Monday, 22 February 2010

Being out there....

There are many reasons why I love sport and namely triathlon, one of those reasons was reinforced this week on a two occasions.

On Wednesday I rode with my friends Tom and Ove. We set of at 8am from Tom’s house in Leeds and made our way along the busy Otley Road. It was foggy and cold, and along the Otley Road we were all wondering whether our planned 4 hours was sensible given the weather, road and traffic conditions. As we rode out of Otley onto quieter roads our mood lifted and then as we neared Burnsall it happened. The sun broke through, the fog lifted on Burnsall Village nestled in a beautiful valley in the Dales. The light conditions were incredible, the sun shinning on the hillside creating an amazing glow. In Burnsall (cheers Ove great photo) we stopped, got one of the ‘best flapjacks’ in the world. We then took a little time to enjoy the flapjack, the rest and the beautiful location, made even more special by the weather conditions.

On Sunday I woke, opened the curtains and revealed a fresh covering of snow, time for a run. It was still snowing and settling as I ran out through the village and onto the canal towpath. 8.30am on a Sunday morning pretty much guarantees solitude, 8.30 with falling snow definitely guarantees it. I have recently discovered the joys of running with my Ipod. I had chosen Calvin Harris ‘something for the weekend’for today’s run. The snow was getting heavier, the trees were covered, and latter that day Ellie described them as ‘having their wedding dresses on’ What a fabulous description of the landscape. The Swans had found a small section of the canal that wasn’t frozen, and a giant Hare nearly ran into me before seeing me and swerving into the field. An hour later I returned to my house, my foot prints had snowed over, and I had the endorphin high, enhanced by the amazing fresh conditions.

Being able to cycle or run (or even open water swim, not long now) in the surroundings I can is such a great thing. It is often easy to get immersed in the quest to increase one’s performance, to ride faster, to ride for longer, to do more hours, to race harder, that the surroundings we do this in are often taken for granted.

I have had a great week of training 16 ¾ hrs, nicely balanced between the bike, running, swimming and some strength work. I have done some sessions on my own and some with friends.

It has been an action packed half term. Here’s what I got up to. Mum and Dad’s for the weekend, 3hrs riding Ivinghoe, DVD ‘Taken’, Valentines Day, Movie ‘Avatar’, visit Sarah’s Aunt and Uncle in Wendover, 4hrs riding with Tom, Virgin Run Club with Tom and Helen, 4hrs riding with Tom and Ove, Tropical World, Run, Movie ‘Princess and the Frog’, Nando’s, Xcsape Sledging with Ellie, 25 x 100m swim, Run, DVD ‘Zodiac’, 3hr ride, Park with Evie, DVD 'X Men,' Snowy run, Make Snowmen, drawing, painting, sticking with Ellie and Evie, weights/ core session and sleep……..

See you next week when it will be March, is that the start of Spring???

PS Well done to my Dad who is up and posting.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

The dog house...

There are many things that a man, a husband must never forget. One to say "I love your hair" immediately after your wife returns from the hair dresser's. Two, Birthday's, and three, Valentines Day... (I am sure there are plenty of ladies out there that can think of many more to add to my short list feel free to add in the comments box) guess which one I forgot? Well it wasn't really that I forgot, it was more of a case that at some stage I made a momentously wrong decision. I hadn't brought a card, On Saturday afternoon I wasn't able to get to a shop, and maybe, just maybe a card wasn't required because I would be spending the day with my wife and heading out for the evening for a drink and to the cinema. Oh how wrong could I be...

Valentines morning went downstairs made Sarah a cup of tea and returned to find a lovely card with a beautiful poem and a bag of Valentines Chocolates, thanks darling love you. Oh dear, I was in big, big trouble. Even Ellie had made me a card, bigger trouble I could not have been in. "It's just a card" didn't help matters (quite right to)

The trouble was it was just too late, the damage had been done. A late card wouldn't cut it, flowers would not be well received, chocolates wouldn't go down too well. What could I do? Well Diamonds were mentioned on a few occasions during the day, oh my ££££££££?

The reality of the situation was I had COCKED up BIG styleee, so there was very little I could do other than try to be nice, say lots of nice things and hopefully Sarah would accept my rather insufficient attempt at an apology.

We had a nice afternoon at Xscape (Milton Keynes) watched Avatar and had a couple of drinks, whilst my Mum and Dad were on Baby Sitting duties. I of course took the abuse I deserved all night long.

So to my gorgeous Sarah. Please accept my apologies for being a thoughtless husband, for not making the little bit of effort required to go out and get a card. If I could find a set of stocks I would sit in them, I should be publicly shamed. You know that I love you more than ever and that I cannot think of anybody else who I want to be with for the rest of my life. So darling let me say sorry on my blog for all my readers to see. I am sorry.

Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry I am working on a way to redeem myself, love you 10 gorgeous xxxxxxx

Sunday, 7 February 2010


Poised, the dictionary definition say's "marked by balance or equilibrium and readiness for action" At the moment I feel poised, ready for some serious action. It's been a steady start to the Year, I have not set any all time training best's but have kept things ticking along nicely. I had the usual ambitious thoughts regarding training for the month of January, but like most years I soon realised January is not the most conducive month for long or hard training. However March certainly is.....

What about February? Well February doesn't last very long, and the last couple of weeks are an exciting time, let me explain my thinking. For the first two weeks of February just keep ticking over, when there's good training to be had, get out and have it, if it's not there then chillax (what a rubbish word, it seems appropriate though) and remind yourself "it's only February" Week three for me contains half term, yes sorry folks I am soon to be on Holiday again. This is where I will have a bit more training time, I can access some longer rides, I can run in the light and I can recover properly after training sessions. Then in the final week of February we are under starters orders, "on your marks, set".........

1st March, GO........It will be light in the morning at 6.45am, it will not be dark until 5.30, the early bulbs will be opening, they might get a little shock but give them few more weeks and all their friends will want some sunlight action. The birds will find their voices and the constantly damp roads will once again be dry by mid morning. Overshoes will be saved only for really crisp early starts, and one will be torn between full tights, 3/4 tights, knee warmers or shorts? Just think of that for a minute cycling in shorts!

As I stomp through March I am moving ever closer to the Easter holidays, that marks the end of the Football season and the start of the cricket term. Long sunny evenings, well not quite, but not that far away.

March will also see the proper start to the time trial season with a few 10's and some 'hilly' events, Oh yes the beloved Ceepo will be polished and polished and polished (it definitely goes faster if it's shiny) I can pack away my lights for my daily commute to work, and the additional miles on my way to work can begin with earnest.

This year I have the added incentive of a weeks training camp in Spain near Malaga with some of the Leeds and Bradford Triathlon Crew, can't wait.

On March 29th I celebrate my Birthday, (March 29th folks, that's March 29th) and then finally at the very end of March the clocks go forward, it just keeps getting better. That for me is the start of the count down to evening time trials and evening blasts on the country roads on two wheels, or steady runs along the canal listening to the birds, watching the wildlife and the setting sun.

So, if, as you pull on the 3rd undershirt and finally leave on your bike 15 minutes after starting to get changed you are wondering why you do this? the reason my friends is "you do this for March"

If you are in a good place with your training don't move too far away, if you are not quite there don't push it. Keep it ticking over, if you fancy stepping up a little do it, if you fancy a couple of days off, do it, if you can get a grip of your diet, do it, if you want chocolate and pizza, do it, get in a position where you are poised, slightly nervous, holding the position until the starter pulls that trigger. In 22 days time it is March 1st.....