Wednesday, 21 March 2018

An accidental brick

So I set my alarm for 6am - I've not consciously tried to get up at 6 for some time. It went well. I got up about 6:18, performed some ablutions, then went downstairs to sit on the turbo trainer.

I was only on it for 22 minutes or so, but I was streaming with sweat afterward; I tend to move the pedals at a much, much higher cadence than I do on the road. Hopefully it will rub off on the road, with improved speeds or something.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. Sweat pouring off me. Then it was time for Annie's bath so I got her ready, and Fern got in, waiting for me to pass her across. Just after, I heard the dogs barking.

For clarification, we have two dogs – or, I have one and Fern has one. Fern's is a six-month-old puppy, a huntaway, which is a New Zealand sheepdog. Basically, their version of a collie directs these massive flocks from the front, while a group of huntaways work the back, driving the sheep. They are big, strong dogs with incredible stamina, and a hell of a bark. High maintenance, as any working breed usually is, but also great running partners, especially for those fancying trying their hand at ultras, as Fern is (and at which she has already done very well).

So I head downstairs to see what the fuss is about, and both dogs want to be let out - Millie, who is nearly 15 years old and quite the Wonder Dog, and Farley, the puppy that at six months, dwarfs Millie. Millie is a 20kg mongrel, Farley is over 30kg we think, and growing. And he is pretty damn fast.

So out we go. Farley goes straight over to the fence and crawls through a hole he should not even be able to think about, and goes straight after the sheep in the field. I know he won't hurt them, but they don't know that and they - along with their very, very young lambs - run for their lives. I'm shouting and shouting (it was annoyingly rather like the video of that bloke whose dog was chasing the deer in Richmond Park. You know the one), he pauses, looks back at me, and fucks off good and proper.


No choice but to give chase, in boots that are not laced up, as best I can. Across a rutted, frozen field, chasing a fucking puppy. I caught the dog, smacked his arse (he knew he had done wrong, too) and walked home with him. I didn't have to hang on to him either, he came with me.

So that was my accidental brick.

Legs felt fine.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

I'm beginning to remember how good it was to have a coach...

...because the workouts are just there, you don't have to think, just do. Right now that would be such a blessing because, despite having a shit-ton of knowledge of some stuff, sometimes that is not the easiest thing to focus.

And the fucking swim workouts on the plans I have looked at may as well be in Cyrillic. Seriously. They are not in English. I'd love to find a just-get-your-arse-round-it program, that says, 'swim for an hour. Good work, have a cake'. Or 'run for an hour. Great work, now sit the fuck down'.

Dammit, did I pick the wrong sport?

In all honesty, I genuinely do think the programs I have seen are way, way too technical. They are not for true beginners, and assume a level of understanding way beyond where I am.

I guess, for now at least, I stick with the plan - muddle through, build endurance, do some (lots) of brick sessions, and turn up on the day ready to fight.

Next race though, assuming I can afford it (because I honestly cannot right now - the price of heating oil has doubled and we are almost out, for example, and one of the places that helps my daughter is charging from July (a nice new £1500+ a year bill, and though they are worth every penny it is money that has to be found). Bloody fucking money.

I'm whinging. Sorry.

Tonight I will go straight from work to the gym. There, I will smash the fucking treadmill (by which I mean, I will run for perhaps 40 minutes, very slowly), then I will get into the pool where I will swim for an hour. It's not technical, but it will get me to the start line. I hope.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

I unpacked the turbo trainer

I can't say I fully understand how the software and trainer talk, but it works. I did a fuck-off cherry-popping session on it, and the only thing I think I forgot was to put a towel underneath. I got a bit sweaty.

It was kinda fun though. Kept cadence fairly high (90-92), messed about with gears, did 17km in 32 minutes. Watts were around 150-160, peaked at 162.

Of course, the numbers mean next to nothing to me as I simply have no context. Let's just explore the software and see what it and I can do, and how strong I can get. And no, I am not going to buy a power meter. I wouldn't want to punish innocent technology with my manly legs.

If this is what the ride is like in July, I'd have the bike part done in just over 2.5 hours I think. I'd be over the fucking moon with that.

Monday, 5 March 2018

I had a low.

I did. Just a few days ago, I said to Fern "There's a fucking bike I've hardly ridden, a fucking turbo trainer that's not out of the fucking box yet, three pairs of fucking unused running shoes upstairs, and another fucking bike on the fucking way. What a fucking waste."

She said, "You've hardly used them yet."

She was right, of course. So this weekend, I went into the gym and hit it fairly hard, both days. Did quality cardio (pyramid on cross trainer, run on treadmill) and weights (a little bit of legs (adductor and abductor), kettlebells), then same plus upper body on the second day. And yes, I feel pretty fucking good now.

Still thinking, it's four months away and I have hardly any bike time banked, and the swim is still a fucking wreck. But I have enlisted a new swim coach, and the weather has not allowed me to cycle outside; turbo trainer will be set up tonight.

I binned the old coach because I didn't feel he was listening. Nice lad an everything, but when your student says "I don't think my cardio fitness is up to three strokes then breathe", you should perhaps listen or make that your fucking starting point for the session; also, when your literature says you will only have five people in the pool for adult lessons, don't put seven in there. It makes a small pool a lot smaller.

Anyway, my niece is swim coaching, and she's up for the challenge, so I said why the hell not.

I also joined a tri club, and they seem to be a very friendly bunch of people.

So, it's mostly positive, after some negative.

In other news, other aspects of life are pretty sucky but this is not the place for them.