Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's Day - What a difference a good night's sleep makes.

I set the alarm on Valentines day for 8am as my meeting wasn't till 2. I woke naturally at 7.15 and gleefully remembered my present and card that I'd packed away pending a last minute potential room change.  I was very pleased with my Moomin and rushed off to breakfast to get the normal day going.

I had two training sessions to do. Choosing between a small yet beautifully tiled and quiet hotel pool or North Walsham and a 25m but slightly manky public pool was tricky.

Choosing between an unfamiliar ride in Bury St Edmunds and  repeating the Cromer "47 minutes of darkness" ride with lights this time was easier. Especially when it started raining in Bury St Edmunds.

The pool was tiring. I enjoyed it at first but found myself looking at my watch after 632m (16 m pool).

I resolved to leave my plan of making-up Tuesday's swim and just focus on meeting Thursday's target. I must've gone off really quick or been suffering the effects of scoffing a lot of white bread to fuel the exertion of the day just before I got in the water.  

Probably both.

To my shame I had to breast stroke the last 10 lengths but I did do them along the bottom in the interest of blissful serenity, feeling like a fish and increasing lung capacity.

I got into the hot tub after and discovered how tired I was. I pounded my Achilles and soles of my feet and resolved to book an appointment with the masseuse.
Since I was so under par I tret myself to the sauna where I felt momentarily better then slumped again.  I sat in the changing room after my shower, drip drying.  I didn't have the energy to use the towel in its normal way.

One ineffective hour on site and I relaxed in to the 90 minutes drive to Cromer. Lunch fortified me into positivity. This probably had something to do with avoiding any form of fast food or unreliability in favour of the village organic caf and a very regal ploughman's lunch.    

Site work in Cromer was good and I got to spend a good balance of time on site and rewarming in the office.  I didn't arrive until late morning so by the time I left at 5:00  I hadn't spent much time there.

I got back to the hotel, changed straight into my cycling kit and headed out for the 47 minutes ride of darkness.  This time there was still some light in the sky and the sun set behind the hill(ock) as I rushed along the headland with a roaring tail wind behind me.  It is the only reason for me clocking 22mph.

In the villages and quiet lanes I got distracted by the usual diversion and ended up in the same muddy farmyard again but this time it made me smile as I sploshed through the puddles of mud and probably cow poo.  I rocked back to the hotel covered in mud and a little bit sweaty but ready for my valentine's dinner.  A lady in a red dress stood outside the hotel, smoking.  She was both hot and with cigarette and thought me completely mad.  I could tell by the look on her face.

It was 7pm by the time I got to my veggie dinner.  I wolfed it down, followed it up with pear sorbet - DE-LISH-US - and went to bed promptly, setting the alarm for 6:30, this time, to catch that sunrise again.

Well, I snoozed again so when I set out at 7:18 the sun was already on its way up.  
I turned South this time, finding new routes along and around the breakwaters allowed me to run on firm sand.  I had 5 x 20s sprints to fit in so I interwove them between the breakwaters until finally I had to chose whether to retrace my steps or paddle.  So I paddled.

Slightly scary climbing up the wet seaweedy steps
In a timely fashion I reached the turn-around point of my run just as the sea started to engulf the cliffs which protruded from the land mass above.  I took my last photo of the sun and started my retreat.

I wasn't particularly alarmed to see that the tide had come in as I'd reccied all of my escape routes onto the other side of the breakwater.  I knew that there was one hazard that I would need to pass, a new boulder field being constructed to protect the jetty to the beach.

When I got back to it, I realised it was as tall as me.

I clambered over the first few, more concentrated on the immediate task of not falling through the 8 feet deep gaps developing under my feet.  I could foresee trapped arms, torn ancles, broken legs going undiscovered for days as passers by walked along the beach, my cries muffled by the ocean waves and brisk breeze. 

Then I looked up and realised just how flippin' far it was.  It would've been a doddle in climbing boots but I was in ROAD trainers!
Sea of boulders
Thankfully, just as my heart was about to beat its way out of my mouth, I found a path.  A short scramble up a flinty scree slope followed by a steep down hill on concrete slipway seemed a little less scary than finishing the boulder field. 

All that and back to the hotel for 8am.  Breakfast and a 9am conference call.  Now that's what I call time management.

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