07. June 2016 · Comments Off on Spin me right round, baby · Categories: embrace the bike, Holidays, Pregnancy, Yoga · Tags: , ,

I’ve been both charmed and embarrassed by the accolades I received after my last post about running the Toronto Women’s 5k race at 30 weeks pregnant. Thank you very much, readers!

Just to put it into perspective, just remember that Alysia Montaño was still racing track events at 8 months (34 weeks) pregnant….

Or how about my friend Lara? She is 10 weeks ahead of me, which put her at 40 weeks (that’s full term, folks) when she proposed we go do a spin class together the day after the race.  On her due date.

I suggested a nice long walk instead, but no, she was insistent: spin or bust. So yes, on her due date, we could be found at Quad spin studio spinning our legs furiously and being shouted at by a bearded man in spandex. I was tired from the race the day before and was sweating profusely… Lara elegantly maintained her pregnant glow and kept up with the furious pumping while I gave up and sat out a couple rounds, pretending to churn my wheels while secretly setting the bike to the easiest setting possible.

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Two days later, a now overdue Lara was suggesting an outdoor prenatal yoga session. We found a yoga video online and proceeded mostly to ignore it, instead having too much fun clowning around in the soft sunshine.

This makes me crack up most of all:

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Lara is now 41 weeks and 1 day and I am wishing her all the best….  as she continues to walk, jump and skip to get that baby out! Good luck Lara! Maybe one last spin class will do it?

 

 

 

A tremendous slamming, like the whole world colliding with me. The noise, filling my whole head. Flying. Lying on grass with one arm bent underneath me at a wrong angle. People shouting. “Don’t move, the ambulance is on its way.”image

Saturday’s long brick session ended very early with a hit and run.

………

I’m ok.

………

 

I can’t believe that I am ok.  It all happened so fast. I never saw the car coming. I was pedalling happily, down in aero, riding east along Northlake Boulevard towards the coast.  It’s a big road, but I was in the bike lane. It’s a long straight road. There were no cars pulling out, no turns, nothing to make me wary. I had been working against a fierce wind heading north for the first hour of the ride and was now in a crosswind that allowed my efforts to reflect some speed. I was riding moderately hard and going 34 km/h (just over 21 mph).  I had swum an hour in the dark that morning, got on the bike around 8 and was looking to be on the bike for a solid 6h30 before running for 50 minutes.  It was to be my very last full big brick session before Ironman Florida.

Last year I had a major crash 4 weeks out from Ironman Lanzarote.  That one was caused by bad luck and my own doing – I hit a pothole and lost control and crashed into a tree (read about it here if you’re interested).  This year, it’s just 3 weeks out from Ironman Florida, and it was absolutely not my fault in any way.  That makes it feel worse.

We don’t know what happened.  The driver just drove out of his lane into the bike lane. He clearly didn’t see me.  Witnesses said they watched him crash into me and just keep going.  Nobody got his license plate number.  The impact was hard enough to tear his whole wing mirror off his car. He was going about 50 mph (80 km/h). The police speculated he may have been drunk, he may have been uninsured, he may have been texting. We don’t know.

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The wing mirror that ripped off when it collided with my arse

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What I do know was everyone else that day was tremendous. The witnesses who stopped to help me, who called an ambulance for me. The paramedics who took care of me – who even let my bike come on the ambulance with me once the police had taken photos for evidence. The nurses and doctors at the hospital, the police who came to the hospital to check on me. Everyone was brilliant.

As I lay on the stretcher in the ambulance, my phone buzzed. A text from my friend Ben. “The wind is bad coming from the north. Hope you’re only riding south today.”  I hesitated. Do I tell her? I didn’t want to worry anybody or be melodramatic. But it had happened. It was real.  I told her.

She and Travis met me at the hospital 7 minutes after I arrived.  7 minutes.  With clean clothes for me because mine had been cut off by the paramedics. Tom arrived not long after. The shock was starting to set in.  Seeing them all there in my room felt like tangible happiness.image

Ben told me that our friend Nancy was also trying to track me down. We eventually learned that she had heard about the crash on Facebook.

I had sent Nancy my planned route the night before. She knew exactly where I was going. She knew it was me although she desperately hoped it wasn’t. She was frantically texting and calling all our mutual friends, not saying why, trying not to scare anybody but trying to find out if I was ok.

And actually, truly, I was.

The Good News

  • I was alive.
  • I didn’t hit my head. Zero head injuries (I will still likely replace my helmet just in case!)
  • X-rays showed no broken bones!
  • When I was hit, I was next to a grass verge, so rather than flying through the air and landing on concrete or asphalt, I landed on grass. I think that made a real difference.

The Bad News

  • Road rash. We aren’t sure if it’s just from the car or whether I somersaulted through the bike lane before ending on the grass, but I have bad road rash on my shoulder and elbow, and also some on my hip and knee. I lost my favourite jersey and shorts – both were burned through and then cut off off by the paramedics.
  • Big puncture wound in my left elbow and very swollen elbow area.
  • Sprained shoulder / rotator cuff issues from landing with the arm at a wrong angle.
  • Severe hematoma on my left arse/hip where the car had direct impact.  Some utterly fantastic colours coming through now….
  • Sprained right ankle, likely from the bike hitting me as I fell.
  • Various bruises of varying degrees of severity all over my knees and calves.

All in all, I got off pretty lightly considering that a car ran me over at 50 mph.

As for the bike, it didn’t come out too badly. Unlike last year’s crash, where the bike frame literally ripped in two, this time I only managed to tear off the left Di2 shifter and there are some compressions on the frame. If I manage to heal in time to race, the bike should be good to go too. If I’m not too scared to get back in the saddle.

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So what next?

Ironnman Florida is in 2 weeks, 3 days. I don’t know whether I will make it to the start line. The hospital wanted to send me home on crutches with an air cast, but I said I would rather hobble. I am acutely aware that I am lucky to be alive, to be relatively intact, and that whether or not I’m fit to race is irrelevant when I consider the big picture. Nonetheless, I’ve been training hard for this race for months and I really have put in nearly all the work. It is crushing to miss it after all that.

I’m taking it day by day. My good friends Will and Malogsia are flying in for the race from London, arriving in 10 days – yahoo! And I’m trying to stay positive, moving gently, drinking copious cups of tea and hugging my dog Haile despite his protests.

I am grateful to be alive and to have such caring friends and family who came to visit me in hospital, who brought me homemade cookies, sent me flowers, chocolates, books, made me cups of tea, and who continue to send messages of encouragement and love every day. Thank you all.

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Thank you Zoe, Alex, & George for the flowers!

Let’s talk food! Sadly I don’t mean pizza and beer, but rather the much less appetising notion of energy food, food on the go, sport food.  I hate it all. It has taken me years to be able to choke down a gel and even still I’m rubbish at it.  If I wouldn’t eat it while sitting at my desk at work (when I am always ravenous!), why would I want to eat it on the bike when food is the last thing on my mind?

Last year my good friend Karis (who incidentally thinks gels are scrumptious, damn her) gave me a copy of Feed Zone Portables when she came to visit us in London. She gave it to me right before we both did Ironman Lanzarote, and then I took some time off of mega long bike rides after that, so I didn’t get around to testing out any of the recipes.  And then suddenly we were moving to the US, and everything in our lives was upside down, and half our kitchen equipment was shipped around the world while we were in limbo.  Then the move happened, and everything was in boxes…. ok, enough excuses.  The point is, now that I am back doing long rides and gagging on jacked up pouches of gelatinous sugar, I finally remembered the book, dug it out and made something.

The authors of the book have cooked up food for riders for the Tour de France and pro Iroman athletes, so they know what they’re doing, and it gives a really detailed breakdown of the nutrition, carbs, protein, etc., so you know exactly what you are consuming on the bike.  The idea behind it is that unlike gels and bars, you actually can eat real food all day long, and even enjoy it rather than forcing it down.

I ended up adapting their recipe for Potato & Sweet Ginger Baked Rice Balls – it called for crystallised ginger, which I didn’t have, so I went with leek and potato instead (always a winning combo, right?).  In retrospect I should have gone for something a little less healthy in order to pack a bigger calorie punch, but going by the information they set out in the book, I would estimate that each ball I made had about 200 calories – not too bad.

Potato & Leek Baked Rice Balls

1 cup uncooked sticky rice (they recommend Calrose rice, which I used)

1 1/2 cups water

2 small potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed (~1 1/2 cups)

1 chopped leek

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon olive oil

Salt

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 C) and lightly grease a baking sheet.

Cook the rice in a rice cooker if you have one, or just in a pot if you don’t, adding a dash of salt.

Boil the potatoes until they are soft.

Sauté the chopped leek and minced garlic in the oil.

Combine the potatoes and the leek and garlic and mince in a food processor to get a uniform finish (or if you’ve chopped the leeks fine enough, then just mash it all together by hand), then thoroughly with the cooked rice.

imagePlace clingfilm into a small bowl and then pack the rice mixture into the bowl.  With a little tug of the clingfilm, your ball will pop out in a perfectly uniform shape, beautiful!  Repeat until you’ve used up all the rice mixture, then bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

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Once you take them out of the oven, wrap them individually in cling film, tinfoil, or parchment paper, and they’re ready to go into your jersey pocket on the bike.

 

Verdict?

The rice is pretty dense, so there is no fear of them falling apart.  They were relatively easy to eat on the bike in terms of reaching into my pocket and grabbing one, and obviously with no packaging to tear open, they were easier to get into.  I would add more salt next time, as really, salt on a long sweaty bike ride is only a good thing, and the balls were slightly bland without it. Were they scrumptious? No, but they weren’t bad, and there are lots of other baked rice ball recipe choices in the book (date & almond; lemon ricotta; honey banana; peaches & coconut cream; BBQ chicken; sweet & sour chicken; curry pumpkin date; spicy black bean; sweet potato & bacon).  Let us not forget that I also messed with their original recipe of potato & ginger.

Baked rice balls are just one type of portable food suggested by the book – it has a gazillion others, from two-bite pies to baked cakes and cookies, baked eggs, waffles and pancakes, and many more.  So I will try again and see if I can find something that truly is delicious, both on and off the bike – but my initial reaction is generally positive.

Nutrition info: for the entire rice mixture, so divide between however many balls you make

Energy (calories): 940  Fat: 1  Sodium: 465  Carbs (g): 220  Fiber (g): 6  Protein (g): 17  Water (%): 57

On a side note, the good people behind Feed Zone Portables also make Skratch Labs electrolytes, which I only just discovered while out running the Leadville Marathon this summer. They are the tastiest electrolytes I have found to date (with about 40 calories per bottle) and I truly recommend them.  Yes, these I even would drink while sitting at my desk!

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In the lead up to Ironman Florida (6 weeks away!), I’m now doing big brick sessions every Saturday, getting progressively longer each week.  Last weekend was a 50 min swim, a 4:45 bike ride, and a 50 minute run. Just to give you an idea of when I’m munching on the rice balls – all during the bike ride (sadly still doing the gels thing on the run). We get to the ocean at first light, and my favourite part of the whole brick is seeing the sunrise over the ocean in the morning.  Moments like that remind me why I’m in Florida.

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Heading into the ocean at sunrise

Last weekend, my friends Ben and Molly came along for part of the swim and bike portion – not because they needed the training, but mostly because they were worried about me swimming all alone in the semi-dark and being eaten by sharks.  I am pleased to report that not one of us was eaten or even tasted, but we did have a few brushes with jellyfish and sea lice.  All part of ocean swimming. But seriously, I’ve been living here for less than a year and I’ve already met people who are willing to be eaten by sharks with me.  How awesome is that?

A long day in the hot sun isn’t complete without a puncture either.  Did you know that frozen CO2 cartridges will stick to your clothing if you try to use them to cool off?  Try it, then you can get a really cool photo like this one:

imageIt was so hot out there that I drank 8 bottles of water and electrolytes. Apparently it was 100°F/ 38°C with the sun. Turns out there is a secret spot in West Palm Beach that has a cold water fountain rather than the molten lava that spurts from the other fountains all along the A1A beach road. Info like this from friends on a scorching day is worth its weight in ice.image

Happy cooking, happy eating, happy riding!  We are racing Ironman 70.3 Augusta this weekend in Georgia and praying for rain!

What do you eat on long rides and runs?

Back in October, I went through some metabolic testing at Sportstest in London.  It was truly eye opening.

I had wanted to get myself tested because I was trying to figure out why I was such a crappy cyclist.  Yes, that’s the truth of it.  I was running and swimming generally well, but my cycling consistently never matched the other two.  I couldn’t figure it out.  I was putting in the time – I did Sufferfest sessions 3-4 times a week, I did long hours on the bike, including a number of Century rides, and I rode rain or shine, snow or ice.

Palace 2 Palace, 144 km cycle:  the only sportive where I finished ahead of the others. Because they all got lost… and I didn’t. L-R: Tom, me, Jojo, Dalia

And yet I sucked on the bike.  It was exhausting and disheartening.  Why was I always so slow?  Finally, metabolic testing with Dr Garry Palmer would reveal the truth.

The Test

Pre-testing, Garry discussed my training regime with me, my bike times vs my run times, and surmised that it was likely because I was training too hard on the bike.  Pushing too hard all the time, never letting up, always going for it, exhausting me.  Could that be it?  The testing would tell.

I won’t go into great detail about metabolic testing, but you can hear more about it from Garry himself here or read my friend Karis’s recent post on the subject. Essentially, Garry was monitoring my heart rate, my oxygen uptake and my CO2 production, first on the bike, the on the run.

VO2 max

Testing time!

I was in for a shock.

It was my “off-season”, I’d just had several weeks off after an intensive year of racing, and yet my bike results were good.  Very good.  My VO2 max was in the top-trained athlete range (61.19), and my power to weight ratio was very high (4.68).  What it boiled down to:  I wasn’t trying nearly hard enough on the bike.

It was all mental.

All the times I’d struggled in the sportives to keep up, all the times I’d been dropped by my friends – it was all because I wasn’t trying hard enough.

I generally pride myself on giving 110% effort, so this really was a surprise.  I think all the years of bike commuting just meant that I didn’t know how to suffer on the bike.  I had been coasting along in the “recovery” heart rate zone (or Zone 1) the entire time. I’d learned how to push hard on the run, but not on the bike.

We then moved on to testing my run:

The run brought fewer surprises, but again Garry identified my training zones.  We did establish that my running was ahead of my cycling – but not by that much.  It also showed that I was doing my “steady” runs far too easy.

The graphs

The various tests resulted in a number of complex graphs and numbers spewing out, one example here:

Test results

Test results

These graphs show the points at which you stop burning fat and only burn carbohydrates.  As an endurance athlete, the longer you can burn fat, the longer you can keep going.  Tom and I are both believers in fat-fuelled sessions (long and slow without taking on extra fuel so your body learns to burn fat rather than “hitting the wall”, which is what happens when you are burning carbs only and your body runs out of supplies).  Turns out pretty much all my cycling had been in the fat burning zone only.  For endurance triathlon, you ideally want to be in Zone 2 – where you burn both fat and carbohydrates.

The consequences

No more excuses!

If there is one thing I’ve learned doing endurance sports over the last few years, it’s is that the mental is more important than the physical, by far. This testing really brought that home.

Since the assessment with Garry, my cycling has improved 100%.  Don’t get me wrong – I still have a long way to go, but the improvement has been palpable.  I trust the numbers he has given me and I’ve finally learned to push hard on the bike.  My Half Ironman time has dropped nearly an hour (5:58 in Norway in 2013 to 5:01 in Naples in Jan 2015), with my bike split going from 3:22 to 2:42, 40 minutes! (granted, Norway was hilly, and Naples was flat)!

It’s true that it’s pancake flat here, unlike hilly England.  So perhaps I can’t put everything down to trying harder, but I’m definitely pushing more than I ever have before, and it feels good.

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All in all, I would highly recommend getting yourself tested if you haven’t done it already.  And I am continuously amazed at how much of this sport is mental, not physical.

Have you ever has a metabolic assessment?  Did it help you?

 

02. January 2015 · 2 comments · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags:

I stumbled upon a great headline from the BBC from earlier this year:

imageWhen I googled “sexy cyclists”, all the images that came up were of women – and half were of Victoria Pendleton, the Olympic gold women’s cyclist who posed nude for glossy magazines.

Most people don’t think of male cyclists as sexy.  There is no David Beckham equivalent on a bike…nobody doing underwear adverts (unless you know of one, in which case please let me know in the comments!).  Why is it that men strutting around in skin-tight bike lycra isn’t considered as hot as say, the Olympic swimmers?  (Same thing, less lycra?!)

Mark Cavendish strutting his stuff

 

Ever since I first spotted my husband Tom coming back sweaty and dishevelled in his tight Helly Hansen base layer post-winter cycling, I’ve liked the lycra look.  And it seems that his speedy prowess on the bike may be the reason why.

Tom, sans lycra

Tom, sans lycra

 

The BBC article tells us of a scientific study that examined the relationship between perceived attractiveness and success in cycling:

Dr Erik Postma, from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Zurich, asked people to rate the attractiveness of 80 professional cyclists from the 2012 Tour de France. The cyclists were all of a similar physical stature, were tanned and around the same age.

Around 800 participants were then asked to score the cyclist’s attractiveness based just on their facial appearances. Their scores were excluded if they recognised the athlete.

In brief, it found that women rated the better cyclists as more attractive, even though they didn’t see them cycling.  Apparently this athletic success is written across the very faces of these men.  That’s right:  the winning riders were also winning the ladies.

You can read the full article here.

 

And the top ten most attractive cyclists*, according to the study?

1.  Amael Moinard

2. Yann Huguet

3. Maxime Monfort

4. Andriy Grivko

5. Michael Schar

6. Martin Velits

7. Christophe Riblon

8. Adam Hansen

9. Rui Alberto Costa

10. Manuel Quinziato

*Mark Cavendish, pictured above, was excluded from the study because he was wearing sunglasses in his team photo.

 

My fast and attractive husband!

My fast and attractive husband!

29. December 2014 · Comments Off on Beasting the Big 100 · Categories: embrace the bike, Weekly Roundup · Tags: ,

We all have one.  A scary number.  Something that looms large.  For some it might be the 10K, the half marathon.  For others, the marathon, the Ironman, the ultra.  Whatever it is, the size of the number isn’t the issue – it’s the fear factor that matters, the associations with that number.  For me, it’s the 100 MILE CYCLE.  The Century ride.

Fear of the number isn’t bad.  It creates motivation and drive to train, and the sense of achievement that comes with completing the challenge.  But I will admit that I’ve had a bit of a strange relationship with the big

Why?  I mean, I’ve done an Ironman, and I’ve cycled the 100+ miles quite a few times now.  So why does it still make me anxious?

Because it’s a bloody long way!!!

And I’ve failed a few times.  And here’s the thing.  I’m not good at failing at things.  Nobody likes to fail, and if you work hard, push hard, try hard, it’s hard to accept that sometimes things just don’t work.  But there you go.  Sometimes they don’t.

First Attempt – Fail!

With friends Dalia & Jojo, at the start of the ride

With friends Dalia & Jojo, at the start of the ride – our first 100 mile ride

May 19, 2013.  This was the Wight Riviera Sportive, around the Isle of Wight.  Now, I should say – the Isle of Wight is really really beautiful.  It’s a stunning place to cycle, and it has non-stop hills.  Welcome to cycling in the UK – May 19, and it was barely above freezing, and raining off and on.

This is not me. You can tell because I was NOT smiling that day.  But you can see the route was stunning.

A view of the Needles

 

 

Stunning.  Except it was cold and raining.  Cold, raining, and 101 miles /163 km and 2219m of climbing.  Gulp.

I suffered.  I wasn’t ready for it.  Jojo quickly disappeared off with a speedier pack, while Dalia kindly stayed with me throughout my suffering.  Dalia had some mechanical issues, so we had to wait for a mechanic to fix those while the clock ticked on, and then when we did pedal onwards, it was pretty much at snail pace.  Yes, so slow that when, chilled through, nearly delirious, we finally arrived back at the finish some 7 hours later, my GPS showed that we had only done 145km, not 163km.  What happened?  I was just so thankful to be back that I didn’t dwell on it, but on the ferry journey back to the mainland, a kind official explained that the broom wagon crew had altered the route at the end to bring us back a bit quicker.  Thank goodness but….  my first failed attempt at 100 miles.  Wah!

 

Second Attempt – Success!

Sunshine makes me happy!

Sunshine makes me happy!

What a difference sunshine makes.  Second attempt was while on a (highly recommended) cycling training camp with Andy Cook out of Club La Santa (sport heaven), Lanzarote, in January 2014. We cycled in a group, it was warm and sunny, we had a couple of stops where we drank coke and ate cheese sandwiches and it was, point blank, a fantastic experience.  We took it slow and steady and I survived the 2700m elevation.  It was awesome.  (Strava link here.)

 

Third attempt – fail!

Don't be fooled by the smile.  I was frozen.

Don’t be fooled by the smile. I was frozen.

Sadly the third attempt was back in the rain.  Except no, it wasn’t so much rain, as snow, sleet, and hail. C’mon, seriously?!  There isn’t much wore than sleet while cycling.  It was the Lionheart Sportive in Wiltshire.  Again, long and hilly (there is a theme here…).  I was so frozen that when I got to the halfway point, I turned my bike and followed the signs to the 100 km route, saying goodbye to my dreams of getting another 100 miler under my belt. (NB – friend Dalia, mentioned above, soldiered on and did the 100 miles.  Beast!)  I drove home shivering and then ran a frozen miserable 17 km, cursing Ironman training.

 

Fourth attempt – Epic fail

Before

Before

After

After

Just to make sure my confidence was well and truly shot, my fourth attempt at the 100 miles was the one where I had the mega-crash and totalled my bike after 105 km.  Read this to hear more about that.  I won’t dwell on it here.  Moving on!

Fifth Attempt Success!

Rain rain rain, always rain!

It always rains!

Ironman Lanzarote was just 5 weeks away when I had the crash, so I really needed to get another 100 miler in, if only for the sake of my confidence.  One week after the crash, I did the Wiggle Ups and Downs Sportive, a hilly 103 mile route in Surrey, with my friend Zoe.  Guess what.  It rained.  It rained like Noah’s Flood.  (Would we expect anything less of April in England?) It was torrential rain, and it was cold, a wet spraying filthy muddy clinging cold that bit into our hands and feet and sodden clothes for the full 103 miles.  That’s right, the full shebang. Zoe and I made it around.  It was misery but we did it!  I couldn’t have done it without Zoe slowly chugging along beside me, a faint silhouette of relentless support in the pouring rain!

Do not be fooled by this brief moment of sun!

With Zoe, photo taken in the brief 5 minutes of sun we had the whole ride!

Sixth Attempt – Success!

This one had to happen!  Ironman Lanzarote!

Ironman Lanzarote

Ironman Lanzarote

112 miles, no problem at all! (Other than bad stomach, but that’s a story for another day.)  Have I mentioned I cycle a whole lot better in the sunshine?

Course profile of Ironman Lanzarote

 

Seventh AttemptSuccess!

Sunshine = smiles!

Sunshine = smiles!

June 2014.  My friend Rebecca and I rode 178km with 2646m climbing around Kent on a beautiful sunny day.  It didn’t rain.  Bliss!  A great ride.  Sunshine makes all the difference!

 

Eighth AttemptSuccess!

I call this one a success, but it was a bitter success if there ever was one.  This was the White Rose Classic put on by the Ilkley Cycling Club in Yorkshire, and we rode part of the route the Tour de France would be doing the following week.  I had been warned – this one is known as hard, and it truly was.  From our start at the nearby hotel to the finish, we rode 191 km /119 miles and 3658 m of climbing.  Brutal ride.  It hurt. It hurt for some 11 hours.  I rode again with my friend Rebecca who kept saying to me, You’re an Ironman, you can do this.  With 25% grade climbs it nearly killed me, but I crawled around it at snail’s pace and made it to the end.  Magnificent.  (Yes, it was truly beautiful too.)  And yes, it did rain a bit too.  Obviously.

 

Ninth Attempt – Success!

Christmas Eve 2014, yes, just a few days ago.  Maybe now I can stop labelling them success vs failures in my head, given that I’ve had a run of successful rides.  But as I said, it’s hard to get a scary number out of your head once it’s lodged itself in there.

This was a successful ride in a new way, however.  Since moving to Florida, I’ve been learning how to push harder on the bike than ever before.  All the other 100+ mile rides were very hilly, and often snowing/sleeting/raining.  Here, I can focus on just the bike, riding hard on big open roads. And I thrive on the bike in the sunshine.

This was the Santa Pull 100, a fantastic group ride organised by pro team Rich and Carol Wygand of RW Training.

At 25 miles in

At 25 miles in

We rode to the ocean! I still can’t get over how amazing it is to ride along the ocean.  In total Tom and I rode 186 km / 116 miles in 6h17, with an average speed of 30 km/h.  (See the ride here.)  BOOM!  Thanks RW Training for giving me back my 100 mile confidence!

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The sun rises over the beach – we started cycling at 5:30am

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Drinks refill stop, around 75 miles in

 

 

Filthy happy faces after 186 km.

Filthy happy faces after 186 km

Nine 100+ mile rides attempted to date.  Six successes, three failures.  100 miles is still a long way, but I’m getting a bit less scared of it now.  And those failures would only be true failures if I had never made the attempt again.

Lessons learned:

  1. I hate cycling in the cold.
  2. I ride better with friends

Morals?  Move to somewhere warm.  Cycle with a great group.  DONE!

 

What’s your dreaded number? 

What scares you?

 

Weekly Roundup

Screen Shot 2014-12-29 at 10.28.44

Total Time: 16:11

Swim:  4.7 km, 1:40

Bike:  284 km, 9:30

Run:  39 km, 3:48