Thursday, February 2, 2012

Working Hard and Hardly Riding.

I was reminded that I have a blog whilst reading the PNP (THE Wellington cycling club) email and seeing the link to rider blogs with my name in it.  I feel slightly guilty for that inclusion, having not written for quite a while.  I have to admit to not writing because I feel I have had nothing to write about that is really of interest.  I'm generally uninspired from a cycling point of view being back in England, however my love is starting to come back...

Since I returned to England my life has been ruled by my work; this is not something I regret, I love the work I'm doing.  However it has meant that I have been very lazy when it comes to riding.  I have no racing targets, I have even told the shop and sponsors that I don't plan on racing this season (all that will change if I get fit), so there is no pressure to train.  I was quite saddened to see the scales hit 84kg this Christmas though, which has prompted me to try to get thin again, and am already back to sub-80.

I have always struggled with weight and do see this as a bit of limiting factor, but so long as I know that I'm a heavy person it's ok.  My general race weight has always been around 73-74kg which sees me at about 3-5% body fat.  Now this is hideously low, but I'm still a lot heavier than my peers; I have always wondered why this is.  I have recently decided I have really strong bones; thinking back to the number and severity of the crashes I have had I have been very lucky to only have two chipped elbows and a broken thumb to my count of broken bones.  Neither of these injuries causes me too much pain on a daily basis, but they won't ever fix properly.  I use my thumb too much to allow it to really fix, and chipped elbows just don't.  I have had a bit of bone floating around in my left elbow since I was 17 and some idiot stepped off the pavement into me (he was fine if you were wondering; if I hadn't have been in so much pain he would have been a lot worse for wear due to my fist being buried in his face).

So, I'm a heavy cyclist; what of it?  There are plenty of heavy guys out there who are able to race top flight and get over hills; no excuse.  and I'm not making them this time.  I'm just not racing, so why would I need excuses?

What I am doing is geophysics.  I'm loving doing research and find it incredibly rewarding.  My current research is based on the stress fields of the San Andreas using both deep and crustal measurements.  In essence I'm trying to understand how the crust and mantle are deforming and then relating that to the forces involved to try and see what is driving plate tectonics.  Plate tectonics is one of the major theories which the Earth Sciences rely on, however the what drives this process is not well understood; as such my work is a major topic of research globally.  It was heartening to hear how much work was going on using the same or similar techniques in presentations given at the recent AGU (American Geophysical Union) fall meeting.  I'm very motivated and can see myself doing this for quite a while.  I really can't stop thinking about my work which is nice in a way; but gets in the way of other things that require concentration...

So on the whole, I'm happy, getting a little fitter, but not actually race fit.  And generally trying to love life.