Archive for June, 2013

24
Jun
13

pain in the…

 

I’d been wary of going out for a run since last weekend when I had the beginnings of a migraine whilst cycling back from Cambridge and then a proper go-to-bed-in-a-darkened-room one the following day after a relatively easy 11km run.

 

What if this was it? What if this was how it was going to be from now on? I did plenty of research (for “research” read “googling”) and the mid / post run migraine seems to be a very common occurrence amongst runners. Theories range from a lack of salt, to dehydration to the musculo-skeletal – all of which could have been contributing factors last week. Certainly I didn’t feel dehydrated at the time but the amount of liquid I felt I needed to drink on the Sunday evening would suggest that I was at least partially dehydrated. And I had had a nagging pain in the front of my shoulder which seemed to slowly spread to my neck as Saturday’s ride progressed. Or it could be the Thunder storm that was rumbling around and finally broke just as we were on the home stretch.

 

Anyway, Monday and Tuesday were spent with my customary post-migraine thick head. Not so much an actual headache, more a nagging, dull throb – mostly barely perceptible but lean forward and BAM! there it is, pounding at the inside of my temples. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were so hectic at work that I would arrived home ruined, have something to eat and then find myself hankering to go to bed just after 9pm.

 

So Sunday morning, I drank plenty of water as soon as I got up, bumbled about for a bit until the big grey clouds dispersed a little and then I headed off. Almost exactly the same route as last Sunday’s Father Day Migraine Inducing Run but the difference was this time I felt fine. Spritely, almost. Legs, rested for a week, felt strong and springy, my lungs opened up and I was breathing easily, towards the end of the 11km, the sun began to break though and I would have been happy to carry on were it not for the fact that I needed to get home in time to go and collect SonNumberOne from his Nan’s.

 

So, feeling much better having shrugged off the psychological shackles of the running induced migraine, I also seem to have rediscovered or re-invented my running mojo a little bit. This week at work promises to be a little less hectic than the last few so maybe, just maybe, I can treat myself to a few mid-week runs instead of just a hastily executed weekend dash.

 

17
Jun
13

headwind / headache

 

As part of the planned training for the Dunwich Dynamo, Hauling My Carcass and I always undertake at least one long(ish) training ride. Looking back at the training rides that we have done, every single one has caused us some problems – the first year, HMC was struggling. Last year we got a little, ahem, mis-routed and ended up not only cycling further than we had planned (144kms) but also called it a day at one point and caught the train back. This year, we had planned a round trip to Cambridge – 120kms in total that had been whittled down from a 140km+ route that I had devised. Hauling My Carcass had been eyeing the weather forecast and there was a headwind that we would be riding into for the whole of the return leg so we erred on the side of caution.

 

And it all started so well… HMC arriving at mine just before 8am, a quick espresso and we were off – up the first hill and out of my home town. The first 10kms or so were on fairly busy roads and the world was beginning to wake up so we rode single file. As we got further off the main roads we could ride side by side and chat. A constant side wind from the left made the route tougher than expected but before long, we were arriving in Cambridge. We stopped in a park for lunch and got chatting to an old guy on a hybrid / mountain bike who stopped to ask us for directions before launching into long tales of his years of riding bikes across the UK and abroad.

 

Once we had finished lunch, we were off again and on our way back out of Cambridge. Before very long it was evident that HMC’s prediction of a strong headwind all the way home was horribly accurate. A nasty constant headwind with quite violent gusts saw us slow to a crawl and all the banter and chat of the mornings ride soon dissipated. We realised what we were up against when we found ourselves having to pedal downhill…

 

Meanwhile, what was making things worse (for me) was a creeping headache and feeling of nausea that was slowly getting worse. I began to drop behind. I felt awful and thought I was going to be sick. Another 30km and it began to rain – we discussed cutting the ride short. I was still riding slowly, taking deep breaths and trying not to throw up. It was all I could do to keep the pedals turning. HMC would ride ahead and then have to wait for me to catch up. With about 20kms still to go, the headache and nausea began to retreat just as the heavens opened and it absolutely bucketed down. Thunder was rumbling around and we were both covered in mud that was being thrown up from the track that we were cycling on. A final check of the route and we were back at mine just as the rain began to ease. Without the inclement weather and me feeling unwell it would have been a great route to cycle but the combination of headwind and sickness took all of the fun out of it.

 

And then a run on Sunday morning instigated a full blown Migraine and I suspect it was the early stages of this that had caused me to feel so wretched on the ride the day before. I resigned myself to it and went to bed.

 

So a big thank you to HMC who, even in the pissing rain, waited for me as I dragged my sorry self 60 odd kilometres back from Cambridge. And, now at least I have experienced the truly unpleasant whilst on a training ride – which hopefully is good preparation should it happen again.

 

11
Jun
13

enter the luddite

 

Friday evening, and after a horrific week at work, I decided that the only thing that would lift my spirits was to get out for a run after work. A weary 12kms was duly completed and although it was a plod, it did serve to at least forget about the week and prepare myself for the weekend.

I had hoped that the weather this weekend would resemble that of the previous weekend – bright clear morning and warm, sunny afternoons. Unfortunately, grey cloud was in evidence so when I woke up on Sunday and looked out of the window, all enthusiasm for a long bike ride evaporated.

So I decided to tackle Mrs Eatingtrees’ bike instead. Inspired by what I had seen in Holland and Belgium, I was going to fit a rack to the back of the wife’s bike, adjust the brakes, cut down the handlebars and turn it from a mountain bike into something that more suited what it was actually used for – nipping to the shops or going on a picnic. All was well until I attempted to adjust the derailleur – it had long been neglected and shifted to some of the gears although not always reliably. I had adjusted gears on my mountain bikes before… what could possibly go wrong?

3 hours later and I am stood in the back garden, a face like thunder, trying to Google information on derailleur adjustment with hands covered in a thick layer of stick and slightly gritty chain grease. Nothing I could do seemed to improve the situation and I became increasingly frustrated… how could something so seemingly simple refuse to work so stubbornly.

Eventually, I put the bike angrily back in the garage and gently seethed for the rest of the day at my inability to fix it.

After last weeks bout of gear envy, I am firmly back in the singlespeed camp as no amount of slowly grinding my way up hills can compare with the frustration of being beaten into submission by a few twisty bits of metal, some cogs and some cabling!

03
Jun
13

Seasons Greetings

Without wishing to jinx anything, it appears Spring might have just about arrived in the UK. Waking up, squinting out of the window again this year. We have a 150km training ride planned for 2 weeks time and breaking into a grin is a sure sign that things are looking up weather wise. Saturday and Sunday were both just about perfect for a run and a cycle and I was able, as I got up and out of the house early enough, to squeeze in both this weekend.

Saturday’s morning of sunny spells was perfect for a run and I completed 16.6km – certainly not at a pace that would set the world alight, but steady. I had had an odd “injury” after a few of my previous runs – the day after a run, my foot would “creak” when I flexed my toes. It wasn’t especially painful but it is quite worrying when your foot feels like a rusty hinge. A quick bit of Googling informed me that the cause was usually mild tendon inflammation – so wanted to see if slowing down and concentrating on my form would help. Which it appeared to do. Sunday came around and there was no pain and no creaking. Hurrah!

So, creak free on Sunday morning, I jumped on the singlespeed and just headed off. I planned to cycle for 2 hours – basically one hour in one direction chosen at random and then turn round and head back. I set off through the Hertfordshire countryside and managed to pick out and unusually hilly route to Barnet along country roads. I love my singlespeed and have never suffered “gear envy” before but on Sunday I found myself up out of the saddle and grinding my way up hills only to be passed by roadies in lycra calmly overtaking me, legs spinning and looking relaxed. One even informed me as he passed that he “wouldn’t want to be riding a singlespeed up this hill”. Thanks.

Still, it is all good training for when Hauling My Carcass once again tackle the Dunwich Dynamo but for now, this ride would blow some of the cobwebs away.

Almost precisely 2 hours later, I was back home, just shy of 50km in the bank. It was not even 11a.m. Which left me with that fabulous smug feeling that you get when you know you have done what you needed to do and have the rest of the day to relax in the sun.




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