Monday, March 16, 2009


...time just seems to have disappeared lately, not that I have been up to much.

Jez and I were in the Lakes for our birthday at the beginning of the month (yes we do share the same birthday). We celebrated getting another year older by walking up Fairfield from Patterdale, in the snow. I would write lots more about this as I took loads of photos but for some reason Jez's laptop ate them and they were never seen again. I was left with about 8 completely random photos on the memory card out of a few hundred. Only the Fairfield ones hadn't been copied elsewhere, ho hum.

It started as a beautiful day, lots of fluffy sparkly snow and lots of ice around. The climb up onto Farifield itself was very steep but the snow was pretty good so kicking steps was the way to go, except when I booted hidden rocks, that hurt. We followed some fell shoe tracks up. The tracks were actually heading down the mountain and fair play to whoever it was because we only saw a couple of elongated prints where they had had a little slide, there had been no application of technical hands or arse.

Some quite thick snow over the top and I got a view from the top rather than the pea soup clag I had last time I was up there. It didn't last long as the weather was coming in and Helvellyn had disappeared in the cloud. Our plan was to head back via St Sunday Crag and down into Patterdale. Once the cloud came in the light went really flat and I found negotiating some of the little ridgy bits on the way down to Deepdale hause a little tricky as I just couldn't make things out properly. I had a little lateral foot slip on one of the narrowest sections which sharpened the mind somewhat!

At Deepdale Hause we decided against continuing with the planned route as it was snowing and the cloud was down and we had to gain a fair amount of height again. We decided to drop down into Deepdale and head back that way, and what a drop down it was! It felt vertical (and looked it when walking away), lots of side steps to get down. A long boring trog along Deepdale then into the pub in Patterdale for some beer and a humungous plate of food.

An easy day after walking where we go pick up Jez's new car then an MTB ride on Saturday 7th where I managed not to fall off, which is a good thing. The bad thing is I achieved it by riding like a complete wuss, really demoralising. I felt really shattered for some reason and wasn't particularly enjoying myself in the driving rain and wind. We headed out in the afternoon, just as the lovely morning was replaced by minging weather. Very wet and cold and for once wasn't bothered about the ride being short!

Sunday I was supposed to be doing a long run but just couldn't get myself to do anything, thought I might have had a bit of a sniffle. On Monday I woke up thinking I had a bit of a sniffle but I was fine in the afternoon so I headed out after work for a run. I mile easy, 4 miles at 8:40 and 1 mile easy again. I headed into Cuerden park where there are a few hills so I knew I would need to work harder on the easier sections to compensate for the hills. First fast mile was 8:47 and I never paid attention after that. In the end the tempo section averaged 8:13 mm which was far too fast and I had massively overcompensated for the hills and I had a feeling I was going to pay for it.

Tuesday I felt a little coldy but got up and cycled to work, I was feeling fine after about 20 minutes and had a really good ride in, little wind and an average of 16mph which is quite fast for me on the Spesh. The ride home was supposed to be a bimble but for some reason I pushed a little bit on the first few miles, I think it was just nice to be riding home in proper daylight. At Freckleton a roadie came screaming by me (as they do), then up ahead two blokes joined the Marsh Road in front of me. They weren't going particularly slowly but for some reason I decided to try and catch them.

I was averaging about 19mph (it has its own momentum I think the Spesh) and caught up to the first one, who was on a road bike but wearing fairly normal clothes. I had to wait for a gap in the traffic to overtake then I got passed, I had to accelerate hard but I was off. I haven't worked that hard on my commute for quite some time. It didn't take me long to get to the second guy but I had to wait a little longer to pass him. I remember looking at the computer and I think it was reading 23/24 mph as I accelerated to get past before I got flattened by the traffic.

I was working far too hard by then but I kept pushing at around 18/19 mphwhen I realised that I was reeling in the roadie who screamed past me earlier, think he must have backed off quite a bit. Unfortunately he got through the lights at the end of the Marsh Road and I had to wait else I think I would have got pretty close. I had to take it really easy for the rest of the ride home as I felt toatlly knackered, not a good sign and not very clever.

I paid for the hard efforts by being barely able to make myself get out of bed Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I couldn't believe how tired I felt. On Saturday I woke up with a proper sniffle, at last, I have been trying to fight something off! I was stuck working on Saturday so I coudn't get to the XC race or go out for a run but I didn't mind as I was ill anyway. I rested again yesterday as still felt a little sniffly in the morning but woke up this morning feeling like a new me.

I hate when a cold is trying to get a hold for ages, there have been a few going round the office and I've done well not to catch one.

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