Sunday, 29 November 2009

Mud mud glorious mud

Some people pay good money to get themselves covered in mud. I just go cross racing! After wasting too much time and arguing with Ali I quickly washed my bike (no idea why I bothered really) and rolled down the hill to leverhulme park. Signed on and did a lap. Course was lovely and muddy. Everything was covered! Slowly I removed all my warm layers so I was ready to race and lined up on the grassy start. It was almost like slow motion as we all sprinted across a muddy pit, little did I know that this was the quickest that I would manage this bit of the course!!!

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

Haslingden CX

After a few weeks of not racing I headed over to Haslingden today for the cross race. The plan at the moment is just to go to races I can ride to, otherwise it is well out of my budget. Ali had decided to come with me today as the mileage would give her a new monthly PB for road bike miles. I thought I had been really organised and got everything packed. About 7 minutes from home and I realised I had forgotten my number and my purse. So Ali kindly offered to go home and get them - she is faster than me and was on a road bike. I continued spinning my way along and got to the turn off for Haslingden where I had said I would wait. 5 minutes later along sprints Ali. So it was a quick spin to the race HQ to register and then time to take off all the extra layers. No time to pre-ride but everyone said there was no really point!

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!

Friday, 27 November 2009

Flapjacks take two

Second attempt today, followed a different recipe with lots more of everything it seemed. Wasn't 100% sure how long to cook them but they looked ok when they came out. But this time maybe not dry enough. Taste test was a little too buttery for me so next time is less butter. Soon I will have them perfect.

I like this making my own snacks, what shall I try next?

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Long Run

Today's key sessionwas a scheduled long run of an hour. The plan was to head up to Affetside but turn back before the top, doing the whole loop would probably be the the bast part of an hour and a half! Over to the golf course and my pace was already slow, partly as I walked down the slippy slabs and cobbles. But I also had nothing there! It wasn't long before I knew I was going to have very wet feet, this pond was unavoidable!!!

Onto the hill, out onto the tarmac halfway up and I decided to turn round, heart rate was down, I was slow, there really wasn't much point. More or less back the way I came out except avoiding the cobbles so slightly more road. Back with 45minutes on the clock and hardly any distance covered. Average heart rate was 152bpm which is silly low for me when running. Then spent some time stretching which was a really good idea as I never stretch enough.

Fortunately my legs had returned for riding to work and I felt fine, not fast just normal speed.

Key Sessions

More structure is the plan for this winter. I have had two winters now since I started riding more and I definetly love my adventures but I am generally lazy and just pootle away. Then I ride with others and I am basically slow. I'll never be fast, too heavy and no natural talent, but it would be nice to be faster. As I know that I won't give up the just riding and I will always want to commute by bike a dedicated training schedule is out. I don't have the motivation to just do certain sessions, not jump on my bike and ride for 3 hours because the weather is nice or a friend wants to meet for cake. So I am going to try my own method. I am going to continue riding and come the summer going on adventures but I am going to plan some key sessions for each week. These are sessions that are more useful to me than the usual ride to work ride home in which I just pootle along. The plan is to plan four sessions a week. Two running and two biking. This week the plan is/was:

Run 1: 30mins
Run 2: 1 hour
Bike 1: Hill repeats
Bike 2: Cross race

The plan is that there will be a shorter intensity session for each running and biking and then a longer one of each. Hence they will be labelled: R, LR, B, LB. I think it is important to plan a long bike as although I do a fair amount of riding and the hours add up each week since I have been working again there are less continuous long rides. I have been recording all my days mileage as one ride. So for example a 35mile ride might actually have been 15miles in the morning , 10miles at lunch, 10miles home. I am going to split rides now, I didn't originally as I didn't want to have done loads and loads of road rides, but I think it is more honest. Or do you think I should still record as one ride?

The plan is that most of the time this long ride will probably be road and I will take a long way to/from work but once a month I will head out on a long mountain bike ride.

I'm hoping that I can get faster for kielder next year, the first race I have entered of a few events I'm hoping to do. But I really want to improve my time for this. I was really happy with now I did but I think I can go faster. Nutrition will be another thing to look at for this!

I also think I will have to publish weekly plans on the blog so people can nag me into doing the sessions!

The Pig of Happiness

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

New Meal Wednesday - Sucess

Tonights meal was wok-cooked chicken in tomato and fenugreek sauce. It took Ali quite a while to cook, not good for me as I was hungry!!! But it was worth the wait, served with both rice and nann bread there is nothing left now!

Adding some structure

Well I am thinking that I will try and add a little more structure to my practising riding my bike time. I have noticed that I have lost some strength and I think its because at the moment most of my riding is relatively easy commuting. So as well as adding running back in, which has been going well, I have been organising some night rides - works my technical skills - and some hill repeat sessions. Today was the first planned session, I nearly didn't bother telling myself my legs were tired etc! This meant that I only had an hour once I was on the bike.

So over to Affetside I went. Only three repeats, they were hard, but I think part of it was the wind. Although not completely a headwind (there was aspects of a sidewind to battle as well) it still was very noticeable. I'm hoping that is why I am a lot slower compared to when I was doing these previously!

Repeat 1: 5:06
Repeat 2: 5:20
Repeat 3: 5:24

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Nice ride out, swim home

Headed out to Rivi this evening to meet Jonny, it was to be my first time meeting his new singlespeed! As usual I didn't quite leave myself enough time, even after the meeting time was put back 15mins so had to push the last bit. It was a lovely clear evening although very very dark. Or maybe that was just Barrow Bridge?

Nice loop round Rivi with a new trail for me, probably boring during the day but lovely as a night riding trail.

Split at the school and I headed back up onto Georges Lane. Here the weather changed to torrential rain and gale force winds. I stopped and wrestled two jackets onto me put my lights on high and head down I continued. Back down through Barrow Bridge. Back out onto the ring road and I swam home via the lakes that had formed where there was once a road. Crazy how quickly it can change! Glad that I live somewhere that isn't flood prone though and hope Cumbria wasn't getting more of what they had last week.

Making snacks

Yesterday I decided to make some snacks to take out with me on rides/to work. I eat so much I always need some type of food with me. So after some googling and a trip out for Golden Syrup I got on with making flapjacks. After dinner I then started on the crispie cakes. All was going well till ali decided to help, we ended up with Rice Crispies everywhere. I can see I will be cleaning the kitchen tomorrow to find all the corners they disappeared into!
Taste testing will be today, can't see them lasting long though!

Monday, 23 November 2009

Wet cold feet

Well I decided it was time to get out on the bike again and I wasn't working today so it was out the door before 9am for me! It wasn't long before I found a flooded trail, it hasn't really affected me here just the odd bit of road flooded as I basically live on the top of a hill and go into Manchester everyday. This reminded me how much rain had fallen!

I headed over to Ramsbottom and across the firing range, after climbing an easier way to Peel Tower. The stream there was too deep for me to try riding across and my feet were a little wet after wading through it.

Over to the duck, still looks closed and I realised that I hadn't really been sensible, my only spare layer as a thin waterproof - which I decided I had better put on - and I had no food with me, although a couple of energy gels so I would have been ok. Seeing as it was getting colder and wetter I headed home. Not without some more paddling and exploring a couple of new paths.

40km on the gps as I got home, feet are only just defrosting. Must remember to carry more in the winter!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Sometimes wine is all you need

It's all too easy for me to end up in the house not leaving and after wasting enough time I couldn't get to the cross in St Helens on time that was exactly what I did. I think part of the problem is I am not loving cross as much, everyone is disappearing afterwards, I like the talking bit!

Anyway a trip for doughnuts and cookies, followed by wine and pizza for tea and I think I am back on track. Riding tomorrow? Of course!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

A bike and a jog

Yesterday I headed out early to drop Ali's roadie off for its six week service. She had being going to do it on thursday evening but for some reason I volunteered to go on friday morning. A nice tailwind blew me over towards Bury and then it was time to get home. Jackets strapped onto camelbak and I started running. It was hard, uphill and a headwind. Eventually I was descending but my legs didn't know how to go faster. I was slow but I ran the whole way, nearly 7 miles!

Friday, 20 November 2009

No more trying to kill myself!

The brakes on my cross bike have been very annoying, they slow me down but don't stop me. Commuting to work on it is scary and the other week I sailed through a red light in front of traffic coming off the motorway. No fun at all. Something needed to be done so the boys at Cooksons told me to stop by on my way past. Got there at 4pm and four of them got my baby sorted. The way home and they worked, I now could stop - yay!

As always you couldn't ask for a better bike shop!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

New Meal Wednesday

After a little break it was time for New Meal Wednesday to start again. This time it was Pan-fried pheasant with orange sauce and rocket salad. This had been choosen as Ali had come back from a supermarket shop the other week with all sorts of different meats that she had got out of the reduced section. So I picked up oranges and rocket on the way home and Ali set about following the receipe. We also did some potato wedges to add to the meal. Somehow we managed to overdo the wedges but never worry onto the pheasant. It was nice but the orange flavour was just a little too much. If we were to try it again it would be with a lot less oranges! I have to admit I wasn't able to finish it all as it became a little over-powering. But trying pheasant for the first time was a success and I did like the meat.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Run, bike, oranges

No work this morning, rain falling out of the sky, time for a run. Timed it so it stopped when I stepped out the door and started just after I got back. A change of route took me past some horse jumps. Where a dog ran up to me and started jumping up at me. The owner eventually turned up and told me he didn't bite he just didn't like runners. Oh and I should have kept going (with the dogs paws all over me that wasn't happening) and that she couldn't see me, I was in bright pink!!! Along the river sloshing through ankle deep water, I guess there has been a bit of rain then?

Home and left a little late for work, pushing hard but with all the lights and traffic 15mph was as fast as I could get. Off home, lights on from the off, throught the centre of Manchester with buses beeping at me. Dropped off a dvd on the way home - must learn not to talk constantly - onto Asda, oranges and lemon juice purchased for new meal wednesday. Just beat Ali home still though.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Hmm, one of those days

This morning it took all my strength to lever myself out the door, I just wanted to go back to bed and hide there. Over to Heaton Park to school number one. My head felt foggy all morning which isn't ideal for teaching anything! I was offered a lift between schools but thought riding would be good for me especially with the sun shining. Next school was over on the building site that used to be Maine Road, so I stopped off at Platt Fields Park to eat my sandwiches. Seeing as I had been aware of hardly anything on the way there and focussing seemed hard it was amazing the difference that half an hour in the park made. Got to school and could cope with normal human things like conversation.

Hometime came and the rain started, looking out I thought it was spitting so no waterproof trousers, 5 minutes down the road and I changed my mind! Past the house and over to Asda where I really stretched the limits of my bag! I'm not sure it counted as closed but it is amazing how much you could fit in!

Next came my dumbo moment, leaving late I sprinted over to Rivi for a night ride. Getting there 5 minutes late I thought I had missed them. No it turns out I really should check as noone else was riding! Came home the same way pushing hard on the hills and really enjoyed it. 17miles in total with maybe a little more than usual on tarmac.

Off to bed to hope I wake up in less of a foggy/dumbo mood tomorrow!

Classifying rides

An interesting post off a forum got me thinking. Not enough to look at how hilly all my rides are but I might see what a standard commuting ride is classified as:

0-5m/km - flat or rolling
5-10m/km - mildly hilly
10-15m/km - hilly
15-20m/km - very hilly
>20m/km - procreateingly hilly

Monday, 16 November 2009

LSD on prescription?

Catching up on the papers today I read an interesting artical on the use of Hallucinogenic drugs in mainstream psychotherapy. It started off mentioning a session in Berlin rumoured to have involved illegal drugs where two of the participants died. There seemed to be two schools of thought, those who say more research is needed as there has been shown to be positive benefits and those who say that the benefits are short-term and the risks too high. The interesting thing is that most of the issues with these drugs is probably as they are illegal drugs. They seem to work on the seretonin system in the brain which is what most prescription anti-depressants do. I suppose a lot of the problem will be that they are out there as illegal drugs, even if they are shown to be helpful their is always the problem on a minority of people self-medicating and in mental health conditions this is unlikely to be helpful.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Muddy Cross Ride

A text yesterday led to a change of plans for today and I headed out for my first club ride. The plan was to meet in Horwich for 9:30am and ride for about 3 hours. I knew the latest I could get home was 12noon and that was pushing it as I had an afternoon meeting. I headed over via the climb from Barrow Bridge being suprised that my legs didn't feel too bad and was 2nd there. It wasn't long before their was five of us there ready to go. Off onto the trails round Rivington and over towards the nab. I was just about keeping up with the boys and having fun. Over to White Coppice and the new bridleway was noted - a muddy mess at the moment. Once here I started struggling to stay near them on the hills. Over into Tockholes woods and I realised the time so it was a sprint home from me, shame my legs had fallen off! Going to play with the brakes this week they really should work better than they do!

28miles before lunch and nice and muddy perfect start to the day.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Cheeky Hayfield

Green and Pink
Originally uploaded by qwertyphoto

Woke up today and it sounded windy and rainy out. The thought of going back to bed did occur but I headed off to Hayfield with Ali. We got there in loads of time, first so no rushing this week to get ready. Soon the others arrived and it was time to head off. First along the Sett Valley trail and then I was lost. All new trails and maybe a little bit of cheek!

At one point we were at the top of a huge drop and we all gingerly stepped over a gap in some rocks. Most days I wouldn't have thought anything of it, but the wind made all all very cautious.

Ali's brakes decided to give up somewhere after this so she headed off to the pub and the rest of us did more climbing and more (slow in my case) descending.

After one of my shorter rides it was off to the pub for food, including a great chocolate brownie ice-cream cake and lots of chat.

My legs didn't want to go uphill today, I either have some strength work to do or I need a smaller gear. I know which option is easiest!

Thanks to Rich we have some good photos of the day - especially as I took none!

Oh and Happy Birthday to teacake for tomorrow!

Friday, 13 November 2009

A wet and windy night ride

Out tonight with Odile and Ali. The ride started off fine, it was raining but not too bad. Once we got on winter hill it was a different story. Windy and shards of rain trying to pierce my skin. At this point it was try and get home as quick as we could. Descending unable to see anything but hey it was fun!

Just as we got to smithills I realised something was wrong with my bike. Checked that the rear wheel was in tight, yes, then notice the EBB had moved out of the frame. It wasn't for moving so I stamped on it to get it back in enough to pedal. Two more stops were needed to do this as it worked its way out. Ali was looking worried that I would break the bike.

Then all that was left was to swim home through the huge lake that once was a road. At least we had clean tyres at the end of it!

Breaking the hour

Today I went out with the aim being to run for an hour. I want to get back to the stage I can run my loop up to affetside again. Apart from being a huge hill it also takes over an hour so first I need to build the time on my feet up. I am comfortable now running twice a week for between 30 and 40 minutes and had no muscle soreness after wednesday's run. So today was the day. Once again it was muddy round the golf course and it continued that way through to Jumbles. As I neared home I was going to be short of my hour, so the long way round the football pitches added enough on. Nearly 6 miles covered so not bad going. Next target hills!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Running intervals and punctures

Today I only had work in the afternoon so this morning I went running. I like running in daylight if I can as I can run off-road but I find it harder to motivate myself to get out than when I just get up in the morning for a run! Today I headed over onto the trails round the golf course and then when I got round to the football pitch I did some intervals. I ran as fast as I could from one end to the other, jogged back to recover and repeated five times. Turns out the distance was 100m. I learnt that I am not very good at running fast, but I am sure it will do we good in the long run as I need to get better at pushing hard for short periods of time. I think I might look for a longer stretch though. I was within a second on every interval though which was good going. It felt hard work running home though. Still slowly I seem to be getting back into running and I know it does a lot for my fitness!

After that it was a quick lunch, shower and out the door for work. Down the road and I realised something was wrong. Yes I had a flat rear tyre. Home fixed, checked in the tyre, out again. Half a mile later flat! Now I'm late, so home switch bike, train to manchester, off to school, get lost, look at map, just arrive in time. Too much stress with me and I seem to have lost the ability to deal with stress!

An easy ride home, stayed on the road even though I was on the cross bike, then off to the post office and the supermarket. Also picked up something for my sisters Christmas present, but won't be blogging about that till after Christmas incase she stops by here!

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Riding out of the fog

Last night I headed over to Belmont to meet FatLad and his mate Phil. I was riding there through freezing fog, wondering if I should have put thermals on under my tights and where we were going to ride since we couldn't see! We headed out up the Belmont Road since the cheeky route up was going to be even more of a bogfest than normal. At the top we suddenly came out of the fog and lights could go on full as we flew along to Pigeon Tower. Down the ICR and I was glad I could see. It was nice on fatlad to fall off as soon as it got rocky so we knew where the harder bit started!

Back up to the pike and the views were clear to a point where they just stopped. Off the back and then round and up to Winter Hill. My promises this was the last uphill didn't seem to be believed at this point. We got to the top and the gates were shut and padlocked so it was time to snorkel round the mast to the other side.

Then it was down down down, until Phil threw himself off his bike on one of the few easy bits. Back on and round a corner after the drops and there he is again with a bike on top of him. This time it was easy to see why. At this point we entered the freezing fog again. Slowly back to the road and along to the pub.

A pint and crisps later the two of them headed off in the car and I put on extra layers and headed home. The fog was once again penetrating my tights and I was glad to get home. A quick wash of the bike and me and I was off to bed.

Night riding rocks!

Monday, 9 November 2009

A crispy winter ride

A cancellation meant I wasn't working today so a few emails and I found that my friend Carolyn was free as well. Its ages since we have ridden together and she has been getting into triathlons this summer so a road ride was suggested. The sun came out and it was an ideal day for being on the road. After a false start with the cafe we found a fantastic one out at Rufford. There were at least 10 types of cake for me to choose from as well as ice-cream. One that has been bookmarked. There were a few cyclists there as well!
Back home with 56miles done.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Riding in the peaks

Today Ali and I headed over to Marple for a ride with the boys of the singletrack world forum. It was a bit of a rush in the morning, packing for two, making lunch for two and getting Ali out of bed but it was worth it. A route that had everything, muddy slogs, singletrack, rocky descents and a pub. Great company and loads of cake at the end made the day fantastic.

I made the route 21.5 miles with 1050m of climbing

Loads of pictures here

Saturday, 7 November 2009

How much mud?

I persuaded Ali to join me on the hit the north preview ride today. After ages sorting out her brake, yes at last she can use her own front brake and I can keep mine on my bike. Its my fault for not getting the part for it sooner! We headed over on road, getting there to only a few waiting in the car park. We headed off and soon were enjoying the mud and slippy slippy cobbles! Round once, with a couple of wrong turns when we could no longer see anyone in front, before heading off home. This involved more mud as we took in some of the trails and a couple of Chocolate stops to get a tired Ali home!

Friday, 6 November 2009

A dark dark night ride

Rain all the way home again and it was in the door, bowl of cereal and then Odile was here to go night riding. Trails were linked together in a new way and it seemed even darker than normal up on the hills. Great to get out and we more or less avoided the rain!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Muddy, dark cross commuting

Today was the last day of my midday saunter down a sustrans route between schools. After the recent slightly damp weather and leaves everywhere I didn't think ruby would enjoy it so I took the cross bike. Nice easy start to the morning with 6 miles on roads that were pretty clear. Just got the outcomes finished before the rain came then it was off to school number two. Very very muddy trek between them, ruby would have cried! Usual fuss from them so four of us went for a pint afterwards. Then a sprint across Manchester to the office, just getting there in time to return files.

Hometime and I rode to Prestwich before heading off-road, I had a joystick on the bars and one on my head. I was impressed that this was enough to ride with and even when it was foggy and I had to turn the one on my head off it was fine.

By the time I was home I was very muddy and Ali suggest Jalfezi and bubbles for tea. A nearly perfect day and I was only a little scared on the off-road sections.

Running as the sun rises

Up and out at 6:30 again this morning. It got brighter and brighter the whole way round. I wore my Garmin but didn't look at it, just took it easy. Think I need to train myself to just cope with running at that time and worry about how slow it is later. Although I never saw the sun I assumed it was rising somewhere.

Just over 3 miles, in just over 30 minutes.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Lights, waterproofs, winter?

I think winter has arrived, I rode into work in full waterproofs and then back home and I needed them! I've never been a fan of waterproof trousers but when you are not getting changed they are essential!

Bike was covered in lights as well and they were needed, yes winter is here!

A late track session

Last night it was off to the track, finishing after my bedtime. Learning that standing starts are hard and a crash that I fortunately avoided coming down in. But still did the squealing sound effects. All fun and games!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Muddy puddles

Well last week was fun and tiring but there was relatively little exercise really and no running. So after a nice rest day yesterday to recover from working 14 hour days I headed out running today. The plan was 30mins, off-road working reasonably hard. I had it in my head I wanted to average 10 min/mile. My garmin is set in kilometres so I had thought that was about 6:15 min/km. Off I went across the grass behind my house, I always get odd looks here especially when it is muddy as there is a perfectly good pavement next to it, but my knees thank me for it. Over the main road, down to a bit of hidden singletrack that now has gates all along it, one to miss on the bike! Onto the golf course and up a muddy slippy climb, heard a cheer through the trees from some golfers, not sure if it was a good shot or for me! At the top add another muddy loop, then back to the edge of the golf-course. Ignore the gravel track and its along the football pitches, they are very muddy and a little hilly. Up the steps, then push along the backs, last bit of pavement and I'm home. 9:47 min/mile average over 2.92 miles. Not bad going.

Monday, 2 November 2009

October Round Up

Well October is over. I did a few cross races, but mainly rode to and from work and the odd night ride and enjoyed just riding a bike again. I wasn't in the mood for anything major and work miles kept me ticking by nicely! I also got out running again, building up slowly but 3miles is fine again. I've been getting up early for a run and that seems to work as otherwise I don't bother running.

The figures:

10.4 mile running
91.05 miles moutain biking (52.05 singlespeed)
163.72 miles cyclo-cross
383.23 mile road

11303m of ascent

Progress on targets:

  1. Run at least once a week Failed in March :o(
  2. Run 300miles in the year 42% complete
  3. Cycle an imperial century a month Failed in March :o(
  4. Cycle 8000miles in the year 88% complete
So onto November, much the same as October I suspect. Riding to and from work, some night rides. Hoping that will happen twice a week, once with the boys once with the girls. A couple of cross races and some weekend mountain bike rides with Ali. All the time trying to keep the running ticking over.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Three days of track racing

Well the World Cup at Manchester has come to an end and my three days of working has finished as well. It was hard working such long hours and always being on my feet but I also saw most of the races I wanted to which was a real bonus. Also it should help my new bike fund (or if ali is reading this my pay off credit card fund).

Ali came up with a plan for today as I was finished by 6pm and we had a Curry in Rusholme before getting the train back. Unfortunately the size of my belly was so obvious on the train I'm thinking I need to stop eating everything in sight!