Sunday, 9 December 2007

Find yourself...

This weekend was a tough one but I survived and in the process I found a bit of myself that I wondered if I was ever in possession of... bike legs! On Saturday after marshalling at the weekly Hyde Park Time Trial Tom & I braved the elements and put our new Winter biking gear to the test. It failed... miserably!!! But then it was raining...hard. The snow snowed...cold. The sleet And the wind blew...forcefully. We had planned a four hour ride to Burnsall in the Dales but at Bolton Abbey I decided my fingers were too numb (oh and actually compared to how they got after that they were actually warm!) I was too soaked and I couldn't feel my feet. On Saturday Tom just kept telling me it was an 'Iron Day' and yes people, on Saturday we were 'Iron Tough'. However, we shan't be repeating that lesson and if the conditions are EVER that similar again I shall be pedalling away in the lovely shelter of our garage. What I did discover though as we turned around into a driving head wind with the sharpest needles of sleet and hail (free dermabrasion girls, I actually have no skin left on my face!!) was that when I need to ride for my life (and Tom's as his hands have terrible circulation) that I can do it & it's not that bad. I go on all the time about how poor my cycling is. Compared to Tom or Lance Armstrong my cycling stinks but I know I've improved and it's just possible that I've finally stopped switching off and twiddling the pedals and actually started pushing on the damn things (if only someone had told me that from the start.) The ride home was hard. The Assos incredibly expensive 'hand warming system' that Tom & I had invested in were as much use as a chocolate fireguard and each hand weighed about as much as a baby elephant they were so soaked. I could hear Tom screaming in frustration as his hands slowly started burning with the wet and cold and I knew that I couldn't switch off for a second. We had to get home and get home quick. I had to keep working my little socks off so that Tom didn't get any colder. My work rate on a bike is higher than his so he doesn't generate the same body heat as he doesn't have to work as hard as I do (that's what you get for being speedy, that's what I say!) We got home and the joy of being in the warm house was thwarted by the fact that the contrast of temperature made Tom's hands a million times more painful. I braved a shower while Tom wandered the house like a demented animal screaming and begging for the pain to stop. Oh yes it was that bad! I was nearly sick in the shower as I couldn't bear the heat on my frozen feet so I got out and put on lots of warm clothes and ran down to help Tom get out of his wet gear. It was a lesson for both of us. Firstly, we're not invincible! But secondly I can ride, my legs work and I can get some power out of the little buggers.

Today (Sunday) I was dreading. The weather forecast was saying dry (ish) and it was due to be colder than Saturday. Tom was off to have his legs ripped off by riding with an incredibly talented cyclist called Carl Saint. So I was riding on my Jack Jones. The three pictures above are from todays ride. As you can see by my self portrait (apart from the fact that I'm much better behind the camera and not in front of it) is that I'm happy and the weather is looking good. Yesterday taught me so much, it was almost a break through day. Today I felt like I rode like a cyclist. I don't mean that my fitness and leg strength has improved so much that I'm 'up there' all I mean is that today I didn't feel like a learner. I rode consistently, I kept power through the pedals even on the hills and I worked hard for the whole ride. Today I loved my ride and that's a HUGE thing for me to say because I don't enjoy cycling as much as I do swimming or running because I find it so difficult. The three pictures show where I rode to today. A picture postcard little village called Burnsall which is just as beautiful in Winter as it is in Summer. The hills in the background are the ones I cam down to get here and so I have to go back up them to get home. The pic of me is me stuffing my face with an energy bar before I tackle that 20% climb and the third one is where I came from and was going back to. It always amazes me at the distance you can travel on a bike.

So, today I reaped the rewards of yesterday and hopefully I can move my cycling on to another level. I would put my training diary on for the week but I'm off to our Run Club Christmas Do and have just realised that I only have 45mins to get ready...Yeah right! Anyway my week has been similar to Toms. My swims and bikes are the same, a few variations on the runs but overall very similar.

I'm off to shower...

H. xxx

1 comment:

Debra said...

All I can say is that you are both true iron athletes to brave those conditions on Saturday, whatever the results next summer it won't be for lack of dedication, hats off to you both!!!!!