Lost in Grangemouth

Posted on March 20, 2011. Filed under: aberfeldy, bike, cycle, Half ironman, ironman, ironman regensburg, regensburg, shakey, swim, triathlon |

This may be a short update since I am only updating a wee bit of a week. 

Building work has not progressed but we have official confirmation that the building warrant has been approved so work will start a week tomorrow.  So, there will be no photos of the work, however, there remains a high risk that Pam will head down to the council offices and point out to the building warrant man the error of his ways at length.  There will be some indoor work this week as the hot water tank is replaced – hopefully, that will be done in one day as last week I was averaging 4 showers per day with the amount of training I was doing.  If it takes more than one day I may start smelling like the washing basket which is all very unpleasant.

Prospective Ironman lets his hair down at his local

My desire to manage my weight down has taken a bit of a blow this week as I have eaten out several more times than an athlete should during the week but more worryingly  I also found myself in a karaoke bar at 1 am …… on a Tuesday!  So, in answer to the questions that may be rattling around your head – yes, I had had a couple of glasses of wine more than was sensible, yes, I sang……eventually, yes, I hurt like hell the next day, no, I don’t think it is either big or clever and no, I don’t think I will be doing it again anytime soon.

As covered in the previous post the ebay wetsuit ad is going from strength to strength and bidding is now sitting at £11,100 with just over a day to go.  If you haven’t had a read yet have a look as I can guarantee it will have you snorting tea down your nose and on to your keyboard with laughter.  The Q&As are almost as funny.  To give you a taster……

Q: I am very impressed that you haven’t wee’d in your wetsuit!  I would put in an offer but don’t think it will fit over my stupendous baps so any suggestions as to how I could fit them in it would be helpful.

A: My mum always used to put them in foil.  By the time I got to school they were flat.

I had a couple of days holiday at the end of the week which oddly coincided with Pam visiting her mum………which meant – serious, unsupervised training time!  So on Thurday and Friday I managed to get out for two long bike rides in the fresh air.  Thursday was a 30mile ride just to loosen up the legs and as a warm up for a 45mile ride on Friday morning.  The 30miler was all pretty local and broadly followed the same route as last week but the longer ride (which included a run as another Shrek brick – a Shrick?) was a loop of the Firth of Forth.  I got lost a couple of times (of which more later) but I was pretty pleased that I managed to keep up a moving speed of 24.1km per hour.  At my peak point last year in the Aberfeldy half ironman I averaged 26.3km per hour so was chuffed to have only lost about 8% of the pace.  My current pace would get me through the full Ironman bike course at about 7.5hours  if I could maintain it (punctures, bonking, portaloo queues etc notwithstanding) which will be well within the bike cut-off time.  It was pretty windy on Friday so I would hope to maintain a faster pace by August.

Anyway, you would think that a circular route of the Firth of Forth would be absolutely perfect for a self-guided tour which it was, right up until I reached Grangemouth.  Now, I may use this route again so I won’t be rude about either Grangemouth or it’s residents in case they (a) recognise me next time and (b) have seen the Deliverance.  I don’t know what they do beyond the high fences of the refinery but I could swear that I was pee’ing a luminous pee for the rest of the day.

So, at the first inkling I was lost I started looking for someone who might know where I needed to go.  As a general approach I know that sounds simple but the streets of Grangemouth were bereft of inhabitants on foot.  I spotted a lady in a car park so I pulled off the road and made my way towards her at speed before she had time to drive off.  It is fair to say that she will probably remember me for some time because of the shock she got.  I unclipped one foot from the pedals and pulled up next to her and after a couple of polite “excuse me’s” I gave her a gentle tap on the shoulder.  It turned out she had been for a run and was stretching, while wearing her ipod before getting in the car.  Now, like me, she thought there was no-one on the streets of Grangemouth and spun around in shock at the tap on the shoulder only to have her heart stop when faced with a grown man clad head to toe in black lycra like a camp ninja losing his balance with one foot attached to his bike.  Once resuscitated she made a gallant effort to direct me towards the Kincardine Bridge but was either just buying herself some time to get away or was completely lost herself. 

The next good old boys that I came across at a bus stop pointed me in the opposite direction and I ended up cycling 2 miles up a dead end road to the docks.  They were getting on a bus, and one of them was wearing a hunters cap with furry ear flaps, so technically they probably didn’t have a clue how to get to where they were going to either.  After that I just went the only way that no-one had told me to go and it turned out to be the correct way.

Swimming was a bit light again this week but next week I have promised myself I will put some serious time in the pool and hopefully by late March all of the free memberships at the gym will have expired and the pool will be quieter.  Running wise I had an early morning 6miler with Shakey in Edinburgh on Tuesday and tonight I did a VO2 max session on the treadmill.  Most training sessions for Ironman are for endurance where your body learns how to process fuel (body fat and food) and strengthens your muscles, ligaments and tendons so that you don’t get injured when you do masssive distances.  Maximal sessions should only be done once a week and are designed to trigger a physical response so that your body gets used to moving faster and therefore gets faster.  The problem with them is that they hurt like hell.  After a 20 minute warm up I did 6 intervals where I went flat out for 2 minutes and then recovered for three minutes.  As most of the lycra clad ladies at the gym on a Sunday evening are moving slightly slower than my sleepwalking pace they do frown at the bloke breathing so hard he looks like he having a asthma attack.  I won’t even mention the sweating.

Anyway, another video……might have to write one of these when I have a minute.


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