Il fait mauvais et aussi trop froid.
After a first week of decent cycling commuting, week seven of my training for the Manchester marathon took a turn for the awful. The Monday morning commute was horrible – cold, wet and windy – and then I got a puncture seven miles in, half way-ish from work. I’m rubbish at changing tubes at the worst of times, but I was cold, wet and shivering, and was obviously going to be late for work. With not much pressure in my rear tyre (I really need to upgrade my mini-pump) I set off again, and whether it was another puncture or just not putting enough air in, I had a flat again 2 miles from work. I wasn’t bothered to try and replace it, so rode the final two miles in on a flat.
I’d bought a new track pump to keep at work a week ago, but hadn’t bought it in yet. I got the train home, as I still couldn’t get enough pressure in the rear tyre for that journey.
Day two was interesting in different ways. My gear shifting had been a bit funny – probably as I don’t clean/lubricate my drivetrain enough. On the way home something happened – only 2 miles in – there was a loud clunk and my rear cassette shifted into the highest gear and wouldn’t shift. This meant I had to do the entire journey home, and quite a hilly one, in the highest gear. I just about managed it, but was then off the bike for the next two days for a simple repair job – the cable connecting the rear derailleur to the shifter had shorn straight off.
I got through all of the scheduled running miles this week, but it was very cold, sometimes snowy and rainy, and sometimes very icy. Saturday’s Parkrun put this all together in one place. Heading off up there it began snowing, and the pavements up there was slippy all over the place.
I got there only just in time for the pre-race briefing, being told that the route had been changed slightly due to slushy icy paths, and warnings to take it easy. To be honest we didn’t really need the warning, as it was almost impossible to find any part of the route that was dry enough to run fast, and all of the corners had to be taken carefully.
The weather meant that quite a few of the faster guys that usually turned up skipped the run. Around the first lap I realised I was in third, and the two guys in the lead were a short bit ahead of me. I knew one of them from running club and, modesty aside, knew that I was faster than him. The rest of the race was annoying, as I could never find any dry path to close that gap, and to be honest just shouldn’t have let them get away at the start. In the end I finished 3rd – my best finish in a Parkrun and I think in any race. Although it was one of the worse 5K times I’ve run for a while, 19:51, it was great to get a ‘podium finish’.
So another week down, and trying to make sure that I rest properly as well as train properly…
51.6 miles running.
93.1 miles cycling.