Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Green Slip

Sunday morning was gorgeous and nippy but I was only going out to Rochdale baths to swim with the Tri club. Not been swimming for a month and body still felt wrecked from the week's cycling, heart rate just wouldn't go above 140ish. I just used the swim to concentrate on my arms by using a pull bouy as my legs are getting lots of exercise.

In the evening 8pm -10pm, I  was booked into a Skills and Induction 2 hr session at Manchester Velodrome which is the penultimate step to the final assessment for full accreditation. There was a full group and the atmosphere was extremely laid back and relaxing. Jeff and some old dood took us and were very good in explaining what they wanted and expected from us as well as pointing us in the right direction if going wrong.

So first of all we all set off on a/some warmup lap(s). I was 3rd in line and when we came to the 2nd corner the leader started to move up the banking, as did the 2nd guy. I knew we were going too slow and that you shouldn't pull up on a banking on lap 1 so I stayed  down whilst the 3 behind must have gone up and one guy took 2 others out with him, very very close to being taken out myself. What a start and we hadn't completed a lap yet. Everyone was fine but a couple of bikes were bruised and once restarted we were looking quite good. 20 mins warmup with changes every lap then every half lap. Next was lumps and bumps, follow the leader up and down the track style. Then changing in pairs, Then chaingang changing. Finally some half lap sprints to join the back of the line infront. Basically it was the same stuff done on a taster improver. I'm glad it wasn't too strenuous as I really was knackered and we all managed to pass, some by the skin of their teeth. Dunno how one guy passed.

It was treat day so for lunch I had KFC, dinner/tea chinese takeaway and for supper after the velodrome I had Macdonalds with a bag of Starburst inbetween. Night before I had a humongous buffet at a 21st party. Usually buffet food is shit as they use cheapo Iceland CRAP or equivalents. OMG how can people eat that shite. Anyway it was hosted at Rochdale AFC's Ratcliffe Suite and the organisation/management was as good as the food. Very  impressed and well recommended for a function.

Monday commute saw a nice leisurely stroll, on the bike, into work averaging 15mph until a tail wind for the last 7 miles bumped it up to 18.2mph, still going very easy.
Going home I didn't think I'd have the legs but they suddenly recovered and the Easterly breeze wasn't bothering me. I was disappointed in only doing 20.3mph average as I did feel strong.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

More muther F&*(£$% Weather

Just when you think its cant get any worse..... Four full commuting days this week. Wednesday was wet,windy and rainy but I was all prepared before I left the house so it didn't bother me too much, sunny and windy on way home. Thursday was comical. Wet in morning. Gorgeous sun shining when I set off from work and 5mins later a little drizzle followed by a tropical storm, high winds, thunder and lightening and more rain than my ride at the beginning of the week. Needless to say I wasn't prepared for this one and fell straight into mother nature's trap. Friday was just super windy with North/North Easterly gusts up to 30mph. Head wind in all  directions (every direction I turned the leaves were blowing back at me) except the last 2 miles home and cross winds all the way into work. Once a gust went past sometimes there would be one in the opposite direction to give a little help so i'd gain a little speed for a split second then the head wind would return negating the little progress just made. Then there were the sideways winds blowing left then right where leaves would magically dance in mid air before finally blowing past my face. Saturday's commute was the same as Friday's just a little calmer but not much, except that it was freezing!!! I have been setting off for work around 3am all week and has been very mild but not Saturday. Bib longs, shorts, 2 jerseys including a windproof, super thick gloves, over shoes, just no scarf. Nice and toasty? NOOOO. So not only had the super wind to contend with but the cold too. On the way home I just gave up, took it easy and trundled in after a crap day at work and I dont have many of them.


Wed  (work)    20miles   20.3mph
        (home)    20 miles   20.1mph

Thurs (work)    20miles   19.3mph
          (home)   20miles    19.1mph

Fri     (work)    20miles   19.0mph
          (home)   20miles   18.1mph

Sat     (work)    20miles   19.8mph
          (home)    20miles   17.2mph

235 miles this week.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Muther F&*(£$% Weather.

After yesterdays effort at the gym I kinda knew the legs weren't up to much but looking at the weather report on In-ACCuWeather there would be lots of dark cloud, very windy with sunny spells but NO rain. Nice recovery ride weather ish. So when the sun came shining out from the darkest depths I was all prepared and set off on my merry way.

 After 10 mins, on my way to Edenfield Rd, I was glad to be wearing my wind proof/'water resistant' Aldi jacket and bibs. Drizzle was being repelled admirably by my cheapo stuff but someone somewhere wanted to test my gear to the max and after the wind picked up even more entire oceans were emptied on top of my head in the space of 2hrs+. After an hour and half at the bottom of Tod Road I was starting to get a little cold ( the Aldi jacket acts like a wet suit and kept me warm but there's only so much water it can take) so had to put my rain mac on which does wonders to keep in warmth. NO point in going home yet as I couldn't get any wetter, literally, so I went to climb Cragg and what a mistake that was. Howling head/cross wind on the tops meant the rain was 'sand' blasting my face whilst speeding along at 9mph - surprised I could go that fast. Descent down  Blackstone edge was worse as you might as well have stuck a blind fold on me, double figure speeds just about attainable. Believe it or not I was enjoying the ride until the last half hour as I was aching, my feet were cold and I had no energy left. At every set of lights home I wrung out my gloves which became saturated after a couple of minutes. It stopped raining 10 mins from home. 'nuff said.

On a positive note 'Super Jamis' was great. She wore her new Crud Racer MkII mud guards and the drive train remained shite free generally. Only the crap from my brake blocks spoilt the carnauba waxed frame. I had the 'mis' fortune of testing the Cat eye micro computer's water resistance in the washing machine 2 days ago and today it was working fault free. Looks like 'Scottie' is going into hibernation for a few months.

Distance     50miles
Average     16mph
Ascent         ~4000ft

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Donuts, Doughnuts, D'oh-nuts, SALAD ugh.

Two weeks, two rides, less than 100 miles. Not the best of showings for someone used to a few hundred miles. The cold, wind and heavy rain has been putting me off. However on my last ride I haven't felt that good since Rochdale's Triathlon.

Weight loss is no easy feat especially when you're already down to 11.3 stone and even though some weeks I have been doing close to 300 miles at a relatively high pace, the amount of crap eaten  has exceeded the calories burned. Without that food I probably wouldn't have been able to do those distances at those speeds. Marks and Spencer came to the rescue as at most big train stations there is one or very close by where I have a break. They have been doing 2 for £3 and 3 for £5 on salads and deli items so I have tried to eat sensibly for a change. After a small bowl of porridge for breakfast I try to have a bowl of one of the salads every 2-3 hours. 3 bean, edameme and soy, sprouted pea are the main ones which are under 200 calories per serving.

Even when I get home I tried to limit my self to a large tub of soup or beans on toast and if I got the 'rumbles' I'd have a slice of roasted seed toast. It has been a nightmare, as most of you who diet or tried to diet are aware. Constantly craving my favourite items DOUGHNUTS and that's all I can think about as well as not being able to ride as my 'commuter/allrounder' Jamis is undergoing a makeover during the poor weather. Its not cheap this healthy eating so I have had to put bike parts on hold for a couple of weeks. I can see why most of the country eats crap, myself included. Prepared healthy meals cost as much as some bike parts :) and to do it cheaply costs way too much time. So basically I have cut out most if not all of the fat, eaten little meat and kept carbs down too. Energy levels have been surprisingly high but I haven't been exercising. Another of my excesses is super strong coffee which I have found really difficult to stop but I have managed it. Results later.

Ride one was on the Sunday after the last post. Actually the footie game the week before crippled  me for 6 days! Never been that bad before. I decided to get out early whilst the sun was shining and follow the route of the Tour of Britain up to the K.O.M at Crown Point which they had ridden the day before in awful conditions.  Five minutes after setting off, those conditions were replicated and I was feeling their pain. Its hard work going nowhere fast and eventually made it to Rochdale swimming baths to see what the numbers turning up to the TRI club sessions were like and for a quick chat. I was back home for 11am after doing 50miles at an average of 18.9mph, 3000ft ascent. I was aiming for my golden 20mph average and going on work rate felt I had done enough but the wind and rain killed me, as usual.

Ride two was the commute to and from work on 'Super Jamis' This was on the Thursday just gone with winds reaching 20mph!!!!! as it had done all week. 20 miles there and 30 miles back averaging 19.9mph. It is the climbs where I felt the most benefit. Start of Victoria Av is a fairly long drag which gets steeper and steeper and there is another hill just before it too and I was a good  mile or 2 mph on my previous best. Climbs in the opposite direction were just as fruitful just incase the wind was heavily assisting me. Flats were very difficult and laborious due to the wind that's why I was no where near my best times for the whole route.

Sunday 19th September ( where did summer go?) Absolutely lashing it down so cycling was a no go. Gym time:(  A quick 10mile tt on the bike yielded my best effort to date. Completed in 20mins 16 seconds, average power about 290 watts. Back to the old me. 25min spin down at 200 watts average. Rowing machine next, 30 mins, 2min 5s/500m average. Not a great time but I gave it my all on the tt. I finished with a 5km run in 25 mins which is slow and it was difficult. 10mins walk down. I then weighed myself and got the shock of my life. 64.7kgs totally dehydrated with empty stomach. I was close to 71kgs a month or so ago. The best thing is I don't feel drained like I did the last time I hit that weight. Another plus due to the lack of caffeine saturated in my system I have been able to sleep within 20mins of going to bed instead of a few hours. Could be coinciding with the change in outdoor temperature though.

So I have managed to lose the weight and increase my power slightly which is the perfect combo for the hill climb season, not that Ill end up doing many.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Wed,Thurs, Fri, Sat Commuting

Wooohoo, weather has been holding out and the sun has been strutting its stuff so I have managed to cycle to work and back for all my shifts this week. Wind was fairly kind, but has been Westerly/S.Westerly which Im not used to. Wednesday I managed to go quite hard but averages suffered badly due to traffic lights, Thursday saw a decline in power to work but romped home at night. Fri was strange. I was shattered but didn't get the energyless feeling I usually got just had no power and whilst the air was still it felt like it was blowing a gale like a coastal wind but no flags, trees or leaves were moving ( Ghost wind :) ) so used as a proper recovery ride. Also I nearly froze my bollox off at 2am. Went straight to computer to check temps and it stated 14C with a 3mph wind. I've not had winter rides that felt as bad as Fri night. Sat saw my fitness returning in the evening but needed to hold back for footie on Sunday.


Wednesday        Work    20miles     20.4mph
                          Home    20miles     19.4mph

Thursday             Work    20miles     20.1mph
                           Home    20miles     20.5mph

Friday                  Work    20miles     18.2mph
                            Home    20miles     18.0mph

Saturday               Work    30miles     17.2mph
                             Home   20miles     19.7mph

Total mileage for the week, if the track on Sun was counted at 10miles, is about 270miles.

Sunday I was involved in a footie game. Managed to do a fair bit of running but got cramp in both calves after an hour without getting too much out of breath. Was hoping to last the whole game.

Long TT bike ride

Rochdale Triathlon - Cown Clash


Planned ride with Pete the Pirate using my TT bike to get used to the position. I have found that using anything other than cheapo Lidl shorts, which have a very good pad, make the ride fairly uncomfy. The pad isn't too excessive and in exactly the right places unlike the Cannondale shorts I used. Muscle fatigue plays a part in the tt bike positioning and it felt awkward in places, due to tightness, unlike last time I rode.

Met at the round about o' DOOM without a  route in mind so headed up the usual Edenfield Rd which is going to be used for the Tour of Britain on Sept 11th. That is the day it actually kicks off, in my home town of Rochdale, and I will be working so will miss it all. Thank god for the V+ button.

Belmont Rd had a swirly wind and we both ground up and across it until we tried a different route via Tockholes and Darwen moors where we stopped for a quick photo and to admire the scenery. Into busy Blackburn we looked for Grane Rd ( A Road we have failed to find before) We thought we were on it until Haslingdon Old Rd signs were dotted about. Nevermind, the climbing was still a tough test and just the final 'big' climb of Edenfield Rd in reverse was left. Half way up, whilst Pantani and I were pootling, we got overtaken and he was soon leaving us for dust. Pete set a challenge to skin this guy, whilst I was knackered, and  then wait for him at the top. I actually caught up very quickly then sat on his wheel for a minute to recover. I attacked without looking back and I was at the top on my own. This other guy cycled past as I said my goodbyes and he replied ' ah, its Simon Byeeeeee' I shouted to find out who on earth it was but I couldn't hear, probably someone from the tri club? Waited ages for Pantani, and @ 9stone you'd think he'd be quicker up the hills?

Arrived home aching a little but just glad of the miles.

Distance     66miles
Ascent        4500ft
Av Spd       17mph.