Sunday, 29 April 2012

Its all in the legs

Hey everyone!

This week has been a really positive week.  Lots of cycling in including a trip to Blackpool and back on Saturday with Mark O’Reilly in the name of training!  We set off at 07:00 in the morning and the weather held all day (apart from the god awful wind).   We went there in 3.5hrs which we where both pleased with especially as we both thought we where riding into a headwind…turns out we where not.  We had some food refilled our bottles then set off to come back.  The first 10 miles where a little windy but manageable then we made about a 45 degree turn towards home… at this point what can only be described as a very strong wind took hold.  From our pace of 5 miles every twenty minutes on the way to Blackpool it turned into 8-10 miles every twenty on the back.  I have included the links to the Garmin so you can have a nosey if you like.   

I was still feeling fairly comfortable on the way back my legs where in good shape however I was becoming increasingly more and more uncomfortable as we hit around the 30 mile mark on the way back.  My lower back was aching and my hands felt they had pins and needles running through them when I moved them off the bars.  I also got cramp in my arm due to the amount of climbs we had to do on the way back.  We had taken plenty of food and water so energy remained high until the last 5 miles or so.  We also stopped for ice-cream and coffee in a lovely shop in Chorley.  Mint choc chip is the best flavoured ice-cream.   Having got home and counted the miles we had done 116, which we where both pleased about.  I feel like I could go again today no aches and pains.  One thing is for sure we are going to have to do some back to back days to see how we cope.    

A massive positive for me was that my knee was hurting I had been to see my good friend Marek from MHCPT physio (  on Tuesday and he had found the problem.  There was a big know just above my knee in the quads.  He was looking for it for some time but when he did touch it I nearly hit the roof.  An hour later, lots of pain and some tears brought to the eyes I could feel how much better it was.  Big thanks to Marek.

This week I received £20 in donations On Saturday evening we went to the Bridge Pub on Dane Road in Sale and had a really fun evening Race Evening organised by Sally Weatherilt and Mat.  In total we raised £216 so thanks to everyone for coming and making the evening a big success!  My total is still sitting at £1259 overall, which is excellent and I should make it to £1500 soon hopefully!

Please make your donations to you can also let me know if you want to buy some raffle tickets for our 50/50 draw, which will see the winner receive 50% of the total raffle fund!  The tickets are £2 each or £10 for a book.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Is that a tiger…spinning…

Around about four songs in after the first set of sprints I knew it was not going to go well if I kept on going for the full class.  The cold (man flu) that had been knocking around all week had finally knocked me for six in the morning and it was hard work even climbing the stairs to the met stop.  Donning the all in one tiger suit had seemed like a good idea a week earlier but as I sat down after the first climb sweat trickling down the inside of the suit I knew I should have listened to the little voice screaming all week DON’T WEAR THE TIGER SUIT YOU WILL COOK in my head.  Instead I decided to get off the bike and torture the Swim Trafford kids with a really hard set whilst trying to stand around where the two massive fans where situated.  Everyone enjoyed the session and we raised a really outstanding £87.90.  Big thanks to James ‘Lance Armstrong’ Stannard for getting everyone involved.

Spin Session (45min session);

Disco Inferno               The Trammps                           10:50               Intro Music
Rock da House            Tall Paul                                   3:13                 WARM UP
Mountains                    Biffy Clyro                               3:23                 WARM UP
Ice Ice Baby                Vanilla Ice                                4:14                 First Climb
Bonnie Tyler                 Holding out for a hero              6:13                 Pairs – Sprint Battles
Tiger Feet                    Mud                                        3:52                 Last battles/Spin out
Larger then Life            Backstreet Boys                      3:52                 2nd Climb (Hovers)
Hot Right Now             DJ Fresh                                 3:02                 Sprint Intervals
Boogie Wonderland      The Emotions                          4:45                 Dice roll
Call on me                    Eric Prydz                               2:48                 3rd Climb
Doctor pressure            Mylo vs Miami Sound             3:25                 Standing Sprints
Bonkers                        Dizzee Rascall                        3:00                 Number Sprints
Eye of the Tiger            Survivor                                  3:48                 COOL DOWN
Stop                             Spice Girls                              3:24                 COOL DOWN

As I inferred earlier on in the piece the man flu has really taken its toll this week.  From Wednesday I couldn’t face the bike and Thursday and Friday should have resulted in some mileage but they did not.  The commute on Saturday and Sunday has been torture.  Both days saw the weather teasing me.  I woke up to dry roads and reasonable skies but by 06:30 it was pissing it down all the way through until I arrived at work.  Cold, wet and lungs of fire from the cold.  It would be really nice if I don’t get ill before the ride in June *fingers crossed*.  Also hoping for some more decent training weather and good weather for the ride.  It would be really nice for the ride not to turn into a slog.

Two of last weeks goals have been achieved.  No takeaways and no booze.  There is a bottle of Baileys (Mint flavoured) in the fridge so I am trying to resist and so far it is working.  Anyone want to claim it lol?  The gym sessions still have not materialised as I can’t seem to find time and the extra riding didn’t happen due to the lurgy!  I will definitely try the same again this week and a gym session somewhere!

A week today will see the Charity Race Evening kindly organised by Miss Weatherilt and her young man.  It should be a really fun night so please come down and support us!

This week has seen a total amount raised of £50 and an overall total now of £1239, which is a remarkable 83% of the overall total needed!  The spinning money has been added to the event money, which will be split between Mark and I in a few weeks.  That total is standing at £300.  If you want to make a donation you can still do so at We also still have raffle tickets left for our 50/50 draw.  If you would like some of these please call, text, facebook, twitter, email or comment me and I will get back to you as soon as possible!!

Bit of a late addition to the blog...Big Congratulations to Mr Rich Salisbury and Miss Zoe Mills on their engagement!

“Better to live one year as a Tiger then one hundred as a sheep”

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Horses for courses

Ola everyone!

This morning saw a return to the training cycling with a nice ride out with Mark O’Reilly.  After the knee being bad last week.  The commutes where not to bad but left the knee a bit sore after both legs of the commute.  It has got better though and today was a good ride.  55 miles with some nice little climbs and decents on a familiar route out to Lymm.  We completed a couple of loops.  The only bother with the knee was from the mile road sprint segment on Strava where on both loops we both went for it.  I still feel I have something left to give on that but didn’t want to completely goose myself for the rest of the ride.  Now that the lighter nights are here and the sun is setting around 20:00 on a nice day it will be easier to get out and about and get some more miles in.  Mr Gordon is threatening me with hills again he knows how much I love them!

I have come to the conclusion that I am going to have to make some rules and stick to them to be able to be a reasonable weight and have better fitness before the Ireland ride.  It will be hard for me to stick to as old habits have started creeping in with bad food and also there are lots of things I shouldn’t be eating available as Evie and Lindsey have a treat from time to time.  I have also found that alcohol has crept back in a little so I am going to try and cut that out completely again and stay away from the bad influences…you know who you are!  I will try and squeeze some gym sessions in it is just finding the time to fit everything in!

¨      No takeaways
¨      No booze
¨      More gym sessions
¨      More riding

This week saw a really good run on the fundraising again.  With a weekly total of £119 being raised as I write.  So thank you to all those people who have donated this week.  It leaves me on £1184 or 78% of my £1500 target.  Still waiting for a few people to fulfil pledges but I am under no illusions that times are hard and not demanding anything from anyone.  There will be a small event this week with the Swim Trafford Squad doing a fancy dress spinning session on Thursday evening.  There will be pictures so watch this space!!

Just a small comment on the Grand National.  I always have a flutter on the national and the big events.  Only small stakes but it is something I have done for a good few years now.  I love watching horse racing it is entertaining and you can tell that the horses love running it is what they are built for.  I can understand, and I do also, people getting upset when the horses are put down at races but in my eyes it’s the same chance that all sportspeople take.  If the horses didn’t want to run they wouldn’t afterall.  It doesn’t however make it less sad when one or even two of these beautiful animals are put down.

Anyway hope you all have a good week and keep your chins (I’m nearly down to one now not the double) up!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Eggs and Aches

Merry Easter!

Today sees a very very stiff James typing to you.  Good Friday saw the massive football game between Sale and Altrincham.  The turnout was immense a crowd of around forty people (more then at some City games this season) came down to watch this epic clash and braved the overcast drizzly weather.  The game was hotly contested with some moments of brilliance and some moments of controversy.  Obviously being a man of high values and morale integrity I couldn’t possibly say that one of Altrincham’s goals was about 10 yards offside…oops.  The game was very even and after extra time and a last ten second equaliser from James Jackson the score ended up 4-4.   Again I would just like to thank everyone who came down and supported us and to all the players who payed to play.  Special thanks to the cake bakers and the organisers of both teams.  All in all the game has raised in the region of £210 which is an excellent total!  Both Mark and myself are immensely grateful for your support! 

I haven’t been out this week on a big cycle for two reasons.  Earlier in the week it was my belief that I would be having a nice four days of long ride training session over the Easter weekend.  My body however has put paid to that and I am hoping to get over the muscle soreness, bruising and generally not being able to move after the football game for a ride on Monday and Tuesday.  I have not been in this much pain since the last time I played football.  Maybe my body is trying to tell me something i.e stop playing football.  I did really enjoy the football though and love getting involved with the games.  It was especially good as it was for charity.  So I will be out tomorrow on some hills somewhere so please listen out for the screams!! 

My commute has turned from a nice 35 – 40minutes effort to being infected with Strava competitiveness and trying to smash different segments.  The competition demon is raising its head.  My best effort this week was a 3rd out of 49 people who have attempted the Partington Mile Sprint heading towards Urmston.  I nearly goosed myself and still had 30 minutes riding to do to get home!  It really is quite addictive knowing that you are challenging others openly online!

On the fundraising front this week people donated a superb £80.00 taking the total up to £1080.00.  Closing in on the target of £1500 quickly now.  We have a few events left to run which should see us raise enough money to get over the line.  We are keeping the event money together until after the last event and splitting it between Mark and myself onto our pages so don’t worry if you don’t see massive lumps of money being deposited.  We will have our last event on the 25th May and then will add the money to the donations pages! 

If you still want to donate you can do at or you can email me to buy some raffle tickets for our 50/50 draw.  Next event will be a Race Night;

Again many thanks to everyone so far for their donations and support!!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Charity football and cakes

Friday April 6th @ 11:00am Kick Off

Sale Leisure Centre vs Altrincham Leisure Centre

Charity Football Match @ Partington Sports Village

50p Spectator Fee – Cake stall and raffle tickets (£2 each with a possible prize of £1000) available

Another glorious week it was.  Really enjoyed the commuting this week although the mornings have been chilly.  More then made up for though with a sunny return home.  Thursday saw a trip out with Mr Gordon into Cheshire and my first view of Alderley Edge, which was spectacular.  It also gave me a little break after cycling up Wizard Hill, which is in all honesty a bit of a beast.  There was also a deceptively strong wind, which Ted did well to shield me from (he was route finder).  I did a little bit on the straights and found it ok.  It was nice to sit on someones wheel as Mark who I usually ride with is small and doesn’t provide much shelter in that department.  Saving the energy was definitely something I noticed.  I am guessing that in Ireland we are going to face some strong winds but we will have to see what happens.  The other bonus to the route is the cycling app Strava that we are all using.  It basically tracks your route and allows you to record PB’s but also it uploads them to a website where you compete along certain segments with other riders.  A few of us are taking it quite seriously others are just happy with beating their previous bests.  It is good banter to see everyone putting max efforts in on certain segments for bragging rights.

Thursday also saw another massive effort from the Swim Trafford ladies and gents during spinning.  It was good to see everyone putting in 110% even Coach Stannard was impressive!  April 19th will see a charity spin and more info will follow about this.  James and Jan at Stretford are doing a great job of getting people signed up to the charity spinning masterclass on May 5th so many thanks to them.

This Friday sees the face off between Sale and Altrincham Leisure centres.  Braging rights for another few months at stake.  The game kicks off at 11:00am.  I am hoping the weather stays fairly nice and does not revert to being freezing for the game.  Please feel free to come down the game should be entertaining and the cake stall will have some professional wares from Lushbrownies (Twitter: @lushbrownies).  There will also be some other baked items on sale to :-))

This week we managed to raise £145.00 which takes the total to £990.00.  Again thanks to everyone who has donated and please if you want to donate please do!  A special thank you to Mr Mark Beddis who made an amazing £100 donation this week.  Very much appreciated and very generous!  May karma reward you this week sir!  I would also like to say a big thank you to Julie Kippax on her raffle ticket selling exploits!  The address to donate is or you can speak to me in person or via email (  above!   I also have some raffle tickets for a 50/50 draw whereby you could win 50% of the takings from the sales of the raffle tickets!  There are 1000 tickets so you could potentially win £1000 if we manage to sell them all!

Have a great week everyone and sorry about being late again!