Sunday, 8 November 2009

Day 194 - rest

Rest day - just cycling into work and bike.

Day 193 - football

A decent night's game today - it feels as though my fitness levels have improved so that I can run around and do a little bit of damage. Even scored. Nice.

Day 192 - a decent six

Type - Steady run

Distance - 6 miles

Time - 44 minutes 14 seconds

I set off after work to fit in a steady six miles, running from work, down to the river and along until Tate Britain and back. The first section of the run takes me down Fetter Lane, along Fleet Street and then down to the river. It is downhill, and it is difficult to moderate with a warm up pace and not to overdo the speed. I went too fast, and would spend most of the rest of the run trying to keep a more measured pace.

My legs started aching after a couple of miles, a really deep pain at the top of my quads which had started after Saturday's long cycle. I carried on, but never really broke into a comfortable stride. I was pretty glad to have finished the run in 44 minutes which, although not the blistering 42 minutes I had done with Jarlath, was not bad.

Days 190 - 191 - recovery

Recovering from cycle exertions.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Day 189 - conquering Essex and Suffolk

Type - Steady cycle

Distance - 152 kilometres

Time - 6 hours 55 minutes

Average speed - 22 km/h

Out on the bikes and into a misty, murky and rain-drenched Essex. I was going on a long bike ride with Jarlath, and we had hitched the bikes to the back of his car and sped up the M11. The motorway exacerbates bad weather, but a torrential, lashing downpour was turned horrific by speeding cars. Visability reduced to just metres as arcs of spray and water .

We eventually arrived at Stansted Mountfitchet and parket up. The rain had eased off, but it was far from welcoming us into starting our 100 mile. We decided to nip to the shop, stock up on water and supplies and see if it would stop raining. It did. We were massively lucky in not having another drop of rain the whole day.

The first few hours stayed grey and oppressive, fantastic panoramas hidden behind a drizzly curtain, but the cycling was strong, the villages pretty and the roads quiet. We have both now got some proper cycle gear - shorts, tops, water bottles and all! It does seem to make a difference and, for the most part, we motored around the countryside, tackling hills and enjoying north Essex's flater geography. The only thing that was keeping my speed checked was the wet conditions and a fear of coming off my bike again.

A puncture in Clare was the only mechnical failure of the day (in fact the only mechanical failure Jarlath and I have had for ages, continue to touch wood). We had either overestimated the amount of daylight we would have, or underestimated the length of time it would take to finish.

We shaved 10 miles off the overall distance to try and get back in daylight, but only managed to get as far as Saffron Walden before having to cycle in the dark. Half an hour on a busy road being blinded by cars blazing full beam headlights was not idea. But a strong day's exercise, and a very decent piece of cross training.

Days 184 - 188 Perils of a sedentary life

I had to go to the emergency walk-in clinic at the beginning of this week to have a painful growth examined. Apparently it is a common side-effect of a sedentary lifestyle. I spent the rest of the week either sat on my office chair, sat on my bike or in bed. Not ideal.