Breathing out of my arse, staring down at the road, I could feel every fibre in my leg muscles twitching in complaint.
“Keep it relaxed Holgs and just keep pedalling” the voice of Gaz, pacing me along cut through the fog of discomfort. Relaxed? RELAXED? Was he having a laugh, I was so far from relaxed it was almost comical. Cycling up a 430ft high hill into a head wind was certainly not my idea of relaxation, but the feeling of satisfaction when I got to the top of Capenwray hill was worth it, I almost forgive Gaz for picking the route.
I was almost at the end of my first COLT club ride in a year (only one more 430 ft high hill to get up ), I’d been absent for a whole host of reasons but I’m determined in 2014 to be a regular, and to reacquaint myself with my cycling legs so I’d gone along full of enthusiasm. I quickly learnt on the ride when we hit the first hill just how far I have to go to get back up to speed. Twenty odd riders passed me with ease and kept going whilst I just pedalled away, the effort turning my face red. My mind was telling me that I should be ahead of some of those that passed me but my body just couldn’t cash that cheque. And that kind of set the theme for the whole of the 48 miles.
I’d be lying if I said I loved the ride, I found it frustrating but I knew I needed that wake up call. Good things come to those that go out and work their arses off for it, I’d spent too long sat waiting. This was payback.
I completed the 48 miles on the back of a 32 mile ( 2 hour ) turbo session the day before, so maybe that didn’t help my legs BUT back when I was properly fit I wouldn’t have even blinked at that type of back to back session. My club mates had been training hard all year and it showed, my last ride over 11 miles was on June 8th 2013 ( 70 miles), with one 10 miler in September 2013. It was no wonder I struggled, I had no base bike fitness.
Seeing those dates has been a hell of a wake up call, I don’t need to raise my game, I need to get back in the game.
I’ll be out this weekend, I expect I’ll suffer, I expect I’ll hurt, I expect I’ll breathe out of my arse again but you know what I’ll embrace it all, smile and just keep pedalling.