Sunday, 27 April 2008

Enduro 6...

... was hard work! Yes, I reckon I am a bit fitter than last year and yes, I was fitter last year than the year before but still... I spent the first two laps in about 6th place, swinging off the back of the front group which was made up of mainly elite men doing the full 6-hr solo (I was racing pairs with P)... while they chatted about their recent holidays :) Who says you need to go to school to get an education!



Nevertheless the big story of the day was the lack of rain. The forecasts have been dog-minging all week and I spent yesterday scurrying around for Continental Cross-Country 1.5" tyres (thanks Luke Bradford!). In the end though it didn't rain at all during the race and then, when the heavens opened the car was packed and the feeling of jammyness just added to the general good vibes.

The course was another good one (not sure I would be saying that if it had pissed down) and the event was run in the normal Pat Adams silky smooth manner. Roll on Mayhem!

There was a big COB presence with 9 teams of two laying down some love on the course. Unluckiest man of the day was Big Dave, while lots of people flatted, only he got to his bike at the end of the Le Mans style run start to find a flat... and then flatted again on the first lap :(



It was great to be in a team with P - and great to finish second on the podium :)

Friday, 25 April 2008

Benny Boy...



outdid himself with the first 'Malvern Thursday Night Special' training ride. He found a perfect 12 min climb that we could rep for threshold intervals and arranged for the April showers to back off and leave us with a great sunset.



A small (you could almost call intimate) group of Benny, me, P, Phil 'The Calves' Mason and Mark shared the pain. All good... see you in a fortnight?

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Road racing is....

a funny old game. I've had a really good day today, racing with the Team and working hard. It's good to race with so many friends. But I was thinking...

Most of the time it's not the fittest person who wins, but the smartest (although you can insert laziest, most cunning, biggest freeloader here if you wish). It's not that I'm bitter, I go into every road race knowing the situation... it's just that I finish with a funny feeling.

I guess a better way to explain it is that at the end of a mtb/running/cross/triathlon race you cross the line and the outcome is clear, the person in front of you was fitter... the person behind less so.

Road racing on the other hand actively encourages those 'shoulda, woulda, coulda' thoughts that really aren't very helpful or productive. I suppose that's what makes it so addictive to some...

But not me :)

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Ever run a marathon...

Viral advertising at it best :)



(Angela found this after putting in a great run at London - I only hope she doesn't have the same affliction as the bloke in the last scene...)

Monday, 14 April 2008

First Race...

Went well :)

I've used up the gardening metaphor already, so I'll have to employ the cooking analogy this time... training's like making a soufflé for a dinner... lots of preparation and if you look too soon it'll flop and you'll look stupid.

Saturday was the first round of the National Points Series and our first race of the season. We've looked back at our last few years riding and made changes to try and avoid the mental and physical slump that we have in June/July. To that end we decided not to race earlier than April and back off the Z5-6 stuff till a little later in the season.

Anyhow, the oven was opened on Saturday and I'm well chuffed to say we both ended up with smiles.... Paula with her first ever Elite Women podium (although you can see she hates standing up there... if it were me you'd have to drag me off, P can't get off quick enough!).



It was great to see her up there, she's worked really hard, fought the fear of re-braking her collar bone (twice last year, with 2 op's was enough!) and focussed on her weaknesses. I'm a sadly proud husband/coach/training partner.

For me... firstly I've hummed and harred (agonised would be too strong) over whether to race masters or elite since last September. I lost that loving feeling last year after focussing totally on mtb racing and made the choice to mix it up this year and move across (down?) to masters. Any doubt I had disappeared when I watched the elites line up... not where I wanted to be (nevermide the extra lap they had to do), lining up with Sam Gardner et al. was enough challenge for me!

I struggle with long race reports... they tend to overuse the words 'I' 'me' 'would' 'should' 'next time' so to cut a long story short...

I started well, was in 5th, held my place and blew a little on the last lap. Great course. Sam won, fair play he's rapid.

I love Thetford. I grew up riding there and it's always a sort of pilgrimage to my youth to ride there. You know you're riding well when you can ride the singletrack there in the big ring without braking.

And... my mum was there :)



Finally, thanks as always to all the Climb On team for their support and efforts (esp. Sophie for the bottling)...



Tuesday, 8 April 2008

You missed out...

...if you weren't riding at Code-y-Brenin like we were. Just like the sign says...



We rented a little cottage with Gill and Bobby. His appendicitis is healing well and he'll soon be pushing me back into the pain cave. Three days riding was enough time to do all the trails at least once. We tested the new bikes (and P crash tested her new helmet!) and made the decision to swop bikes. I'm now on the hardtail and P's on the ANthem. Somehow we both seemed to go faster on the other's bike... who's complaining :)

We were so lucky with the weather... from this...



To this...



And the trails were great every day... we're planning a return trip already :)


Thursday, 3 April 2008

More testing...

Not easy. Not at all :(

The only recompense was that the weather was great

Am I fitter?

Not really...

20 min 353 W (vs 350W 3 W increase)
5 min 406 W (vs 396 W 10 W increase)
1 min 534 W (vs 569W 60 W decrease but forgot to go from standing start, ooops)
5 sec 1150W (vs 932W 100W improvement but rolling start so different protocol and can't compare)

Am I happy?....

Always :)

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Swimming inspiration...

I'm still enjoying swimming once a week. The only problem is that once a week is not enough to actually really improve. Nevertheless Tuesdays is swimming night and I search for inspiration & motivation on you-tube and in a cup of coffee.

This is what I found. If you're a swimmer maybe you'll enjoy. If not, probably not...