It's been quite a while since my last post but this week has seen me get out there and log more miles than in a long while (and some actually on foot!) so thought I would fill those of you who are interested on my week so far...
... On Sunday morning I left the ElliptiGO at home and did something quite novel... a RUN! 4:30am start and out the door by 5. Its definitely the best time to run... Much cooler plus the sunrise plus no body about as I went on my way down the Grand Union Canal from Leighton Buzzard to Hemel Hempstead. It's a great route with open views and a quietness that one can just lose yourself in. Glorious! I feel so sorry for those still in bed at times like these.
Having not run properly (e.g. anything over 10 miles) for months this would be something of a test. I covered 22 miles in total. 20 down to hemel which was a very leisurely 10min mile pace then the train back which took just 14 minutes to cover the same distance that had just taken me 3h20! So fact of the day: trains are 13 times faster than running! But I still know what mode I would rather take.
The plan will be to increase the mileage in the build up to the NDW100 on 13th August. In a month or so I should be running back from Hemel too, and saving £7 on the train fare in the process, which I can spend on energy bars instead! :-)
So that was Sunday. Rest day monday.
And then to Tuesday where I clocked up 92 miles on the ElliptiGO. 22 miles to work in the morning for a half day, tand then a 70 mile Chiltern100 training ride in the afternoon. This time I had some company on the ride in the form of my mate Dave who was on his high performance Alu-Carbon road bike. The difference in performance was very noticable on the very first climb of the day as Dave stormed ahead with me left in his wake. I'm getting more use to climbing now with all the training miles clocked up in recent months, and there is a very noticable improvement in my performance and fitness.
It was great afternoon of me just trying to keep up with Dave! The highlight was actually overtaking Dave on a mega long and steep downhill section into Chinnor, where in his own words he 'lost his bottle', whilst I clenched my butt cheeks and just went for it, holding on tight and putting all my trust in the bike as I zoomed down reaching 38 mph. What a rush!
This out and back ride is a real test knowing that every downhill would have to be repeated going up the other way. The return leg was a real killer. My legs were screaming out for mercy on the 10% + inclines. Painful yes but so rewarding when you finally reach the top even if Dave had been waiting for 5 minutes already. Unbelievably Dave stayed in the large chain ring on the front for the entire ride! Awesome effort mate.
Wednesday rest day with the family (although 'rest' with a 3yr old and 5 week old baby perhaps isn't the most fitting description!)
And today (Thursday) I repeated pretty much the same 70 miler with my mate Idai from MK who works for ElliptiGO. This ride was a far more leisurely affair than Tuesday's frantic energy zapping pace. Including a well planned and timed pub stop for lunch. Jacket potatoe and chilli went down very well indeed :-) plus we avoided the first of several downpours of the day. On leaving the pub however it didn't last and we were soon pretty soggy including one downpour which was so heavy all you could do was laugh. If it wasn't for the cycle helmets the rain and hail would have been pretty harsh. However none of this could put a dampener on what was a great ride across the toughest part of the Chiltern100 route. Another 69 miles logged too which makes the week's total 161 miles.
The fall out of this ride is two broken spokes (one was already broken before), but luckily the GO was already booked in for a service tomorrow where it will be restored to new, including a new puncture proof rear tyre which will ensure there are no annoying hold ups on race day. Brakes have also taken a battering on the steep downhills so they should come back far better with more response and stopping ability.
To wrap up... my training is most definitely ramping up now and I hope to get the balance right on foot and on the GO in the build up to the NDW100 where I should be as fit, if not the fittest I've ever been. Lets see as family life must also be balanced which is never easy. Pictures of the Blofeld family and today ride below.