Tidying Up

I’ve been practicing my typing and I’m getting better at it.

The quick brown fox does indeed jump over the lazy dog.

Still have to remember to use the wrong hand for the B. As a result I may have to buy a yacht so I don’t have to keep typing “boat”. I don’t make the rules.

I’ve not been able to go to the boat club for two weeks because it’s been blowing a gale, today it was 2mph, supposedly. It doesn’t even feel like that. No point in going.

I’ve had a busy day doing other stuff. Wendy’s offside rear tyre keeps going down.Slowly, but it’s every few weeks. It was doing it before we got the new tyres so I assume there’s something slightly wrong with the wheel. A slight leak somewhere. I ordered a second hand wheel and tyre off eBay, it arrived yesterday so I went to swap it over this morning. I got the old wheel off, went to fit the new one, but in daylight there are lots of little cracks in the rubber. The tyre has lots of tread, but it’s a bit old and probably perished. There’s no point in risking it seeing as the existing tyre probably hasn’t done 100 miles. I put the old wheel back on. I’ll take it to the tyre place tomorrow and get them to swap it over and fit a new valve and balance the wheel.

I’ve been thinking about getting rid of that project bike to clear out some space in my shed. It’s not just the frame, which takes up a big space down one side of the shed, but the engine on the workbench, the big box of spare engine parts, and all the other bike bits (exhaust system, seat, radiator, etc) filling up my shelves.

I wanted it gone but I was putting off getting rid because I was anticipating hassle. I listed it (free to a good home as long as they take it all) and a few hours later someone said they would definitely have it. They are coming to get it later. That was easy. I don’t know what I was worried about. I’ve dragged everything around to the front, ready for them to collect. That was hard work, but I’ll be glad to see the back of it. (Later: they’ve been. It’s gone. Excellent.)

I’ve brushed out the shed and moved Wendy’s, and my old pushbike into it. I’ll get around to moving my turbo trainer and other bike out as well. I need to set up the light and an electrical supply first.

I’ve lifted my dahlias in preparation of following the American dahlia woman’s instructions. This could be the year I get it right! One (of the many) things I wasn’t doing right is to clean them thoroughly, getting all the dirt off, then leave them to dry for a week before putting them away in dry compost (or vermiculite) for the winter.

I’ll separate some of the Bishop Of Landstaff tubers and bury them back in the raised bed. Not putting all my eggs in one basket then. The Bish has survived in the raised bed for years.

The hostas have started to die back so I’ve tipped out the green bin and some bags of manure to enrich the soil. I noticed in spring that the soil in the bed in front of the kitchen window is awful. It’s like clay. After humping the engine, spare engine, and bike bits around to the front, upending a full, waterlogged green bin was an extra joy for my back.

That dry patch at work seems to be over. I had 3 weeks not getting all of the shifts I’d said I was available, but I got all 4 last week (day off for a funeral) and all 5 next week. Normal service is resumed. I wouldn’t have thought I’ll miss a shift until late January now. I was quite enjoying having extra days off, but that’s only fun for brief periods on the agency. If it goes on for long you start to worry that you won’t get enough work. Well, money. I don’t want the work, I want the money.

I think I’m finally clear of the plague weakness (I wasn’t sure if the cold was just masking it) and the cold. Wendy and I have got a tickle on our chests now, so that’s nice. A change is as as good as a rest. But I was running round like a loon getting everything done today and I was fine. Tomorrow I’ve got a bunch of jobs to do in the morning, but if I’m still alright when Wendy goes to see her mate in the afternoon, I’ll start with a light session on my turbo trainer.

I was going to do that 24 hour race this year, but with Wendy being loony it wouldn’t have been fair to leave her on her own for a full weekend. Obviously I was in no way prepared and it would have been a disaster, but that doesn’t usually stop me. Anyway, the organisers have emailed me and deferred my place to next year!


So that’s my year fallow blown out of the water.

Seeing as I’m still resting my hoof, and realistically I’m going to spend more of the 24 hrs walking than running, I’m going to start training for fast walking. Talking of, I’ve noted down the salient points from that women’s endurance sports article, the bit about what men typically do wrong. I’m not doing the running for a while, but I can work on the walking, cross train on the cycling, and strength train. I hate strength training, but, they always say that’s how you prevent injuries. I could really do with a some time without injuries.

Strength train. Walk. Cross train.

Get a plan. Stick to the plan. Stay slow on slow days, flat out on fast days.

Be consistent with training.

Be prepared for the event, don’t wing it.

Stay in the moment. Don’t focus on a finish line many, many hours away.

Know your race pace. Practice it. Be confident in it. Stick to it.

Work out correct fuel/ hydration. I always wing that, but the science is damning. The example given is a 10st runner on a warm day. They say you typically lose 3 pints of water an hour, so 6 pints over two hours, which drops 12% off your performance. So, say I was going for a sub 3, a 6.48 m/m pace, after 2 hours I’d be running 7.34 m/m for the same effort, just through dehydration. I really need to get that right.

I have to focus and get it right this time. I lack self discipline. I have enough native stubbornness to see me through to not too shameful times, which has held me back in a way. If I was truly awful I’d have to do everything right to get anywhere. This time I have to nail everything. The older I get the harder a sub 3 becomes.

Also, I had a bit of a (huge, ginormous) relapse on the shopping thing. I decided I needed a car at some point to tow my boat, and my bike was too pretty to use in winter, so I might as well get a car. Now! It all made perfect sense. I did the usual. Obsessing over this model vs that model, narrowing it down, then completely changing my mind, getting myself so stressed out that I was looking forward to getting the car just to end the obsessing.

I got so far as to start an advert to sell my Triumph and I contacted several people over shortlist cars. Then I had to ride my bike to pick up a cooker element to mend our cooker (fixed it, only electrocuted myself once *proud face*) and I remembered how much I love my bike. Wendy said, jokingly, that I needed to scruff it up so I wouldn’t be scared of using it, and it made me think. I’ve fallen into the ‘owned by possessions’ trap. If I’ve got a bike that is too precious to use, I don’t own it, it owns me. I scrapped my advert and told the car seller that I didn’t want it. I can’t decide if it was a win over my compulsion or just me coming to my senses. Either is good, really. Usually the fake rationale is perfectly obvious and patently self evident right until the moment I get it home.

Quick update then I’m done. I took the new wheel to the proper tyre people today to get the new tyre swapped over on to the new wheel. The guy pointed out the bubbling on the wheel lacquer and said that happens on the inside of the rim, stopping the tyre from making a good seal. He said they could take the wheel off, clean the rim and the area around the valve and put the same wheel and tyre back on. OK. Irritating as I’d bought a new (second hand) wheel, but at least it was getting sorted. He came back 10 minutes later and said he’d cleaned the rim and around the valve, but really the problem was the valve itself. When Tyres On The Drive fitted the new tyre they did half a job and left the old valve in! That’s why I thought it had to be the wheel. It had just had a new tyre and valve, so it couldn’t be anything else. Thanks a bunch you slack cowboys. So £40 for a wheel and £24.50 (most of which was the fee for taking the wheel off and refitting) to rectify TOTD’s slack job. Super.

Ah well, at least it’s sorted now. And we’ve got a spare wheel. Grrrrrr.

Here’s some twitter.

Best thing in the history of forever: (sound on)