Hill climbs

8 08 2008

What is it with a challenge?  Why is it that when it’s blowing hard, we always want to go and train, just to see if we can?  When I’m cycling, I hate hill climbs.  They hurt, you go slowly, and you can’t rest.  It’s just an ongoing wall of pain that you have to push through.  Yet, when I finish riding, I just want to get back out and find another hill…

Anyway, I just got back from a scouting drive, looking for decent hills near the Alp de Watlington.  Well, I found a beauty.  It’s 2 miles long, snaking up a one lane tarmac road, through a forest amongst high banks and gnarled roots, and must climb about 600 metres.  It’s a bit like Hobbiton, just vertical, so it looks like a fantastic challenge.  I’m heading off to ride it tomorrow morning, and I know for a fact that I’ll hate every second of it, but just the thought of getting up it in one go makes me want to give it a shot.  I’ll let you know how it goes.


6 06 2008

I’ve tried all kinds of training for sailing. Running is like watching dust dry, swimming is as enjoyable as juggling with bricks (wearing a blindfold) and don’t get me started on the “I’ll play rugby to get fit” (ok, I learned how to get punched in the face, which is a useful skill for sailing occasionally, but it’s tricky sailing with a broken back…). Sure, I hear you cry (or mutter), sailing is the best fitness for sailing, but I’ve got a business to run during the day…

So what’s the answer? Cycling. Over the winter, i was running 4 days a week for around 45 minutes at a time. Watching the seconds tick by was torture, and 45 minutes seemed to last a liftime.  Picking up cycling though has opened my eyes. A two hour ride flashes past in an instant, and I just can’t get enough. Sure, I’m now adding more carbon to my bike then you find on a stealth plane (costing me a fortune) but it’s all worth it when I hit the water in breeze and don’t even feel the pace.

Seriously, if you want to get fit then get a bike. If you want to improve the whole “how to wear a gum shield when I have no teeth for it to stick to” technique, then play rugby. Just whatever you do don’t take up running instead. Like a retarded midget, it’s not big and it’s not clever. (I’m going to hell for that joke…)

Weekend update

3 06 2008

Sorry about the uninspiring title, but yes this is just a weekend update.  We are in our summer training programme at the moment, which comprises training Saturday, Sunday and Monday whilst working like a beast in the evenings to keep the business going.

This weekend, Saturday looked too light to sail so after meeting in Lymington with 49er new boy Ben Paton (Ex Radial World and European Champion), we set about re packing our rudder stock, whch turned out to be the most boring job we could imagine.  The second we had ripped the old packing out (AKA the point of no return), the breeze picked up to around 6 to 8 knots.  However, without a rudder, we were stuck, so we set about re-packing the stock to sail sunday and Monday (and also re-rigging and tuning Ben’s 9er for him).
Sunday turned into the best day for sailing.  We managed 2 -3 hours in 4-8 knots, but struggled on the sail in when the wind died to zero, forcing us to beat in against a ripping 4 knot tide.  We eventually made it in with some daylight spare, so we topped the day of with an hour bike ride (a puncture forced me to go back and pick the van up halfway, so Jus could only cycle for half of it. But he did make friends with a horse in a field.  It was called Jeffery.  The horse)

Monday gave us an hour upwind sail in very light winds against another strong tide.  Again, we managed to get back in without calling our mates from the RNLI to tow us back, although it was a close thing…

Finally, we went for a high intentsity cycle to finish off the weekend.  24 miles in an hour and a half around the New Forest was enough to get us walking like drunk monkeys afteerwards, but it was great to keep the fitness levels up.  Now it’s back to work for me, and back to enjoying the sumer (rain) for Jus.  ( I hate uni students, now that I’m not one anymore..)