I’ve just about got back on the triathlon horse.
I’ve completed the first month of my ‘run every day of 2019’ challenge. It’s not been easy as I have been nursing injuries. Happily I’m mostly over them. The tendons on the top of my foot keep flaring up, but nothing debilitating. The pains up my shins, in my knees, and my shoulder are all but gone. Because I’m doing most of my runs straight off the pushbike after riding 9 and a bit miles back from work (and I’ve been tentative due to injuries) I’ve not done that many miles, but they all add up. 186 miles for January.
I did a trial run (a literal run) to work last weekend, to see how long it would take me. It was cold and it had been threatening rain all day. I set off in a new, long sleeve, running top. As I was about to leave the house it started spitting. I ignored it, thinking it would pass. All the way to work it rained. I was soaked, freezing and in a very dark place as I was dreading the run back. After I turned around it stopped raining for a few miles which allowed me to warm and dry a little bit. Then I was well on my way so it didn’t get me down when it started raining again. With me getting lost and such, it was a 17.5 mile run in the end. 2 hours 35. Not a great time, but the challenge was just to keep going it was so beastly. Or rather, I was stupidly unprepared. A waterproof (and windproof, it was biting) jacket would have made all the difference. Again, the fact is I did it.
As I say I’ve been commuting to work, that’s about 18.5 miles round trip (by road, the run was down the canal and such). I had a day slipping about on some ice, the back end slid out three times on one ride in. Which is scary when your feet are clipped to the pedals and you are being narrowly passed by cars. I asked for some advice and bought a set of new, fatter (28mm instead of 23mm) puncture resistant, sports tyres. They are very nice.
The product photo’ made me laugh. Everyone else who wants to advertise their product calls the modelling agency for a bunch of beautiful 20 somethings and a wise old man.
Not the Germans. Their photo’ says “Yes. These are the best tyres in the world. And if you disagree we’ll come and punch your lights out.”
I bought them then realised I’d had the other set for nearly a year and they were as smooth as glass. Not ideal for winter. I ordered the new ones. The next day, as I was riding home, and the front tyre made a big hissing sound and went flat in a few seconds. I carry a spare tube so I checked for puncture inducing foreign objects, all clear, then replaced the dead one. A mile later the same thing happened again. I carry some kung fu slippers so I’m not clip-clopping around work with my bikes shoes on. I had to change into them then run the last two miles, in full bike kit, with my works kit in my rucksack, pushing my bike by the saddle. I saw a local running club as I was running. They had no bikes or bags or anything. Lightweights. When I got in I checked the tyre and wheel in the light. Then double checked. Nothing. So I replaced the tube. As I was pumping it up it exploded! WHAT?!
I lined the hole in the tube up with the tyre when I took it out, there was a split in the tyre sidewall, so the tube stuck out, pinched, then exploded. Ah. Nicely timed, ordering the new tyres then.
It snowed again the other day. I thought the roads would be cleared by the cars, but the edges of the road where I was riding were still deep in snow and ice. I really regretted pushbiking in that day. Still, I made it.
That the bike and the run going to plan, more or less.
Yesterday I broke my duck and finally got back to the swimming.
I watched some YouTube tutorials beforehand. They were loads more informative than my improver swim lessons. I cancelled my lessons and for the same price got anytime gym membership. I’ll learn it off YouTube and get better by doing loads of swim sessions.
I was really up for it once I’d been. I hadn’t been for a month, since I hurt my shoulder in the bike crash. As usual I’d built up a resistance to getting back to it. Building it up in my mind as being awful. It was bad, but that was just lack of fitness and technique. I was all set to watch loads of videos and try to stick in 4 swim sessions a week.
But (there’s always a “but”) when I got out of the pool my foot was bad again. Swimming is all about stress on your top of foot tendons, apparently. Lots of foot pivoting and pressure. Super.
Ho hum. I’ve just got to rest it, keep up with the ibuprofen and compression bandages. Not easy when you have to run every day.
In other news, the depression seems to have passed and I’ve not had another psychotic episode, which is fantastic. My thoughts started getting abstract and tangential on another run (might have been nothing, but you can’t help but flap) but this time I just centred and remained calm until it passed. Thinking about it, if I am reporting one good thing in my training, and indeed my life, that is it.
Also I’ve been involved in a crash that was in no way my fault. That’s novel. Wendy was on a dummy run to some place she was going in Manchester, I was just there to help her with motorways and when she got lost. Because it was Manchester she put extra pressure on herself not to hold anyone up. She was trying to work out what the satnav was telling her on the hoof, pulled out and smacked another car. No biggie. I had a moment afterwards when I thought, as a named driver on her policy, I would lose my no claims bonus, but that’s safe. I got Wendy to drive it home, through Manchester then on the motorways. She was fine.
The next morning she woke up and lost it. Shaking and such. She couldn’t face driving the 2 miles to her church.
She woman-ed up on the Monday and drove in to work.
I don’t know if it’s part of my condition or I genuinely am just used to it, but I don’t go into shock. I bounce down the road, pick myself up, then check on my bike. The only time I remember being in shock was when I got my front tooth headbutted out and took a kicking while I was on the ground. I was only a kid.
The other thing is my bike. I’ve got the replacement fairing, but it was unpainted. I’ve sprayed it myself. Surprisingly it’s not too terrible. It’s only for my winter hack, it’s a cheap, rusty, bike, it doesn’t have to be perfect. I finished applying the lacquer today, so tomorrow I can start trying to reassemble it. It would be a relatively simple job except the bars to which it attaches got bent in the crash. It’s going to be trial and error bending them back into shape. I’ve got two days. I’ve just got to be patient and not snap anything, or beat it into tiny pieces with a hammer, if it doesn’t fit immediately.
Well, that was all boring stuff.
I say that now, but it’s surprising how often I have to review this for dates of things. Last year I re-read the blogs about my last triathlons. I’d forgotten loads of the mistakes I made the first two races.