Friday, 25 February 2011

Birthday tidings...

28 today...  This ageing business is getting a bit more serious.  *pressure*

No riding all weekend or this week because of flu.  Still not feeling great but determined to get out over the weekend, even if it means a quiet night tonight.  Not big on birthdays anyway, miserable git that I am ;)  Would rather get up early tomorrow and go on a club run than go out boozing tonight anyway-I'm really getting the fear about how little consistency I can find in training and riding just now.  I suppose that's just real life though.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Definitely Not Living La Vie Francaise Today...

Alarm set for 6.30 a.m to go out on a club run with Dulwich Paragon today like I did last weekend for my first experience of club riding which was great and settled my nerves about riding in a bunch as well as getting some new knowledge of local routes and meeting some nice folk...  Today however is torrential rain.  Grey skies. I don't even have a proper rain jacket at the moment, nor mudguards that fit on the training bike as the clearances are too close...  So I went back to sleep and now I'm slightly annoyed at myself.  

Still, a 70 mile run tomorrow-weather permitting of course.  I must say it has made turning down the opportunity to go to France for 3 months a bit regretful!  Ultimately it just didn't make sense... aside from avoiding responsibilities outside cycling in the 'real' world for a bit longer to focus on training.

I have taken delivery of a beautiful, high tech new turbo this week though thanks to the kind chaps at who I've been keeping up to date on my progress with a weekly blog article, and this has been in use every day this week doing intervals and long high-tempo sessions that seem to be pushing my metabolism through the roof as I am ravenously hungry 24/7...  Trying to keep control of what I'm eating to maintain a gradual weight loss though-I'm still aiming for an ambitious 63kg come July and I'm confident I can make it as long as I avoid slips like Thursday night where I ate a massive pizza and drank enough for the whole weekend.

This is an isolated incident and I have no plans to go anywhere but bed tonight so I can go to Leatherhead tomorrow morning and do a reccy of the Spring Onion Sportive route-which I'm doing proper on the 13th of March, featuring some 1600m climbing over 70miles so not to be scoffed at.

Climbing performance so far leaves me feeling scared.  Climbing like an arthritic spider would be the best description...  Still, no pain, no gain so I'll be mashing up the sloped tomorrow like a wounded buffalo if needs be.

Friday, 11 February 2011

To Go To France or Not To Go To France, That IS The Question...

Been offered a place on a 3 month, European funded program that would take me to Alles in the South of France..

I've only just got settled in London.  I have a possibility of a well paid job here...  My gf is here and we've just found a flat, moved in and decorated.

If I go to France, I have to re-settle and won't know what my position actually is until I get there, nor where I am staying, and financially, it will be a stretch as it only gives me a 600euro fee for the 3 months.

On the other hand, I get to cycle on lovely quiet French roads for 3 months, representing pretty ideal Etape training, can improve my language skills and potentially meet some good folks and put something good on my CV that would hold me in good stead for working there in the future.

Humm.  I need to make up my mind by Monday too...  what to do?

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Brighton Crock

London to Brighton achieved in reasonable time (cutting out pit stops and luncheon that is...)- it was a glorious day, clear, bright and although the temperature plummeted as the sun set, quite mild.

Had a great time with James who I've known for a while but never ridden with-steely pins that man-who demolished hills that I wheezed up and was good company whilst setting a high tempo that forced me to up my game in order to keep his wheel more often than I'd care to admit.

Other than a dodgy pub lunch which left me unsure whether my stomach was about to implode or explode, my legs felt good after the ride, so even if the very small hills ripped me to shreds so it was a pity to have the ride spoilt by the poor hygiene of some lazy chef.  Still, felt good to finally get out there and put a dent in the miles.

I've been so busy getting established down here in London I've not really had a chance to train much-during the week I've been doing small doses of strength and stretches-but other than that it's too frantic with finding work and a flat to be able to.  Now I've been offered a 3 month intern in Ales, in the Gard region of France from March-June.  Hmmm.  Cat amongst pigeons?  A little.  It would be nice in the sense that going and living in France would be nice, but it would also be financially very difficult and mean passing up better paid work here, whilst leaving my girlfriend in our new apartment.  I've been moving about so much over the last few years that I'm a bit lacklustre about the prospect of doing it again too...  But that said it would be fantastic for my Etape training even if it shits up every other aspect of my life ;)

Still... need to take a step back from all that real-life stuff to evaluate whats going on with my training anyway. I've been quietly stressing about doing nothing and on Sunday could feel all the heartrate and cadence training done on the turbo was out the window as I tried to pace James, my computer told me my max heartrate on one climb was 199bpm-the highest I've ever seen it!

Getting freaked out and wildly flailing on rides isn't going to get me into the shape I need to be in, but with limited time I'm really going to have to flog myself on really tough interval training at least 3 times a week, with a long ride on the weekend to build up the miles.  I figure if I can ride 60 miles just now with ok legs the endurance aspect is most important for climbing-which means losing weight and really being clever about the routines I'm doing as well as allowing adequate recovery time and going at my own pace if I'm riding with other folk.

 Looking back down a subzero Ditchling as the sun sets...  I almost puked but because of my lunch, not because of the climb-honest!
 A speedy decent to Brighton and the Sea!
Blurry Brighton...  Not feeling too hot by this point-nuclear fission happening in my stomach but legs fine-a speedy return to London and a hot bath was the order of the day.