Gingerbread house

It’s well known that Kim is a master baker and crafting ninja but the gingerbread house is becoming a Christmas tradition. The kids eat more sweets than they stick (I did some of the roofing) and I think I eat more of it than anyone else.

Happy Christmas!

RB Sports

I’ve been building a website, or rather, a web page, for a mate’s swim coaching business. It’s a bit orange. It’s using a WordPress installation so he can update the news items himself from his iPad. Other than that it’s very simple. It still took long enough to pull all the parts together though. Building a multi-page site is barely harder than a single page as the design is just reflected across pages. The only extra bit needed is a navigation tool (menus & whatnot).


The shortest day is done! Although the day after was worse – it was so dark and wet all day that it felt like the sun never came up. I’m glad I swapped my run and swim around and avoided the weather. It really was that bad. All the fields I passed on my bike were flooded today. A group of ponds beside the Llanelli cycle path had become one large pond, with the rescue rings on posts just visible above the water.

I finished a 3 month block of increasing run and swim volume to nice, high TSS levels. I was surprised to see my training stress score almost reach the 2012 peak from mid-summer just from swimming and running. That’s a lot of swimming for me! (And my body told me so too). I’m now finishing a recovery week before starting a couple of transitioning weeks in which I’ll be working the cycling back in. It’s great to be getting back on the bike, and great to be so mentally fresh for it too. I’m now feeling very robust running-wise and very comfortable with much longer swim sessions that I’ve done before. If it all works out this should be great preparation for 2013, but I’ll just keep plugging along and we’ll see what happens.

I ran a local cross country race in Merthyr Mawr last weekend so I could get a Christmas pudding. Great fun and my form seems ok. I didn’t hammer it but the hills were easy and metrics were good. It’s nice to get out and muddy, but maybe I should have tied my shoes on instead of relying on my summer elastic laces that I left in from the Gower triathlon. The best bit was the rapid recovery – I felt fine over the next couple of days. A sign of some consistent, effective mileage.

I’m trying to chill out over Christmas and drop both my training stress and other stress levels. They’ll be rising again in the new year so it’ll be good if they both start off a bit lower. Lots of gaming is helping and I’ve had a week off work already (not that it stopped the hassle and the emails entirely) while the kids have been at school. When the only thing you really have to do every day is train and recover life is simplified incredibly. Very nice. That must be quite a life to lead. A bit of golf has been nice too, and I was happy to find that I could still make the ball go forward as this was the first week that I’ve hit a ball since before breaking my shoulder. I did thin it off the tee a bit so I’m blaming a shorter right shoulder. I’ll get a few more games in before I have to go back to work.

I’m hoping for some nice warm winter cycling kit from Father Christmas to get me through January and February. I think I’ve been good.

Have a good Christmas and New Year break!


Oh dear. The art of bicycle maintenance and all that. I knew this wheel was overdue for replacement and has been for some time. I folded the front wheel of the pair when I crashed and broke my shoulder, and the rim of this rear wheel was worn way too thin. I’m not riding much at the moment though so left it. And left it. And left it.

Last weekend the rim started to rub. Uh oh. That was a particularly terrifying ride. I had been planning to replace these wheels with some PowerTaps but I’m too skint (and is probably part of the reason for delaying replacing) but I grabbed another pair of Campagnolos for my training bike as these things have been so damned tough.

I went into the garage to stick the new wheels on and found this. Some time in the week the tube and tyre exploded, the lip of the rim burst and green slime had splattered everywhere. (The slime helps repair punctures when I’m riding).

I guess the slime wasn’t going to fix this one. These wheels must have easily ridden over 20,000 miles and braking wears away the aluminium, especially if you like riding in mucky lanes. I should have replaced these wheels a few thousand miles ago.

I’m very glad this didn’t happen when I was riding. If I managed to stay upright I would have struggled to get home! It was hard enough getting the wheel out of the bike in the garage.

So there’s a lesson for you! Check and replace your wheels before this happens!