Sunday, 24 January 2016

Squeeze In An Hour!

Hello blog lovers.

I had to do it.  After having a lazy Friday, a socialising Saturday with no exercise what so ever, I just had to get out for an hours ride!  The thing is, I had church to go to, (and I had forgotten I was to open up!), shopping to do and then make a lasagna before I had a chance to go out!  But I managed it.

I just made sure that I had everything done, and everything with me. I put my shoes on and then.... bam!  My back just started hurting!  Not to much, just like I had been sat at a desk to long, type of hurt. What the heck is that about!?  The thing is I was just getting up of my comfy chair, maybe it  was it the way I had sat on the chair, just before getting up? I had no idea.  But I still went out, I thought maybe I would 'work' it off.  I felt ok sitting on the bike as the only time it really hurt is when I stand up!  Lets hope I don't have to un clip too often at traffic lights and round abouts.

I started my Garmin up and then just rode on out of my estate and started the first lap of Blackbrook lane.  I am taking notice of all that has been said to me, to keep on pedalling, no relaxing!  The first lap went by quite quickly, I thought to myself I could, if I stay at this pace, get a PB.  But I had the lights, they were green when i got there, can I be lucky three more times?

On the second lap, my back did twinge a little more, just going over the lumps, but I still felt I could complete what I had set out to do, but I should just take care of where I ride over.  I suppose this is one thing I can do if my back plays up, which it has been known to do every couple of years or so.  I don't know why, it just does!  Usually when I'm somewhere else and I need to get back.

By the third loop I was really enjoying it, working hard, feeling my legs hurt (the good hurt, not like the horrible hurt in my back!), even if I didn't get a PB, I think I would feel satisfied with todays ride, as I worked hard on the continuous pedalling, which set me up just nicely for the fourth and final lap, and so far I had managed to keep on through the lights, not stopping, just slowing down a bit!  But the fourth time I had to stop at the lights!

It felt quicker, if felt a lot quicker, at that point I would be surprised to see at least 10 minutes off, but of course that would be to much, it will take time to knock of 10 minutes.  I was tempted to look at my Garmin, just to see, just to encourage me on the way back home!  But I didn't look, I kept going.  Work harder each time I do the laps, that's what I need to do, keep a steady pace through out each session, but each session work harder each time!

So, I get home, back twinging away like a good 'un, but I was feeling pretty good, I checked my Garmin and baboom!!! A nice shiny Personal Best!  I hobbled into my home, sore but very happy!

Geeky stats.

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Saturday, 23 January 2016

Extra Loopy

Hello blog lovers.

I'm a tad late with my blog, by about 3 days, but who's counting, right?  I had an unexpected free Wednesday afternoon spare, so instead of getting the vacuum out I got my bike out instead!  I gotta try hard to bring up my fitness on my bike!

The laps around Blackbrook Lane is what I did.  The weather was just perfect!  Sunny, not to cold and the streets were dry!  Even the traffic seemed a lot less that afternoon!  I felt pretty good too, maybe, just maybe it would be the day for a PB of Blackbrook Lane.

I wasn't going to look at my Garmin at all, not until I was on the way back home, for one thing, I really didn't want to feel disappointed if I was slower!  That was the plan I had as I headed towards the first of the loops.  Determined I kept a steady pace going up to the round about along the top and then tried to beat the lights, I didn't do it!  So then next time then!

I tried hard to pedal faster on the down hill section, but it is difficult to keep up speed with all the mini round abouts.  The second of the loops I thought I had it, I was pedalling hard, and it 'felt' faster, but the geeky stats will show if that was the case!  I got to the top of the road, turned left and tried to beat the lights! Again, I failed!  What is it with these bloomin lights, they catch me all the time!  Two more times to try and beat the lights!

The last two laps I still didn't beat the lights!  Oh well, I had hoped that the down hill sections would be able to push me closer to the PB that I am after.  I was feeling quite achy on my legs, I wondered if that was a case of working real hard.  I rode through the park and down the road to my house, I stopped my Garmin and.........1:00;04! Darn it! Still not beat it!  Must try harder,

So geeky stats for you.

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Monday, 18 January 2016

A Bowl Of Fruits!

Hello blog lovers.

It's Panagua Ladies day today!  I do love going out with the ladies. Ok I'm slower than most of them.....all of them....but Mhairi tells me off if I say so!  Eleven mph is not to be sniffed at! Mind you, today there was an awful lot of sniffing, blimey was it cold today!  I am surprised I'm still getting my sorry ass out on cold days like this!

There wasn't that many today, just three of us, Mhairi, in her orange Panagua top, Lynne in her bright luminous lemon (yellow) top and me in my Raspberry top, hence bowl of fruits!  Apart from the fact that we are all completely fruit loops for being out on a day like this, a day after the snow I might add, is proof that we are all fruit loops!  Some of the other ladies had things to do today, and couldn't make it.

I was first at the shop and waited for my riding buddies today.  First it was Lynne and then Mhairi.  We didn't hang about too long as we didn't want to get to cold after cycling here.  We were just going to go on our little loop around Downe today.  The long haul up to Botely wasn' even mentioned! Phew!  Cycling in the cold really hurts!  My muscles just don't want to do anything, my feet were getting colder, even though they are wrapped up in thermals, shoes and rubber overshoes!  My hands, oh don't even talk about my hands!  Actually, they weren't as bad as my feet!

We all know the way to Downe, Mhairi lead the way, but as soon as those inclines started, I was over taken by Lynne who was bring at the back.  She was flying today, I mean literally flying.  I know how hard it is to cycle up hills. It hurts me, my breathing is all over the place, my legs just can't seem to pedal any harder, and it is a slow steady slog.  At times like that I just look at my fellow cyclists just going on up hills with ease or so they make it look.  Mhairi just rides next to me chatting all the way like we are just sitting at a cafe chatting over coffee!  She reminds me of Wendimoo, from Petts Wood Runners.  Wendimoo just chats and chats, and sings and chats and has been know to dance along one of our runs.  Although Mhairi might find it difficult to dance, her chatter does keep my mind off my hurting legs, and less chance for me to moan!  It especially helps when she is encouraging me to go, keep pedalling, and deffo "no coasting!"  Not in this weather, got to keep everything moving all the time especially the big engines, my legs!

I was feeling a tad bad that Lynne had to stop and wait for me to catch up at the usual catch up points along this route. We made it to Downe Village, the tree in the middle, without me having any extra stops, unlike last week!  Lynne gave me her water to drink, I had forgotten mine, again.  I had forgotten to bring a lock, again, and I also forgotten to bring my reading glasses too!  At least I had remembered to put some wet lube on my bike chain!  I must say, it did feel a bit smoother, or was that just my imagination?  My bike is due for an MOT, an over haul, som TLC.

We rode on along Single Street, an uphill climb, so there was Lynne ploughing the way for us.  If only I could stay in her slip stream!  I am sure with practise and practise, and training and practise, I will get there.  I really want to be there.  So, train like I want to win!  Get as much cycling done as possible!  Lynne and Mhairi took the left turn, down then hill, then the sharp right turn to go back up along Berrys Hill.  I took the easy route, along the footpath, although Mhairi had forgotten my aversion to hills as she waited for me acting like a traffic cone at that right hand turn!

Going up this road, and yes it is up, with some flat bits, I caught up with the two ladies, I giggled and said "Oh look I am overtaking Mhairi!" and laughed like a small child as I passed her by!  I think she let me have that! Of course she did, she would only need to kick up a gear and would just leave me in her slip stream......spinning around and around..... if she wanted to.  I must admit it felt good to see the car park of the Shampan today, because that meant it's not too far now till we head down that lovely long down hills stretch,  Cudham North Lane.

But that didn't happen today, oh no, the girls decided that turning right heading towards Knockholt was the order of the day.  No long ride down to the A21.  Oh well, it's nice to take different routes.  It's not as if I have not done this route before.  There were a couple of extra little inclines to do but, still, I'm hard core, my head I'm hard core......I just need to put it in practise and make it happen!

The A21 was the next road, just one or two more little humps before we get to our final destination, the cafe at Farnborough!  I was looking forward to my hot chocolate!  I needed to warm up.  Lynne led the way and Mhairi stayed at the back to nag me all the way up, make sure that I didn't stop my legs spinning!  We turned towards the cafe when we got to the right road and climbed up and up.  Mhairi rode side by side with me now, chatting away.  I am so glad of her chatting, just to keep me going.  Every now and then I let out a "ugggghhhhhh" when I struggled with a particular hill, but always Mhairi came in with "Just keep it steady Old Girl, don't over do it" and then she was straight back into the conversation we were just having!  Brilliant!  A passer by heard what we was talking about, I think it was to do with weight and fitness and stuff like that, and she shouted out to us "Pedal harder then".  Yeah, that is what I need to do, and I will, You wait, this time next year I shall be first at the cafe!

So, Cafe Americarlos was a welcome sight, hot chocolate beckoned me!  We were told firmly by Lynne not to have cakes, have eggs instead!  We did try to get away with the fact that cakes have eggs in them as well as carrots!  Lynne wasn't having any of that, "I don't want to see any pictures of cakes posted up" she said jokingly!   Well Lynne, I didn't take any pictures, but I did have hot chocolate.......with just a smidgen of marshmallows on top!......and toast! Thats what I had!

Thanks for a great ride ladies!  I do enjoy my time with you all.......hate those hills......but getting to love the fact that I did them.  I guess that's a start!

Geeky stats;

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Friday, 15 January 2016

Back To The Spin!

Hello blog lovers.

It was a chilly day, but I still went out, because this afternoon it was quite bright and sunny!  I managed to get out at 1:00 this afternoon and it was just perfect!  I set my Garmin, did I tell you how much I love this watch?!  I headed for my training loops.  Four laps within the hour, that's my plan.  I rode on with a determined attitude towards the beginning of my loops.

I was feeling pretty good about being out, but the rest of me wasn't!  Two weeks of training which includes running and cycling, two weeks of eating healthily, two weeks of no booze!  When does my body start to think "Actually old girl, you're doing a grand job!"  Instead my legs feel quite tired and I'm bloody hungry.  It was just then that I realised I hadn't actually had any lunch! Tut! Oh well, can't stop now, first of the loops is here!

Up Blackbrook lane I go.  Ok so it's not a particularly steep hill, it's a more gradual incline, but and incline is an incline.  I am not attempting to push my self so hard that I want to throw up, or I don't want my legs to feel like they want to divorce my the rest of my body.  I just want to get strong on the bike.  Keep doing this loop until I start to see a real difference in time and ease of ride!  Simples.

As last time I did the loops as soon as I got to the over the bridge to the top I thought "That's one done" even though I was only half way round the first loop.  But it put a smile on my face. The best bit of the ride is down Southborough Road.  There is only one thing that annoys me riding down there is the silly roundabouts that I have to slow down for.  Usually 9 out of 10 times they are clear, but I always slow down, check and double check, just to be safe.

The second lap was coming up, I took a deep breath in, and just tried to get a bit faster, but my legs were feeling it.  After the track session last night and the morning run yesterday, my legs were complaining just a bit.  Still, I needed to get it done.  All the thoughts "I shall only do two laps" didn't even feature this time round.  It was all, "I am just going to do as best as I can".  That made me smile, at least my attitude has changed!

 The hump of the rail bridge came up, and I really told myself off, trying to get as much as I can out of my legs, grimacing and smiling at the same time!  Grimacing because it bloody hurts and smiling because I was thinking, if anyone could hear me shouting at myself!  I got to the top again and turned left to ride along.  Just then I head "Hello!"  It threw me for a bit, but there riding beside me was Big E, he from FNRttC company!  On his way home from work!  Blimey, it seems like a different time from when I went riding along with this crew!  And now look at me!  He actually spun around and was cycling next to me!

"Go on then get a bit faster"  he said.  I think Big E has been reading my blogs, and knows exactly why I am riding along here!  It was nice to have the company actually!  Although I don't think I spoke to much, I was concentrating on trying to ride fast!  He came with me down Southborough road and along Southborough lane.  I think he is going to do a lap with me!  Blimey the pressure!  He did come up Blackbrook lane, but just for a short distance,  but then he said he was going!  I just pulled into a road to say goodbye and get a selfie of me riding with the big boys, ok just the one boy!! I expect I have made his average mph look a bit different from the other commutes!  Here look!

 It was nice to bump into him, and it made me remember the night rides that we did.  Such fun, such distances!  And the stops for cakes and breakfast.......and beer after was brilliant.  Again it made me smile! Riding along the top turning left the smile was still there, until the twat with a flat back lorry decided that he would like to pretend to be a cyclist!  He passed me by with just about enough space but then pull in just in front of me, forgetting that he had a long flat back at the back!  WTF was that all about!  When you're on a bike you do see some twatish things, but you also see some brilliant drivers, those that give you tons of space, those that let you get up a hill before trying to over take you, or drive pass if they are coming towards your.  When you get a decent car space between you and the 30 mile an hour car makes you smile, and I generally try to acknowledge them, even if its just a thumbs up from my handle bars!

So one my lap and I was done.  I know it was going to be slower, it just felt it.  I hadn't even looked at my watch, but I wasn't too bothered.  There is always next time, and besides, I can always blame Big E, he 'put me off'!

So geeky stats, like I say, there is always next time!

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Monday, 11 January 2016

My First of Panagua Ladies This Year!

Hello blog lovers.

Ok, it is  only day 11 of the new year, but some of the other ladies have already been the rain!  They are hard core!  But me, I am still a bit of a lightweight........or I should say heavyweight, as I just can't ride as fast as them....not going up hill anyway!

The weather looked really horrible, and I think one of the ladies said on the Facebook page, that forecasts were for rain around 11 o'clock.   I was hoping by then that we will be on our way back from where ever we were going.  As I was putting on my shoes with the 'wet suit' overshoes on, I was trying to talk myself out of it.  "They are going to be so far in front of you" was one thought  "It's so cold and it looks like rain, your bike needs cleaning, the roads are going to be so wet through the lanes, we might stay in town with that bloomin traffic"  Was the rest of the conversation in my head as I headed out of the door.  Even riding along to the Panaguas I was thinking, "I could get a 'punctucture' "and say I couldn't make it.  But then I quickly banished that thought!  One thing I have learned is never to think about the 'p' word! Never, NEVER, NEVER!  I told myself off and rode the rest of the way in silence.  Just as well really as I was still by myself!

As I rode up to the shop I saw Posh Totty and her friend who she is bringing along for the first time!  She is a fit lady, she does all sorts of 'fit' stuff but cycling is a new thing for her.  She is built like a cyclist, slim and tall, her name is Jo which from now on she will be called LongJoJo as she is quite tall I decided to name her twice!  Well, everyone is taller than me!  Then Yogabear came along and Karen and lastly Mhairi.  (I will think of some nick names for the rest soon!)  After a bit of chatting, potty stops, and chats to the Panagua boys in the shop.....oh and a photo shoot of us all, we were ready to go.

Karen, LongJoJo, Mhairi, Posh Totty, Yogabear and me, Old girl!

Mhairi had this route in mind, can you guess where?  Well I thought I did when she said, "shall we just do our usual little route".  So there was me thinking "Oh good, up to Downe we go, that will be nice.  A nice introduction to the Panagua Ladies for LongJoJo" That was what I thought, but Mhairi had other ideas of our usual little route! "We shall go up to that road, you know the one"  she said. I know the one, boy did I know one!  It's up to Botley Inn road.  It's going to be tough!

I know I have been doing a lot since the New Year, but that is my plan.  I can't just half start something.  I want to lose weight, which means eating healthy and  more exercise!  I can not do the healthy eating first and the get the exercise going, or vice versa!  What's the point, just get stuck in and do it!  Of course that has meant that I am a tad tired!  Probably overly worn out for todays ride, but, I am getting stuck in there, and I am doing it!

We all rode off single file from the shop towards Hayes Train station. So far so good!  Well, it's all down hill. I kept up pretty much with everybody for the first couple of miles actually, it was only when we got to the beginnings of the uphill climb that the 'peleton' started to split.  The ladies started stretching out in front of me.  LongJoJo keeping up with the front pedalers!  She may not have had her bike for long but boy can she eat up them inclines!

I must admit, I did have to stop at one point on one of the roads.  My legs we just hurting, I was going so slow I thought I would actually start going backwards.....or worse, fall off!  The roads were turning into rivers as well, and the mud and debris on the roads had Mhairi ride along with this sort of smile on her face!  She was the only one with mud guards!  I probably should look into getting some for mine, especially for group riding as it's a bit more sociable!

Today seemed to be such a hard slog to get to the top, the road with the lovely pub, Botley Inn.  We had one of our regroups (read as waiting for me!) there and chat about where we were going to go from there.  Mhairi was talking about going left and riding on through Tatsfield and then Biggin Hill to Costa Coffee.  I had visions running through my mind of the last time I did that with the ladies, when I was a tad lighter and, warmer, less wet and not done a shit load of exercise the week before.  It was that nasty hill that was in the forefront of my mind, it was like horror movie scene, it kept zooming in and out!  "I think I will go back the way we came" I said, "Solo, you girls carry on with the hills and the rest of the route!"  Well that went down like a lead balloon!  I am forgetting what being part of a group is all about.  We never leave a man down! Ridiculous of me to think they would leave me to ride solo all the way back.

There were a couple of options that were floating about,
1) I will ride up to Tatsfield, (which I was just about to say, because I felt bad!)
2) One of the ladies will ride with me all the back the way we came. Or
3) We all take the right turn and ride along a road which I know I haven't been on before and some of the others hadn't been on before, but it's going back in the right direction, down hill!

So it was option 3 for us, it was bliss (for me) to be riding down hill.  The only thing wrong with that is we were blooming cold now!  The wet bum was now a cold wet bum (apart from Mhairi's) The hands were getting cold, the feet were cold, I expect stopping in the 'river' of water pouring down the roads didn't help with that!  But further along here there was a Costa Coffee!  I saw Mhairi pull into there and get off the bike! Yes!  Coffee!  That'll do it!

This is us, with our coffee, cakes, etc, although I had a hot chocolate, after Mhairi asked for one!  Just what was needed actually, a skinny of course, and no cake for me!  To be honest that was probably the hardest bit of the ride.....ignoring all those lovely gorgeously delicious cakes!

I so needed this!

When we stood up we had a giggle as Karen had left her own  'Costa' mark on the chair!  Anything that Costa can do we can do better ;-)
Costa coffee

Costa bum!

We still had a few miles to get back to Hayes, through some place, with tons of traffic, and getting on to the 'Mad Mile'  Getting back on that bike bloomin hurt!  My thighs were screaming to me "What the hell are you doing woman?"  But once I got back into the spinning of the legs it wasn't too bad.  We quickly got through the traffic and was soon by the New Inn.  Then it was the last of the hills!  The other girls, who were all behind me now (flats and down hills I can do!) were soon all just whooshing past climbing the last of the hills today.  My legs were screaming, I had jelly legs, my heart was pounding from my chest I was breathing like a steam train......ok so I exaggerate.....but it was bloody hard.  Posh Totty was behind me encouraging me all the way up the hill!

Back at the Panagua shop and we had done it!  I had done it!  Only one 'crash and burned out' stop for me. but I had done it.  And the girls today were just so encouraging!  So ...... I can't even think of another word for encouraging!  But they were it, if I could think of it!  It's great to be part of the Panagua Ladies, I am loving it!   And I am now very determined to get 'match fit' to be able to keep up with them even closer, especially has Mhairi has decided that we are all to do an event of some sort!  Yup love being a Panagua Lady!

Geeky stats

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Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Loop-de-Loop Time!

Hello blog lovers,

So, I've started something and I have got to keep it going!  Even if I am not 'feeling it', I need to just push through all of that, after all, it is only an hour.  I was thinking about all that I had to do today, and was wondering if I could fit it all in.  Some of it is a must, pick up from schools is not something I can say "I'll do it tomorrow!"  But I think it's just my tired brain thinking that I can't do it, trying to give me reason not to go out!

But out I went, after procrastinating for just a little longer, seeing as the spots of rain that I saw had stopped coming down.  My legs were feeling it, the run yesterday with my club and the first of my training loops were telling.  But 'No pain, no gain!' as they say!  What is that bollocks about anyway!  If it hurts it's because something has been done to you!  I tortured my muscles since Sunday morning, with only Monday as a rest day!  But still, I do know the difference between pain that is not good and pain that is, you probably worked bloody hard!

I rode up to the beginning of my loops, to the bottom of Blackbrook lane still trying to talk myself out of it, "I shall only do 2 laps, 2 laps is good for the way I am feeling" But straight away, that quiet voice popped into my head, only this time, it wasn't so quiet, "Just get on with it woman"  I actually think I said it out loudly!  Just as well there was no one around to hear me!  The first loop, getting over that bridge, I shouted again at myself, "Not so quiet now, am I Old Girl" said the voice again, "Come on, get up there woman" I shouted at myself.

The top of the road seems to have become 'That's the first one done' point, the going back down Southborough Road, seems to be the 'Right, get ready for the next loop' even though I still hadn't finished the loop I was doing!  It's funny how the brain occasionally kicks in to help you deal with things.  And if my brain thought that half way round was 1 loop, then who was I to say otherwise!

As you can see from my geeky stats I nagged and dragged my ass around four laps, as planned, and I felt good.....and smug!  Now to get home to see if it was the same time.  Again, geeky stats will show that I was actually slower!  Was I bloody annoyed at myself.  I posted in the new FaceBook page that I joined a few days ago, the fact that I did the loops again but was slower, and I put the expected sad face emoji on there! There are a few fellow Petts Wood Runners who are determined to lose weight and gain fitness, and give give great encouragement.  And one such chap, Cliff said this ;-

So you can imagine I felt tons better after!

So maybe for the first couple of weeks just try to aim for under the hour! And then start pushing even harder!

Geeky stats.

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Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Train Train Train Train On My Bike!

Hello blog lovers.

This morning I had plans to start getting myself into proper shape to be able to ride alongside the Panagua Ladies, (rather than always playing catchup).  Although I am just able able to ride at the slowest end of the expected pace, I feel I want to be able to get up there with them.  I look at Mary-Anne (Posh Totty!)  She has done so well in what seems to be a short time! I just keep saying things to myself like "Well, she is a lot younger than me!" It seems to help me!

Now the ladies do love a good hill....or two. So of course I need to train on a hill.  It's no good going out and knocking me self stupid by sticking Summer Hill in a circuit to train. The hill  needs to be enough to make me out of breath for longer than 2 minutes too.  Which really would leave out Hollingworth Road out and Chesham Ave.  As you can guess I was working out a route close to me, so I could just take a nice gentle recovery ride back, that wasn't too far.

My laps were going to be BlackBrook Lane, turn left at the top, not even looking down towards Summer Hill.......well, except to check on traffic of course, and then along the top and next left down Southborough Road, turn left along Southborough turning left to do it all again!  Four times I was going to do that.  That is my 'Get my arse moving' route.  It has a hill, but not one that is going to demoralise me, it has a nice recovery as I come back down the other side, with a couple of bumps to remind me that I need to keep on spinning and not just sit there looking like a sugar plum fairy cake sat on a bike!

It was hard, it was as hard as I wanted to make it, I should say.  I could have taken it a bit easier going up the hills, and could have just moved my legs around, not doing anything on the down hill, but that is not what this route is for!

Now that I have my circuit, now I have to chase a PB and a record!

Geeky stats.

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