Playing at Pines

‘And at the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.’ Shanti

After waiting a week to have a proper play on the new cyclocross bike (now known as the Ridders), the mudguards came off, the chain was given a quick clean and the brakes given a bit of adjustment – the time had come to actually go and play. The bikes were bundled into the back of the car and the mini road trip to Sherwood Pines was done.

I had been looking forward to this all week. I am not a fan of mountain bikes really, coming from a roadie background, I don’t think this is that surprising. So the cross bike was really a more natural choice. I initially felt a bit out of place – ours were the only CX bikes there and I’ve never ridden in SPD Mountain bike cleats but that passed. Quick. Initial start wasn’t good – one cleat on upside down had resulted in frustration in not being able to clip in, but once rectified, it was time to go and play.

Heading to Sherwood Pines has been on my To Do list for quite a while – but with it being down in Nottinghamshire, I never really got chance to go. Sherwood Pines is a lot flatter than Dalby Forest, and we initially started out on the Blue route – well, my bike handling skills need some work but on the most part – it was so much fun! In my head, it was the cycling equivalent of trail/XC running. I was not really far off. Absolutely loved bombing around the course and not really worrying about speed – so much so I was wishing we’d done two (next time). Even had a bit of a cheeky play on some of the red route sections.

I love my roadies – don’t get me wrong, but this was just so much fun! I’ve got to do some serious practise but for a first attempt, it wasn’t bad! Itchy feet to be back must be a good sign right?

As for having a go at racing – I think it is definitely on the cards – especially after talking to one of the club members this afternoon. I feel this can only be a good thing for my road cycling. I am, however, glad that it hadn’t been awful weather before hand!

Lured to the dark side of cycling

‘You can’t buy happiness but you can buy a bike and that’s pretty close.’ Anonymous

Yesterday was indeed a day of great happiness. For various reasons.

It started with a decent swim (all the best days usually involve swimming) at the gym, and was followed by a very long solo road trip. I say very long, it wasn’t too bad to be honest but the traffic was a bit rubbish. The swim and solo road trip weren’t the cause of the great happiness that washed over me.

It all started over a week ago – a message from a friend regarding a CX bike he’d seen on Facebook and a frantic text to me to tell me about it and persuade me to call about it. I did, and in doing so, I ended up travelling up to Newcastle to go look at a second hand, extra small, Ridley XBow (being a short female, second hand bikes that fit are quite rare!).

I had been debating cyclocross for cross training but it would appear I have been lured to the dark side of cycling after all it would seem as I came home with said bike. I came home poorer but also richer – nothing quite beats N+1 in all honesty. I was grinning from ear to ear all the way home! It helps that I like the paint job on it better than more recent models.

The problem is now, I need to sort out the mudguards – bike hasn’t been raced and used more as a winter hack/commuter and I think I need to tweak a bit with the saddle height. Saying that though, the lady I bought the bike off had a shorted stem put on it – which is what I had to do to my Ridley Liz. I also need to sort out the cleats for the shoes as I’m used to SPD-SL and these aren’t! Regardless….

Seriously excited.

Seriously gutted I won’t get a chance to play until the end of the week!

 

Best get a move on and up my bike handling skills!

 

What have I let myself in for?! (No one mention MTB – I fear the worse!)

Rumblings and Grumblings!

“Cycling isn’t a game, it’s a sport. Tough, hard and unpitying, and it requires great sacrifices. One plays football, or tennis, or hockey. One doesn’t play at cycling” – Jean de Gribaldy

I often let myself get talked into some daft ideas. Last weekend was no exception.

Last Friday I got talked into cycling the Ryedale Rumble two days following. One of the lads who comes in to work had been roped in via work and was not happy about it and in all honesty, I was a bit worried about him doing it. He was supposed to be doing the 100 miler but had decided he was doing the shorter 50 miler. Wise choice I thought, but in it being a wiser choice, I was still a bit nervous about him doing it, and after a brief conversation and failure on my part to look at the weather forecast, I agreed to go do it with him.

That’s the reason I ended up, on a very wet and windy morning at Ryedale School.

I spend all of Saturday grumbling to anyone and everyone about how horrific this ride was going to be and how if I didn’t turn up to work on Monday we would all know why. Turns out the weather was as rubbish as expected and that Boltby Bank really is that step. I was warm enough but even my waterproofs didn’t last the long haul. I should have been miserable.

It’s turned out to be one of the best rides ever – yes it was slow, yes it was wet, yes the wind was howling (literally getting blown sideways), but some how, I spend most of the ride grinning. How much of that had to do with knowing that I had put some miles in my legs, as well as just accepting I was going to be wet, I don’t know. Part of my does know, however, that I actually proved to myself that I can ride in pretty awful conditions and survive! Think it has definitely done my mental strength some good!

Actually beginning to feel rather excited about next year’s racing and what I might actually be able to achieve – coupled with this year’s TTs and the temptation to go play at cyclocross……

Getting things off my chest and moving forward.

“One day they’ll realize they lost a diamond while playing with worthless stones.” – Turcois Ominek

Today has felt a bit like a turning point in some respects. I emailed him about sorting out holiday (again) and got a reply saying he was going to sort it this week. Hopefully I won’t have to chase it. I also made a point of telling him a few of the club things that I will and won’t be doing – and in my final reply to his email, I got off my chest a few feelings and observation. It took me a while to write the said email. It had to be right, and I felt that it was probably best to do that then for it all to come out in some spiteful way in public and not get across what I was trying to say.

I found the quote above the other day, I don’t think he will ever come back and admit he screwed up in any way. I think his pride will get in the way, or maybe this other woman is better than me, but if he isn’t worthy of me, is he worthy of any female? I used to think she was a good sort – think events have screwed that perception a little and I am at the point where I  do hope it all blows up in their faces.

I’d love to say I’ve stopped caring but this would be a lie. I also know that I will have some more bad days before I’m over it. There maybe a few more blog posts along those lines but…. I am, however, making future plans. I have spoken to my friends about it, given things quite a lot of thought and started trying to work out how I can make all these things a reality. If it comes off, there will be little time for a bloke, but plenty of time to do some pretty awesome things and quite honestly, I am starting to feel quite excited. I am in a great position to actually take some risks and look forward.

How many people can say that?

Dunking’s and distractions

Dealing with the weekend that was IMUK was never going to be easy.

“When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead.” – Barney Stinson

I knew this weekend was going to be ridiculously tough at times. IMUK 2018 has been today and I should have been there with him, supporting him again. I even woke up at 3am – roughly when his alarm was probably going off. I dozed off again and woke up again as he will have been down at Pennington Flash getting ready. After years of support, and knowing from last year, how amazing it is to be supporting the people you love and care about it, it was hard not being there, and harder knowing that the woman he has left me for (and coincidently – NOT spent the last four years supporting his triathlon ambitions) would be there instead. Especially as he would rather her there than me. Knowing it would be hard, I decided I was going to keep busy.

So what did I have planned?

Well, not long after breaking up with me, I spoke to my cousins and roped them into some stand up paddle boarding (SUP) over near Richmond and yesterday was the day. Set off from home, all together, bags packed and headed off (with a stop off at Costa, obviously). We were late, but such is life. I’ve wanted to have a proper stab at SUP for a while and it was great to actually have someone show us how to use the boards and paddles properly – there is far more to it – some moves are tricky! All of us fell in, and once you fall, then you actually become more confident as its not the end of the world! We ended up playing SUP Polo and going out on a huge paddle board with six of us on it.

After getting showered and changed, we all heading back to Northallerton to the pub. Hungry and ready for a rest. It was so nice to be sat, having a proper chin wag with my cousins and putting the world to rights. I definitely felt a bit happier for a while and managed some proper belly laughs.

Got home and managed to head to the cinema with the sister to see Ocean’s 8. Although in the car on the way across, I was nearly in tears with it all. It just all hit me in the face again. Still a sore subject at heart. Still as sharp a stab.

By time it got to this morning, I was glad I was meeting up with a friend to go swimming and have a catch up – along with breakfast with her, her t’other half and gorgeous babies! Discussing next years races and plans – including a potential business development too (think I am quite excited by it) and again, putting the world to rights and just voicing my feelings helped me get through this morning, despite clock watching (managed to avoid most Facebook/Twitter mentions of IMUK). It was good just to get it off my chest.

Spent the rest of the day in town too. Went to get a new tyre of the back wheel of the Spesh and I said yes to meeting someone who I sort of know but not well and met him for a drink, again putting world to rights (recently split up with girlfriend). Before heading home.

I’ve also had quite a few people text me, knowing that I’ll be feeling it today and I’ve really appreciated it. It has been tougher tonight I think, and I’ve managed not to look for results. I know that they have been up on Facebook and I’ve no doubt that they have all done well but knowing what I know, and how I feel, it has still being hard not being there when I was looking forward to it. When you support someone for so long, not being there on the day is just painful in all honesty.

Considering I’ve had a good weekend, I feel a bit weepy and down at the moment – because I know what will be going on over in Bolton. I’m sure things will come good eventually and I suppose it’s another hurdle surmounted. In the meantime, I have the next week off work at one job so bit more time to myself, and I’m filling it with things I want to do.

Think I need to book some more races…..

Second Shock and Recovery

I have not broken your heart…you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine. – Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

It’s been a mixed few days. Monday was a horrible day, the shock of Sunday was still raw, I hadn’t eaten at all in days (well, not properly) and I nearly passed out at work. Tuesday was a far better day, although that could be because it started with a good, decent swim. Swim does that to me. Today, Wednesday, has been reasonably ok – I’ve even had my regular customers as well as friends checking up on me, making sure I’m eating. So that’s a current round up of where I am physically. I am gradually managing to eat a bit more, and keep it in too – I am managing some training too. Emotions have been a roller coaster though but to relate it to sort – recovery seems to be kicking in – but I would like to feel happy again. Soon preferably.

I’ve tried not to over think or dwell too much on events. I was a state on Monday, finding out he had lied and that there was another woman involved, worse that it was who I expected. This brings us to the quote above. I didn’t break his heart – he head was turned, it was him who didn’t try to prevent his feelings or work on his feelings for me – relationships do take work, and clearly with him, loyalty, trust and faith in what we had being real, wasn’t enough, but in doing this, his heart ‘breaking’, not loving me enough, he has completely broken mine. The pain is still raw and I have never felt pain like it.

My feelings have shifted to anger in one respect. Part of me hopes that he will live to regret what he has done but I suspect he won’t. The shock is wearing off now – I need to start trying to look forward. Speaking to friends, and the support they have given, has been amazing. I could sit here all day and write about how angry I feel at the moment with everything and how much I hurt – and I was going to. Especially yesterday, but today, has been better, I’m also annoyed that I have tried emailing him to sort out the booked holiday and got nothing back. The sooner we get things sorted the sooner I can cut ties.

Today I have eaten, I have started thinking about future races and plans. I have been to the gym, bumped into a friend there and got a S&C plan in place. I’m going to sit down at the weekend and figure out what to do next – or at least gather some ideas. Whether that’s teaching abroad, taking on a tutoring business, travelling or something completely different. I am trying hard to keep busy and think about the future and all the things I could do that maybe I couldn’t before. I need something to focus on and joining the gym is the start of that.

Looking forward, far enough to the weekend at least, I’ve some good plans – off SUP-ing with my cousins on Saturday (my core is going to hurt on Sunday) and catching up with a friend and race planning for next year on Sunday. I’m off work next week too,  The world is my oyster I suppose – and who knows what might happen? Hopefully my next posts will be more training focused rather than moping, feeling sorry for myself!

But sport may just prove to be my saving grace.

Tears, training and time trails.

A mixed week of tears and training, and a pretty hard Time Trail.

When you lose someone, you get used to living day to day without them. But you’ll never get used to the “10 second heartbreak.” That’s the time it takes to wake to full consciousness each day and remember. – Nina Guilbeau

The depressing, sad bits first – the stuff I need to get off my chest…. tears…..

So yesterday marked two weeks since he left me. Shock wore off last week. I suppose I am going through the phases of grief and dipping in and out of the different stages. I seem to be able to wake up and know whether it’s going to be a better day or whether it will be a bad day, even on day’s where I am trying desperately to keep busy. Sleep is oblivion – then waking up and breaking old habits is hard. He was the first person I’d text or want to talk to on a morning and thats gone. I’ve got to the stage where I am just missing him so much.

I have been on the brink of tears on and off all week. Managed to hold off until driving home from a TT on Thursday. Then the flood gates opened. The pain is still very much there, and still very much raw. I think the emotion of struggling more than I thought I would on the TT didn’t really help matters either even with good support. The same day, I’d been out for lunch with a friend, and she’s the only one who has asked me if I would consider getting back with him if he asked. In truth, I hadn’t given it much thought. I had hoped that it was something that would pass and we’d sort out but in reality, I don’t think there is any chance of that, so I hadn’t given it much consideration. It hurts that he is just throwing eight years away – his words were ‘its too late’ – well that is because he never said anything sooner, and he clearly doesn’t think we have anything worth fighting for. But there are conversations that still need to be had, and tomorrow I shall be off to see him. It won’t be pleasant, and it won’t be easy, but needs must for both of us. I am genuinely very worried about IMUK next weekend.

On a slightly more positive note – training and Time Trials…

Despite this, some good things have happened. Eating is still proving an issue – not keeping anything in much and appetite is still dire. I am now on 9lbs lost and under 10 stone for the first time in I don’t know how long. This is more of an issue as I’ve been possibly more active this week in an attempt to keep busy.

Yoga on Monday as normal – all good – although hot and sweaty. I swam Tuesday morning (1400m early doors wasn’t bad going considering I only had just over half an hour). Wednesday I ran, with friends, and ended up getting an invite to go up in a plane! Thursday I cycled in from my friends to the bike shop in town to finally get the Ridley fitted (not too many alterations actually) before cycling back for lunch. Lunch then work, then I was persuaded into doing one of the local hilly TTs.

I say it was a hilly TT, but it is more rolling hills and undulating. A bit lumpy. I was zapped of energy. You really feel the whole struggling to eat when you want to race! I managed it – 13 miles – in 46 min 12s (in my head I thought it was 10 miles, more fool me!). Slowest out of everyone but ah well. Friday – I managed my longest swim since way back last year – 2800m. A proper full swim set! Stomach was seriously empty by end of it and growling at me. Think this swim has been one of the highlights of the week to be honest. Just needed to bash it out without thinking too much.

The other biggish thing, going forward into my new found singledom, is my decision to try joining a gym again. This time, one with two pools and plenty of classes. I’ll admit it has cost me a small fortune and with a few other bits and pieces, and MOT/Car insurance bills due in the next two months, i need to rein in the spending but I think it will be worth it and help give me something to focus on in the next two months. It’s also same gym my friends have joined which means I can go with them too rather than swim on my own. Added advantage of the gym I’ve joined is that I can use my fins and paddles. There are NO WORDS for how excited this makes me! I’ve also started thinking about, and discussing with friends, races for next year. The calendar has been out and things are getting pencilled in as possibilities.

My head knows things will get better eventually. My heart is taking its own sweet time to catch up.