I’m getting a little frustrated with myself. I rarely post anything on either of my blogs these days and when I do it always seems to be a “back in the saddle” type post, bemoaning my recent lack of cycling and resolving to do better. But I do need to do better!
I have contrived to get my name down for the Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 (henceforth known as the 100), and if I am going to hope to beat the broom wagon round I am going to have to up my game on my recent form. Seriously. It has been established that I can ride 10 miles a day, providing I have a good eight and a half hours sit down in the middle but it’s a bit of a jump from that to 100 miles…
So I have started “training”. I don’t have a training plan, even if I did I doubt I would be able to stick to it with life, the universe, small children and everything getting in the way. Two weeks ago I suggested to my boyfriend that instead of accompanying him to our usual Monday night swim session I head out and get a few quality miles on my bike, he agreed that it was a great idea. In fact, would I mind if he came along with me? We had a lovely ride and a lovely evening. I was slower than him on the slight rises but was able to convincingly demonstrate the benefits of a good aero position combined with a few too many croissants when it came to the descents. 17 miles later, we got home smiling and laughing.
That weekend my boys were with their father for the weekend and my boyfriend’s boys were with him. I treated myself to a day out on the Saturday but on Sunday morning, at 8:30, I fired up my bike computer with the 43 mile route from a work colleague and headed out of the house. The computer informed me it was 3.4 miles to the route which would round it out to around 50 miles, an excellent step in the direction of my 100 mile ride in August.
Things started off really well! I was very happy with my progress after the first hour and a half when I stopped to have an energy bar and text my boyfriend. That was before I got to the hills. Well, it would be, wouldn’t it? Out of the three main hills I had to climb I didn’t make it up a single one of them without getting off and pushing for a while. As if that weren’t humiliating enough (on a personal level) the glorious, flying descents which previously I had loved became narrow, twisted, horrific free-falls, my tired arms barely holding on, my knees shaking as the tree-dappled sunlight masked wrist-jarring potholes and my bike computer was less interested in keeping me abreast of the turns and twists in the road than in trying to pair with every heart rate monitor which passed.
The pushing had taken its toll and the lunchtime deadline for when my children were being returned was closer than I would have liked. I saw an opportunity to cut out a 6 mile loop, getting me home that much faster and I took it, set the bike computer for Home and turned into my road as my ex was pulling suitcases from his boot.
At the end of all that, my total distance according to my bike computer was 55 miles. Now, I’m not much of a mathematician (unless you count the A* at GCSE, the two A-levels and the career in accountancy) but even if I wasn’t, it’s not hard to work out that a 43 mile track, plus 7 miles to and from, less 6 miles missed out should be somewhat less than 55 miles, but I’ll take it! It’s all good. 4 hours dead is less good, particularly the feeling dead bit…
This post is getting long though, so I’ll make this part 1 and post a part 2 to bring you up to date on my “training regime”.