Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Festive Mountain Bike ride with Mr Hopkins

On 30th December I took the rare move of diverting away from my usual stomping ground and riding a bike with another person other than my incredibly patient husband. I only know one person as patient as TSK and that is Mr Hopkins.

We chose a route which would be sufficiently scenic yet achievable given the snowy frozen conditions, taken from my 1993 guide book of West Yorkshire.

Starting from Ogden reservoir we quickly mounted our bikes as 30psi gave us better grip than boots, trainers or cycling shoes on the icy car park.

The tops of the moors were suitably resplendent in their winter coat and the wind turbines stood pleasantly still. Wheel ruts and snowy rocks abounded for our entertainment and I amused Glyn with a quality flop into the snow from stood still.

We acquired a couple of clampit bikers intent on making us responsible for their routefinding until they realised they didn't trust a woman to read a garmin and they were unable to read Glyn' s paper map when he did deign to get it out for them (no innuendo).

They asked others as we descended down the hillside with reasonably wild abandon, except for the ice patches.

Soon our friends were back, following us across the reservoir overflow but a little more cautious about crossing streams. We tried once more to make them head slightly South of West, to no avail. They relieved us of their company at the first hill climb, persuading themselves that North was South but hopefully not getting run over at the next zebra crossing.

We slithered a little and took REST breaks whilst cars slid past from time to time. After admiration for the view of the reservoir our friends did not think existed at the top of that climb, wee turned back down to Ogden on a beautiful wide open rocky trail. It was time for pub lunch.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Run 4 of 100 and space

29th was the first day I had to myself this holiday. I had already set myself the mammoth task of tidying up the living room, moving all of the books into the loft to make more room for people. I started it on Sunday and mostly finished it on Monday while waiting for my cousin to pop in for tea.

It was great to see Keith and Daisy and hear about their wedding plans for 2015.

After finishing 'project floor', I jumped on the turbo. I say that like it happened really quick. Well after a day of hard labour in the loft the house was stone cold and I had to warm myself up as well as shift the bike, get the sensors working and actually amassed a selection of running gear with the intention of going back to the loft to do some strength sets in the newly appointed space.

The turbo session was tough. It was kinda difficult to engage and achieve high heart rates. Once there I was finding them difficult to sustain and started to tip the scale. I realised I was struggling to ride to a pace. Given that information I did manage to sort it out on the last few reps. Then jumped into my shoes and fleece leggings and sweatshirt to head out into the streetlights for an impromptu brick session.

There was only really our road that was cleared after TSK and 20 of our neighbours went out with shovels on Sunday to sort things out... so I did hill reps.

Determined to keep going towards my hundred runs in hundred days challenge I set my mind on doing 30 minutes. It certainly was a motivator because I first looked at my watch after 7 minutes. Not tired but bored. I'd probably already done 5 laps of the same street but my mind was made up and I turned the volume higher on my iPod and kept going. 13 minutes. Then Florence and the Machine, 'the girl with one eye' which will make anyone skip. I just hope my neighbours had shut their curtains by the time I skipped past their house at least 4 times. I had Eric Orton in my mind's eye, reminding me that, if you hate hill reps you're trying too hard. I kept it light, especially in view of my plans for mountain biking the next day, but with music alongside, the occasional Sprint crept in. After 29:55, another lap crept in to push me joyously into the 30 minutes timeframe with honour and I went inside to cook chilli.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Post Christmas Indulgence & run 5 of 100

On 27th December I was awake in the early hours of the morning, dreading that the snow would have gone by the time I got up.  I looked out of the bedroom window to check but it was still falling so I went back to sleep to see what santa bought me as a late Christmas present by the time I woke up.

It was a beautiful snowy day and I ate my breakfast full of the anticipation of what was to come but… ski-ing or running???

I stuck my nose out of the front door.  The cover wasn't bad but not brilliant either.  I ran up to the loft and checked the view out across the hillside where tufts of grass were protruding from the slopes in places.  I decided it wasn't good enough for skis and went off for a run instead.

After 10 minutes I was crossing sledger’s park, children already starting to amass, giggling in the sunshine.  I toyed with the idea of heading straight home for skis but instead decided to tire myself out on a short run before resorting to skis, hoping that I wouldn't do what I did 2 years ago and injure myself ski-ing, screwing my early-year run season.  I phoned Andrew from the bottom of the Rivelin Valley, telling him to get the ski stuff ready.

When I got in I changed clothes briefly then skinned up the skis and set about walking to the park.  It was chossy, slow and rubbish but it didn’t matter – we were skiing in the UK.  Sledging on planks was what it was really but we enjoyed ourselves nevertheless and headed home tired and happy afterwards.

On Sunday, I really was tired from the exertion so decided to have one weekend off cyclo-cross by way of a “rest-week” – keeping up the heavy training for a bit but laying off the hard racing with a view to another short recovery before Derby and the National champs polish off the season.  Instead we had a walk into town to try out some sofas that we might want to sit on.  It's a hard life.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Boxing Day Bogtrott

I had all kinds of plans for getting to the Boxing Day Bogtrott.  I'd mapped out the route, packed my stuff, put the phone on charge, printed membership forms for next year.  I forgot all of those things in some kind of rush to get out of the house.  Rushing I don't know why because we got there and the car park was empty and we were 1 hour early.

So early we drove home, got all the stuff and headed back out again.

On the way, I asked Andrew to check the map.  We'd been to the wrong plantation first time so it was a good job we turned around and took a different route out.  We snaffled the last one of two parking spaces and grabbed our stuff.  We were just in time.

Helen Elmore suggested I was being brave wearing shorter leggings and in retrospect she was right, I was about to make a mess of my shins.

We registered by Oxstones and were off quite shortly after.  I was tempted to go with Tom Saville but most were taking a different route so I went with the majority, knowing that I'd soon be dropped by Tom and his mates.

Sure enough, I was already bringing up the rear of the group through to the first checkpoint.  I quite happily stuck at the back, co-ordinating the acquisition of checkpoints (or otherwise) with other runners and enjoying myself running.

Just as the heather was really starting to hurt, TSK and I saw a mountain hare in full winter livery, obvious as a white thing on a brown hillside.  It was massive and sped across the hillside away from us.  Inevitably we followed it and found a path.

I took a few paths and navigation lines to get me off the heather which was gradually stripping away layers of skin and making my shins bleed.  I had a rather jolly stomp through a grassy stream (path?) to reach an icy spring then hit the perfect path, leaving the others to bog hop.

As I limped up the last stretch of hillside next to the wall, I mused that I really need to get more running done before the duathlons in March and April.

All in all I was very happy with my navigation... less so with my speed, being the last person on the hill although consistency is the new name of my game after all.

We had a little sit down after we finished then hobbled down to the car.  I am proud to say that my walking was fairly fluent and I could've done more... though not much more.

We went into town for coffee afterwards then headed home to eat dinner.  In the evening, looking out of the window to see inches of snow falling I felt like going running but decided to hold off until the morning for skiing instead.

Responsible? Me?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Day Ride

I can't remember the last time me and TSK went out for a ride together and the last time I got into double-figure miles in one road ride was October, or Mildenhall 200k in August, if you count over 20 miles as double-figures.

Talk about specialising.

I got pretty pissy with myself, climbing out of Sheffield on account of a roaring headwind and Andrew chewing at my back wheel or riding off in front, nothing in between.  It was my own fault, I was tired and hung over.  I eventually put him on the front when we got exposed across Moscar so a least I had the wind to slow him down and the draught to speed me up.

Going down to the Ladybower was satisfying though a little scary as I was riding my narrow timetrial wheel and tyres in my 'cross bike - lots of clearance on those brakes.  I only really needed them at the bottom and even then the lights were on green.

Headwind behind us and we rocketed through to Bamford where we sat on the benches around the tree in the centre of the village and ate our packed lunch and drank coffee from a flask.  Although it was cold I was OK wearing just baselayers, a fleece and my gilet.  This is possibly my new, improved cold resistance on account of all the weight I have gained.  It feels good.  Just as we started to get cold we set off again and soon warmed up on the tt section into Hathersage.

We turned right and headed over to Grindleford, enjoying the long straight alongside the swollen river and battling it out on some of the climbs.  TSK eventually surpassing my initial flight of fancy.  Then we were at the bridge and it was time to head home on the long climb up Froggat, which I churned out in my middle ring 42/28 ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP, including past the Fox House where yummy mummys unloaded their mammas and pappas-wrapped kids in time for dinner with granny served by some underpaid gurning student waiters.

Not many others out on the bikes but we said hello to a few.

The descent into Eccleshall was dreamy.  Out in the road, no traffic.  By now, most are eating their Christmas lunch in the mid afternoon.  No potholled bus lane for us.  The best of the tarmac.

We follow the road straight into town, up to Devonshire green where we sit to finish the last of our coffee with a bunch of international students drinking beer in the park.  I put on TSK's waterproof to keep the wind off and set off up to home.  Our toes are cold when we get in but it's a great excuse to sit down for more coffee (the last cup was only the size of an egg cup) and relax before cooking the beef.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

Getting on top of things at work then Rita' s birthday party. So glad the worK year is over.

A great ride to work. A party that made me feel like a student again and a ride home that made me wonder at a university campus without students.

Good job cos I was quite drunk and nearly fell off my bike.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Dodging cats on the rollers

Finally an easy day at work followed by a trip to the doctors.  All but a few of my test results are in.  My haemoglobin is up at 150 so through the roof.  The cell mass has increased too.

I was tested for things I didn't know I was being tested for and those were clear, as was my biopsy.

I am only waiting for the anti-'s results.  Anti-this anti-that.  I will hear more on those in February at my next haemotology appointment.

I celebrated with a tour on the rollers.  The first time I have used them properly outside the disastrous attempt whilst in the lake district.  I guess my heart really wasn't in it then... and the rollers were set up wrong... and possibly they were the wrong way around.  I can't really remember.

For a while I set off with them facing the back door and the cat sneaked by just as I was getting going.  I locked the cat flap so she wouldn't come back in, bringing us both down in the process.  Part way through my set I got face at the window.  Sigh.  Hoping she would run away but sadly I got desperate paws at the window and I couldn't resist those gorgeous pink toes so I tried to encourage her inside.  By this point she had run away and sat on the windowsill looking like she was trying to shelter the rain as best as she could.

I tried to pick her up.

She wasn't having it though and I even ended up running around in the street in my shorts and vest in the rain.  Oh well.  Back to it an more paws at the window.

Eventually I was warm, she was angry so I opened the back door so she had clear reign to come in at her will.  I could just stop pedalling when she came near.

For a while she sat in the middle of the flower bed, trying to emphasise just how wet she was getting.  Looking at me but not quite.

Finally she came over to try and attempt to pass me.  I tried twice to stop pedalling but then only scared her off.  It was far safer to pass me whilst I was pedalling at 90 rpm, wheels spinning by at 15 miles per hour.

I settled down and enjoyed the view of the rain through the open door.  So begins the Christmas training period.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Back to Bicycles

I have no one to mither me with the inconvenience of more work today, this week. Only my own conscience which is strong, for the stuff I do now is stuff I won't need to worry about over Christmas so I don't go to the pub at lunch, I work and I earn the right to go home on my bike on time and laugh at the motorists. Sad little people who haven't used their holidays yet, trying to get home from a days shopping or those who have no holiday desperate to get something for that someone they haven't really thought about since their birthday and I pitty those who really just want to get home from whatever godforsaken office on the edge of MeadowHell. Not even the rain can dampen my spirits

I was drained of blood today. More investigations. At the last minute I wrote down the tests they were doing then didn't want to know. I get pains in my calf still. I think they may be psychological or there's every chance I just rode my bike too fast today.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

First weekend off in what seems like years

Norton Wheelers dinner was the only cycling event of my weekend. I didn't even make the riding part.  After the week I had at work and the monthly deterioration in my blood function I was soon flagging and retreated home to bed after a short afternoon.

Sunday was for finally cleaning the bikes after Bradford and feeling bad about it.

I exchanged some birthday presents which I am very happy with.

Technically I stayed awake but metaphorically I spent the day in the body of a sloth then decorated the Christmas tree.

Friday, December 19, 2014

It's been such a busy week.  Thankfully I saw it coming and rescheduled my birthday from Wednesday to Monday which coincided worth REST day after Bradford National Trophy (another story). We had dinner then watched the Hobbit in 3D which made me quite excited.

On Tuesday I felt like running again so I drove in to work and ran home. It was ambitious since I haven't run more than 10k in a few weeks and wanted to try and make a go of the 100 runs in 100 days challenge. I already registered a day late and knee that a 8mile run would wipe me out for another 2 days. Still, by 6pm I felt like it and it was warmish and not raining.

I stopped to talk to payment on the canal and take photographs and hang out with polo guys at the court and then to the screenwriter and I cooked real food.

On Wednesday as promised, things got weird and I went out of the office into my spare room and stayed there till. Midnight except a break for dinner.

Two days and one trip to the pub later I am staring at another return to work on Monday as an opportunity to get shit in order before returning in the new year. It is such a relief to be able to talk about the order of the day again instead of running around like a headless chicken.

Friday I got my bid done and in. Essentially alone - kind of how I like it. I am giddy for real life but there may be softly softly.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

National Trophy 5 Bradford

I had been targeting Bradford all year. It just so happened that it was also muddy, wet and technical. The perfect conditions for me. As the day approached I got more and more anxious that something would go wrong.

I took a call from my mum to say that they were coming to watch and I thought, well at least if I don't live up to all the hype about how well I've been doing, they will get to see the excellent quality of women's racing right now and just how much Yorkshire cyclo-cross is playing a huge part in my life.

Then I got the message that Lynn was not riding. Lynn is my pacer against whom I measure how well I am keeping up against those I consider the best in my category. She is also a team mate. So more orange!

The final dig at my confidence arrived in the form of a broken spring in my freewheel. Almost mercifully it would not mend and it happened at 10pm on Saturday so there was sod all I could do about it. I switched to a spare and got on with it.

In the morning I had an odd feeling of still being full of food yet I still stuffed my normal breakfast away with difficulty.

A few hours later at normal eating time I still felt stuffed full so I decided to leave out lunch.  We were later arriving compared to normal but calmer so I signed on and dressed in peace, pouring on my new skin suit which I am starting to love a lot. Warm up went well. I dropped a layer off at the pits because I was moving so fast I was generating plenty of heat. After 2.5 laps I lined up, cheering forwards my senior friends before vets started to make up the front row. I took the last spot.

Now, I recognise that I have one of the fastest starts on the cross circuit but I had practised it and stuck my gear in a little harder than normal because of the road surface. First objective to get off the line and away from the barrier at the side of me. Next objective, not to get in the way of any of the real racers who would be coming through in no time. I stared up the hill, focused on nothing but the road ahead and drowning out my dad's mate chuntering in my ear from the other side of the fencing.

Andrew said, 'now don't completely blow it all on this first hill'. I smiled (perhaps inwardly) and shook my head. That is exactly what I was about to do.

The gun sounded and I shot off the line before anyone else, for the first time all year, leading the national trophy race for a few brief moments before I was passed by Marrie and Tracy Fletcher. I could hear Lynn screaming, 'brilliant' at me and the more muted sound of Darrell saying what he always does, 'go on Andrea, that's it's, like I was supposed to keep this up all the way round.

At the first corner I sat in 3rd place and resolved to stay there as long as possible. I started to feel guilty that no one had come past me yet and indeed I managed to hold on to 3rd place through the pits much to the glee of TSK.

Alison Kinloch passed me next then I finally found a brief resource of energy to go with Liz Clayton and Juliet Horrocks before dropping away with Marrianne Heffron to hold a mini battle which I won going over the rather tall hurdles (Marianne is around 12 inches shorter than me).

Motivated by the small victory over a shorter person who had already admitted to being unable to eat through illness for most of the week, I set about riding the rest of the race at max effort. The pure joy of that one event you have set every thing aside for, you can ride like there is no tomorrow... at least like there's no training tomorrow.

Despite my efforts, I began to tire on the last lap and Juliet and Liz moved further ahead into the distance. The commentator was starting to wrap the race up, a massive battle emerging at the front of the elite women's race with my friend's daughter, Amira Mellor and  Evie Richard. Amira lapped me first and I managed my usual cheer of encouragement... when all is gone from my lungs I can only ever summons the breath to shout, 'go on Mi'. It sounds like I am cheering myself but by now she knows where I am going with it and, along with the rest of Yorkshire I am one of her biggest fans. I race with her mum who is also a triathlete but she is the most vociferous supporter. So I love it when she is watching, not racing because she screams in my ear too.

Back to the racing and I was suddenly consumed by Amira' s brother and her best friend, Sophie Thackeray, screaming support. I was crunching my last few gears up the road climb I had ascended so fluently from the start line. I was wondering why there were no more gears left. I looked up to encourage oxygen into the lungs, only to see Amira' s yellow jersey shift as she stood on the pedals to give it even more. Despite struggling with my breathing I let out an incredulous laugh. How on earth?

From then on it was in the bag for all of us. Sadly not for Amira who was pipped to the line by Evie despite a tough battle.

I walked strong up the muddy steps one more time and was overjoyed to see TSK on the finishing straight ready for a fist bump on my way past. I had a massive grin on my face which spoke volumes for how much I enjoyed that, how good I felt and how thankful I was for all the support on the track and off the track (TSK). I then took the luxury of standing by to cheer home the other girls behind me and those that were approaching to lap me - Tracy, Marrie and Ali, a full 5 minutes ahead of me.

I am writing this, not the evening of the race, for I was exhausted. It's not the day after the race for I have spent 3days at least coming down off the high. It is almost 1Week later where it is starting to fade into the distance and I need to write it down to remember how good it feels to get it right.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Snoozy Friday

All the good work needs time  to grow muscles so today was about resting them, getting work out of the way and laughing at all the colleagues who were tired and hungover today.

By the time bed comes around I am tired but only frustrated.  It's like my brain is still going so it's bored, not sleepy.  I hate recovery weeks.

Still, I get to look forwards to cleaning bikes, race prep, perhaps a bit of turbo and cooking tomorrow as TSK goes out for a ride and I try to relax.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Things that happened to me this day

My boss's boss today was reading from a script and thanked me for the 'work I had done on erm, erm, erm...' He got there in the end but frankly, the compliment was lost.

We watched a corporate pride video for the British firm which made some of us feel hypocritical at best, more, confused about the role that our bigger owners had in this video as we edge closer to German harmonisation. Bring it on I say (so long as we can lose Lotus Notes).

My boss led a session and again I disengaged when we were presented with the scenario of being on a family holiday 'with no heat and the wife is complaining and kids are screaming...' it goes on to question 'Would you cable a plug onto a mystery electric fire..'.  I decided it would not add much to the feminist movement were I to suggest telling the bitch to shut the fuck up and smiled boredly and gave all the right answers and smiled inwardly as my family holiday revolved around burning all of the furniture in the holiday home in order to stay warm.

What did make me feel proud today was the emphasis that the organisation is firmly putting on safety, finally and seeing the team in all its vastness of 14 sitting together to eat a meal together.

I did ditch the evening celebration in favour of turbo training and productive day on Friday. I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep at the weekend if I didn't get some things well out of the way.

Turbo was good and hard but at the same time I controlled my effort, had a good discussion about practice effort and control then watched 2 tv programs before bed to properly relax.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A day of work and picking up the Vanu, recovering from yesterday's awesomeness.

I did get on the scales to find my body weight has dropped 1kg which is quite a relief after the constant accumulation on the blood thinners. We will see if it stays off. I do hope it's not a sign that the day is back though.

Monday, December 08, 2014

If I were to blog today it would be naval-gazing drivel so I won't.

6th vet at the North of England champs should cheer me up but I am flat.

Crazy work life and exhausted.

To bed to hope tomorrow comes quickly.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

North of England cyclo cross championship 2015

I rather fancied making this event a good one. It's like the nationals but at least 1/4 the size. I did most thing right in the week except a few late nights and too much walking with heavy shit yesterday which meant I turned up with a sore ankle.

I brave faced it and warmed up regardless... as best I could in 4 degrees C and a 16mph wind. I ended up on the start line behind someone with really bad starting stance and it translated into a rubbish start for me. Lesson learned!

I had to ride right alongside someone who was heading ever nearer to the tape and rather than getting pushed off course I leaned in while she bounced off me a few times. Ah those extra 5kgs pay off, not to mention being nearly 6ft tall.

As we rounded the 5th corner I realised I had never even ridden this awkward corner and ended up running it while everyone with me rode it.

I settled into a group with two Derwentside riders and the girl I had interlocked with earlier.  I was gutted to see my team mate, Hannah disappear into the pits mid asthma attack.  We dropped one rider after 2 laps but I continued to ride with Derwentside for the third lap.

I finally gained some ground through the hurdles and, now unhindered, took the lower line through the awkward corner, finding out just how impossibly easy it was to ride it.

I put all of my lung capacity into staying ahead and most importantly maintaining a gap so that she couldn't get on my wheel. I was half way around the course and enjoying a tail wind by the time I was satisfied I had a gap.

There was the remotest chance that if I had carried on that way for another lap or two I could have caught the next rider but alarm bells started to chime as I tasted blood on my lungs and I decided to rest up a bit for Bradford National Trophy next week. Towards the end of 3 laps to go, Amira Mellor flew past, lapping me and I then noticed Hannah Saville a couple of turns behind me.

As I assumed she had quit after her asthma attack I was mostly surprised and thought she may just have had a bike change and slipped back into the race without me knowing it. I decided I wasn't going to get lapped by my team mate and started pegging it again. For that, I am pretty grateful because I could have slacked off pending next week which could have been the wrong choice.  That said, I was relieved there were not many more laps as unclipping for the hurdles was hurting my ankle more every time and I was starting to think I would just plough into it instead.

I just stayed ahead in a weird twist, mainly associated with the effectiveness of our respective prescription drugs.

It was absolute bliss to shower at the venue. Why we don't have more of that?

We ate on the way home like we'd been to a big national event but all the same were in by 6.30. I disappeared into the loft to stretch while Andrew went to bed.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Excitement, Unconstrained

I slept in again today. After going to bed filled with work exhaustion but without the satisfied fatigue that comes from exercise I had a light sleep which was frequently interrupted by scrabbling kittens

I settled down to read my fell runner magazine.

Two hours later having gorged my breakfast I was fuelled and ready for a run.

It had been my plan to fire my legs up for tomorrow's North of England cyclo cross championship with a run. Let's face it, sitting on my arse and easy walks have not given me an answer so far so I am trying the Smithy approach.

I started heading for the Rivelin Valley but regretted it as soon as I hit the ice and cold still air lingering at the bottom of the valleys. I gave it a chance as a little boy in the playground muttered to his dad, "jogging? Really?". I said I thought his bum must have been cold on the swings. Sure enough though, I headed up the first available hill over Stannington and dropped over into the much more open Loxley valley.

Faced with a gate tied shut with unfathomable string knots I gave up on a trail run and turned for home. By the time I got to my road I had done close to 10km so I ran on up the hill a moment longer to nudge the distance over.

I headed into the loft for stretching with the kindle to research some events. There, staring me in the face was the carshare league and a quick review of the numbers made me think, "I'll do that!" One sanity check later and I decide I am not going to get any better at running if I don't do some running races. And that is how I entered my first British counter fell race.

It's silly really but feels right and has set me back on a track of better discipline, healthy food and early nights.


Friday, December 05, 2014

The kind of day when you get some really important stuff done then spend the evening remembering all the other really important stuff you should have done.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Day broken today by running around after the Vanu. Really want it to come back healthy this time.

Ended up working late to stay on top of things but now I will go to bed worrying anyway because I haven't had time to shut down.

Don't feel like riding to work tomorrow but I really don't want to go anywhere near Meadow He'll with the car so few Fridays before Christmas.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

A Comedic Hospital Appointment

It's odd trying to explain ironman training problems to an NHS doctor.  I don't like to brag to any old one (I am usually selective) and I'm no good. I'm just an average person who has done an Ironman in (to be honest) a pretty over-average time.

On the other hand I wanted them to understand exactly what I had been through before any alarm bells sounded and just how fucking clueless I can be about my health.

The very geeky Germanic doctor had a friend along, a kiwi (nation not bird). One was haemotology, the other anti coagulation. They were the veritable double-act with the Germanic doc trying to be professional and at the same time being reduced to giggles by the kiwi doctor who teased him for breaking the test label-printer then reverting to writing out the test cards by hand so he didn't miss anything. Finally fading, "are you sure you want all those tests doctor? We've only just cured Mrs Trep of the anaemia".

So I am to stop taking the blood thinning tablets and let my body finish off what the drugs started. Even if I have some clot left, extra treatment won't make much difference now.

They explained the pain I sometimes get in my side after a hard race and it seems little to worry about. In short it is my swollen lung rubbing against the outside of my body.

I am to keep taking my iron tablets because while my red blood cells are back up in number they are still small. This pleases me because it means I still have improvements to make and I feel that in myself. Although I am back to training, it still takes it out of me and I still struggle to get up in the morning.

I am being tested for hereditary diseases but even if they find anything right now it's doubtful that they would treat me any different except to officially make my family aware.

In s way I am fearful, that the benefits will wear off and I will be back to being me, carp as ever. At worst I am worried that the PE or DVT will return and I will miss it again but at the same time I will be free from the fear that if I do have a major crash I could die! I can race like I used to.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Bloody Fu.

It was weird going to Jessops hospital not pregnant.  Not that I've ever been there pregnant but that is mostly what Jessops hospital is for.

There's no bike parking at Jessops, I suppose only a few women cycle to Jessops... like Jo Jebb for example.

"So" said the doctor, "Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, how long do you bleed like this for??" as he shone a torch up my fufu.

My thoughts exactly.  Any guesses why I am anaemic?

He did some stuff which was quite painful and I left in a tiz.  Getting on a bike was exactly what I wanted to do to take my mind off it... and eat food once I got to work as it was 12:00.

I had an unproductive day.  I think the most productive thing was making a cup of tea... and eating my iron tablet.

I cycled home and remembered that I meant to go to the pool.  So I happily stormed through 4+4+2+4+4+2+2+4+2+4=26 x 50m lengths with some resting and rode home easy via the polo court.  It wasn't bad for a day I've been dreading since I got the appointment two months ago.