Positive Day.

It’s been a good day so I might as well record it.

The last time I was on Trainer Road, (2 days ago) I was hanging on by my fingernails. At the end of each section I was out of air, my legs were slowing, I was standing in places just to keep the pedals turning. It was horrendous. I thought I’d lost all my fitness.

Today I did a 1 hour 15 minute session, containing four 9 minute blocks under/over maximum. You start at 95% of FTP (maximum sustainable power) then ramp up for a minute to 110%, take a minute to ramp down, and repeat. The evil genius of under/overs is as soon as you go ‘over’ you are loading your legs up with lactic acid, then you slowly ramp down to under. Then you have a minute (still at 95% of max) to clear the burn before doing it again. It’s tough going.

Today I just did it. I knew I was going to. There was no question of quitting. It was painful and hard, but manageable. Then I went out for a run straight after. (Two disciplines together is called a brick session.) The thing with bricks is your legs are already shot and it’s misery to get them started again. Not so today. I felt fresh as a daisy for the first 3 miles. I decided to do 10 miles.

Also today I was testing fitting a battery pack thing to my running watch to recharge on the hoof, for my upcoming 24 hour race. So I got to 5 miles, after letting the battery run down recording the bike and the run, then stopped and tested it out. It took me a minute or so to figure out the best way of doing it, but it worked a treat. Charged it up and didn’t interfere with the data recording. That was a good win.

Then I started running back. Because I hadn’t paused it the watch was saying I was on for a 14 minute mile. I’d been doing easy, just under 9 m/m’s. Not having that! I legged it for the mile and got it back to a sub 10 m/m. My maths isn’t good enough to work out what speed I’d been doing, even if I could have measured the stop time precisely, so I carried on into the next mile at the same pace to see what I’d been doing. 7.25! On a brick run! It started slipping into 7.30 so I upped the pace, 7.20. Hang on, could I go sub 7? I nearly killed myself, but yes, 6.57! I will well take that, on a brick! I paid for it a bit on the last two miles, but still kept it under 9m/m’s.

That was the best bit of training I’ve done in ages. I was dead chuffed with pulling a sub 7 out of the middle of a brick session.

Other good news; last night I was looking into my 24 hour race and found a list of the entrants. I wasn’t on it. What? I dug out the email about my deferral from last year. Apparently they were supposed to send me a link so I could re-enter. Either I hadn’t received it, or it had gone to spam and been deleted. Then I noticed “last date for deferral entrants, 15th of May”. What?! Gutted. I’d already sent them an email before I spotted that. I had a bad night with my brain going over it, but when I woke this morning they’d already got back to me. They’ve put me back in. Brilliant.

I’ve been trying to get more shifts from work. Today I got a call, would I like to work Sunday? (I’d marked today and Sunday as available). Excellent. That’s my first week trying for 5 or 6 shifts and I’ve got 5. That’s promising.

Also my sax mute arrived today and it looks like decent kit. I won’t get my sax back for another 3 weeks or so, so I don’t know how quiet it will be. Fingers crossed.

And the cheap Chinese wooden barrel for my clarinet arrived today. It was a smidge too small so I had to sand the inner face, but I got it fitting, and to my surprise, I think it does actually deepen the tone. I’ve found a clarinet teacher who does online courses. I’ve not signed up, but she had a lot of promo videos. One of them was discussing upgrades. I’ve taken her advice and bought a different design of ligature (the thing that hold the reed to the mouthpiece) and a wooden barrel, and I have to admit she’s totally right. I thought it would be too fine a distinction for a rubbish amateur to notice, but it is a clear improvement. And, I know this is going to sound pathetic, I managed to read my first line while counting time today! I am really struggling. as soon as I go 1,2,3, 1,2,3, I lose track of the notes or my tongueing or fingering, or try and say one, two, three as I’m blowing. My first line. It’s a start.

Here’s the new barrel (bulging bit) and me having a go at time keeping.


Good days. More of them, please.