With thanks to my late aunt, Jean Abdee, whose legacy has helped make this possible.

Monday, 19 April 2010


A record of possibly my first injury (though not serious and probably not the last). I pushed my last run (on Friday) rather fast and tried to extend my pace length uphill - with hindsight, not a good idea. I was hopping about for a minute or two at the time but carried on and still got the best time for 6 miles yet, but the sharp stabbing pain in my knee continued throughout the day, and so I have decided to rest it this week. In the meantime, I've googled what it might have been (the best guess is 'jumper's knee' a non-serious impact injury that will resolve itself with rest. I have also been advised to use ice, although you may be assured that an Eddie Izzard-style ice bath is not on the cards any time soon) and found a set of knee strengthening exercises. What the site says - and this seems to make sense - is that there are several muscle groups centred around the knee and if one becomes stronger there can be an imbalance in the others which can lead to injury. So I'm learning about adductors and abductors and glutes and hamstrings and how to look after them and keep them in good nick. The stabbing pain has subsided over the weekend to a mere twinge, so I'm hoping to be back out running very soon. Of course strengthening knee muscles can only be a Good Thing, not only for running but for cycling too. It's an ill wind!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Falling in love again...

I came into work on the touring bike today - the actual LeJog bike! And I have to say that it felt pretty wonderful. The big comfortable saddle, the big tyres, the smooth ride ... it really is like falling in love agin, which is great given the inital reservations I had about the bike. OK so I still aim for the downtube to change gears with a lever instead of the little switch thing on the brakes, but that's something you soon get used to. And the ride is so much more comfortable than on skinny racing wheels. The state of the roads around here is awful. Potholes are filled in and then instantly re-form. There are loose stones all over the roads; some roads don't actually seem to have a surface anymore. Other have been dug up so often they're just not flat and going along them is like riding down a country lane.

Another upside is that I do have more gears than I thought; a close inspection revealed that I'm not able to access the bottom three rings, which will be a huge advantage when they are set up properly. A Park Tools bike workstand is on order and then I'm looking forward to adjusting the gears and getting them to behave properly.

Changing bikes is an odd feeling; I felt very low to start with so the first job was to find my Allen keys and raise the saddle. It's amazingly heavy to lift (I've got the panniers and some gear on board) yet doesn't feel it when going along. Well it's good to get the thing out of the shed; it's all very well wanting to keep it nice and clean under a dust sheet and out of the weather, but that's not what bikes are for.

As for the racing bike, the reason for its temporary retirement is that the bearings are starting to feel extremely graunchy. Come the new workstand (I also ordered a crank puller and assembly grease) I'll have a go at cleaning everything and replacing the bearings (I have done it once, on a Cytech training course so at least know it is technically possible). Hopefully this won't result in me going to my nearest bike shop with a box full of bits and a sheepish grin!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Andy's off...

It's been a thoroughly hectic couple of weeks what with Andy doing his final preparations, his 40th birthday celebrations (including a surprise party!) and the celebration of Easter. Well I finally waved Andy off yesterday and he's now started his LeJog walk, in the most lovely weather you could ask for. So with more time on my hands I can spend more time in training (well it gets me out of the house!) Did a 30 mile bike ride yesterday and 2 km swim this morning, which is quite exhausting actually. It's the first time I've done that distance (80 lengths) - distance building in all three disciplines has begun.