Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Its Easter and its snowing...

So much for my plans to get back on my bike this week - yes, I am a fairweather cyclist and a wimp to boot. Today I rescued battered daffodils from the garden and nearly got blown over by vicious icy winds battering Cardiff Bay, and my plans for some vigorous gardening at the weekend have been replaced by visions of sofa, DVDs and a spot of low impact housework. However I did climb on the exercise bike in the gym and slogged a happy half hour away, visions of Cape Breton unrolling in my head as I thumped away to Fat Boy Slim and Deep Dish.

Yesterday I started searching for campsites on the Nova Scotia route - starting in Cape Breton, it all seems a bit vague - for example the only one near Pleasant Bay, my intended 2nd night stop, has 10 pitches and no reservations, but I'm sure it will all work out on the day. Probably.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Friday, 26 March 2010

oooo I got a comment!

Thank you Ken Trenholm for my first blog comment! How delightful - I mean I know how this blogging thing is supposed to work and all that, but its jolly nice to know someone out there is reading along.

Two new developments re the big bike ride - firstly, I have decided to invest in a new bike, thanks to the 'cycle-to-work' scheme I can get a bit of a discount and my personal cycling experts (husband and son) have convinced me it might make the difference between scraping success and dismal failure. More on that when my vouchers come through. It did make me realise that I seem to have inadvertently become rather fond of my mountain bike - it would be sensible to sell it seeing as me and downhilling were not made for each other, but I felt quite sad at the thought - odd.

Secondly, my logic of not wanting to weigh the bike down by carrying a tent has been undone by getting a lighter bike, and having totted up the cost of a comfy bed every night for nearly 3 weeks I would probably need to sell my car to afford it. My son came up with a compromise I think I can live with: the 50ish mile a day route sections up quite nicely into 4 days riding, 1 day off, times 3 to do the whole stretch, so the proposal is camp 3 nights, comfy bed 4th night. Now all I have to do is find a campsite conveniently located just where I need it - although I know my son will laugh and tell me he has slept in a tent in a car park before. In fact I'm pretty sure he did that without bothering to put the tent up...

Monday, 22 March 2010

I ran 10k!!!

Can't quite believe it - there was me struggling to manage 30 minutes on the treadmill - get out in the sunshine with hundreds of people around and I trot along for an hour and ten! Everyone told me it would be easier on the day but I was really dreading it and thought up all sorts of excuses to chicken out, but I jogged gently round the first 3 miles and then kept going to keep my friend company as she had signed up for 6 and was dreading it even more than me.

Saw a Sports Relief appeal last week with the guys of Dragon's Den where they sat with a woman as she waited for her AIDS test results, which turned out to be positive. It was very moving so I ran for her and the team who provide her with medication and support thanks to Sport Relief. A drop in the ocean but a drop nonetheless.

Today EVERYTHING hurts but boy was it worth it!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

3 miles in 30 minutes - yay!!

Yes I did it, I broke the 20 minute mental barrier and pounded out a full 30 sweaty red faced minutes to crack the 3 miles. Spurred myself on with mental images of nasty little mosquitoes failing to breach the defences of a mosquito net protecting a sleeping child, paid for by the lovely people who have sponsored my feeble efforts and spurred me to hitherto undiscovered levels of personal fitness - thank youuuuu!

Now all I have to do is repeat this feat of endurance but on the road rather than my comfy treadmill, gulp, on Sunday. Am VERY much looking forward to a few pints of cider afterwards.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Big Bike Ride Route - take 2

Due to terminal optimism and my lovely husband's faith in me I have re-written our 2011 Nova Scotia bike ride route to take in around 50 miles a day rather than 30. Its a dead cert that I will spend most days of the ride cursing this decision, particularly when any king of upward slope is involved, but oddly I feel quite motivated now that the target is more ambitious. No doubt most cyclists will fall off their bikes laughing at the notion of 50 miles being ambitious, but trust me, I'm in a very different (lower) league. My better half says I need to map the inclines to better judge a sensible daily distance to aim for, but I struggle with the basics of google maps (damn that thing is temperamental - or is it just me?) so I'll leave this as a rough draft and get him to do the clever stuff.

Looking forward to our summer break when I plan to take off on a mini adventure and drive the route, woo hoo!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Rest, Elevation, Compression, Heat

Have I missed an 'A' for something - should that spell 'reach'? No, nothing as impressive as a cycling or running injury, I managed to trip up the kitchen step and twist my ankle. No biggie but probably not the best thing to happen mid training to run 3 miles. Damn good excuse to walk /gentle trot the 3 miles on the day though :o) So - hello sofa, hottie bottle, icepack. Just finished a brilliant book - an excellent read in its own right, and if you are a girl and have any interest in Nova Scotia / Scots Bay / Canning, I can't recommend it highly enough - The Birth House by Ami McKay. Heard about it on my fave Nova Scotia gardening blog, thank you Jodi de Long.

Anyway, a good excuse to do a bit more of the Nova Scotia Bike Ride route, although am now thinking of completely re-doing it to add a few more miles per day - am finding it a challenge to match my planned mileage with convenient overnight stops, so when we are out there in the summer I'm planning to drive the route and research where to stay / how many hills are on which bit. Roll on summer!

Saturday, 6 March 2010

How much do I love weekends?

LOTS. Saturday morning, cuppa in bed, not a single thing I have to do all weekend long. Delicious. So I'm going for a run along the canal then its Bramble Wars in the garden - trying to get a jump on them before spring kicks in properly and everything goes bananas. I might get all domesticated and bake a cake this afternoon, I have to try out my new recipe book which tells me that cake, if baked with lots of lovely fresh ingredients, including an interesting array of vegetables, is actually very good for not only the soul but the body as well. Sounds perfectly logical to me, and as I ran 2.6 miles yesterday morning I think I deserve it.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Laid up and bored

Training plan rudely interrupted this week - working from home on the sofa, suffice to say I have drunk enough water and cranberry juice in the last 2 days to irrigate the sahara. And just as I was steeling myself to push the limits to 30 mins on the treadmill - hopefully I'll make it before the end of the week. The internet is my bestest friend when I'm feeling poorly, any other time I get bored pretty fast after a scan through Facebook / emails / BBC. So yesterday evening I daydreamed on line, looking at stuff in the 'things I really really want' category. In no particular order (I want them ALL), they are:
  1. VW campervan - for exploring Wales and beyond.
  2. Soulpad - pitched by a river in long grass and meadow flowers next to the VW.
  3. Airstream caravan to trek across Canada in. Mad gypsy woman at heart.
  4. Beautiful rugs for our Nova Scotian home.
  5. Beach hut. On a beach. Somewhere.
  6. Odd's Old Rocker. Two - one for Wales, one for Nova Scotia.
That'll do me for now.