Posts Tagged ‘motorbike


the mathematics of chaos

I’ve always quite liked the idea that everything is a consequence of a seemingly unconnected series of events. After my shockingly disappointing lunchtime training run at the tail end of last week, I vowed that Sunday’s run would be a long, slow affair to get some miles in and (hopefully) convince me that a Half Marathon in a months time is do-able.
I am pleased to say that the run turned out to be the confidence booster that I had needed… 17.3kms in 1:42:17. Now, this is not particularly fast… but it wasn’t meant to be. I just wanted a longer than normal distance at a steady pace with no twinges, aches, pains or numbness. Oddly, I actually finished the run feeling quite refreshed and happy having run steadily. I also looked at the Garmin and pondered carrying on for another 4kms just to complete a Half Marathon distance – had I not had friends due over for lunch I may well have done it. All of this is surprising because of the occurences of the previous 24 hours…
I went out on Saturday night to see The Master Drummers Of Africa at the South Bank. It was a great evening and was finished by 10.30. I actually thought to myself as I left the venue “Excellent… I’ll be home by 11.30”. I was quite hungry as I had skipped dinner to get to the gig on time. I walked back towards where the motorbike was parked and heard the sound of my bike alarm… Looking up the street, I could see what looked like my bike, lying on the floor, partially beneath a white van and a confused looking van driver staring down at his handiwork. I ran over and, after much debate from me as to how much of an idiot you have to be to ride over a parked motorcycle, it took a bit of doing but we managed to get the van off of my bike and the bike upright. I took his details and then waited around for the AA to come and rescue me as the bike was unrideable. I arrived home at 2.30am, tired and hungry and promptly made myself and enormous cheese sandwich then went to bed.
After 4 hours sleep, I woke up, toyed with the idea of not going out to run but realised that I would just stay in and mope about the bike if I didn’t.
So it seems the equation for a successful easy, long run looks like this:

(African Drummers – Idiotic Van Driver) + AA Recovery Vehicle x (Large Late Night Cheese Sandwich + Little Sleep) = 17.3kms / 1:42:17

Soundtrack to this post: 23 Skidoo – IY


anarchy in the uk

A Weeks Catching Up – Home, Sickly Sweet Home – Into The Tube

So, here we are… back home. And things have been busy, busy, busy for the last 24 hours. We arrived back at Stansted about 9.30 last night, cleared customs, collected the bags and then caught the bus back to the car park where we collected The Mystery Machine and drove home – via Tescos to pick up milk and yogurt as the prospect of opening the fridge in the morning to find 1 bottle of Lucozade Sport, 1 small bottle of water and some butter was just too much to bear. Once home, SonNumberOne and SonNumberTwo are put to bed and then the process of attempting to sort things out a little bit begins. The mountain of post is gone through, the copy of Runners World is checked for traces of JogBlog and Hauling My Carcass (p21, in case you missed it) and… hold on, what’s this… a letter from the hospital… I have a date for my MRI scan on my neck / shoulder and… Sheeeeeeeeeeiiit!! It’s for 6.30pm on Wednesday 3rd June!! But Mrs eatingtrees is at college, I’ve no-one to look after the kids… If I cancel, I may not get another appointment for ages…Aaaaarrrggghhh.

Fast forward to 6am this morning when I am awoken by thoughts of how I am supposed to make the scan today… and a weird, sickly sweet smell… Strange!!?? By 7, I’m up and making breakfast for everyone and texting my Mum asking, no, make that begging her to come and look after the boys for 2 hours tonight. She says yes so then the rest of the day can commence… Kids washed, dressed and readied for school, computer on and catching up on e-mails – specifically of the job-hunting variety because I was made redundant about 3 weeks ago and rather than it be the traumatic but reasonable “We’re sorry, here’s your redundancy, here’s your notice period, off you go” type of redundancy, it was the “we’re going into administration, whoops. No redundancy payment, no notice period, you want money, ask for the statutory minimum from the Government” type of redundancy. So, time is very much of the essence and I had been out of the country for a week… Once the e-mails were sorted and the recruitment websites checked (and still that strange smell…), I was off out on todays running part of Juneathon. 6.51 miles, noticeably cooler than Greece and a lot easier to run because of it. It was basically my 10k route with a slight deviation at the start and although I must have run that route 100 times before, today seemed different. Maybe because I hadn’t run it for a week or so and my last 3 runs had been in hot and dusty Greece. Maybe because of the sweet, aniseedy odour that seemed to be haunting me. I returned home and began to stretch, got rid of a few of the knots in the legs on the foam roller and then, it dawned on me… the sickly, slightly Pernod-y smell was coming from me… We’d had some time to kill in the Greek airport and SonNumber One was curious about the “fragrances for men” that were on display… so we played with some of the testers. I was giving off the 12 hour old odour of a nasty creation by Hugo Boss, that was kind of passable when applied but didn’t travel well… time for a shower.

The rest of the day was taken up with lunch, collect kids from school, homework, luggage back in the loft, quick tidy of the house, a (very quick) glance at all the Juneathoners blogs, some press ups, a few phone calls, then dust off the motorbike and off to the MRI scan. I feel a bit of a fraud, arriving for an MRI on a motorbike (“yes, I’ve got this really bad pain in my neck, shoulder and arm, yes that is my very big, very cumbersome, very heavy 1100cc motorbike outside, no the heavy crash helmet and the weight of the bike doesn’t aggravate the pain in my neck, no siree…”) but changing gear in a car does cause me problems, as does sitting for long periods so the bike really is the quickest and most pain free way of getting around.

I’ve never had the pleasure of an MRI before and it is an unusual experience. You are told to remove any metal objects, led into a room where you are given ear plugs, laid on a table, have your head clamped into position and then are wheeled into a horizontal tube. The table is then raised until your nose is about 5cm from the inside of the tube and then the noise begins. A sort of fast, rhythmic, metallic buzz. Which goes on for about 3 minutes, then stops, then starts again for 4 minutes, then stops again. Then starts for 5 minutes, another short break and then another 5 minute stint. It is like being forced to listen to the worst sort of hardcore Dutch Techno over and over again. With added claustrophobia.

A few more press ups, 1 episode of Season 2 of The Wire (I have a backlog to get through) and blog. Phew!

Juneathon Stats: 6.51 mile run, 3 sets of press ups – 45 / 35 / 35 (115 total for day)

Soundtrack to this post: Candy Says – Velvet Underground


we have the technology

70’s Cliches – No More 60 Times Tables – 2 Wheels Good, 4 Wheels Bad

The title of this post, for those of you not old enough to remember, is from the beginning of The Six Million Dollar Man. It was a bad American TV series from the late 70’s about an astronaut injured in a crash and who was subsequently rebuilt to make him better, faster and stronger than before. It really bears no resemblance to me as I do not think for a second that I will be better or stronger although I hope to get a little faster with the arrival of the technology fairy at my house…

I now have my replacement mp3 player which, ironically, arrived the day after the Fleet Half Marathon. Damn… surely I could have shaved a few vital seconds off of my time had I had the newer, smaller player with me. Oh well…

Secondly, today I received my Garmin 205. Thanks to everyone who offered me their opinion on the relative merits of the 205 / 305 / 405. In the end, I went for the 205 as I really don’t need a heart rate monitor or the ability to add a cadence monitor for when I am on the mountain bike – both would have been nice – but unnecessary. And would have encouraged me to start monitoring all manner of activities that should remain unmonitored. The 205 appears to do plenty enough for me at the moment and should signal the end of me having to do bad maths to work out my average running speed. In fact it’ll tell me my actual splits per mile. Or per kilometre…

Which brings me on to the Prague Half Marathon. The Czech Republic, being much more forward thinking than this little island, will be measuring their Half Marathon in kilometres. And rightly so. Now I have the Garmin, I shall be able to train in kilometres too, which may sound like an odd little revelation but bear with me…

Over the course of a regular Half Marathon, I would ordinarily have 13.1 indicators of my progress. If I am down by 30 seconds on one of my miles, I need to wait another mile until I can work out if I have corrected my pace. If I measure the same distance in kilometres, I have 21.1 indicators – which allows me to try to rectify pace issues earlier and also see if they have been rectified over a shorter distance. Which probably isn’t news to many people but is, like in a cartoon, a tiny, tiny lightbulb appearing above my head for me… Or I could just race against the Garmin’s little “virtual” training partner and I’d need neither miles nor kms…

My 6.54 miles yesterday was completed in 60mins 17secs – an average of 9:13 a mile which still leaves me outside of my goal for Prague of sub 2 hrs – arse!

So I have 2 more training runs before Prague. Sundays is planned to be approximately 10 miles (16.1kms) and then another on Tuesday with Hauling My Carcass of little over 6 miles (10kms). It has been almost 6 months since HMC and I were able to train together owing mostly to me

a) stopping travelling to London for work each day and

b) having my motorbike break down and be in the garage FOR 6 WHOLE MONTHS!!!

Fortunately, last Saturday, I received the call to tell me that the bike was fixed so now I am mobile again. Able to move around without relying on using the car (boo!) or public transport (boo!). So now, I can come and go as I please and get to beautiful South London to do some training along the banks of the Thames. And to quote another cheesy American TV series… “I love it when a plan comes together!”

Soundtrack to this post: Weapons of Mad Distortion – Crystal Method

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