Monday, February 18, 2019

Unsurprisingly Sore Legs

So my quads are feeling it today and instead of feeling better through the day I've actually been going in reverse. At this rate I won't be able to walk tomorrow....

Rest day it is - I seem to take a few of those [winks to camera] and I'm going on the record so there'll be less chance of me backing out... To the end of April I have ten events planned, eight races and two marshalling.

The trouble with being a lazy bastard for years on end not running is you end up as a marshal... but that's okay. I won't be giving up marshalling. It's a dirty job but someone's got to do it. No marshals, no races and anyway, I actually enjoy it - as far as you can enjoy sitting at the top of a mountain in the wind, rain, snow, cold - and very occasionally - sunshine....

So anyway, the races are; Hatterall Sledge, Carding Mill Canter, Tor of Torpantau (Marshalling atop Fan y Big), Blorenge Night Race (work schedule permitting), Tor y Foel, Pen Cerrig Calch, Sugarloaf, Chedworth Roman Trail, Gilwern Grunt (Marshalling) and South Wales Mountain Trial...

That leaves two spare weekends. There's Llanbedr to Blaenavon on one of them but I'm not sure I'm up to doing that just yet - but you never know....

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Pen Tir Drop

Race number three complete. A little longer than the last one but not by much and a smidgen more ascent, but again, not by much. 7km, 350m ascent. Performance wise, it's always difficult to compare across fell races as they are all so different but I'm pleased with another increase in average pace, by a good 30s per kilometre. Probably a bit flattering compared to the last two races but it's going in the right direction.

For an out and back course I found it pretty enjoyable. I think that's because you are climbing pretty much all the way to the summit turn. Sometimes steeply, other times more gently but you are pretty much going up the entire way out. In my mind I just kept thinking about the lovely long descent - and it was a lovely long descent.

Up next week is the Hatterall Sledge. At 12km and 600m ascent it's going to be quite a step up....

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Pre-race Warm Up...

Yes, it's race number three tomorrow. Pen Tir Drop and it's the first of the Chepstow Harriers fell series (I think) and "A good intro to fell racing for beginners" - so should suit me then.... 😄

Nothing too ambitious for me today. A 5k run on the treadmill followed by 9k bike at medium effort. To be fair, it's not going to be anything too ambitious for me tomorrow either. I'll just be happy to be back on the start line for the aforementioned race number three.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


So I'm entering some races. If I enter, I will run....

And for inspiration I'm looking back over my past races and picking a few. First one, Chedworth Roman Trial in April - at 10 miles it's probably too far but the entry fee is paid - I'm running.... I'm also considering the Cleevewold 14 at the end of March. It's the day after Llanbedr-Blaenavon fell race and ten plus years ago I ran the pair back to back.... I'm so not ready for that just yet - and maybe never will be again - but maybe I should be mad enough to try........

More races to come.......

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Treading on the Mill

So I've been bad when it comes to running. With no races, I'm slipping. Fortunately there's a couple of races coming up in the next couple of weeks so things should back on track... Today was just a 5k group run on Zwift. My legs were a little achy from yesterday but feel all the better for having done it.

Saturday, February 09, 2019

Fun Fondo

I started steady but I wasn't trying to go steady. The power was way down but it seemed hard work. Then it all started to come good. Gradually I started to loosen up and increase the power. I'm still down on where I have been but I finished strongly.

Coming to the end of the final climb to a summit finish and being just outside the top 200 I decided to really blast it in the final kilometre. My heart rate was up towards 180. With 300m to go I wasn't sure I wasn't going to die but with one final place needed, I made it on the line to finished 199th. 53km, 580m ascent. Good workout.

Friday, February 08, 2019

So I've...

...Entered my short term target race - the South Wales Mountain Trial and knowing the organiser, I'm sure it'll be a proper test...

Been a bit of a tiring week so far. Work days have been long with early starts and that has drained my energy levels but I feel like I'm recharging. Managed a decent half hour blast on the bike yesterday, although I had the settings wrong which meant I was spinning at higher rpm than I normal. Today my hamstrings are slightly sore which I don't fully understand but there it is.

Tomorrow is the next round of the Zwift Fondo's. I'm still going to have to do the bambino (52k) as I'm not ready for the medio (72k) or gran (98k). I definitely want to do a medio by the end of the series (April).

Sunday, February 03, 2019

It's Over

All nine stages of the Tour de #Zwift are now in the bag and it finished on one of my favourite courses, the Richmond UCI course. It was a much smaller field today than present during the main tour, riding two laps for 33k, 260m ascent. Despite the reduced number, circa 120, there was still some good group riding. In some ways it was more 'racey' - ooh, matron. Because it was a smaller field, I got to know who was riding with me and although the group changed as we caught and got caught, some of those riding with me at the start were still there at the end - not for want of trying to break them on the climbs at the end of the lap, mind. [winks to camera].

I think the three short, sharp undulations at the end of a mainly flat lap is part of the appeal for me. I can really push it into the red, knowing I don't have to hang on for long before hitting the flat and recovery.

And after the race - I mean ride - I treated myself to my one pot microwave macaroni cheese, now tweaked by soaking the pasta in the milk/water for a couple of hours before cooking! Yes, really!! Speeds up the microwaving and eliminates MBO - microwave boil over. Yum.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Almost There...

That's stage 3 of the Tour de #Zwift complete. Just stage 5 to complete tomorrow and then it'll be tour completed.

It was a good ride. I was in a small group throughout, although the group grew as we worked well together to catch several groups on the road ahead. My personal best bit was leading it out to bridge a big gap. I was up around 350W for what seemed like an entirety and the gap didn't look to be coming down quickly enough for me to survive but then the rest of the group pulled in and together we closed it down. I then had a few minutes on the back, to recover from the effort.

Once recovered, we cracked on before reaching the climb to the finish. From there the group spread out as it became every man - and woman - for themselves. Although the finish was at the top, I couldn't resist riding the decent as a warm down.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Last Stage of Tour de #Zwift...

but that's not me finished. As I've mention, I still have stages three and five to ride this weekend. I do find the official events give me an incentive to get on the saddle after a hard day at work. Which I think is why focusing on racing is going to help me get back into the running. Although I am struggling for a race this weekend - and no, don't mention the X word! The following weekend isn't much better. There is the Titterstone Clee but it's a 90 minute drive for a 4k race and then of course there's The Long Mynd Valley's Race the following day, which is the same 90 minute drive but for 18k of tough racing. It was my second ever fell race but I'm not sure I'd get past the pre-selection phase now it's gone all nobber on the entry system.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Ee Ba Gum That Wind Were Bloody Cold

There were a surprising amount of branches down along my route this morning - and feeling the strong wind chilling me to bone, I think there were probably more dropping all around me as I 'ran'. So yes, I did manage to get my arse out of bed and head out and I wasn't the only one out there in the cold either. I got overtaken on the climb and it's not often I come across anyone else following the convoluted routes I run in these parts. (Not to mention the fact that I haven't run much, decreasing the chances further).

Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Golden Gate

Stage eight complete and I put down a bit more power than of late. Felt a bit pants at the start but pretty quickly found myself putting down decent power (for me). I think the London course helped as there are a few bumps on the flat section and I seem to find it easier to grind the power when ascending and struggle a bit on the flat as my legs won't fast enough! Grinding up Box Hill twice also helped... Enjoyed it.

Just stage nine of the Tour de Zwift to ride - and those two pesky stages I missed, which will be Saturday and Sunday next week. But before that, up tomorrow, I'm going to stay local and run my Longhope One and a Half Peaks loop, 9km and circa 300m ascent.

Today's ride with a few of the 900+ other riders

Tomorrow's planned run profile...

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Stage Seven

So I'm just about keeping my hopes of completing the full tour alive - not that it means anything, but the goal definitely helps me keep the focus. I've missed two stages, 3 & 5, of the Tour de #Zwift which I can make up on the final weekend, when they re-run all the stages but if I miss another stage, it's game over. Must stay focused.

Tonight's stage was on the Innsbruck Short Course route, 24km, 500m ascent. I really like it but unfortunately doesn't get much airtime, which is a shame. I think this is the first time I've ridden it in a couple of months. Was nice to hit the 100 kph milestone, aided by the group draft.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Looking For Number Three...

So what do I do this weekend? Travelling north for the Ras Tarren Hendre Fell Race, a six hour round trip drive, seems a little excessive. Is there something closer? If not I might dress as a sheep and sneak along to the FoD Hatteral Hammer recce on Sunday...