The Scribbler

2 May 2011

What Bank Holidays are made for

Filed under: bike,run,triathlon — The Scribbler @ 16:44
Tags: ,
Group in running gear

Bank Holiday Rendezvous runners

I’m going to have to dig out my thesaurus and find some new superlatives after another wonderful weekend. Sunshine and double Bank Holidays 🙂

I wasn’t in tip top condition for Saturday’s parkrun after a bit of a late night and running on empty after some stomach issues. I think I was dehydrated after a day working on our friends’ farm. But it was bright and warm and a great chance to catch up with the gang and to cheer on our parkrun director who is moving on.

I’m never sure until I start running how I’m going to go and the first kilometre of Newcastle parkrun is quite a toughie. I felt okayish, but was struggling with my breathing and sensed I wasn’t on for a PB. I clocked the Garmin at the first km and knew it wasn’t going to be a sub 25 day. I sensed Penny go past and made the decision there and then to just run how I felt, resolving to keep pushing through my favourite bit of the course out along the tree line.

The cool shade was welcome and I felt like I picked up the pace a bit as I ran alongside Davey Daniels, resplendent in an all over orange body stocking. That’s the only time I’ll keep pace with Davey Daniels I reckon. Through the gate with a hello to Claire and back onto the moor.

For once I welcomed the breeze as I turned around the back of the museum. It was hot and my head was muzzy and I felt a bit nauseous. I did manage to pick up a bit for the last kilometre, passing a couple of people and making it stick.

I went for the usual sprint finish, trying to beat down the distance between me and Penny who was having a cracking post injury race. But I stalled a couple of times. My legs were willing, but I felt a bit out of it. I did manage to summon something to take me over the line, but it hurt a lot more than it usually does, and I even had tears in my eyes. 26:06 isn’t too shabby and keeps me consistent, even if it is less than I can do on a good day.

I felt very sick and swimmy queuing up to hand in my token and was a bit disorientated for a good while. So sorry to anyone I spoke to or ignored. I was definitely not firing on all cylinders. As the Lucozade team were there, I picked up a bottle. Now I never usually do sports drinks, but the mixture of sugar and juice really hit the spot.

Home for a shower, some food and plenty to drink throughout the day. Some chores done and then a run out to check out a planned bike route for Sunday.

I faffed around quite a bit on Sunday morning, doing some chores and getting my bike gear together ready for a long ride out. I wanted to scope out a couple of possible routes to commute to work. Ian had suggested a road route, but it looked to me like I had to head quite a way further north than I needed to, and I figured I could use a route I’ve tried before as an off-road short cut.

So off on my trusty speed and keeping it very steady. If it all went to plan, this would be my longest bike ride ever, so there was no need for speed. A bit of trial and error and I found the bike path I was looking for. It runs alongside an A- road and by a business park, but it’s also part of a nature reserve, so I was chased along by butterflies and bunnies as the cars zoomed past, invisible behind the tree line.

I was just coming up to a clearing by one of the offices and I surprised a deer. Not the kind of thing you expect to see on a business park right by a busy A-road, but there it was. I stopped for a while to watch it and it soon disappeared into the undergrowth. What a joy! I knew it was going to be a lovely day.

With a couple of stops to check my navigation and get a drink from my water bottle, I made the 10 mile route in just over an hour. I’m under no illusion that riding it on a sunny Sunday will be the same as trying to use it to get to work on a weekday, never mind the logistics of carrying a backpack and suitable workwear. But it’s there as an option and if we have more fine weather, I may well try it.

I took a different route back, testing out a path that I’d scoped out a while ago and one that would take me pretty much all the way off road. Most of it’s really good cycle way and a pleasure to ride. The wind was in my face and making the sunshine feel a little chilly, but in terms of getting away from the traffic, it was glorious. I feel very lucky to have these routes available to me.

Anyway, I made it there and back safely and a total of just over 21 miles in just over 2 hours. My left tib band area was niggling a bit by the time I was approaching home, so even though I had been cycling at a very leisurely pace, I knew I’d been working hard. And I made sure I did a good round of stretches – something I’ve neglected a bit recently.

I was a bit concerned I’d overdone it a bit, knowing that I had a fine Fetch Rendezvous run to look forward to. But 8 miles off road goes by at what feels like an easy pace when you’re with friends. Especially when the sun’s shining and there’s a light cooling breeze.

Everytime I run the Rendezvous route I forget what a lovely route it is. Sparkling silver on blue waves; dappled sunlight through the tree branches by the burn; and the promise of an old fashioned banana split at the finish.

It was great to catch up on the run with Dave, Adam, Penny, Paul, Martyn, Flip, Anna, Claire and Jane. Everyone one of them kept me going, distracted me from achey legs or spurred me on a little faster at times. And there was a great little turbo boost at the end courtesy of Claire, singing out load as we approached the funfair. Yes it was a beautiful day!

Online I’ve been catching up with some other new triathletes – Gavin and Alison who completed their first events this weekend. It’s been brilliant sharing your experience with you. I’m so glad you enjoyed it as much as I did and hope you’re looking forward to your next one. I know I am.

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