28 December 2008

Happy Christmas to me?

Well thank god Christmas is now behind us for another year (I'm not a lover of this time of year, which is surprising as I love getting presents!).  I must now start to really concentrate on my training.  As I have said before I am determined to be around 14/15 stone when I do this in August & must start early with the eating regime & fitness.  I plan to cycle to work as often as possible & will start on Monday even though it will be -2 degrees when I leave home.  The first mile is uphill & tends to warm me up quickly!

We had a shock on Christmas Day when my mother was admitted to hospital with difficulty in breathing & high blood pressure (my blood pressure doesn't seem that funny now) so again more reason to train hard.  (She is still in hospital, waiting to see a consultant & she is a lot better, hoepfully home soon)

I have managed to persuade some like minded individuals to join me in May for a real test of endurance, the continuous relay over LEJOG route.  I think we might even have enough people to have 2 out at anyone time.  This will mean we can draft each other, which remarkably as it sounds isn't rude at all!!

I am seriously thinking of getting myself a belated Christmas present or even an early birthday present for this ride in May?

A dedicated time trial bike

I shall plant the seed in Carol's mind today & if she asks you what I want for my birthday in 3 weeks, the answer is of course a time trial bike!!

I just also wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year & share a thought for those friends, relations & colleagues who have received a higher calling in 2008. A special thought to the widows & orphans of officers who have died & if you are able, please remember you can always donate to the widows & orphans funds by sponsoring this ride.  Details are in the top right hand corner of the blog. 

Have a great night on Wednesday & remember, alcohol: it's not just for breakfast!!

20 December 2008

A sad end to 2008

Just as the festivities are about to commence (except for me as I'm nights again, 14th year running) I had an email from a dear friend of mine to say that he has just been diagnosed with prostate cancer & will be starting his treatment in the New Year.  It reminds me at the festive time, why I keep doing these seemingly foolish events!

Good luck Joe, thinking of you mate

17 December 2008

Another sponsor

Well so much for me saying my post before last would be my last for 2008!  I received an email at work yesterday from Schwalbe UK, which I would think will mean almost nothing to all of you?

They are one of the major manufacturers of inner tubes & tyres & have offered to supply us loads for both rides.......woohoo!!

Thanks you Schwalbe & please visit their site by clicking on their link on the side of the page.

15 December 2008

Unexpected news

Dear Reader

Had a little shock on Saturday at work, I managed to twist my knee getting out of the van , so saw one of the nurses we have here at Charing Cross. They examined & confirmed what I thought that the leg looks fantastic!! However more worryingly they took my blood pressure which was 195/90. Putting it simply I'm like a pressure cooker waiting to blow!!

The good news my resting pulse was 63 bpm. I was disappointed that my team now have a book running to see how long I'll live, I think that's in bad taste?

This has strengthened my resolve & the training must continue in earnest & I must lose weight & eat more sensibly to lower my blood pressure.

Watch this space!!

11 December 2008

Goodbye 2008

Sorry to say that the weather got the better of me today, coupled with no cycling partner I have decided to hang the bike up in the garage for the year.

I start work on Saturday nearly all the way through to New Years Eve, so I will not even get to the gym.  This will be last post of 2008 & can I on behalf of Carol & I wish you all a Merry Chrstmas & a Happy New Year.

There is however one piece of news, because of the world wide recession Santa has had to lay off the reindeer & has bought himself a bike to deliver the presents with.  So if you see a fat person on a bike it's a chance it's him or me!! 

8 December 2008

The missing overshoes

I think I must have let the sun or something get to me??  I did Marcia's spin class this morning, which is the hardest at the gym & when I got home I donned my cycling gear & went & cycled 16 miles.  It was absolutely freezing, but I put on my thermal cycling long tights & best of all my overshoes.  They made a hugh difference & I can feel my toes!!

The overshoes (or Nora Batties as I call them) & you'd be surprised how difficult is to take a photo of your own foot!

Carol & I have also been out running tonight, doing a 2.4 mile circuit .  We haven't been out for a while & we were a minute off our best pace.  I'll blame the cold weather & my new running tights.  I am now getting a little worried as I have now worn tights twice today!!

I wish I spoke Danish, I have no idea what this means, do you??

Carol & I recently went on a camping weekend, do you think I'll win the husband of the year award?!?!

7 December 2008

Another day, another hill & trying my overshoes!

Last Thursday Sandra & I got very cold, due to a combination of things, but mainly the rain & getting wet shoes.  Did I mention that I bought some neoprene over shoes, I should have worn them!

I'm off again nearly all week & on Thursday if I can get anyone to join me (I think it's safer riding in at least pairs) I plan to cycle to Sevenoaks & back home, which is just about 38 miles.

Please clink on the route below & at the bottom you can see the topography!  I want to try & incorporate some hills into my rides.  I'm getting better at hill climbing, but still have a long way to go to reclaim my polka-dot jersey!!

Hopefully Thursday 38 miles

Having recently discovered the route planner with the topography I have added a few more of the rides I have done for your information & even interest? If you click on the map it makes it much bigger & you can work out our route.  If you like cycling & fancy coming out for a ride, email me on pc.clare@gmail.com We don't go at a fantastic fast pace (about 15 mph) we just enjoy it!

Completed with Nathan,  Sarah & I (15.5 miles)

Completed by Nikki, Gav, Nathan & 1 - almost too many times to mention (45 miles)

Completed by Sandra & I (60 miles)

5 December 2008

There are people as daft as me!

I said a few weeks ago that I wouldn't mind having a stab at LEJOG as part of an endurance relay with 5 or 6 other riders each taking it in turns whilst the others rest/sleep in the minibus.  I thought I would mention this to a few of my riding friends to get their views.

I have spoken to 5 other people & all are extremely interested in doing this obviously depending on time of year etc.  So this looks to be a goer!! The other 5 are Nikki, Sandra, Sarah, Alan & Gav

If we can average 15 mph (which is easily achievable) it would take us 2 days, 10 hours & 26 minutes to cover the 874 miles

Looks like May for this as Sandra & Sarah are running in the London Marathon in April & need to taylor their training towards that.

Watch this space for more updates on this & the big one!!

4 December 2008

Cold, cold, cold!

Dear all

Sandra & I started with good intentions today leaving mine at 9am to cycle to Ashford.  The weather has been more wintery than in recent months & it's fair to say that it was a little on the chili side!

It was raining when we left, which to be honest I am used too!!  The worse thing is when lorries go passed covering you in cold dirty water!

Top of Wrotham Hill

This was clean on before the start!!

At Maidstone East train station, notice the smile on Sandra faces as she warmed up!!

Sandra in her favorite place, under the heater at Bromley South Station!!

We had to stop at Maidstone today as both Sandra & I had no feeling in our toes, I've been cold before, but nothing like today.  It doesn't help that we are coming down Wrotham Hill at about 45/50 mph with soaking wet shoes.  My new waterproof socks were great though & I can recommend seal skinz socks to everyone!!  I did buy some neoprene overshoes that keep your feet warm........should have worn them!!

We only managed 34 miles today & I can say without fear of any contradiction the bike is now sleeping until the warm weather.

3 December 2008

It's Thursday it's Ashford

Dear Readers

Tomorrow (Thursday) Sandra & I are off to sunny Ashford (55 miles) to continue the training for the main event.  I would imagine that the chances for long rides will soon be diminishing as the weather will be against us.  To be honest it's not the cold or the rain, it's the light.  We cycle out to these places in Kent & get the train back.  As my local station isn't on the lines these trains use it can mean a 6 mile cycle back.  The problem we have is the light.  We want to cycle as 'light' as we can & having to carry the additional weight of lights seems wrong.  (I know what you are thinking still being 19 stone & worrying about a few extra 100 grams will probably not affect my hill climbing or overall speed!!)

I had another really stupid idea, I am contemplating (as a warm up to the big event) cycling LEJOG on a continuous relay, say an hour on & then depending on how many other daft people I can get to join me have their hours asleep in the minibus.  I would think if we average 15 miles an hour, it will take two & a half days!!  Funny enough not many takers for this yet.........watch this space!

Still spinning & trying to eat healthily.... 10 stone by Xmas!!

1 December 2008

I survived the new spin class

At my gym there are a number of different teachers for spin classes, all are good & all have a very different style.  Marcia is by far the hardest & today she announced her new regime.......oh dear!

Her class was an hour & I burnt in excess of 1200 calories.  My highest heart rate was 110% of it's maximum & I can't deny I was glad to finish!!

I'm spinning every day this week & will be getting out with Carol doing some running, so I am hoping I may finally actually lose some weight? 

On Thursday Sandra & I are off to Ashford for a ride.  This may be the last of the year as the weather is destined to change to become a lot colder, but you never know what lies round the corner!?!