Monday was painful. I hadn’t slept much, every movement during the night caused me to wake up due to the pain. My legs were not happy with me and they were making sure that I was fully aware with that fact. I knew I had to keep moving; if I had spent the day in bed it would have taken longer to recover.
I got myself out of bed and into the garage. This isn’t as strange as it sounds, in the garage is my turbo trainer with my second bike sitting on it. I had a 15 minute very light spin, trying to get the blood flowing around my legs. It wasn’t pleasant or quick, but it was useful. The bath that followed had the same target – that was more enjoyable than the cycle. The rest of the day was spent with my mate Chris, wandering around, purchasing and installing various things for his new flat. I hope I didn’t hold him up too much with my slow walking – he didn’t moan too much. In the evening was my normal swim class. Luckily, the class planned didn’t have a huge amount of kicking involved, otherwise I would have been sinking to the bottom of the pool! 50 odd lengths later and I was feeling a bit better and got myself home and to bed. I slept better and was now feeling okay when walking on flat surfaces. Stairs, however, were like climbing up and down Mount Everest. Agony! Tuesday was a bed day. Awful TV shows and films for 80% of the day, with stretching and foam rolling in between! I know how to live….
I gave myself Wednesday and Thursday off, with just stretching involved. Your body needs time to heal and I had to make sure I gave it the time, given such a short space before the next marathon. On Friday I got myself back in the garage onto the Turbo Trainer. A couple of laps of Zwift Island had me panting a bit. Zwift is this new game where it takes all of your readings from your various bike sensors and puts you up against other cyclists around the world that are doing the same. It is quite something – any cyclist who enjoys an indoor session but needs better entertainment – look no further – Nothing like a competition to be entertained.
The weekend was triathlon filled – in the wrong order and in small doses, but still, triathlon filled. The alarm rang at 6.20 on Saturday morning, never pleasant. I got up, grabbed myself an orange and head up to Box End for my first open water session of the year. As I arrived, the lake looked beautiful and the water was at a (for this time of year) huge 13 degrees! Two laps of the lake went rather quickly, I had hoped for three but a bit of chafing on my neck started and I did not feel like having a wet suit love bit after my first date of the year. Each lap equates to approximately 800m, so I was happy to go around them in 16 and a half minutes average – there’s a long time to reduce that time. This was the first time I tried my fancy GPS watch out in open water swimming, and it was amusing when I got out the water. Firstly, I knew it would say more than 1600m as I definitely do not swim in a straight line, but to say 2000m was funny to see. I did not swim that much out of the way, or did I swim that quick!! On analysis, there was a section where it obviously struggled for signal and then randomly threw me 100m out of the water and back in. I like to think I’m a talented guy, but swimming through land is not something I can do – not even Jesus could do that. Maybe that was one of Chuck Norris’ various skills.
I got back and tried out my new trail shoes – I wanted to run 10km through the woods, but my legs just weren’t there yet. I really struggled and it wasn’t really until the last kilometre on the way home that I started feeling normal – running legs officially left in Brighton! Home and a shower & lunch later and I set myself of the task of taking apart and cleaning my best bike, Bonnie, ready for the cycle on Sunday. Yes, she has a name. Yes, she’s a she.
There was a small matter of a trip to Wembley to watch Arsenal dominate (struggle against) Reading and make their way into the FA Cup Final. It was a very Arsenal performance in that at times, we looked fantastic, and at times we passed the ball to the Reading attackers and stepped out of the way to let them through.
Sunday morning meant time to get out on the road with Bonnie. I planned a 50km route out, got myself some breakfast and spent 25 minutes looking for my kit. I found it all except for one glove, which took an extra 10 minutes – always the way. The route was rather simple, or it should have been but I convinced myself I had gone wrong at one point so turned back and found myself randomly cycling looking at road signs and following them. When I found out where I was, I had to invent a new route that would take me to the 50km point – I got around 46km in the end, so I wasn’t far off. It was good to get out on the bike, I didn’t feel too bad but there is a lot of improving to do. I averaged 27km/h for the ride, I will be targeting 29km/h during the Ironman. Unfortunately, Hertfordshire is a difficult place to cycle around. I wouldn’t call Hertfordshire hilly, as that description belongs to places like Yorkshire and such, but it definitely is not flat. We’ll go with undulating. It’s difficult to get any rhythm when you’re cycling as you don’t go very far until the road changes gradient – and even then the hills aren’t long enough to get into a proper rhythm! It’s annoying, but I’ll get over it.
I’m now two weeks away from the Prague marathon, effectively into tapering mode again. I need to keep myself busy enough whilst not overexerting – it’s a strange part of the training as you want to start back training after one event but can’t because the next event is so close. I shall be at the London Marathon next weekend as a supporter of various friends, but mainly for Chloe, who after six years of balloting finally got her place. Good luck to all involved, and just remember that every step takes you closer to the finish.