Tag: bike

End Of Month Report (Iain)

My plan for May was not to have any mileage goals but instead complete a number of events:

  • Helensborough 10K – I was hoping I’d get under 45 minutes for one of my 10K’s this month. I surprised myself by managing it in the first race. Link here
  • Bealach Na Ba Race 44 mile race (with the aim to do the climb twice) – My aim was to beat Andrew but he beat me due to a puncture. We didn’t do the climb twice due to the puncture. Link here
  • Loch Leven half marathon – the aim was to beat Andrew but he beat me easily! I was happy with my time so I can’t complain…too much. Link here 
  • Antonine Trail Race 10k – great race. I’ll sign up for the half marathon when it becomes available. Link here
  • Caledonian Etape 81 mile bike  – My aim was to beat Andrew but he cheated 🙂 Link here 
  • Dumbarton 10K – I didn’t make it to this race which I think is the second time I’ve entered it but not made it to the start line.
  • Shettleston 10K – Last race of the month. I was tired and hungover but my time was okay. Link here 

The theme of the month was “My aim was to beat Andrew but….”

Thankfully, despite these losses, the Todd Championship is still close. It’s currently 4-3 to Andrew. Overall, I enjoyed the races and got PB’s for the biking so it was a good month.

My plan for June is not to have a plan. Iron Man Edinburgh is the next goal (at the start of July) so I’ll concentrate on keeping everything ticking over so that I’m fit and healthy.

I also don’t want to let Andrew know what my plan for this month is to ensure I win! I have a secret idea….

Here’s a selection of photos from May. If you want to see more then follow me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/twinbikerun/

Bealach Beag 2017 (Andrew)

“When’s the worst time to get a puncture – the start or end of a race?”

We were about five miles from the finish of Bealach Beag – a 45 mile race around Applecross and over the UK’s highest road: Bealach Na Ba.

We’d just passed a rider changing a tyre at the side of the road.

“If you get a puncture at the start then that’s really annoying as you’ve just started and you have to stop. But, if you get a puncture at the end, you’re thinking that you don’t have long to go when, suddenly, you’ve got to wait and change your tyre.”

We didn’t answer the questions. We came to a short hill, a fast descent and sudden climb. I’d read the course profile and knew that the last two miles were downhill. I thought if I made a break for it now then Iain wouldn’t keep up.

I was right.

I was first over the hill. I kept going as fast as I could for two miles, looked back and knew he wasn’t in sight.

It was an easy victory.

Until I had to wait at the finish line.

And wait.

And wait some more.

Eventually, 20 minutes later, far, far longer than he should have been, Iain cycles into Sheildag.

“I got a puncture just after you left!”

He tried to claim that meant my victory was void, that professionals who get a mechanical in the last stage of a race are given the same time as the winner.

I pointed out that I was the first to climb Bealach Na Ba – a six mile, 626m climb, that takes you from sea level to mountain top and back down again. Some parts have a gradient of 20% – which is almost like doing a wheely without your bike leaving the ground!

I also pointed out that I was the first round Applecross and had waited for him.

But still he insisted he was given the same time.

So, I said: “That’s okay, you can have the same time – but you don’t see Chris Froome handing over the yellow jersey! It’s the same time not the same place! I’m still the winner!”

Same time then, but, a much needed victory in the Todd Championship to claw it back to 3 – 2 to Iain!

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End Of Month Report: April (Iain)

My plan for April was:
– The Dirty Reiver race (you can read about it here
– Bike (on average) 110 miles a week – I managed 129
– Run (on average) 16 miles a week – I managed 16.3
– Do yoga at least once a week – done!
– Swim twice a week – I failed. I managed three swims in a month. I need to do better!
– Plaster the hall. I phoned a man and he’s doing it next week 🙂

I’m happy with how April went. I had a two weeks vacation. I call it a Scottish compass holiday because, by the end of it, I’d visited the north, south, east and west of Scotland!

In the north, I visited Findhorn. A very spiritual community of hippies with eco-homes. I found this book – “Your Pet’s Past Lives & How They Can Heal You”.

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I have so many questions:
– does my cat have nine past lives?
– Was my cat a cat in a previous life? If not, is being a cat a punishment or a reward for past behavior?
– how can my cat heal me? He seems pretty lazy and selfish. I suspect he’s planning to kill me.
– the author is a whale whisperer??? What are whales saying ? And how do you whisper underwater?

and WHO BELIEVES THIS TOSH?

In the south I visited the Garden of Cosmic Speculation. A wonderful garden that’s only open once a year. One of the grass mounds in looks like an ass which meant they needed this sign:

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Which is a motto I live my life by.

In the east I biked from Edinburgh back to my home in Lennoxtown. On the way I passed this sign:

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How many people get shot in Falkirk that’ve had to put a sign up telling them not to?!

And, in the west, I went home to Stornoway. I visited the Callanish Stones. They were much more redder whiter and pointy-er than I remember.

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My Plan for May is not to have any mileage goals as I’ve got loads of events to do:
– Helensborough 10K run
– Antonine Trail Race 10k run
– Dumbarton 10K run
– Shettleston 10K run (which despite the name isn’t in shettleston!)
– Caledonian Etape 81 mile bike race.
– Bealach Na Ba Race 44 mile race (with the aim to do the climb twice)

Here’s a selection of photos from April. If you want to see more then follow me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/imacivertodd/

The Dirty Reiver (Iain)

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

If a bike race takes place in a forest and no one is around to see it, did it actually happen?

The Dirty Reiver (https://www.dirtyreiver.co.uk/) is a gravel race held in Kielder Forrest -the largest man-made woodland in England covering 250 square miles. The race has a choice of distances – 130KM or 200KM.

Andrew and I choose the 130KM option as it sounded more fun and less of a slog than the longer race. The course was on “gravel” which actually meant 50% was on a good gravely surface, 25% was a larger stone rubble surface, 10% was road and 15% was rough as f*&k!

There was an online debate before the race about what bike suited the course. Most competitors choose a “gravel” bike. Which is a tougher more off-road friendly road bike.

I don’t understand the popularity of gravel bikes. If Colin MaCrae (famous rally driver) was alive then he wouldn’t go to a Ferrari garage and say “‘I’d like to take this off-road. Can you put fatter tyres on it?”

No! He’d get an off-road car with proper suspension.

Therefore I decided to “Colin Macrae” it and use a mountain bike. Andrew decided to “Sebastian Vettel” it and use a road bike with fatter tyres.

The success of our choices can be summed up by our reactions at the end of the race.

I said: “That was great. I really enjoyed it!”

Andrew said: “I’m never doing that ever again!”

Also, during the first hour of the event, I saw 35 people stop due to a puncture. Not one of them had a mountain bike!

The race was great. 2200M of climbing over 80 miles. There was barely a flat section to the course. The course was more barren of people than a Theresa May supporters party in the Gorbals. The only time we saw anyone other than riders was at the two food stops.

I’d recommend it to anyone who fancies a bike race that’s a bit different – but bring a mountain bike and make sure you know how to fix a puncture!

And to answer my original question. Did it happen? Yes – its on Strava so it must be true 🙂

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End Of Month Report: March (Iain)

My plan for March was:

  • Stirling Duathlon.
  • Alloa Half Marathon.
  • Bike (on average) 100 miles a week.
  • Run (on average) 16 miles a week including a half marathon and a 10k.
  • Do yoga at least once a week.
  • Swim twice a week.

What actually happened:

Oh well, I achieved everything but the second swim. I can’t complain about March. The weather was good and I was healthy all month.

This month’s targets:

  • The Dirty Reiver https://www.dirtyreiver.co.uk/ It’s a gravel bike race in Kielder forest. A 60 mile off-road course on gravel tracks. I’m looking forward to it as I’ve never been to this part of the Country before and I’ve heard its a beautiful spot.
  • Bike (on average) 110 miles a week.
  • Run (on average) 16 miles a week including at least one off road hilly run of an hour a week.
  • Do yoga at least once a week.
  • Swim twice a week.

I’m on holiday for two weeks so I’m looking forward to biking and running but also catching up with household chores. I have a hall that needs plastered and painted. That’ll definitely be the hardest challenge of the month. 🙂

Here’s a selection of photos from March. If you want to see more then follow me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/imacivertodd/ 

This boy can’t… (Iain)

#thisgirlcan is a social media campaign encouraging women to participate in sporting activities. Women are encouraged to tweet/facebook/instagram tales of sporting success (no matter how big or small) so that other women will be inspired.

It’s a great campaign and I recommend you check out the website: http://www.thisgirlcan.co.uk/

Would men benefit from a similar campaign? In my opinion, probably not – men do not have to be encouraged to brag. We’ve all written a blog post about an amazing training session or event, we’ve all gone into work and said how we smashed a bike/run/swim course at the weekend.   Did it inspire people? No, it probably bored them. Nobody likes hearing about success unless it’s their own.

So instead I’ve an idea that I think can inspire men. Let me be the first to say #thisboycant

Because I’ve learnt more through failing at sport than succeeding.

So join me as I admit:

#thisboycant snowboard –  I fell over during the first hour of a five day ski holiday while on the training slope. I accidentally punched myself in the chest. I broke my rib. I haven’t felt that bad after a punch since the last time I went to a house party and drank from a fruit bowl.

#thisboycant play rugby –  I was told by my coach that with correct technique I could tackle anyone. That was a lie. I tackled a man twice my size. My technique was perfect. I ended up concussed. I was more wiped out than the Labour vote at the next general election (oooh. A little bit of politics!)

#thisboycant cycle on the track – I attended four track session. On the test day another cyclist crashed into a wall above me. His bike slid down the track into mine. I fell off, hitting the ground hard. I bashed my head and lost skin on my arm. I looked so bad I was mistaken for the Elephant man.

#thisboycant rock climb – I went to a climbing center. I had to attach the rope to my harness in two places. I attached it to just one. I fell off the wall. Luckily the one place holding the rope was strong enough to break my fall. Unfortunately that one place was my crotch. The instructor said it took balls to survive a fall like that. It certainly did!

I learnt something from each of these failures. I learnt I don’t have to be good at sport to enjoy taking part.

So when people ask me whether they should attempt an event be it running/biking/triathlon? I say, YES! I can’t do it but I’ve never let that stop me so it shouldn’t stop you either 🙂

The next time you write a blog/tweet etc think about writing about something you can’t do.

End Of Month Report: February

My plan for February was:

  • Bike (average) 100 miles a week.
  • Run (average) 16 miles a week including a 10k+ run once a week.
  • Do yoga at least once a week.
  • Swim twice a week.

What actually happened:

  • I averaged 85 miles a week on the bike. I’m happy with that. Due to other commitments I wasn’t able to do any weekend biking (other than once) I also lost a week due to a head cold.
  • I ran on average 15 miles a week and managed at least a 10k every week.
  • I managed 1.5 yoga sessions a week.
  • I swam twice a week.

Overall, I’m pleased with February. I didn’t have much spare weekend time to bike/run but still managed to get close to my targets.

This month’s targets:

  • Stirling Duathlon.
  • Alloa Half Marathon.
  • Bike (on average) 100 miles a week.
  • Run (on average) 16 miles a week including a half marathon and a 10k.
  • Do yoga at least once a week.
  • Swim twice a week.

I’m looking forward to the duathlon as I’ve never done one before. I’m not sure how to pace one it so I will just aim to go slightly faster than Andrew!

I’ve done Alloa a few times. It can be a hard race as there’s a long straight section into the wind. My aim is to get under 1 hour 45 minutes.

Here’s a selection of photos from February. If you want to see more then follow me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/imacivertodd/ 

 

The Beer Triathlon (Iain)

Whilst training for an event some people will abstain from alcohol. There’s a name for them – boring bastards!

My fastest ever half marathon time was achieved whilst drunk. Would I have gone faster if I’d been sober? Probably not – I was so hungover and desperate for water that I ran the legs between water stations as fast as possible.

If it’s possible to drink and run, is it possible to drink and triathlon? After a swift Google I’m proud to announce the best and definitely drunkest race ever invented – Beer-athlon!

It comprises a beer swim, a beer bike and beer run. It will take place in Austria because that the only place I could find a beer swimming pool.

Starkenberger’s Castle in Austria doesn’t just have the world’s only beer swimming pool. It has seven! Each pool contains 42,000 pints of beer! That’s 294,000 pints. Enough to keep a Scottish man in beer for at least a few hours. 🙂

If anyone gets out of the pool alive then it’s onto the bike leg. For this I’ve sourced the worlds best beer bike.

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This bike allows you to “refuel” on the move. The distance of the ride is however far it takes to finish both kegs.

The finale is provided by a beer I spotted in the pub – Running Beer.

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Each athlete has to down a pint and then run 100m in a straight line. The winner is the first person to achieve that.

I can’t see what could possibly go wrong with this format. 🙂

End of Month Report: January (Iain)

My plan for January was:

  • Bike (on average) 75 miles a week.
  • Run (on average) 13 miles a week running including at least one 10k.
  • Do yoga at least once a week

It looks like I’ll finish the month:

  • Bike (on average) 100 miles a week.
  • Run (on average) 16 miles a week including four 10k+ runs.
  •  Most weeks I’ve managed two yoga sessions

Overall, I’m pleased with the start to the year. The weather has been unusually good which is reflected in my better than average performance. There hasn’t been a day when it’s not been possible to commute to work by bike. In previous years I’ve lost at least a week in January due to snow and ice.

My plan for February is:

  • Bike (on average) 100 miles a week.
  • Run (on average) 16 miles a week including a 10k+ run once a week.
  • Do yoga at least once a week
  • Swim twice a week.

My plan is to slowly increase bike mileage every month. I might not be so lucky with the weather in February so I’ll make the goal the same as what I achieved this month.

I’ve joined a swimming pool so I should be able to swim twice a week as its on my way to and from work. I won’t put any distance down for it as I just want to enjoy the first few weeks back.

This month training was also good for photos. Here’s a selection from my training. If you want to see more then follow me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/imacivertodd/ 

Andrew is not on Instagram. I think he’s worried about how many likes I get in comparison to him 😉

 

 

Race Plan 2017 (Iain)

The general theme of this year’s plan is… no overseas races! I’ve travelled to races for the last few years and it would be selfish to do it again this year.

Other than that my only criteria is that the race should be within two hours of my house, although:

  • I’ve made an exception for Chester as it’s such a great race.
  • Celtman is two hours from my parent’s house in Stornoway so I don’t count that either!

January 28th – Buchlyvie 10K

I’ve entered this race twice before. Each time it was cancelled due to bad weather. I’m hoping this is third time lucky.

February 12th – Kirkintilloch 12.5K

A quiet undulating course which is conveniently near my house. It was icy last year. Hopefully, this time I get round without slipping and, hopefully, I beat Andrew again.

March 12th – Balloch to Clydebank Half Marathon

My traditional start to the year. If I do it in less than 1hr 45min then I know I haven’t been too lazy over the winter.

March 19th – Alloa Half Marathon

Similarly if I can run a half marathon a week after Balloch then I also know my stamina is okay. Andrew has never attempted this. I think he’s too afraid of losing twice in a week 😉

March 26th – Stirling Duathalon

I’ve never done a duathalon so this should be interesting…

April 22nd – Dirty Reiver 

A race I’ve never done before, but it looks good https://www.dirtyreiver.co.uk/  It’s a an off road bike race on forrest tracks. I’m looking forward to trying something new. I’ve also lost to Andrew on every other bike surface so maybe this is the one I’ll win on!

May 6th – Bealch Beag

A warm up for Celtman as its in the same area. Its an event I’m excited about. Years ago,  I did the original race but I’ve never done it since. Back then I knew nothing about biking. Hopefully now I know a little bit more I’ll do better.

May 13th – Loch Leven Half Marathon

A return of an old favorite. I love this race. One of my favorite running memories is running it on a gloriously sunny day with Andrew. It was the last day of the SPL championship. As we got to the 10mile point we discovered Celtic had won the league. We ran the last three miles very happily.

May 21st – Caledonian Etape

My yearly hope I’ll beat Andrew but inevitably lose race

June 4th – Chester Standard Triathalon

Great swim course, bike course and run course. So many triathalons fail at least one of these. So signing up is a no brainer as its brilliant.

June 17th – Celtman (support)

I’ll do my best to find Andrew fresh pancakes for the bike leg as he enjoyed them at Norseman.

July 2nd – Iron Man Edinburgh (70.3)

I couldn’t resist signing up. It starts in Gosford House. One of Scotland’s grandest homes. I’ve always wanted to visit it, but its closed to the public. This seemed the perfect opportunity to combine my love of visiting interesting places and racing. Also I went to university in Edinburgh and lived there so I know the course well.

I know I won’t end up doing all of these as normal life will throw up other events (unexpected weddings/births/fun) but hopefully I’ll enjoy as many as possible especially as I’ve already paid for them!

(The  fourth discipline of racing after swim/bike/run is paying for it.)