Monday started before my alarm went off. I awoke early and could hear the howling wind and the rain hammering against the windows. As you can imagine I wasn’t looking forward to the 7 hour session. I got dressed and drove to the lake hoping that no one else would show. On route I noticed that the roads were deep with puddles and a large amount of debris had been blown from the trees. I also noticed that the car’s outside temperature gauge was showing me that it was only 5 degrees Celsius (about 40 F). I got to the lake and bugger it, there were other Team Bedford chaps there. Mind you their faces told the same story. Anyhow, we donned our wet suits and got in the lake, a now very cold and very murky lake. The rain had stirred up the sediment, so vision was reduced and the wind was whipping up the waves making spotting and breathing harder than usual. When it’s this choppy you have to lift your head higher than normal to ensure additional quantities of lake water aren’t consumed. After three laps (about 2,500 metres) I noticed that some of the guys had already exited the water and decided to go in a lap early as I was feeling the cold. Once out of the water my body temperature dropped rapidly and changing became a challenge, as now not only was it difficult to put clothes on to my damp body but my hands wouldn’t work properly. I managed to put on all my cycling gear and was wishing I had brought more layers. The rain was coming down quite hard and it was still very windy and we all were feeling the cold. I decided that it wouldn’t be sensible to ride for three-plus hours as I didn’t think I would warm up and if I did have a mechanical failure of some sort the situation would only get worse. I got in my car, still wearing all of my layers and drove home with the intention of doing some riding on the turbo trainer before going for the run. On the way home I had the heater in the car on full and still couldn’t warm up so 25 minutes later I arrived home and got straight in to a hot bath to warm up. After this I really didn’t feel like doing a turbo session or a run as not only was I now not mentally prepared for it, it was still raining very hard and extremely windy. I had a sleep on the settee (a bit of a recurring theme here!) and a bit of lunch and then decided it would be nice to pop in to Milton Keynes with Leigh and do a bit of window shopping and spend some time together. It cost me though as we ended up buying some summer clothes. Crazy when you think what it was like outside but ever the optimists.
Later that day on the local news it was reported that the Luton Carnival was cancelled due to the rain, high winds and temperatures of minus 2 Celsius when taking in to account the wind chill factor. No wonder it felt cold and whilst I was peed off about not completing the day’s session it was the right decision. Looking back I have not missed a major weekend session throughout the 21 weeks of training to date and it is now a matter of re-jigging next weekend’s session. It was to have been 100 mile ride and a 45 minute run on Saturday and a 15 mile run on Sunday but I think, weather dependant, it will be a brick of a 75 minute swim, 5 hour ride and a 2 hour run on Saturday and on Sunday a short ride and run to aid recovery from the long brick.
I have mentioned in previous blog entries that I am feeling tired at the moment and this weekend should help ease that slightly. At this stage in the 27 week schedule it is inevitable that the body and mind feels the toll, and it is a case of maintaining a balance to ensure good quality training sessions take place whilst adequate rest is taken. With all endurance events it is the final weeks where you are your most vulnerable to injury and illness. I only need to maintain the momentum for another three weeks and then I start my three week taper, which should see my energy levels rise. I am also likely to see an increase in weight but this is a managed increase and is done to ensure adequate fuelling and hydration levels before the start of the event.
I’ll let you know how this week goes early next week. Until then, cheers!
By the way, if you have any questions about this or any of my blog entries please let me know. I have been asked about a previous entry where I referred to ‘cleats’ and ‘float’. These are terms used to describe aspects of cycling shoes and pedals. In all walks of life there is a ‘hidden’ language or jargon so if I use it in my blog and you wonder what I am on about, just ask by clicking on the “comments” button at the bottom of each new entry. That also means others can see your question and my response.