Thursday, 31 May 2012

I have a question...

...why do 'how to' books tell you 'how to' in the last third of the book, not in the first page.

After going 2 miles in me bare feet, and then being crippled for the rest of the week, I get to the end of 'Barefoot Running Step-By-Step' and discover you're only supposed to be going 300 meters on your first time out.

So went out Tuesday night, only went a mile, took Garry Garmin though forgot to switch it on until half way through... So this is what I did:

Departed:May 28, '12, 06:43pm
Starts in:Aberdeen, Scotland, GB
Distance:0.5 mi
Elevation:38 / - 11 ft
Max Grade
6.4 %
Avg. Grade
0.2 %
VAM174 Vm/h
Ascent time00:03:58
Descent time00:01:19
Total Duration:00:12:08
Moving Time:00:05:17
Stopped Time:00:06:51
Max Speed:5.5 mph
Avg. Speed:5.1 mph
Moving Pace:00:11:41

Do youse think that if I can average 5.5 mph I can do a marathon in 5 hours?  Or will the medal folk have gone home by then?


Sunday, 27 May 2012

MTB: I love to Hate You. - WITH ROUTE!!

I do.  There's some gorgeous weather happening in the 'deen so myself, GB and his brother (Not-so-GB) headed out to Kirkhill for some fat tire action.  This is the second outing for my barely used mountain bike so currently it's usage is working out at £very-expensive per ride.  I got about 10 minutes in and discovered that Pancakes with double cream and strawberries is not the food of athletes, it's the food of the ill prepared who can't mountain bike and wimp out at the first hill.  After the boys got sick of waiting for me (again) I managed to pootle a few miles out and back again.

Here's the route:

The numbers:

Departed:May 27, '12, 01:42pm
Starts in:Aberdeen, Scotland, GB
Distance:7.8 mi
Elevation:815 / - 811 ft
Max Grade
11.9 %
Avg. Grade
0.4 %
VAM352 Vm/h
Ascent time00:42:23
Descent time00:28:08
Total Duration:01:45:57
Moving Time:01:10:31
Stopped Time:00:35:26
Max Speed:16.9 mph
Avg. Speed:6.6 mph
Moving Pace:00:09:02

The 'VAM' thing's interesting.  I only noticed it last week when I work my heart rate monitor (which I forgot to put on today).

Any hoo, after the boys ditched me I managed to pootle a little.  Found the airport (took me 5 minutes wondering as to why there was a massive go-cart track in the middle of the 'Deen), and then up to the top.

Not-so got burned 'cos he's Giddy's brother.  I bruised the palms of my hands from holding the handlebars too tight (they have tiny little pointy grippy bits which dig in horribly), and my bum with my seat digging into it every time I had to put my foot down, and my thumbs from jamming them in the gear switches, and a few others where I don't know what happened.

Oh well.

Apparently the weather's due to break and we're about to go from 23 degrees C to 11 so I might consider the gym this week.

I never did the Alford Sportive.  It was supposed to be yesterday but then we were having a picnic on the front lawn (front lawn=two feet of grass surrounding his flat block) and I kept wondering where where I should be... On a bike going round Alford apparently. What an eejit.


Apologies guys! Now with the route!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Enjoy Yourself, it's later than you think!

Went out last night on one of the few glorious Summer nights Aberdeen is ever likely to see this year.  It was just a pootle with the Giddy Blonde.  Nothing going but the intent of enjoying myself on a shiny 'deen evening.  As soon as I got on the bike I felt like I was home, and I was flying! I've had amazingly sore calves since Monday night - even though it's only Wednesday it's felt like a very long week hobbling around - but that all went when we were out. I hadn't realised how much I'd missed it even if it was just for two hours.

Here's the route:

And the Metrics
Departed:May 22, '12, 06:38pm
Starts in:Aberdeen, Scotland, GB
Distance:25.4 mi
Elevation:1284 / - 1207 ft
Max Grade
9.1 %
Avg. Grade
0.3 %
VAM310 Vm/h
Ascent time01:15:39
Descent time00:52:52
Total Duration:02:13:37
Moving Time:02:08:31
Stopped Time:00:05:06
Max Speed:30.6 mph
Avg. Speed:11.9 mph
Moving Pace:00:05:03
Max Cadence:105 rpm
Min Cadence:19 rpm
Avg. Cadence:60.2 rpm
Max Heartrate:192 bpm
Min Heartrate:96 bpm
Avg. Heartrate:159.7 bpm
Also for the first time wore my Heart Monitor.  Apparently in a 2 hr cycle ride I burned 1340 odd calories - which doesn't seem right.  What do we think? I've tried working with HR before but it always seems to have me working lower than what I feel like work.  For example - if I were to work at 154 (near enough the average) I'd feel like I was cooling down.

As soon as the calves wear off I'll go do a 1/4 of a mile barefoot (they really have been sore), and then out on the bike this weekend I think.  We were ment to be doing a sportive round Alford but I've not done anything about it.  I'm still in two minds about doing it - I think I should, just not really sure I want to.  Will have to register that morning though - as they're only accepting Paypal or cheque.


Sunday, 20 May 2012

Naked (foot) Running!

Ran along the Esplanade at the beach today in me bare feet.  Wasn't too bad though did get some strange looks from old people. It's a lovely Sunny but windy day today, to the extent that I may have burnt my little freckley arms.  

I started off by running on the grassy verge bit as I wasn't sure about running directly on the pavement since I don't really have the appropriate hard skin coverage on my soles yet.  Once I felt like I had my technique down - no strange strains in my knees from leaning awkwardly - I hit the pavement.  Well, some of it.  Not all of the Boully (as they call it here) is tarmacked over.  Some of it has broken down to little hard stones sitting on otherwise flat tarmack, and other sections don't have any tarmacked cover at all.  I didn't have the confidence to go onto those sections but I was finding that on the covered sections I could feel a 'thump' that I didn't on the grass and you're supposed to land softly.  So worked on that. 

I was all honestly trying for half a mile, and expected it to get really difficult, like perhaps I wouldn't be able to get the technique down and I'd have to start doing drills, or perhaps my legs wouldn't be able to take the change in exercise (because you do use different muscles between cycling and running) but I got .8 into a mile and I thought I'll go the other .2.  And then I thought 'I'll run to to the Giddy Blonde' (who was holding my trainers on standby) When I reached him we had a little chat over where I was sore/how I was finding it etc, and then I went the other half mile back to the car.  So that was 2.4 miles!  Which is a bit of a Woop Woop!

My feet do feel tired.  Nothing is sore per se but there is a tenderness just before the foot bends for the toes.  It is right at the very top of the ball.  I think this is probably due to the skin not being uniformly tough, and I don't want to give myself any blisters.  My intention is to keep the miles short for now.  To check that any niggles I feel from tired feet aren't actually bigger issues, and to toughen up the soles slowly.  

Here's the bare metrics (I was trying to get my heart monitor to work so the map looks a wee bit mental and not intentionally so):

Distance:2.4 mi
Elevation:48 / - 57 ft

Avg. Grade
-0.3 %
VAM82 Vm/h
Ascent time00:10:47
Descent time00:17:37

Moving Time:00:28:24

Max Speed:6.1 mph
Avg. Speed:5.0 mph

Moving Pace:00:12:03

Monday, 14 May 2012

It's done!

First things first:

I'm really not sure if I did the whole course.  I think I did.  Last year when we only did 76 miles, we went left on a section that they'd cut off, this year I went right and came back over a bridge.  This year I could have sworn my garmin said 75.5 miles on the clock when I finished, but after putting the route on the 'pooter it says I did the 81.  I've ran through the data with the play back and I don't really jump up on the milage on going round a section, and there is only one point over less than a quarter of a mile where it switched itself off that I fly like the crow flies (starts at the 63 mile bit). So I'm really not sure and need an expert opinion.  On routing I thought the Garmin recorded what you did not what the route you mapped out was, but arrrgh! I dunno.


My 'Etape Caledonia 2012 Official Time' is 06:36, which is 37 minutes longer than last year.  

However:  Out of 6,000 people that were booked on it only 4039 showed up.  Out of 4039 that started, I was 3796.  So I finished ahead of 244 people.  And I manned up and did the course (67 people didn't finish).  

The reason why so many people didn't show up is because of the weather.  The earliest records I can find for 12pm the 13th of May (when I was still on the road) was 29 miles an hour with gusts of up to 45.  As you went round the course there were sheltered sections.  It worked out that you had  a head wind for about 40 miles round.  The first horrible bit was along the top side of Loch Rannon (after 20-30 mile mark) but coming over the top of Schiehallion was the worst (miles 47-55)  I didn't manage to get past 30 mph on the way down once, and this time it was nothing to do with my cornering because I think I cracked that! The wind didn't drop again until you were half way round the little loop bit (58 miles round).


Distance:81.1 mi
Elevation:5486 / - 5509 ft
Max Grade
16.7 %
Avg. Grade
0.4 %
VAM487 Vm/h
Ascent time03:26:03
Descent time02:42:56
Total Duration:06:52:25
Moving Time:06:16:57
Stopped Time:00:37:29
Max Speed:29.6 mph
Avg. Speed:13.0 mph
Moving Pace:00:04:37
Max Cadence:127 rpm
Min Cadence:20 rpm
Avg. Cadence:67.7 rpm

Everybody's time was apparently bad this year.  And shame on those who didn't bother to show!  The race was sold out and I know of at least 3 others who fancied it.  Still it wasn't pleasant.  But I'm glad I did it, and when I got off I could have done more (a centenary perhaps?).

Have already booked my interest for next year - and the b&b we stayed in.  Can't really recommend that enough: 

They had a little race pack for us with powerbars, juice and a gel shot, as well as the usual catalogues for Endura, local wool shops etc.  Breakfast was served at 5 am on the morning of the race (first guys went off at 6 am I think), and they let you set your bike up then stash it in their garage. The staff were friendly, and there were red squirrels in the garden as we ate breakfast this morning.

So what's the next thing:

Getting out with others is a must.  After it being quite windy this year I'm going to see if I can charm a couple of the beardy weirdy's at Grampian CTC to Domestique for me.  I very much doubt they're defenceless against my charms but I have the lack of shame to try.

What else - get better at rolling hills, and hills again.  I want this to be easy!

What else?  Barefoot running anyone?!


Saturday, 12 May 2012

Last post before the Etape Caledonia 2012

I write this from the lovely B&B in Pitlochery having nearly done something very stupid.  I went out last night.

Didn't mean to, didn't think I was that drunk but crawled into bed about 2 am this morning.  I have spent the day being a bit ill.  That's a lie.  I've spent the day being very ill, and was until about 2 hours ago.  We've just had a lovely dinner with the Ladies of Aboyne (like the lady of the lake only instead of excalaber they emerge from the waters holding their Scott Carbonfiber road bikes aloft!)  After spending most of the day spewing up water I've managed to hold down deep fried bree and cranberry sauce, and Salmon and Mash as well as fend off "helpfull" suggestions that I have hair of the dog/fill my backpack with whisky and perhaps it's not a hangover but laberynthitis - the kind you get after 7 pints of cider.

But after weeks and months of training it's finally here.  I'm not saying I'd go out and get rat@rsed two nights before a big event like this but a plus side is that I've been too sick to be nervous, which is something I've been feeling all week.  This last week has felt surreal. All that time has just disappeared and I haven't done half the things I would have liked to do.  Not dwelling on those though.  My triumphs regardless of what happens on tomorrow are:

 - I've sorted my eating out.  I can eat on the bike and I no longer run on empty doing the cycling.
-My cornering is better, still bottle it occasionally, but better.
-I am fitter than I was last year.
-I'm also not sick of the bike this year either.
-My average mph has gone up (not by much but by enough - which is quite a big thing we struggled with last year).
-I've done most of this myself!  Which I'm quite pleased about.

Where the Manx Troll has his Peta I've got a Giddy Blonde, who has been remarkably good this year.  He's sorted the bike out, the Garmin out, his own bike out and been the best boyfriend ever.  He's ace and I love him.

I've really enjoyed writing this as well.  Not that this is the last post, and I'll leave that for youse to decide if that's a good thing or not.  Having another outlet for my obsession has ment that my relationship has not crumbled under it's weight, quite yet.  I've really enjoyed the comments and speaking to people from all over, finding out that like the common cold, people like me are annoying others throughout the world with our grand ideas and our lazy @rsed bodies.  There's  nothing quite like saying to someone 'Yeh, I'm gonna do that' and the look in their eyes when they go 'you!?"  Well, why not us.  It's not Politicians, the so called important people, the rich and clever that change the world.  It's us.  We take it upon ourselves to prove the daft idea, to question the abilities available to apparently only the few and go "It's easy, I can do that".  It's usually not easy, it usually takes up alot of your time, means you're out of practice with the alcohol, eat into your cake budget and make you at several points want to cry, but you still can do it. And that's what I like about us.

So, I'm going to sign off and raise a gel pack to us tonight, and say:

"Wha's like us?
Naeb'dy an' they're a' deid"


Thursday, 10 May 2012

You spin me right round baby...

Should have posted this on Tuesday so appols!

If you go to the proper site and press play you'll get a migrane watching the map dance. Bottled a few of the turns, so am thinking I might head out tomorrow again to practice my form.  I also need to take some time back from work so I might shoot off about 4ish tomorrow and do some hill practice as well.  I am actually feeling restless.  I've gone from doing 80 miles a week, to doing nothing and my legs are doing some weird restless thing, feeling tense and awful.  So a little won't hurt I figure.



due to twitchy leg syndrome I went out last night and did this...

I went a wee bit further than I intended due to me not being able to find the circuit round.  I more or less sprinted out and back trying to keep above 14 mph which felt knackering but sustainable (does that make sense).


Sunday, 6 May 2012

I forgot where I was going!!!!

I am such an eejit. My intention today was to do a 10 mile dash (not quite a sprint but faster than I usually do) down the railway line, was half way towards Causey Mounth before I was going the wrong way!!! Getting out there wasn't too bad. On the flat I was averaging 13-14 mph with the occasional jaunt into 15-16. Hitting the Warren Wood Hill was tough (Mile 12) and kind of wiped me out for the next 5 miles.  I think that was more to do with only having the gel shots this morning and not a proper breakfast, as I've done that route a few times now and felt better after it than today.

I'm going to get the Giddy Blonde to drive me out there a couple of times early this week - not going to spin class this week I'll be going out on the bike but not far, working on my cornering and technical stuff - and do it a couple of times just to get my confidence up. Looking at it on the graph it does look pretty horrendous.

Feeling a slow burn of nerves this year.  It's the kind that runs down your arms and makes your lungs feel extra light.  Didn't feel it this bad last year but then I was doing this with a couple of buddies and they were more nervous than me.  I tend to worry less than someone else over a pending shared experience, but I'm narking myself.  Have I done enough?  Even if there was I don't think I can do anything about it now.

Must remember to breathe.  And (like Jez says) not catch anything horrendous.


Tuesday, 1 May 2012

There are numerous things I should be doing right now...

Hill climbing is one of them.  But after 2 nights of not sleeping I'm not doing anything.  I would never have thought that 'not doing anything' would involve getting up at 6.10 AM to get to a spin class but there you go.  Aren't I smug. No, not really, just tired.

It's odd.  Slept fine all weekend, struggled to get to sleep on Sunday but I thought I had lost my pass for work.  Trust me.  I cannot loose my pass again.  I've lost so many passes it's affecting my company's profits.  And they keep saying to me 'try not to loose this one!'  Wouldn't that be throwing them away?!?!?!  Anyhoo, I had Monday off exercise for a rest day, but I couldn't get to sleep again last night, and have felt a chill all day sitting at my desk today, so there is something not right.  The only thing I can think of that might have jigged me is the funky arse cordial we bought so I'm not having any of that either.  It'll be herbal tea and water tonight.   Which is a bit miserable really.  I've got two weeks until the Etape so I'm not wanting to come down with any kind of cold or anything, and I'd rather do half the training I intend to do than have to take 4 days off completely.

Another 7 am spin class tomorrow.  I'm supposed to have two but I might venture out to the horrible hill at Warren Wood and do some circuits of that tomorrow night.


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