Sunday, 23 March 2014

Maz's First 20 (+1)

Maz is an old school friend who has never been keen on exercise. She's a friend I can always rely on if what I need to do is sit in my pyjamas drinking wine and eating brownies. So, when she told me she had entered the London Marathon, my first reaction was to laugh out loud. I wasn't being cruel, I just didn't quite believe what I was hearing. Of all the people in my life who could possibly enter, she was far, far down on the list. She had suffered the same plight as many of us do, a drunken night with silly suggestions that get taken too far. I wasn't entirely sure she would take it very seriously, but held my hands up when I saw her a few weeks later only to hear about the rigorous running regime she was on. I was amazed.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Exmoor Training Camp Part 2 - To Porlock, or not to Porlock

Ruth should know better than to let me plan a long bike route without supervision. I tapped away excitedly on a route mapper and declared that we would be riding about 70 miles around Exmoor, and that it would be "really mostly flattish but with a couple of big hills", which she already knew was a bit of a porky.

I very swiftly mentioned that one of those big hills was Porlock, then kept talking really quickly and hoped it had gone unnoticed, but she busted me. Porlock Hill is an absolute beast of a climb that features as one of the UK's toughest in the book "100 Greatest Cycle Climbs", a book Ruth foolishly bought me for my birthday last year. I suggested that we at least get there and see how we feel, as there are a couple of escape routes and she reluctantly agreed, muttering something disturbing but completely hilarious about "grinding the granny hard".

Friday, 21 March 2014

Exmoor Training Camp 2014 - Part 1 "Hills and Hot Tubs"

For the first time since the spring training camp tradition began in 2012, we were finally in Exmoor, in March, without ice, flooding, torrential rain or gales. This year there would be no excuses, and with six months to go until I attempt my first iron distance triathlon, I was itching to get some quality training in.

I was keen to ride the Wimbleball course backwards, just for a change. Emma and Susan decided to join in the adventure and as the bikes were being set up, I couldn't help being surprised by the topic of conversation. It wasn't the usual "Ooh, LOVE your new helmet, totally matches your bike!", but an insightful discussion about mechanical components. It turned out everyone else was riding a triple, the smallest ring on the front being known as "the granny ring"; a get-out clause that wussy cyclists have for when they get all scared on a tough climb. I smugly declared that I was riding a double to which Susan replied, deadpan, "Life's too short for a double". Life is too short for this discussion to go on any longer, so we set off.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Muv's Week of Health

Now that I have a sister who is well and truly on the health train, it was time to get mum aboard. I decided to take myself up to Derbyshire for a mini training week/healthy eating week/boot camp for mum week. I broke the journey up with a cheeky visit to the brilliant Braunstone parkrun, before arriving at mum's and unpacking about two sets of regular clothes and a suitcase full of sports kit. Such a lovely daughter that I am, I shared the veggie stew that I'd made for lunch, and curtailed our catch up as it was sunny outside and I was itching for a cycle.