Friday, February 14, 2014

Tanzania and into Feb

Been a hectic few weeks since my last blog, continued to get some good road miles and a few swims too, also started to run again (very slowly and short) with lots of stretching to bring the hamstring up to speed!

As it turns out the best thing appears to be warm weather and some resting it which is good to know and it now feels great and I can run at a different speed - am hoping to be able to play some more rugby in March so fingers crossed.

For the last 10 days I have been in Tanzania and took my bike out (I work for a safari company and go out every few months) for the first time.

Did some good rides including a commute (30 miles round trip), a great ride up the mountain and then some smaller mess around rides! I bummed out on two of the rides though - first one I was feeling crappy and dizzy (blaming it on dehydration and altitude) and the second one I was hungover (ahem) but was good otherwise.

Some photos: -

 Pre ride
 Yeah I fell off, and rode through savage bushes!
 Mount Kilimanjaro at dawn on the way to work
 My Cube and John's Santa Cruz carbon tall boy - a seriously nice bit of kit 
There is loads of singletrack in and around the jungle, but a lot of the riding is done on tracks like this, which are very rutted and rocky which make them super good fun and just as technical as windy single track. The riding here is better than anywhere I have ridden - it really is incredible!

It was a great experience and great to ride with people a lot fitter than me, John & Amanda currently coming down off the Trans Andes race. One thing I did notice was how unfit I felt riding out there, unsure if it was tiredness from travelling or just affected by altitude. I do always get a slightly dodgy stomach from the water but it was frustrating. when I just could get that free spinning feeling, ah well maybe next time - annoyingly to no be able to ride at max effort though!

So back to wet & windy England! Lots of running and turbo-ing I guess, plus getting to the gym for some strength work to see how the body responds.

Anyone interested in riding in Tanzania up Mount Meru, let me know and I can hook you up!

For anyone interested in bike bits - the new Pike forks got much better as they were used more and really freed up - very impressive so far! I also used a new one-up 42 tooth rear sprocket on the cassette...not really needed that much at home, I used relentlessly here - so many steep drags to wind up! 


Monday, January 20, 2014

January continued...

I gather today is blue Monday, though have heard that said every Monday in January! Anyway not applying to me, having a cracker of a January!

Last week I swam once and that was it…we had some norovirus in the house which didn't get me but I was cleaning up and looking after Theo until all back on their feet, then I got a cold. That and work meant didn't get much done, but never mind, had a great ride on Saturday.

Sunday would have been the better day to get out but with Theo's swimming it has to be Saturdays - and I am quite enjoying the wind and rain in an odd way!

Route and stats: -

Some photos below: -

Sun looked awesome when it peaked out!

Road closed due to flooding (only an inch or two in places, new tarmac and no cars = fast fun!!

 This is supposed to be fields

                                                     Timmy G

On Sunday I finished building the MTB with it's new forks, seat post and extra 42 tooth cassette sprocket, just one more little bit and I can ride the thing again…been a while since in broke back in December!!

Cleaned and ready for action!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Photos from Saturday's ride...

Stunning ride on Saturday with Timmy G, not fast but good winter miles in lovely sunshine…

In the Wylye valley about 8.45 am...

Above Mere looking toward Shaftesbury...

Panoramic with Tim...

Monday, January 6, 2014

Starting again...

It's all go back in my little world of exercise and it feels good to have that motivation back to be getting back out there and putting in some time.

This weekend I knocked out a 55 mile ride down to Wareham and back, we wanted to do an 80 but the weather was quite ridiculous (flooded roads over the bottom bracket at times!) so we did well just to knock that one out. Gully was super fast as ever and I felt pretty heavy and with a lack of power for a lot of time but still got it done so happy with that.

Very amusing when we realised that Gully's new (and very sexy) carbon aero wheels had filled with water…at least it slowed him down!

Sunday I had a couple of hours to spare so went out again and the weather was even worse with savage wind, rain and cold. My legs were also tired so I knocked out a slow 19 mile spin around the lanes…I was happy just to get home to be honest, feeling very hungry with a lack of energy.

This morning I went swimming for the first time in 18 months (proper swimming that is, not just pootling about), knocked out 6*250m, a 50m sprint and a 50m warm down. I won't lie it was hard and I got tired as it went on…but overall felt good and oddly enjoyed it - need to dig out the proper swim shorts rather than board shorts!

Changed my diet to a more paleo try at things, i.e. no grains or carbs or dairy basically. I am not being super strict about it but trying 80% of the time. It is basically meat, eggs, veg & fruit!

Not easy but need to lose some fat and get trimmer…even though I weigh less now than during the entire Ironman training (not the actual race though).


Thursday, January 2, 2014

It has been a while since I blogged…mostly because I have been too busy & lazy to write anything.

We are now into 2014, my little boy Theo is six months old and I am back starting to exercise on a more dedicated scale.

Last year I only had one aim and that was to cycle 2000 miles, final amount was 2017 of which 1300 odd were on the mountain bike so not too bad! Plus I had a few months of nothing when Theo was very small.

This year I have entered the dartmoor classic again which I did in 2009 & 2010, 107 miles and about 10-11,000 feet of climbing.

I have also entered the Drovers MTB mission and the Wiltshire Wildcat - both sportives, one on dirt one on tarmac and on consecutive days…so that should keep me busy.

I played rugby again last season, but this season time, energy and too much aches & pains have kept me away. Torn between my love for playing and the time/dedication and pain from playing means I am a bit hit and miss this season so have decided to almost write it off but work on my fitness and strength and maybe hit it again next year!

I have resurrected my little training spreadsheet and rejoined the pool, so lots of cycling swimming and gym work to come. I also want to start running again but my knees seem to be a bit shot at the moment but I think it comes from very tight hamstrings, glutes, IT bands and calves. I also have a slightly pulled right hamstring too.

Which brings me to my only New Years resolution - use the foam roller everyday!

Hopefully I'll remember to keep blogging but we'll see…laters