I've been meaning to buy myself a new saddle for some time now. In fact, since I bought my Specialized road bike a couple of years ago I've been sitting on a razor blade which is cunningly disguised as a bike saddle thinking to myself... there must be comfier ways to travel. Anyway, I finally decided to experiment with the selle Italia brand and, having christened the little fella on an 80 mile bike ride, I can report that I'm delighted. There is, metaphorically speaking at least, a smile on my cheeks.
I know you're itching to know how my writing is going and I'm pleased to be able to report that I'm back in the saddle as regards that too. My story is finished and I'm currently engaged on a full treatment which will equate to some 20,000 words - enough for a small novella - prior to commencing the script. I'm finally at peace with my characters and the story I'm telling and I'm loving the process of adding layers to it.
It's been great to be back home after a couple of weeks working on the road. We were able to support an Afro Caribbean evening at Alice's School to support the year 12's that will soon be traveling to Malawi. Before we know it, Alice will be embarking on all that stuff... time truly flies. And to validate that fact, a couple of pics of my daughters (Erin, left 14 and Alice, right 11) who - only yesterday it seems - were being pushed by their dad on the village green's swings.
-- Sigh --
We also enjoyed a fantastic Sunday lunch at Christian's (Fiona's brother). He and Sarah have two boys, Luke and Joseph and Fiona's other sister Jane joined us with her husband Guy and their two little ones, Thomas and Emily. These are my most perfect of weekend days... lazy sundays when the training is done, with a dozen or so family around, playing cricket with the kids, laughing and joking. I think maybe I should have been Italian.
Having mentioned training... what of it? Well, it's been a very strong week - in fact a record week for excluding 'special' weeks like training camps or two days doing mad things with Tom and Helen. I'm still running out of power at mile 50 on long bike rides, though interestingly enough on my recent 80 miler, the power and strength returned by mile 65. Coach K and I are working on it and I'm enthused by my current form. But a long way to go yet and I must work on retaining a sensible and balanced pattern of training.
Last week was:
Monday 65 mins 2.5km swim session, 50 minute 6 mile recovery run
Tuesday 76 mins 3 km intensity swim
Wednesday 3 hrs 40 mins low heart rate 61 mile bike, followed by 10 minute run
Thursday 1.5 hours slow run at 75% Heart Rate. 11.5 miles with 10 mins effort in middle of session. Half hour stretching and 1km easy warm up with Team MK swim group before supervising the kids' lane
Friday 72 minutes 2.8km swim sets, 45 minutes 6 mile tempo run
Saturday Fairly brutal 82 mile bike. Strong headwinds, 4 hrs 57 minutes followed by 30 mins strong run off the bike. 7:40 miling... just under 4 miles
Sunday 45 minutes 6 mile tempo run, 30 minutes easy spin recovery turbo on Tri bike
Total time training: 17.5 hours
Swim - 9km
Bike - 157 miles
Run - 34 miles
Last week's film quote was from THE FIRM, and was spoken by TOM CRUISE as MITCH McDEERE. The connection was that both this and the previous week's movie, SUPERMAN, starred Gene Hackman.
And it's a sad goodbye to the film quotes. I don't enjoy setting them any more. And I rarely do things I don't enjoy unless it's for the benefit of folk I care about. And, care about you though I do, I don't think the blog experience lives or dies by film quotes.
In fact, I'd be far better telling you a little about the movies I see during the week. This week I saw I AM LEGEND, an inferior remake of the 1970's Charlton Heston movie THE OMEGA MAN. Frankly it was pretty poor. A great waste of the sometimes fine Will Smith. Much better was THERE WILL BE BLOOD boasting a barnstorming central performance by Daniel Day Lewis. Strangely unbalanced though I felt, unable to decide if it was a pic about the history of oil exploration in frontier land America, or a story about a man who wanted a family but had none. Ultimately, my thoughts were that it fell between two stools and I'm glad that NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN won the Oscars instead of it.
I've signed up for my first duathlon on Sunday, the national championships at Emberton Park near Milton Keynes. It's run by my mates in the Big Cow group so should be fun. I'll report back on next week's blog.
Congratulations to 'Arps who goes from strength to strength. After experiencing some kind of epiphany whilst riding Arnold he's entered two triathlons, the second of which, The Blithfield Olympic, I'm entering too. It's three weeks after Ironman Germany so should be good fun.
Speaking of good fun... I want to have some so must leave you.