I went for a 75-mile training ride yesterday – and thanks to the magic of the internet I can show you exactly where I went.
I wasn’t pushing it – I think my average was somewhere between 16 and 17mph – and I felt pretty strong most of the time. But with about 18 miles to go I started getting really tired and had to stop for an emergency banana and Lucozade.
I rallied and got home feeling just fine and have not been suffering unduly since, but the struggle of that final section really got me thinking about the scale of the challenge ahead. I’m going to need to be able to go virtually twice as far as I did yesterday and I’m going to need to be able to do that for six days on the trot!
That target feels a very long way away at the moment and for the first time the possibility of not being up to the challenge has crept into my head.
I know there’s still a long time to build up my fitness but this ride is going to ask more of me than I’ve ever had to find before and so far I’ve been assuming it’s there to find. What if it isn’t?
That would be a bit of a bummer wouldn’t it?
Anyway…you’ll see an altitude profile on the above web page. That little peak around the 40-mile mark was horrible! Right in the middle of the Ashdown Forest there’s this savage little hill that reduced me to my lowest gear and much gasping and weaving. I think my speed fell to about 5mph. It made me wonder if I’ve been doing enough grunt work in the gym. I’ve always been a plodder – happy to chug along for miles at a modest speed but when I try to put on a Cavendish-like burst of power there’s rarely anything very much in the tank. More work to do then…cheesh!
This week I’ve made some good progress on the sponsorship front. I’m still WAY short of my target of £2K but the total now stands at just over £500 thanks to a begging email to my friends and family that resulted in a few donations - including an anonymous one for £100, which intrigues the hell out of me.
This is probably a bit of a long shot, but just in case any of you road.cc types are up for generating that warm glow you get when you’ve done something fantastic, here’s my Virgin Money Giving page. The money goes towards helping the victims of HIV/AIDS in South Africa (there are more details on the sponsorship page), which is such a worthy cause that I don’t even feel guilty shamelessly touting for sponsors on here.
Every little helps, so please support me if you can. There – now I promise I won’t mention it again for at least another month. Probably.