Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Such is the Nature of Temp Work

Mon PM: Swim, 2K in 1 hour. Pseudo Squad.
Tue PM: 12.1K in 72 minutes.

I had a job interview after work on Monday, and it went well. Afterwards I got up to the pool for a pseudo squad session: I just did a typical squad swim complete with drills and rests. The pool was reasonably empty by the time I got up there, and it was a solid session.

This afternoon at work I was imformed that my services were no longer required - nothing against me, the work had run out. I wasn't too surprised as I knew there were technical hitches getting the data together for the work I was employed to do. I couldn't wait to get home and vent my frustrations out on Windsor Rd. It was a great run for that purpose, and whilst I was out there I got some positive feedback on the previous days' interview (I usually leave my phone at home, but I was hoping the agency would call). They have a couple of people they are yet to interview, but the feedback is good so far.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

This is why I run

Run: 20K in 1:53:33. Sluggish at start, comfortable in the middle, pushed it at the end.

It was cold (0.7 degrees) when I was walking the dogs this morning, so I took my time stretching and getting ready, but it was still only 6.1 by the time I got out and started. I had 20K planned, so the course was twice around the tri club 10K loop. As expected, I felt sluggish at first, while I was warming up. I passed the start line where the tri club were running a duathlon, and got a small cheer from the assembled starters. They were to all pass me several times, allowing for mutual encouragement.

I was joined by another tri club member for a few K's. Greg was out for a leisurely 5K, and we chatted for a while before he turned around. I did the first 5K in about 27 minutes, and was well and truly warmed up.

The firt 5K is flat, the last 5K is hilly. By the second 5K I felt comfortable, and I coasted through the hills and hit the 10K mark in about 57 minutes. I still felt good, and I coasted through the next 5K, but I think I slowed a bit (not pushing myself enough), and I didn't really catch the 15K split, but having done the whole run with my heartrate in the high 140s to low 150s and feeling comfortable, I couldn't resist pushing it a bit in the last 5K. The heartrate went up, and the breathing was a bit laboured, but I still felt good. I finished the run in 1:53:33.

This really gives me a buzz. This run was done at 2 hour half-marathon pace, and it was comfortable. To put it in perspective, had I run a half-marathon at this pace, it would be a seven minute PB. I'm amazed at how much my running has improved in the last few months, and I can't wait for the Gold Coast to really smash another PB. I reckon 1:50 is definitely possible.

It was an awesome run on a beautiful autumn morning. I'm now buzzing on endorphins and the knowledge that I'm getting quicker, and I'm not feeling like I've just had a hard session.

Oh, and I slept for six hours last night without chemical assistance!

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Rotten Stinking Piece of Shit Courtesy Car

Ride: 39K in 1:30, 26Kph. Faster back half.

The Courtesy Car I am driving at the moment is not the world's finest piece of machinery. It did it's 300,000th kilometre as I drove it home from the Smash Repairers. I have noticed that it starts reluctantly on cold mornings.

This morning, when I climbed into it at 6:15AM to get to the Coolrunning 5K challenge, it chose not to start at all. I tried to start it for about 15 minutes before I decided on a change of plans, and changed into my riding gear for riding with the tri club.

It was a small group this morning. Some of them decided to "do the Punt". Apparently this is a 60K hilly course, of which I was having no part. With five of us remaining we stood around asking each other which course we would like to do. I suggested our usual 50K loop which was agreed upon, but as we rode off, the two other blookes took off for "the Punt". One of the girls, Tanya, said, "well bugger that, I'm going too!".

By this time the other rider, Carla (the club vice president) was well on her way on the normal route. I wasn't doing 60K of hills, so I took off after her. I caught her about 2K down the road and she was fuming about the group being split up. She'd had enough and she was going home. I rode slowly with her until we reached her turnoff, and then I took a slightly truncated ride home, but did it a bit faster.

I found it a bit difficult to find the right cadence for the whole ride - at times I was spinning too much, at other times I was pushing too much.

My cycling knicks were still in the wash, so I rode in running tights this morning. I hate chaffing.

After I got home I took the car back to the smash repairs (it started like a dream when it was a bit warmer), and he gave me a spraycan of aeroplane starter to spray in the engine in the mornings.

The final indignity after missing the run? Fiona dragged me to Birkenhead Point for some shopping in the afternoon.

Tonight, Fiona is going to see Grease with a friend, and Souths, St Kilda and the Waratahs are all playing. The couch awaits!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Tempo Run

Run: 12K in 67 minutes. 4.5K tempo burst in the middle.

My brain was nearly melted by the time I left work tody, it's taking a bit of getting used to the working week. So by the time I got home I couldn't wait to get out for my run.

I wanted speedwork without smashing myself the way I do in an interval session, so I just went out on a tempo run. A 5K jog, about 4.5K at 10K pace, and a 2.5K jog to finish up. I hit about 91% of max HR towards the end of the tempo section, and I was feeling it a bit.

I used the same course as Tuesday - the Windsor Rd bike path. In truth, it's probably a bit dark, it certainly was tonight. I may have to invest in a headlamp for evening runs or hit the treadmill.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


RPM Class

I'm running in the Coolrunning 5K on Saturday, so I shifted my bike ride to tonight and did it in an RPM class.

I was worried I might find the training too much with work, but at the moment it seems good. Hope it stays that way.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

I see the light (just)

Run: 12K in 68:43. Felt good - pushed it a bit at the end.

I did the bike path up Windsor Rd tonight. It's a good run in the dark; while it isn't well lit, there is enough light to see the path, and that's all I need.

The run was good. I took it easy going out and went a bit harder coming back. It was a bit slower than the last time I did this course, but I went a bit harder that time.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Was that 46 or 48?

Swim: 2K in an hour or so.

I went from work to the Guildford Council pool, and I had a lane to myself in the pool, which is 25m long. I did somewhere between 80 and 90 laps. I like to let my mind wander, and this is not good in a 25m pool. I lost count a few times and generally just took the lower count.

I could feel my stroke getting sloppy towards the end. I think in the future I would be better off taking some breaks and keep a good stroke.

First day in the new job, and it was as boring as I had imagined, but the drive wasn't as long as I had feared, and the hours are a bit shorter as well. It leaves me enough time for a decent workout.

I'm still off the caffeine. I got little or no sleep last night, but the medication is providing a fair bit of kick, so I didn't feel I needed coffee today. Still, the lack of sleep is concerning me even if it isn't affecting me much.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Long Slow Distance

Run: 19.2K in 1:57. Nice long run.

I miscalculated the segments of this run, so what was supposed to be an 18K run became 19.2K. It was yet another variation of running to Richmond and back - out past St Matthews, through the turf farm, through Richmond and back past the Uni and through South Windsor. I was happy with the run. I stayed below 80% MHR for the vast majority of the run, and singing along to the MP3 was loud and proud.

I was a little disappointed that my speed fell below 6 minute K's, but I was only tiny bit slower. On the whole, today was a good run.

I'm really bummed that I missed the SMH half. By all reports it was something special. Hopefully Gold Coast will be a similar experience.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Hawkesbury Tri Club Head for the Hills

Bike: 36K in 1:21 Avge Speed 26.4

Geez it was cold this morning. I didn't have any suitable cold weather gear, so I turned up in my t-shirt and shorts at 7AM (5 degrees). As a group we decided to do a different loop - shorter and hillier. Out through Wilberforce, to Freemans Reach and accross to North Richmond back to Windsor. I'd done a variant of this ride before as my midweek ride, but I'd never attempted the hill we climbed today. I wish I'd worn my HRM, because this bastard had me panting like last weeks' 10K. I was very glad that one of the other riders, Tanya, stayed with me. It was still cold at the end, so I went and bought arm warmers this afternoon.

I felt a bit washed out this afternoon. I didn't know whether it was the ride or caffiene withdrawal, I suspect a bit of both. I still didn't sleep last night, so I might use a sleeping pill tonight. The Souths game screens at 9:20 tonight, and if they play like they played last week I'll have nightmares anyway. :)

Friday, May 20, 2005

Cold Turkey

Run: 12K in 66:31, Avge HR 157, Hard Work

I got out late this morning and decided to run as far up Windsor Rd as the bike path extends. As I seem to always do on this path, I went out too hard, I think I did the first 3K at about 5 minute pace, but then I settled as I noticed my HR getting too high. Still, a good tough run. I need to learn to hold back a bit. The aim today was more like six minute pace.

While the last week has been mostly great, I'm still not sleeping at all. Today I took the drastic step of not having any caffiene. Usually I have two or three coffees, all espresso, and today has been tough. The headache kicked in at midday, and I have felt awful all day. I'm hoping that the withdrawal symptoms will be gone by Monday, when I start working. That's if I make it through the weekend without succumbing.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

I Hate Breaststroke

Swim Squad, 2.5K Felt good, but it was tough.

Louise (swim squad teacher) was not mucking around when she put together today's program. I was supposed to be:

500m: 100Free/100Back

4 x 50m and 8 x 25 of:
Alternating kicks and paddles

500m Freestyle

This adds up to 2600m, but I wussed it on the breaststroke. I'm just useless at it. On the positive side, Louise is really happy with the improvement in my Freestyle (but the newly attempted tumble turns are a bit ugly).

On the whole, a tough squad, but I got through it OK.

Now I have to clear up a little confusion. I am not running the SMH half this weekend. I have been very careful about the 10% rule, and it dictates that my long run this weekend be no longer than 18K. I think the confusion was caused by a comment after the 10K on the weekend that now I must do something about my half marathon PB.

I intend to do that something on July 3 at the Gold Coast. Having secured employment I have treated myself to an overnight trip on cheap fares and backpacker accommodation, and I can't wait to have a go at the half and then cheer on the Coolrunners in the big race.

I'd like to thank everyone who has left comments over the last week. It's been a good week made better by that support.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

It's All Good

AM: Run, Intervals, 10x500m with 250m jog intervals.
PM: Ride, 15K in 40 min.
PM: Ride, RPM Class, 45 minutes

Started the day with an interval session at the Regatta Centre. Did the first one at 2:13, but I got quicker with each one, and I did the last one in 2:05. This is much quicker than I have done intervals at Penrith before (I think I averaged 2:18 last time), and it was a ballbreaker of a session. The HR hit 186 at the end, and I've never been that high.

By the time I wanted to go out for my afternoon ride it was pissing down rain. It cleared up eventually, but I only had enough daylight for a measly 15K, so I booked in at the gym for a RPM class, which is a stationary bike class. It was tough; 45 minutes of hard core pedalling.

Today was a good day on all fronts. After the intervals I had a physio session. The physio is happy enough with things to stop regular appointments. It's taken seven months to get to this stage, and I'm very happy about it. The critical thing now is to continue the stretching and icing.

After the physio, I saw the doctor, who halved my antidepressant dosage, and is also happy with my progress. There is still a bit of concern about the recurrent insomnia, but the change in medication may actually help in this regard.

Finally, I got a call from the agency - I got the job. Despite the disappointment over the nature of the job, it's still five weeks' work and I need it. I start on Monday.

This does present a problem. The drive to work is about 75 minutes. The hours are 8 to 5. There is no way I can sustain 8 sessions a weeks with this sort of workload. My plan at this stage is to do 5-6 sessions a week: 1 swim, 1 ride and 3-4 runs. I don't think I'll be able to do any excercise before work - I need to leave at 6:45AM as it is anyway, so it'll all be after work. Welcome to the real world, Ben.

So there it is. Employed, getting faster, loose ITB and depression under control. And with the endorphins from the RPM class still pumping, right now it's all good.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Tumble Turns

AM: Run, 7K, no watch
PM: Swim, 1000m in 30 minutes

The morning run was my standard recovery run: 3.5K with the dogs, another 3.5 without them. I don't know if I'll continue running with the dogs. At one stage Tali (the elder dog) just stopped and wouldn't budge. The poor thing was obviously stuffed. He came good after a few seconds, but he really lagged behind for the rest of the run.

I was stuffed after a fair bit of driving and a job interview today, but the evening swim was great. I powered through the first half, and for the second half I even did tumble turns on alternative laps. In the past this has always led to hyperventilation, but it didn't effect me tonight. I'll work more tumble turns into my swims in the future.

The interview was a bit disappointing. What I thought would be a reasonably interesting 3 month job with good prospects of permanent work turned out to be a boring five week job with some chance of further temporary work. On the plus side, I interviewed very well, and I'll still take the job if I get it

Sunday, May 15, 2005

SMC 10K - 3:01 PB!!!

Run: 10K in 49:58.

This morning I did not want to get out of bed after another sleepless night, but at 6 o'clock, a surge of energy got me up and out the door in minimal time (forgetting my CR cap). Got there in plenty of time to have a decent chat to a few Coolrunners. I finally met Plu, who along with Jen_runs had come to cheer.

I got out at a fair pace, and felt reasonable. I got to the 2.5K mark in 12:40. It's a bit uphill for the next 2.5, but I hung on to get to the turnaround at 25:20. I had sub 50 in my mind at this point, so I started to push a little bit more, but I was also tiring. I got back to the 2.5K mark in 37:58, and thought "alright, I reckon I can do this!", and stepped it up a bit.

Plu, Jen and Lorna (The Owl, who had run the 5K) had set themselves up a few hundred metres from the finish, and were cheering up a storm. I stupidly asked Lorna how she went, but they yelled at me to keep going, so I looked down at my watch, up a the finish line and knew I had to cane it.

So I kicked, and ran as fast as my weary legs would carry me, and when I crossed the line I heard "forty nine fifty eight". I walked off to the side, vomited the meagre contents of my stomach and laid down (away from the vomit).

I took a while to recover, and walked back over to the showers, had a quick shower and headed back to cheer on the guys in th 25K race with the cheer squad.

It was a great day to be a Coolrunner. The PB was a great surprise, and it was good to share it with a great group of people. Special thanks to the cheer squad, who cheered everyone home admirably. I've not been able to wipe the smile off my face all day. The PB was soft, I know that, but I really didn't think I'd go sub 50 today.

Now, I must do something about that half marathon PB...

Saturday, May 14, 2005

More fun with Cleats

Ride: 51K in 1:55. Avge Speed 26.6

The tri club ride was a bit tough today. There were about 10 of us, and the speed was reasonable. I was doing OK, but I noticed halfway through that two of the screws had come out of my left shoe, leaving me with no way to click out. I thought "that might become a problem!", and sure enough it did when I went over with 10K to go. I pedalled one legged to the nearest servo and swapped a screw from the right to the left while the other guys waited, and finished the ride without further incident (except getting dropped for the last 4K).

Fiona had an accident in my car today. She is fine, but a little shaken - a truck ran into the back of the car at a set of lights. So tonight she's having "I've had a tough day" pizza. And fair enough, too.

Tomorrow I'll aim to take a little off my 10K PB. a 50K ride probably isn't a great prep, but I'm not planning to have a serious tilt - I think there's three minutes to be taken off, but I won't aim for sub 50 tomorrow, or I wouldn't have ridden 50K today.

Friday, May 13, 2005

11K in 62 min

Run: 11K in 62 min

Got out at 10:00 for a quick run up the shared pathway that runs along Windsor Rd. I think I went a bit too hard, but I always tend to do that on this course.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Awesome Wednesday

Wed AM: Run, 16.5K in 1:28:20. Enjoyable long run.
Wed PM: Ride, 32.3K in 1:17 Ave Speed 25.5. Measuring Courses
Thu AM: Swim Squad, 2K, Too much backstroke.

Sometimes you just have one of those days where everything just goes well.

I'm racing 10K on Sunday, and I'll call that speedwork, so I slotted in my long run yesterday. I took the dogs out for the first 3.5K of the run, which means I did that at about 6.5min/K pace, but I also knew that I could go a bit slower than my last long run and still stay at 6 min/K pace. So I slowed a bit, enjoyed it a hell of a lot more, and came in from the run at pretty much bang on 6 minute pace. To get my 16.5K I went twice around the "dog loop" (my 4K course around Windsor), and deviated on my second lap to include the 10K loop that I commonly do along the RAAF base. With warmup & cooldown walks it works out to 16.5K.

In the middle of the day I went to a very positive interview in the city with a job agency who seem keen to put me forward for a job. After the interview a train back to Windsor arrived at the platform 3 minutes after I got there (they come hourly at that time of day). Woo Hoo!

This meant I had time for an afternoon ride measuring out running courses, confirming that I had run 16.5K in the morning.

Great night last night, my Mum's birthday is tomorrow, so we had a combined Mother's Day/Birthday dinner last night.

Swim squad this morning was good - not too tough, not too soft.

I still feel reasonably fresh, even after what was a pretty big day yesterday. I'm not getting much sleep, but I guess I'm getting just enough.

Tonight I'm going to see "Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy" With my good friend and fellow geek Marlon. Should be great.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Obstacle Couse Swimming

AM: Run, 7K in about 42min.
PM: Swim, 1000m in 30min.

Nice little run on a cold morning. Two laps of the 4K local loop, one with the dogs, one without. No watch - it's just a recovery run.

Went to the pool at 5:30. It was still to crowded with one lap lane, and that lane was two-thirds of the normal width, so there was a few hand clashes and I even copped a (minor)head clash. I might try later in the evening on Monday - hopefully I'll get a job soon and I'll have to anyway.

I'm still not sleeping: that's three nights in a row. Bugger it. I'm taking a sleeping pill tonight. Rest day tomorrow.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

a quick whinge

AM Run: 15K in 1:24:14. A bit tough.

I'm not enjoying my long run as much as I used to. This is purely because I am running it harder than I used to, in the 80-85% MHR range, rather than the 75%-80% range I'm more comfortable in. I'm running no slower than 10kph to prevent ITB recurrence, and for now it is working. As I get fitter it will get easier. Today's 15K long run was a little tough, but I still enjoyed it a bit. It was yet another variation of the old Richmond-Windsor loop. You'd think I'd find a route that doesn't involve inhaling turf farm odour.

Still didn't sleep, but all of the rotten side effects of my old anti-depressant have gone - today is the first day on the new one.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Soggy Sock Ride

Ride: 51K in 1:55. Avge speed 26.6. Raining

There were but four brave souls from the triathlon club who fronted up for this morning's ride. We got what we came for - it started raining pretty solidly 10K in, and it continued until about the 30K mark. this lead to me doing most of the ride in very soggy cotton socks.

I found it much easier to keep up with the other guys using the clipless pedals. I got dropped once, but this was during the unofficial Nutt Rd sprint, and I was doing 35kph at the time.

I managed to stay upright the entire ride, until I got back to my back gates, where I saw our young dog Beth asleep waiting for me, and I smiled, and called to her and forgot my foot was attached to the pedal as I stopped. You know what happened after that.

Today is medication cutover day - no pills. Despite the fact that I still took the old medication, which has a sedative effect, last night, I got no sleep. This is a slight worry, but I start the new medication tomorrow, and I will wait until I've been on that for a week before I worry too much.

The good thing is that despite the fact I had no sleep I was much less dopey this morning.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Easy 10.5K

Run, 10.5K in 1:03

I went for a run with the dogs again this morning. They were really starting to struggle towards the end of the recently measured 4K loop.

I dropped them back at home and continued on back up the road and ran out to McGraths Hill and back. I estimate this to be about 6.5K, but I will measure it when I do my next measuring session.

It's an undulating bit of road, but my heart rate stayed below 155, and breathing was only slightly laboured.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Easy Squad

AM: Swim Squad, 1500m, Felt easy.
PM: Ride, 18K, Course measurement, slow.

Felt dopey again this morning, but I was coming good by the time I got to squad at 9:30.

I haven't been to squad for a few weeks, but I have managed to swim twice weekly. It was short today at 1600m. Everyone else was going on about how hard it was, but it felt easy to me, I don't know if this means I am getting better at swimming. I really hope so.

I cooked an enormous vegetable curry (six frozen lunches worth) and mowed the lawn after squad, and by the time I finished that the watch said 4:00. Enough time to get out and measure some of my running courses on the bike (far more accurate than the car odometer).

I discovered that my 3.5K course is 4K long, and my 14.3K course is 14.1K (the lord giveth...).

The ITB feels a bit tight tonight. I'll see how I feel after I stretch and give it a bit of rolling pin. If it still feels shitty I may try the "Voltaren and Glad Wrap" idea I read on Clairie's Blog. I'm still far too shitscared to even think about the acupuncture that Vat_man suggested when I talked to him a few weeks ago.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Fessing up.

AM Treadmill Intervals. 10 x 400m @ 13kph with 200m 8kph intervals. First 3 at incline 1%, last 7 @ 2%. 1.2K cooldown @ 10kph

PM Ride: 17.7K in 44 min.

I was planning to drive to Penrith for intervals, but had an attack of the "what a waste of petrol"s, and decided to do them on the treadmill at home, rather than the oval of questionable length up the road.

It's been a while since I did treadmill intervals, and I was happy with the improvement. I did them slightly faster and with a bit of incline, which I haven't used before. I felt reasonably stuffed by the end. My HR got up to 91% of max.

Got sidetracked in the afternoon, which meant that I didn't get out for my ride until 4:30. This left me with an hour of daylight, which was further subtracted from by a bit of stuffing around at the start and a very embarrassing incident halfway through. I didn't get my foot out of the pedal at an intersection during the ride, so I went over behind this car, with my foot stuck in the pedal on the underside. Luckily the car behind saw me, and pulled up turning his hazard lights on. I took the shoe off and went to the side of the road with a bruised ego my only injury.

This meant that the planned 40K ride was truncated to 17.7K. I may partially rectify this tomorrow by getting out on the bike and measuring some running courses.

Now the blog is going to get a bit personal - I have a confession to make: I haven't been completely open with you.

A few months ago some readers may remember I was struggling with bad insomnia. When I saw the doctor about it I was diagnosed with depression.

I disclosed this when the subject of depression came up on Coolrunning. I am disclosing it now because it's effects, and the side effects of the medication I am using to treat it have a direct effect on my training. Besides this, I feel a hell of a lot more comfortable being completely open when I write this blog.

The current medication has been having rotten side effects. It leaves me dopey in the mornings, with slightly blurred vision, and in the last few days has caused me to have some late night myclonic seizures (these are very minor epileptic seizures that appear like small jerks).

I have suffered from epilepsy in the past. I had three major seizures when I was sixteen. I spent the next seven years on anticonvulsant medication, during which time I put on 20 kilograms (of which I have lost 95% since taking up running). Anticonvulsants also have a side effect of reduced mental clarity, from which I suffered. Neither my doctor or myself wanted to take any risks with epilepsy.

So I saw the doctor this morning and I am changing medication. The new medication is more of an upper than a sedative, so gone will be the lack of motivation to train in the morning. I don't think the depression has affected my motivation to train at all, but the dopiness in the morning on the current medication has knocked me around a bit. The change will occur gradually over the next week. Stay tuned for the results...

Monday, May 02, 2005

A run with the dogs and a swim with the masses

AM Run: 6K at approx 36 min.
PM Swim: 1000m in 30 minutes.

This morning I decided to go for a run with the dogs. Usually we go on a 3K walk first thing in the morning; today we ran the 3K. By the end both dogs (Beth, aged 3, she's a lovely dog, with the attention span of a goldfish and Tali, aged 7, seven years of cunning escapes and loyalty interspersed evenly) were feeling the pinch, and I was practically dragging them. I left them at home and did the same loop again.

Note to self: Never swim at the Oasis at 4:30 Monday.

The pool was completely full when I got there. They had the dodgy ropes out, which make 2 lanes into 3, and they were used all the way across the pool. As I was disrobing, they took one of the two public lap lanes for squad use. This left two thirds of a lane for the various swimmers and guys that were running up and down the lanes. The first 500m were a debacle, I had to weave and stop, but most of the not so serious people got out during this time, and by the end there was just me and this guy who was swimming just a bit faster than me. I did the 1000m at a quickish pace - quick enough that I had to stop and take a breather a few times.

Rest day tomorrow.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Falling Down

Ride, 42K in 1:40 avge speed 25.8; First ride in Cleated shoes.

Craig warned me when he gave me the pedals for the cleated shoes: "you will fall over."

Craig was right.

Getting your feet out of the pedals is an art, and one to be mastered quickly. I knew I was going to have a bit of trouble so I meticulously cleared the backyard of dog turds and hopped on; and fell off. I had trouble getting my foot out just laying there on my side. I practised for another five minutes before I had enough confidence to hit the road, and fell off again at the end of the lane at the back of my house.

I picked a course that had me stopping at traffic lights where I knew there would be a safe area to fall over - two 15K loops and a 10K loop between Windsor and Richmond. I was much relieved that I didn't fall over for the rest of the ride. It felt a little harder on the legs that the other pedals, and a bit weird with the foot stuck to the pedal, but it felt a lot faster. I think the average speed was a bit slow because I picked a hilly course, and there was some slow bits where I was mucking about trying to get my foot into the pedals. At one point after a set of lights, I couldn't get my free foot into the pedal, and the other one came loose. I couldn't just stop; I was in the middle of an intersection, so I had to muck around a bit and try to propel the pedals to keep me going whilst I tried to slot them in, which I eventually achieved.

And so ends my so-called easy week. I think it was a good idea - I'm feeling a bit fresher than I was a week ago, and I'm looking forward to ramping it back up next week.