Saturday, 28 September 2013

Idling over

Long time no blog. Sorry. Training has had to take a necessary back seat over the last month. I won't bore you with why but I have had the kind of month where I wish that I had the talent and time to be a pro athlete instead of my actual day job, which most of the time I love but has given me a fair few headaches.

The main casualty has been swimming which had started to click recently but as I can only get along to the pool in the evenings I just have not been able to get the sessions ticked off. Of the three disciplines this is the one that requires most planning and organisation to get to and the slightest spanner in the works tends to end up with me missing my session.

Running. I am actually running again which is a good thing. Only 40 minutes at the moment and it's only a controlled shuffle but it is a start. Once again, I seem to be getting back to running Again just as the race that I was going to work up to comes into view. The Bournemouth Marathon is next week and I withdrew a couple of weeks ago when walking downstairs was proving achy. I think I would like to work up to running a couple of half marathons over the winter which should give me a good balance of stamina and speed and get down to sub 1:25.

Cycling has been in tickover with quite a bit of commuting to and from work forming the bulk of my work. I have been getting back into Strava and enjoyed hitting some of the segments hard and the work that I have put in over the last six months has seen me achieve some top 10 positions in some quite big segments. It's a nice vindication of the work that I have put in and while it doesn't count for anything it's nice to see a little gold cup next to my name.

I have been paddling taking some kids on their BCU 1 star award and as a result I have paddled a tor for the first time. I even stayed upright and yesterday we took some tubs out and did some weir
shoots. A big wobble on the last drop but I just about kept it the right way up. It's the Liffey Descent today so maybe I need to give that a go in a year or two. ;-)
So things are in bit of transition at the moment as I head towards the off season.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Bonk and Honk

So it was the Hilly 12 yesterday, a quirky time trial that takes in a climb over Boxhill and tot Hill at the back with a few fast and bumpy descents. Neither Simon or Stuart were able to do this so I knew I was in with a chance of a club win and I was sent off as the scratch rider in the handicap as a result. I used it as a training session by spinning over to the start for 50 minutes or so. The day before had been Little Wheezy's eighth birthday so I had spent all day on Saturday eating rubbish and I tried to compensate by having a bowl of cereal and some High5 energy drink as I made my way over. Despite the poor preparation I felt good and confident of a fast ride. From the start it's a fast, narrow and bumpy descent down Lodgebottom Road which has a high grin factor and I enjoyed overtaking a load of cyclists as I barrelled down the hill. It was a double left turn to begin the climb up the zig zag of Boxhill and straight away I didn't feel right, not having the power in my legs that I had felt the week before when training with Simon. I got into a rhythm, again overtaking quite a few people up the climb, although no one in the tt. I always hate the bit from the cafe at the top with its false flat before the descent down Headley so I worked hard across there knowing the descent was only a couple of minutes away, as my legs started to feel more and more weak. The descent was fast and fun and I hoped it would allow me to recover for the final climb up Mill Way. I had ridden it just 45 minutes before, spinning up easily but this was completely different. I was now well and truly into bonk territory with my legs completely spent and I felt truly awful over the last mile. Another unique part of this event is that the very end climb called Tot Hill is timed independently to find the club hill climb champion. As I hit the bottom I gave it everything I had but that was not very much to be honest. I wobbled over the line and felt my stomach begin to revolt and I ended up dumping my bike in the middle of the road while I puked into the bushes. I can confirm that High5 tastes EXACTlY the same coming back up as it does going down. The upshot of all this? Well, I won the Hilly 12 (beaten by most of the Kingston Wheelers but they're a different breed) and won the Phoenix hill climb by 2 seconds. And I've learnt that scotch eggs, mini Cornish pasties and pickled onions should never be used for race prep fuelling.