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Tuesday, 11 May 2010

The Rise And Fall

I thought the weekend worth mentioning as I think it will stick in my memory for a while.  

Emily and I ran the Alton Water Run 10k.  I had been in the process of adapting my slower running pace suited for long distance, to a more rapid speed suitable for 10k, so despite a bit of a dodgy hip/pelvis injury that seemed to be plaguing me in the weeks prior to the run, I was pretty ready.  Emily had also put a lot of hours down on the tarmac in readiness for her first race.   Map below taken from their website (terrible quality!)

It was an overcast day on Sunday and when the race began at 10:00am, it had just started to rain.  Pretty perfect weather to do it in really, as I tend to find you can push yourself harder without overheating.  Anyway, the rain didn't last long.  I ran with Emily for a couple of minutes before upping the pace a bit.  After ten minutes on warmup pace I sped right up to full speed and started to overtake a lot of people - I think most of them had gone off a little too quickly for starting pace, but then this always seems to happen at the start of races.  Also, this was a cross country kind of terrain, so judging by the amount of shiny trainers I saw, I don't think everybody was ready for that.  
Going on, I had overtaken about 50 people and had got about midway between the 6k and 7k mark when my ankle suddenly turned and I tripped and rolled downhill.  Disaster!  I was going quickly so it wasn't a mild fall.  All I could think was that I was now out of the race.  I pulled myself off the ground and inspected the injuries.  Possible sprained ankle, slightly grazed foream, grazed hand and chunk missing from knee with trousers torn.  Could be worse I thought. 

I limped along for a couple of minutes while everybody I had run past seemed to flow by.  I then decided my ankle didn't feel too bad, so I decided to just run as fast as possible and see how it went.  It went fairly painlessly.  It certainly felt like some damage had been done, but it didn't feel too bad.  I kept running fast and by the time I got to the finish was only a few places behind where I'd made it to before the fall.  I think if I hadn't fallen I would have improved by about 20 places, but who knows.  I think most people were shocked to see the previously injured man suddenly overtaking them again and going for it.  
So, I finished the run in 46minutes 33 seconds and came 79th out of 381 runners.  So I got a free t shirt for finishing top 100.  Emily came in at 204 and with a time of 55 minutes.  Really proud of her getting in under one hour as the terrain was tough and it was her first race.  Will put photos up once Emily sends them to me!  Anyway, the pain caught up with me after the run, and the ankle is sprained.  Walking yesterday was difficult, although I can almost walk normally now.  Not a hugely bad sprain - I suspect that having done quite a bit of off road running my ankles are fairly strong, which I guess helped reduce the amount of injury taken.  I certainly should have kept walking once I fell, as I may have got away with almost no injury in that case.  Anyway, there's an Asics 10k in london in June so I've got time to take it easy for a few weeks and then hopefully be in shape for that one, and get a better time - especially as it will be on road in London and mostly flat.  

The pain continued on Sunday with the replacement of the driveshaft rubbers/cv boots on the peugeot.  I had bought a relatively new "patent pending" product on the market for this.   Instead of having to remove the whole driveshaft and take off the cv boot that way, you cut the old one off and then stretch this one over a cone and onto the driveshaft - meaning you save a lot of time and effort.  I've put a link to this sold on ebay.  The video is fairly interesting so take a look.  Once you've clicked on the link just scroll down the page and you find a flash video further down.

IT WAS NOT AS EASY AS THE VIDEO!!!! However, after a slippery struggle by Emily and I, we got it on the driveshaft.  Job done, and hopefully it will last a long time.  The ABS sensor will be another weekend task! 

Tomorrow - workshop!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Pumps, Sumps and Bilges

Since I last wrote we've covered quite a bit in workshop, continuing Power Plant.  Time is so short at the moment that I will try and be more brief than usual!  Let me know if anything doesn't make sense.

Last week we learned how to move heavy machinery around the workshop, using lifting and slinging.  We wrote a job plan for a Screw Down Non Return Valve (SDNR Vv) too.  This basically is producing a Haynes Manual type description of how to service this valve.  So, we took it apart, inspected it, and then replaced the packing (provides seal which stops water leaking out where the spindle screws down) and also replaced the gasket (seals the join where the valve cover meets the main body).  Pics below of our valve.

Overview of similar valve to ours.

Our Vv

Vv cover off

Sam holding Gasket.

Vv apart exploded view

Vv guide and Vv lid. Brass part is guide.

Vv lid ready to grind in (four dots of paste)

Richard grinding in Vv lid.

Vv back together.

My Vv job plan exploded diagram - took ages to draw!

Some of our group lifting and slinging.

Yesterday in workshop we looked at gate/sluice valves and also parallel slide valves (these are both isoltating valves).  We also looked at diaphragm valves aka Saunders valves.  We have done another job plan (yesterday) - this time we took apart a centrifugal pump and wrote a description. Today, we did an experiment with a centrifugal pump.  We pumped for 30 seconds from one water tank to another and noted how much water was pumped.  Then we changed the wear rings on the pump and noted how much water was pumped the second time.  A significant amount less was pumped the second time, even though the wear rings were only about 0.6mm different in size to the first - shows how close the tolerances are.  At the end of today we started to cover lubrication and the different types.  Then we took apart a two stage reciprocating air compressor.  We've left it in bits until next week, when we'll be measuring the wear in the bottom end bearings and I think the crankshaft deviation. 

Myself, Sam and Richard with Parallel Slide Valve

Parallel Slide Vv apart

Centrifugal pump overview

Volute (snail shaped casing) + pump impeller.

Also I did some freehand in Engineering Drawing...see photos below.

Isometric projection.

Circles and other shapes

Pacman shape! + a few others.

On another note, Emily and I visited Southwold over the bank holiday which was great - except for the weather.  Some photos below from the DSLR!  The waves were big against the pier, so unfortunately we couldn't go to the end as it was closed off.