Bikes, runners, lungs

In three weeks time The Short One and I will have finished our epic week in June, the Lakesman triathlon and our Summer Solstice challenge. By Friday 22nd June we should be relaxing, basking in the satisfaction of what we’ve achieved. Well hopefully we will!

The last few weeks have been brewing hurdles to our success.

First hurdle– Bikes!

As previously documented The Short One went for a little fly off her bike a few weeks ago. Whilst she was, thankfully, only slightly injured and is now fully recovered, her bike was not so lucky. It’s insured so a replacement is on its way but she’s likely to be without her “race bike” for Lakesman. Not a massive problem she has a back-up (of course she does, she’s a serious triathlete, they always have multiple bikes). She’s testing out her “back up” bike over the weekend on some hideously long ride. Please don’t fall off again Short One!

My bike has also been condemned. My road bike was kindly constructed from spare parts by my bike mad brother in-law as a turbo bike. Basically a bike I could use on a turbo machine in the garage over the winter. Not because I’m some super fit exercise obsessed type. I just thought I needed something to keep me vaguely fit over the winter when the outdoor swimming season ended. Not having to leave the house over winter to exercise was appealing. It wasn’t used that much. Cycling, but not going anywhere in a garage on your own isn’t much fun so I got bored quite quickly and it sat there on its stand looking forlorn for most of the winter.

However, once we’d decided on our summer adventure I got it out on the road. It’s so much lighter than my mountain bike and I figured after climbing Scafell Pike and swimming Wast Water I’d need whatever advantage I could get to manage the ride out to the coast. I’ve not been out on it loads but I have to admit I quite like it. It had become apparent that it needed a bit of TLC though. Various bits were grinding and rattling. So, I took it down to Pembrokeshire with me at the weekend, partly so I could ride, but also so my brother in-law could give it a bit of a once over. He condemned it. Lots of new parts were mentioned as I looked at him rather cluelessly.

Spare parts have now been purchased which will be supplemented by his garage full of spares. The bike’s being dropped off over the weekend and I should have it back in working order by next weekend – phew!

Second hurdle– runners!

There’s no running on our Solstice adventure (that is beyond me) but the last leg of the Lakesman is a full marathon run. The prospect of walking 26.2 miles, never mind running it gives me the heeby jeebies. My legs are not made for that much pounding. However the ever able Julie was set to run our marathon at Lakesman. She ran competitively as a teenager and after a break of a few years has come back to it with a vengeance recently. She won our local running club championships last year. This would have been her first marathon though and she’s been training like a trooper. Until a couple of weeks ago she was on course to finish it easily with a really good time.

Alas injury has struck!! After a couple of weeks of serious physio, stretches, exercise plans and short, tentative test runs she’s finally had to concede that Lakesman isn’t going to happen for her this year. She’s gutted. We’re all gutted. It was an incredibly hard decision for her, and not one that she’s taken lightly, but in order to avoid further injury and scupper her running in the long term it was the right choice. Our all ladies team is no more!

Well unless our replacement fancies waxing his legs and wearing a wig?!? Yep, we now have a man in the team. The benefit of living in our village is that there are an awful lot of fit people. Our lovely, hilly backdrop seems to attract them. Or inspire them. Whatever, it means we weren’t completely at a loss for back-ups.

Our friend Aidan, who’s coincidentally the husband of Jac, our summer solstice support crew, has upped his running distance this year. He’s already completed the Edale skyline, a 20 mile fell race. His long distance achievements this year will culminate in some crazy long distance run that includes the summit of Snowdon (sorry Aidan I can’t remember the event name). So with a bit of coercion he’s been convinced to join the Lakesman team. It’s not the most inspiring of runs for Mr Off-road but good training……….or at least that’s what we’ve convinced him of! We owe him many pints and he will undoubtedly remind us of his courageous “saving the team” for ever more. We’re ignoring this morning’s comment of “my calf’s giving me sh*t”. Anyone fancy being our back up to the back up?

Third hurdle– my lungs.

On the summer solstice last year I had a raging chest infection. I still swum but it wasn’t far and I had a fever at the time. I’d just started on a course of antibiotics and I went back to bed immediately after our swims. It was the first chest infection I’ve ever had and it completely floored me. I didn’t do anything for a month. I slept and lounged around unable to catch my breath if I walked up the stairs or tried to speak. It took two courses of antibiotics and some steroids to get rid of it. It was grim!

It also drove home to me what Sarah, with her PH, deals with on a daily basis. That utter exhaustion and inability to catch your breath with the slightest activity. It was scary. When you’re laid in bed listening to your chest wheeze and crackle you have too much time to think about the “what if’s”. What if it gets worse? What if it’s more than just a chest infection? What if I’m like this forever? When will I be able to swim again? When will I be able to chase after the kids again?

Obviously I did get better. I got back swimming, I could shout at the kids again, it wasn’t anything more than a nasty bacterial infection. It did make me want to do something to help though and that’s where the sponsorship for our Summer Solstice and Lakesman adventures come in.

Fast forward to today and I’m currently sat in my PJ’s planning a very lazy few days. I have a horrible bug and it’s on my chest. My chest’s all crackly and I’m out of breath walking up stairs. Gah! Why now? Seriously, could this not have waited another few weeks? Why at this time of year? The boys started with it last week, they’ve been hacking and sniffing considerably. I love my kids dearly but I really wish they’d stop sharing their germs.

In an attempt to not let this morph into something horrible I’m being sensible. I’m resisting swimming and sitting on my backside until I feel better. I’m stocked up on good stuff: ginger; lemons; raw garlic; paracetamol; vitamins; steam; inhalers and lots and lots of fluids to try and flush this thing out. Suggestions for further quick fix cures welcome on a postcard please!

Fingers crossed, in three weeks’ time, I’ll be basking in satisfaction. Help buoy us all along with a bit of cash here if you can https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/summit-seapha

lemons

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