Tuesday, 29 March 2011

One Step Backwards - and Two Forwards

Things didn't look too promising when I tweaked my calf muscle after jogging just one mile on Friday. It tightened up instantly and I hobbled home.

From past experience that would mean running was off the agenda for a week or so.

But, also from past experience, I was hopeful that a day or so's rest would be enough to get me back on the bike, and so it turned out.

So, the weekend came and went and I decided to do another 15 miler on Monday afternoon, in beautiful sunshine and slightly chilly air. After hitting my 15mph target in my last outing I hoped to do just a little better this time and so it turned out.

I didn't feel especially lively and there was a slight headwind once again but my calf wasn't hurting, which was good. My back was twinging but I know I need to build my core strength as much as anything and I'm hoping that will do the trick.

I was pleased to reach the turn about a minute faster than last time. Turning for home confirmed the effect of the headwind and riding was suddenly a lot easier! The only hill of consequence did feel like hard work this time but I still got back about half a minute quicker than last week, meaning I'd shaved around 90 seconds off the 15 mile ride. That's actually not much slower than I was doing last summer, so my next step is probably to aim for a slightly longer ride and to tackle Hartest hill for the first time in six months!

I'll let you know how that goes.

The first big ride of the year could be the Bury St Edmunds Wheel in June (100 miles) but it would be great to hit the hills again with John, John and JR before then. We'll see!


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Friday, 25 March 2011

Yes! Another Ride.

ANOTHER RIDE! Yes, only 15 miles but...

It was a lovely afternoon, the job was getting a bit tedious and my legs were getting twitchy. The Suffolk lanes beckoned...

I aimed for 15 miles and hoped to do it in around an hour. That's the kind of pace I was doing comfortably six months ago, when I was fit enough to to Paris to Venice in two weeks.

I say 'aimed' - I didn't really expect to do 15mph after almost no time in the saddle for six months...

Well, the outward leg was every bit as slow as I expected, and the little Suffolk hills and slight headwind made themselves known to my thighs, back and lungs, and I reached the turn in about 33 minutes.

But the homeward leg was much better than I hoped, if still hard work, and it felt really great to be out again. When I finally hit some kind of rhythm I was daydreaming of high mountains and hot sun, with long days in the saddle with good friends.

For a time I was in rural France - or was it Germany or Switzerland?

No, it can't have been France or I would have been looking for an open shop...

Anyway, it was wonderful to be out in the sunshine, hearing the tyres on the tarmac and feeling my legs finally beginning to wake up after their winter hibernation.

I got back in 27 minutes, meaning I actually hit my 15mph target. I do like it when the maths is easy, too!


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Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Finally, FINALLY!

After a ridiculously long hiaitus, I finally got out three times in eight days and I think I feel better for it!

Two very short runs and one short bike ride is hardly getting back in the groove, but it's been a long winter of busyness, mechanical failure and disinterest - oh, and winter - but I'm still disappointed to have left it so long.

Never mind. Two runs, with the second a little faster than the first, didn't seem to hurt my knees. The short bike ride - only six miles - felt tougher than it should, although the first little hill was ok. I didn't prepare in any way, even to changing into cycling gear, so getting out at all was a treat.

And it finally looks like spring out there!

More soon...

...especially as I had notification of the Bury St Edmunds Wheel yesterday: 50 or 100 miles around Bury St Edmunds in mid June. I'll be there.


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