New shoes and the launch of “Geek Spot”

Posted on February 27, 2011. Filed under: bike, brad wiggins, cycle, geek spot, Half ironman, ironman, ironman regensburg, knockburn, knockburn middle distance, regensburg, run, swim, triathlon |

So, I said last time out that this week would be a recovery week.  It sounded like a week’s holiday and I did have an ice-cream today but I have still done 8.5hours of training and I still find myself traumatised by the ante-natal classes that now seem to book-end my every week.

First of all I have a confession to make – I quite like numbers.  Now, I wasn’t a very good accountant and you can take excel off the boy but he will still find a way to do charts.  So I have now officially launched the “Geek Spot” – my small corner of the world wide web where I can put charts and graphs about me.  It’s not as noble a cause as overthrowing north African dictators but it’s my own little numbers revolution. 

So my first exciting chart is the kilometers that I have covered since I started “Project Regensburg”.  I am particularly proud of this month as February is just a shorty and I almost managed to match the distance I travelled in December and January combined.  It’s a bit scary to think that February is still a base training month and I still have quite a bit of time to go until Regensburg so I am going to cover some serious mileage (or should that be kilometerage??).

My second piece of exceptionally exhilarating chartage is my quest to appear sylph-like in lycra come August.  As you will recall from my weight-watcher chat with Bradley Wiggins I am pre-occupied about the pain it will cause to drag any excess ass around Germany in October – the more you weigh the more you need to eat during the race and therefore greater risk of barfing, the more stress on your muscles and joints and the more the heat will hurt.  However, there is a catch-22 because you don’t want to be losing weight when you are doing hard core training volumes.  So, I am planning to let my weight fall naturally until June and then up my calorie intake to hold it steady until Ironman.  In February I have cast off 2.5 kilos or about 6lbs in old money which is pretty much where I hoped to be – any more and I would be losing muscle mass rather than fat and any less and I would be stretching this year’s fetching yellow lycra to bursting point.

The challenge with managing weight is eating the right calories.  My body is demanding a huge intake as I train and it pretty much tells me what it needs – salt or sugar usually.  Now there are all sorts of things that are good quality calories but after a long run or ride if my body tells me it needs salt I have to fight every instinct to head to Greggs for a sausage roll and any ice-cream shop is like a honey-pot to my sugar cravings.  Anyway, that’s my weight loss challenge – how do I dodge Greggs or a 99 on the way home on the bike??

Training went well through the week and I even managed to avoid Duncan’s Mum in one swim (although the miserable old prune was there on two others).  Due to work pressures, runs with Shakey were relegated from the prime lunchtime slot to 730am this week and after a nice bright run on Tuesday she had to take to her bed on Thursday as the “Bark” returned.  The Bark is a recurring injury that the Shakester suffers and it is as it sounds – she emits a noise that if we heard it from a rottweiller with bronchitis we would put it down forthwith.  She does have a problem now though – we had confirmation during the week that the Knockburn half ironman will go ahead on July 10th which will be my final warm up prior to Regensburg and will be her “A” event this year.  Her biggest problem, however, is not that time is slipping away but rather I have appointed myself her coach and that can only result in tears (whose remains unclear at this stage).

So, following 1.5 hours on the turbo on Saturday we headed into Edinburgh to meet Nic and Di who were visiting for the night.  After picking them up and packing them off with Pam to go shopping I settled down for a deep-tissue massage with Merelle to try and loosen up some aches and pains I had in my lower back and legs.  I last saw Merelle in preparation for the Rome Marathon and it is safe to say that her application of the elbow into the back of your leg would probably reduce a fellow with a lower pain threshold than I to racking, sobbing tears.  And, if anything, although only about 3 feet tall she has got even stronger in the last year.

A tired old shoe that lets in water because of the hole

Very pretty, new white shoes with ratchet

As I hobbled out of the massage with bruising developing that could have Pam investigated for husband battery I had to tick another job off my list.   Last year, in the bone breaking, skin de-layering bike crash I was saved to some extent by my cycling shoe.  However, it wasn’t so lucky and I actually burned a hole right through it.  These shoes were described when I first got my bike as “entry level” and, let’s be honest – can any prospective Ironman be seen wearing anything entry level??  So, I found myself bike shoe shopping and got some very pretty, new cycling shoes (with a ratchet to tighten them up) and, admittedly, they are a bit more metrosexual than I would normally choose but I’ll be going so fast no-one will see them!!

Anyway, this weekend was a big sporting weekend outside of Ironman (not that I notice any more anyway) as the Irish were in town for the rugby.  We love it when the Irish come over as they are the only tourists that actually make the Scots look tanned and healthy and like us they speak English as a second language.  So, we convinced Pam to come to the pub (we didn’t even need a driver) and met Shakey and her travelling paddy mates (that makes them sound like gypsies but they weren’t really) for a couple of pints.  Di was troubled that she couldn’t remember where she knew Shakey from – Pam’s hen-do, our wedding etc and drew a blank.  Funnily enough, I quite often type this on a Sunday night not knowing if anyone reads it but it turns out that Di does – avidly!  She could recount training stories and injuries I had forgotten and it turned out that she only knew Shakey from the blog.   Luckily, she realised later and it saved any undignified autograph requests in Malones.  So, Shakey has made it to Z-list celebrity and may even find herself in the News of the Screws if she misbehaves on the razz!

I am delighted that the guys from the Daily Record Ironman blog who I have followed for the last couple of years have started reporting again as they train towards Challenge Roth – one  of the best iron distance races.  You can click through to their latest updates.

Next week starts to build volume and intensity again and will see the return of the dreaded brick.   Training will go up from just over 8 hours this week to almost 12 next week which is guaranteed to hurt.  In the meantime I carried on my alpha-male activity by putting up a curtain rail in the nursery and I only have one more ante-natal class to enjoy…….


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