With the wind at my back

Training ride two: distance – nine miles

Total training miles: 18

Days left until challenge: 358

Yesterday I went out on my first official training ride since signing up to do this challenge. To be honest it wasn’t pleasant. I am – I’ve realised -very unfit, it ended up in thunder, lighting and torrential rain and for the last four miles I was severely regretting having eaten a bowl of malted wheat squares just before setting off.

In June 2013 – having not been on a bike in anger in over five years – I cycled from Land’s end to John O’ Groats in 15 days, having done just three weeks of training before setting off. It wasn’t for charity – just something I wanted to do and as a possible indication of ‘mid life crisis’ it was far cheaper than hankering after an expensive sports car! Having finished the challenge I have in truth hardly (again) been on a bike since, despite buying a new road bike this summer with the intention of doing so.

Although LEJOG (as those in the ‘know’ call the bottom to top ride) was very hard work – and as reckless as my lack of real preparation had been – it had left me with with a feeling of confidence that as I considered taking up this next challenge all I would have to do was get back on my bike and ‘get some miles in…’ A little nine miler surely couldn’t hurt…

Well I was wrong, and I am pleased that I got this wake up call very early. I now know I will have to train consistently and as previously recorded this blog is part of my discipline of ensuring I do.

So as I set off this morning to once again follow my ‘little nine mile’ route a few of the mantras I developed as I undertook my last challenge started to kick back in.

  • All hills end, this one will too (a personal favourite – even for those little bumps we call hills in Suffolk!)
  • “One pedal up, one pedal down, moving along, covering ground…” (an annoying little song that developed in my head during some of the less than enthralling miles)

and (especially relevant this morning as I headed out into a near gale – OK strong breeze):

  • The wind in my face may soon be the wind at my back (Le vent dans mon visage peut-être bientôt le vent dans le dos)  It doesn’t always turn out this way but it does give hope.

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