Well I thought I should report in on how the end of February mini-challenge went. I said that if I raised enough money before the end of January that it would not only enter in for the Huddersfield Marathon (which I have now done) but also cycle to work and run home on the last day of February. Well what an interesting day yesterday was! I got up nice and early for the 16 mile ride and left the house at about 7am. After a winter of near constant rain it was a nice change to get out to find a frost on the ground and a chill in the air as I started up the hill from my house. Passing up and down a few of the smaller hills on the way in, I was glad I remembered my gloves and chose a long-sleeve top to wear as the wind on the faster down hill stretches was biting and had my legs turning a nice pinky/red but I was making good time and enjoying the ride. Getting to the top of Blackstone edge and passing the reservoir I was ready for the last 3 miles of the route, almost all of it a steep down hill and recently resurfaced to accommodate the tour-de-France that is going to be coming this way in the summer. I had previously clocked an impressive speed down the hill (53.7mph) so i knew the road was fast but with no cars about I was looking forward to the rush of air as I raced down. Coming round the last but one of the corners of the hill there was the road works and associated traffic lights that I expected as I normally drive past them each day, still on green I think I was going about 25mph as I passed them. However this is where things come a little unstuck. I can only guess that as I passed the lights they must have just changed and the stretch being long enough I guess the other end turned green before I was all the way through as just at the end of the lights I was faced with an oncoming coach. So left with three choices of hitting the coach, hitting the wire mesh of the roadworks barrier and aiming for the footpath I chose the last and tried to break to take off as much speed as possible before the inevitable crunch of hitting the kerb. Well hit I did and over the handle bars I went, a decent enough tumble that 7 years of break-falling at Jujitsu didn’t seem to mitigate. On the deck and taking stock everything seemed on, my hand hurt, my arm and leg hurt but nothing that seemed too bad until I saw my poor poor phone 😦 strapped on my arm with a holder I had just bought the previous weekend the screen looked like a dememted spider’s web of cracks but on checking it, it did seem to at least still be working. It was at this point that a chap came over and checked if I was OK. He had been in his digger working on the road and had seen it all including my inelegant dismount onto the pavement. He said he had tried to run over right away but all the safety features in his digger meant he couldn’t as he had to unclip, turn off and other stuff before he could leave it.
Literally dusting myself down and taking another look it seemed my right side had taken the brunt of it with a good bit of skin gone off my calf as well as my upper thigh and a big hole in my long sleeve top when my elbow had skidded on the ground, plus on second look I was fairly sure my left little finger was broken and it seemed the brakes on my front wheel were bent as well. My good Samaritan on seeing all this offered to drive me that last mile or so into work in his van with my bike in the back, which I very gratefully took him up on.
So after a short trip to work, a very painful shower digging grit out of cuts and a decent application of masking tape and bandage pads it was into the office for the rest of the day at work.
However it then occurred to me I was meant to be running home!
Sticking a good bit of this on facebook (as you do) I think the consensus was I should postpone and do it another day but I did feel guilty in that I said I was going to do it and although painful i didn’t think there was any serious damage just a few good scratches. But being sensible and listening to the general opinion I thought the best route might be to go for a run at lunch time and clock up about 4.5 miles to see how I’d hold up that before doing the whole lot home. So come 12 noon it was on with the running kit and off down the canal. 40 mins and 4.5 miles later and I was actually feeling pretty good, no muscle twinges and no light headedness so I seemed, in my eyes, good for the run home. But again taking the advice of others I thought it would be ok to knock off the miles from the lunch time run and instead of 16 miles home just do 11.5. So as 3 O’clock rolled round it was back in the running gear and thanks to a lift from someone at work part of the way I was off for the run home. Starting a few miles in meant I missed the big Blackstone hill which was a nice start but there was still the very steep rises out of Ripponden and up Ellend which I happy to admit were chuffing hard!
Still 10.7 miles later (not the 11.5 unfortunately as stopping places were limited to drop me off) I was home and showered (another painful experience) and felt although I hadn’t done exactly as promised that i had at least fulfilled the spirit of the challenge.
So that was February! Now its on to March and the next mini challenge. I decided I would try and do a little something each month that pushes me and gets me ready for the big day and in doing so hopefully gives you all a chance to feel that your donations as well as mainly being for the big Triathlon are getting some “payback” along the way.
So March then, the challenge is to walk 40 miles of the Calderdale way. Why 40 instead of the full 50? Well the Hadrain’s wall route is 84 miles so the plan is to trial 40 and see how that is and more importantly how my legs are the following day!
So the mini funding goal for the end of the month is now £98, a pound for each mile of my mini challenges.
26 for the marathon, 16 for the cycling and 16 for the run and a final 40 for the walk.