Thursday, 26 January 2012

Rosedale Chimney Awaits

My success this month has been pretty modest. Most of the training has been run off road at Twilight. Lots of hungry wildlife around. I managed to remember that entries to the Coastal run were open and got my name in. I did the race a while ago and it was a blast. I’ve also entered the Captain Cook Sportive; 94 miles including Rosedale Chimney. Oops. Bit rash but who won't slow on the gradient for a SC Gothic fashionista. My old hilly stomping ground. I can't fail.

Come across Edamame soya beans? 40% protein, 21% carb, 14% fibre and 21% fat with a pinch of salt and sunflower oil. Got them at the supermarche.  Super recovery foodstuff thingy. Taste? - You try them and see. Lets face it, they're not going to be as good as carrot cake and a cuppa after 10 miles.
Finally I deduced that the new velo what I bought had its tyres pumped up to 130psi by the bike shop man. I have ridden bikes for 20 years quite happily with 60psi on board. What’s it like living in an inner tube with 120psi around your ears. There’s no need. Its excessive.  Swaggering sort of pressure. God knows if I puncture at that pressure I might end up joining the Northern Lights. Natural Yogurt? Yes, that's good as well. It’s just cheese that hasn’t made the effort.

There’s really no chance that January will be my first race free month. Nursing a knee that won’t admit it’s getting all the best treatment, I need to be doin a race. My reliable training run of 8 miles through Bothal woods and across the top fields has according to the Garmin been 6.5 miles. Better add a bit.

I’ve got a busy February planned and then when Spring erupts in a bouquet of heat and birdsong my running and cycling calendar is absolutely jam packed.  Yep, 2012. It’s all happenin. 
The Forfar Half in a fortnight is still waiting in the wings. Always fancied this after doing the Glen Clova run. We'll see what the knee's like.  

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Man down at Mafeking

1 HR TRAINING RIDE-BIKE: Find shorts, put on shorts, find undervest, put on vest, find bib tights  and put on, find long sleeved cycling jersey,. Reject, find short sleeve jersey, put on, put on arm warmers, look for gloves, find gloves, put in back pocket, find cap, change cap to hat, find helmet, put on helmet, find shoes, put on shoes, get bike, check tyres, check brakes, find glasses, find mitts, ditch gloves, look for ipod, find watch, get bike out. Grab water bottle and pump. Time spent 18 minutes:
1HR RUN: find shorts, find top, find hat, find gloves, find buff, find shoes, put them all on, grab the ipod and have a cup of tea, read the paper: Time spent 4 minutes:

Out for my 2nd ride last Monday on the new machine, took the corner of the local roundabout too fast and tight. Too tight.  It was suddenly all tarmac, daft angles and involuntarily waving to the punters as the bike groaned and I found myself in a line of vision parallel with the kerb sliding along the ground for several metres before coming to a halt. The driving and pedestrian community stopped and witnessed this incident with mild curiosity. I could hear them thinking 'ooh, I bet that hurt'. Then, perplexed they carry on like they might see it as a regular, almost inevitable occurrence and just to be expected from lycra clad looney bikies.. and it probably is!
As I raised myself up lazarus-style and parked the bike, body and ego on the pavement for a minute, I stooped and checked myself and the bike out from the bottom up while re-adjusting my horizon. Thankfully I managed to get most of my body between the asphalt and the new machine and was pleased that there seemed little damage to the bike. Limited tissue damage.  However, deciding to continue on the short ride with my pride in tatters I could only find 2 gears on the back cassette and so had 4 gears for the next hour; on the small ring into the wind and then the big ring on the way back. One of the levers has had its chips.

I’ve had some good crashes in the past. You don’t tend to forget them. Having been a committed bikie in the early 80's I had a few spills and so this one I rate only as a B-minus.  1982 was the best year when I had a spectacular crash at the Harvey Hadden Stadium. I was ridden into by a rider who had just competed in the World Championships at Leicester that year. He, no doubt, would have said I came off my line but we both ended up spending time being patched up in iodine by an accommodating first aider. Its a relief when, sometime later,  your clothes stop sticking to you.  A month or two later a newbie rider brought me down at Meadowbank on the warm up when he dithered around the top banking and came sliding down ungracefully....or is that disgracefully.

With the frost biting and the road surfaces suspect its back to the running which isn’t a bad thing. A few extra festive pounds have appeared so there’s nothing better than running to shed the blubber. Managed a hard hour in the woods on Saturday with circuits of 13:30 and 13:38 and a warm up of 15 minutes.  Sunday was a cold 16 miles in the lanes and it was another 8 miles late yesterday where I came face to face with a fox in the woods. We had a stare out for a few seconds and then it was off across the field (see photo) The small dear was a bit quicker and I only saw it’s white bobbing tail.  I’m suffering from race deficiency syndrome and it would be good to get one in before the end of the month. Meanwhile I’ll have to scratch around to find new levers.   

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Felt Envy...

Ok, I admit it; there's a new bike in the stable. I spied the machine a month ago and waited and waited until now.   
I disposed of a couple of old steel racing frames last month to make sure there was at least something in the coffers and the rest has been made up from overtime and putting in long hours at work...thankfully not by me, though. All for a good cause.
Anyway it was out for a 20 mile spin this morning. No crunching gears or strange rattling. smooth, smooth, smooth. There were shooters in the fields, beaters on the verge and the harassed pheasants were cowering in the non-existent hedge foliage or under fences. Even the sheep in the nearby field looked sheepish. There was wood smoke and powder in the air and a few horses out in the lanes. Pretty good for January (unless, of course, you're a pheasant) and a real contrast to last year.
Now just waiting for the Spring and the new cycling club jerseys (SC Gothic) to come through at the end of the month. The order's in.
Later this aft' it was eight steady miles 'a pied' through the woods in the twilight. If I can get up early enough tomorrow I'll try to cram in a 2 hour run but for now, I'm all spent up.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Hillforts Fell Race / Morpeth 11k

Had to sit out this New Year as a result of another cold but was still well enough to poke the camera in various runner's faces as they toiled to run off any vestiges of last year or last night. Photos of the Hill Forts and Headaches uphill Fell Race now up on Flickr
...Morpeth 11k soon on Flickr.

Ian Harding (Morpeth) and Michelle Holt (Sunderland) were untroubled in the 11k and it looked like Phil Sanderson over Will Horsley at the Hill Forts. Always tough going up on any day, never minds New years Day.  Good running by all at any rate. Still experiencing some camera trouble with the depth of field so will have to have the thing looked at!