Back in the saddle

I finally made it back out on my bike!

Due to attending a meeting near to where I live, as opposed to where I work, I thought I would get up early on Tuesday morning and go out for a bike ride before heading to my meeting. This meant that I still got to get up an hour later than usual (yesssss) but as I sprang out of bed and opened the curtains it was clear that there would be no bikey since it was chucking with rain. This unfortunately meant that I had to go back to bed for another half an hour and then had to have a leisurely breakfast with J, I was very upset as you can imagine but the forecast was set to clear up and hence I figured I would go after my meeting instead. The weather did indeed clear up and the meeting was actually really interesting, plus I got a lead on an owl dress (obsession #45) so all good. The not so good part was that I accidentally fell in a big muddy puddle on the way home when I tried to jump over it forgetting that my boots have no grip so I just slid gracefully over and ended up sat in the puddle. Fortunately no-one was around to see either when it happened or see the state of me when I got home so public humiliation was mostly averted. It was pretty funny to be fair and no harm done except me having to wash everything that I was wearing including my coat and bag. Next time I am going by road!

Anyway, after that excitement I donned cycling clothes and set off. I wanted to do the duathlon route to make sure I knew what I was letting myself in for on Sunday. The first part is a route I know quite well which is a bit undulating but nothing too severe in either the up or down direction. The main issue was lorries and buses whizzing past but I managed not to get minced despite a few close calls. There is then a left turn and up THE HILL. I am putting it in capitals since it is the only category climb on the route and golly is it a big one. 3 stages of steepness with a bit of a respite in between, I did not go fast (3mph on average I think) but I did get to the top intact albeit panting rather heavily. From there it is pretty much downhill all the way and mindful of J’s advice not to brake I hit 30mph on one section despite a headwind! Finally back to the start in just over 1:11 (~16 miles), better than I expected but it would still put me pretty much last on the bike compared to the duathlon results from last year, and since I’m also about 4 mins slower than everyone else on both run legs I suspect I will finish bottom on Sunday. Not fun but at least I am not trying to kid myself, and I just hope they haven’t started packing up the course before I arrive!

It was nice to be back out on pinky though – I rather impulsively bought him last year just before the Great North Bike Ride. I couldn’t wait long enough to set up the cycle to work scheme so just bought him on sight and I don’t regret it, he’s lovely (as the picture below shows) and a joy to ride. Note I have not graduated to clippy pedals yet, I am nowhere near experienced enough to do that so am sticking with these for the moment and at least it will be easier to transition.

Image

 

After cycling I changed and then headed out to Strength and Conditioning. Lots of balance work this week which was fun but could also be renamed “Death by Shoulders”. We did get taught about how beneficial rolling a tennis ball under your foot could be and I definitely saw benefits with just a few mins of massage as well as it feeling absolutely amazing so I must go and purchase a couple forthwith. There are only three weeks of the course left which I am sad about, I’ve really enjoyed it and think it has made a difference to my fitness so I will have to look for something similar elsewhere.

Tonight is running night (5-6 miles at a medium pace), swim tomorrow then back out on the bike (this time with J) on Friday before parkrun on Saturday and I have to fit some wedding stuff in there too, it’s going to be a busy few days!

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