Monday, May 18, 2009

Uncharted Territory...

Life is far too short to miss out on things of great beauty. That's why I took a trip up to our local forest in Ashridge the other day to sneak a peek at their incredible bluebell wood. It's a stunning carpet of bluebells, shafts of sunlight picking out the vivid colour and the tall trees giving the whole thing a feeling of grandeur. It took me five minutes to get there, five to look around and five to come back and I took the snap with my iphone so it's not of the highest quality. Just being there lifted my spirits and made me feel glad to be alive.

I think we should all search for moments like that in a day.

Funny really as I've lived close to the forest for many years now and never knew about the bluebells. In a similar way I've been into uncharted territory on the bike this week too. On Sunday last, you'll recall I did a solo 103 mile ride. On wednesday I hooked up with the Team MK fast group (always my plan following the return from Italy) and did another (coincidentally) 103 miles. On Saturday we once again nailed another century, this time a round 100 exactly. For me, this is unprecedented and demonstrates the stamina and strength I've developed this year on the bike. When I took up cycling over two years ago, there is no way I could have contemplated ever doing three century rides in the space of seven days. Following them (apart from my back which I'll touch on in a moment), I feel just fine. I'm delighted with that and also delighted with the times for the rides.

Sunday's ride was 19.7mph average, Wednesday's 19.5mph average and Saturday's was a whopping great 20.5mph average. So my strength stayed good over the week. All in all I feel good and strong on the bike.

Good too in swimming. I swam 9.6km last week, including a 4km pool session and my first dip in the lake with Graham from Team MK. My lake swimming felt smooth and slick and it was a blessed relief not to be turning every 25 metres and losing speed.

Running is more of an issue. There have been obvious consequences for my back in being hunched over a set of aerobars for 306 miles. It's improved considerably but the bike work and a 25 minute run I did after my last bike ride has ensured that it's not yet healed.

I know what you'll say. And I think you know what I'll say right back at you . So let's leave it at that, eh.

So, from last Saturday, my training looked like this:

Saturday - 20 mile bike ride - 80 mins
Sunday - 103 mile solo bike ride, 19.7mph avg - 5 hrs 4 mins
Monday - 2 km swim (easy, testing back)
Tuesday - 4km pool swim (10 x 400 easy off 8' including rest)
Weds - 103 mile bike, (19.6mph) - 5 hrs 15 mins
Thurs - 1.6km open water swim, 2 km Team MK evening swim
Friday - Rest
Saturday - 100 mile bike ride (20.5mph) - 4 hrs 53 mins, followed by 25 min run off the bike at 7:30 minute miles
Sunday - Rest day

Total time training (9 days) - 21.85 hours

Swim - 9.6km
Bike - 306 miles
Run - 3.5 miles

But, all training and no work makes Jevon a dull boy. I'm getting through my writing, and am relishing writing 'long form' as I experiment with telling a story in novel rather than screenplay form.

I've also caught up on a couple of movies. We screened THE GODFATHER PART II here in the cinema at home and had several of the boys round to watch it. A fantastic movie, better than I remember. Pacino was superb and De Niro explodes onto the screen with such a presence. Fiona and I also watched MILK on Saturday night. We're both big Sean Penn fans and, whilst I loved his performance, my nod for the Best Acting Oscar would have gone to Frank Langella for his portrayal of Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon.

I've been twittering too. In fact I'm finding the whole twitter thing quite compelling. You should try it.

So. Ironman Lanzarote week. My friends (see last week's post) are all out there and I wish them luck in their endeavours. I'll report back on their progress next week. I forgot to wish another ironman buddy, Iain Parsons, the best of luck in Lanza. 'Ave it, mate.

Thanks to Lauren at Berkhamsted chiropractic clinic for her continuing good work in freeing up my back. The improvements have been dramatic. Thanks also to Dave for his work on my back and legs too... you've kept me on the road between the two of you.

So... have a good week. Do this for me.

Try and do something that makes you really, really glad to be alive. You won't be disappointed.



Ben G said...

Great riding Jevon, I'm liking 3 x 100 in and around 20mph, very nice :)

Colin Bradley said...

Great riding old boy, but I did 307 miles in just as many days last week. Probably far, far more climbing too ;-)