Month: April 2019

Excuses, not results.

After my upbeat last post, it all went horribly wrong again.

I started feeling weak again. I did some runs but I couldn’t maintain any sort of pace and it was so, so hard just to keep going. I endured it for a week, I did 3 runs, then decided I’d had enough. I wondered if it might be the anti-inflammatory pills the doctor gave me, so I stopped taking them. 2 days later my foot was hurting from the inflamed tendons again, so I knew the pills had rinsed out of my system. I tried to do the Sufferfest.

As I’ve said, I had just really raised the bar, so all my workouts were a lot harder and they’d moved me on to endurance blocks because that’s my most glaring weakness. Then I was ghastly ill for 3 weeks and lost all my fitness.

Before I was ill I was doing sprint workouts, which actually played to my ‘strength’ (such as it is). My sustainable limit is about 200 Watts. The sprint workouts would have you me riding for 20 seconds to 2 minutes at anything up to 320W, then easy for 30 seconds or whatever, then the next big one.

I aced that on the fitness test just before I got ill, with them saying I have “exceptional” sprint to [utterly pitiful]sustainable level power.

Rather than kill myself as I’m trying to make up for a lost month’s training, I decided to do the sprint workout again, rather than the endurance blocks.

Ha! Sufferfest were on to me.

I started the routine with a graded warm up, then in to the sprints, “hold 679W for 30 seconds”

What?! Seriously, WHAT?!

I didn’t have my glasses on so thought I must have misread it, my power being around 200W and all, but no, 679W.

It looks like I’m going to have to build my fitness up on the other training thing, where it’s not tailored to you specifically, before I can start back properly.

The long and short of it being I had to quit, wearing my lungs as scarf, halfway through the workout. I just couldn’t. To try and redeem myself a little I went out for a run. I was only going to do 6 miles, but after the first mile, on traumatised legs, at 8.20 I realised I had loads more in the tank, so I put it under 8 m/m and held it there, comfortably. (It’s a relative term. I mean I wasn’t having to claw back every mile from 8.30 or whatever, I just kept going and stayed under 8.) I was impressing myself after the last bunch of runs not even being able to stay at 8, so kept going for 5 miles, then turned around and smashed the negative split.

10 miles, on thrashed legs, after an 8.20 first mile, and I averaged 7.41. I’ll well take that.

I was buzzing. I thought I was all well again and not too far behind on my training.


The next day I was weak again, then sneezing and nose streaming, eyes running. It’s just not fair. I think it was some sort of hay fever, Mr Google said there was “pollen bomb” as we went from nippy 5C to a four day weekend of 25C. I took some anti-histamines and I dried up within hours. That’s odd, I used to get an itchy nose and sneezy, but I don’t remember ever having full-on hay fever.

Today I’m just suffering from tiredness, (not much sleep, then up at 04.20 for a course), fatness and laziness.

That’s the thing, the more training you do the more you want to do, the less you do the harder it becomes to motivate yourself to start.

Tomorrow is my day off. I am writing all this down now to try and vanquish this incredible run (over a month) of being poorly ill, and refocus my chi. Tomorrow is a new day, a fresh start, and, so far, I’m not feeling ill.


In other news, I’ve put my black VFR750 motorbike up for sale and got a bid on it, so hopefully that’s sold. Which will leave me with just one motorbike.

Like. A. Caveman.

Tomorrow it all gets real.

Crack on.


All Coming Up Roses.

My last blog was all poorliness and bikes.

I hit my nadir on Sunday morning when I had to admit defeat and not do the Manchester marathon. I hadn’t done any training at all for 3 weeks and I was still feeling weak. It started to clear on Sunday afternoon. Obviously.

I went for a test run and managed to do 10 miles at a modest but forced pace. Even though I was still a bit ill, and it was so, so hard, it was a joy to be out doing a bit. I’d been going stir crazy doing nothing for 3 weeks.

I got back on the pushbike torture training thing (The Sufferfest) the next day and didn’t die.

So, I’m back in the game. Yay!


I took my bike to the garage as I said. I trust the mechanic as he’s always got too much work on so he doesn’t make up jobs to boost his money. A few times he’s told me what to do and sent me away to do it myself. Anyway, he took the bike for a test ride and said the engine was “sweet” and agreed it was a steal for the price. I got him to do the full service, down to the valve clearances. On another bike I’d probably have a go, but these have gear driven cams, so you have to get a series of cogs all meshed exactly right. Put one back slightly out of position and you’ve got a dead bike.

Actually, I may have been fed a scare story, looking at it, I reckon that’s do-able.

I might get a cheap engine and have a mooch.

While I was looking for an example picture I came across a gear driven Ducati. That is art.

Would not want to drop a cog and have to reset that!

That’s all beside the point. I took it to the mechanic and got a proper job done.

I picked it up today. He’s sorted out the front brake, changed the brake and clutch fluids, replaced 4 valve shims and done the valve clearances, apart from annual changing of oil and such, that’s me for 15,000 miles.

On the ride home from buying it I was worried that my other bike was quicker to rev up and sprint off than this new one. On the ride home from the garage I nipped past some slow cars and hit the power band. Off like a scalded cat! That was a hoot.

I’ve been waiting all week for some crash bungs to arrive so the mechanic could fit them.

(These are crash bungs, by the way. Just to protect your fairings and engine from getting smashed to bits when you come off.) (Just rereading this before posting it. Other people might say “if” you come off, lol.)

It’s not a big job, take your fairing off, mark them, drill a big hole in them, put them back and fit your crash bungs. It’s just I didn’t want to ruin my lovely fairings by getting it wrong. The whole point of this new bike is that it does everything the other one does, but looks pretty at the same time.

I picked my bike up this morning and, as usual,  the crash bungs arrived at dinner time. Typical. I decided to have a go. It was a nerve-racking affair but I’ve done it! The bungs are fitted and their is no visible damage to my fairings! Huzzah!

Also today I was telling the mechanic about my plans to pull the wheels off, strip them right down, then get them powder coated (an alternative to painting where some voodoo stuff is sprayed on then baked into tough loveliness) he said they weren’t that bad and suggested a touch up pot of paint to blend the chips into the same colour as the rest of the wheel. OK. £6 and an hour or so of messing about has got to be worth a shot. If I’m still not happy the first step of powder coating is blasting all the old paint off, so I’ve only lost £6.

I’ll see what it looks like tomorrow, when it’s properly dried.

Well, that’s it. We are both recovering. I did 4 days training on the trot (been busy with my bikes today) and my new bike is peach. Happy days!

Now that is a picture!

VFR750s are like shoes. A boy can never have too many. (Try telling that to Wendy!)

(Red ones are faster. Scientific fact.)

Right. I’m off to bed. Redeem myself with a marathon in the morning. Give it a go, at least.



Bikes and poorliness.

That’s about all that’s going on right now.

Luke was dying with a beastly cold that laid him up for weeks. He was bored of being ill at home so came around and gave it to Wendy and me. Which is nice.

Wendy’s been off work for nearly two weeks with it. She’s gone back now but she’s still as rough as rats.

I’ve not been so bad, just weak and feeling lousy. I did a 20 mile run 18 days ago, not done a hand’s turn of training since. I’ve got the Manchester marathon on Sunday. I’m doubtful I’ll even be starting.


The rest has all been about the bikes.

I put my FireBlade up for sale on eBay.


It’s the most amazing bike I’ve ever ridden, but it’s just too, too much. 90mph in second gear (of 6.)

You spend all your time struggling to stay out of automatic ban territory (100mph+), it takes all the fun out of it. In an amazing turn of events, I put the bike up for sale, 2 hours later it had sold! No hassle, no insulting offers! Unheard of.

Also I’ve sold my saxes as part of my triathlon training. Cut out all distractions from your focus on your goal. While they were there I was always tempted to go back and waste more time on something I’m never going to be able to do.

I’ve finally got on top of the crash damage on my winter bike. I had to strip and clean the carbs in my latest ordeal. But now it seems to be running OK, finally.

Nothing but trouble, but I’ve got it sorted. Now I want shut.

I was on the verge of buying an Suzuki SV650, a slow (123mph) naked (to slow me down some more) and cheap V twin, that also handles well and is great fun. So, a Harley.  But better in every way. And way cheaper.

As I say I was on the verge of getting a really low mileage one for under £2K when I read a long term review of them. It seems they are all I thought, but built to a budget. The reason it’s all so shiny and pretty is because it’s not been ridden in winter. They are rustbuckets in waiting.

No good for me. I want one bike, that’ll do everything, that I can ride all year.

So I’ve bought another VFR750. Exactly the same as my winter bike, but not rusty and horrible.


It’s in the bike shop now having a once over to see that the engine is fine. If so I’m getting it a total service (big job, setting the valve clearances and shims, but once it’s done it’s good for 15,000 miles.)

Then I’m getting the paint on the wheels re-done and redoing the forks myself. Then maybe a respray. That’s it then. One bike, all shiny and lovely, one set of bills, all year round useable and I have to work at it a bit to get banned. I can use my winter bike while I get all that sorted, then sell it. It’s just passed it’s MOT, so it’s saleable.

Sorry to drone on about bikes, but that’s all I can do or get excited about at the moment.

I’m just waiting for this beastliness to be over so I can get back to training.

Oh, nearly forgot. I went to the doctor over my shoulder. It’s still sore if I lie on it or rotate it. Not terrible, but the other one doesn’t hurt, so there’s something not right. It’s been months since the crash.

The doctor did some tests on me, said nothing was broken, then sent me for an ultra sound. The woman doing it said there was no damage. I thought it was just like my mam said, it takes longer to heal when you’re older. I went back to the doctors for the test results, feeling like a fraud, but he poked me in the shoulder, asking if it hurt. Yes, YES! It seems something (a sack, I think he said) is inflamed and rubbing a nerve or something. He’s put me on anti-inflammatory pills and put me down for a steroid injection. That’s service, for a bit of a sore shoulder. 

Right, I’m off to feel sorry for myself.