A friend once said to me “You never regret a run”. I disagreed. I’ve too literal a mind for such sweeping generalisations. True, I’ve not regretted any run I’ve been on to date, but I would probably a regret a run if I fell and broke a leg. Or at least would regret the part where I didn’t see that rabbit hole. Continue reading “You never regret a run?”
In the week before the race I intended to write a short blog post about how I thought I could have prepared differently for the event, without the benefit of post-race hindsight. Then I’d reassess after the race and see if I was correct, or was worrying about nothing or about the wrong things. It would have been so neat, but I never got round to it (such an amateur blogger).
This week I competed in a 10K race with 4349 other people, even though I was running alone, and could pick my own route and start time. Most of my competitors weren’t even in the same country as me. This was a new experience for me, and a good one. Before explaining how it worked I need to introduce you to my favourite bit of running/cycling geekery: the mobile phone app Strava. It’s not an exaggeration: this app has revolutionised my training, and has really motivated me. The app uses the phone’s GPS to record speed and distance during my runs and cycles: while there are other apps that do this I’ve never found one that works as well as Strava.
So why is it so good? Continue reading “Week Eleven: virtual 10K”
I’m just past the halfway point in my 18 week training plan. Does this mean I’ve done 9 weeks of solid work and ticked off everything on the training plan? Not quite. Not by a long shot. All the unticked activities on the training plan mock me, and highlight the gaping chasm between me and the half ironman race. What was I thinking? Continue reading “Training plan = more what you’d call ‘guidelines’ than actual rules”
With only a week to go the Étape Caledonia race I’d not managed to get out on my new bike, Ricky. So I headed out for a 55-miler with my friend Neill (and his newly-built bike Pinky). It was a great ride but I discovered that Ricky’s beautiful, lean white saddle was a bit of a crippler. Comfort had to take precedent over looks for the forthcoming 81-miler, so I swapped it for the black saddle from my old (dead) bike, Doreen. I also needed Compeed blister plasters on my butt (nice), in addition to the usual nappy-like cycling shorts. Oh well, good to find out these things before the event I guess. Continue reading “Week Five: Étape!”
Returning to Edinburgh after the training weekend part of me was keen to keep up the good work. But another part of me – my skin to be precise – was decidedly against the idea. In the pool sessions over the weekend people had asked me whether I was having an allergic reaction to something, based on the red blotches all over my back. Continue reading “Week Four: Allergic to training?”
This week was a complete turnaround: I got through everything on the training plan (third time lucky, but hey), found a beautiful new bike (a Bianchi Impulso), managed to focus at work, and conquered Schiehallion: my cycling nemesis for this year. All-in-all this was the week that I sorely needed, and it felt great to be getting back into the swing of things. Continue reading “Week Three: Schiehallion”
Week two didn’t live up to the high ideals of the training plan. I now realise this was inevitable, but it took me a while to get my head round that. And to go a bit easier on myself about the implications of the setback.
Physically I had a lot of bruising on my legs, and my shoulders and neck had a permanent stiffness that wouldn’t go away. But I felt surprisingly OK when running and swimming, so thought I could keep these up as planned even if I didn’t have a bike to train on. My ankles felt a little tender – they must’ve got a jolt when my bike shoes were ripped out of the pedals during the crash – but they soon got back into stride. Continue reading “Week Two: Getting back on the horse”
I’m writing this at the end of week two, and, for reasons that should become apparent, week one seems a long long time ago. I embarked upon my 19 week training plan with a slight sense of dread, and a real fear that I’d bitten off more than I could chew. My usual week tends to involve a swim and a run or two, and maybe a cycle at the weekend if I can’t find anything better to do (which I usually can). So how was I going to fit in three runs, three swims and three cycles? Continue reading “Week One”