Sunday, 17 June 2012

Fastidiosam anno

The title approximates to something like "a boring year". Queenie had her 'annus horribilus' back in 1992. Twenty years later, I'm just having a dull year. That's part of the reason why this blog has been pretty quiet over the last few weeks - there hasn't been much to write about. However, even the dullest period eventually yields something interesting, so here goes a random selection of things......

Let's start with the dull year bit. Every year since 2001 I can point to something relatively major or interesting that happened in that year, not all of it necessarily sport-related. I know you'll be fascinated, so the list looks something like:
2001 - moved to Chester, 9/ll, acquired the injury that stopped me playing football and eventually started me cycling
2002 - spent a month in Germany doing MBA, took kids to Disneyland Paris
2003 - split up with 1st wife, lived on own for 6 months, met current wife, started cycling
2004 - Etape du Tour, moved to current house, proposed to current wife in Barbados
2005 - got married, Gran Fondo Campagnolo, holidayed in Singapore & Vietnam
2006 - loadsa sportives, fantastic activity holiday with kids in wet mid-Wales
2007 - loadsa sportives, last time I bought a new roadbike, Etape de Legend, holiday in France with kids
2008 - loadsa sportives, watched 4 stages of TdF at roadside whilst doing a mega-tour of France
2009 - Lands End - JoG with Mendi Prouleur, decided to buy a house in France, watched end of TdF in Paris
2010 - bought a house in France, Raid Pyrenean
2011 - Monmarduman year: duathlon'd, marathoned, brilliant charidee ride from London to Paris
2012 - er, well, hummm, changed job? being injured?

So as you can see, 2012 does not sit particularly comfortably just yet. Actually, I shouldn't complain, for lots of reasons. First, having the eldest two kids just down the road, relatively speaking, in Wolverhampton, has meant lots of unexpected opportunities to see them, which will sure as heck disappear later this year when one goes back to Bath Uni, and the other toddles off, with a bit of luck, to Exeter Uni. Today, for example, we had a cracking 4 hours hill-walking together. And last night we watched the football and ate curry together. Humdrum, workaday events perhaps, but very precious to me, made particularly so in the knowledge they won't last much longer. So to those of you with young-ish / younger children, it's a terrible cliche, but do enjoy them now, because time does disappear before you know it. That said, they're a hell of a lot more entertaining at 21 than they were at 11.

Other reasons not to complain - I've not just participated in sportives, runs and so on in previous years, but I've trained quite hard for them, and towards the tailend of last year I was truly knackered - long term exhausted. Having a few months off, which has partly been necessitated by the injuries, is helping to address that. Though that could just be me retro-fitting facts to theory.

The other thing that's forced a relatively low level of training in recent times is the change of job - I'm finding it very tough, partly because I don't really know what I'm doing (mid-life change of career - I'm not sure yet whether it's advisable; watch this space), and hence working lots, but also because I'm away from home most of Monday to Friday at the moment, and I'm not working in a part of the world where I can just nip out for a quick run.

Yes, that part of the world is about 400 yards beyond the end of runway 1 at Heathrow. It's just a phenomenonally busy, noisy and not especially safe-feeling area. It's not where I'd choose to spend my life, and truth be told, I'm becoming very jealous of those of you who get to sleep in your own bed most of the time between Monday and Friday. I don't regret changing job at all - the petty bureaucratic nightmares and corporate groupthink have been removed, and for that I am mighty grateful. It's just that I'm questioning if this is what I want to do till I retire, where 'this' is solving other people's problems, being away from home, and sitting in a stinky air-conditioned office making up clever powerpoint presentations to justify being charged out at a ridiculous daily fee. I mean, the last roadbike I bought was cheaper than my daily rate (which I only get a fraction of, I stress). Hey ho.

Anyway, dear reader, I'm back in the saddle metaphorically and the TdF is only 2 weeks away, which always raises my spirits. Courage to those of you getting in the miles at the moment, I hope to re-join you mentally and physically over the coming months.  

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