Thanks Imogen! I’m going to go ahead and assume you’re donating in the hopes that I will allow you to do some extra circuits the next time people are silly enough to let me take over Goodgym Lambeth for the night. Why sure, we can make that happen! That’s what everyone wants, right? More circuits?
Oh God, circuits. Just the thought makes me shudder a bit right now. Partly, admittedly, because I like to get my sugar on when I’m writing, and I’m fairly sure all these wine gums I’m sinking would come right back up again if I had to do circuits right now. It wouldn’t even be the first time I’ve thrown up this weekend (more on that later). Partly because I’m just feeling a bit rubbish anyway right now, and should probably go to bed. Not that it’s been a hard week, I’ve just come down with something.
Monday: Rest day duly enforced by Megabus
Tuesday: 35 mins running, 30 mins cycling
Wednesday: 40 mins turbo, 1 hr 15 mins swimming
Thursday: 55 mins swimming
Friday: Rest day, alcohol-induced
Saturday: 2 hr cycle/run brick session, plus 25 mins each way cycling there and back
Sunday: 3 hrs 5 mins cycling, 20 mins swimming
Ignore all that numbers crap above: none of them are the real achievement of the week. I’m sure I’m not the first person who’s ever turned up to an immediate family member’s funeral wearing compression socks, but there’s very little in life to make you feel more like a full-on athlete than pulling that one off. Yes, due to me being a prat and Megabus subsequently being incompetent, I ended up at my Grandad’s funeral with a distinct lack of any of the formal clothing I’d packed – including my running kit, so no chance of me sneaking in the witty “Mourning Run” activity title I had planned for Strava… Christ, I’ve become one of those wankers. Anyway, I managed to borrow some clothes off my brother, but yeah, no spare socks.
I’ve been trying to pick it up a little this week, but not too much. After the last few weeks, I’m going for a bit of a gently does it approach: I’ve missed a few key sessions, but that’s kind of okay. My calves probably wouldn’t have handled a long run early in the week, and this weekend has been a bit of a mess due to picking up some weird bug after an unplanned social engagement on Friday – not that kind of engagement, and no, it’s not the clap.
Yep, that’s how you feel on a Saturday morning when you’ve had to stop halfway to the Brick session you’re leading so you can throw up in a bush somewhere. That probably should have been a good point to admit that maybe I should have given up and gone home, but that would rely on me being a sensible human being. I have a chronic fear/now- reduced-to-slight-anxiety of escalators because they’re everywhere in London and you get used to them, and am currently seeing how many multiples of five wine gums I can fit in my mouth at once, because I need to keep the flavour ratio equal. I am not a sensible human being.
Still feeling pretty lousy into today (the more I think about it, the less sure I am that these wine gums are a sterling idea), I was pretty glad to be leading an intro ride for the Chasers. Largely for selfish reasons: I do genuinely enjoy giving back to my clubs, but in this case I was just happy to have something I can point at and say hey, look, doing the exercise thing, without it requiring a great deal of energy.
Which is why I find it really weird that I’m strongly tempted to do an overnight catch up on the long run that I’ve not got around to today. I can’t remember if I’ve written about this before or not, but one thing I used to do back in the grim days of severe depression was go for walks along the south bank at stupid times in the morning. Having immediate access to a couple of night buses where I live and not at the time being a regular sleeper (or barely sleeping at all), I’d catch one bus up to Waterloo at 2am or some stupid time, stroll around a bit, and catch another back from Vauxhall. I always loved cityscapes at night, which is probably part and parcel of the affinity for neo-noir and cyberpunk. Bonus points if it was raining, just to compound the misery.
I’m currently a bit tempted to repeat that tonight, but without the buses. I can’t say why. I’m not in a bad mood; pretty chipper, really, all things considered. Maybe I feel a little guiltier for having missed those key workouts than I thought. Probably also something to do with it being a bank holiday tomorrow, and having a chance to sleep it off. In all honestly, I’m probably just a really terrible life planner and think that being knackered for all of tomorrow would be worth it just to recapture that wild feeling of doing something stupid at stupid AM for no other reason than because you can. I dunno. It may happen. Probably not. I think as soon as my head gets the chance it will hit the pillow for tonight (i.e. when I finish writing this).
Enough about running. What’s really been on my mind, as the week has gone on, is cycling. As of this morning I’m two weeks out from the Chiltern 100 sportive, the first of my key training races that I’ll actually be able to do (hopefully). This has sent me into a wild panic, partly because since signing up I realised that I’ve been stupidly optimistic with my predicted time. I made a quiet deal with myself, when I created the Race Calendar, that I would not stretch my goal times to accommodate a reduction in ambition. This also goes for not altering them when, for instance, I realise I have got myself in entirely over my head and have no chance in hell of hitting a six hour record on a 106 mile course with over 2700 meters of climbing. That’s the climbing equivalent of cycling up and down the highest point in England three times. I think I misread it as 2700 feet when I signed up. Oh. Shit.
Like any sensible person, I have been tackling this sudden onset of panic by throwing money at it in the hopes that it will go away. Or at least, in the hopes that I will have a functioning bike: the Normandy has a couple of technical issues, chief among them being a very unreliable rear gearing that occasionally causes me to lose my lower gears. Y’know, the ones that might be pretty handy when attempting a sportive with lots of climbing. I’m hoping with some proper maintenance and tools I might be able to do enough to get through the day without any major catastrophes. Yes, a proper bike service is probably in order, but I don’t have the money to do that as well. Because more than a proper bike service, I felt like it was more necessary for me to spend eighty quid on Ocado. Did I need to do an eighty quid grocery shop? No, not really; but a metric ton of kale and rice cakes helps hide the couple of packs of Veet that I slipped in there. Yeah, I’m playing that smooth legs game. Look like a pro, ride like a pro.
I am not a sensible human being.
Also, part of the reason I’m doing this is to raise funds and awareness for The Maytree Respite Centre, a small charity in North London that provides support for people going through a suicidal crisis – so if you’d like to support my fundraising efforts, please click here. Thanks so much!