Archive for August, 2018

Pie In The Sky

I’ve started on my next two impossible challenges.

Going sub 3 hours for a marathon, then going sub 10 hours for a triathlon.

I’m hoping to get the sub 3 in April on the Manchester marathon. I’ve made a training plan and it *just* has me running half a mile extra each week at the blisteringly fast (for me) pace of 6.45 m/m. I accidentally started at a mile instead of half a mile, so this week I did 1½ miles to keep it up.

That’s not *all* the running I’ve been doing, my long run last week was 18 miles, today I’ve just run 20. This is going to have to stop. It’s a brilliant exercise in mental toughness and discipline but it is horribly painful and I’m risking overuse injury. Also it’s really discouraging to struggle so badly on a long-ish run and have your pace drop right off, when you are aiming to be going longer and faster. 

I’m thinking now that the sub 3 is going to be so hard I may have to accept just getting faster this time, then do it next time.

That’s as nothing to my second challenge. The sub 10 Iron tri.

My PB, this year, was 13.17.

My swim was 1hr 40, I need to knock 40 minutes off that.

Transition 1 (T1) was 11 minutes, need to just run through, 4 minutes max.

My bike was 7hrs 01, I need to get to 5hrs 25

T2 was 7 minutes, needs to be 4 minutes

My marathon was 4hrs 18, needs to be 3hrs 26.

Look at those figures!

Apart from the transitions (just run through) the only one I’m confident I can achieve is the run.

I’ve finally managed to enrol with a swim coach at Orford leisure centre. Wendy’s workmate goes to the same class, he says the instructor is a well respected triathlete coach. Apparently he wants to know exactly what you want to achieve, then is brutally honest about whether you can do it.

I’ve been giving it some thought, I’m arbitrarily setting the bar at 3 years. I’m thinking: I’m 52 now, I can get fitter and stronger but my body will get older and slower. It’s not a battle I can win. I reckon I can force my body to do as it’s told for another 3 years, beyond that I’ll have to wait and see.

I will be telling the coach then that I want to do a 2.4 mile swim, in an hour, within 3 years. If he says it’s not possible I’ll still train and try to prove him wrong, but at some point I’ll have to lower my sights. I hear competitive knitting is the next big thing.

All of this may come to nothing. I may never even get a sub 3. I always have unrealistic expectations of what I can achieve. Then I achieve it anyway. It’s going to be a sad day when I am forced to accept I’m too old. I’ve already accepted that I’m never going to win a marathon race. It’s stupid to think I ever could, but a few years back I couldn’t see why not.

Against professional athletes.

In their twenties.

Unrealistic expectations.

 

The coach is away this week, but hopefully I’ll have some sort of answer a week Monday. If I can’t get the swim, I can’t do it. If it’s a maybe, it is ON!

I’ve got a beastly hard turbo trainer for the pushbike, put in many, many hours of that, go sub 3 on the run, It’s still possible.

One thing that did cheer me, in an odd, ‘this is going to cost a fortune’, way, was a video I saw on YouTube. Two cycle journalists comparing a standard Raleigh racer bike with an aero bike. The fancy pants one was full carbon frame, weighed 5 kilos less and had aerodynamic wheels and a sleek frame. Their question was does it really make a difference?

The answer was a resounding “Yes”. 7.5%- 10% in different areas. This was the same guys taking turns over the same courses on the bikes then comparing their personal times. If that’s right, that means I could save (say 8%) 33½ minutes on the bike just by upgrading. To, say this:

bloody hell!

A mere £8,399.

EIGHT. THOUSAND. THREE HUNDRED. AND NINETY NINE POUNDS!

For a pushbike. I’ve told Wendy when I’m top 10 in the world I’ll get one.

I’m not doing anything yet, but if I am showing any signs of being on target, this time next year (or the year after) I’ll get on eBay and get a second hand bike. Not that one, obviously. It’s the end of the season and loads of people are saying “sod that for a lark” and selling up. I feel their pain. So much so I knocked this up.

Outlaw Logo - Copy (2)

Well, I bought the bottom bit, cropped it, and added the Outlaw logo. Not exactly rocket science, but I’ve never tried to do anything like it before, so I was quite pleased with myself. I’ve bought some sticky back sheets and made it into stickers.

 

The only other thing is the FireBlade. The complete package of settings for the shocks worked a treat and it’s a really stable and confidence inspiring ride again. And such an awesome beast.

I’ve started doing 6th shifts again this week. The ‘Blade cleaned us out. Now it’s the end of the season I could do with going back on to long shifts and raking in huge amounts of cash, but we’ve been bought out by a different firm and I fear things will start to change. My works have been really accommodating, but I don’t want to mess them about, and don’t know in the future if I’ll be able to swap back again. Better to just do the 6th shifts.  We’re not skint, it’s just when I was living work and had no life we could buy stuff none-stop and still save.

Rambling.

Right. Time for bed.

Later,

Buck. 

Testing

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sticker_oval

Pics or it didn’t happen.

There were only two good pictures of me from the Outlaw.

On the bike and on a mission:

and just about to cross the finish line:

Every other picture looked like a sad, beaten, old duffer who was half dead . Which, to be fair, is 50% better than I was feeling.

The other good picture is one I took today. It’s not easy trying to do a selfie with your bike. I’m quite made up with this this then:

 

The ‘Blade is as much art as function. Someone spent a lot of time and effort making it look that good.

I’ve been weighing up the pros and cons of that exhaust endcan. It’s titanium so very light, but huge and too quiet. Apparently their are all sorts of sensors built in to the exhaust system though,  so you really mess with the fuelling and such if just swap the silencer for a more raucous one. Which means buying a full exhaust system (£££££££) and a power commander to sort out the fuelling (£300) and the garage to fit it, probably.

It’s like Wendy rightly said after I spent all that money converting my W650 into a cafe racer, “buy the bike you want.”

I wanted this because it was an unmolested, original bike. It will far exceed my ability as it is in standard form, I’m not going to spend a grand or so just to make it sound a bit fruitier.

One thing about it I will be changing is the seat. It’s rock hard.There’s no rush for that though, I doubt I’ll be doing many more miles this year ‘(it’s not seeing salt). But maybe next year, comfy seat, road trip? A quip nip to Germany?

I noticed the forks were set slightly differently so I looked it up today and reset them back to standard, then one turn extra to stiffen them up. Also tightened the chain.

 

The other thing I’m doing now is starting training for a sub 3 hour marathon.  I spent ages yesterday working out the amount of weeks until the race, the end distance, then working back in a steady and sustainable fashion to my starting point. I drew up a chart of date, distance, weeks to go.

If I can stick to the chart I can do it.

I went for my first run since the tri today. It was hard and humid. My target time is 6.45m/m. I started off slow to avoid tendon injury, 8.46, 8.27, then tried a fast mile. 7.42. Total disaster. I thought I’d lost my fast mojo.  I did another few slow miles then tried again. As soon as my watch beeped for the mile I charged off. It was beastly hard but I kept going. Finished that mile in 6.42! Yay! It’s back on! Then slogged home for 2 miles.

It nearly killed me, but that’s the first step on the plan done. Then I looked at the plan “Week 1, run ½ mile”

Super.

I’ll have to see how it goes. I may have to have a slack year (no tri-s) and focus on getting sub 3.

And so, said Zebedee, to bed.

Buck.

PS

The forks set up wasn’t a step forward. Over bumps it was trying to buck me out of the saddle. I’ve looked up a complete set up guide for this exact model (there are 6 different things to adjust) and set it to that. Trial and error. If that’s not right there are set-up experts who will fine tune it to your exact weight.

Another thing I’ve learned today, never, ever do a long run after a fast one. I ground out 18 slow, painful miles, but it was hellish and dispiriting. The only good to be taken from it is I wanted to quit after the first mile but kept it going. So a good exercise in mental discipline.