Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Calm Before the Storm

Before Lisbon – Week16 / 17  – and everything coming together
If week 15 was one for drama then this week was filled with resolution. 

It started on Saturday with new running shoes and a massage with Pete which left me with a sore and bruised calf muscle but at this time, there’s no going to A&E.  It’s Lisbon or bust baby and if I don’t come home, I just don’t care.

I wanted to run in the shoes but I needed to swim and I needed to bike.

I missed out on outdoor swimming through a misunderstanding of the weekend’s plans so headed for the pool on Sunday morning.  I’d left it too late in the day, it was hot walking over there (in my new shoes) and bloody cold in the water.  They’d got it circulating on ice I think.  Within 20 laps I felt a pulled muscle under my arm.  I had a rest and went again.  The pain was still there.  I had another rest then called it at 35 lengths – 1300m.  It wasn’t going to go away with a massage and a rest and I was only going to make it worse.  I felt relieved that I hadn’t done it in the lake as I would’ve blamed my new wetsuit and that would have been a disaster.

I was strangely calm about things and just looked forwards to Tuesday when I could test my wetsuit.

After swimming I decided it would be more sensible to ride my bike than run (didn’t like the thought of swinging my arms for any length of time, or of doing a roadie run for that matter).  So I thought I’d allow myself a little 25 mile loop in the peak – nothing too strenuous.  As far as new shoes go, I  bought myself a pair of tri shoes for the bike too so a nice ride was a good excuse to try out the shoes and also make sure the cleats were in the correct position.

I did a lap of the Rivelin Valley as I realised I had no bike pump and, not feeling particularly lucky or wanting to climb the steepest of hills, I looped up to Rails Road then climbed back on myself through Crookes to pop back to the house and grab the pump and a top up on my tyres too.

It was a beautiful day and decisions had to be made about the route to take.  I thought a blast down the quiet roads of the Edale valley would be nice and that led to a lovely jaunt over to Barber Booth and, having established that I could climb hills without the armpit complaining, to Mam Nick hill climb, which I dispensed with in a calm and gentle manner – as much as possible – including a photo stop en route.

Down Winnats where I discovered that the brakes on an F-type Jag are better than my cyclo-cross discs and narrowly avoided running into the back of the car that so desperately sped past me at the top of the hill.

I was peckish by Castleton, had no food or a lock so made a beeline for the house, up surprise view and home through Crookes for the second time that day.

Tempting as it was to do a 10 km brick run to make my race distance again, I was restrained and saved the day out in shoes for another day.

It’s a good job I didn’t since Monday I was TIRED.  I slept in the spare room so I don’t catch TSK’s cold and I was woken by the sun streaming through the curtain at 5:30 am.  I had my breakfast and then went back to sleep.

Tuesday was dee day for the wetsuit and also the day the new car got its shit together.  I dropped the car off, spent a lovely morning riding to work, was late for my 8am meeting, had a second successful meeting later, returned to the garage at 1:30, bummed off a training course and then returned to the garage in a sprint against the traffic, redlights and ambulances to recover the car and wetsuit for Tuesday night swimming. 

I swam steady, did two laps (1600m approx.) in 34 minutes but, crucially, went on to do another loop.  2400m… I could have kept going.  Yes I would’ve been cold and knackered but, finally, I knew I could have done it.  I didn’t because I didn’t want to knacker myself for the rest of the week.  I skipped away from the lake, flopped on the sofa at home and declared myself done for the day.  Packing could wait for the morning. 

So here I am, sitting at the airport.  Reasonably confident that I have everything that I need – most of it in my hand luggage – MY helmet, MY trishoes, MY running shoes and MY lucky trackmitts.

Mentally, I have a laptop, a note book, a garmin with the street maps of Lisbon on it and a 9Bar, oh and 10 tonnes of confidence packed with an surprising quantity of calm and ease.  I’m not sure how I have managed it but I think I am ready.

My targets I will scribe on my arm on Sunday:
·         Race like an Osprey
·         Ride like you stole it
·         Run like you mean it
·         Try not to be last
·         Enjoy every moment

OF Course there’s some real ones:
·         33 min swim (3’ slower than bala)
·         1:10 bike (1:30 slower than bala, though in retrospect Bala is 3km short so that was a poor choice!)
·         50 min run (match bala)

Pipe dream:

·         Beat Bala – any which way I can – 2:36:33

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