I’m glad I decided against the Evans King of the Downs sportive at the weekend – I’d overcooked myself a bit over the last couple of weeks so the last thing I needed was 113 miles and 9000 feet of climbing on a hot day.
I went for a long ride anyway – ended up going further than the KOTD to feed the insatiable numbers hunger of the road.cc Century Challenge – but at least I only had half the climbing to do. My ride crossed the KOTD route at various points and I saw lots of sweaty cyclists puffing away up hills, looking like they’d be feeling pleased with themselves later but right there and then looking very unhappy indeed.
Having advocated ignoring ones body just a week or two back I’m now listening to mine to dictate how far to ride. I parked the official training schedule once and for all when it started telling me I should be doing more than 400 miles a week. I mean enough’s enough right? There are only so many hours a chap can give over to cycling, however slack the freelance market, and more than four a day – every day – is beyond that limit as far as I’m concerned. So I guess I’ve found my cycling comfort level: I like doing between 250 and 300 miles a week, work, weather and middle-aged body permitting.
Of course in just 34 days (tick…tick…) such modest weekly targets will be hurled right out of the window for six days as we start our LEJOG ride at the scary daily rate of 145 miles. And I think I’m ready for it now actually – at least I’m as ready as I’ll ever be. The tapering starts in just two weeks and although I’m really quite looking forward to being released from the grip of this unforgiving training schedule and getting my life back again, I know I’ll miss the uncompromising nature of it too.
One thing I won’t miss is the uncertainty around fund-raising. Last week I finally passed my £2000 target, which was a huge relief after months of really not knowing whether I’d hit it or not. The fitness challenge was completely mine to rise to, but the fundraising depended on other people and I was very uncertain about the response I’d get when the first couple of mass emails to pretty much everyone I know produced no more than a couple of hundred quid.
I’ve uploaded the route to Bikemap.net so friends and family can see roughly where we’ll be at any given time.
It doesn’t half look like a long way…