Sunday, 11 April 2010

Circuit of the Dales

Another Easter break draws to a close, I do love my job, well at least the holidays that come with it. It's been an very enjoyable but hectic second week. On the training front I have followed up my 20 hour Malaga week with a nice 12 hours and have included some good honest sessions. I ran a 10 miler on Wednesday in 1.14.15 averaging 7.23min/mile pace. My running feels like it is in a good place, I just need to try to stick in at least a 10 miler each week now leading up to the middle distance triathlons I have planned for the end of May onwards.

Thursday saw another encounter with the A168, alas this time I was alone (missed you Tom) I had planned quite an ambitious session involving a 4 lap (60mile) ride followed by an 8 mile run, but.....With the 10mile run still in my legs and the Circuit of the Dales 50 mile time trial on Sunday I listened to my legs and in the end rode 3 laps, without a run. the A168 is a great road for doing quality work on. Riding between Walshford and the top roundabout you get a 15 mile loop of fairly undulating (although nothing you need to get out of the big ring for) road. The first 10 miles of every loop is the V212 10 mile time trial course where I have a 23.36 PB, this is added motivation at the start of every loop. Anyway, I rode consistent laps and finished with 45 miles at an average of 22.2mph for 156bpm heart rate average, a solid session. I intend to return soon for some more sessions.

Friday morning was so beautiful that I went out for a really easy run along the canal stopping after 15minutes for a stretch and to enjoy the scenery and wildlife. I really enjoy the places I ride and run, and always try to take in the surroundings, but sometimes it's good just to stop and watch.

That brings me to the Circuit of the Dales time trial. It is a 50 mile time trial starting in Ingleton, heading down and around to Sedburgh, on to Hawes and back on the B6255 past the Ribble Viaduct to finish at White Scar Caves. There is 3300ft of climbing and Gethin Butler (super fast time trialist from 90's) holds the course record in 1:57:51 set in 1998. This is a very tough course. I rode it last year and unlike most other time trials you are constantly between the big and small chain ring, and finding any sort of rhythm is practically impossible. On the fast sections you are conscious to get up to speed, and on the hills whilst staying in control you are trying to limit your losses. Today I had the added advantage, or disadvantage (I am not sure which way it went) that Tom was off number 10 and I was chasing him at number 11!!! What I do know is I nailed the first hour trying to catch him, I didn't succeed and think I might have gone a bit too hard early on. However given that I felt good through to the finish (really meaning I was able to maintain some sort of power and concentration to the end, never really felt good, it's a lung busting leg smashing outing on the bike!!!) an alternative thought is chasing Tom hard laid down the foundation for a good time?? Anyway I did 2.25.35, last year I did 2.26.59 over the shortened course (1.75 mile shorter at the start) I held onto 170bpm heart rate average which is really pleasing. I died a bit towards the end but over 50 miles (especially 50 hilly miles) if you have ridden it properly I don't think you should feel strong as you cross the line. The Ceepo Venom felt quick, I topped out at 45mph max speed, I am looking forward to plenty more races on it.

Tom kicked my butt, riding scared not wanting to get caught (I didn't get close!!) He did 2.21.03 which was a great PB for him and a real confidence boost prior to Lanzarote Ironman. He has now done 10 weeks of 16 hours biking a week!! He has been really focused and to maintain this riding is amazing testament to his determination and drive. With 160 hours in his legs it's probably no surprise, but he totally deserves to be going well. The 35-39 age group better watch out on 22nd May, he is going to have a great race.

Ove also raced, he rode 2.35.15 a great time in his first Circuit of the Dales, he is also in a great place with his fitness and should have a strong season.

Right that is enough about me, time for some words about my special wife. Sarah played her Saxophone again last night at Caesars restaurant. She has really immersed herself in her new project, writing chilled out jazz tunes and getting her set lists together. She played a lunchtime session a few weeks ago and then an evening session on Easter Monday, but last night was the first time any real marketing had been done prior to the evening. It was a packed restaurant all night and she went down a storm!!! She has had some amazing feedback from diners and the manager is over the moon at the effect she has had on his business. The local paper did a photo shoot on Saturday and she is lining up the last Sunday in every month for a Jazz Club afternoon. Sarah is super talented when it comes to music and she is loving this new chapter in her ever expanding portfolio. I will be taking Ellie and Evie in a few weeks for pizza and to watch and listen to Mummy play, I can't wait. I am really proud of her, and love the fact that she not only earning a living from her musical talents, but also that she is now playing for her own satisfaction and enjoyment. I think she might be in demand this summer as a number of customers have asked for her business cards for parties and events!!

Ellie and Evie are spending a week with Sarah's Mam and Dad in Newcastle (Ellie's not back to school this week) which will be great for everybody. Elieen and Bernie get to have a nice week with the girls and Sarah and I get a little break, we will make the most of it.

That is all from me, have a great week. It's back to work tomorrow, I might wear shorts! Just have to pack my school bag, cricket bat, tennis racket and athletics spikes that sounds about right.....

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