Monday, 27 September 2010

The Big Post 3Peaks De-brief

Ok, that was an education! The start, the steepness of those hills, the other competitors, the descents, the supporters, all these things made for a truly overwhelming experience.
In my past I've raced road and mtb to a reasonable standard and further back been a fairly quick long distance runner, but nothing really prepared me for my first encounter with the 3 Peaks.
I had read all the info including the various blogs on Dave Haygarths 3Peaks blogsite and had trained reasonably well, but even so my first encounter with Ingleborough was a shock; the way what seemed like half the field accelerated away from me on it's foot hills made me doubt if I'd even break into the top 100. The descent was fun though and I managed to make up a few places before we hit the road and here I luckily hooked in with a group of fairly like minded chaingang experienced roadie types - through and off - good lads. But whoah, no-one really warned me about the second hill; yes, Ingleborough this, Simons Fell that, but hang on a mo', steps, steps, steps, nooo that wasnae what I wanted! Jings, what a slog, really wasn't ready for that. And the descent, well, whilst I was showing off my mastery of riding the rock armoured path fast, I was aware of riders flying past to left and right on the grass! Buggers, local knowledge be damned. Back on the road and again caught up with a a few guys keen to work hard, so we quickly despatched the road section to Pen Y Ghent. This last climb was better, as I managed to ride a good long way up to the last steep snap, aided by the terrific crowds cheering on anyone who passed. Amazing. Luckily on this final descent I followed someone who seemed to know where they were going and had a really nice fast clean descent back to the road. The last road section was a sprint all the way, I had a wee bit left in me so pounded the 50x12 round, passing a couple (or three?) to cruise in to a 3.52
Happy, aye, but........ I finished too strong, the first climb really rocked me back and I think I was a wee bit cautious with my exertions after that, knowing that I hadn't really got the measure of the challenge ahead.
I'll be back, me and those hills have some unfinished business!

What's done is done

Well that's the training done. Is it enough, no, is it as much as I could have done, yes.
The last hard week, pushed the "training envelope" out to eight and a half hours, not a lot to some people, but probably one hour too much in my family/work/life delicate balance.
I must admit to being selfish in the last week; I really wanted three hard sessions, 1 x 3hr, 2 x 2.5hr and a 30 min run and no-one was stopping me, cue a few tense "are you going out again" moments and my short temper with the young un's (so tired by the weekend). This added to my strict diet has made my wife wonder if it's all worth it. I mean it's not like I'm a contender or anything, it's just that this race has really got under my skin!
What will all this hard won training yield? I have no idea, as a first timer sub 4 hr would be nice, but unsupported means a Camelbak, and mechanicals will have to be fixed as no spare wheels or bike.
Actually the bike needs those Landcruisers fitted, otherwise it's all good to go, but it's bloody heavy - 22lbs on the local bike shops scales, jings, my full suss' 29er only weighs 2 odd pounds more!
So, just a few moderate sessions and some easy spins on the bike this week, "resting", dodging anyone that so much as sniffles near me, oh and no "comfort" eating either…… see you there.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Push push push

Aye, everything got pushed this week; my body, my bike and my cross riding skills. With two hard training weeks left til the final "taper" week, I knew some pain had to be had. So; some hard hill running intervals, long cross rides on rocky mountain terrain, long slog hill intervals, short "sprinty" bike carrying sessions, roadie speed work and descending rocky tracks fast. Work, calorie counting and family eventually caught up with me, and after a sleepless midweek night due to a sick kid, Thursdays big hill sesh' of Bynack Mor, Cairngorm and the Burma road felt really, really hard, like shouting "F*CK OFF" into the headwind hard! Mr Haygarth, a seasoned 3Peaks'er reminded me not to train when you've not slept, advice that I normally give to others, but when caught in a tight schedule I just ignored my own common sense and trained on. Got away with it, just, by eating well that night (having pudding!) and bed by 9. Friday was just for fun, a blast round Laggan Wolftrax on the cx bike, cruising up the climbs and bombing down on the (ragged) edge of control, until the inevitable metallic clang of rim hitting rock and my first snakebite puncture in years and that's with the tyres pumped up to 70 odd psi. Landcruisers ordered and 100 psi will be going in them! But how I'd love to use tubs or tubeless. Weight bang on target, no illness and no injuries - apart from my bumpy collarbone which really doesn't like my toptube, toughen up or pipe lagging?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:The Strath

Monday, 6 September 2010

And so the days tick down

After a bike free weekend, albeit with a nice wee fell running session squeezed in, it had to be a hard one today. 34 miles, 4003' and 3 hrs later, job done.
A bike/carry up Bynack Mor, then the same up to Coire Cas on Cairngorm, a lap of Badaguish xc course then a bike/carry up the steep bit on Craigellachie, all mixed up with as fast as you can road bits in between.
Nicely knackered after that and struggled a bit with the rest of the day! But, no cramps or "must just lie down" feelings, so not too bad.
What's worrying me is I'm 4 miles and 1000' short of race distance. Must try harder. Times running out though!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Thursday, 2 September 2010

3 weeks to go and getting worried...

MTB race on Sunday, laying slabs Monday, a couple of hours on easy tracks on the cross bike Tuesday, Wednesday rest, so today I felt like turning the screw and hitting the big hills. Our local pain venue is the climb up the Burma road, a bitch on mtb gears, so perfect for a cyclocross bike hurtfest. A ten minute warm up from the house to the foot of the climb, a wee stretch after the hillroad gate, gilet off, start the lap timer and up we go. Gotta simulate race pressure, so hit it hard, then try and settle down into a rhythm. It's a long slog, thirty odd minutes and the tracks pretty loose and rubbly, so can't even stand to ease the legs and back, just got to sit and grind, "spin", I wish. Up a few gears over the top, a wee out of the saddle effort, gilet on, no-handed - "Tour de France stylee", then straight down the other side, turn round and do it all again... Three weeks to go, no cake reward and thinking I should "beast it" for at least another 10 days.