I don’t want to speak too soon, I’ve made several false starts recently, but I think I’m finally free of that bug.
It’s taken forever. For the last 3 weeks I’ve thought I was over it, gone out for a few training sessions, then felt as weak as a Southerners cup of tea.
It’s been dire. Also, there’s the knock on effect of losing your mojo. While you are training and pushing yourself you are determined to be better the next time. After you’ve spent a while being lazy you know how bad it’s going to be getting going again and you start avoiding it.
After my last blog, lamenting how utterly terrible everything was, I’m back to optimistic today.
I’ve had to switch off the 4DP setting on the Sufferfest (cycling training app thing) that is tailored to my exact strengths and weaknesses (well, weaknesses and slightly less weakness) until I can get my fitness back.
It’s still set to my maximum sustainable effort, so it beasts me, just not quite as much. Last week when I was feeling OK I did the longest session on there,1 hour 40 minutes of mixed sets. It was too much really, my knee felt like a balloon afterwards.
Today I was cunning and just did a nice easy 45 minute session. Warm up, 1 minute hard, 1 minute rest. I can do this! Then again. By the third time I was thinking I was going to have to quit. But Sufferfest are sly. They give you just enough time to recover so you think ‘OK, I’ll just do one more’ and keep going. 11 of them. Half way through they said “This is one of the most intense workouts you can do, treat it as such”.
Nice, easy, 45 minutes my fat, lazy arse!
Then after the 11 sessions it got hard.
15 seconds of high revs, high power, sprint. Then 15 second rest. Times 20. It doesn’t sound much, but there is no time to recover. Again, they are cunning, you can just about stop gasping then the next 15 seconds starts and you think ‘Anyone can do 15 seconds!’ so you push it out, even though you are still dying.
My admiration for the trainers at Sufferfest is total. They are evil,sadistic geniuses. The clue is in the name, I suppose. Their genius is in torturing you to the exact level where you push at your absolute maximum, but can finish without quitting. It really is where the Iron Crosses grow.
So I slogged through that. And it was terrible. But I did it.
Then I went out for a run. The last few weeks that has been slow and painful and maximum effort just to keep going. Today the first 4 miles were a joy. I just set my legs to running, and they kept it up, at a modest pace, with metronomic ease. That was a double joy as after the sufferfest being so hard I thought my legs would be shot. By about 9 miles my calves started really cramping. I think that’s going so hard on the bike after a bit of a lay off. I kept it going and managed 18 miles. Not too shabby for a tester, recovery run.
My calves are still aching and set, but I’m back in the game!
In other news, I’ve started looking for another job. Work is getting me down. They’re introducing spy cameras into the cabs, that are active even when you are on your break. It’s not so much the cameras as the principle. They know the drivers don’t want them, we voted for strike action rather have them, and they just don’t care. The thing that really gets me down about my job though is never knowing when I’m going to be coming home. I just assumed that was the case for all lorry driver jobs. Then I saw the Royal Mail were advertising. I thought they only took on through the agency. Loads more money, and short shifts. But nights. Then I saw Aldi were recruiting. Nights, sadly, but 8 hour shifts, doing local runs to the stores then unloading yourself. They say you only spend 40% of your time driving. Most drivers are fat and lazy and would hate that. I reckon that would suit me. Even on nights. If you’re doing locals it’s less time on closed motorways, you’re not falling asleep driving long distances, and you have a fair idea of your finish time. That all sounds good. Also it’s only a 40 hour week and it’s more money per hour. If I can get in, get my feet under the table, then look to transfer to days if any jobs come up, it would be perfect. I’ve applied, got through the first sift, and have an interview in a couple of weeks. See how it goes.
I’ve sold my black VFR750, only got my new (24 year old!) red VFR750 now. One bike.
Like. A. Caveman.
I’ve started a running/ triathlon/ cycling/ motorbikes account on Twitter. My old account has become enmired in politics. All the fun, whimsy and interesting stuff has been drowned in polemic vitriol. My new account has left me with watch envy though. I bought the Timex Ironman watch for my Iron distance tri last year. My Garmin GPS watch was good but old and only really good for a marathon or so before the battery died. Anyway, you buy a watch that’s specifically branded ‘Ironman’, you expect it to do the business. I started it at the start of the race (naturally) fully charged, and it died half way through the marathon at the end. My overall time was 13.35 or something, the cut off time for the race is 16 hours. An Ironman watch that won’t do Iron distance. Super. All the runners and tri people on Twitter have been showing off their swanky watches. It’s my birthday in a couple of weeks and Wendy was asking me what I want, so I’ve bought an upgrade Garmin! Yay! Supposed to be good for 15 hours or so with the GPS on. More than enough time for me. And it finds satellites in no time. My old Garmin, bless it’s long service heart, leaves me standing around for 5 minutes, cooling down and setting from the bike, before I can start my run.
So that’s where I am.
If I don’t feel weak and I can get back to training I still hope to achieve my goal for this year, which is an hour off last year’s tri. I have 3 months to make it so.
I so hope that’s it. That I’m back to normal now.
Right, bed time.