Saturday, October 15, 2011


It's been ages since I've written in here and there's two reasons for that: the three peaks cyclo-cross finished me off for the season and life has gone super-critical with a change in jobs and (since I live in a work colleague's house) the inevitable change in house.  This house has never achieved home status and I can only hope that the new one will.

This house is middle aged.  It is an 80's build, it has a conservatory and chaise-longue.  It has polished oak furniture, feather filled sofa and mediocre flooring.  There are attempts at modernity with a state of the art TV balanced on a glass table but the dressing table with its leaf mouldings and mirrored back which is gradually de-silvering gives away the fact that this is a middle-aged house.  There are no pictures in this house save the ones that we mounted on the walls.  There are no mirrors, should we be tempted to look in them and see our wrinkles (or worse, for fear that they should damage the new plaster-work).

Our new home is called Laureate.  He is terraced, brick and victorian.  Outside it says "affordable for funky young couples".  Inside it says, "fresh, new, cosy, independant".  There are alcoves and disused fire places, new carpets, built-in wardrobes that are tidy.  It has a simple, white, practical bathroom with a glass shower door and nice big mirror.  Most importantly, there is a garage-sized cellar with a work bench where bikes will live and be worked on in the winter and where gear will be stored.  It has a porch which says,

"Oh, did you get wet?  Here, come inside, pop your bike here and take of your soggy boots".

If I took a can of spray paint and scrawled "TREP" across the front door, it would not have my name more written all over it.

The three peaks this year will need to be the subject of another post another time though suffice to say, this year passed by without a hitch, without any outstanding performances from me but was remarkably enjoyable.

I have been riding my bike since - both to work and in cyclo-cross races on the weekend.  It has been an odd adaptation period.  I have had an overwhelming desire to start planning next Triathlon season and yet no impetus to actually do so.  Every day I feel like I've already been infront of a computer screen for too long that day.  Almost the fact that I don't have a plan has stopped me from doing any sport whatsoever although I think that is partly because I've had no inclination to do any.  Sure, I have commuted, I have done house viewings on my bike (it's an hour into Sheffield from work) and I have done 'cross but none of it has felt like it counts and I've certainly had no inclination to run. 

I did try to run two weeks ago when I met up with TSK after a house-viewing and took him to his bicycle polo match.  I thought of going out with the tri club but decided that on a nice evening I should run somewhere nice in Sheffield.  I dropped TSK off, got changed into running gear and went to park the van.  Suddenly it seemed like a good idea to go back to the track with the club and on my way there it became a good idea to go home and let the cat in before going for a run in Todwick.  By the time I got home it was dark and Holby City was on the TV.  At least I looked like a runner.

Yesterday as I rode up the very long steep hill to Crookes in my granny gear (with full paniers) I was passed by a chunky student on a mountain bike wearing baggy shorts and teeshirt.  It hurt, it really did and only the big, full paniers on my bike stopped me from crying.  I dropped off some forms at the estate agents then headed off to the doctors' for a 3pm appointment.

I sprinted up all of the hills on the way there (they are steepish, longish and threefold) and arrived at the docs 10 minutes late, sweaty and flustered.  On the last hill I really felt like my legs had nothing left to give me and crawled painfully slowly over the top, trying so desperately to overcome the head-wind pushing me back the other way.  I went to book in at the electronic screens which said they couldn't register me so I stood in line whilst old biddies requested drugs they can only get from the hospital and booked in for flu jabs.  I knew she was going to say it, I knew she was and yet some how I didn't actually think she would. I really didn't.

"I'm 10 minutes late for my appointment" I said.

She looked at her screen, "Actually, you're 15 minutes late", she said.

I am so proud of myself for remaining calm and not shouting, "Ten minutes!! Ten minutes!! I was ten minutes late... and five standing in a fucking queue!".

I got home at 4:30 and cooked dinner then did little for the rest of the evening.  I went to bed on time and slept (mostly) through until 10:05. Boy! Did I need that?

So this morning, in the bright sunshine of early autumn, I got out for a run - finally.  I say morning, it was 11:45 by the time I left.  I don't particularly enjoy the run through the village but when I hit the lovely lush green fields and open path I settled down quite nicely.  I didn't even mind the feeling of being sprayed by pesticide as a tractor passed me in the cross-wind.

The return trip across the field was even more lush as the sun shone on my face and I felt open and free.  I had a stretch, right there and then in the middle of the field - probably much to the satisfaction of the fishermen at the pond - then jogged back to the village road.  Enjoyable as it was, all I could think was how much more enjoyable it would've been if I'd set off from the new house, into the Rivelin Valley and beyond to Strines Moor.  I vowed to come home and get the OS maps out and figure out those traffic free routes.  Roll on next week.

7.75km 56 minutes

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