Another week down

Posted on July 26, 2010. Filed under: cycle, ness, run, shakey, swim, triathlon |

I honestly thought that this was just like a diary and that only a couple of others had a guilty read of what I have been writing when I’m not looking.  However, I’ve discovered this week that the blog has developed a personality of it’s own.  I have been getting emails and texts of support and more than a few slightly unkind questions which I may tackle if I can keep typing long enough tonight.

Last week was a tough training week as I near the end of the preparations for August.  This week I did 125 miles on the bike and ran 22 miles.  Despite all the festering injuries my long distances are now at a level where I don’t really fear finishing in Aberfeldy but do worry about the state I will finish in.  Of biggest concern is losing one or both nipples, public exposure of the lycra and, possibly more bizarrely, swallowing a fly when I am on the bike.  My new fear this week is of the bonk – more of which later.   

I eventually did last week’s long ride on Saturday morning.  As I am currently abstaining I got up with a clear head and set off just after 730 in glorious weather expecting the ride to last 4.5 hours.  The Tour de Fife took in most of the glamour locations in a long loop – Dunfermline, Aberdour, Leven, Cupar, Falkland, Leslie and Cowdenbeath (and not forgetting of course Ballingry and Lochgelly).  I have now noticed that when cycling all weather logic goes out the window – on Saturday, despite it being a loop I constantly had the wind in my face and eventually limped home wind scorched and starving after over 5.5 hours.  The implications of the ride were pretty grim.  I only had 2 bananas and 2 bottles of energy drink with me so somewhere around the 5 hour mark I “bonked” for the first time.  I can now confirm that a bonk isn’t as much fun as it sounds – runners call it hitting the wall and doctors call it hypoglycemia.  All I know is that all of a sudden my legs turned to jelly, I started talking to myself and I honestly developed a deep paranoia that the hill that I was climbing was conspiring against me and that it was actually an escalator going in the wrong direction!!  

Hotspots of Leven

Back home and well fed everything slowly came back to normal.  All except, of course, my new and intense dislike for Leven.  In one grim little seaside town has several new claims to fame – 3 drivers attempted to squash me, they have built speed “bumps” the size of bloody Ben Nevis that re-dislocated my shoulder every time I hit them and their sign-posts are rubbish.  As a result of the poor sign-posting I rode up a dead-end which resulted in a 2 mile unnecessary detour over the 8 (yes, I counted them) humungous speed bumps. If there is a bright side to Leven it least it was kind enough to bounce my shoulder back into the socket after dislocating it.  It may be harsh but once the Americans have finished with Iran and North Korea I will be recommending that they should decalre war on Leven as part of the axis of evil – god knows they might even win that one if they can get the tanks over the speed bumps!

After the long ride it was back to domestic chores when I had to mow the grass – I was clearly still a little delirious as, when I reviewed my handywork this morning, I appear to have left the lawn with a brazilian.   

Anyway, I finished the week with a long run yesterday.  I am now up to 8 miles and this was my furthest run since the day of the marathon.  0730 on a Sunday morning is fascinating – I was witness to several walks of shame (with faces that only a mother could love who knows how they got laid!!!) and several fellas on their way home sporting fresh facial injuries from a damned fine Saturday night out. 
Today, thank god was a rest day.  A new training week starts tomorrow and will be the last hard week before I start to taper.  Tuesday will also bring a bit of a novelty with the first sea (OK, loch!) trials of the one armed swimming technique.  All was set for Shakey to have her maiden voyage in her gimp suit until I received an alarming/hilarious (depending on your point of view) call from her this evening.  While trying the wetsuit on for size she appears to have got a herself a little stuck.  The big question is………did she order a suit too small out of vanity or did she put on a couple of pounds in Spain last week?  You can decide for yourself from the photo she managed to take on her iphone.  Health and Safety concerns have been taken into account and Pam, as official support crew, is life-guarding for us.  From past experience, unlike her diligent, professional Baywatch namesake, Pammy normally laughs hysterically and generally finds the bondage suit, particularly with me in it, hilarious.  She hasn’t been tested yet but I would hazard a guess that in a crisis she will be taking photos rather than calling the coastguard.

As mentioned before the main question I have been getting (mainly from friends that haven’t seen me for a while) is (and I have paraphrased the alliteration to keep the blog family friendly), “How on earth will a fat f(ella) like you manage all of this?”

OK, I’ll admit I have lost a couple of pounds in the past 18 months which has helped me accelerate from a waddle to a gentle jog (also known as the shrek strut). To illustrate the point I have included two photos.  The first was taken in Berlin on New Year’s Day 2009 as I enjoyed a Kaiser’s feast of champagne and bratwurst for breakfast.  Exactly 5 days later it dawned on me that I was on a fast track to a heart attack and signed up for the Edinburgh 10k.  The second photo was taken after the Rome Marathon in March 2010.  The change is pretty subtle but hopefully it should explain how I can complete these events and squeeze into a gimp suit (although there is still precious little dignity in skin-tight neoprene).

I have absolutely loved the Tour de France this year.  And I have a clear winner in my favourite moment of the Tour.  No, it wasn’t Schleck’s chase after losing his chain or Lance’s dream of another win ending in three crashes in one stage and it wasn’t even David Millar trying to take down a Dutch labrador.  Nope, it was the ladyboy fight after stage six – you get all the action in the first thirty seconds (watch the abuse of the carbon wheel) but bear with the rest of the video for in-depth analysis of the art of the biff.

The great news today is that I have now raised over £1600 for the Anaphylaxis Campaign and the fantastic work it does after just 10 days of fundraising.  I am hugely proud of that but it would be great to keep going and really blow away the target to give a huge boost to the charity.  Thanks for all your support so far.


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In the video clip which is worth watching, look at the guy in the background at 2 mins 42ish. It is hilarious. Obviously not as hilarious as Shrek's blog!


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