Posts Tagged ‘Mountain Bike

05
Oct
10

tiny tears

In preparation for this Sunday’s Royal Parks Half Marathon I did, a few weeks ago, run the full Half Marathon distance during training. To some, this is madness and absurd behaviour a few weeks from the race. For me, it is designed to be a confidence booster in that I then know that I can complete the distance. The following week, my long run was 15k and I was due about 12k this Sunday – which I blew out due to a combination of lazyness, disinterest and conjunctivitis. The conjunctivitis had been getting progressively worse for a couple of weeks and when I checked the NHS Direct website, it states that most cases of conjunctivitis clear up within 2 weeks and if symptoms persist past 2 weeks, to go and see the doctor. So, like a good citizen who does not want to waste the doctors valuable time with silly eye infections (when they could be saving lives), I waited 2 weeks which meant by the time I did get myself to the surgery, I felt like someone had been rubbing sand into my eyes using a slice of onion and looked distraught what with my big, red teary eyes. I was prescribed some magic eye drops which seem to have cleared it up after nearly a week of use but the infection still left me feeling lethargic.
But on Sunday, my eyes were still itchy and watering and the last thing I wanted was to go out and run and get sweat in them and make it all hurt even more. So I wimped out and instead gave the mountain bike a clean and an adjust before Winter. And then I agonised about skipping my last long run before the race so I went out last night and ran just shy of 11km.

And now Sunday approaches rapidly and I feel ill prepared but am still looking forward to it. Or maybe I just want to get it over with… Who knows? Still, once it is done I have a very nice pair of Polaroid sunglasses to review and I am also planning on reviewing some Reebok running shoes that are being supplied by those nice people at Fitness Footwear.

Soundtrack to this post: Sinead O’Connor – Curly Locks

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20
Nov
09

a good idea at the time

Man And Boy – Crashes, Fallen Trees and Time Lords – Impromptu Duathlon?

Last Sunday was going to be my final run before the Willow 10k this weekend. I was going to run 10k at race pace just to again get used to a race pace over the full 10k distance. I thought it might be nice to take SonNumberOne along on his bike with me for company. I run better when I’m not concentrating on running and listening to SonNumberOne’s observations on life always manage to lift me whilst we’re out.

The roads and paths were still wet from the previous few days rain and it was about a mile and a half in that SonNumberOne found out the hard way about mountain bike tyres and wet manhole covers not making good bed fellows. After stopping to pick him up, dust him down and get him hurriedly back on the pushbike, we seemed to lose momentum and began to get distracted. Fallen trees across footpaths, stopping to watch canoeists navigating a weir and his excitement about that evenings Dr Who special all served to interrupt the run. So eventually we abandoned the idea of running and instead settled for a run / walk / chat which whilst not preparing me for my 10k, was a very enjoyable way to spend a Sunday morning.

So, feeling guilty about not running my 10k training run on Sunday, I set off after work on Wednesday evening. It was one of those cool, clear evening runs that I enjoy so much and as the Garmin had sneakily decide to lose it’s charge whilst sat in the drawer (i.e I had forgotten to charge it up), I decide to run a route that I know without timing myself. So I’ve no idea how quickly I ran but it was 7 and a half miles and felt surprisingly fluid once I settled into a rhythm.

I am very much looking forward to the race on Sunday – it is about 6 miles from my home and as SonNumberOne is currently suffering with a particularly unpleasent virus, I’ll almost certainly have to go there on my own as Mrs Eatingtrees has volunteered stay home and look after the boys. If the weather is half decent on Sunday morning, I may consider cycling to and from the race. I dare say when I wake up on Sunday morning that it will seem like a very bad idea indeed, although it may give me a glimpse of whether my half baked idea to enter a duathlon (run / mountain bike / run) early next year is wise…

Soundtrack to this post: English Summer Rain – Placebo

20
Jul
09

out of sync

100% Confused – Like Father Christmas Or The Tooth Fairy – Rules Were Made To Be Broken

I am still struggling with the concept of 60% effort or 70% effort from my Training Schedule and am also a little bemused that the training plan I have doesn’t have distances on it but times. I also still can’t really get my empty head around the concept of interval training – at the moment I just have to believe that it does work. Maybe it’s like levitation or fairies… some odd sort of faith, where if I believe in it, it will exist. Who knows, but I’ll have my answer in little over a month when the first of my next bunch of races happens.

I mentioned before that I was using it as a guide rather than sticking to it rigidly and I shall try to illustrate this for you…

On Sunday, I was supposed to complete a “long slow distance run” of 50 minutes duration. Knowing that I had stuff planned for Sunday that would make the run impossible, I had to shift it forward to the Saturday. So I did a 4 and a half (ish) mile run with Hauling My Carcass along the banks of the Thames, with a 210 metre sprint across Hammersmith Bridge at the half way point and a subsequent 200 metre walk where neither of us talked but exchanged glances that meant ” I don’t feel very well now. Are you OK?” before continuing the run. And the run was prefixed and suffixed by a 6 mile cycle ride from / to the train station. So my “50 minute run” was actually a 40ish minute run with a 12 mile cycle. Tomorrow was supposed to be a “35 minute steady run” which due to more stuff happening, I had to move forward to today. And once again I was a little over zealous. What should have been 35 mins turned into a 1:04:04 weighing in at just a shade under 7 miles. It seemed a shame to stop as I was feeling quite relaxed… Wednesday should be 34 minutes of interval training so I’ll see if I can at least try and stick to that.

Soundtrack to this post: Jam Talay Sai – Soisong

29
Jun
09

and now, the end is near…

No Place For A Competitive Parent – Water Is The Source Of All Life – Just One More

A hot one today. And SonNumberOne’s school sports day. At 1.30pm. You can imagine how warm it was.

But it was brilliantly organised though as the entire school was seperated into teams. Each team consisting of a mixture of children from all age groups. 8 different challenges to be tackled as a team and once the challenge is finished, all the teams move round to their next challenge. And each team had scheduled water breaks so effectively sat out twice.

The team element did mean that there was no traditional “parents race” unfortunately – therefore denying me the opportunity to re-enact the brilliant seaside strider / sorelimbs Sports Day parents race video.

So, once again, what with Sports Day and the boys’ swimming lessons, the day got the better of me so I combined a post-dinner cycle to the allotment to water the (surprisingly still alive) plants with todays penultimate Juneathon. The plant watering took all of 10 minutes and then allowed me, once again, to take another scenic route home and clock up some miles. It had begun to cool down by about 8pm and I really enjoyed hitting a fairly swift pace on the bike and then keeping it there… I believe the technical term for it is “being in the zone” but I can’t bring myself to use it so let’s just say I had fun hacking around bridlepaths and country lanes on my pushbike.

Tomorrow looks like being another sticky day so plan to get a brisk run out of the way early(ish) on and tackle my 100 press-up challenge (yikes!)

Juneathon Stats: 13.88 mile cycle

Soundtrack to this post: Don’t Throw Stones – Prince Buster

27
Jun
09

stormy weather

Love Thy Neighbour – Ignorance Is Bliss – All Caked Out

Today was my Mum’s birthday. She was having a family get together so todays Juneathon was always going to be a tricky one to fit in as we had to cram all of our regular Saturday activities into the morning, leaving the afternoon free for the birthday extravaganza. I wasn’t sure whether I’d try and Juneathon this afternoon before we went out or after we returned this evening.
Things started to go wrong about an hour and a half before we were due to leave for my Mum’s – I was just toying with the idea of a quick 4-5 mile run when my next door neighbour knocked and asked if I could do him a favour. Could I give him and his son and his son’s mountain bike a lift to the bike shop town as they were trying to replace the headset and it was seized in the frame. The bike wouldn’t fit in their car but would fit in The Mystery Machine. I hesitated but he gave me a little speech about he knew it was inconvenient but he would do the same for me and if I ever needed anything…
So we heave the bike into the back of The Mystery Machine but it doesn’t quite fit so I move the back seats forward and it still doesn’t quite fit, so we take the front wheel off the bike and it just fits. Then my next door neighbours son sits in the front with me and my next door neighbour kneels in the back because the seat is so far forward that there is no space between the rear seat and the front seat and we drive to the bike shop and we heave the bike out of the back of The Mystery Machine and put the front wheel back on and whilst they are in the shop, I move the rear seat back so my neighbour can actually sit down on the way home and I sit in the car and wait for them. Then they come back out of the bike shop, WITH the bike and tell me that the man in the bike shop can’t do anything with it for 2 weeks and would I mind taking them to the next town where there is another bike shop.

Rear seat forward again, front wheel off bike again, bike in Mystery Machine, neighbour kneeling in back again. And off to the next town where we successfully offload the bike to the man in the bike shop (it’ll be done in 3-4 days), rearrange seating, deliver neighbours safely home and then realise I’m late to get to my Mum’s.

Fortunately Mrs eatingtrees had prepared everyone so it was just a case of all jumping in The Mystery Machine and driving to my Mum’s.

There were about 12 of us at my Mum’s when the storm started. Unfortunately, my Step-Father and I were trying to manhandle my Nan (who is virtually deaf and mostly blind and has trouble walking unaided) from the car when it really broke. We manouvered Nan back in the car when the rain bloody tipped down. And the bloody hail. Hailstones as big as bloody cherries ricocheting off the car bodywork. Then the bloody lightning. And the bloody thunder. We hastilly bundled my Nan back in the car and stand sheltering under the opened hatchback, whilst my Nan sits in the car looking confused as she is unaware of the thunderstorm and can’t hear us shouting into the back of the car trying to explain that it was an almighty thunderstorm and we’d get her indoors as soon as it stopped bloody raining.

And all of this goes some way to explaining why I am full to the brim with Birthday cake and struggling to even do only press-ups and crunches for todays Juneathon.

Juneathon Stats: 3 sets of press ups – 60 / 50 / 50 (160 total for day), 3 sets of stomach crunches – 100 / 100 / 100 (300 total for day)


Soundtrack to this post: Dub Fire – Aswad

25
Jun
09

searching

16 Short – If You Go Down To The Woods Today – Gripped And Sorted

I wasn’t sure what todays activities would entail but this morning thought I may try and see how many press-ups I can do as I am attempting to do 100 consecutively by 30th June. And the answer is 84. And the last ten saw me trembling and sweating and going bright red as I tried to keep going to 100 – not a good look. So I have 5 days to get to 100 and, frankly, I think I will struggle.

I toyed with the idea of a run, but as it was another hot one today, it would have to be later in the day, ideally the evening. Then Mrs eatingtrees mentioned in passing that whilst she was out stealing fruit that wasn’t hers strawberry picking the other day, she came across what she described as a “mountain bike course” less than a mile from home. So now I had a mission, I would go and find it and have a ride around it.

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It took me a little while to find as the location was fairly sketchily described. Eventually, I located it and had a little scoot about. It had obviously been built by some locals and even had a makeshift “no litter” sign. Now, it may just be that I am getting a little old for hurtling around woodland but parts of it were so incredibly technical that I think it is more likely to be used by motocrossers than mountain bikers. Small, deep bombholes difficult to ride into and impossible to ride out of. And most of the trees are pine so all the life is sucked out of the soil so it has become almost entirely dust with a layer of pine needles on the surface. I had to satisfy myself with a ride around the perimeter. Maybe, I shall pay it a visit one weekend and see if there is anybody who can actually tackle the course. Still it’s nice to know that there is someone locally willing to go out and build trails so good luck to them.

As it was late afternoon, the sun was shining and I still had time on my hands, it seemed rude not to take advantage and have a bit of an explore and take the long way home. A few more press ups when I got home and that’ll have to be the Juneathon for today.

Juneathon Stats: 12.71 mile cycle, 3 sets of press ups – 84 / 50 / 50 (184 total for day)

Soundtrack to this post: Jockin’ Jay-Z – Jay-Z

22
Jun
09

22 done, 8 to go

Putting Amazon Out Of Business – I Am Here, You Know – Unobtrusive Exercise

My head is still full of cold and, unlike the last 2 mornings, I could not face a run to blow away the cobwebs. So, the cobwebs remained until late afternoon when I jumped on the trusty pushbike for a swift fifteen miles. I had to drop a CD off at a friends house so thought I’d cycle there and back, deliver said CD and fulfil todays Juneathon obligations in one go. My route there is mostly along country roads and, as it coincided with people heading home after work, I had to contend with drivers in far too much of a hurry to get home to bother actually trying to avoid me. Instead, they would much rather whip past literally millimetres away. I was reminded of something my old driving instructor used to say… “When passing a cyclist, make sure you give them enough room to fall off if they want to.” which sounds flippant but actually makes a lot of sense.

Tomorrow’s Juneathonning will be a struggle… I need to leave relatively early in the morning to travel to London where I will have to both dress and behave like a grown up for the duration of my visit. Once that is out of the way, I need to travel back home and be extra attentive as it is our Wedding Anniversary. I’m not sure how I am going to get round this… maybe I’ll have to sneak off and do some press ups in secret…

Juneathon Stats: 15.2 mile cycle

Soundtrack to this post: Skull Rings – Iggy Pop




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