Well, its had its ups and downs. A change in jobs, a change in relationships and a handy relapse into depression and illness has seen me do some riding, some hospital action, some drinking and quite a bit of smoking
Highlights of the past year - I went to the Pyrenees with my brother and our mate James (rate northern). We did quite a few of the big tour climbs including the Tourmelet, I manged to put a 2 inch splinter in the bottom of my heel and spent two days in hospital recovering. I won't go into the details but it was pretty gory and the young female intern that did the deed of removing said splinter learnt some choice new english swear words. Has to be said though, whatever you think of tour riders, they're some big old climbs. It got a bit emotional on some parts, but two hours climbing definitely sorts the men from the lycra clad bike buying idiots that don't do much riding any more.
Other riding included attempting the South Downs way in a day. Which we (Ken and I) manged 60 miles of before sacking it off and getting the train back. Score.
Dusk til Dawn more recently saw a joint solo effort by both Ben and myself. Ben on his new trusty steed and me smashing myself to bits fully rigid. We managed 6 pathetic laps before sacking it off and heading back to mums. I REALLY need to get some suspension forks for the front of the Kenesis, I was a broken man by the fifth lap and only went out again to upset Ben and force him into doing another lap. The winner did something stupid like 18 laps which I can't quite get my head around. The course itself was really good for the first half, abject misery for the second. It also got really cold and me thinking it wouldn't be that cold meant I only had shorts with me. By the end of the third lap, I had a base layer, two pairs of shorts, a jersey and 3 (!) jackets on. Three. And I was still cold. What does this tell us. That I'm a massive shirt button and struggle still with anything over six hours.
The week since then has left me drained. I actually had to take a week off work because it ruined me that badly. I got out last saturday for a very hilly climb round The Weald but other than that I've done nothing. At all. I went out for a road ride in the week but got a bit overwhelmed and ended up turning round and going home after 18 miles. What a big girl eh!
So why start this blog again? I still want to turn myself from a fat useless tool on a nice bike into a racing whippet capable of doing big events. I've also given up on the relationship I had and now have much more time on my hands. Turns out I'm better at buying bike bits than I am maintaining any sort of normal relationship.
Things are still very much in a state of flux. I've had regular physio sessions to sort my back out and whilst I'm far from pain free, I can ride a bike without putting myself in A&E. But I'm fat and suffer from pretty severe exhaustion that leaves me unable to get out of bed. really should get that looked at. And then there's the mental side of things - its fair to say I'm a bit of a mess and have turned into somewhat of a hermit over the past few months. But that leaves more time to get out on the bike, so swings and roundabouts eh.
Anyway, I'm slightly less fat and a bit better on the bike than I was. Think I've managed about 1200 miles this year all told which is pretty rubbish. I want to try to get it to 3000 by the end of the year. Thats a big ask considering I've only got the remainder of October and Nov/Dec. But its a challenge.
So what's the plan Stan? I want to do a big ride. I'm not sure I'm capable of the Highland Trail race just from a mental perspective, but I really want to do the Transcontinental and there's still the Tour Divide.
What I really need to do is get a good winter of training in. Long distances on the MTB backed up with some decent turbo sessions, an improvement in diet and just getting some decent sleep. And staying off the booze. Recently I've found it all to easy to crack the gin open when things get a bit much. I've never understood alcoholism until recently. Now I see very easily how it can become a crutch.
Anyway, enough of the doom and gloom. I'll try to post a bit more on here if only for my own sanity. Helps to write it down see.
Onwards and upwards...