonder what's in store for all this year?! Whatever, I hope you all have a year that blows your socks off! (I know last year and the beginning of this have been described as 'naff' by the masses, however, I will attempt to add hope, humour and optimism).

2020 ended on a pretty good high for me, mostly because it ended - ha! I managed to complete the Rapha 500 challenge, exceeded my cycling distance goal for the year and completed a half-marathon during the Winter Solstice.

Every Winter since 2010, Rapha has held their 'Festive 500' challenge. This is a challenge to cycle 500k between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. I've completed this challenge a few times to date - 2013, 2014, 2015 and now 2020 too. Prior to 2020, Rapha awarded a rather fancy roundel for those who completed the challenge. The 2020 edition of this challenge was a bit naff to be fair - Rapha no longer award those finishing with a fancy roundel and 'virtual' rides were accepted. I was pleased I was able to complete this whole challenge virtually, however, it was hardly a challenge because of this. 500K outside in winter is challenging, indoors it's a whole lot easier, quicker and warmer. So sad not to get a roundel. On a brighter note though, I completed the challenge and my avatar on Zwift is now able to wear a Rapha Festive 500 jersey.

The 1/2 marathon I finished was a bit of a menace. It felt fine for the first 10k and felt painful for the remainder. It was a 'hard day's run' - ha! At least I raised a few quid for the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation. I'll be awarded with a rather fancy retro 6o's medal for completing this run which features a nice shiny yellow submarine.

I always like to reflect on my annual cycling and running distances at the end of a year and the beginning of another. Below is a list of my distances since I started recording same back in 2009. The distances are in km (followed by mile equivalents in brackets). Some of my 'big events' are high-lighted in red and may take you to an account of the event should you click (as it's a link).

2009 - 5,086 (3,160) LEJOG 2009
2011 - 8,378 (5,207)   PBP 2011
2012 - 6,935 (4,309)
2013 - 12,498 (7,766) LEL 2013
2014 - 9,253 (5,750)
2015 - 5,531 (3,436) and Ran 1,170 (727)
2016 - 6,515 (4,048) and Ran 1,204 (748) Iron Man (Bolton) 2016/TNR 2016
2017 - 8,940 (5,555) and Ran 514 (319)
2018 - 10,958 (6,809) and Ran 417 (259) TransAtlantic Way Race 2018
2019 - 8,034 (4,992) and Ran 484 (301) Bivy-A-Month 2019
2020 - 10,082 (6,265) and Ran 466 (289)

So, all in all 2020 wasn't so bad. I managed to complete one goal and cycled over 10,000k, wahoo! Sadly, none of my over goals were completed and Covid 19 was the major reason why! Ok, I could have ran a further 24k and completed my running distance goal. I didn't bivvy-a-month, hmm, maybe I could have but the rules were 'stay at home'. No chance of completing a ParkRun each month as there was no Park Runs after March I think. My major planned event, the TransAlba Race was cancelled. So many Audax events were cancelled and hence there was no way of completing a Randonneur Round the Year. Oh man, 2020 really was a year of non-happenings.

Goals for this year? Is it worth making any with this Covid 19 still hanging about? Hmm. Let me make a few and see what happens. My goals for 2021 are as follows:
  • Complete the TransAlba race. This is an event that was cancelled last year. Do I really want to cycle a 1,000 miles self-supported around Scotland and climb 50,000+ metres of climbing? You bet I do! Am hoping Mr McLeod joins me on this adventure too.
  • Cycle 10,000k and run 500k by end of year.
  • Enter a cyclo-cross event.
  • Cycle around a velodrome.
  • Cycle a Tron bike on Zwift. 
Perhaps I should challenge myself to be a better person? I'm sure if I try and produce 'fruit of the spirit', that would be beneficial. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Happy New Year 2022

Happy New Year folks. I wonder what's in store for 2022,  - something crazy, something new? It's a shame Covid is still here and I&#...