Wales – a calming place that brings out the best in me.

There is something about being in Wales that makes me relax. I can’t explain it but hopefully Rach will comment on this blog confirming my view on this. Why does this matter ? It doesn’t really but as a Scottish born Welsh bloke who has never lived in Wales I love the place and it feels like home. Retirement housing………

So we were in Wales for a pair of time trials at the weekend and had headed to the usual obscure village hall after doing parkrun in the morning. Single tracks and farm equipment said everything you needed to know about where we were. The sign that said you need 30 minutes to ride to the start confirmed it. The organisers were good and gave me a very late start. Great news but with a 0 on you don’t want to ride like a plum. Rach and I headed off to check the course out. Basically a bowl type shape out and back on the A40. It looked fast depending what the wind was doing. We found a side round about 3 miles from the start and I decided that would be my warm up. Even dealing with the rear tire caused minimum panic. Rolled off to the start and did my sprints etc as I made my way. I felt good.

The TT itself – heard some chaps saying the only bad section was 500 metres after the start, yes it was :¬) I hit it so hard I jumped the bike out of gear but was so chilled I was rolling focused within a few seconds. Put in a huge effort going out to the turn so seeing 11.50 was pretty distressing. Fortunately the weather stayed true and I was rewarded with the tailwind back and a sub10 ride back for a 21.42(13th place). The only issue was that I vomited in my mouth just after the turn, not a burp I mean vomited. I knew I had gone hard. I rolled back to the car tired but very happy with my effort. The conclusion was that I was ready for the main event.

We booked into the Holiday Inn and went to the Rock and Fountain for dinner again. Bangers and mash in a big Yorkshire – AWESOME.

Slept well and had a late breakfast, the joy of another later start. Cruised to the garage to fill the car up to save time later and while there decided that 2 hash browns and coffee were a good plan before my ride. Helped some chap who had run out of fuel and then gave him a jump start as well. Chilling indeed.

Found Cliff(who rode his best 25 for about 6 years) and had a chat wishing him good luck then went and collected my number. Decided again that I would warm up on the roads, I’m just not really a turbo sort of a guy if I can avoid it and I needed the toilet so a ride to the clubhouse was smart.

Arrived at the start 5 mins early and somehow here it went a little wrong. 109 vanished and appeared late, somewhere in all the confusion I didn’t make the line setting off 7 seconds late. Although annoyed I was pretty calm and soon riding well. I remembered the first few miles well but they were easier than expected. Hitting the mountain I soon realised I could spin and make progress at 120rpm but at 130rpm I was just bouncing so decided to ride in bursts. This kept my pace high and I charged through 10 miles in 19.17. Blimey this course is fast now keep pushing. Push I did and soon I caught my 2 minute man who was going well but I was going better. 15 miles and bloody hell fire I was still on 50 minute pace. My 3 minute man was just ahead and I caught him at the turn, so with 9 miles to go I had 18 minutes for a 50 minute ride. :¬) I laugh as it was never a target I just couldn’t believe I was managing to average 30mph, even with the mountain this meant on the other miles I was riding high 20s constantly. No major vomit issues to report but somewhere after the turn I did manage a few vomit burps. I guess it tells you I was not holding back. The miles will still going ok and I was starting to believe a long 51 was on offer but it was not to be. By 23 miles I had blown and was riding on desire and nothing else. That 51 turned into a 52.22(including seconds lost at the start). I was delighted to hear others talking about how tough the last 2/3 miles were. Rach was waiting at the finish where I spent some time hanging over my bike. There was no more to give. The PB was huge the weekend in Wales a success. 11th place over the 2 events.

The trip to Wales was for this middle markers event in the hope I could get “the time” so I would be able to enter other fast courses. I think I have achieved this and if not then I’m not good enough.

So talking about times, people often go on about how you hit a fast course and you have no chance to get near the time on other courses. This may well be the case BUT without the fast time there are lots of events you just cant get a ride on.

So while I am here I may as well get us right up to date and talk about training.

Running – I am doing some and last night I even did some minute on minute off work. It was not fast but it was quick enough to be called intervals. There is no mileage goal for running, I have now done 3 weeks in a row above 10 miles !!! I would like to do enough to be a 17.xx 5km runner not a slightly tubby 18.xx man. We shall see though.

Cycling – lets talk hours, I am doing 7-8 hours a week but these are good hours, very much relying on the solid 4 months I did. This is fine to the end of the season. Training shows that my sprinting has improved as has my hour power so solid TT ability with the speed to stay with the bunch out the corners. My speed round the loop of infinite pain is good :¬)

Bikes – I love my TT bike but then I loved the old one as well I just wanted a bigger one :¬) The road bike is good, I was worried last week as I had a Roubaix and smashed my course pb for the loop of infinite pain but yesterday on my Ali Allez I was riding low 3s in wet conditions so I surmise that last weeks conditions were perfect and I would have been fast on anything.

The ankle – I guess we can’t ignore it as it talks to me, this is the best way to describe the relationship with my leg. I feel pretty strong and then something happens, foot pain, toe pain, ankle pain. Just something to remind me not to get carried away. Honestly gutted to be fair, I know I have stated publically that there would be no more marathons or ultras but I’d still like the choice of say a trip to Nice. Winter will be interesting as I have desires to run XC and maybe do 30-40 miles a week. Right now though this is a pipe dream.

The job – I like it, sometimes I think I need to push issues a little more but on the whole it is going well.

The commute – I like the me time and sadly for Rach I am rather enjoying being back on the bike. They say sometimes you don’t know how much you miss something until you do it again. Hello Bike I missed you :¬)

Did I mention I now have a Kask Bambino TT helmet ?


3 Responses to “Wales – a calming place that brings out the best in me.”

  1. August 15, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Wales is indeed a very relaxing place. Maybe we should go and move there? Sadly, I do know how much I miss something now I’m not doing it. I want to ride my bike 😦

    It was a lovely weekend. Thankfully hash brown free for me.

  2. 2 Der Spiegel
    August 16, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Whats wrong with Australia,they take “Welsh” people

  3. April 18, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Food and Drug Administration website is a good place to
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    ) is classified as low grade baryte, whereas a grade that rises above, between, 4.
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August 2012
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