Plan ‘B’

Only one week into what could be two months of workmen in the building and already we are driven mad with the noise, I know it can’t be helped and I’m sure the builders are doing their best to keep the noise to a minimum, but those hammer drills vibrate throughout the building and hammering will always be noisy.

I have to vacate my flat on Sunday so that the workmen can have a clear run on Monday (25th July) and on that day I will be boarding the Megabus in Dundee for Inverness, where I will spend two nights in the Youth Hostel, returning on Wednesday 27th July. Thursday will be a day to sort myself out for Friday will be the first of my 3 visits to Dunfermline for the Empowering the Nation SSRG Conference.  

The weather has been such that today was the seventh consecutive day that I have been out on my bike, and it was telling, since I was dropping down a cog or two from my normal rides. I play this little game with myself, 100 miles in a week; two decades ago this would have been a Sunday run, today I arrived home 37.6 miles up on my target.

When I lived down in Yorkshire I cycled a lot and cycled in some very classy companies. There was a lad that lived in a little roadside cottage on the A 629 just east of Cross Hill he cycled 100 miles every day for 365 consecutive days.

Weather will always play a big part in any outdoor challenge, and I’m sure whether has scuppered many a Lands End to John O’ Grots challenge, and almost scuppered the chances of our friend from Yorkshire. He started on the first day of January and the winter was a bad one. He fell from his bike only weeks in, almost ending his personal endurance ride there and then. Since smartphone and satellite tracking were still many years in the future it was unconfirmed and many were sceptical of his claim.

The single-day endurance event now known as IRONMAN was the brainchild of Judy and John Collins, a couple who moved from California to Hawai’i in 1975. The Collins family participated in the Mission Bay Triathlon in San Diego on 25 September 1974. That event now marks the start of the modern triathlon in the U.S.

In 1977, Collins’ involvement in organizing a sprint run-swim competition in Honolulu helped plant the seed of an idea to put on a triathlon event the following year. Their goal was to create something for the endurance athletes—those who favoured events such as the Waikiki Roughwater Swim and the Honolulu Marathon over short sprint events. But where would the bike leg be? The answer came to them early in 1977, when John thought of using a local bicycling club route. Judy and John said to each other, “If you do it, I’ll do it,” and John famously added, “…whoever finishes first we’ll call him the Iron Man.”

Since competitors in the first Iron Man competition, competitors would have to sign up two compete in two local events, swimming and running, with only the cycle leg of the competition coming under the control of Judy and John Collins, it was suggested at the time that it would make it easy to cheat, John’s answer was simple – “They will know”

On my run today, pleasantly cool, and unlike Shirley Valentine, having no wall to talk to, I was thinking aloud – talk to my self (you don’t half get some funny looks from passing cyclists – whose speed increases rapidly once passed.) Why not set myself a little challenge (weather permitting) to cycle a minimum of 14.28 per day (100 miles over the seven days) for 365. Does not sound like much but when you cycle day after day without a rest day it’s a killer. Sadly for me, having a SatNav – so no cheating. Now, where did I put that SatNav thing?

Stay safe.

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