"for the happy, the sad, I don't want to be, another page in your diary"

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Family Outing

This morning, a sort of early morning drive over to Grimsthorpe Castle, which is near Bourne and if that doesn’t help, Bourne is near Grantham. If you don’t know where Grantham is, consult a map.

It’s also a family outing, in that L and the boys come for the trip out too. Even my Mum and Dad are rumoured to be on their way. All without bikes though, I have my bike because it’s another Sportive, the first St Barnabas Grimsthorpe Challenge.

As I check in, the organiser explains there have been a few minor changes to the routes, meaning that mine is now up to 60 miles. I had thought I'd signed up to something of approximately 50-55 miles. I’ve not opted for the 100 mile route this time preferring to see how quickly I can do something of around the Half Ironman distance of 56 miles.

Someone straps a SportIdent orienteering style dibber to my wrist; it's been a long time since I used one of those. Then it’s off to the start area right outside the castle and I roll out across the line at 8.45. L waves goodbye and heads off to take the boys for a good two and a half hour yomp and a paddle.

Today’s event is insured by British Cycling who stipulate the helmets are compulsory, so it's a good job I've remembered mine this time.

Even the weather is playing ball, unlike last weekend the sun is out and there’s no sign of rain. The wind and the hills are ever present though.

Some participants seem to go wrong early on, I don't know how. It’s all very well signed but I think they all just followed each other like sheep.

There are two stops on the route at Pickwell after 31 miles and Geetham after 44 miles. I have one of L’s legendary buns with me to supplement the refreshments they offer us. My Dad was allegedly loitering in another village, Cottesmore, which we went through twice, but I didn’t see him and L later tracks him down at the finish.

It’s a nice route, the only downside being a long stretch of freshly stone chipped road which they probably couldn't avoid. 56 miles (Half Ironman distance) arrives in exactly 3:30 excluding stops. The finish line arrives in 4.09 including stops because by then, somehow, I’ve managed to wipe my bike computer.

There's quite a welcome party as I arrive. My parents, my father's camera, the boys and of course my podium girl who delivers the traditional sweaty kiss.

I have little time to savour the atmosphere though as I have promised to try my legs out with a run. So it’s a quick T1 (transition) and off for a short 2 mile run before arriving back for tea, sandwiches and juice.

I actually think L is feeling a bit outdone or jealous even. I shall book her into a cycle event, as a special treat.

At night we head off into town and BrewDog for some stormingly dark and strong beers, a meal in Broadway, then finally a night cap on the way home at the H&H.

(Sunday 30th June)

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Brought Into Line

A day at home today. L doesn’t even 'storm' out of bed to do her Parkrun. Which isn’t really the way to get the t-shirt for doing 50 of them. Not that the boys and I complain. None of us get out of bed until noon.

Then it’s tennis and cycling all the way. Wins for Robson, Murray and some of our doubles teams at Wimbledon and someone wedging a bus under the finish line at the Tour de France.

In between I attack the jungle in our garden. My attempts to bring the hedge into line is thwarted by the hard work my Dad’s ancient hedgecutters make of it. In the end I give up and go buy a new pair from B&Q. Everything is suddenly much easier, particularly on my arms because the new cutters are a fraction of the weight of the old ones. 

(Saturday 29th June)

Friday, 28 June 2013

Total Lard **** Day

It’s wet and miserable this morning. I’m also tired. I suppose 170 miles on the bike in the last 5 days isn't too bad. So I skip the bike and get a bus, without even taking my running kit with me. So it’s a total lard arse day listening to my book on the bus.

Amazon have introduced something called Autorip. This new idea means that when you buy a CD from them you automatically get a digital copy as well and immediately, so you don’t even have to wait for the CD to arrive.
I've been asking for this for ages and what’s more it applies to vinyl too. It’s just a shame it's only Amazon at the moment. Amazon have always hated me and always deliver as slowly as possible when they see my name on an order but surely even they can’t delay an immediate digital download... 

(Friday 28th June)

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Crime Scene

Today I enter L and myself into the Nottingham Big Swim. This arrived in my inbox a few days ago from L with ‘please do me’ tattooed across its forehead. It’s at Holme Pierrepont which will be the scene of the crime for next year’s Half Ironman. So why put off floundering in their rowing strip for ten months when I can do it next weekend. Sorted. Entered.

Talking of crime scenes. Daughter heads off to prison today to be fingerprinted. How exciting. That’s assuming red lights don’t start flashing on police computer when they scan them in to CRB check her. She's going to be doing volunteer work there from September.

The Brunswick are on a final warning as regards our pub lunches. Far too many times they have taken the full lunch hour to deliver our food. Not today though, it comes in ten minutes and earns them a reprieve. Although this does remove our excuse for having a second drink, so we’ll just have to think of another one.

I cycle home, where I have one of L’s ‘burnt’ buns as a pick me up before we head out again. That’s her description, not mine. They are wonderful, she burns them so nicely. Then it’s off to Rushcliffe Country Park for the second round of the Grand Prix series which is held, as is tradition, in the rain.

L records a cracking time and pronounces the 5k course as ‘short’. You’d never hear me saying something like that.

(Thursday 27th June)

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Drowning Practice

I need to do a gym or a swim before Sunday otherwise I won’t get my cash back come year end. I also need to do a swim because, well, I need to do a swim. So it looks like it’s a swim tonight then. I drive to work, then afterwards to the pool. No bike today because we’re due in Sheffield later.

At the pool I embark on a bit of drowning practice. The idea being that if I hold myself underwater until I’m gasping for air then that is effectively emulating the situation I found myself in at Lake Windermere. The aim then it to get my breath back whilst swimming. I have some limited success with this.

I also experiment with something the experts called ‘sighting’, this is actually ‘looking where you’re going’ and isn’t as easy as it sounds. Again I have some limited success with this.

L is in the gym and meets me for a mocha afterwards. Then we head home to collect the dogs before we head north. First though I try on wetsuit number three which has arrived. It’s better than the first two, certainly more arm room. Still strangles me though but I’ll give it a go...

Daughter has advised, well insisted actually, that moving her to her new accommodation tonight will be easier without the dogs... but what's life without a bit of difficulty? So we take the dogs and they’re pleased to see her. I think she’s pleased to see them.

Oddly we get all the stuff Daughter wants to move into the car along with both dogs and the three of us in it as well. I was expecting this to take two loads, if not three. In fact I’d considered hiring a van. So just what has she done with all her stuff? Actually, who cares. I’m all for the very easy moving operation that it was.

At her new place I can see what the previous occupants have done with the stuff their parents couldn’t fit in the car. It’s all in the cellar. A very large rather gruesome cellar, which would have been renovated into two more bedrooms had I been the landlord.

Then we take Daughter for a birthday meal, well we get a Chinese takeaway, which enables the dogs to share some well earned prawn crackers.

(Wednesday 26th June)