I’m back……

Posted on May 26, 2011. Filed under: baby, bike, Blue-green algae, cycle, great scottish swim, ironman, ironman regensburg, Pentlands, regensburg, Rory, shakey, swim, Threipmuir, triathlon, wetsuit |

After a short sabbatical to enjoy Rory’s first few weeks I have eventually decided to come back to the blog.  After all the pitying looks that I got when I proposed my theory that a baby’s arrival wouldn’t really impact my training plan I can finally admit they were right and I was wrong.  It turned out paternity leave wasn’t actually the perfect opportunity to get some serious bike miles in the hills and the two weeks when he kept us waiting meant that I was too scared to travel more than 10metres from the house!

The first two weeks I actually managed to lose weight fuelled only by choccy biscuits for nutrition and nappy changing for exercise.  Since then I have slowly got back into training after I had been through the initial bodyshock of returning to work.  Swimming and running really suffered over the last few weeks but I did manage to get some bike miles in.  So I thought I would give a quick re-cap of the highlights of the last few weeks before I resume normal service at the weekend.

Returning to serious endurance training was the hardest thing that I had to do.  My first serious cycle was when the boy was about 3 weeks old and I set off into the Lomond hills for 3 hours of uphill suffering.  It was really difficult leaving the house in the early hours and the whole time I was out, despite it being a beautiful morning, I just wanted to be back with Pam and the wee monkey.  Look at him – who wouldn’t want to?

While on my first few days of paternity leave I had what I will probably look back on as the low point of the whole Project Regensburg.  On a glorious evening I got on shorts and a short sleeved cycling top for pretty much the first time of the year and headed out for a ride while Pam was feeding Rory.  Going up the first serious hill I had to get off a couple of times as the bike had chucked the chain off but I thought nothing of it.  However, on the first descent on the way back I came to a shuddering standstill and when I looked back I realised that the rear derailleur on my bike had gone right through the spokes and snapped in half.  The bike was un-rideable and I was about 8 miles from home.  My first thought was that I could jog home but bike shoes are about as comfortable as running a marathon in a cross between stilletoes and platforms.  I have actually fallen over in cycling shoes while just standing still before so their cunning should not be under-estimated.  Anyway, now with a cut on my knee, in inappropriate footwear, 8 miles from home accompanied only by a broken bike and with the sun plummeting towards the horizon I had to call Pam with a heavy heart.  Now at this point Pam hadn’t actually practised putting wriggly Rory into the car seat and she hadn’t actually put the car seat into the car before so whatever happened my rescue was going to have a long lead time.  I stumbled down the hill, found a place to park my bike and waited and waited while the sweat froze on me.  By the time Swiss Family Cameron arrived I was frozen to the bone, covered in nettle stings and desperate for a pee and all I could do was apologise!

I am now up to 100km and just over 4 hours for my long ride of the week.  Last Saturday I left home just before 6 and set off without any real plan of where I was going.  To amuse myself somewhere along the way I decided that I was just going to follow any brown signs that I found and I ended up meandering up to Linlithgow Palace, the engineering marvel that is the Falkirk Wheel and the Airth Pineapple.  There is now a new section in the blog On the Road with My Bikes where you will see my bikes parked up in picturesque spots.  Feel free to join me on my virtual travels.  As with every ride I go on, my detour to the Falkirk Wheel damned near ended in disaster.  Wearing two pairs of shorts as I up the mileage I found myself pulling away from the Wheel when my outer pair of shorts snagged under the saddle and with both feet clipped in so I couldn’t put a foot down to balance myself or stand up to gain some momentum.  I slowed to a stall and only just managed to rip a foot out of the cleats before I face planted into the cobbles.

This week, with only 10 weeks to go until Regensburg, has been my first week back at full training momentum.  To maintain a decent work/life balance I now cycle a very long route to and from work at least twice a week and I join Shakey for a run twice a week at lunchtime.  This means I can train in what would usually be dead time, I can always get home for bath time and when Rory goes to bed I can do some work.

Open water swimming also started again this week at Threipmuir reservoir in the Pentlands the home of last year’s Great Pentland Swim about which there was a lengthy blog posting here that still makes me chuckle.  In fact that blog entry actually resulted in us both being awarded medals which must now be collectors items.

All I will say is that I wasn’t in the water long last night, it was so cold that it made my teeth hurt and I had to listen to Shakey whingeing the whole way there and shivering the whole way back.  There was one bright spot in my day yesterday though……I am still a bit sensitive about my TWO pairs of ladies tri shorts and was moaning about them to Shakey at the reservoir demonstrating how they were far too big for me.  As we were loading up the kitbags I noticed that we wear the exact same model of tri short and lo and behold it turns our we both wear the same size.  Shakey’s shorts fit her snugly, however, which means that I have a narrower beam than her.  She really should put a bit more effort in when we go running!

Finally, I thought I would share an ad from youtube that I love just now.  Clif Bars make the bars that I get most of my energy from on the bike and as they are organic they are probably a bit better for me in the longer term than the chemical laden gels that I also use.  They have a great sense of humour though and have devised a perfect training programme to prepare the ironman for the swim start.  Enjoy.


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