Sunday, 7 March 2010

It's great up North...

At the moment things are pretty crazy... slotting full-time Ironman training around a full-time job is never easy, but chuck in a healthy dose of podcasting and time is no longer your friend! Never in my life have I been as busy as I am now... it's 7.15 on Sunday evening, I've been on the go since 6am and still have three or four hours of work before my head will be aloud to (briefly) hit the pillow. In what will seem like no more than a fraction of a second I'll be starting my week off with a pre-6am run followed by a stretch and (maybe) a swim. Proper work (if you can call academia that) will start around 8:30 and with no break scheduled in my day until after Martin and I have recorded Episode Nine of Marathon Talk (unlikely to be any earlier than 10pm) you can see that time is clearly at a serious premium. Still, it is what it is and no-one ever achieved anything extra-ordinary by living an ordinary life ;)

So, to today's photo... regular readers of my ramblings will have expected this week's scribble to be a race report from my favourite duathlon and scene of my one and only 'proper' podium, the Ballbuster. That picture doesn't look much like Box Hill though! Taking my opening comments into consideration you can imagine that I'm pretty tired at the moment and walking that treacherous tight-rope, no doubt familiar to so many of you, so often travelled by the working endurance athlete. Had we travelled down south it would have meant a five hour drive after work on Friday, followed by a rubbish night's sleep in a rubbish hotel, followed by a 5am start, followed by the toughest duathlon in the UK, followed by a five hour (if we were lucky) drive home, followed by collapsing into bed at the end of a rather tough 24 hours. Instead I opted for not having to mess around packing all my gear on Friday afternoon, followed by dinner with my wonderful wife and brilliant brother-in-law in my favourite restaurant, followed by an early night, followed by a (kind of) lie-in, followed by 113 very hilly miles around the most beautiful countryside in just about every form of winter weather you can imagine, followed by being home for (a late) lunch.

As disappointed as I am in not doing the Ballbuster, even more so seeing as my pb would have got me on the podium, sometimes we have to look at the bigger picture. At the moment for me there really is only one picture and that is in the form of 140.6 Lanzarote miles on May the 22nd... and when faced with a choice between loads of driving, a bad night's sleep and a 90 minute (albeit hard) bike ride or no driving at all, a great night's sleep and eight hours in the Dales there really is only one answer.

Today's photo was taken just before I descended into Kettlewell down (allegedly) the steepest tarmaced road in England and the scenery was so breathtaking that I was compelled to pull-over, remove a million wet damp layers of clothing which were (just) keeping me from hypothermia and snap a few shots.

Before I sign off and get back to my marking mountain you might be wondering how my 16 x 16 challenge is going? Well, with five weeks gone my bike miles bank account is in credit to the tune of four hours and 15 minutes (somewhat healthier than my financial version) with 84 hours and 15 minutes 'deposited' to date. I'm feeling stronger every single day and with time trials scheduled for the 13th and 21st of March and a 100 mile sportive with some great friends / strong bike riders on the 28th if I make it to April in one piece there might still be another twist in the road to Kona.

Well done to my Iron buddies who took on Taupo this weekend, sorry I've not been around the blogosphere recently but my once zeroed daily Google reader now stands at well over 300 entries... I'll catch up with you soon, promise.

See you soon,


p.s. Well done to all my amazing VARR mates for a great performance in this morning's fifth and final cross country race... both the boys and girls teams won and the boys will now be promoted to the premier league of the PECO cross country league!

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