Only half a weeks running these past seven days, due to the annual Ystwyth Cycling Club Bunkhouse weekend. Wouldn't miss that for the world and so it was; four hours a day for three days in the mountains of Snowdonia, basing ourselves at Betws y Coed.
The Swallow Falls YHA comfortably accomodated all 20 or so Ystwyth riders and I wasn't the only runner taking a break from the dreaded trainers...Phoebe Webster was also in attendance, still on her road to recovery from a hamstring/sciatica problem. It didn't seem to stop her, especially on the climbs where she competed pretty much on equal footing to the lads.
Anyway, it was hardly a holiday as the Ystwyth lads are only a week away from the racing season and so the pace was pretty serious. After many weeks of purely running I was pedalling squares on the Friday and lost touch with my group between Bala and Cerigyddrudion (we faced a stiff headwind both ways on the upward and return legs). By saturday I had recovered well and enjoyed the ride which took in Llanberis, Caernarfon, Pwllheli, Cricceth, Tremadog, Bethgelert and back to Betws. Sunday's return through Blaina Ffestiniog was another hard yet stunning ride with the weather being very kind to us all weekend.
Pics will be available on http://www.ystwythcc.org/ later this week.
The last thing Dan Burgess said to me on our Thursday night suffer session was 'don't fall off your bike'. I kept to my word, although the same could not be said once we stepped into the cafe in Bala. On approach to the toilets, i didn't see the subtle transition from carpet to painted concrete floor around the side of the counter. My cleated shoes couldn't cope with the camber either and I then did a good imitation of the bad guys in Home Alone 2 when they stepped on the marbles. Luckily I landed on my windjacket which was packed up in my rear jersey pocket - result = soft landing & releif /embarrasment all round.
Not riding for so long had left some areas a tad unprepared for the rigores of riding in the saddle, and left me cursing the fact that i had no chamois cream or vaseline!
Last weeks runs were generally ok apart from the Thursday night 9 miler at marathon pace. Burgess opened up his secret turbine which he'd been hiding for the past few weeks. It blew myself and Ian away on the prom. Impressive stuff and so I was somewhat releived when his text the next day mentioned something about not being able to walk properly :-)