As the days are lengthening I’m finally shaking off the winter blues and looking forward to spring and summer. I’ve got 3 events lined up to get me training again after a couple of lazy months in the depths of winter. I’ve booked in to the Salford Triathlon in August which will be the first one held there for a few years. I intended to compete in my first full distance tri last autumn but the event I was signed up to got cancelled as only 5 of us fancied an 8am October morning dip in Capernwray’s flooded quarry. The Salford event gives me a more convenient opportunity to finally tick that particular box and then a week after that I’ll be defending my veteran’s title at the UK Backwards running championship in Heaton Park so I should be in good shape for that. I ran the course on Sunday and was a couple of minutes off my best time. If I train for it (rather than do a handful of practice runs as last year) I should be able to improve on my 2012 time though don’t expect to get anywhere close to overall champion and multiple world record holder Garret.
The other challenge I’ve set myself is a first bike ride over 100 miles. The most I’ve done before is about 75 miles and to make things tougher I’ll be riding to Southport on the Trans Pennine Trail which is flat but along surfaces that prevent me using my road bike to eat up the miles. Instead I’ll be doing the ride on a 10 year old £300 hybrid with kickstand and honky horn.
The ride is in memory of a colleague who died suddenly last year. Ian was a keen time trial cyclist and having just moved to Manchester we were looking forward to riding around the velodrome together in one of their open sessions. There will be a group of us from Sage riding 60 miles from our Salford office along the TPT to Southport with some of us turning it into a round trip. We’ll be raising funds for Cardiac Risk in the Young and our sponsorship page is here if you are able to support us.
I started training soon after new year introducing a weekly long ride to more frequent cycle commutes. I put together a programme of 12 rides (which I’m halfway through) to steadily increase my mileage and time in the saddle and all was going well up until a couple of weeks ago. I rode 3 hours non-stop to Wigan and Standish and back which included a bit of a climb around Haigh Hall as well as making me more familiar with the second half of the road route home from Southport. The weekend before last was a bit busy so I ducked out of even a 2 hour ride, but the weekend just past it was niggling lower back pain together with a fair measure of laziness that stopped me going out. To get back on track I’m going to have to push hard this weekend and a route I’ve lined up is Huddersfield and back. The Terrier’s Galpharm stadium is the next closest league football ground for me to tick off having found quite a number whilst training for a C2C ride a few years ago. I’ll trick myself into considering the journey as a couple of 2 hour rides back to back with a McDonald’s breakfast close to the turning point. I’ll be setting off before dawn and hope to enjoy the sunrise as I reach Saddleworth Moor. It’ll be my first ride into the Pennines and if the weather’s bad I might postpone it another week but hopefully by blogging about this ride I’ll actually commit to doing it.