March’s Best Efforts…

March was so, so much better than February.

Vice wise… i’ve finally managed to quit the vape. Yes folks, no more nicotine. Admittedly, i put on a bit of weight as i allowed myself to eat a little bit of refined crap during the withdrawal phase, but i’m slowly getting my diet back together.

It’s a long story as to how i managed it but one thing that’s come out of the process is that i simply can’t tolerate coffee any more. It just makes me feel sick, which is great, two birds with one stone. I’m not missing either at all, it’s like i found an on/off switch for the addiction and it’s been very firmly turned off and i’m not going to turn it back on.

For April, i’ve began weaning myself off cacao, which i’m taking slowly, but hopefully will be free of that about half way through the month. But it’ll take as long as it takes and maybe have to play yo yo with the wagon for a while with this one. We shall see.

So that’s all i’m focusing on for April – weaning myself completely off cacao while totally cleaning up my diet and moving to fully raw once i’ve got fully off the cacao.

Health wise, all went well with the right foot issue. ‘Touch wood’, it’s healing nicely. The running pace and distance totally sucks donkey’s at the moment, which is down to a mix of putting on some weight when i quit vape, the lower aero bars and bike position, the weight training, the amount of cycling i’m currently doing. You can’t have everything, and what you gain in some places you have to lose in others. I feel like March was mostly spent just getting my body used to pushing and pulling weights again, and what with taking it really easy so as not to bother the foot injury again my running had to suffer a little. Hopefully that’ll all settle down through April and i can start making some running gains again.

I made a much better effort on the meditation front and monitoring my heart this month, which came up with some good results…

My lowest minimum for the month…

And my lowest 5 minute average…

It’s amazing how quickly they return back to low 40’s after quitting the vape where they mostly stayed in the low 50’s with occasional visits to high 40’s. Looking forward to getting into the high 30’s again once i’m fully weaned off the cacao and my diet and sleep settles back down.

Onto the training…

Yeah, it’s been a busy and full on calendar. I’m still adjusting to it and a tiny bit more tweaking needs doing, but the new program is working well and i’m really enjoying training every day. I really don’t do well having a day off.

Cycling covered 649.96 miles in 48:13:40 using 22,058 calories, which is almost the same time and calories as February but a fair few more miles, but i climbed 54660.5 ft which is 20,000 less than February. So i think the cycling, overall, is about equal with February.

Walking covered 18.85 miles in 12:08:05 using 2,172 calories, which is nearly the running and walking combined of February. But from now on i’m splitting the totals as i no longer do any walking on my runs, so totally separate exercise now. And with the weather warming up i’m planning to get out and walk a lot more as well.

Running covered 26.49 miles in 6:23:04 using 1,853 calories, which beats out the walk/run combined totals of February. So all good on the legs as i build back up slowly from the foot injury.

Other things…

I’m well into my second month on Rouvy and enjoying it even more. I’m definitely not missing Zwift and cartoon land.

One thing i’ve noticed about Rouvy, is those totally sketchy moments that you get while real world riding. The child falling in front of you while you’re tanking along at 25 mph, the truck cutting you up, etc.. I’ve had moments on Rouvy where i’ve actually grabbed the brakes – like it’s going to make a difference. But i really do get lost in it sometimes, which is something that never ever happened on Zwift. And i love travelling the world on Rouvy and riding all those places i can only currently dream of riding when i win Euromillions.

The new tri bars are still taking a toll. I found i’m getting a little lower back, and knee pain from this new position. I’ve got a new stem arrived yesterday, so i’m going to put that on today and raise it up at the same time and have a play around with that and the saddle height and see what i can come up with. Hopefully that should help sort the running out a bit as well.

But yeah, i’m really happy with how March went, and looking forward to at least an equally good April and getting outdoors a lot more.

So wishing anyone reading this a fit, healthy and well April yourselves.

Best wishes.

Jaro’s Challenge…

92nd out of 211…

After the ‘TrainingPeaks 70.3 Challenge’ on Rouvy, this was quite the stuff for recovery days, so no, i really didn’t try much which is reflected in my 92nd place. ‘COULD HAVE DONE BETTER!’ The teacher writes in thick red block caps all over my exam paper.

But hey, done is done, and it’s another challenge in the bag towards my next rung on the Rouvy Career ladder – there was nothing said in the challenge that people couldn’t take it easy.

#loverouvy

TrainingPeaks 70.3 Challenge…

77th out of 887…

This challenge was to ride both ‘Challenge Kraichgau’ and ‘Challenge Roth’ in race mode. Each route on its own is quite the test, putting the 2 into one challenge is a little mentally twisted – but hey, that’s what challenges are for.

Rouvy – Furka-Grimsel-Susten 2015…

My first attempt at Rouvy’s ‘Furka-Grimsel-Susten 2015’ route…

While i wasn’t planning on any silly long rides for a while, i felt ok this morning after a nice lie in and as i had to conquer this one for the Rouvy career level i gave it a go and finished it off. Video quality is excellent and the scenery and route is everything you could ever wish virtual cycling to be.

I definitely plan to come back to this one day in the future when i’m fitter and stronger, but there in lies the problem with Rouvy – there’s just so many great routes to ride that there isn’t enough time to try them all, let alone come back for another go. We shall see. For now though, i’ve got lots and lots of flatter courses to ride to finish the ‘Spring Classics #2’ challenge. I’ve got 703.93 miles left to ride in the next 31 days. All good fun as i’ve got a lot of nice looking flat courses bookmarked to work through.

#loverouvy

Lotus Blue (book review)…

Lotus BlueLotus Blue by Cat Sparks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the book right up until the end, which just didn’t seem to come up to the standard of the rest of the book. After a really enthralling adventure it really felt like the ending was rushed to its conclusion – hence only 4 stars.

It’s not too far fetched to imagine a future like the one depicted within this book, or the causes for it. The more we begin to rely on drones and augmented soldiers to fight wars, slowly but surely handing over more and more control to computer intelligence, the closer we get to the characters in the book and ultimately entities like ‘Lotus Blue’.

I’m hoping the ending in this book isn’t the end and that there’ll be more books in this dystopian future.

View all my reviews

Rouvy ‘Professional’ level…

Just completed ‘Professional’ level on Rouvy…

So i’m now at ‘National Champion’ level and for my sins have been given a bucket load of hard riding to complete – awesome stuff.

This new level is definitely going to take a bit more time to complete as on top of completing 2 rather long hard routes in ‘race’ mode, i have to finish 4 challenges and there’s currently only 2 in existence, 1 of which is just about to finish and 1 just about to start, with no hint of when the next 2 will begin or what they’ll require to complete. On top of that i have to collect 4500 Rouvy points which is a lot of riding in itself.

But it’s all great stuff and gets me fitter.

#loverouvy

Rouvy – El Portillon…

My first attempt at Rouvy’s ‘El Portillon’ route…

Not a bad climb if you’re just looking for a nice bit of road to complete a quick workout. I’ll be back over next few days to do this with more power, i was on a recovery ride for this attempt.

#loverouvy

Rouvy – Pocol → Passo Giau…

My first attempt at Rouvy’s ‘Pocol → Passo Giau’ route…

Not the most inspirational of climbs, and could certainly have done with being filmed on a really nice sunny day in better quality, but it’s a reasonable way to get through an hour interval training. Just switch off and let the road roll past.

Averaged 3 w/kg for 55:41 with an average HR of 116 bpm and max’d 4.88 w/kg @ 135 bpm – so pretty pleased with the old ticker as 135 is only the low end of my zone 2. There’s certainly a lot more to come in these interval training sessions as i make them progressively harder.

#loverouvy

Rouvy – Challenge Kraichgau…

My first attempt at Rouvy’s – Challenge Kraichgau route…

Great quality video and an even better quality route, especially for anyone training for a 70.3 triathlon. Riding rolling roads through delightful villages and countryside in Germany on a nice sunny day while improving my fitness is a great way to spend a few hours hours.

I look forward to coming back and having another go at this route when i’ve improved my 3 hour power a bit more. Definitely one for the favourites folder.

#loverouvy

Rouvy – Mt Constitution Road Climb…

My first attempt at Rouvy’s – Mt Constitution Road Climb route…

It’s a short climb but reasonably challenging. Video isn’t the greatest quality but it kept me happy doing a hard HIIT session. A good way to take a quick hard ride if you’re pushed for time.

#loverouvy