On Thursday morning it was raining. I don’t mind running in light rain – up to the point where your trainers start to squelch – and it’s a good idea to experience most conditions as you don’t know what you’ll get on the day of any particular event.
However, running to the gym in the rain is less pleasant as you end up doing weights while wet – either from the rain itself or from sweat if you run in a jacket – and that probably means you get cold as well.
Despite that, I ran to the gym with a friend, did 30 minutes weights (feeling cold and wet) and ran back. In all 5.7km (3.5m) done fairly gently as he is coming back from his twisted ankle and the conditions were poor.
I ran in my ‘London Prepares’ jacket (from the series of test events run in preparation for the London Olympics in 2012 where Mrs O and I were Games Makers). A nice jacket but definitely a bit ‘boil in the bag’.
On Friday I went on the turbo again. It’s been very cold here this week and this was the first time since the start of the year that I’ve had to pre-heat the conservatory – it was only a week ago that I was opening the door to keep cool. I did click down a gear for the first 35 minutes and click it back up for the last 5. In total, 20km (12.5m) in the 40 minutes @ 30kph (18.7mph).
I was very cold to start with, and very hot the end – but it is little consolation that, on average, I must have been enjoying a really comfortable temperature.
The club ride on Saturday was interesting. It wasn’t too cold at the start and although it clouded over and got colder in a strong wind later on (the sort that leaves you pedalling to make forward progress downhill), I was enjoying it. Unfortunately on a fairly quick descent, I heard the ominous noise of a front wheel blow-out.
I was expecting to hit the tarmac but was greatly relieved to bring the bike to a safe stop. I then discovered that whatever caused the puncture had also taken out the side wall of the tyre. I changed the tyre, reinforcing the gash in the side wall with a bit of a crisp packet found nearby but couldn’t get any air into it with my pump.
The chap who had kindly stopped with me had a gas canister but as soon as that inflated the tube, it immediately let the air back out. It wasn’t a pinch in the tube with tyre levers (as I’d changed it with just my hands) so I took it as a sign that the cycling gods had decided that was the end of my ride. Collection by a very kind Mrs O was a rather ignominious end to it.
Just 58.55km (36 miles) with 600m (1970 feet) of climbing (not counting the journey back in the car).
That’s the second tyre I’ve lost to a side wall gash in under 4 months (and 4 months of not much cycling on that bike). I’ve always liked the Continental GP4000S ii tyres but that’s rather undermined my confidence in them – I’ve seen suggestions online doubting them because the side walls are vulnerable. Although I appreciate that any tyre might have failed in this incident, I’m now also in that doubters camp.
When I got it home, I found a large hole in the inner tube, nowhere near the site of the damaged wall. It’s a tube that I bought out in the alps in July (I can tell because the French tubes do not have threaded valve stems). I don’t like to buy into conspiracy theories but it can’t be part of a French response to Brexit, can it?
Sunday morning Mrs O was not feeling too good and I had the start of a sore throat so we are treating it as a day of rest (there is good precedent for that).
So, a decent week with 95km (59 miles) of cycling, 20.28km (12.6m) of running and 30 minutes of weights, with 6 consecutive days of exercise. Two weeks until the start of my 20 week marathon training course.
To date, my achilles tendons have hurt first thing every morning but eased very quickly as I get moving. This morning they don’t hut as much as normal so that’s good(ish).
More running next week.
Michelin Pro 4 Endurance tires have the flat protection from bead to bead rather than tread only. They’re a little snug getting them on the first time, but they’re great tires. Roll well, never gotten a flat on them.
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I think that’s where I’m heading. Interestingly that’s what I have on the rear – I bought it out in France in July as it was the only decent tyre the Decathlon shop had when I needed to replace the previous gashed Conti. I was lucky to stumble across such a good tyre and think that’s what I’ll stick with.
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