Firstly I've got to thank everyone for their support and help on twitter, in training, family and the guys at http://www.2wheelsonly.co.uk/ . The overwhelming help and support is partly at fault for my brain ache when added to all the IM blogs I keep reading, the buzz from training and the fear and doubt that creep in every now and then. Swim, bike run?.....the brain ache alone is knackering.
Anyway, two great training rides this weekend (I was slack last week and after monday didnt get out - no excuses just a lazy bastard!). Sat 6am trip out to Shenstone and back. http://connect.garmin.com/activity/140028089 Combines main roads and country lanes and quite undulating too. My gears were slipping when on the little cog at the front so rode it all on the big cog (this is as technical as I get and I know it sounds like a kids programme I can hear it in my head "big cog little cog welcome to our cafe" - one for the moms and dads amongst us). This was good in respect of making me work up the hills until the gears started slipping on the big cog too. Very frustrating. Also when riding in the pitch black whilst my lights make me visible they dont really light up the road. I may need to look into buying a high powered front light. This will also come in handy to point at oncoming motorists who think that because I am on a bike I have no eyes and therefore cant be dazzled by their full beam! I was finding myself chuntering away to myself about the inconsiderate bastards when it dawned on me I am becoming one of those 'hold your line, middle of my lane, the road's as much mine as it is yours, dip your effin lights' cyclists who aint gonna take no shit from motorists. Hope it doesnt become a campaign of mine although I fear it will! Once at Shenstone my mph ave was around 12 which was disappointing and the last 8 miles or so home were all uphill bar the last 3...or so i thought. I set off and flew up the A5 to the A38 island. This is definitely uphill but I was flying. I had great fun negotiating the A38 island overtaking a lorry twice at the traffic light controlled sections and waving to a truck driver whizzing through the lights on red just a split second before I pulled away on green. Ive seen some cyclists jump lights when the opposite ones change to red. Had I done that this would have been a post from the grave! I then whizzed along Watling Street (Old A5) and really powered up the hills so so much better than when I had previously ridden this section. By the time I got home my average was up to 14mph and with my limited gear selection I was very happy. I nipped to 2wheels only (i bought the bike from them) and they tweaked the gears, said some technical stuff while I looked at the shiny stuff in their shop, gave it a test ride and handed it back to me running beautifully. They are gonna upgrade my gearing to help me out at no cost and service it and prep it for the IM in due course. I left with a track pump too. No more slow rides on 60psi for me!
I then bagged this ride early doors Sunday http://connect.garmin.com/activity/140028033 it was with Carl a friend of mine who is 'naturally fit' and can turn his hand to anything. Swimming, running, cycling he immediately excels at everything. It was a great ride because it forces me to ride better (was gonna say work harder but cycling seems to be so much about being clever and being better) and with confidence in my bike again (gears) I feel I really put a shift in. Gorgeous day for it, dry, not too windy and a mixed route again. By the time we were getting back we passed about 3 cycling groups of between 10 and 30 members out for their Sunday jaunts. Felt nice to be able to shout (sometime wheeze) 'hello' to them. Its like being in a gang. I've not forgotten my humble running beginnings of course and I am proud to stand up and cross the divide and still shout 'hello' to the runners I pass too! I was very pleased to have upped the distance, ridden on consecutive days and upped my average speed to 15mph. I am learning loads each time I go out. It also occurred to me that we are all 'naturally fit' its just the level of lazing about, curries, junk and booze we've consumed that affects our current level!
If anyone is paying attention Im up to 52.65 miles for 2012 in 2012 after week one! Myfitnesspal had me 89 calories under my weekly goal and when I would normally have at least 14 500ml bottles of coke a week I've only had 3 this week! I've been able to give up drink, bad food (mostly), unhealthy snacks and sugar but Coke is proving to be my nemesis!
Whilst I have mapped out my own training plan I today received a huge volume of IM info from coach John. Apparantly VLM Apr 22nd will throw a spanner in the works but I am confident I can work around it - lets face it they're not going to change the date of it to help me! I'm off to read some more IM blogs and create some more fear and inspiration. Can I Ironman? - today you know I think I can! (this comment is subject to status and likely to vary based on the wind conditions, which side of the bed I get out on and which blogs I've read!)