Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Train to France

I got a call this morning saying the direct trains from London to Avignon where available. This is our preferred choice of transport as we planned to get the direct train on the Saturday, have Sunday to relax (pace up and down nervously), ride on Monday and then get the train back on Tuesday.

However, while we can book the train down there, the train back isn't direct (the direct train only goes on Saturday) and doesn't go on sale until April. This isn't great as we don't want to wait until April to sort out our transport. Also, I looked at the price of a one way trip to Avignon on the 18th July and its £200 per person which is too expensive.

So, plan B. We are driving. I'll have too sweet talk my sister-in-law so I can borrow their family car as I can't see three bikes, three people and a load of gear fitting into my Renault Clio and neither Ed or Clive have cars. Or we can rent a car for four days. I've booked our Eurostar crossing which was a bargain at £100.

Great Doc

I received my medical form from French Cycling Holidays last week. The French authorities require you to get a doctor to state that you are in good shape to undertake an event like the Paris marathon or the Etape.

Its completely ridiculous as there is no way a doctor is going to know what condition I will be in when the Etape comes around. I guess its to screen for bigger problems but unless the doctor gives me a full work-up with blood tests and screening, he won't know much.

I know that some doctors charge up to £100 but I was lucky. My doctor talked about my asthma, took my blood pressure, looked over my medical history and then signed the form for nothing. What an gem. Its now been posted off which is a relief.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Monthly Stats - December

Again, this month saw me miss my targets by about 50% for cycling and 28% for running. Even though its more failure, I'm pretty pleased given that I did all this months exercise in 18 days with flu wiping out the first 13 days of the month. Had I done the same level of exercise during the whole month, I would have easily reached my targets.

The highlights of December were my runs over Christmas. I ran 13 miles on Christmas day which I must get credit for. After the kids had opened their presents and it had all settled down, I set off and ran the half marathon from Battersea to my sister-in-laws house in Keston near Bromley. I arrived about 15 minutes after my wife and I got to enjoy a huge turkey dinner guilt free.

I also had a great run in Devon at my Dad's over 10 hilly miles and 3 runs in Ireland over new years in a little town called Carlingford, north of Dublin. More hills and more cross-country. It all helped keep the Christmas weight off.

December Goals:
Do over 75 miles running - FAIL (53.3 miles)
Do over 350 miles cycling - FAIL (186 miles)
Complete 85% of my planned training sessions - FAIL (50%)
Break the 10 miles in 30 minute target - FAIL (Did not attempt, again, again)

Even though I failed to reach December's targets, I'm sure I can succeed in January if I avoid illness.

January Goals:
Do over 80 miles running
Do over 400 miles cycling
Complete 85% of my planned training sessions
Break the 10 miles in 30 minute target

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Good couple of weeks

After 10 days of flu, I came back slowly with a couple of short runs and easy sessions on the turbo trainer.

Things really improved with a great long ride on Saturday. It was done on my own as Ed had to work and its the longest ride I've done on my own since I started riding again. Its certainly more fun doing it with someone else. I did take my walkman and listen to 7 podcasts which helped pass the time.

The ride was 78 miles to Box Hill and back. This is the first time I had done this route. Normally I do three hills including Box and then its mostly down hill or flat all the way home through Epsom and Kingston. By turning around at Box Hill, I do the first two hills again from their other sides. This resulted in 5 bigish climbs and over 6500 feet of climbing instead of 5500 (verified by both cycle computer and Garmin watch).

I did the whole thing quite slow but I did take my mates advice and attack all the hills. I'm told that getting miles in my legs coupled with pushing myself up all the hills is the best thing to do at the moment. The overall time for the ride isn't an issue at this stage.

On Sunday I had the day to myself as the family had gone to my mother-in-laws and then to a pantomime so I took the opportunity and did 5 miles running and a quick 11 miles on the turbo trainer with the resistance cranked up. Not bad for the day after a long ride.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Man Flu

Disastrous week. I had Monday off after three consecutive days of exercises. I woke on Tuesday with a sore throat and felt a little rough so didn't do anything all day. 4am on Wednesday I was wide awake with full on flu. This lasted all week including Friday where I had to miss the Dads group Christmas party.

I was getting better by Saturday but I was still achy and tired. It was the same on Sunday so the week was a write-off.

Its been years since I've had flu this bad so I can't really complain. I'll be back on the treadmill on Monday.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Monthly Stats - November

Not a bad month. Thailand put me on the back foot with the cycling as a did none until the 12th. Then one bad week make the cycling target impossible. But with lots of running and one good long ride, I've at least maintained my fitness if not improved it slightly. I think I have also dropped a bit of weight as I have been better with my food. I need to get some scales.

November Goals:
Do over 80 miles running - PASS (81 miles)
Do over 300 miles cycling - FAIL (200 miles)
Complete 85% of my planned training sessions - PASS (91%)
Break the 10 miles in 30 minute target - FAIL (Did not atempt, again)

December Goals:
Do over 75 miles running
Do over 350 miles cycling
Complete 85% of my planned training sessions
Break the 10 miles in 30 minute target