Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Birthday and storm jake

Wednesday 2nd March 2016

Having run 132 miles and cycled 200+ miles in February I don’t understand why I found my 17 mile run across the Quantocks on Monday so hard, it was a beautiful morning, clear blue skies, frost on the ground and no wind, I parked at Lydeard Hill and by the time I had reached Will Neck, complete with new bright white appearance, the highest point on the Quantocks I knew I had overdressed, even though the ground was hard with frost.It was a lovely run along the ridge, underfoot was quite dry, despite all the wet winter, I summited Beacon Hill at the other end of the Quantocks after 8 miles and met the only person I had seen since I set off an hour and a half before, we had a good chat whilst I downed a harvest cereal bar. The air was completely still, and we listened to the silence!! Not even the A39 could be heard, only an occasional hum of an aircraft overhead.

I bid him a good day and dropped down towards the Staple hill car park, still feeling pretty good. I worked my way back over Thorncombe Beacon another Trig point that’s had a coat of paint, before turning left and heading back through Dead Womans ditch, by the time I got to Crowcombe Park Gate after about 13 miles my legs were feeling it, I downed an SIS gel, I am not sure what effect this had, and by the time I was on the ascent of Wills Neck once again I was really struggling, yet another gel!!!
I descended down through the woods to be met by the local hunt! Horses, very large ones and even larger riders were across the track I could hear the dogs but couldn’t see them, just hoping they weren’t coming my way!!!

The final mile round Lydeard Hill was a struggle, the ground now softened by the sun melting the frost. The car park was full when I got back, hunt supporters I assume.

It was a hard run, 1645 ft climbed over the 16.8 miles at a pace of 12.12 min miles, which surprised me as I seemed to walk a lot. As I said I don’t understand the human body, how do these Ultra runners do 40 miles + I thought I was doing a fair few miles along with my spin and Kettlebells classes. I did expect to be tired, but expected my legs to be better than they were, Grizzly 20 miles is now less than 2 weeks away, Sunday the 13th March!!!

On the cycling front met my mate Mike for a 36 mile ride across the levels on Sunday and got my, and my sons entry in for the 55 mile Eroica Brittanica event for pre 1987 bikes  in June, campsite is also booked, deciding not to camp on site this year as it was expensive and facilities were not good. I look forward to using my new Gazelle bike, which I havnt seen yet as my son has had a bad attack of flu! Putting his M –in – Law in hospital with pneumonia !! but things are improving so hoping to pick up this weekend.

The other great happening this week is my 65th birthday! So from the 1st I am officially old, an OAP!!! So lunch out, sadly my Golf engine management light came on half way there, so we had to limp home and take the car to the menders!! I am still awaiting the outcome, so we changed cars and went to ‘Joshuas’ at Ottery St Mary and a lovely ‘dragon pie’. I even went to spinning in the evening, but decided to keep it steady, I did manage to keep my heart Rate down to 70% and under, always twiddling rather than pushing the bigger pressure when the Instructor told us to increase!! I didn’t!! at the end I felt better, the spin session loosening my running legs from the previous day, so an excellent day.

This morning I was meeting up with my friend Dave, to hear about his India CTC trip, so a ride with a café was organised. As he lives 17 miles away we arranged to meet elsewhere. What we didn’t account for was storm ‘Jake’ which was set to arrive as we were cycling.
I set off in sunshine with a stiff breeze, this rapidly detiorated after about 6 miles into a full blown hail storm, lashing rain and extreme winds, I went down one road and a tree had just come down, you could tell by the state of it, it was across the road between two banks, I managed to scramble under it very quickly, one eye above my head not sure whether it would drop further, risky business this cycling in the countryside. I cycled on and then it started to rain, heavy! With Hail and very big gusts of wind. I had put my over trousers in my bag and a waterproof, I never cycle in waterproof trousers, but, they were needed now. The roads were streaming, the sky was black, all very scary, after 10 minutes which seemed much longer it stopped, the sky cleared, fleeting clouds, but still a strong wind. I met up with Dave and we cycled on to Yandles at Martock, but!! We were flagged down to be told a tree had come down across a bridge so the road was impassable, so a detour through the pretty village of East Lambrook, adding 4 miles to the route. The café was a welcome site, even though it stopped raining, a café tier of Kenyan coffee with hot milk and a hot cheese and onion pasty hit the right spot, normally cake, but not today!! I heard all about cycling in India and we talked about bikes and years gone by. When we left the café, the road that had been closed was now open, so we went in different directions, Dave with a nice tailwind home, whilst mine was 12 miles into the wind!! But, luck was on my side ‘the wobblers’ from Chard were also out so I was able to join on the back of their group, as they were going the same way as me, so chatting, some shelter from the others in the group made the journey home much more pleasurable, the sun was now shining, no rain, but the wind was very strong. I had left my over trousers on to keep my legs clean as the roads were very muddy and wet, the downside was they were very hot! But I didn’t want to stop and take them off as riding with the ‘Wobblers ‘ was more important.

30 miles covered on a very challenging day weather wise, but as usual very enjoyable when you get homeJ and a good catch up with a cycling mate.

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