Saturday, 4 June 2011

Interesting fact - it takes 15 minutes to get home from work by bike but 25 minutes or more by public transport

Well yesterday I proved why cycle couriers can be so useful.  It only took me 15 minutes to get home from work but it takes a minimum of 25 minutes by public transport.  Before you start to assume I jumped every red light I saw, I didn't.  Okay I did jump a couple but only where it was very easy to see what was coming, and I never do that at crossroads for instance.

I am trying to break up the pattern of long slow rides and inject some fast paced ones into my regime.  I was pushing quite hard whenever there were no traffic lights or junctions in site, and breathing heavily enough to get arrested if I was speaking to someone on the phone at the time.  Tomorrow morning I may try another fast one of no more than an hour, whilst Anny is still sleeping.

Next week will be back to the usual long rides though.  It will most likely be my biggest one before La Marmotte itself.  Anny has a friend coming over which gives me the perfect opportunity to disappear on my bike from the crack of dawn to the close of dusk.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Disappointment reigns supreme - the holiday has had to be cancelled

As I am usually a rather positive person this is the first hint of a negative post from me.  Last night our dog Negrita got sick and was vomiting again and again, and there was some blood in her poo.  After a rather sleepless night, we decided she needed to go to the animal hospital today to be checked out.  Anny was kind enough to take her during her lunchbreak, and after some hours they told her that she has some kind of viral infection that has made her very weak, and she needs to stay at the hospital till Friday so she can be monitored and rehydrated/ treated.

Unfortunately this means we need to cancel our holiday to the French Riviera as we will need to be there to pick her up on Friday.  Also we will visit her tomorrow so she is cheered up a bit.  She isn't a dog that takes well to new people.  In fact she is normally very afraid of strangers so she probably isn't too happy right now.  I get the impression though that when animals are sick they know the vets are trying to help them, as despite having needles stuck in them they usually display no signs of aggression and behave well.  Or sometimes they are just too sick to care.

We are both disappointed about having to cancel, but it is more important that Negrita is okay.  So my beach running will not happen it seems, as unless you didn't pay too much attention in your geography classes at school, you will know that Switzerland is a land locked country.  You could call the areas around the lake "beaches", but for me this is like calling a gust of wind a hurricane.  A beach where there are no waves is for me not a real beach.

I don't know yet what we will be doing, but I will certainly have to try and fit in some kind of physical training over the coming days.  You know me, I can't do without it at the moment.  Or rather I can't afford to do without it at the moment.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The 6 month gym and spa membership is now available on

Hi everyone

I have just finished my account activation and got round to putting the 6 month Holmes Place Zurich gym and spa membership up for auction.

I know that anyone who wants to join Holmes Place can just go along and pay at the club directly, but the difference here is that all the money is going to charity, and not a penny to me or to the club itself.  I know if I was going to join I would find it really cool that all my money was going to go to charity, and no one was taking any cut.

The other great thing is that normally you have to join for a minimum of 1 year.  Well here you have the chance to try it out for 6 months to see what you think, and then you can decide whether or not you wish to continue.

If you know anyone who is thinking of joining a gym in Zurich please let them know about this offer and please help to spread the word to anyone you know in the Zurich area.  Even if they are not sporty themselves, they may well know someone who is.

I know how many hits I normally get per day, so I hope to see it go up guys, as you all do your good work and spread the word.  Get those smoke signals going, those jungle drums beating, and pass it on.....

Monday, 30 May 2011

An upcoming opportunity for some beach running in the French riviera

As Thursday is a public holiday and it seems a shame just to have one day off and then go back to work on Friday, I have taken off both Thursday and Friday so we can have a long weekend getaway.  We will take the train to Geneva and then stay there overnight, meeting up with some friends for dinner, and then the next day take a hire car and drive to Cannes.

The plan is to visit Cannes, St Tropez, Nice and Monaco.  Whist Anny is sleeping in the mornings, I will have a good opportunity to get up early and go for a run.  As Cannes is on the coast, a spot of beach running may be on the agenda.  This will be a good chance to put on a rucksack with a few weights in it, and see what running on sand with a weighted backpack feels like.  I have no doubts that it will be tough.

The other factor that will make the training more MDS like is that I am hoping it will be sweltering hot.  That really would help to bring all the elements together for an MDS like run.  It is far too long before the event itself to get any benefit from the sand running in hot weather with a backpack, but it will be a great way to experience just a hint of what it may be like.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

A seriously long cycle ride - 203km

When I came up with my 4 pass master plan I was neglecting one factor.  Anny left this morning for a business trip and I am looking after Negrita.  So taking the train for several hours, then cycling for 8 hours or more, and then taking the train back was not the best option, as Negrita would be left at home for an awful long time.

So the plan was adapted to be more Negrita friendly.  I decided to start my ride from Zurich and to come back here for lunch, then after lunch to go for another ride.  This way Negrita wouldn't be left alone for too long at one time.

The plan worked wonderfully.  This morning I left early and cycled towards Einsideln before turning off towards Zug via Hütten.  At Finstersee I turned off the main road and did the same climb I tried several weeks ago.  It is well over a thousand metres high, so gives quite a descent amount of hill training.  After this I continued on the main road over the pass and down towards Zug, and then followed the Sihl back to Zurich.

I was home around 1pm and Negrita was very pleased to see me, as expected.  I took her for a little walk, relaxed for a bit, and then set off for part 2 of my ride.  By this point I had covered just under 60 miles, half of what I wanted to achieve for the whole day.  So I headed towards the airport and Bulach and then looked for signs to follow to somewhere that would be about 30 miles outside of Zurich, so I could go there then turn around and come back.

Rheinfalls was to be the turning point.  It is a lovely scenic ride from the airport to Rheinfalls.  When I reached Rheinfalls I had a quick look at the falls and then set off for Zurich.  On the way back I was feeling incredibly tired, but this was the longest ride I have done for several years at least.  On reaching home I had to take a quick siesta before I could even consider doing anything else.  But after that I felt a little better, albeit still as tired as hell.  Now I am trying to re-inject my body with carbohydrates, as according to my Garmin I have burnt 7,207 calories.  That's an awful lot of pasta!

My Garmin says I covered 203.18km in a moving time of 9 hours and 4.96 seconds.  My average speed was 22.6km/h and my average heart rate was 123bpm.  The total ascent is showing as 2,171m.  All in all a pretty good day's training.