Its been five and half weeks since 'ribgate' and, now, its only a dull ache in my psyche. I did manage do keep mobile during the first 4 weeks and am now trying to claw back the lost mileage and dump the uninvited lard. This interim status was marked by an 8 mile hilly time trial run by Blaydon Cycling Club at the weekend. My first bike race of the season. The forecast was pants, but I fancied a run out on the bike so drove to Elsdon where it had begun to rain. There were 80 entrants and I was no.67 which meant I was off at 3.07pm. The start was 6 miles away from H.Q. at the back of Bilsmoor, one of 2 big hills that would require conquering during the event. I got my number from the Bird in the Bush Pub and rode out as the rain intensified, rivulets of water washing down the tarmac. I arrived with 10 minutes to go and had passed riders who had set off earlier going the other way, head down, arse up. Everyone was looking pretty bedraggled.
Soon I was off and rode the Condor. It's got a small gear range, and so this was a deliberate ploy. When you hit the hills, the steep ones, you start looking for easy gears, but that's not the answer. Keep it in a stiff gear and take some grief. Get off the saddle, find the rhythm, get the heart rate up. That's the way to do it.
As it was, I was soaked and with a stiff headwind all the way on this point-to-point it was 34 minutes of grinding. There were one or two folk on the Gibbet, the second hill, but it couldn't have been anymore different that this years 'Tour' where they had to fight their way through the crowds. Finished in 38th place from around 50 or 60 starters, so mustn't grumble. I even passed someone, looking sorrier and going slower than me.
There was a cheery spread afterwards and it'll be better when the pub's been refurbished and the big fire is on and crackling. On the day the weather just continued to deteriorate.
This week, I need to get the miles in and yesterday was a morning 4 miler and an evening 6 miler. All pretty slow I should say.
Sat here, I am musing about what to do today. I have concluded that the biking interferes with the running in terms of my knees and with the Loch Ness marathon looming I'd much prefer to do a Callum rather than a Derek type of run, if you know what I mean. Its only 5 weeks away. I think realistically I will be doing well to get within 3:20.
In the meantime I am working on a 2017 variation of the Gothic cycling jersey, so we'll see if I can get that organised and delivered before next July.
On the lard front, I've got 3kg to lose before Mid-September, so no more Belgian Buns. Smoked Mackerel is taking over my life. Not as cheap as it used to be, either.
It took a while to get through the 'Return of Captain John Emmett', a competent enough novel, and now I'm on with Cormac McCarthy's 'the Road'; Sure to cheer me up that one. Its quite a short novel set in a post apocalyptic world. Then a series of short stories by Alistair McLeod. The Canadian writer's output is right up there with the best stuff. But for now, its coffee time from the cafetiere. Ooh, la di dah (...but no biscuits, right?)