Tuesday 28 February 2012

Missing workouts

I have a slightly different workday planned - one that means I don't need to leave the house until 9am. It also means I won't be getting in until about 6.30pm (I know.. for lots of people that's early, but compared to my usual 5.15pm it's late! Remember, "work to live, don't live to work"). Anyway, my plan to account for this change of schedule was to do my training ride before work, rather than my usual early evening slot.

I sorted out my kit. I checked I knew what intervals I had to do. The bike was ready. The alarm was set.

Then around 5am I got up for a piss. Legs a little stiff. I'll need to warm up well.

Dozing post-piss, my legs were definitely sore from yesterdays weights session.

Overtraining is bad. I don't want to overtrain.

Getting in a 6.30pm isn't that bad.

If I eat later in the evening, it stops me snacking after dinner.

That alarm is awfully close. I could just reach over and wind it forward half an hour or so. That's half an hour of extra recovery! Recovery is good! That's when I get fitter!

So here I am, extra rested, with an hour to go before I have to leave the house. What else can I do...?


Sunday 26 February 2012

Dark and Light: Rammstein and Sunshine

It's been a pretty good weekend so far. After managing to ride 18 miles to work on Friday and 25 miles home, I was up early on Saturday to get my training out of the way. I nearly stayed in bed but those two magicial words - "Haute Route" - had me throwing off the duvet and firing up the Gaggia.

A quick coffee, some toast and Nutella, and I was out on the Kaffenback for a planned 3 hour "hard endurance ride".

Three hours? Hard? Really? Yes, really. It's amazing what a little motivation can do. I kept the effort going, helped by having a few other cyclists to chase. Testament to my effort was seeing, waving at, and saying hello to, my neighbour coming the other way on his bike. Not so unusual except I completely failed to recognise him. I've only known him about twelve years although seeing him on a bike at 9am is somewhat exceptional. I could also blame the sun reflecting off the wet road, but that would be a lie.

There was one pair of guys on road bikes who I slowly reeled in and drifted past, wishing them "good morning". Half a mile further on, at the top of a slight hill, I glanced back to check for cars to find one of them sucking my wheel. Now, I've nothing against this - but please let me know. If I hadn't glanced back things could have got a little messy as I had to brake hard towards the bottom of the descent to avoid a parked truck. Not too hard - as I knew there might be someone behind me - but a disc-braked cross bike on 32mm tyres stops better than the average road bike.

He seem to disappear after that.

Back home it was full on recovery mode - chocolate milkshake, stretch, shower, recovery tights. Nap on the sofa. Picnic shopping.

OK, so picnic shopping isn't that normal for recovery but we were going to see Rammstein Saturday night and rather than pay for overpriced grease at the venue we thought we'd take a picnic instead. We got to the venue nice and early and sat in the car, munching away on a mix of homemade and shop bought goodies.

Soooooooooooo..... Rammstein.

Awesome. Fire, explosions, penis shaped foam-cannon, flaming wings, cauldron, whipping, fireworks, flares and fire. Did I mention fire? There was lots of fire.

The music was almost incidental to the show - it was like Blue Man group meets Mad Max meets Guy Fawkes night meets the testing section of a napalm factory. I tried to video bits but my camera struggled to cope with the changing light. This'll give you an idea though

Warning. First 5 rows may get burnt, blinded, covered in glitter and sprayed with foam from a penis cannon.

Marvellous. A perfect Saturday.

Saturday 18 February 2012

It's been a very bicycle day

After my slight bout of illness, I eased myself back into things with a couple of gentle turbo rides and a gym session, before taking bike and kit into work for a Thursday lunchtime outside spin class - or as most people would call it - a Thursday lunchtime bike ride.

I've also been doing some mild singlespeed pimping this week. I ordered a Middleburn Uno chainset for the 853 Inbred which somehow managed to arrive with a piece missing. It took me a while to notice but eventually my mechanical genius figured out that the chainring was never going to stay on the cranks without some kind of lockring to hold it on. Admittedly the threaded section without anything to thread onto it should have given it away earlier but I blame brain fade due to post-viral fuzziness.

An email to Chain Reaction Cycles got things sorted out, and generously the decided to send me a silver lockring (as it was in stock) to be followed by a black one (as that would match the chainset).

Both arrived today. Separate boxes.

So, today's activity has consisted of

  • Washing bike kit
  • Buying beer
  • Booking a massage
  • Two hours on the turbo (30mph winds and rain kept me in the garage)
  • Fitting the chainset, new chain and re-aligning brakes
  • Watching the Tour of Oman highlights
  • Watching the London Track World Cup (right now! On the BBC!)
  • Drinking beer (right now!)
Pretty bikey huh?

Tomorrow I've got another ride planned, some light shopping and maybe the Muppets movie.

Monday is massage day, with Osteo Liz (the Land's End - John O'Groats team masseuse). Giggling is almost certainly on the plan, screaming may well join it.

So... should I shave my legs for Monday? You know, just to make the massage easier. No other reason. Honest.

Sunday 12 February 2012

Sick, dude.

How to tempt fate.

On Monday, confidently state "I haven't had a cold for ages - not for over a year!". On Tuesday, do a 60 minute spin class and beast yourself in the short sprints. On Wednesday, wake up with your hair hurting.

I know I'm ill if my hair hurts.

I'll explain. When I have a temperature, I get sensitive skin. This probably happens to others too. Any touch feels uncomfortable. This also extents to the skin on my head, under my hair. Brushing/waggling/moving the hair is therefore mildly distressing. Since I was I child, I've thought of this as my hair hurting.

Unfortunately, I've not been ill enough to milk the situation. Slight temperature, mild cold symptoms, puffy eyes, inflamed sinuses. Oh, and my hearing has been affected too. I've not had a hacking cough, constant streaming nose or any of the other obvious signs that lead people to look at you, shake their heads and demand that you go home from work for fear of starting a new outbreak of plague. I've had to carry on, like a brave little soldier.

If I'd been properly ill I could have come home, curled up on the sofa, drunk hot toddies, eaten boiled eggs and caught up with the 20 episodes of The Wire that sit on my Sky+ box (Tivo for USA-ians). I would have had my dinner cooked, the washing up done and ownership of the remote control.

There have been two concessions to my condition.

1. Fish finger sandwiches one night, instead of the scheduled culinary masterpiece.
2. No training.

I'm now feeling slightly normal. I doubt I'll be doing any exercise until at least tomorrow but it's not out of the question. There may be a full roast dinner cooked this evening. And I might, just might, start taking some bikes apart in preparation for "pimp my singlespeed".

Then again, I've got 19 episodes of The Wire to watch. And fish finger sandwiches rock.