Saturday, 19 May 2012

Turbo Training

On Friday the Doctor at the hospital said I would be fine to turbo train so Jenn helped me set it up. The turbo specific tyre seemed hardwork to get on so I hope it was worth the effort. The turbo belongs to Ali's dad and he has kindly leant it to me. We have borrowed it once before when Ali was injured but my one attempt at using it I found myself freewheeling. But after over a week of no exercise I am climbing the walls.

First thing was to get bike clothes on and then I tried using Garmin Training Centre to send a training programme to my Garmin. It worked telling me what to do. It was very basic, warm-up for 10mins, work harder for 5mins, recover for 5mins (repeat another two times) cool down. I had my sling on and was sat up which isn't the comfiest and I did get nice and hot but it was good to spin the legs.

I don't think there can be anything too hard just yet as I don't want to be moving my collarbone but I can at least do a bit of cycling on it and I could hear the tv over it (think the turbo specific tyre helps with that)

Friday, 18 May 2012

An Update

Back at the hospital today to basically be told there's no change, but that is good as the bones haven't moved. They still think it will heal well and I've been told I can try a turbo, as long as my arm is still in its sling. But its basically wait and do nothing. I'm very bored without cycling and work.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The why did it happen post

One of the first things people ask me is how it happened and I really am not sure. But that hasn't stopped me thinking about if I had done things differently that day, or if I was the cause of the crash. Orginally I ignored these thoughts as they don't help. But I decided writing them down will probably help me move on. What I remember of the actual crash is very little, the descent in question I have rode numerous times before, yes it is a little rough and I brake all the way down but I've never felt out of control. I must have been pushed off=line by a rock or something because I was heading towards a wooden post and then when I corrected I crashed, it was all so fast. Which probably explains why I broke my collarbone as if it was a slower speed crash I would have hopefully not broken it.

That evening I had been meant to be mountain biking in Calderdale, but not having had a great night or morning I cancelled, I decided I had been pushing myself a bit too much and that an early night would be a good idea, especially as I had to pack for the weekend. Neither my mountain bike or cross bike were ready to ride (my mountain bike needed the rear tyre changing after the weekend in Kielder and I had a front wheel puncture on the cross bike which I nursed home on the wednesday evening). Ali kindly fixed the puncture on my cross bike to help me get to work, I was having one of those days. Riding in I just wanted to go home and to bed and a tiny part of me worried that I wanted to crash. But I'm sure that wasn't the case. I wasn't even going fast down the descent and my thoughts had been more of stopping and going home. I did think maybe I wouldn't have crashed if I had been on the mountain bike but then I wasn't on uber technical terrain, I have rode this route to work lots.

It is just one of those things and I realise that just sometimes the doubts creep in a little bit. Now its just a case of doing everything right and hope that my bones heal quickly.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Today's commute was eventful...

I had to be rescued and taken to A&E, broken collar bone. I was on my off-road commute, not sure what happened, lost it a bit and was heasing towards a post, thought I saved it and over the bars.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Off-road commuting.

Having been working from the office this week I've been enjoying my off-road commute. It's been very muddy but SKS mudguards kept most it off me. Tuesday I saw some loce Gooslings, this set were cute. The next ones were on the tow path along with their scary parent coming at me if I tried to pass.

Wednesday I chickened out, missed out that section of canal and  rode round on the road.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Hill Reps on the way home

I've been doing some thinking about training and also getting some advice on it. I have looked at my strengths and weaknesses as a rider, harder to see any strengths but that is one for another day. Although I am not willing to give up commuting, it is an important part of me and keeps me healthy, I also recognise that just plodding away is not going to make me stronger in my weaker areas. I can ride all day, but then I complain about being slow and a rubbish climber. I often talk about doing hill reps or faster sessions saying I'll do it on the way home from work and then it doesn't happen. Well although I haven't yet made a plan (with 46days till the next big race I really should) I thought I would start with hill reps.

As soon as I left work I had changed my mind, finding excuses about not wanting to ride past home and go to what I thought was a suitable hill. Giving myself a little talking to I stopped at a hill on my off-road route home, it only took about 1:30 to ride up it so I did it 15times. It was interesting I couldn't push myself as hard as I do in a race situation and a lot of that was to do with my mind wandering. I wanted to ensure I climb seated as that is what I tend to do on the mountain bike, but not commuting, and I made myself do it but I kept wanting to stand up.

I was pleased that I had done a good session and it is the start of introducing key sessions.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Early morning run

Leaving Ali in bed I headed out for a run. Out the door and that lovely early morning feeling was in the air. Onto Lakeside Way for a while I was running behind a couple of dear. Kielder Water was like a mirror stretching away into the distance. A sign told me the dam was 10miles away and I was tempted but the sensible part of me made me turn round. Back to the hostel and still no real signs of life. I love first thing in the morning.

A much more sensible pace of a run although my garmin told me my heart rate was nearly 230bpm very near the start, that sounds a little high so i'm wondering if it is a garmin issue.

Afternoon Tea time

Somehow I persuaded Ali she wanted to ride over to Newcastleton today. But before we went I had to do something with my rear tyre as I had slit it yesterday (amazingly I didn't get a puncture though). As I was so useless with the packing I didn't have a spare tyre with me so I used some duck tape. It seems to have worked, well I got through the days riding fine but will change the tyre before my next ride.

Setting off just as it stopped snowing, does the weather not know its May? We headed out in the usual direction, Ali was making it clear she was a little sore. Up Lonesome Pine at a split where we always go right we went left, took is to one of the climbs on Bloody Bush, always nice to go a slightly different way. We also rode the new section of singletrack from yesterdays ride, it felt slightly better on the second riding. Still very tight and twisty but there was certainly less hate and thinking I would avoid it. Probably the difference between trying to race it and just riding it.

We crossed the border and Ali was getting a little tired, fortunately we started descending here. It doesn't take long before you join the blue trail. Ali got her second wind here and flew along the singletrack, I couldn't catch her! Onto the road we dropped down to Newcastleton for afternoon tea at Copshaw Kitchen. As always they completely spoilt us and the thought of moving never mind riding back to Kielder was difficult. We took the easier option of riding back on the road so as to protect my tyre and Ali's legs.
Another 35miles but slightly less climbing and a little more relaxed riding today.

The Border Raid

With Ali wanting to have another go at the Kielder100 in September I thought The Border Raid in Kielder would be an ideal training event. It's about 55km and heads over the border to Newcastleton and back. It would also be Ali's first race on her new bike. First hurdle was getting here and I managed to wash the bikes and pack most of my clothes Thursday night, there still seemed to be a lot fo faffing on the Friday before we left though. (Friday I hadn't been feeling great anyway and struggled through the day). But we did eventually get in the car and head to Kielder, at this point I was unsure if I would even start the race.

Once here Ali asked me my race plan, a brief pause to think about it I replied "I guess when they say Go, I'll probably just Go". A nice sophisicated plan then.

Morning of the race, up, dressed, breakfast and very Anxious. Still sorted tools etc, camelbaks full of water (you had to carry enough water for the race), then sign-on. Back to the hostel to drop down jackets, up to the start....we were the only ones there so back to sign-on and back to the start to waste some time. We even rode the first bit of the route, which suprisingly was some off-piste singletrack and a little tricky.

Lining up I chatted to a few folks from 24solo, then after a race briefing a man said Go, so I went. Took me a little while to get past Ali who had a fab start and then it was into the singletrack. I managed to ride over all the roots, I have a bad habit of stopping because I am scared. At this point I was first female, not for long though as Julie came alongside me chatted for a while and then pushed on. I could keep her in sight but she was stronger than me uphill and looking good on the downs. I did then pass her again as she had a chain issue but she soon re-passed me. At some point a girl in blue flew past me on a hill as if I was standing still!

We went the opposite way over to Newcastleton than the Kielder100 and all my other rides up here. It was great to ride it a different way and the usual long slog of a fireroad was a stick it in big ring and pedal hard downhill.  Riding down I was thinking my bike was throwing up a lot of gravel, then I realised that it was snow/hail, fortunately it didn't last long as I had decided to just carry a showerproof and not a waterproof. As I started climbing again I thought I heard a shout and looked round, decided I was being silly (it sounded like Ali) and carried on, it was only later I found out it had been Ali so she was pretty close behind me at that point.

Once on the trails at Newcastleton I was having fun, shame we did so little over there. Unfortunately I knew the climb back would be tough but just as I started I saw a flash of blue in the distance, just the motivation I needed. Staying in middle ring I pushed hard up the hill, at the start catching her but by the top no sign. Still I kept pushing and on another climb saw her again. I reeled her in and we got into a downhill section of singletrack, pushing I caught her and she sportingly let me past. I knew she was a better climber than me so on the last hill past the observartory I sprinted, into the final singletrack there was no sign but I kept pushing, found out later I had finished a minute ahead.

Back for a quick shower and just as I was heading to the finish to meet Ali she rode up to the hostel, she had finished 18mins behind me. My time was 3:16 which since I was aiming for sub 4hrs I was chuffed with. Although I was 2nd female as Julie is a vet I won my category, Ali finished 3rd. Not bad for someone who wasn't going to race. I enjoyed it and certainly pushed hard. I only used gels and water and it seemed to work. After we finished we got a nice meal as well, a highly recommended event.

Friday, 4 May 2012

April Roundup

Well April.......

Dominated really by two events. The first was 24Solo, although I knew my lead up to it wasn't great, I wasn't fit enough when it came to hilly riding and my head was in the completely the wrong place I put in a reasonable ride and was so happy to end up on the podium. (Might be the only time I can say I podiumed in a European Championships). The other wasn't so much fun and involved me spending three days in hospital and just over a week off work. Both of these events meant less riding, with a 24solo the week before is tapering and afterwards is recovering. The main result was a lot less road miles but off-road miles were reasonable, riding a 24hour race helps with that.

So the numbers:

Road Cycling:         191miles
Mixed Cycling:       55miles
Off-Road Cycling:  268miles
Total Cycling:      514miles

Running:              5.66 miles (managed to get started with the running again so now to keep it up)
Swimming:           1.6miles (need to get back in the pool after a couple of weeks off)

So May. Well miles are likely to go up with commuting but I want to make sure I am riding off-road at least once a week,  I love being out in the hills and this year I seem to have done a little too much road riding to fit in the off-road miles. Having started running I want to keep it up, it's good for me to do something different to just cycling and it will be useful for an event I have entered in June.

Talking of events I had planned to do some concentrated training, but at the moment I am just concentrating on being well and enjoying riding once things settle down I will have to think about hills etc