MONDAY, JULY 20

Busy Boy

I have been quite busy of late...

...Never volunteer to do anything for anybody: My new motto.

The next few months is going to see the challenges of 24hr racing and also some from a Boss that realises I can do some grown up stuff other than just the clinical work I'm employed to do.

I wish he'd found out in the winter time.

This weekend was my chance to verify my endurance base after the, err, weight loss I suffered a few weeks ago. This has meant rescheduling to race at SITS instead of 24/12.

A 5 hour ride is generally a tough ride, even at endurance pace. My legs had been stiff all week after I had the daft idea of trying to ride 100miles in 4hrs 30min in the Welsh hills on the Sunday. I did it, but it nearly killed me. Happy days!

So I started with fairly dead legs after a week of easy spins and some intervals. My legs had been really painful due to the ride on Sunday and it took about an hour for them to wake up. After that I was spinning away happily.

At the end of the ride I had consistently taken 5 to 7 minutes off my lap times for the same ride last year, when I was bottle fed. This year I was carrying 6hrs of fluid and all of my gels, so I was heavier.

This was a good ride. I finished strong, and happy. I had ridden quite hard, at 24hr pace and lapped Cwmcarn in just over 55min. Not fast for the "Big Boys" but a real improvement for me.

My next big training ride will be 4 weeks before Relentless and I hope to do 9 Laps in just under 9hrs.

Bring it on. It's my home training ground and good practice for Relentless.

Nathaniel and Big Philth

On the last lap around Cwmcarn I met up with my little mate Nathaniel, and Big Phil; one of the guys that got me into Mountain Biking. The Young 'un was on my Elan, as he is visiting from Canada for a couple of weeks. He looked a bit tired; the bike is a proper downhill rig and not for the fainthearted to peddle uphill. But he wanted to try it, so who am I to turn him down?

He loved it on the downhills, mind you.

Sunday morning and he popped around to borrow a lighter bike. :)

For me, Sunday was a big day in terms of my resilience. I had to look after the birthday girl, and then try and find a window in the Biblically proportioned rain, to get my last ride of the week in.

It was absolutely torrential. Cwmcarn had a river running down the singletrack: all of it.

At 5pm, I had had enough waiting. So I went for it.

The rain got heavier. It was awful. But once you are wet and warm, it doesn't really matter. What does matter is the Cwmcarn Grit, but I won't divulge any more on that sensitive subject.

Normally on a ride the day after a long ride, I feel tired and have to think about reigning it in slightly. No such rubbish today. I warmed up and just got faster through the evening. After finishing at nearly 9pm, I got off and washed my bike before slinking into the utlity room to derobe and give the washing machine a bit of abuse. Poor thing.

My fitness is coming back. SITS should be a good ride.

Here's hoping.

I want my bike back, Nathaniel.
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