I can only apologise for my last blog. I read it back the next day and I sound like a total arsehole. It’s taken me a while to work through it but I think I have it. I have a condition, one of the aspects of which is low self esteem. Which is all well and good and you’d think it would keep me from being an dick. However, as it’s not something of which I’m consciously aware, I don’t factor it into knock-on judgements.
It bothers me people making a fuss because I don’t think anything I can achieve is that praiseworthy. I actually get angry at people for saying they couldn’t. That is the knock-on effect. I can do it, and I’m shit, so anyone who doesn’t do better is taking the piss. Which leads to me advising noobs on a triathlete forum “If you eat at every feed station, you can do it.” Bad advice and belittling the heroic failures of some people.
Anyway. I have to bear it in mind. I’ll have to try and accept praise without anger and big up other people’s achievements. It’s got to be better than being the arsehole who wrote that last blog.
The big ride didn’t happen last week. I don’t know if I mentioned it, but I took my bike in to have the gear cables internally routed as I had no idea how to do it. It took the guy a week. I hopped on my bike, rode to the main road, went to change down gear, nothing. I rode back and tried to work out what was wrong. I finally sussed out that where the inner cable goes into the frame there should be a washer to stop the outer cable from following it, thus keeping the cable under tension. The washer had pulled into the frame, the outer cable had slipped in, their was no tension, couldn’t change gear.
The problem is the internal routing. You have to feed the cable in to the end of your tri bars and somehow have it pop out at the end of the frame on the back wheel (what would be a swinging arm on a motorbike). The shop guy, a full-on Ironman age group winner, had made done such a half arsed job that when I was looking at my bike I noticed a screw protruding at the bottom of the downtube. Apparently you unscrew that and a plate comes out, you push the cable in at your handlebars, it pops out of the panel, you then thread it through the (not) swinging arm and improvise some washers to retain the tension. Simple as that. Took me about 15 minutes of fiddling about. Bastard. Tri guy won’t be getting another penny from me.
I’m riding in to work in top gear nearly all the time now to build muscles. But my bike started creaking and the chain skipped a few times. Which worries me on a 3 month old bike. It’s got 11 gears on the back wheel, and a very skinny chain to fit that many gears. I think I’m knackering it. So I’ve bought a £30 single speed bike to commute. I’m putting the 12 tooth rear and 52 tooth front gear ratio we used to have in tenth gear on racers when I was a kid. One gear, chunky chain, £30 bike. That has to be a winner.
I’ve not had my start time officially changed but it seems to be around 08.00 now. If there’s no work for us after 7 hours they can send us home and we still get 9 hours pay. I didn’t do a full 9 hours all last week. I don’t mind if I do 9 or 10 hours, the odd longer one, but the constant 11, 12, and 13 hour shifts were useless to me for training. This is ideal. It’s harder than I thought though. When I come in I want to sit down. And get something to eat. And chill. Forcing myself back out to train is an exercise in mental toughness all by itself.
Today I did the proper (Manchester) marathon. I started off quite slowly, 8.41m/m, but after the first mile I realised I was being held up so I started working my way through the pack with 8.30’s. I thought that would be a fast pace in my condition. Then when I got to half way and I still felt great I shifted it up again, 8.17, 8.17, and an 8.15 and 8.13, then I started feeling it after 21 miles. I dropped down into the 8.50’s and 8.40’s.
My first marathon, two weeks ago, I was only under 8.50 for 3 miles, with 13 miles over 9 m/m and 3 miles over 10! So, I’m fair pleased with that.
I had to stop for a pee which cost me a minute, but I finished in 3.46.59. Not too shabby.
Talking of, you hear apocryphal tales of marathon runners and Iron tri people losing control of their bodies and shitting themselves. Whenever the story goes around on the internet it’s always the same picture of the same poor guy. Today I witnessed it. Some older woman runner shit herself. All down her legs. It was gross. She passed me and I nearly threw up. But she soldiered on and finished 100 yards in front of me. So, swings and roundabouts for her.
I had a curry last night so I took my tri precaution of an anti-shit pill. So glad, now. Poor woman. What can you do? And how do you ever live it down?
Anywho, here’s me rocking my new T.
In other news, Wendy takes her driving theory test next Saturday, assuming she passes her instructor is booking her in for the first available practical test.
Then the Saturday after that I start a beginners course in Russian!
I’ve wanted to learn it for ages, tried on my own a few times, and even discovered a local school for former Russians to teach their kids English and Russian that does adult classes. I could never do it as it was on a Saturday and I was always working. Now though, the stars are in alignment! Yay!
That’s reminded me, I’ve got to print off, fill in, and email back the enrolment form. They only confirmed the course was running a few days ago.