Monday, 2 June 2014

Going backwards?....

After a rainy week and no opportunity to get out I was looking forward to a long ride on Saturday - it looked fine enough and I set out with a plan to ride 100 miles. This time I had designed a 33 mile loop starting from home and taking me through familiar lanes - I would be always fairly close to home and planned to stop off for refreshment each time I passed. Seemed a good plan?

I set off without breakfast and felt good - it was perfect riding conditions, dry, no wind but not too warm. I quickly dropped into a rhythm and eat up the initial miles, my average speed was high, I felt strong and pushed on through to Upton and back through to Market Bosworth - maintaining a decent speed even uphill. I passed a few cyclists which spurred me on to up the pace even more. After 25 miles I was still feeling fresh, the last ten miles of the first loop passed quickly and I rode up the hill from Congerstone to Barton in the Beans in a big gear, pushing all the way, feeling the strain but also rationalising that it would be doing me good.

I arrived home and decided to eat. A couple of rounds of beans on toast and a strong coffee whilst catching up with the Giro d'Italia (inspiration?). I watched with wonder as the pro's dug into some massive climbs - then it was time to set off on loop 2. I'd been off the bike for about 40 minutes, I'd cooled down - immediately, getting going again seemed a struggle - what had happened? - I'd had a rest, taken on some food and now I felt sluggish. I decided to take things slowly, let myself 'warm up' - after 5 miles I felt a little better but nowhere near as comfortable or as strong as earlier. I pushed where I felt I could and managed a couple of reasonable stints - but generally I felt like poo.

The final part of loop 2 was a sheer struggle, by now my legs felt heavy, there was a slight ache, also some twinges in the lower back. I carried on to the final climb, again up from Congerstone - it had seemed so easy before, now I was struggling, spinning the easiest gear I had and getting nowhere. On the the final few hundred yards I heard voices behind - cyclists approaching - I didn't look round, I stood on the pedals in an effort to make the top before they caught me - I managed it and they turned in a different direction at the junction - avoiding the overtake! The effort left me feeling even worse! -  the last half mile was a struggle, I felt like I was going backwards at times - I limped home feeling drained and deflated. I sat for 15 minutes before trying again - but no good. The mood had changed, the moment had passed - I felt totally knackered - I managed 73 miles - well short of the target and I'm feeling like I need to go to bed. It doesn't bode well for the ride to Amsterdam which is hurtling towards us!

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