Sunday, 6 April 2008

What's going on with the weather???...

Just when I thought we'd seen the end of Winter and were going to be well and truly into Spring with Summer soon to wrong a girl can be! All week we've had great weather and Tom & I were really looking forward to the Circuit of the Dales (a 50 mile hilly Time Trial) starting in Ingleton, going through Sedburgh, Hawes and then back to Ingleton. It's beautiful out there but it's barren and if you go when the weather's harsh, beautiful is the last word you would choose to describe it.

I think it's a British thing to be so obsessed with the weather. People love talking about it and about how bad it is, it's never perfect for us is it? Too hot; too cold; too windy!!! Too bloody picky, and then couple being British with being a triathlete and the weather starts to consume your every waking hour. We didn't really believe (or want to believe) the forecast for today. All week the sun had his hat on I went running on the canal with my mate Tony and wore a t-shirt and not a million thermal layers. Tom went out riding in just his shorts and a short sleeved top and no gloves, lovely, lovely, lovely.

I did this TT last year (in horrendous windy conditions)and Tom did it the year before (in horrendous wind and rain.) This year we weren't even sure we were going to get to do it. Yet again the Harbingers of Doom known as weather men forecast thick snow, sleet and icy conditions across the land. What's going on it's April, in 4 weeks the open water season starts (we'll have to smash the ice on the lake before we can get in at this rate.) So today we left it to chance and thought the best way of judging the weather was to get up and look out of the window (which sounds stupid but weather people aren't always right are they.) Consequently in Leeds this morning we had beautiful clear blue skies, no snow although it was freezing cold so we packed the car and off we went. We did think that as we got further into the Dales we could get hit by snow but today we were lucky, lucky, lucky.

I enjoyed every bit of the ride today. My goal wasn't time orientated it was a test of staying switched on for the whole ride and also to try and maintain an even effort for the whole thing and for me today I thought the weather couldn't have been more perfect. The pic above is of Ribblehead Viaduct which is on part of the course. It didn't have anywhere near that much snow, the roads were completely clear and dry but the hills were all white and it made perfect scenery for me today. I think I enjoyed it because I felt my consistency, I didn't pootle at all today, I rode. Sure I'm not speedy but I felt I rode well and I could keep a steady effort without killing myself or going too easy which is what tends to happen to me, today I found the middle ground that is missing from my riding. I can't guarantee I'll always have it but it's good to know it's coming along. Last year I rode 3hrs and 7mins and today I sneaked under the 3hr mark so I was rewarded for my effort not only in scenery but in time too.

Now all I have to do is stay sharp and freshen up for the London Marathon which is a week today (thank the Lord it wasn't today or I would have needed to invest in a pair of snow shoes!) Who knows what the weather will do on Sunday but it will be what it will be and there isn't a single thing I can do about it. I don't have a major time goal for the marathon this year, I'm happy with the cracking pb I got lat year (3.22) and know right now I'm not in the same running shape as I was then so my aim for Sunday will be firstly to finish without killing my legs (I can't afford a recovery month afterwards as it's a crucial training period for Ironman) I'd like to think that I could run 3.30 but if it's 3.35 and my legs are okay I'll take that. London isn't an 'A' race and I must remember that when I'm running down The Mall with thousands of people cheering in my ear. 13 weeks today is what I'm running to on Sunday and if I can run strong but slow then I'll be happy :)

Time to find some fresh legs and a dollop of mental strength.

H. x


Debra said...

Fantastic result and ride today H, and all the best to you both for next Sunday, hope the weather is perfect for you both, can't believe it's nearly a year since London 2007, my memories remain very vivid and not all for the right reasons, you may not want snow next week but I'm keeping everything crossed that it's not as hot as last year, and when I've watched you on the telly, curled up with a nice cuppa, I'll go upstairs and enter the new online ballot for 2009, I've not given up on the idea of a good London experience one year, who knows when

H said...

Thanks Debra. You'll have a good marathon, there's one in everyone, it took me a while (after my first one which was great) to have a good one and if you don't give up hope or effort then it's out there for you too. I'll be wrecking my legs while you're entering online to try and wreck yours... sadists!!!

Sean said...

H - see you and Tom at the hotel on Saturday - 'bring it on' is what I say ! x