Toontjie 4km - 14 October 2017

Toontjie 4km - 14 October 2017
Alfie's first medal

Sunday, 8 September 2013

The Pearly Plodder Steps into Cycling (Part 2)

How did Hubs react to yesterday's blog?

Well, I'm still here!  Phew!  Got through that one by the skin of my teeth!

Argus Cycle Tour and Hubs:

(Note: I started writing this a few days ago but have only just finished writing it.)

Last weekend (Sunday 1st), entries opened for the Argus Cycle Tour in Cape Town.  109km around the Peninsula.  A very popular event where approximately 35,000 riders take part (a bit like the London Marathon, I suppose!)  It is getting more popular each year, as entries are filling up quicker every year.  Last year I believe entries closed after only a few weeks.

Hubs has been building up to the date when entries opened for this race for the last 6 months or so, so that I could enter him into it.  At least, that was on the understanding that certain other members of the family in the UK entered it too!  He said he didn't want to do it on his own.   (Aahhh!)  So, me having entered him last Sunday, he is doing the Argus next March!  Exciting!  Also, a couple of relatives in the UK are actually coming across to do it too.  Even more exciting!  And he won't be doing it on his own!

He can't keep making the same old excuses about his training now!  "It's raining, I can't go out."  "It's blowing a gale out there."  "I've got too much to do."  Etc etc.

I had (jokingly) been  threatening to put my entry in, heehee, but not until there were only a few entries left, and it has been filling up really quickly already.  As I write this (Friday 6th), there are under 1000 places left.  It only opened last Sunday.  It would be such fun to have the last entry!

However, Hubs has been trying to dissuade me, at least for this year.  He says we can get a 'proper' bike for me, like his, with better gears that will be much easier to ride. You mean, there are actually bikes that are easier to ride??  You saw the pic of my bike on yesterday's post.  I love the red colour.  Much nicer than his boring silver colour.  Then, he says, we can both enter the Argus the following year (2015) - that would be a much better idea, and give me a lot more practice and training.  Mind you, I might even get the hang of drinking from the water bottle on the bike!  Bonus!

He does have a point.  Well, several actually.  For a start, I haven't actually cycled more than about 25 kms in the last, oh I don't know - many, many years!  He bought me my current cycle about a year ago. Actually, no, he didn't buy it.  He swapped it for a couple of old sofas that Alfie had wee'd up!  It is an 'ok' bike - a proper mountain bike, quite old, and therefore quite heavy, but I certainly don't intend flying over logs and rocks on the mountains and through thick mud on it!  Ugh!  I'll stick to our local roads, thank you, and try to enjoy it!

It does have rather odd gears, but as long as you use them properly (which I tried to do last time I was out on it, as you know - I was concentrating really hard!) they seem to work ok.  Wow, what a difference it makes going up hills or into the wind in the right gear!

I probably don't actually need a new bike but it would be easier to do the Argus if I had a new bike!

I suppose if I did really enter the Argus this time round, then the logistics of getting all our bikes and people to Cape Town, etc. for the race would be totally messed up.  For a start, we only have a cycle carrier on the car for 2 cycles.  Also, at the moment, we are a cycle short and need to find another for one of the relatives coming over (so if I end up getting a new cycle, then that relative will, at least, have a decent bike to use rather than my current one with the funny gears).

If I did enter the Argus, then Hubs would feel compelled to hold back and wait for me to catch up, even if I told him to go on at his own speed.  I would feel bad about that.  But - is he implying that he would be in front of me?!

And if I entered the Argus, well, we just haven't planned for me to do it.  It's not about me this time, it's about Hubs and the other guys coming across to do it.  It's just not right, really, is it?  Why can't they have their moments of glory - all guys together - they will have earned it!  I completed the London Marathon, so why shouldn't he be able to do something that I haven't done.  Something that he has achieved, and the others with him.  I would be so proud!

And, no doubt, they will want massages afterwards by their better halves.  Well, I know Hubs will anyway! So, who would be able to do that for him if I needed one myself?!

And how on earth do I, realistically, expect to be able to ride the 109kms required to complete the Argus - and there are hills.  It might be really windy.  It will certainly be really crowded (although possibly not right at the back!) And it has to be completed within 7 hours.  There are cut-off points all the way around the circuit.  Do I seriously think I could pedal fast enough on that bike to complete it?!

What if I got a puncture?  The last time I fixed a puncture I was about 14 years old!

It would have been nice to try and do it but, as Hubs says, there is always the next year.  And I will have had a year more of riding by then, too.

Oh well...

Still, will have to keep checking the entries.  If there are any left by tomorrow morning (Saturday 7th), maybe I will have to enter...

Just for fun...

Saturday, 7 September 2013

The Pearly Plodder Steps into Cycling (Part 1)

It has been a while since I wrote anything on this blog.  However, we have been through a cold, wet, windy winter and it is very hard to get motivated into doing anything much at all other than hide under the duvet and hibernate!

We have had more rain here in Pearly Beach than we have ever had, certainly in the time that we have been here.  Hopefully, we are coming out the other side now and can look forward to summer. The last few days have been much nicer and there has even been some blue sky.  

On my part, there has also been some 'blue sky' thinking going on!

Cape Town Marathon training:

So, what have I been doing then?  I have been training towards running the Cape Town Marathon to be held later this month and my training had been going really well.  I managed to break 30 minutes (at long last) for my 5km and got a really good PB at my running club time trials of 28:56 minutes at the beginning of August - about 3 minutes off my usual time.  I've been aiming towards a sub 30 5km for ages!  After that, I had a few really good runs and I could tell that I had definitely improved, both strength-wise and speed-wise and was really pleased with my progress.

Then the weather deteriorated a lot and most days were cold, wet and windy!  It makes it much harder to get out there in those conditions but I struggled on and did my runs according to my plan albeit they tended to be a bit slower in the wind and rain until, one day, it all started to hurt too much.  I have had a 'sore' big toe for a long time and can usually manage to run through the 'ouch' but over the last few weeks it seems to have become worse.  Maybe the weather has something to do with it, or maybe I'm just getting really old now, or maybe I'm just trying to do too many kms, but I have been struggling with running even just a few kms without too much pain since then, so I feel I really don't want to spend five hours or so on the road knowing that every step I pound is going to hurt and get more sore with each step.

I don't want to pull out of the marathon but, then again, I don't want to make my foot worse either in the long term so I have decided, reluctantly, to downgrade to the 10km.  I don't expect to be able to run all of the 10km either but I will just do it for 'fun' and try to enjoy it - and remain positive about it!  Eek!

So, with this in mind I have a (lovely) surprise for Hubs!  He doesn't know it yet, but he is 'running' the 10km with me!  Yep, isn't he the lucky one?  He, who hasn't been able to run, is entered into the 10km and we can complete it together - slowly!  Very slowly!  At walking speed!  And enjoy the scenery along the way!  That will be a first!  (Doing a 10km together, I mean, not enjoying the scenery!)  So, Hubsy, you'd better get your best trainers out!  You've been entered into the Cape Town 10km.  You've now been warned!

Don't worry, we will be walking it!  And think of all those extra calories you will have earned!  You can have a braai that evening after all!)

I wonder if I should start running (and hiding) yet?!!  Hubs?

First Steps into Cycling:

Anyway, realising that I may not have my running to focus on, at least for a while but, hopefully after a rest I will be able to run shorter distances, I decided to dig out my bicycle from the garage last week, and try to start using that again a bit more regularly now - more than once a year!  At least it will help keep my fitness levels up.  I've been out on it twice in the last few days - not bad for me!  And I haven't fallen off it yet!  The first ride I had, I rode up to the R43 and several kms along it to meet Hubs coming back from Die Dam.  Wow, it was windy coming back!  But I did it, and was out for about 35 minutes.  Long enough for a first ride in months!  Didn't touch the gears though.  Did the whole ride in the same gear!  Don't think I took my hands off the handlebars either - how do cyclists do that?  In fact, how do cyclists manage to drink from their water bottle on the move?  Incredible!

The second time I went out was the next day and I did about 45 minutes - around the village and up to the R43 and back home.  This time, I played with the gears (well, some of them anyway) and it all went well.  I had to use the gears really as there were hills to climb.  If I hadn't tried to use the gears, I think I would have had the embarrassment of getting off the bike and walking up the hills!  Bit scary going down the other side though!  So fast!  But I survived.

And I am buying a pair of 'tena tights', sorry, I mean padded shorts, so that I can feel the part!  Actually, I am hoping that my parts won't 'feel' too much and it will be a more comfortable ride.

Part 2 tomorrow if I survive after Hubs reads this!