Holkham Training – Week Three

This week has been a very mixed week. As much as my fitness is improving – Coniston 14, general rubbish sleep and being busy has wiped me out this week so I have barely stuck to the plan – on the plus side though – I’ve found some cycling mojo again and seen major improvements in my CSS time. I’ve also managed to be relatively sociable – a committee meeting, a trip to the cinema and a evening at my mates, eating and generally chatting.

Swimming – 2500m – A very short week swim wise. Literally just due to tiredness but still. I did my CSS test with a mate on Thursday night and surprised myself to be honest, I wrote about it midweek – see here if you’re that interested! Apart from that, there isn’t more to say – the swim doesn’t worry me – although getting round in a good time would be rather nice! Swimming at my local lake started this weekend but it is too cold for me at the moment!

Cycling – 45.7km – This has been the bigger thing for me this week – I ended up having to take the summer bike off the turbo to go and pick my car up from the garage on Friday as I knew my other winter bike wouldn’t fit back in my car with mudguards. It’s first time I’ve ridden my summer bike this year on the road – and it really brought back my cycling mojo – I’ve just been so down about my own cycling and lack of over winter. It was only 12km to the garage but I managed to hit some of the speeds I was in the summer – peaking at 24mph through Elvington – short, sharp blast – proved I could still do it! So on Saturday, after work, I managed to get myself out on the bike for a 20 mile loop around home and really enjoyed it. It did help that the sun was shinning to be fair. Just glad to be finally getting myself back out.

Running – 5km, Ok this is really poor, even by my standards. I was going to run post committee meeting on Wednesday but I was just so tired. This week has really got to me and my general enthusiasm has waned. I’m not worried and just putting it down to general tiredness.

I’m really looking forward to next week though – I have only one private tutoring appointment as opposed to three and because I worked Saturday, I am off the day job Wednesday as well as Thursday. Hoping the Easter holidays will provide a little bit of quiet and rest as I won’t be working bank holiday Monday either. Hopefully next week I will be able to stick to the plan a bit better – and possible up my protein and sleep! Oh and actually doing some strength and conditioning work – might be wise!

Fluctuating Mojo – Training and Dating

It happens to us all but this week has been generally quite rubbish training wise and I’ve had my thinking cap on to try and figure out why my head hasn’t quite been in it.

  • General tiredness – last weekend I was on a coaching course – two long, busy days, followed by three long work days (including new assessments). Think it has just zapped me – coupled with probably not enough sleep.
  • Training on my own – I ran with my mate one night last week and it was SO good just to go for a steady run (run/walk as she gets back into it) and have company. I went out on the bike today and really felt it – not just lack of general cycling fitness but missing company. End of last year, mileage on my own didnt bother me. It did today.
  • Realising my own lack of fitness – I texted one of my mates this afternoon having a mini-moan, she reminded me about how ill I was in January and to be fair, she is probably right, its probably had a longer lasting effect than I realised as I came back to training, felt better and then had two or three quite heavy weeks considering time of the year and previous illness. It maybe genuine tiredness. She also told me I need to get training because I’ve some silly races coming up. She is right.
  • Diet – This week I know I haven’t eaten as much or as well as I should. Last few weeks I have made breakfast bars at home and had these – which have been great. This week I haven’t (made some today – see below). In conversation mentioned above with a mate, suggested lack of iron (and maybe protein). Monday through to Wednesday I really struggle to eat well and properly. I need to try and get better organised with food I think to make it easier to get decent food in me as well as drink enough.
  • Sleep routine – It’s rubbish and I spend too much time looking at screens late at night and not enough reading – too much going through my head too. I don’t give myself enough down time and try to fit too much in.

I also appear to have fluctuating dating mojo too. I’ve a third date lined up on Thursday – he’s lovely but (I hate buts) there is just something that is niggling me and I’m not entirely sure what it is. The lad I was dating July/August time – I wanted to see him, was willing to make time to see him etc etc – he also cycled. It was easy in that respect. Maybe it’s just I feel I am too busy – but I don’t feel I want to make the time – it is almost like a hindrance and this isn’t good! Surely if its right, I would feel I want to make time and wouldn’t feel it was a hindrance? He mentioned a date on Valentines (way too soon!) but I said I was running with a mate – I wasn’t but I did end up going climbing with another mate. Surely I shouldn’t be doing this?! As things are getting busier again with work and training – I just wonder if I am doing the right thing. Someone shared a clip of a film called A Boy, A Girl and a Bicycle on Twitter the other day. The guy in the bike shop (on the right, with the suit on) with the woman, who clearly races and is holding said blokes dog, says ‘They all look the same to me!’ – the look on the woman’s face, alongside the bike shop owners face, says it all. I want a bloke whose face is like that of the shop owner – haha!

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A Boy, A girl and a Bicycle – the guy with the flat cap – look of shock when someone says that bikes all look the same – I need that bloke in my life.

On a more positive note – one week until my first race of the year and one week to go until my holiday. I am also on a road trip tomorrow to Blackpool and I am very excited about this! Next week will be better.

Solo riding

“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.”
John F. Kennedy

This morning, this quote is true. It’s been a bit cloudy and overcast but still warm and a bit breezy.  I’ve been after getting a longer ride in all week with being off work but it hasn’t happened so after a bit of a lie in this morning, I actually made the effort to get up and set myself a target of cycling 50km solo. There is also the little matter of a 68 mile sportive I’ve signed up to…

To a lot of people, 50 solo kilometres of riding, isn’t anything major. It isn’t the first time I’ve done it either, but it’s the first time since I’ve become single I’ve set out to just ride with no destination really in mind and ridden. I suppose at the moment, I need to get used to riding solo as he was my main cycling partner. After a conversation with a mate this morning, I am considering joining local cycling group beyond that of the tri club to get some more miles in with other people – that’s quite daunting and I could ride with the club but at the moment, I don’t want to be any where NEAR my ex and her. There are a couple of others I’d quite like to avoid too at the moment as I don’t trust them after recent events. Mainly due to my ex in all honesty.

Anyway, back to my actual ride. Normally, I get a bit sick of my own company on the bike, especially when things are hard. Today was quite a revelation – it was a bit hard at times, trying to maintain a decent pace into a bit of a headwind but it was actually quite nice to be eating up the miles and the 57km ridden actually flew by uneventfully. I wish I had eaten breakfast though, I mean, I managed it but really should have eaten. My appetite still isn’t 100% normal. Also need to figure out what works breakfast wise too I think. Riding solo was good today, I don’t think I thought about very much actually while I was riding. Partially zoned out of my own thoughts while concentrating on the cycling. I am taking this as a good sign, even though I know some rides will be far more challenging, with future plans formulating, I am taking this as a good sign.

Lessons learnt – EAT breakfast before cycling and solo miles cycling can be therapeutic!

Time Trial Novice

“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” — Arthur Conan Doyle, British author

Apart from Sherlock Holmes being my favourite fictional detective, I rather like this quote from Arthur Conan Doyle. Yesterday was a horrible horrible day, not work wise, just life wise, but tonight, I ended up at the local time trail – I blame one of the lads in the club (who last night was mistaken for my husband, to which I came home to a text referring to me as wifey – this has amused me greatly) but in all honesty, it has done me good. I did one two weeks ago, a rolling and undulating 13 miler – which nearly finished me off, but tonight’s flat-ish 10 miler was mint!

It had the advantage of being reasonable local (second nearest TT route I think), mostly flat and known territory and a beautiful evening for it. I’d gone straight from work and was actually pretty early. A few lads, or rather, gentlemen, from the club were there and some familiar faces too. So far so good. Now, this was only my third ever TT and I’m still finding my feet and tonight for some reason I actually felt nervous. I was honestly also rather surprised that there were only 15 of us.

For once, I wasn’t near the back setting off (9th out of 15 compared to 18/19 last time) – put simply, the TT went ridiculously well for me too. I was without a doubt, the slowest one out tonight but… I came in with 31:32, that’s an average of 19mph so I’m pretty happy with that. I spent the first four miles or so wondering what the hell I was doing for, and the last six miles wishing I had eaten a bit more and feeling marginally sick, and finished with a smile! Despite being overtaken by a club mate and trying so hard to keep within a minute of him (I failed by about 35 seconds).

Problem is tonight, I really enjoyed it! I would have been happy to be under 35 minutes with my current fitness but obviously losing a stone has its advantages. I just wish I’d started earlier in the season! Far too happy after tonights race. Proper endorphin rush. After the last few days – pushing it hard on the bike has done me some serious good!

Next time I have a bad day, I’m going to try riding it out.

Maybe with the pearl bracelet, you know, for added glamour!

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…..