Friday, 2 October 2009

Jo Goes Commando

No, not "Free Balling" (or maybe that is another blog altogether!)

A few days ago whilst sitting in the surrounds of a beautiful nature park pondering on life a car pulled up not far from me and a man in army style trousers with the look of a PTI about him got out. He began unloading bags from his car, I watched wondering of his whereabouts. More vehicles approach and within minutes a number of women were surrounding this man like flies round a honey pot. Intrigued as to the draw I thought the only sure way was to join these women and find out.

Turns out this is "Commando Fit" just down my street, a military style beasting all in the name of personal training. Outdoor training consisting of highly motivational fitness sessions based on Physical Training sessions used to train the military, fire fighters and professional sports players.

I cant say I am overly excited over the attire (different coloured bibs depending on your level of fitness) well let me tell you I will only be wearing the colour of the fittest, this been determind by a fitness test. Bring on the bleeps!

So watch this space! my first session is tomorrow morning.

With no bike at the moment it saddens me that I will not be turning the pedals. I will however be throwing myself into running and my new found Commando Fit for now.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, or so they say!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Mules In Manchester

Since getting back on my bike over a week ago I have cycled 201 miles. Not so bad considering I was all set to put my bike away for the winter.

Last Sunday Philip and I cycled in Manchester. Being a little disappointed that I have not cycled any organised rides this year I decided to do the 100k ride while Philip did the 100m. Last year I did the 100m with Philip. This year Philip has done a great deal of cycling, I could of opted for the 100m and would of finished but if I was to ride it with Philip I would of ended up slowing him down towards the end so decided upon a ride on my own.

It was an early start as we were up at 04.00a.m. to drive to Manchester. Philip set off an hour before me as he was doing the longer ride. As I patiently waited for 08.00. I had it set in my mind that I was going to enjoy this ride, even though I was doing it alone.

I set off amongst numerous other cyclists wondering which ones I would leave behind and which ones would leave me behind!

Cycling on my own I found that I was cycling too fast and so stayed with a few groups for a while to even out my pace. At one point upon looking at my map I thought that I had gone terribly wrong, even though I turned off at the point for the shorter ride. Mentally trying to prepare myself for the 100 miles that I thought I had to do instead of 100k I picked up my speed. Confirmation at the next glance at my map told me I was on the right road phew!

I finished my ride at 12.05 and felt fantastic. Four hours and five minutes I was pleased with.

I had to wait a couple of hours for Philip to complete his ride and watched the riders as they came in. When Philip arrived over the finish line riders too were also crossing from the 100k ride. I think I did ok!

Monday, 31 August 2009

Oh There Is So Much More To Come

I was all set for putting my bike away for this year.

On Saturday I cycled for the first time in over three weeks.

I think somewhere along the way I stopped believing in myself and all that I was capable of achieving.

I cycled 30 miles on Saturday. Sunday morning I went to spin and cycled another 30 miles. Today I cycled 34 miles.

I know that I am capable of being so much better at this.

It's not about reaching a destination, a point at which I can say I arrived. It's about a journey and yes the struggle.

I have struggled at times, on long rides where my legs have failed me, I would get off my bike and literally cry like a big girl through total frustration when the power in my legs was just not there yet days previous I had cycled so well.

It's only three days.

It's the beginning!

I believe.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

I Ride Again

I woke early this morning which is always the case when you do not have to get up. Already the sun was streaming through the blinds at such an early hour. My thoughts turned to Philip and I looked at the clock and counted back the hours to determine the time in his part of the world.

Midnight, yet only 7 hours away from the big ride. Today Philip is riding the "Hotter n Hell" in Wichita Falls Texas. A 100 mile endurance ride braving the hot Texas sun. Survival is definitely a badge of cycling honour.

Rather than re-arrange the duvet and my half awakened body to drift back off to sleep I decided to get up and wondered what I was going to do with my day.

As my morning began my mind was on the clock counting down the time until such an hour that I could imagine Philip and the rest of the Mules waking and getting ready for the big day. I tried to imagine such a feeling of been only hours away from such a huge event. An event that you have trained for all year. Such a challenge, so many people, such a journey. What a high they will be on.

I suddenly had a desperate desire to be on my bike too. I have not cycled for about three weeks now maybe more. Scott thinks I have abandoned him as he stands propped up against the wall his pedals having not turned for such a long time.

Last night I put away cycling clothes that have been hanging around the ironing basket for weeks. Usually they don't get to see behind closed drawers as they are normally in use. I already knew by now that today I would be taking Scott out and reacquainting myself with him. As I came downstairs dressed in attire Scott recognised only too well I knew that he was on his way to forgiving my temporary lapse. He was just as eager to get out as I was. Big girls pants hovering somewhere around the knees up they came and out I went.

As I have not been on my bike for some time my legs felt very strong. I knew I was going to enjoy my ride. I overtook two men climbing up Westwood, I smiled and Scott remembered the way we roll.

my ride was overcast and the roads were lacking wheels. I only saw four cyclists today, one of them being on my climb up the devils chimney. A man overtook me turned and said "get on my wheel" I laughed to myself, his wheel was going way too fast for me up the wretched hill.

I cycled 30 miles today. I did think that that I may struggle a little. Today I did not struggle. I am booked in for spin tomorrow morning and nine, Scott will also be spinning straight after my class.

I have been making use of the gym that we pay for each month but never seem to use. I have a little green card that I somehow forgot about tucked away in my purse. Every time I seem to be searching for my cash card at the garage this little green card always seems to be the one to show itself. A gentle reminder of signing on the dotted line months ago full of enthusiasm and vowing to attend on a regular basis.

So the little green card came into play. Circuit training, body pump, and spinning. It all came back to me at spin. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it and how much it helps when out on the road.

As I have not done a great deal of cycling of late It has had me thinking along the lines of summer is nearly over and winter is around the corner. Spring time will be a good time to pick cycling back up. My thoughts went back to last year and I remembered Philip and I training in the snow and rain.

A picture from one of last years 67 mile cycle rides in the snow.

I will not be putting Scott away for winter. I will be looking forward the challenge of winter training along with spinning and running for next year will be very different.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Good Luck Philip

Good luck to my love for tomorrow riding Hotter n Hell. I hope the Mule Train makes it safely to the finish line. I will be thinking of you :) Take care out there and looking forward to seeing you when you get home x

The Mules.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Puccini and Raindrops

For a long time now I have being promising myself to start each day with a run. The problem is that I am not so good with mornings. For as long as I can remember I have always set my alarm clock an hour before I have to get out of bed. This gives me plenty of time to hit the snooze button a dozen times before actually managing to open my eyes and make my way from beneath the duvet.

Over the last few weeks I have driven Philip mad as the alarm on my phone has been going off at 05.00a.m. every morning, needless to say I have not made it out of bed but simply fumbled for the snooze button again and again. For good measure the main alarm then blares at 06.00 which scares the life out of both of us as it so loud to make sure that it actually wakes me up. I think it actually wakes up all the street!

Realising how unfair this is as Philip does not need to get out of bed until 07.00 I did promise last week to try and get out of bed as soon as the alarm went off at 05.00. I managed this twice! and did three mile runs. It's a start.

Running has taken a back seat as I have been doing a lot of cycling of late, however, I would really like to run every day which is why I thought that the early morning starts were a good idea to get me running again. I will try again this week!

Yesterday we cycled to York. Around trip of 76 miles. Our bikes went in for a service and while we were waiting thought we would spend a few hours wandering round York and go for some lunch. We packed a change of clothes and set off at 08.00. The forecast was not good and showers were expected, however, we didn't expect them to last all the way to York.

We arrived in York soaked to the skin with our change of clothes equally as wet. The rain stopped and a short appearance was made by the sun. We sat in very wet cycle clothes and had a pub lunch. A little different from the afternoon we had in mind.

The sun was still shining as we set off back to Beverley but no sooner had we turned the pedals and the heavens opened again. We spent much of our our journey home in and out of bus shelters and underneath trees waiting for the downpour to calm.

It was a very cold and wet 76 miles and the thought of a hot shower and my dressing gown kept me going. We were soon revived warm and dry watching Armstrong climb.

I found some great new tracks for cycling and running "Classical Cardio" Puccini and Vivaldi funked up certainly kept me going today.

Last week I cycled 128 miles. Next week we are cycling London to Cambridge fingers crossed it will not be in the rain.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Sunday, 5 July 2009

What Diet?

Although the miles are increasing the diet of late has consisted of slimfast and all things bad. The slimfast is a poor attempt though all good intentions go into the mixing and shaking of the drink, however, of late the following day when the fridge at work is opened the yellow drink is still there untouched. Yes I am left with a sense of guilt as I recall the replacement foods consumed over the week whilst these colourful drinks have stacked up.

On a pinker note, my bike is now looking very much girlie.

And or course the shoes. I am a bit of an Imelda Marcos when it comes to shoes and whilst I cant think for one minute these would be in Imelda's collection they're most certainly now in mine and what fab shoes.

They fit like slippers and much like Dorothy's ruby slippers became fixed to my feet the minute I put them on.
Saturday morning we cycled 36 miles so I could try out these fantastic shoes. Again just like Dorothy's, MAGIC! our average was 16mph and at times when we had a mad blast we clocked 26mph.

I really didn't want to take these babies off my feet but eventually Philip removed them whilst I slept!

Last week I cycled 155 miles and that was without my super dupa shoes. This week I have only done 58 miles, my shoes only arrived on Saturday morning so watch this space for the coming week!

Monday, 22 June 2009

Curves Are In This Season

This weekend was "Flat Out In The Fens", I myself was defiantly "Flat Out" very much so I was horizontal as I was touched with the sniffles, throat like cut glass, stuffy nose, constant head ache and convinced myself it was the old swine thing. I had many a disagreement with Philip over whether I was well enough to cycle arguing my case that once the medication kicked in I would be fine. Dr Philips prescription did not in any shape or form include partaking in a 77 mile bike ride.

It went something like this:

Under no circumstances must any Lycra clothing in the form of cycling attire come into contact with the skin.
cycles are not to be mounted for at least two days
Bed rest must be taken for a minimum of 48 hours
No but's
Go to bed and rest up

So I waved Philip off on Saturday afternoon all geared up for his ride on the Sunday. I don't remember a great deal more of Saturday. I drifted in and out of sleep occasionally waking and feeling sorry for myself, reaching for a gulp from my bottle of water and pulling the duvet over me for the trillionth time trying to find that comfortable position that my body had not yet laid in after many a hour in bed.
And so very soon a long Saturday turned into Sunday morning and I woke with envy as my thoughts turned to Philip and his friends riding Flat Out In The Fens. It was 09.00a.m. when I woke, an hour and half cycled already My envy soon began to leave me as I remembered their 04.00a.m. start to the day.
Sunday was an improvement on Saturday, I did manage to get dressed and venture outside for a while. Philip called buzzing and full of jubilation after the ride and within a few hours he was back home with pictures and tales of his Flat Out In The Fens.
We are doing London to Cambridge at the end of July, hopefully bugs will not be lurking to put me out of action.
Been the girlie that I am I decided to start pimping my ride and adding some girlie touches. Philip has bound my bars in pink tape. Pink water bottles are on the way. I did think about pink tyres but thought it a bit much but maybe a pink chain could be next and of course the riding apparel has flashes of pink here and there.

Whilst searching the net for such things I came across some great shoes that are most certainly on my list.
Along with this great seat that I found on a fab site if you are that kinda rider.

Miles on my bike have not been that great, 179 miles in the last two weeks. We cycled to Bridlington last weekend and with the promise of fish and chips once we got there my legs did not fail me and the fish and chips were great.

The diet front, well I am adopting a new approach and loving my curves at the moment (hey girlie's are meant to have curves right!!) and trying not go get too stressed out at the scales refusal to budge. I now have a weight programme to follow devised for me by a very nice man in the gym last week so am trying to fit the weights in with everything else. I did notice circuit training classes at the gym as well and would like to fit those in somewhere!!
The plan for this week is to do 20 miles each evening straight from work, fit the gym in a couple of nights after cycling and then longer rides at the weekend.
Philip has a ride in August "Hotter than Hell" with his brother Paddy and is training flat out at the moment. He did 77 miles yesterday and today cycled 108 miles climbing 7,000ft.
Realistically I don't have any chance of keeping up with this man on a mission!