Senin, 14 Februari 2011

Week 5 / 20

Things are starting to get interesting now. This week was really focusing on the bike with about 10 of the 12 hours of training on two wheels. The objective and subjective loads tell a little story: the only time I could find to do my run on Sunday was straight after a late lunch of Chicken Tikka Masala, of which I was reminded every few kilometers.

Spot the difference
I am starting to have problems with my shoulder - the one in which I tore three tendons falling from my Mountain Bike about a year and a half ago. At the time I had thought that swimming would be a problem but neither swimming nor running give me any difficulties as far as the shoulder is concerned; and yet even after a few minutes on the bike, it feels like someone is pressing knitting needles into my upper back. I am going to see if I can find a physiotherapist who can recommend some strength exercises to do to help even out the muscle imbalance. I'm also tinkering with my bike position which, as you can see above, is about as good as I can get on my road bike frame. I have the handlebars dropped as far as they will go and the longest seat I could find but the question is whether I will be able to stand being in that position for 5 hours or more. I have to perch right on the end of the seat which isn't as uncomfortable as it looks just as long as there are no bumps in the road.

Talking of bumps in the road, my water bottle got launched from the holsters I have behind the seat no less than three times during my Saturday jaunt, the third time proved to be too much for the bottle to withstand. I also got the first puncture I've had on the road bike in almost a year (touch wood touch wood touch wood). Incredibly, along exactly the same stretch of road as last week, the same thing happened: I get overtaken by someone - this time it was someone else - who pulls just in front of me saying "keep it up" and of course my pulse rate plummets. It seems to be some kind of weird roadie etiquette. If we had been driving, it would have been considered that he had "cut me up", plain and simple; but perhaps it is considered to be doing a favour to a fellow cyclist by shielding him from the wind. If this keeps up I may have to get a t-shirt made with "Drafting is for wimps" on the back. As far as other car drivers go, it seems that Madrid has yet to go from fearing cyclists to hating them. For example, another car driver saw me approaching the roundabout he was going round and he actually stopped in the middle of the roundabout! Sometimes people overtake you leaving a margin of 3 meters and other times they brush past you but, in both cases, it is out of the unfamiliarity that has yet to breed contempt. But it is only a question of time: I get infuriated by chain gangs of cyclists riding two abreast while a snake of frustrated motorists stretches out behind them. I believe we have a right to use the roads but not a right to abuse them.

I just got sent the training plan for the next few weeks. It really is starting to hot up now. The week after next tots up to about 22 hours altogether - I will have to be very creative to fit all that in. How am I supposed to do an hour run followed by 4 hours on the bike on a wednesday? Maybe I'll have to consider taking a day's holiday here and there.

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