Friday 27th August
OMG it's sunny again without too much cloud. Another quick blast on the tt bike was on the cards. Set the saddle back 1cm and was much more comfortable, arms not aching at all either, no problems breathing, what a contrast. Set off at 3.30pm and 10 mins later I was getting drenched. ARGHGH my sparkly new bike was getting wet and dirty. How could the weather turn so quick? The gentle breeze instantly morphing into a mild tornado seemed a good explanation. Suddenly the bike didn't feel as good as it did on Tuesday. Soldiered on but had to be back soon as I was at the velodrome for 6pm. As soon as I got home the rain ceased and the clouds dissipated into thin air. Missus was in bed with baba at the time and was shocked to see a drowned rat at the foot of the bed as the sun pierced the blinds. 'My washing!!' was the only reply to my static, damp figure.Hmmm
Arrived home at 5pm so had to quickly take the pedals from TT bike and put them on trackie. Stuffed some paper towel into my Sidi's as they were soaked. My nike's are also soaked after being on the washing line for a week so they were out of the equation. Changed gear and slammed bike in car with pram, baby and wifey. This was a taster improver session and I was hopeful of gaining my PINK slip. Previous encounters were met with disappointment as I was told to keep doing more sessions. Not done an improver session for a while but have got the hours in recently to feel extremely confident and safe. I don't cringe or wince at the thought of crawling around the top of the banking anymore. Emily from Rochdale Tri club was there, she had gained her pink slip the week previous and although a lot less experienced than I was she did look like she's done it a few years.
Things weren't looking good as there were some very inexperienced riders, some very young riders, some who thought they were good ( come to that later) and others who genuinely wanted to learn and gain something from the coach's expertise. Some riders couldn't maintain a steady cadence, therefore speed was erratic. Not listening to the coaches was a downfall of more than a couple and just looking and feeling nervous was spotted on many an occasion.
I left the track at the end wondering at how a crap session like that anyone could be considered for the next stage so didn't expect the end result I wanted. The coach said he'd be waiting in the 'D' for chats etc and everyone crowded round, anxious, awaiting the approval to go onto the skills courses. One by one he told each rider they'd need more time. He then told one guy to come back in 5 mins. He then refused another guy who didn't take too kindly to this and went on a rampage. The 'Surosa' clad big head stated 'I'm an elite road rider' to which the reply sounded like 'not on the track you ain't boyo' More words were exchanged and the coach took him to one side to further explain his reasoning. Well handled in the end. I have to say I wouldn't have passed him out on that either. He couldn't even get leaving the track safely correct which is nursery school stuff. There was a youngish lad, who I told to keep his helmet on whilst on the track, he should be thanking me as he was given a pink slip. There was hope after all, only 2 of us left out of 15. 'I'm going to give it you' Wooooo he said to me and also that he would liked to have seen more of me as it was his 'spotter' who said I was competent enough. Job done. Skills course duly booked for September 26th.
Thursday 26th August
A very quick gym trip around 2pm where I just warmed up on cross trainer and blasted a 5km run. This time I maintained 8.5mph instead of building up and going faster and faster. Only managed a top speed of 8.9mph as my abdominals were going to explode. 21mins 45 seconds!!! PB YAY! That was hard work that one. Knee is holding well, I daren't go any longer but when resting I do sense an odd twinge now and again.
Then followed swimming with the Tri club. Only my second time in a long time. 32 lengths mixed warmup of drills and sprints. I told everyone how great I was feeling but once in the water I was a good 5 seconds down on each 100m to what Im used to. 5x100m ( 20s,15s,10s,5s rest in between) which is like hard work just before a season begins and we are nearly at the end! That was repeated 4 times and 12 lengths warm down using fists. Arms really do need to swim more but find it boring...need motivation.
Wednesday 25th August
Spinning in the morning followed by an hour in gym and spinning again in the evening. Did another 5km run and was on form today. Hit a top speed of 10mph and really thought I could have started quicker without losing too much. Good time too another PB of 21mins 57 seconds that's a minute off last times. Head is better, not much though.
Tuesday 24th August
Currently I am three quarters way through 27 days off from work but the 19th day they couldn't cover my shift so I had to go into work at 4.30am ughgh. Barely had 2 hrs sleep and my head, throat and ears were as ruff as my wife's arse, no it really was bad. When I got home I was determined not to go to bed and stay up. Glad I did because suddenly I had an urge to ride my TT bike FAST. I just knew it would be a good fast ride but how after such a bad morning? I hadn't even ridden her before so was unsure of the fit. The start couldn't have got much worse really. I had difficulty breathing in a cramped position and couldn't hold 'aero' for longer than a minute or two. Chest was hurting and arms too. I learnt to keep making slight adjustments and not to go too hard, if I did I would need to sit up a little to breath better.
Before I knew it I was climbing Blackstone edge on a TT bike and even though there was a slight cross wind I could feel the acceleration in the wheels which I haven't done in ages. This is due to the relatively calm 6mph wind and instead of a constant stream, was broken with short periods of stillness. Barely dropped under 10mph, last time I just about maintained 7-8mph. I had put my Bontrager Race XXX lites on after replacing the shot bearings in the rear freehub and the difference is unbelievable. Was really proud of myself doing that too :P Got battered by cross winds down Cragg as it is very exposed. Through traffic jam of Hebden and Tod and onto Walsden and Littleborough. I kept being gazed at from lycra wearing admirers. Might have to use this bike more often. Never looked at my computer once and was shocked to see what I had at the end. Its a new one from ALDI which didn't work at first as one of the batteries had died before I had even opened the box! I had to check my wheel settings and even measured the circumference of my wheel with a piece of string 2112mm. Computer was at 2100mm so shouldn't make a big difference. Just plotted the map and the two distances are identical. Just hope I can get used to the position as it is really 'AERO' and I really want to love this bike. Lots of sneezing, dribbling and blocked nose and headaches why did I go out in the first place? I read somewhere if the symptoms occur above the neck you should be fine..... and I was!
Average 20.8mph (loads of traffic light stops and traffic too!)
Monday 23rd August
In the gym for a cross trainer warmup, row machine waste of time effort then another of my 5km runs which I seem to be getting faster and faster at. This time I PB'd again with 22mins 50 seconds. Next was a spinning sesh straight after which hurt big time.