"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." -Theodore Roosevelt
Thursday, 9 August 2012
Bikes, shins... Races!!
Having pondered for a while about purchasing a bike I finally took the plunge, following some advice from a bike mad mate! Last year when we went to Barcelona we went on a 36km bike trail ride through the mountains which I really enjoyed. Well, I did eventually – it took me a little while to get used to being in the saddle again after so long being ‘just’ a runner.
The bike I’ve gone for is the Scott Aspect 45 (if that means anything to anyone!) – it's the 2010 model so I managed to get a pretty sweet reduction on it, happy times!
I've been on a few rides (including a lactic acid inducing 30 miler) and I can safely say I'm glad I'm a bike owner again. Something I haven't missed is the chronic derriere pain from sitting in the saddle (!) Aside from this though the aches and pains that have followed any jaunts on the bike have been minimal.
Naturally I'm going to be expecting Chris Hoy-esque thighs within a few months !!
In running news my suspected shin splints is now all sorted; I ended up having ultrasound on them at the physio, a week off from running (I don't know how I managed it) and followed that up with a week of easy running to get me back into my stride.
Fortunately I'm now back club running; and with my 'return' to fitness I've gone a bit crazy booking races. In my haste to fill my diary with racing dates I've double booked myself! I signed up for the Blackpool Half Marathon (which I unfortunately won't be able to make), an 8.5km trail race in St Helens, and with 9 others from running club 'survival of the fittest'; a 10km race with really hard core manly obstacles in Manchester (GRR!!).
A week on Saturday I've got a race where I'll be competing against a train! It's a 14 mile race across fields, farm land, and other hilly terrain which are parallel to, and as close as possible to, a train track. To beat the train you have to complete the 14 mile course in under 1 hour and 47 minutes - something I would comfortably be able to manage on roads, but throw in challenging terrain and the prospect becomes more difficult. Still, I'm optimistic enough of my chances (famous last words!)
The website for the event is http://www.racethetrain.com/
This takes place in Tywyn in Wales, which is Mid Wales. The train that I'll be competing against (there’s a sentence I never thought I'd write) is an old fashioned coal fired train. In my mind's eye it's the train which takes all wizards to Hogwarts from Harry Potter, and I'm going to be staying ahead of it so that I can get to Hogwarts... Well whatever motivates me I guess :p
I will finally get the opportunity to wear my trail running shoes - I bought them a few months ago knowing I'd use them for this race. I've been quite excited about them because they are, well, beautiful!! They're Brooks Cascadia, and here they are in all their glory:
I'll let you know how I get on against the train, and hope that my shoes don't get too muddy !