Thursday, 31 December 2009
Racing wise I raced exclusively on my singlespeed, completing transwales not just singlespeed but fully rigid as well. I had two good races at Mayhem and SITS as part of teams, even winning at Mayhem against some srong teams. The highlight race was Kielder 100, the hardest race I have done and the one race I wasn't sure I would physically be able to finish during it. It's the first race I entered for 2010 and one I am going to target and definetly try to go faster and improve how I feel during the race.
I also got a cyclo-cross bike this year and had planned on riding most of the NW races, this didn't happen. I think I underestimated how long it would take to recover from kielder and going from that to 1 hour long races was hard. I had some time out for racing and then was working a lot of sundays. But I have enjoyed the races I have done! I still need to get better at the format, I am rubbish at the getting on and off my bike and really should try and do a little bit of training! I also completed the big one, the three peaks. I sturggled to just get up the first hill with my bike and my lack of ability meant that I was never working that hard during the race. It's a race that will never suit me, but one I need to definetly try again!
Overall it has been a great year, the memories the adventures are fantastic. Now I hope I can build on it and hope to have some great adventures in 2010.
13.22 mile running
154.69 miles moutain biking (138.35 singlespeed)
8.96 miles cyclo-cross
340.58 mile road
10916m of ascent
Progress on targets:
- Run at least once a week Failed in March :o(
- Run 300miles in the year 57% complete
- Cycle an imperial century a month Failed in March :o(
- Cycle 8000miles in the year Completed!
This month would have been the one to stop me meeting my targets but it hasn't since the rest of the year was strong. Some good adventures this month stop me being disappointed. A ride in the peaks on the geared mountain bike also reminded me how much fun that could be.
So onto January and what that will bring.
Sunday, 27 December 2009
Soon it was the start and my last extra layer was shoved in a rear pocket and I was away. It felt like everyone was moving faster than me but I kept going! Lap two and I passed another female but had no idea who else was in the race, I had noticed her get away at the start. Everytime I looked over my shoulder I could see Anita just behind me, she is a lot stronger than me off the bike and I made an error trying to stay on my bike on one climb and she got within a metre of me. At this point I knew I had to work hard on the parts of the course I was strongest on. One of my favourite bits by this point was a muddy mess and I had given up changing gears seeing as I was just using my easiest gear the whole time!
Then someone said I was on my last lap, too scared to look back and wondering how everyone lapping me seemed to be going so fast I kept pushing. I was aware I was slower now and was glad to see the finish. I crossed the line with noone around me. At this point I realised that my feet had been replaced with blocks of ice and walking was pretty painful. A hobble to the car and a complete change of clothes led to me feeling a bit better.
After getting home I got a text to tel me I was the first female, pretty pleased with that as it was a hard race. Next stop Todmorden next weekend.
Saturday, 26 December 2009
Another Christmas Present finished. This one is a cocktail purse, the idea you put a little bit of cash, lipstick and phone in and off you go for the night. Not something I will use but hopefully perfect for Ali's sister who is a little more girly than me!
Friday, 25 December 2009
I've been crocheting for a couple of years now and it all started with Hats. The problem being that all my family now have hats and scarfs so something new had to be found for this year. I nearly always buy my sister a cuddly rabbit for Christmas so this year I decided to make one. Some searching on the internet and I found a pattern. A couple of weeks later and he was finished. It is my first time making a stuffed toy and won't be the last as I now have lots of toy stuffing to use! Maybe I bought a little too much!
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
So on Tuesday morning I left the house in a blizzard, sleeping bag on the bars and a rucksack full of as many layers as I could fit in. The weather got worse and worse and I managed to go the wrong way in Moses Gate Country Park, not a good start but I soon found my way to Radcliffe and back on course. At Prestwich the weather really closed in and I sheltered in a bus stop eating a sandwich debating what to do. Since not riding was cold I decided to get onto Asda at the velodrome for my first cake stop. A quick look at the map here and it was clear I wouldn’t get to the pub we were meeting at for 4pm riding so I decided to head to Piccadilly and get the train out to Edale. With Snake Pass closed riding out that way I might be pushing through snow for hours to get along the road. I timed it well as there was a train leaving in 15minutes, I had forgot they only run every two hours at this point. Once on the train I hear from Kate that she is at Edale and about to set off running.
Arriving at Edale and there seemed to be less snow so I headed off over to Jaggers Clough, it was mainly rideable and I got fresh tracks on the first descent. Then the pushing began! Soon I was disappearing into waist deep snow drifts! I got to the Roman Road and debated changing my plans and dropping down the Beast but I was having fun and decided to stick to my plan of the bridleway to Aston. It started off well, if a little comical as I tried to drag Rigger through the snow. But at some point I began to wonder if I was on the right track, after a while the map came out. I was sure I had worked out where I was – not the bridleway – but I still had that panicked feeling when I realised it was 3:40pm and time to get dark. I then pointed out to myself that it was a clear day and I could see the Cement works in Hope, I was hardly lost. A little bit further and I took a sensible option, straight down the hill towards the road. I found the bridleway I should have been on and it was straightforward after that, as long as I avoided the ice on the road.
I arrived at the pub three hours after leaving Edale just in time to order huge chip butties! I hung my clothes up on all the chairs near the fire which got a few odd looks from the staff! Kate had ended up coming in the car so had put loads of spare stuff in. She started listing all the clothes she had brought, now I was worried she seemed to have loads more than me and I am used to Kate having loads less! A couple of drinks later and a lot of faffing we set out up the bridleway, expecting a nice clear track to follow. Within 5 minutes we went wrong, but where we really went wrong is we didn’t retrace our steps! After climbing over a dry stone wall with barbed wire (and somehow lifting an ice-encrusted bike over) we ended up using the compass to ensure we were heading in the right direction and literally dragging Rigger by his forks/front wheel as we battled knee deep snow, heather and one occasion a bird! As we crossed the tundra with the wind howling I was beginning to worry, no way could we just bivvy there we were too exposed! But where were we. Eventually we came to the track and headed up to the Wheelstones, now I could push the bike again. This bit went very fast! I think it took us nearly three hours to reach our bivvy spot. The comforting thought that the car was only 40minutes away disappeared!
Once up there I had a few issues with the straps holding my sleeping bag on – I need a better method – but managed to loosen it enough to get the bivvy bag and sleeping bag out. Kate laid out our bed for the night – a survival bag chopped in half and opened up and we added a space blanket and our mats. Then it was into all the layers! In total I had on two base layers, bike jersey, bike jacket that I had on all day; then a shower proof, two more base layers and my down jacket. Bottom half was bib shorts, light thermals, bib tights from the day plus a set of woolly thermals (yes pink Chris) over the top. Feet I pulled on an extra pair of socks and head had 3 buffs, a thermal buff, woolly hat and hood from down jacket on. Water bottle in sleeping bag and in I got. Or in I tried, I didn’t seem to fit. I am sure Kate will have been wondering what the fuss was about, it took me at least five minutes to get in and I wasn’t lined up with the hood. Never mind it was cold, sleep time.
It didn’t feel like I was getting to sleep, but I wasn’t cold, I could feel the cold air on my back, but I wasn’t cold as such. I know I must have slept at some point, as I was apparently snoring! But I woke up loads, with cold feet. The mistake was not taking my wet socks off, next time that will not happen. I also had cramps in my calves, unusual for me but I wonder if it is dehydration as I never drink enough! At about 5am I had to give up and go to the toilet, only I had bibs on under 6 of my 8 layers, no way could I do it in the sleeping bag, so out I came and as quick as I could I took layers off, bibs off, layers on. Then feet into boots – they were frozen solid so they didn’t really fit! (Kate used dry bags as boots when she went to the toilet, ace idea!) Round the corner into the wind, back to bed as quickly as possible! Once again getting in was hard, but I wasn’t bothered where the hood was, I found it worked quite well the wrong way completely enclosing me.
1) Take wet socks off and put new ones on
2) You can wear 4 base layers
3) Don’t wear bibs
4) There is no such thing as too many clothes, but sleeping bags seem very small when dressed as michelinwoman!
Sunday, 20 December 2009
Then along a track we had once tried running on, here we had fresh tracks.
Soon it was time to head uphill as darkness fell but not before Ali drew a picture:
Once at the pub it took quite a while to decide which of the amazing dishes we wanted! Stuffed it was time to walk home, layers and head torches on we set off. Stopping for Ali to make a snow angel.
Then I was proved right, no need for torches, it was so bright coming down the hill, at the bottom ali wanted to go back up. But it was through Jumbles and home. Once home the snow gave way to slush but I think its snowing again!
Saturday, 19 December 2009
Now home and waiting for my feet to defrost before braving the bath. Then I'll be heading out again to the party. I was going to ride over on the cross bike but I think I might appreciate the huge tyres on rigger!
Friday, 18 December 2009
Got into Manchester and locked the bike up, jeans on so I looked almost normal. Then Greg turned up on the bus. Turns out neither of us can make decisions! So we ended up in Weatherspoons for burgers and then to the Christmas market. I have never been and although lunchtime friday isn't the busiest time I was pleasantly suprised to enjoy it, no major anxiety with all the people. No paranoria.
Wasn't long before I realised it was time to head home, got the train from Piccadilly, being the Edinburgh train it was packed. Cycling home I passed a street cleaner gritting the pavements on my road, it was so cute! Suppose that is an advantage to living on a main road.
Once home I quickly changed - bike tights and jeans would be way to hot at the Dr's surgery, it is always so hot. Then back out the door. Amazingly I only waited 5 minutes, he always is running late as he chats nearly as much as me! I thought will have had him running late again. I was expecting to be told off but he just smiled, we chatted about kielder a bit and the snow and randomly how another Dr had suggested I should do more exercise, it amused him the assumptions people make. A promise that I won't wait 6 months before seeing him and I was off home.
Next it was time to get Ali ready for her night out. She had her hair done at the hairdressers and her sister had sent her a dress. She looked lovely, and I managed not to laugh at her trying to walk in her heels. She was shivering in the car, me in my down jacket was lovely and snug! I'm now on taxi duty so at some time in the early hours I will expect a call. I don't think she will be going out afterwards this year though, it is cold cold cold and she is only wearing a dress!
Thursday, 17 December 2009
This morning getting out of bed was a real effort, I was shattered! I had gone to bed early last night as well. After a morning where everything took twice as long I nipped over to Cooksons so they could sort out the mess I had made with my brakes - rounded a bolt off rushing on monday. So the brakes were sorted and I could ride.
It then took me forever to leave, 15mins to do what I thought was a 5 mile (just over 6) journey was pushing it a lot. Riding into the back of a car - it was stopped on double yellows but still! - on the way over made me think I should give up. But I had promised!
Once there we headed out over to Red Rock when I realised there were no lights on Kates bike, so back round via Adlington as it started to get dark and back to Lower Barn for hot chocolate and chocolate brownies. Kate informed me that I had to get her fit over the winter by making her get out and ride. Since she had dropped me by miles on every climb I think it might need to be the other way round. I was just going backwards the whole time.
Getting back to the car I clipped one of my rear lights onto her and we set off, she was impressed with the amount of light my little light produced, till I pointed out it was a joystick. The snow started and the offer of a lift home taken up. Unusally for me I didn't want to ride, usually even when its the last thing I wanted to do all day once I'm out I want to stay out.
Still shattered so off to bed, later than planned but with some good reading. Made my day slightly less busy today but still have to force myself into Manchester for cake and a Dr's appointment.
Also key sessions are cancelled for this week, plan was always every 4th week off as recovery but being so shattered this week, and I had planned hill repeats for today and long run tuesday so now would be catchup, I am going to try and be sensible!
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Sunday, 13 December 2009
So up this morning and porridge made I set out to ride over to Rivvy barn, Ali decided to drive as she was aching all over after running yesterday. The ride over was lovely and it looked like it was going to be a fantastic winter day, cold and crisp. I got to Rivi and located Kat, and soon we were all assembled. It's wasn't hard to work out who was with us as we were the only girls with road bikes around.
Out of Rivi and over towards Adlington, Ali managed to find some ice and we had the only crash of the ride. At this point I had to keep my fingers crossed the rest of the route wasn't icy as I really couldn't remember what I had plotted and if I had even ridden most of the roads before. (At one time I would have just pre-rode the route but I don't have time for long road rides these days) As it turned out the rest of the roads seemed fine.
Saturday, 12 December 2009
Since I am such a geek I had to compare my splits to last week:
Thursday, 10 December 2009
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Once over there it was head down and work, the first one felt ok. Second one harder, third I could really feel my legs. I told myself to push hard for the fourth and I could stop after that one. This one really hurt, legs screaming, breathing hurting, tongue hanging out - so that is what it is meant to feel like. Fifth was the same so now I know what it should feel like, oddly enjoyable, and there is no day-dreaming when working that hard its just not possible!
1:12 in the end
I felt good the whole time and I was running (still picking the feet up not shuffling) the whole way. I actually felt I probably could have been faster but the aim was time on feet which was achieved.
Monday, 7 December 2009
A university in America has decided to test all its students and those with a BMI above 30 and a waist measurement about 35inches for women, or 40inches for men, will have to take a special class to graduate. The fitness for life lessons will including walking, cycling, aerobics and lessons in a healthy diet.
It doesn't say they have to improve their BMI to graduate just that they have to go to the classes.
Is it fair that people cannot graduate because they are obese when academically they have done well?
Sunday, 6 December 2009
Today the plan was to see when I woke up and maybe go and join the shecycles easy ride over at Rivi. They had a plan involving lots of cafe stops that I liked the idea of as that means lots of cake. Both of us were up late though so we decided to ride over and do the second loop with them. On the way over I bumped into John and Donk but there wasn't much chatting as it was cold. Then down the ICR to Chapel tea-rooms. Ali cleared it for her first time ever whereas I dabbed numerous times and basically acted like I couldn't ride!
We timed it arriving just as they were finishing lunch. The plan was to head up to the Pike via the school climb so we headed up. Halfway up there was a little playing on a drop thing at the side where I was mean and out-chicked a guy by riding it after he had bailed on it.
On top of the Pike and the temperature was dropping and it looked like it would be getting dark soon so it was time to blast down. At pigeon tower we split, some going down the AICR and four of us doing the ICR, I cleared it and the first two of us down were girls, yes out-chicked the boys again!
Regrouping and there were lots of cold feet so down to lower barn where I got my cake and hot chocolate.
Ali and I headed out again then to ride home. Extra layers and lights on we headed up onto Georges Lane and then home via Barrow Bridge. 23 miles in total and a lovely ride but maybe I should bring the geared bike next time it is a little more sociable!
Saturday, 5 December 2009
Friday, 4 December 2009
Recipe added for those interested:
Thursday, 3 December 2009
32.74 mile running
141.40 miles moutain biking (all singlespeed)
97.41 miles cyclo-cross
497.01 mile road
151923m of ascent
Progress on targets:
- Run at least once a week Failed in March :o(
- Run 300miles in the year 53% complete
- Cycle an imperial century a month Failed in March :o(
- Cycle 8000miles in the year 97% complete
This month I have no real plans, apart from trying to keep fitting key sessions in. It's looking like there will be a lot less work (if any at all) from next week so I may play out on the mountain bike more.
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
A quick drink and we headed home. Great ride and while out the grumpy feeling went, back again now but hopefully it'll go overnight!
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
Imagine you’re in charge of one of those giant computers — the kind that you see in movies. The computer contains billions of items of data that together somehow keep the Western world from falling into chaos. One day, as you watch the screen in horrified disbelief, the data begins to disappear. The world’s most virulent superbug has infected the hard drive and every fragment of information is slowly and methodically destroyed until all that is left is a blank, blinking screen.
With depression, that database is every particle of your personality. Every fragment of knowledge and experience that have provided the anchors and co-ordinates from which you are progressively able to address the world with a measure of safety and confidence, with a growing sense of who “me” is, has suddenly been completely voided. Dramatic? Yes. Terrifying? Absolutely.
This is one of the best descriptions I have ever read. It's such a hard thing to explain and I think he has hit the nail on the head.
Sunday, 29 November 2009
I got a reasonable start and on the first hill was elbow to elbow going up the steps with another ride, only when I realised that their bike had pink bartape too did I realise it was Jenn. At the top I managed to get away as I got round a few people but she caught me before the end of the lap. The next two laps were spent just keeping her in sight. I then lost her through the mudpit that had been a grassy field - maybe the fact my tyres appear to be twice as wide as everyone elses has something to do with it? Pushing on I started to get chain suck, not helpful at all. The bell lap came and my chain came off three times on that lap. Once during a sprint to the line where I did just have the upper hand. Running as hard as I could I was just pipped in my own bid for glory!
Layers all on again, into the warm. Simon provided doughnuts and after the prizes were handed out. (I was third but no prize for that) I rolled home. Washed the bike, then me, then the clothes.
Much cheaper than a day spa and probably a lot more fun!
Saturday, 28 November 2009
The race itself was very different to anything I have done. We started on a narrow tarmac climb and it took a while to get going, minutes later my bike stopped. It was completely clogged up. I mainly walked/staggered around this lap. I think that narrower tyres would be a good idea, looking round mine are wide. Any suggestions? Lap two and I let a little bit of air of the tyres. Then I punctured the front. I have no idea how. Nearly 20minutes was spent trying to fix it then someone lent me a wheel. I basically carried the bike round a third lap and finished. I was probably last and I was pretty rubbish in the mud. I am so slow off the bike! But it was fun!
After that there was some chatter and my bike got a bit of a wash from Ali's friends - otherwise I would have had to try and get some of the worst off using my camelbak! Some flapjacks and crispie cakes were consumed before we headed off home. Top of the first climb we both stopped to add layers, it was cold! It was faster on the way home, something to do with a change in elevation of -100m! But pedally enough to stay warmish! By the time we were nearly home some of the cars had lights on! I guess it is getting dark earlier. But not that early!
Now time to wash all my muddy kit and think about getting my bike a little cleaner for tomorrow's cross race in Bolton. I hope it is a little less muddy!