Didn’t do anything on Friday, still wasn’t feeling 100 % after Thursday, didn’t get any sleep on Thursday as I just lay there panicing about my swimming. Bought myself the Total Imersion swimming book on Friday night to try and get my mind back on track….we’ll find out on Monday night when I go open water swimming.
I decided on Friday that I needed a big day this weekend to test myself and to try and boost my confidence, with that in mind my alarm went off at 5am on Saturday morning. Had a cup of coffee and a couple of weetabix, loaded my bike bag with malt loaf and gels and hit the road.
Headed north out of Lancaster crossing the Millenium bridge to view a stunning sunrise over the peaceful River Lune. Headed out up the A6 through Carnforth and Milnthorpe. Hit a bump coming out of there and lost my bottle containing my energy drink, stopped to pick it up but the top had come off – 18 miles in and no energy drink left, just water. A tough little climb into Levens village before descending along the valley following the old A590, through the tunnel and along the coast road into Grange. Up through the centre of Grange before heading up and onto the summit of Cartmel Fell, a sod of a hill. To make matters worse my gears were faulty and I couldn’t change down onto the bottom chain ring, so I had to work that much harder.
Very fast descent down into cartmel and past the priory, along past Holker Hall, then a long straight boring bit towards BackBarrow, make a left onto a private road following the Cumbrian Way. Very peaceful through the woods along the River Bank, and I had a deer run across in front of me which was very cool. The road then disapeared and was replaced by a muddy and cobbled grassed track, played havoc with my backside and hands which took the brunt of the vibrations. Crossed the footbridge at Greenodd and joined the A590 on and through Ulverston, Dalton and into Barrow.
Went over the bridge to Walney, unfortunately missed my mam and dad but filled my bottles up and nicked a fruit teacake. Quickly back on the bike and headed back home.
I avoided Cartmel Fell going back by looping the long way round to Grange via Flookborough, it was still a pretty hilly route and my legs knew I was working hard. The longest I’d cycled before was 74 miles and I was well past that as I came back into Lancaster. I stopped at the lights by Halfords in the city centre, leant a little too much to the left and bang, hit the floor. Two passing old ladies were most concerned about me as I quickly jumped back up, I had to explain that I was ok and that I’d just lost my balance. More embarresed than hurt. Turned left at the Town Hall and headed back up the very steep hill to my house, made a strong uphill finish on the middle ring ( usually drop it to the small ring. ) I looked at my computer, I’d done 105.14 miles in 6:37:04. My average speed had been 15.9 mph, I think I could go faster, and had a top speed of 36.5 mph. I rode the whole way on my middle ring, deliberatly tried to spin a higher cadence rather than push my usual bigger gear.Got off the bike and I felt suprisingly fresh.
Met Andy this morning for a recovery run, really didn’t feel like it, woke up feeling a bit rough but thought I’d give it a go. I think if Andy hadn’t been up for a run I would have had a day off today, glad I didn’t !! The sun was shining along the coastal path and we set set off fairly sedately going through the first mile in almost 10 minutes, we soon woke up and picked the pace up. Turned into a great little run as we covered the 10k in 49:43 whilst still taking it really easy.
So with 5 weeks to go until the ironman I was pleased with my weekends efforts. It felt good to be going long….
I ate 6 pieces of malt loaf, 3 gels, and 3 bottles of water. Confident I can do the bike leg now and my bike should be fully functional by then. Its going in on Thursday to have the gear cables looked at.