Personal Growth. I Hate It.

I am being sensible. Which is no fun and not playing to my strengths at all.

I was totally bored a few days ago and started looking on eBay. Just window shopping things for my triathlon training. But that is a slippery slope. You are looking at power meter pedals for the pushbike, when you make one small typo typing in “power meter pedals” and you accidentally type “Triumph Daytona 675” into the search box. Happens almost constantly, I find. That was it then. Full-on obsessive mode. It’s the same gorgeous three cylinder engine I had in the Street Triple, but with a proper riding position, fairings, and a real world first gear. The one on the Street Triple was just for pulling wheelies. Unfortunately it did it when you weren’t expecting it, so that was a bit… interesting.

Anyway. I was in full-on obsessive mode, thrashing the internet day and night, trying to find the best possible bike for the money. Because they were first introduced in 2006 (which I still keep thinking is brand new, but is actually 15 years ago) they have come down to merely expensive. Starting at slightly under £4K. I asked about and several companies would give me £1,800 for my bike in part exchange.

One came up two days ago. 2006, great condition, 26K miles (quite high for a bike, but Triumph actually make good bikes these days) and red. Red bikes are faster. Basic science.

Just look at it!

I wrote the email asking how we should proceed, was the shop in lockdown, could I ride down and swap bikes?

It’s in Leicester, which google says is 2 hours away. And the BBC weather say it’s going to be -1C until 14.00 tomorrow, so a bit brisk for the ride.

Then I started thinking it over. I’ve not ridden my motorbike in over 3 months. (Admittedly 6 weeks were due to a broken shoulder, but still.) I work 2 miles away, so I pushbike in. If I get a job where I have to commute my Honda, with it’s topbox and heated handgrips, is much more practical (putting a topbox on the Daytona would be a crime against humanity), and there’s nothing wrong with my Honda, apart from a poor MPG. But Honda or Triumph I wouldn’t be riding it to my current job, it’s too cold just to go for fun rides, and any time I have for said fun rides I should be training. So I’d be spending £2,000 on a pretty ornament I’d not be riding.

I sent a second email saying I’d changed my mind. Wendy thinks it’s maturity catching up with me. More likely it’s the promised easing with age of my BPD. Recklessness and spending sprees are genuine symptoms. And when you can combine the two by buying a motorbike, well, that is just good time management in my books.

In other news, I had my check up with the doctor at the hospital and he was well pleased. He said I had full mobility already. I didn’t know I was in danger of losing it. He showed me the xray and said the bone was growing back. Which also surprised me, as I thought it had already grown back. I asked for a 6 week hold on my shed delivery when I broke my shoulder, so I was expecting them to be coming any day. To that end in the last few days I’ve emptied my shed, which involved picking that dirty great engine up, then disassembled the shed and carried it around the front of the house on my own. I was a bit worried my shoulder might snap again, but there’s only one way to find out. I asked the doctor and he said as long as I don’t lift anything extreme it should only break if I jar it again. Cool.

I emailed the shed people to let them know. They’ve given me a provisional delivery date of the 22nd.

Of March.


Risked busting my shoulder for nothing.

The good news about that is it got me started on what was an overwhelming job. When I ordered the shed l was thinking “new big shed, yay”. As the delivery date approached (I thought) I was looking at a shed full of stuff to be cleared, a shed to be dismantled and got rid of, the garden to be cleared and the foundations to be dug and laid. It was huge. I was doing little bits of jobs to get me started. I told our Lisa what I was doing and she asked what I was doing with my old shed. I was going to put it on Freecycle so someone would take it away. It turns out Lisa’s shed had rotted and fallen to bits so she wanted it. That was easy. So today she arranged for someone with a huge van to come and collect it. I borrowed Wendy’s car for the day and did two tip runs to clear all the garden rubbish. On the first run I noticed they allowed rubble so I took 3 bulging bags of concrete lumps (including one whole bag of cement that had got wet in the shed and set). That’s a lot better. Lisa had her partner put new support beams under the shed then I went round and helped them rebuild it. I’m not even starting to dig the foundations until Monday when it’s supposed to be 8 or 9C. I had to use a pickaxe to get the rubble out of the frozen ground today. I’m not in a rush now. I can take my time, when the garden isn’t frozen, and dig out the base. I will need to get a ton of sand and gravel, but I’ve got a wheelbarrow, I can take my time with small loads. If I can carry those shed sections around I can manage a wheelbarrow.

The bad news with Lisa is her appointment didn’t cure her. They’ve just told her to gradually double her painkiller dose. It’s supposed to act as cushioning on her nerves or something. Not just to suppress the pain, but to actually help to heal it. I hope so. It sounds odd to me. And I’ve watched every episode of House MD, so I think I’m qualified to have a medical opinion.

I’ve got most of my triathlon kit now. I’ve ordered a secondhand wetsuit from America (read great reviews, but the company don’t ship to the UK so couldn’t buy new) and some wetsuit socks and gloves. If I can’t go to the pool I can try the lake. I’m really hopeful that video will teach me how to swim properly. And in the lake I won’t have to worry about other swimmers getting in my way. My wide fit cycling shoes have arrived. They don’t do half sizes. I think the bigger pair is slightly too big, but the smaller pair definitely feels too small. I’m going for a bike fit on Monday, he’s going to measure my feet, set up my shoes, fit the bike to me, and possibly change my saddle. By the end of it I’ll know which shoes I’m sending back for a refund. And hopefully be completely out of pain on the bike. If there is any pain after it’s properly set up it’s just something I will have to get used to.

I stumbled across a really entertaining podcast the other day, some guy who’d emailed Trainer Road purely to say thank you for their triathlon plan getting him to the level where he had qualified for the final race of the year of Ironman. (Everyone competes in regional races and the winners in each category, in each race, get to compete in the final race.) The guy had qualified at IM Bolton, by coincidence. What I took from it is that he genuinely believed that Trainer Road tri plan had got him to the final. (As a side note, the final is in Kona, Hawaii. It’s known for it’s strong winds. He got there two week before the race to practice, went out on his bike, got blown off and broke his shoulder.)

Then a few days ago my running twitter was alive with everyone talking about their applications for the London marathon. It’s not a race I’ve ever fancied. But them all banging on about it, “Ooh, I hope I’ve got in this year”, then everyone putting their rejection emails up, made it desirable. I’m very suggestible. Is it any wonder I took up smoking? Anyway, I went from “I don’t want to do London”, to “what’s a Good For Age time?” (GFA is where they give you a priority place because you’ve earned it) to “Right! I’m getting a GFA place in next year’s London marathon!” In the space of a few hours. The devil is in the detail. For my age group I have to run a 3.12 marathon (my PB is 3.30) on a certified course, before the 4th of October. I looked. Because of Covid all the marathons have been moved to later in the year. Liverpool, Blackpool, Manchester are all about the 10th, or so of October.

Then I spotted the Loch Ness marathon. Which is one I already quite fancied just because of the genius of the logo.

And it’s on the 3rd of October! Perfect. That gives me 7½ months to go from not having run properly in 5½ months to taking 18 minutes off my marathon PB! OH YES! This is the kind of stupid challenge I live for! An hour after booking the marathon we were booked into a holiday chalet for the week.

I tried my foot on a slow 2 mile run and it was sore-ish, but nothing to write home about. So, with new goals in mind I changed my training plan to a triathlon one (which will give me marathon training and long distance bike work) and set to. It seem to be one day on the bike, one day running and swimming. It’s just really light base building stuff at the minute, so the most I’ve done is 4 miles. I ran for 3 miles today and my foot seem totally fine. I’m really hoping that a gradual, structured, training plan will avoid it flaring up again. I would hate to waste 5½ months of rest from running. But I can’t wait any longer. I have to fulfill my long held (Monday) plan to run London.

I’m having all that “work” nonsense impinge on my training from next week. I was a bit doubtful about my chances. I’ve been off 6 weeks, the main Royal Mail depot has been all but closed as they convert it to an automated plant, and I’d have thought work would be dead, so any shifts going would have already been allocated to the regulars. Nope. 3 shifts already for next week. They might ask me to do more. That will pay the bills. In an ideal world I’d get a full time job out of it, but I was talking to a lad who said he’d been on the agency 12 years before he got taken on. There is another job I’ve got my eye on. I’m hoping when we are all vaccinated businesses will start to grow again and they will be recruiting. They are on really good money and they treat the workers really well. Fingers crossed.

Right, a bit of Twitter and I’m going to bed.


Bozo carried on the slaughter.

Sir Keir once again showed us what “effective opposition” looks like.

The Tory propaganda wing (BBC) tried to say Evil EU Destroying British Business.

Other whimsy

And a rather splendid shot from a running twitter chum