Not enough time in the day

I need some kind of target to aim for, because for one reason or another I’m not cycling enough. Either I have too much going on (work, family time, other exercise) or I’m too tired. I’m missing that extra motivation that comes with having a big event to aim for. With this in mind, I’m going to start looking for a triathlon to do next year. I’m 40 next year and I always wanted to try and do a triathlon before then. It’s more likely to be a sprint triathlon than a full-on Olympic one, but we’ll see.

The major barrier is the run – I’m pretty sure I could get my swimming up to scratch, and cycling would not be an issue, but I always worry about my right calf. Running seems to make it hurt and I’ve pulled it a couple of times. It’s been like this for a couple of years – I remember it hurting at Glastonbury 2017 – so if it’s still like this at Christmas I’m going to have to find a physio.

I’ve been on one decent length ride in the past couple of months. I went out with a friend who hasn’t been out on his shiny new road bike much, so the pace was fairly relaxed, and we did a little exploring too.

The ride featured my first ever coffee stop in seven and a half years of being a cyclist!

Lovely coffee

The days have started getting colder and wetter so I’ve made the switch to the Carrera. I still need to swap the saddles over, but that’ll only matter if I go for a long ride. At the moment it’s only used for getting to the gym and back.

New bike?

My bike shaped object (the Firefox Ranger) has always felt too small for me, and recently it’s started hurting my knees whenever I ride it. I only use it when I’m riding with the kids, but as they get older and can go further I’m looking at getting another bike. I’m thinking of getting an adventure bike, one that could replace the Ranger and the Carrera. Long-term I’d like to go touring and off-road, so getting a decent adventure bike now would hopefully sort me out for life! I’ve been looking at the steel Ribble CGR which has had good reviews. It’s the kind of thing I could research forever I think!

Getting back on it

I’ve been really busy with work and other activities, but I finally found the time to go out on my bike for a proper ride. Twice in four days! I went out last Friday for an hour, and did the same route today. I’m clearly not as fit as I was on the bike this time last year, but it still felt great.

Today I went a bit slower and attempted to keep my heart rate below 150. It was harder than anticipated. I was trying to keep some energy in my legs for capoeira tonight. There were no near misses today like I did on Friday when a van came close. I wonder if wearing my BHF charity jersey made any difference?

I’m going to try and get out on the bike a bit more, especially whilst it is nice. Perhaps the dream of doing a triathlon before I’m 40 is not quite done with yet.

I managed a quick run last week after circuit training. I’ll try pushing it a bit more after I’m back from holiday. I don’t want to injure myself before then as it’ll spoil the holiday (especially as I’ve got a long drive ahead of me). If things get bad after that then I’ll go to a physio as my right calf has been bothering me for two years now.

Tour de France 2019

We’re three stages in and things are finely balanced. I’m still gutted that Cav wasn’t selected but I had a feeling he wasn’t going to be picked. Alaphilippe looks very strong so I guess he’ll stay in yellow until stage 6 when the GC guys will make an appearance.

Not enough hours in the day

The weather has finally improved and I’ve started using the Ribble again, although I’ve not taken it for a decent ride yet. I just don’t seem to have enough time what with work (which is taking up much more time these days), boot camp and capoeira. I have been reminded just how much more fun to ride the Ribble is than the Carrera TdF!

Running also isn’t really happening at the moment – we’re getting close to Glastonbury and I’m worried about injuring myself. Glastonbury is hard enough on the legs without being injured for it, especially if it’s a muddy year. I think I wore calf supports throughout most of Glastonbury 2017 and would like to avoid that if possible. If I consider my overall fitness (as opposed to being cycling-fit) then this is the fittest I have ever been. I have been doing boot camp training for a year and a half, my upper body has changed shape (not dramatically, but I can feel that I walk differently) and I have actual arm muscles now. Getting fit has never been about vanity for me (although I’d like to get rid of the gut which is refusing to get smaller) but it is a happy side effect! My calves though refuse to improve. I did three minutes of skipping today which felt OK at the time, but today my calves are very tight. I managed to walk to town and back in my lunch break despite this, but it’s not comfortable.

Capoeira

Last weekend I took part in my first capoeira festival. It was quite intensive and I must have lost weight just from the amount of sweat produced (in fact, I weighed myself today and have apparently lost a kilo this week!) There was a lot to take in (and I have forgotten half of it already) but it was fun and educational and I got my first cord! My youngest son also got his first cord whilst my eldest now has a full orange cord, three levels above me.

I must admit to feeling a little inadequate over the weekend – I was the most inexperienced adult there and there were several times where I couldn’t get the hang of what I was supposed to be doing. I know the basic kicks but there is so much more to it, I think the movements between the kicks are more important. My technique also needs to be improved so that I don’t fall over so much! I did somehow get joint second in the handstand competition though 🙂

A slow start to 2019

The year started well from a cycling perspective – I was able to go for a quick ride on New Year’s Day, my speed was nothing to write home about! My cycling kit was a bit tighter than usual, too many mince pies!

Since then I haven’t had the time for a proper ride. I keep meaning to but I either wake up with sore legs or it’s freezing outside. I’m planning to sign up to Zwift again so I can do some turbo efforts. The theory is that I can get fitter by doing intervals and take up less time.

I hurt my toe doing capoeira a couple of weeks ago and it still hasn’t healed properly. I can just about walk without pain now but running has been out of the question. It’s so frustrating! I also hurt my quads playing football with my son over Christmas, playing in walking shoes is definitely not recommended! I tried to compensate for the shoes by changing my kicking style, which meant I was using different muscle groups. The muscles didn’t like it! So I might need to buy a cheap pair of trainers for playing football.

Capoeira has been going reasonably well, I can do the basics (although I can’t get my legs anywhere near as high as I’d like to). There’s one move, armada com martelo, which I am absolutely rubbish at. I need to work on my landing as if I don’t twist enough I end up hurting something. Frustratingly, someone new started yesterday and mastered the move without any effort! I’ll have to watch some videos and try to figure out what I am doing wrong.

2018 review

It’s not quite the end of 2018 but it seems unlikely that I’ll get out for any long rides before then, so I might as well look back at the year now. All things considered, I think the year has been reasonably successful. I’ve been doing HIIT training for over a year now and am feeling overall much fitter and stronger. Whilst continuing that I somehow found the time to train for the RideLondon-Surrey 100 – I didn’t beat my target time but some of that can definitely be put down to the terrible weather conditions. I also finally got to take my bike to the Isle of Wight and enjoy the quiet country roads there.

I’ve done over 3,500km on the bike this year. It’s not near my best years for distance but it’s considerably more than I’ve managed in any year post 2014. I’ve lost a bit of weight, I’m still over 13 stone but I’m at the bottom end of 13 stone rather than the top end now. I’ve bought running shoes and am determined to get good at running, although I’ve been suffering IT band issues in recent weeks. I’ve also starting learning capoeira and am thoroughly enjoying it. I’ve got a long way to go before I’m any good at it though!

I was sent a video from BHF to thank me for my fund-raising efforts – I raised £245 for them by taking part in RideLondon.

I’ve got to get back out on the bike soon, if only to debut my Mr Grumpy long-sleeved jersey that I bought at the RideLondon sign-on! I just wish I had more free time. It’s getting impossible to fit in everything that I want to do – capoeira, running, cycling, HIIT training. I need to stay active though for the sake of my physical and mental health!