Saturday, 26 July 2008

Snowdon Race and deposits in the karma bank

Just got back from watching the snowdon race - the first time I've ever been a fell running spectator. I nordic walked/ran over to Llanberis, watched the start gave a cheer to everyone I knew and to Swiss Schalli, who I don't know, but I do know some people who know some people who ride bikes with him. Power walked up to half way station and helped the marshalls pick up the plastic cups that had been discarded then didn't have too long to wait for the leader to come past on his way down (probably less than a minute after the lantern rouge had passed on their way up!).
Cheered more people on the descent - Espana, Italia, Scotland, Eryri - got sore hands from clapping so much. Saw Iain, Sarah, Hannah and Schalli come past and then started to make my way down. I could run faster than the competitors by now, which made me feel a tad guilty, but i figured at least I wasn't in their way.
Found a guy who'd taken a fall and bust his finger pretty badly, some German tourists were already on the phone to mountain rescue when I got there, trying to get a helicopter for him! Luckily broken finger man didn't need too much persuading to walk himself off the hill. The nice but dim tourists then wanted to bandage it up for him, which seemed pretty pointless as by the time they'd done that he could have walked himself to an ambulance in Llanberis. I think it shows a certain mental weakness to call out a helicopter for a broken finger, with that attitude it's not hard to see why they lost 2 world wars ;-)
Anyway, John (broken finger man), whilst clearly shaken up, could see the sense in getting himself back to Llanberis ASAP so I walked down with him, partly to make sure he was Ok and partly to rescue him from the Germans :) Fair play to him, he was determined to finish the race because he'd been sponsered and once we got to the tarmac he jogged back to the finish.
I nordic ranwalked back home and got quite sweaty.

Le Tour d'Apres Travail

A much anticipated stage that was sure to see some changes in the GC. Before a pedal had been turned though, the news was all about more riders abandoning – following the sacking of their young rider Tom Carter the entire Team Egniol withdrew, which immediately raised questions about some of their recent impressive performances.

The EA team leader Matt Strickland and super-domestique James Camis also failed to make the start line, saying that "with the GC out of reach we're pulling out now to focus on the BBQ, hopefully we can come away from that with a big haul of medallions".

With points available at intermediate sprint stages (30mph signs) it was pretty frantic from the off, Guy bagging the first points at Deiniolen and again at Mynedd Llandegai (even though he didn't even notice that one). Ali pulled back some points at Bethesda as Guy had by this point completely forgotten about the sprints, but was still leading by 5 points as they approached the mountains. A vicious headwind on the climb up the Col d'Ogwen made it difficult for any attacks to go clear, but Ali and Guy worked together to isolate and then drop Craig the only surviving member of the EA team. Ali took the first KOM points and the bunch regrouped for the descent to Capel Curig.

Guy attacked early on the approach to Capel and bagged another 5 points before the feedzone at Plas y Brenin. At the foot of the hors categorie Courmet de Pen y Pass Ali road away from the groupetto to take the second summit of the stage and secure the KOM jersey. He stayed clear on the descent to take the sprint points at Nant Peris but the group reformed on the valley road, before Guy burst away again to easily win the Llanberis sprint. Showing Cavendish-like dominance Guy took the final points at Clwt-y-bont too, the NHS rider winning the green jersey by a massive 15 point margin.

Great BBQ too, thanks to Matt & Asa.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

MTB, road, running, stretching

Last thursday went up the quarries from nant peris with Matt, James & Phil, felt moderately unfit, but what do you expect after 4 weeks with practically no excercise?

Saturday I took myself up & down Telegraph Valley, good climb but i still don't rate it as a descent, but everywhere else was a watery soggy mess. Ho hum.

Sunday I hit the road with Mark and his carbon Cervello. Pen y Pass, Nantgwynant, Nantmor, Beddgelert. A fairly relaxed 35ish miles apart from the idiot in the 4WD blasting his horn and gesticulating as he overtook us by Rhyd Ddu. Some car drivers seem to get very offended when you cycle 2 abreast - if we were slowing them down I could understand them getting pissed off, but the road is narrow on that stretch, there's no way that a car can pass a single cyclist without crossing the centre line (or killing the cyclist I suppose, which I think would be their prefered option). If they need to cross the centre line to get past a single cyclist it's the same as passing 2 cyclists riding side by side (or indeed a horse, I hope the twats don't drive like that when they encounter horses). So it pissed me off. So much that I put the hammer down in the hope that the road works were still going on down the road and he'd have to wait at a red light where I could have given him a few stern words, but no such luck. It makes me angry though, I don't like self-righteous stupidity at the best of times, when it's twats in 4WDs being aggressive to people riding push bikes it makes my blood boil.


Legs are feeling OK though :)

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

KHS test

Did 2 laps of Cefn Du with Matt last night, which was fun. Had a comical over the bars moment where my shorts caught on the end of the bars leaving me suspended upside down half way through crashing. All good.
Hamstrings still quite stiff and lower back feeling really stiff tonight. More stretching, less blogging.


Went to the Beacon Sunday night with Matt & Asa to further my fear of heights desensitization program. Had 2 “trips to the vet” (i.e., I was shit scared – inspired by Pippa) while doing some 5a/5b sport routes, but I did them. Yay me!

Legs stiff as a board, but no knee pain, so it seems that I’ve got the pain on the run.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Back in the saddle

Ooh, that was good. Did a couple of laps of Cefn Du on the KHS test bike, which was a lot of fun. It was only about 1h20, but it was great. And I stretched afterwards too.

Friday, 11 July 2008

It's all been quiet...

Well, I've not been doing much. Which is a lie, of course I've been doing stuff but it's been DIY on the house, which bleeds my soul dry, so I'm certainly not going to start writing about how much I absofuckinglutely detest pissing my life away doing this mundane shite. But I digress....

Knees have been playing up since I did that road ride around the 3 peaks. Turned out my saddle was too high, which could obviously cause a problem (bike unpacked from france in a slightly dazed state, sloppily rebuilt, chucked in van, driven to Bentham, ridden without checking saddle height - doh!). So, bad knees ensued. And they didn't get better, for like, ages. So I belatedly went to see Zac at who's wisdom could be summarised thus: "your knees are fine, your posture rubbish, you have zero flexability in all your muscles, stretch or die!".

And that's how I got switched on to Yoga.