Sunday, April 26, 2009

Long Run Achieved!

Phew is all I can say. I still didn't manage to digest brekkie and get my act together before 12 on Saturday but I do need to start trying to get used to the heat (is how I rationalised setting off into the warmest part of the day to myself), in the event the heavens opened as I broke into a run anyway!

Route planned to take in some lanes and new stuff and get to the Marshes at the other side of Longton - 9 miles out and 9 miles via a different configuration of lanes on the way back. I printed a map off Memory Map and marked the route in highlighter to take any decision making out of the navigation process. Packed water only, gels, arm warmers etc and set off.

I have to say I was pleased about the rain, it was quite warm really and it stopped me overheating. I felt like a completely different person to last week thankfully. The plan for this run was 18 miles at 9:35 mm pace, I wanted to go for consistent pacing throughout. After the first couple of miles I started having to hold myself back, which I did successfully. At the regular map checks I stretched and rotated my hips a lot.

It was a really enjoyable run outwards, nice lanes I've never been on before. The sun had come back out and it had warmed up quite a bit. At about 8 miles in, almost at the heading back point I started to think about going for 20 miles, "get whilst the getting's good" as it were. This would mean I could step back to 13 miles next weekend before doing the last really long one around the 10th of May. I don't think really long runs on consecutive weekends is a good idea for me really.

Heading back through Longton the empty stomach feeling started to I zoomed in Booths and picked up a pack of jelly babies and ate five or six. I wasn't bothered by empty stomach again so these will be added to my marathon plan. I had also been taking regular gels in and frequent drinks, I definitely prefer plain water whilst running.

Back over the A59 and I decide to definitely go for the 20, which meant a change of route but I knew where I was now - this meant the map checks stopped and the stretching to an extent. I kept the same pace, drinking little and often. As I passed Penwortham Booths I thought about nipping in to get more water but discounted this, which wasn't the best decision.

Down towards Avenham Park and I'm still going ok, lots of little twinges but nothing stupidly bad, I had run out of water though and was feeling quite thirsty. I headed along the river bank then out to the Capitol Centre to take the little woodsy path. It was nice and shady in the woods but I had forgotten about the hill! It is one of those that is deceptively steep at the bottom but eases off, I was almost 18 miles in and did briefly think about walking up it but then decided to have a go. I ran it surprisingly well and as I crested the top I passed the 18 mile mark, so I stopped and had a self congratulatory dance (shake the legs and hips out). Longest run ever!

I continue on and I realise I'm going to have to turn away from home to make sure I get 20. That was hard, particularly as my legs were now feeling fed up of running. The last mile was definitely the most difficult, being out of water I had a really dry mouth and I had to stop twice to cross the road, it was agony getting running again but I got to 20 just before arriving at my front door.

Straight in the house, slowly bend down to take shoes off, have recovery drink then straight into shower, out of shower and into compression tights and claim space on sofa whilst deciding what I was going to eat once I had cooled down a bit.

20 Miles at 9:27 pace so reasonably close to goal and a shorter but hopefully faster run next weekend before slowing it down again for another long one the weekend after, though now I know how much its going to hurt I may have to crowbar myself out of the door!

Rest day today where I mainly faffed about the house, though very productive as I baked a chocolate ginger cake and made some vanilla fudge ice-cream, both of which needed extensive quality testing.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thursday Evening Run

I headed out for a run after work yesterday, I wasn't sure how far/how fast I was going to run, I would let my body decide that after I set off. I had thoughts of up to 9 miles but after a mile or two decided against that. My legs were a little heavy (cycling heavy) and I was planning on actually completing my long run on Saturday I ended up aiming for 6 miles at 9mm - which is close to my intended marathon pace (may be a little ambitious though).

I had a lovely run around Cuerden Park, I felt a lot smoother and comfortable on the hills (not any faster!) than I have of late and I put that down to Monday's session. I ended up with 6.5 miles at just over 9mm. Lots of varied pace running too, slower on the hills, faster along the valley floor which was nice as I had begun to think my legs had forgotten to move any faster than lumbering.

I had a rest day today, nothing more than a little stretching (but I again forgot to do my core work).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

More Dry Fast Trails

Another Wednesday evening ride made really enjoyable by dry dusty trails, looking forward to hopefully spending some serious quality time with my MTBs over the summer. There were 6 of us in total so a nice group, 5 lads and me as unfortunately Pam couldn't make it.

We rode out from our usual parking spot near the barn, up the always surprisingly hard work Commonwealth down where my legs were quite tired. I was expecting them to be this tired when commuting on Tuesday really but I was fine as long as I didn't try to push too hard.

Over towards Winter Hill we found some new (to us anyway) concessionary bridleways, took the nice gradual singletrack climb up to the masts and followed the diversion track to the top of the Belmont Descent. It was unbelievably dry, one or two slightly soft patches but no real bog.

By the time we were heading down to Belmont it was still light but it was failing and the track had a monochromomatic feel to it, lots of the detail was missing really, interesting hitting bumps that I hadn't seen.

I was doing pretty well until near the bottom where the track broke into ruts and I found myself heading at speed for the edge of a rut, a little grassy lip really, less than a tyre width. Too fast to really change direction and drop into the rut next to me happily. I'd need serious trials skills (and a lot less speed) to actually ride along the lip so I somehow managed to bring myself to a stop without falling off or catapulting myself off the track, which was very lucky.

I managed to get myself into that silly predicament by not looking far enough ahead, my descending speed is starting to come back now so I need to look where I want to go before I get there! We all enjoyed the descent and headed up the road climb then dropped off the cheeky track towards Lead Mines. It was pretty dark by then so it was fun riding some new stuff. Once at Lead Mines we decided against the road hill (my legs wanted none of it) and back to the cars.

A really enjoyable 15 miles.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Good Ride Home!

Unusually after a fast ride in I had a faster ride home yesterday, I can't remember it ever happening before. I had a tailwind, seemed to have all the lights with me and didn't get held up at all on the way home which meant I arrived home in 1:04. This is very rare, even on the road bike I don't often get close to this.

Legs were fine too but I think the tailwind helped a lot as I wasn't pushing too hard.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cycle commute - In Shorts!

I rode to work today in shorts! I actually set off with short sleeves too but that was a little ambitious and I dug the armwarmers out after half a mile. My legs felt surprisingly good on the bike today no inkling of yesterdays hill session, at least they seem to be good for something! It doesn't take much to swap them back to bike mode really, not good when your training for a running event though.

My new tyre hasn't arrived for the road bike yet so I took the Spesh. I had a fantastic ride in with what I suspect is a tailwind as I wasn't trying that hard but did my fastest commute time on the Spesh so far - 1:05 woo! Hopefully its not going to be too much of a slog on the way home but its such a beautiful day who cares!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hill Reps

After Saturdays disaster of a run in the heat I decided I needed to give myself a kick up the bum running wise. It was going to be too hot to think about doing intervals at lunchtime, the prom would also be heaving so I decided to do a hill rep session. The hill I had in mind is in Tockholes Woods so would be mostly in the shade.

The interval session I had was 8 x 0.25 mile, the hill in question was 0.3 of a mile so I thought I would do 6 reps and that would be pretty close distance wise. I was really looking forward to the run, partly because it was offroad too. I headed straight to Abbey Village after work, got my trail shoes on then headed towards the woods.

My legs still felt really heavy for running but I was taking it easy for the warmup anyway. It winds its way gradually uphill to the bottom of my target so I settled into an effort level. I also wanted to come this way to make sure I hadn't missed the bluebells yet, don't think I have but all the green leave spikes are up so it should be a good display when they do appear. I love the woods in spring and autumn, lots of dappled light getting through the trees.

At the bottom of "the hill" I got ready to run up. It has varied gradients: it starts off quite steep, then it flattens out very briefly on a left hand switchback before continuing up a little less steep than before. It then flattens out and descends slightly before climbing again at a much easier gradient. Its good to practice running "over the top" of the hill.

I set off up the first one, feeling slow but made sure I pushed on once it eased rather than backing off. I jogged slowly down (but seemed to make it down quicker than up, boo) and set off for the second one which was quicker. I got to the bottom, there was a girl and her mum with a little grey dog about to set off up the climb so I hung back a little to let them get to the wider part of the track.

As they passed I realised it wasn't a dog, it was a cat on a lead! Who takes a cat for a walk in the woods?????? It was a beautiful cat actually and quite young I think, I can't imaging my cat allowing that. I could probably get the harness thing on him but if I tried to lead him anywhere he would turn himself inside out trying to get it off.

As I was about to set off a family came passed with a large dog so I hung back to wait again, the inevitable happened when the dog saw the cat! Then another few people started to head up, its one of the main paths to the Ryal Fold Car Park. I then decided to abandon this hill and go do the Mill Lane one instead, its quieter.

Off round the corner to Mill Lane and I set off again. This climb starts off at an easier gradient but gets steeper and rougher as you go up. Its also really cobbly, uneven and slippery in places so requires real concentration to make sure foot placement is good. The last section kicks up a lot but I kept going until I had done 0.5 mile. It took me 6:27, slooww.

I headed down again then set off on the second, my legs were starting to feel it now and I was 3 seconds slower at the top. I headed down again and set off on my third. I did think of cutting it at the 0.4 mile mark to give me my two miles but I had a feeling once I started it I would want to finish it. Which I did but the last steep section really took it out of me and I was a further three seconds slower but I was buzzing now from putting some hard work in, I was also really hungry.

I jogged down the first bit of cobbles then headed off through the woods to give my ankles a rest from the twisting. I can't see me ever being able to run down this descent at any sort of speed, its painful. Then it was an easy jog back to the car, my legs in climbing mode so the last flat half mile felt weird. I scoffed a banana then drove home having really enjoyed the effort.

Will do intervals next (if the weather cools down) then attack this hill again.

Dry trails!

I love MTBing in daylight and on dry trails, it feels like cheating after slogging about in the mud and darkness over winter. The ride on Sunday was planned as an easy ride to spin my legs out after my long (ahem) run and to get the On One to Pam to ride whilst she sorts out a replacement bike.

I got outside before packing the car up to the unusual sight of my On One with a handlebar clamped to the seatpost rather than a saddle. The seatpost still wasn' t moving and it took some serious brute force from Jez, the extra leverage from the handlebar and each of us sat on a wheel (not comfy) to finally get it out of the frame. It had corroded a little, so it has been regreased and SPD pedals put on. It was greased when we originally built the bike up but its not something I had thought to check regularly. I very rarely change my saddle height out riding but its nice to be able to.

We also found an old saddle of mine to put on as I know that Pam really doesn't like my Flite saddle (weirdo, love my Flites). She has to go through all the faff of getting another comfy saddle, Specialized don't make the one likes any more.

It was greased when I originally built the frame but its not something I had thought to check regularly. I very rarely change my saddle height out riding but its nice to have the option and Pam needed the saddle a lot higher than I did anyway.

My legs were pretty up for riding but it was very warm again. We set off just after 10 and took it nice and easy. It was horse central today, I've never seen so many horses out and about around here. We came across a huge organised ride too, everyone really smiley and friendly. We didn't see any horses up around the Tower not sure why, they are entitled to ride up there?

It was quite nice to just cruise up to the tower though the trail is now very boring. The rutty trail was fantastic as you could look way ahead and pick the best rut and there was no mud to slide around in, fantastic. Over the top, down to the road then off down the cobbly Mill Lane descent. Huge grin at the bottom, the Titus makes it all too easy really. Pam seemed to be getting on ok with the On One, the only slight complaint was the reach but we do have completely different body proportions. She has long legs short torso whereas I am the opposite so it was never going to be a perfect fit.

As it was quite busy the cheeky path through the woods was out of the question so back up the main track. We diverted up to the fence track and rode that in the opposite direction from normal. As it is mainly downhill this way it had a completely different feel to it, the fact it was almost completely dry helped too. A quick game of dodge back to the car then to the pub to sit outside for some lunch and a cold beer, I could feel my peely wally Scottish skin burning a little, the sun is getting really strong.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I had my long run planned today, hoped to get in about 16 - 18 miles but I hadn't factored in the heat at all. I'm not good in heat so it was a particularly numbskull thing to do, set off for my run at 12:30 pm right into the hottest part of the day.

I found it difficult from the off, my legs seemed to shuffle along and my heart rate seemed high for the effort I was putting in. It was quite breezy so it took a while for it to properly dawn on me how warm it was. I was wearing a gilet! I took that off after about a mile and a half. At the two mile point (where I was in fact only half a mile away from my house as the crow flies) I had a brief attack of sensible and thought about going home and heading back out later when I was feeling a bit better. I decided that was quittin' talk and plodded on hating every minute.

I had thought about heading out towards Hutton and the Ribble estuary, keep meaning to go exploring over there. Once near New Longton I decided things were not going well enough to go that far away from home. I decided to head back towards the Avenham Park area.

I had put energy drink with electrolytes in my bladder as I had realised that because it was sunny I would sweat more but I had it at cold weather concetration and it was a little sickly. I stopped off at Booths and bought a small bottle of plain water and drank it all which made me feel a little better.

Once I got back to the tramway I was only about 8 miles in! I had thought about doing a few laps of the riverbanks but I really was struggling. It didn't help that I trundled past an absolutely rammed beer garden. They had the right idea! I called it quits there and decided to head home.

I stopped on the tramway bridge briefly to let bikes past (hot days are cycling days not running days!) and the heat just erupted from my face, I felt a little dizzy. I walked for a little bit until I got into the shade before running the last little bit home. In the end I only managed just under 10 miles. Not ideal, I have a 20 miler scheduled for around the 10th May, if I don't manage it then the mara will be interesting!

I felt quite out of sorts for the rest of the day, the worrying thing is that last year the 31st of May was a very hot day, I fried then too.

Friday, April 17, 2009


I set off on for a run after work yesterday, I had planned to do some intervals to see if I could and just to make my legs move a bit. I got ready, set off out the door and noticed the Garmin said the battery was low. I wasn't worried as last time it did that I got a good hour out of it still. It died after half a mile, plank that I am.

I had to reassess my plans, intervals were out as I had no way of measuring time/distance or anything else so I opted just to have a run at a comfortable pace and enjoy myself. I think I did about 4 easy miles in the end and I finished the run a lot happier than when I started though my legs are still lacking in a little zip.

I'll be postponing the intervals until next week, I did think about doing them this evening but I have my long run planned for Saturday and intervals the day before a long run is just not sensible.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Getting back on track

After all the drama at the weekend I finally got out for a good, stress busting run on Tuesday. I was too tired still on Monday after a couple of disturbed nights sleep after the break in. I headed down to the sea front for a good blast of sea air. It was reasonably windy but I decided to run into the wind and get the full force of the wind on my face.

It was overcast but after feeling cold setting off the temperature was just right, it felt invigorating to be running into the wind. I ran down towards Lytham, along the beach at times and at the lifeboat station I headed out along the long wooden jetty (that I've never actually noticed before) and stood out there almost in the water listening to the wind and the waves and birds calling for a good while.

I came off the prom at the windmill and headed through Lytham centre to pick up the woodland path that heads towards Ansdell. A completely different feel to the run here but just as invigorating as the sea air, lots of wildlife, flowers, trees and greenery. Shame its such a short section.

I got back to work feeling pretty good, legs didn't feel like lead so hopefully its time to build things back up again.

I was supposed to be doing Hawkshead Trail Race this weekend, if I had gotten out for my planned long run over Easter I would probably do it but I need to get some long tarmac runs in my legs so I've decided not to, also its a race with 2000ft of climb and I will push myself too hard if last year is anything to go by.

Its a sold out event so if anyone wants a number for it they can have mine, I think the organisers are ok about transfers?.....Actually, just checked and apparently they are not! I'm sure people swap numbers for these events?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Toerags, Mark 2

Really not having a good weekend had hayfever yesterday so bunged up and no long run, I cycled over to Pam's last night for some food and to commiserate about stolen bike/look at new ones. When I left there were two cars parked on our drive, when I came back there was only one!

My heart sank, Jez's S4 was gone. They broke into the house by levering open our patio doors, got the keys (and a playstation and a telly but nothing else so they came for the car). I was up til 2 am dealing with police, locking all the bikes in the garage, the motorbike (as that key seems to have disappeared). One very crap nights sleep later I've had CID, CSI round this morning, been fingerprinted for the first time in my life and now have the joy of dealing with insurance companies and doing something to secure our crapola patio doors.

Jez lands in the UK tomorrow, thank god for that.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


My friends just had her MTB stolen out of her car!!!!!!! Grr!!!

Even more reason to get the On One up and running as she should hopefully be able to ride on that til she gets a new one (ooh, new bikes - trying to be positive!). Jez is back on Monday, hopefully we'll be able to sort something out.

I should really lock the bikes up in the garage, keep leaving the Titus and On One unlocked as its easier.

New Tyre Required

A close inspection of my rear road bike tyre on Sunday means I have now binned it. There was one piece of glass which had been pushed in and round almost to the side wall, I couldn't prise it out from the outside and and to take the tyre off and push it out from the inside. That left a big debris attracting hole. I'm a bit gutted as I bet the tyre has done not much more than 100 miles.

So I need a new tyre/tyres and some tubes. I had GP 4 Seasons tyres on and I really liked them grip wise but I'm not sure they had a kevlar strip in them as the glass seemed to go through really easily. I need something commute worthy but ok in the wet - I find GatorSkins lethal. Will try to nip in to Ribble or Hewitts on Saturday.

Sofa Dweller

That was me on the weekend. On Saturday I was completely out of it, I vegetated on the sofa most of the day. I remembered mid morning about the Farmers Market and managed to get to that, then took up residence on the sofa again. It was the only thing I achieved all day. I couldn't even read a book my concentration was so shot. On the plus side I had a much better nights sleep and woke up feeling a bit more like myself.

It was a sunny day and I thought I would go out for a run in the afternoon, 10 miles or so! As the morning wore on the length of the anticipated run shortened until I realised I was actually still tired and to take it very easy again.

I cleaned some bikes, worryingly I can't get the seatpost to budge in my On One, sprayed some WD40 on it but need to have another go at trying to loosen it and hope to hell it hasn't been stuck in permanently.

I at least had a concentration span and spent the whole afternoon reading a good book, which was really enjoyable. It was "Dear Fatty" by Dawn French, I can really recommend it. A bit of a waste of a sunny day really.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Friday's silly attempt at an interval session

Woke up and crawled out of bed on Friday, decided to run after work to give myself a chance to perk up. I had planned an interval session with two miles of warmup / cooldown on either side. I'm not sure what planet I was on but it really wasn't a good idea, I could barely function mentally at work and having to have coffee in the afternoon to stay awake is not a good sign.

So I get home, get my kit on and out the door. When I start running I feel like I've got someone else's legs! This actually wasn't too surprising after two days of riding, particularly after Thursday mornings efforts. Two miles at an easy pace wasn't too bad but then I got ready for the first interval. The session was 2 sets of 4 x 400 so short ones. I set off on the first one and couldn't get it up to any sort of speed at all. The second one I was even slower and wanted to stop after about 100 metres, I did the whole thing but finally as I wobbled to a stop decided to cut my losses and go home.

Well I actually had to stop for a few minutes before I could summon up the energy to start shuffling homewards. I reckoned I had about 2.5 miles to go and it felt like an eternity. I was breathing hard but my heart rate wasn't up where it should be (not a good sign), I felt like I was putting in a lot of effort but I was moving at 10:30 mm pace and I couldn't move any faster. Ouch.

It was a slow and painful 2.5 miles, when I got home I decided that Saturday's 18 miler attempt was best postponed until at least Sunday (err, just to Sunday!). So so tired.

Incurring the wrath of the p*nct*re fairy.

Don't know what I did to deserve it but I had two visitations from the p fairy on my commute to and from work, the only thing to spoil otherwise lovely rides (apart from the fact I was knackered).

After another rubbish night sleep and not getting to bed til midnight I was awake at 6:30 am to get ready to ride. I had one sensible thought of resting today but it was a beautiful day, I would have to bring my laptop home on Friday and I wanted to ride at least once this week so I got up.

It felt weird to be on the road bike and I managed to set off a bit later than normal after a major faff. I had to get some cash so rode to machine in centre of town, out of order. Got tangled up in traffic for a while but managed to get cash in Penwortham before managing to get out of the line of traffic and on to my normal route. I was feeling tired but was taking it nice and easy, rolling along, yawning a bit, blue sky, sunshine, pink lenses in my shades and generally feeling pleased with the morning.

Heading past the Texaco garage at Lea Gate I heard a ping and the back end of the bike squidged, Grr. Ah well, such a beautiful morning, tyre changing practice is always good. Off the side of the track and I managed to get tyre off, checked around the inside, new tube in and tyre back on relatively quickly for me. I then noticed the cycle path was absolutely strewn with glass, not massive bits but lots of little bits so I checked the outside of the tyre and pulled a few bits out.

It hadn't seated properly round the valve so I undid it all again then used a CO2 canister on it as time was getting on. Woah, never expected the tyre to inflate that quickly but hey all back on and ready to roll. Checks time: 8.25 am - I'm usually there by now. So I abandon my easy paced riding and take off trying not to be too late. I really enjoyed whizzing along on the road bike and got to work in a pretty fast 58:10 of riding time (not including puncture faff). I reported the glass on fillthathole but whether it gets cleared who knows. I now had no spare tube but luckily one of the guys I work with has a road bike and goes home for lunch so brought me a spare back.

It all caught up with me at lunchtime and I struggled to keep my eyes open in the afternoon. The ride home was a much more relaxed (i.e. shattered) affair. I dawdled home and three miles from home I got another puncture - I knew that glass was going to cause problems. I tried pumping the tyre up a bit to see if I could limp home but no joy. It is too far to walk pushing a bike but there was a bench over on the other side of the road so I had a seat, just as well I got that spare.

I picked yet more glass out of the tyre and changed the tube, even quicker this time. I was going to pump it up but the hunger had started and I really needed to get home so CO2 again and I wobble home starving. I was so tired in the evening, in fact I think I was overtired because I had another rubbish nights sleep then too.

I was going to do intervals on Friday......(this is what happens when Jez isn't around to save me from myself!).

Wednesday Evening/Night Ride

Wednesday evening ride at Rivington, summer shoes, 3/4 lengths and gilet and summer gloves! A lovely evening for a ride. There were four of us riding, Ed and I and Stu and his mate from work. A last minute e-mail panic about lights had me turning up with Jez's light hoping it was charged (it wasn't). It took me a while to find it as it was still on the last bike he rode, hung up int the garage and I can't get it down easily as it ends up tangled in the rafters/other bikes. I ended up knelt on the garage bench trying to get the light off and ended up being almost late.

We decided to head over the Nab to check out the new trail in the daylight. When we got there the sunset was lovely:

I was feeling tired after a couple of crap nights sleep but nice to be out. The new red trail was fine in the daylight, easy to see why it was a little confusing at night with the steeper black trail cutting down too. Due to the fact I could see them none of the drops were that bad during the day though I almost had a stupidity attack by riding off the edge of one of the berms. I was looking at the construction of the edge of it (no idea why, caught my eye) rather than where I wanted to go so of course the bike tried to go where I was looking. I managed to get it round but almost flopped the front wheel competely. No style points at all.

We decided against riding up the long road hill and headed along the cheeky track by the res as Ed had never ridden it. I had forgotten about all the awkward gates but hey, it saved a climb. When we got to the woody bit near the other end the light had faded enough that lights were required. Unfortunately when switching Jez's light on the battery was dead as a dodo. We had a couple of headlights between us and sorted one of those out.

The plan was to head to Lead Mines then up and out towards Hordern Stoops. As we left the picnic area we ended up going the wrong way, my fault! I knew there was a bit of a climb on the way to Lead Mines from here but forgot about the bit of flat road before it and I just saw a climb and headed straight up it. I was asked if I was sure but I was confident! I did think it was a little steeper than I was expecting but my legs were tired and it eased off quickly. Then we realised that the big hole in the ground next to us was Anglezarke Quarry, oops. So we climbed up to the top of the moor anyway though the climb is significantly easier from this side.

A re-evaluation of the plan, head down LMC then continue as normal off towards the Pike. On the road over to the car park at the bottom of the ICR we had to dodge loads of little frogs on the road, I think we managed not to squash any. My legs were feeling a little tired, unlike last week where I seemed to be able to take it easy on the cobble infested corners to the Pike I found them hard going this week, even with full-suspension. Up to the pike itself and a strong wind nearly blew me off my bike, where did that come from?

Down to the bottom at silly speed due to no eyeball rattle then straight down the grassy descent to the woods again. A quick blast along the reservoir and another round of frogger and it was back to the car. By the time I'd gotten home, put bike away, eaten and got my stuff ready for riding to work it was gone midnight and I then had yet another rubbish nights sleep.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hmmm...missing post?

I was convinced I'd posted about last weeks Wednesday night ride but I can't find it, I'm probably imagining it!

A very windswept ride last Wednesday out of Abbey Village and up to the tower etc. At least it wasn't raining and it wasn't really that cold but listening to the wind howling across the field as we were getting ready just made it feel more miserable than it was. I had good layers on though, it wasn't that warm either.

Stu was late so Ed and I set off into the shelter of the trees. We chanced the fence track which was a bit a boggy mess and I had at least three moments where I had to unclip as I was pedalling but going absolutely nowhere. Still, it slowed us down a bit to help Stu catch up. We bimbled on towards the tower, out of the trees the wind was there again. At the bottom of the climb to the tower it was obvious they had been continuing with their repairs, we decided to take the long steady climb up to check it out, right into the wind.

As we got higher the wind got stronger and we skirted round the hill a bit and it really started coming in, it was a bit of a crosswind so we were getting blown across the track a lot and doing a few seated trackstands as well at strong gusts. They have completely motorwayed it again, which ordinarily would have been a shame but tonight was just as well as there was no way I would have managed to ride it in its previous state, I would have been blown off/into ruts/side of the hill.

Along the top was a tail/crosswind and Ed and I were both glad we were on full-suss as we had no control over what line we took, where the wind blew us that's where we went. The suspension allowed us to stay seated and as small as possible and pedal over the rocks, I didn't want to have to stand up and turn myself into a sail.

Stu arrived at the tower about the same time we did, he took the shorter but steeper way up and reported that they had pretty much finished repairing that track too. So its now a choice between a longer, steady but now dull and untechnical climb or a shorter, much steeper and more brutal but thankfully just as untechnical (apart from the sneaky waterbars) climb to the top.

The rutty track from the tower was fun as the wind just seemed to be swirling everywhere. I resolved to take the widest ruts possible, avoid the really narrow ones but then I seemed to end up exactly where I didn't want to go! How I didn't get blown off sideways I don't know, it was close a few times.

Over the top of the moor, which was surprisingly dry due to the wind then down towards the fast cobbly descent (fantastic fun as usual on a full-suss, I can see properly all the way down as my eyeballs aren't being bounced around in my head). A quick whizz down the cheeky track through the woods then back to the car. Short at 9 miles, but enough on such a windy night.

I didn't do any running/riding Thurs/Fri of last week due to the wind (lazy, I know!). On Saturday I got myself out for a long run. I had thought about getting the run done early but when I woke up I just wasn't in the mood. I had to pick up my car so I cycled there and to the library on the way, it was just under 5 miles and it really perked me up.

I got out for my run about 1pm, it was really cold. I had my thermal running top on which has handwarmer sleeves and I really needed them a few times. I had planned to do 16 milesish.

I headed out to Cuerden Park, ran down to the Kem Mill end then back again, then I wanted to check out a couple of paths in Leyland. So I headed off there and it turned out to be a lovely woodland track that popped out near Farington Moss. I decided to do a bit of exploring, I knew there were some footpaths round the fields and I would pop out near New Longton. The paths were very flat but it was nice to be in such open area (hands froze here due to the biting wind) and good stuff to add to my repertoire of places to run.

I popped out on the main road to New Longton then spotted a blue cycle sign for Penwortham, so I thought I would follow it. It took me down some more lovely little lanes that I had no idea existed at all and popped me out at Booths in Penwortham and I finally knew exactly where I was. I had covered 12 miles by this point and I knew that if I ran back the way I cycle to Booths that would give me about 4 miles which was perfect.

So off I trotted. At about 14 miles things started to hurt, by 15 my hamstrings and glutes were hurting a lot but quads and calves were only a little bit achy which I thought was a bit weird but it hurt less to run constantly than stop and stretch and try to start running again. I ran until I got stopped at the traffic lights about 1/4 of a mile from home, I had done 16.2 miles by that point so walked the last bit back home shaking my legs out as I went.

My hamstrings were very, very sore the next day but I realised it was probably caused by all the tidying up I've been doing in the garden, they always ache in the when I do lots of that as I think I overstretch them by spending loads of time crouching down or bending over, its mostly sorted now anyway. I hope its that as otherwise they need to toughen up a bit, the thought of doing another 10 miles with them like that doesn't appeal!

16.2 miles at 9.20 mm, didn't realise it was that fast, will try to take it easier on the next one, its even longer.