Mid Summer Madness

TMidSummerMadness09.jpghis Thursday morning we did another Regents Park 100 miler. This is the fourth time but the last time was a bit of an Epic . The memory of that morning brings a smile to my face and I love telling the story… the day I completely detonated) which made me slightly nervous entering this one as Gabriel had even more ambitious targets: start at 1:30am and ride it continuously at an average of 20 mph. We kicked off bang on time with Gabriel putting in a fine effort for the first 2 to 3 hours. He did more or less all the pulling on the front with me doing at most a lap here and there. Our average was slowly creeping up above 20 and I was feeling pretty good. Certainly felt I should conserve my energies sitting in so I could do my bit later on. Jo was hanging in for a load of laps and then taking an easy one, this certainly helped relieve the monotony. As we closed in on the 100 miles I did more and more pulling on the front, it got ever more painful but I was able to push hard for the last 10 miles or so and we got finished in 4:46. We were chuffed to bits, it was made even better that we’d done it none stop and all in the same direction. I’d had a pretty upset tummy for the first 3.5 hours and during the whole ride had one gel and a swig of water. I must admit I felt pretty ill and it took time and effort to force down my full English I’d been so looking forward to.

My feet were very sore following that effort but it certainly showed that my bike fitness is getting right back there. Especially as this was after a 146 mile ride on Tuesday.

I’ve just finished reading “Bad Science” by Ben Goldacre. A really good thought provoking book and quite an eye opener about some other books I’ve read. It got me hooked early on when discussing science teaching in schools and how he has hope by the trickle of emails he gets from kids about poor teaching. I’ve never been one for this drink regular small amounts of water or drink before you’re thirsty as by then it’s too late theory. This just didn’t make sense to me. How could our thirst and our natural instincts be so wrong. I must admit when I’m at race venues in the run up to races and I see nearly all the athletes permanently with a water bottle taking small sips regularly I can’t help wondering whether any think this through for themselves. Well, it didn’t make sense to me but an email from a kid articulated it even better. This is a quote from page 20 of the above book:

“I’d like to submit to Bad Science my teacher who gave us a handout which says that ‘Water is best absorbed by the body when provided in frequent small amounts’. What I want to know is this. If I drink too much in one go, will it leak out of my arsehole instead?   ‘Anton’, 2006”

Jo has seen me go for hours riding and not drink a thing and then knock back a couple of litres in one go to no ill effects yet she is someone that always has a water bottle and hardly seems to go 5 minutes without a sip so I asked her why. She didn’t because she felt uncomfortably if she drank a lot in one go. So perhaps I’m doing all those ‘sippers’ at race briefings a disservice in my mind …. though to be honest it always helps my state of preparation to see it. I guess, most of us like to be different in our own little ways. Also, quenching a raging thirst has to be one of lifes great pleasures.

Earlier this week I did a couple of talks to school kids at their “Celebration of Achievement” evenings. I talked about Ironman and what it takes to achieve in that field and how that relates to any goal you’re setting yourself. I started with a description of a training day and must admit looking out at the audience I felt a lot of parents thought I was a nutcase. It seemed well received and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There was some amazing talent on show as kids sang, danced, played piano and read their poetry. I also had to present certificates and shake everyones hand at least once. Jo had commented about some athletes not liking to shake  hands for fear of infection. Well… in just over 24 hours I must have shaken over 200 hands and now I have a bad enough cold to take today off from training. Now there’s some bad science. Having shook every students hand I was fascinated to find out which won the various “best” and “most improved” awards so I can only imagine how good it most make the teachers feel that spend so many years with them.

Jo is doing similar talks next week. She’s becoming an expert on the mental aspect of training having done a few talks at various places and written an excellent little piece on her Tri247 Column. I hope she touches on the aspects of goal setting and mental preparation for those goals in her talks.

Going to finish of this mish mash entry with my running. Yes I’m running, outdoors now. I ran to swimming on Monday morning. My usual 40 minute route took me 54 minutes and it felt absolutely terrible. It was made slightly better by managing a 5:07 400m TT in the session. Otherwise though it made me feel like there is a tonne of work ahead to get my running back. Then I ran on Wednesday and it was like Monday had re-awakened memories in my legs. It wasn’t that I was quicker, I wasn’t, it was just I felt 100 times more comfortable. Really taking it steady though and have not run since then and won’t till Sunday at the earliest.

By the way, the photo above has no relevance to the entry but I’m in the habit of including a photo. Recently I’ve been wearing Hawaii cycle jerseys almost exclusively as it reminds me why I want to battle though this training now. The above photo is an Hawaii sunset and is included for the same reason.

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