Monday, 29 April 2013

Walking and wheeling

With 8 days remaining until myself and eatingtrees get on our singlespeeds and head for The Netherlands and Belgium, the weekend before last, I needed to check I had the ability to cycle 2 consecutive days before I attempted to do it for 4 and run a half marathon at the end of it.

With the in-laws kindly putting me up for the night, I abandoned my parenting duties and hit the road fully laden with everything I'll be taking with me. I've done the route south to Worthing a few times now so I pretty much knew when it was going to hurt and when I could relax so with the weather a wonderful 20 degrees, I made it in a good time despite a detour due to a road closure and feeling pretty damn good. 80km done.

The return journey started around 8:45am after a mountain of breakfast but as I'd decided to go in a completely new direction I'd never done even in a car, let alone on a bike, I was thankful for the GPS showing me the way. That was until after speeding along and making great time, I accidentally hit the North Downs. I say hit because that's how it felt. I just stopped. Going up an 18% gradient on a single speed fully loaded with panniers, saddle bags and a fat bloke ain't gonna happen. I got off top walk and was suddenly joined by many a Lycra clad roadie as a found myself slap bang in the middle of a cycling event. I enjoyed a certain smugness that at least it wasn't only me walking...

Anyway, after that little power walking exercise, I made it home again feeling pretty damn good albeit very hungry! 75km done.

The running training for the half marathon I've abandoned in the knowledge that anything I do is more likely to make my foot worse, not better so I'll just wing it and hope for the best. I certainly won't be setting any records but after all the cycling, that was never likely anyway. Completion is everything!

This weekend was spent getting attacked in Zagreb for Mrs HMC's early birthday trip. I say attacked but I do mean by tree pollen. Being a hay fever sufferer got me worse than it ever has before and it was really tough to get any sleep but, and here's the thing, it was totally worth it. 3 nights spent in Zagreb looking around and seeing the place was great but my absolute highlight was walking up Medvednica Mountain. Just the hiking trail was 4.5km at a 14% gradient so up and down that plus a couple of km either end getting there and back meant we did a 12ish km walk to pretty much the summit through the conservation area of forest. It was awesome... Even if it did mean that we could barely walk the next day. It's the downhills that seemed to cause the most problems with ankles and calf muscles but come next week, I'll be hoping for every downhill I can find.

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