Pain Cave

So, May 2024 was a continuation of FulGaz’s challenge over the course of the year, the FulGaz Ironman Sprint Series which I had started last month.

There was also a quick work trip to Madrid working long days, but with the chance of hitting our boutique hotel’s gym … which was utterly shite with only a prehistoric treadmill to use.  This had the potentially lethal feature of speeding up and slowing down randomly, coupled with a worn surface which made it like running on ice … and then there was the abrupt emergency full stop shortly after I’d started going full tilt. Nice…

So, here are May’s stats:

May 2024 Stats

May 2024 Stats

Activities: 33 Distance: 425.73 km Time: 19:32:24 Calories:  17,398

Turning to my weight, at the end of April I weighed 85.0kg and at the end of May I weighed 83.4kg, which is down 1.6kg.  Today, I’m down again to 83.2kg.

April 2024 was a continuation of March’s heavy workload, but there was also my birthday as well as a new challenge over the course of the year, the FulGaz Ironman Sprint Series which I signed up to. Looking at the stats, I did work out longer and harder, which is a good thing.

So, here are April’s stats:

April 2024 Stats

April 2024 Stats

Activities: 31 Distance: 505.79 km Time: 22:02:43 Calories:  20,205

Turning to my weight, at the end of March I was 84.3kg (the same as this morning, 1 May), and at the end of April I weighed 85.0kg, so up 0.7kg.  I’m not too concerned, given today I’m back at 84.3kg and my weight has been up and down like a whore’s drawers!

You can also see a new feature in the stats which is that a blood pressure reading has been taken. This is because our blood pressure monitors have only allowed to take manual readings which we can then manually add to Apple Health, but there’s no way to automatically import them into Connect. And then I got a promotional email from Garmin about their Index BPM Smart Blood Pressure Monitor and it was a no-brainer to get it ordered.

March 2024 was a slower month than usual, with real life and work getting in the way: some shows and weekends away, plus a week in Riyadh with a ‘tired’ gym, 12 hour working days and a team dinner meaning I didn’t get much gym time.

I’m not entirely sure what those “naps” recorded last month were, unless I’m totally relaxed whilst ‘making good progress’ in the Abarth…

Anyway, here are March’s stats:

March 2024 Stats

March 2024 Stats

 

Activities: 25 Distance: 380.45 kmTime: 17:23:27 Calories:  15,297

Turning to my weight, at the end of February I was 84.4kg, and at the end of March I weighed 84.3kg, so down 0.1kg, which means I’m maintaining rather than gaining or losing weight.  I still have a very loose target of 80kg in mind.

Well February 2024 turned out to be quite the month for events and exercise.

I did a couple of runs on the treadmill, a few outdoor walks up around Virginia Water, but mainly it was more time attached to the Schwinn and FulGaz, first with the completion of their “FulGaz Grand Tour” which started on January 1st.  21 stages in Italy, France and Spain over 6 weeks.

I completed that in mid-February finishing in 12th place overall in 1108 hrs, 27 mins having covered 487.94km.

We then went off for a weekend in Tenerife and La Gomera riding motorcycles with the Bike Shed and Canary Ride.

The following weekend I had planned my next mad event: to take part in the Death Ride Challenge running during February:

“The Death Ride, also known as the Tour of the California Alps, is the toughest ride on FulGaz. It covers 163 kilometres and 3992 metres of ascent, with six epic climbs over Monitor Pass, Ebbetts Pass, and Carson Pass.”

I did that in under 6½ hours, finishing the challenge in 5th place overall.  I’ve very chuffed with that!

Anyway, here are February’s stats:

February 2024 Stats

February 2024 Stats

Activities: 34 Distance: 594.25 kmTime: 30:50:26 Calories: 24,222

Turning to my weight, at the end of January I was 85.9kg, and at the end of February I weighed 84.4kg, so down 1.5kg, which I’m pleased with.

Yes, I know that sounds a wee bit melodramatic, but this is a very challenging 100 mile/163 kilometre ride with six highly categorised climbs.

FulGaz say:

“The Death Ride, also known as the Tour of the California Alps, is the toughest ride on FulGaz. It covers 163 kilometres and 3992 metres of ascent, with six epic climbs over Monitor Pass, Ebbetts Pass, and Carson Pass.

“You’ll experience breathtaking views, thrilling descents, and steep gradients that will push you to your limits. This is not a ride for the faint-hearted. You’ll need to complete as much of the full ride as you can in one single go, with no pausing or saving for later. The clock doesn’t stop, just like in real life. But don’t worry, you can take as many breaks as you need for food, water, or rest. Just keep FulGaz running and enjoy the ride.”

“Enjoy”? What sort of maniacs are they?

So the Challenge was taking place during February 2024.  That coincided with the second half of the FulGaz Grand Tour  (I had finished 12th out of 160 participants) and then a long weekend in Tenerife and La Gomera riding motorbikes with the Bike Shed and Canary Ride.

Which only really left last weekend. The plan was to ride it on the Saturday but some family coming up and iffy weather forecasts meant a leisurely 8.5km walk around Virginia Water instead. But Sunday was free…

I decided to eat some breakfast and then wander out to the Pain Cave. Our WiFi was acting up despite all the repeaters dotted around the house – probably due to the weather and the vast number of devices all trying to connect at the same time – so I ended up having to play music from my iPad rather than the Apple TV and HomePods in there.  That was the same iPad I was running the FulGaz app on, so it was plugged in to the Schwinn to ensure it didn’t suddenly die on me.

A quick Torq Energy Gel – without artificial sweeteners, but more expensive than my usual Science in Sports ones – which was to be the first of many, a few minutes warming up on the Schwinn trying to get my Garmin fēnix 7S and the the 800IC linked up to the iPad/FulGaz, and then I was away.

Fuelling with the gels every 20 minutes and getting through a couple of litres of water and a few espressos and I eventually finished in time for an early dinner with the departing visitors. I’d done it in 6 hours, 31 minutes and 40 seconds, even quicker than the original actual ride time and an hour ahead of my target time:

 

One thought that kept coming to the fore during the ride was that unlike doing it in real life, you can’t coast down the descents because if you stop pedalling the ride stops too!

At the time of writing, I’m currently 5th of all the finishers and the fastest in the 60-69 year old category.  And I have some significant chafing despite my Giro “Baboon Pants”

So now the only question is “what’s next?”

Welcome to 2024! Another year older; another year more knackered!

Back in the UK full time now so it’s time on the treadmill, a few outdoor walks up on Ash Ranges and popping to the Co-op, but mainly it’s the Schwinn and FulGaz who are now running their “FulGaz Grand Tour” which started on January 1st.  21 stages in Italy, France and Spain over 6 weeks.

Here are January’s stats:

January 2024 Stats

January 2024 Stats

Activities: 38 Distance: 434.25 kmTime: 29:40:18 Calories: 25,381

Turning to my weight, at the end of Deember I was 85.8kg, and at the end of January I weighed 85.9kg, up 0.1kg, so maintaining a fairly constant weight whilst eating healthily and not drinking too much with a few minor changes to my meals.

Well 2023 was a year of consolidation and a combination of real-world activities out in Corralejo, Fuerteventura and virtual activities, especially after we bought a load of gym equipment for use in Alison’s personal training venture.

Since early November 2023, we’re back full time in the UK – other than holidays, of course – so the Pain Cave is visited pretty much every day first thing before work.

This definitely helps with the pain by building support for the affected areas including my knackered (necrosis-riddled) knee and the pelvis and spine from the motorcycle crash. ‘Helps’ but doesn’t get rid of the constant pain that I have had to come to terms with.

Anyway, moan over, here are the stats:

2023 Stats

2023 Stats

It looks like I need to build on the cardiovascular work with some more weight work to add to the single entry last year and to build some more muscle.

November started off with our last flights out of Corralejo as we give up our place out there to allow us to tour the rest of Europe; we were prevented from doing so by Brexit, of course.

So on Fuerteventura, the road cycling ended with the sale of the mountain bike after some 2,465km.

Back in the UK and it was back on the Schwinn and FulGaz who are now running a four week boot camp to prepare for their “Tour de FulGaz” in January.

Here are November’s stats:

November 2023 Stats

November 2023 Stats

Activities: 24 Distance: 356.59 kmTime: 15:31:30 Calories: 13,843

Turning to my weight, at the end of October I was 85.3kg, and at the end of November I weighed 85.5kg, up 0.2kg, so maintaining a fairly constant weight whilst eating healthily and not drinking too much. Oh and loads of time in the Pain Cave.

September started out in Dubai for a week and a bit in a five star, all-inclusive resort which thankfully had a gym but was using Technogym kit and software, sadly.  Once we were home, it was back in the pain cave on the Schwinn and the Bowflex treadmill before I headed off for a day trip to Raleigh, North Carolina.  Yes, what should have been a little over week there in a hearing turned out to be arrive, work, workout, get told about potential settlement, rush to the airport, redeye back to London!

Once back in the pain cave – and I’m really not sure if the iOS/watchOS software updates had anything to do with it – FulGaz started started having issues connecting to the Schwinn which was very frustrating.  It even happened again this morning, until I physically turned off the Bowflex treadmill which seems to somehow steal focus even though it’s not connected to the Schwinn (obviously).

Oh and I have finally upgraded by old Apple Watch Series 4 to a shiny new Apple Watch Ultra 2 which I’m keen to get properly set up and  calibrated properly: that JRNY treadmill run had the treadmill showing one distance, the fēnix showing a slightly shorter distance, and the Ultra 2 showing a significantly longer distance.  I will have to compare an outdoor walk next week when we’re back in Corralejo.

Mrs RHM has also upgraded to an Apple Watch Series 9.

Here are the results which are down from August’s:

September 2023 Stats

September 2023 Stats

Activities: 36 Distance: 370.63 kmTime: 17:49:39 Calories: 16,260

Turning to my weight, at the end of August I was 84.1kg, and at the end of September I weighed 84.3kg, up 0.2kg, but then there was Dubai and Raleigh…

August started out in Fuerteventura for a few days before we headed back to the UK.  It ended with us flying out to Dubai for a week and a bit in a five star, all-inclusive resort which thankfully had a gym but was using Technogym kit and software, sadly.

Here are the results which are up from July’s:

August 2023 Statistics

August 2023 Statistics

Activities: 39 Distance: 476.41 kmTime: 22:39:33 Calories: 20,176

Turning to my weight, at the end of July I was 83.9kg, and at the end of August I weighed 84.1kg, up 0.2kg, but then there was Dubai…