Monday, 1 June 2015

swim and bike with mike

The long and tiring week had left too little time to sleep and build in a taper for the horrors of the marathon on Sunday so I was looking to cram that into a restful Saturday. Then Mike messaged me to say he was planning to check out the Solstice Tri route. The forecast was tip top for the morning so bang goes the lie in and I packed the wet suit gear into a heavy pannier bag (along with ton weight u-lock) (unnecessary) and cycled over to Mike's for 9.30am.

Our agendas were slightly different. Mike wanted to assess the speed of his mtb versus his cyclocross bike over the Solstice route. I was keen to save my legs for the following day. Mike has been doing lots of cycling following running injuries that were threatening his entire running career, and his enthusiasm, especially for zooming up climbs, was leaving me some way behind. I kept reminding myself I had a long run next day and eventually (halfway up Maidens Cleugh) got the camera out. It was a splendid day and I should be saving the hurry for tomorrow. 

It was also pretty evident that after the moistening climb up Beech Avenue the lumpy ground from there to the Howe would be more appropriate for a mountain bike wheel than the thinner rims of a cx. 3 stream crossings then onto the flat and fast tarmac that you cover in the 7 Reservoirs before taking the same left hander, but following the main trail up to Maiden's rather than the right turn off to Phantom's Cleugh. Thankfully the potentially muddy trail was baked dry although I was down to the granny chain ring to climb it. As I say I took my time to get up to the coll between Bells Hill and Harbour, a bit concerned about the just how fast it would be possible to descend the snaking path to the car park at Harlaw. There were a couple of sleepers across the trail that I had to bunny hop and others you can go left of, but otherwise it wasn't as alarming as I had thought it might be. Hopefully on the day the gates will all be open.

Mike took this photo

Mary and I swum throughout the winter and it nearly killed our joy-of-swimming-outdoors. On the last occasion we took the gear to Gullane, Mary wouldn't get out the car and hasn't been back in the water since. This trip to Threipmuir was a very good reminder of just how much fun open water dips can be. The sun was shining, the water was much warmer and much calmer than the sea and, something I'd completely forgotten, tastes of nothing. Unlike trying to swallow down a cup of cerebos. In fact Threipmuir on Saturday was about halfway along the line between swimming in the sea and in a pool. And much better than a pool for the absence of children and chlorine both which can be a horrible irritation.

Important to strike the right attitude I was told. 

The little red belt is to hold Mary's waterproof camera - since it doesn't float and would be impossible to find in the pitch brown waters it was imperative to be extremely cautious with this item.

There was something bizarre about waving from the water to a bunch of folk in formal attire on horseback.

The water is very murky. I have found in the past I can get motion sickness from lack of visibility underwater and I also find it hard to keep in a straight line. 

corpse in the water

then the rest of the common ride turned up

great day for it and the water was almost warm enough to swim without a wet suit 
(not that I tried)

back into town a slightly different route

This route forms Michael G's local ten miler (13.5miles)

And back through the park. It was all looking splendid for the EMF races that were held today. Pity the forecast was terrible for the marathon next day. So I was glad to have made the most of the weekend and look forward to getting Mary back out swimming at Threipmuir. I had forgotten the real high you get after a swim outdoors. I felt totally invigorated afterwards. I think I need to take the bike round the course a few times and not with a camera in my hand. And I hoped I hadn't ruined my taper, however it looked very unlikely, given the high winds, that Sunday would be anything other than a long hard chore and no chance of a fast time....

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