Solo riding

“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.”
John F. Kennedy

This morning, this quote is true. It’s been a bit cloudy and overcast but still warm and a bit breezy.  I’ve been after getting a longer ride in all week with being off work but it hasn’t happened so after a bit of a lie in this morning, I actually made the effort to get up and set myself a target of cycling 50km solo. There is also the little matter of a 68 mile sportive I’ve signed up to…

To a lot of people, 50 solo kilometres of riding, isn’t anything major. It isn’t the first time I’ve done it either, but it’s the first time since I’ve become single I’ve set out to just ride with no destination really in mind and ridden. I suppose at the moment, I need to get used to riding solo as he was my main cycling partner. After a conversation with a mate this morning, I am considering joining local cycling group beyond that of the tri club to get some more miles in with other people – that’s quite daunting and I could ride with the club but at the moment, I don’t want to be any where NEAR my ex and her. There are a couple of others I’d quite like to avoid too at the moment as I don’t trust them after recent events. Mainly due to my ex in all honesty.

Anyway, back to my actual ride. Normally, I get a bit sick of my own company on the bike, especially when things are hard. Today was quite a revelation – it was a bit hard at times, trying to maintain a decent pace into a bit of a headwind but it was actually quite nice to be eating up the miles and the 57km ridden actually flew by uneventfully. I wish I had eaten breakfast though, I mean, I managed it but really should have eaten. My appetite still isn’t 100% normal. Also need to figure out what works breakfast wise too I think. Riding solo was good today, I don’t think I thought about very much actually while I was riding. Partially zoned out of my own thoughts while concentrating on the cycling. I am taking this as a good sign, even though I know some rides will be far more challenging, with future plans formulating, I am taking this as a good sign.

Lessons learnt – EAT breakfast before cycling and solo miles cycling can be therapeutic!

Time Trial Novice

“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” — Arthur Conan Doyle, British author

Apart from Sherlock Holmes being my favourite fictional detective, I rather like this quote from Arthur Conan Doyle. Yesterday was a horrible horrible day, not work wise, just life wise, but tonight, I ended up at the local time trail – I blame one of the lads in the club (who last night was mistaken for my husband, to which I came home to a text referring to me as wifey – this has amused me greatly) but in all honesty, it has done me good. I did one two weeks ago, a rolling and undulating 13 miler – which nearly finished me off, but tonight’s flat-ish 10 miler was mint!

It had the advantage of being reasonable local (second nearest TT route I think), mostly flat and known territory and a beautiful evening for it. I’d gone straight from work and was actually pretty early. A few lads, or rather, gentlemen, from the club were there and some familiar faces too. So far so good. Now, this was only my third ever TT and I’m still finding my feet and tonight for some reason I actually felt nervous. I was honestly also rather surprised that there were only 15 of us.

For once, I wasn’t near the back setting off (9th out of 15 compared to 18/19 last time) – put simply, the TT went ridiculously well for me too. I was without a doubt, the slowest one out tonight but… I came in with 31:32, that’s an average of 19mph so I’m pretty happy with that. I spent the first four miles or so wondering what the hell I was doing for, and the last six miles wishing I had eaten a bit more and feeling marginally sick, and finished with a smile! Despite being overtaken by a club mate and trying so hard to keep within a minute of him (I failed by about 35 seconds).

Problem is tonight, I really enjoyed it! I would have been happy to be under 35 minutes with my current fitness but obviously losing a stone has its advantages. I just wish I’d started earlier in the season! Far too happy after tonights race. Proper endorphin rush. After the last few days – pushing it hard on the bike has done me some serious good!

Next time I have a bad day, I’m going to try riding it out.

Maybe with the pearl bracelet, you know, for added glamour!

Tears, training and time trails.

A mixed week of tears and training, and a pretty hard Time Trail.

When you lose someone, you get used to living day to day without them. But you’ll never get used to the “10 second heartbreak.” That’s the time it takes to wake to full consciousness each day and remember. – Nina Guilbeau

The depressing, sad bits first – the stuff I need to get off my chest…. tears…..

So yesterday marked two weeks since he left me. Shock wore off last week. I suppose I am going through the phases of grief and dipping in and out of the different stages. I seem to be able to wake up and know whether it’s going to be a better day or whether it will be a bad day, even on day’s where I am trying desperately to keep busy. Sleep is oblivion – then waking up and breaking old habits is hard. He was the first person I’d text or want to talk to on a morning and thats gone. I’ve got to the stage where I am just missing him so much.

I have been on the brink of tears on and off all week. Managed to hold off until driving home from a TT on Thursday. Then the flood gates opened. The pain is still very much there, and still very much raw. I think the emotion of struggling more than I thought I would on the TT didn’t really help matters either even with good support. The same day, I’d been out for lunch with a friend, and she’s the only one who has asked me if I would consider getting back with him if he asked. In truth, I hadn’t given it much thought. I had hoped that it was something that would pass and we’d sort out but in reality, I don’t think there is any chance of that, so I hadn’t given it much consideration. It hurts that he is just throwing eight years away – his words were ‘its too late’ – well that is because he never said anything sooner, and he clearly doesn’t think we have anything worth fighting for. But there are conversations that still need to be had, and tomorrow I shall be off to see him. It won’t be pleasant, and it won’t be easy, but needs must for both of us. I am genuinely very worried about IMUK next weekend.

On a slightly more positive note – training and Time Trials…

Despite this, some good things have happened. Eating is still proving an issue – not keeping anything in much and appetite is still dire. I am now on 9lbs lost and under 10 stone for the first time in I don’t know how long. This is more of an issue as I’ve been possibly more active this week in an attempt to keep busy.

Yoga on Monday as normal – all good – although hot and sweaty. I swam Tuesday morning (1400m early doors wasn’t bad going considering I only had just over half an hour). Wednesday I ran, with friends, and ended up getting an invite to go up in a plane! Thursday I cycled in from my friends to the bike shop in town to finally get the Ridley fitted (not too many alterations actually) before cycling back for lunch. Lunch then work, then I was persuaded into doing one of the local hilly TTs.

I say it was a hilly TT, but it is more rolling hills and undulating. A bit lumpy. I was zapped of energy. You really feel the whole struggling to eat when you want to race! I managed it – 13 miles – in 46 min 12s (in my head I thought it was 10 miles, more fool me!). Slowest out of everyone but ah well. Friday – I managed my longest swim since way back last year – 2800m. A proper full swim set! Stomach was seriously empty by end of it and growling at me. Think this swim has been one of the highlights of the week to be honest. Just needed to bash it out without thinking too much.

The other biggish thing, going forward into my new found singledom, is my decision to try joining a gym again. This time, one with two pools and plenty of classes. I’ll admit it has cost me a small fortune and with a few other bits and pieces, and MOT/Car insurance bills due in the next two months, i need to rein in the spending but I think it will be worth it and help give me something to focus on in the next two months. It’s also same gym my friends have joined which means I can go with them too rather than swim on my own. Added advantage of the gym I’ve joined is that I can use my fins and paddles. There are NO WORDS for how excited this makes me! I’ve also started thinking about, and discussing with friends, races for next year. The calendar has been out and things are getting pencilled in as possibilities.

My head knows things will get better eventually. My heart is taking its own sweet time to catch up.