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The towpath hasn't been good out this way. The section from Kintbury west towards Denford has been closed a couple of times. I tried it a week ago and the mud largely reduced me to walking the first stretch.
Going the other way it was pretty bad but is getting better. We had a two month stretch where the canal was simply flowing over the towpath into the fields. I've just been down there with the dog and there were only two points where I couldn't avoid being ankle deep in mud. I'm thinking of trying to run the towpath from here to Thatcham later in the week if we don't get any rain.
Oh, see, I wanted a Ti bike but they were hella expensive. So, with the help of my OH I found a reasonable frame (the Van Nicholas Euros - OMG SO BEAUTIFUL). I took all the old componentry off my Giant and put it on the Euros. I also had the chance to pimp the Euros out a bit with new red bits (seat post clamp, skewers and spacers, as well as red cable housing). But, of course, the upgrades ball has now been put into motion, hence the Christmas presents.
I have just bought 4 boxes of handlebar tape from Wiggle - Hariboooooo!!! Two boxes are for my OH, one is for a potential replacement on the Euros (I made quire a mess) and the fourth is for the Giant. In line with keeping the Giant casual (winter/turbo bike), I've gone for this: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/cinelli-mike...andlebar-tape/
Anyway, so, we'll get our race numbers on race day. I'm looking forward to it - I like a decent challenge
I find bike-tinkering very relaxing (I wanted to say "calming", but it does involve swearing a bit too...). My OH gave me the upgrades for Christmas, so it was free! Shimano 105 groupset, ten speed rear and triple front (I'd have to lie if I told you the ratios, but it's *wide* - great for touring), with a Pro stem and handlebar (like what Cav uses, innit!). It might just be placebo, but it feels like the bike rolls a lot better. I have to get used to the shifters as the 2300 I had before uses thumb shifters.
I want to re-build my Giant next weekend (with all of its own parts, now taken off the Titanium bike). I think it will be good practice!
It's going really well The last brick session involved going to Box Hill and actually doing the full distance of the race!! Run 1 was really good - a real confidence booster. The ride was middling as I've just upgraded my groupset + handlebars and stem (bike mechanics done by my own fair hand...dubious) and things weren't quite perfect. Run 2 was an utter, utter bastard and hurt like no run has ever hurt before. I am hoping for a sub-4 hour finish - that would be awesome. I'm also fully aware that I'll be in the final 20% of people finishing the race, but that's OK. There's no way I'm going to be bashing out a 50-minute 8-mile run anytime soon!
It's kicking my butt (or busting my balls, as it would if I had any!). I always sit down and plan a nice training schedule. It looks good on paper, but I usually fail when it comes to going to bed at a decent hour. I also never factor in how much work can take out of a person. I convinced myself to go out for a wee run this evening with the promise of a post-run recovery drink (SiS Rego Strawberry flavour - a milkshake by a different name). It worked!
I'm applying for new jobs - have completed three applications so far this year! I really hope to get a research position at my old stomping ground (it's in Hertfordshire). How has your year been so far? (all 9 days of it!)