I thought I'd publish this photo, initially to give any relatives of the young athletes from the Island a view of the cycle track at Redbridge in Essex where the recent Nationals were held. When I initially saw it I thought for a split second that I had driven down there in my sleep or in some other sort of haze, wandered round a ploughed field for a couple of hours under the illusion I was racing, then jumped in my car and driven home. Just for a split second though, then common sense butted in, and I realised that the Redbridge Cycle tracks are so new that Google Earth doesn't have them on yet. Apparently its a couple of years behind, which is why, when you zoom down on Abbotabad in Pakistan you can still see Bin Laden lying on a deckchair by his pool. Maybe in a couple of years time I can check back and see the proper tarmac and buildings. If I remember...
I got up bright and early today for some more windsurfing, down to Morecambe bay at 7am, yesterday wasn't possible because I was working. Unfortunately, the winds were gusting 25 to 30 knots so I wouldn't stand much chance of getting anywhere except wet. A couple of the lads got out but they were really experienced, but watching them staying up despite the wind and choppy seas made me realise that I'd need a lot more practise in light winds.
It'll be a while before I get an action shot of myself like this... show offs! Walney Island in the background, this is just off the Lifeboat station for anyone who knows the area.
So, what to do with the day off. Although it was clear and sunny at 8am, clouds and rain could be visible all around. back at the flat, the weather girl on BBC local news was predicting rain and sun (?) with the Isle of man being colder than everywhere else! On the lakes weather website, it was predicting cloud below 500 metres so the big mountains were a no-no, so a walk.
I decide to try and push it a bit further, but if I combined a few different size circuits could arrive near the flat every few miles and abort if anything was wrong. It was chucking it down by now, so much for occasional light showers BBC weather girl! I was wrapped up in Fleece and waterproofs so wasn't uncomfortable, and it was warm enough so that the legs under the shorts were not cold. The Hedgehogs did their job and kept my feet dry, so plod on.
I wanted to keep a sub 11 minute mile, on a very hilly course it would be quite good, and used this walk to work on my concentration. When your mind wanders the speed drops off and, despite listening to some funny podcasts, was ok with the speed. I was phoned by work 3 times to let me know I'd be on board a ship at 4am tomorrow, which lost me a few minutes, and 12 miles in the clouds miraculously cleared, the wind picked up even more (I think I was over 300 metres up by then so a little exposed) and I started to cook in my waterproofs. I was beginning to chafe as well, so I had to stop to apply some savlon to an unusual region (the region wasn't the southern lake district by the way...) and carry on.
So, 3h 30 mins for 20 miles, (moving time, stopped for phone calls and other bits and pieces), and still feeling good at the end of it. Feet good, despite only applying the foot witches creams and potions since yesterday but no real pain. Still had some tightness in the upper quads which slowed me up towards the last 5 miles, so I'll have to work on that. Now though, my hamstring area is throbbing, but that's the Piriformis syndrome kicking in.
To conclude, feeling good, but I know somethings going to slow me up. I was a little glad to finish at 20 miles, but I feel that in training you set out with a target in mind, say a quick 5 miles or the full Parish on the day at 85 miles, then your mind wants you to stop at that point as if it knows your target.
One small point before I go to bed, (I've got to get up at 3am!) research at the University of Philadelphia has shown that to promote fitness, increase stamina and endurance and boost the metabolism, two five mile runs, (or walks) one in the morning and one in the evening, are better than one longer ten mile effort, because the body barely recovers before it is out again, so split training into 2 bits, and the body burns more calories after exercise so it does it twice! Still, for parish training, some longer ones are probably needed sometime during the week. It's up to you and how you feel, I suppose.
Sayonara, walking dudes!