Getting Back on the Bike

Getting back on the Bike

It was pretty much a straight swap after the Marathon when it came to my running shoes and cycling shoes. Both pink…of course! I had a week off hobbling round trying to function to some sort of extent. I probably only needed a basket, but had to use a trolley to get me round the supermarket! Running 26.2 miles definitely has a lasting effect on you…!

I was almost scared to get back on my bike to tell you the truth. How much bike fitness had I lost? Would I remember my old favourite routes? Finding all of my cycling kit was the first hurdle!

Ryan pushed me out the door so I couldn’t procrastinate anymore and I followed a route I’d followed many a time the year before. It was a route I could roll round, or a route I could ride hard round. The Cheshire lanes are good for routes like that. You just have to make sure the tail winds don’t lure you into riding too hard before you have to turn around and ride back into the head wind!

It was definitely an odd feeling being back on my bike. Odd being on my Liv too. It felt like I’d missed the off season. I think I rode my winter bike once. Thinking about it, I should probably check it hasn’t seized up, but that’s just something to add to my to-do list.

No sooner has I got back on my bike, I was back on a start line racing the chequered flag at Darley Moor Motor Circuit. A circuit I quite enjoyed racing at. The track isn’t anything special, but it’s the group of girls you end up racing with. There’s enough for it to feel like a race! It was also a 3/4 race, so I was hopefully not too out of my depth. My head was mush by the time I’d got there. Was my number on right? Would I get dropped? What tactics would everyone else be running?

Getting back on the Bike

Luckily Ryan stopped me from completely losing my head.

When the gun went the girls shot off like rockets, so my legs were pedalling frantically to not get left for dust. (Must remember to not start in my easiest gear…that only really works at road junctions on normal rides!)

Getting back on the Bike

When I managed to settle my chimp I just focussed on relying on the good ‘engine’ I had from running the marathon. I might not have been on my bike all winter, but I was determined not to let that winter training to go to waste. There were a few games played on the way round, but I just decided to sit at the back. I might have a good engine, but I had no idea what my sprint was like. I just needed to not get dropped. And that’s what I kept telling myself.

I kept spinning and spinning. I did feel anxious not getting involved in doing a turn on the front, but it was my first race of the year. I’m sure that’s allowed to get myself use to things…

Getting back on the Bike

Unfortunately being at the back for the sprint finish (which is a common occurrence at Darley Moor) meant me having the longest sprint out of everyone just to keep up with the girls. In all the chaos that unfolded in that final race, I somehow grabbed 8th. This hopefully means some points on my BC license, but the results haven’t been put online yet so fingers crossed!

Getting back on the Bike

Granted I’d not been heavily involved in the race, but I was happy coming away having been able to battle it out at the finish. That’s what I always hope for in races, that I can get involved in the action! Even if I mess up, sprints or other events in the race give me such a buzz!

Less can be said when I crossed the line of the longest Time Trial I’ve ever done on the weekend just passed. A 30 Mile TT not far from Market Drayton. Sometimes I like the idea of TT. In the end, all it is is pushing as hard as you can for the duration of the course. And that’s exactly what I did…for 30 miles! I was chucking out a stupid amounts of watts and I was only 5 miles in. I was going harder than my FTP, but instead of toning it back I my chimp decided well you’re in it for the long haul now. This would have been fine if there wasn’t new tarmac that felt like I was cycling through treacle and going nowhere!

Getting back on the Bike

Needless to say I didn’t exactly feel myself at the end! That TT did mean I got a stern look from my coach when I’d managed to increase my FTP by 18 watts…maybe I didn’t try as hard in my FTP test the other week as I initially thought…

(Thanks to Ryan for taking all these amazing photos!)

#FreshKitFriday

Fresh Kit Friday 25th May 2018

With cycling kit for women slowly starting to head in the right direction, I thought I’d introduce #FreshKitFriday to show off some kit that has caught my eye recently. I’ll mix it up between the various sports I do, so keep checking back for my latest #FreshKitFriday !

  1. Castelli Prisma FZ Jersey – £75

Castelli have certainly upped their game when it comes to the designs on their kit. Their 2018 kit is completely different to anything I’ve seen before, and is almost a breath of fresh air in the world of cycling kit. So many brands produce kit with black as the main colour, which when you’re a cyclist that wants to be seen on the road isn’t ideal! These bright colours definitely caught my eye when I saw the jerseys for the first time whilst in a shop in Mallorca.

2. Women’s FS260-PRO Adrenaline Race Cape II – £79.99

I find you can’t really go wrong with an Endura jacket. I have two, one is more light weight for Summer showers and my other one is more suited for the Winter months. I always find the fit is spot on and they stretch a little to accommodate your position on the bike. There’s nothing worse than a cycling jacket without a little give in the material!

3. ASSOS T.laaLalai_S7 Women Bib Shorts – £160

Now before you scream ‘how much?!?’, the price always put me off ASSOS shoes. Being a student it was just never possible, but Ryan converted me and I’ve never looked back…ha! I get on with the lining really well and another thing I love about them is that there are very few seams. My legs feel less restricted when I’m on the bike. I’m not sure if its a common problem, but some shorts with the seam down the outside of the leg seem to restrict its movement. It feels like the material is pulling around my leg. But with my ASSOS shorts this isn’t an issue.

4. Kask Mojito Helmet – £119

When I started to get more into road biking…all of a sudden wearing my mountain bike helmet made me stand out with the peak and FOX branding all over it! I’ve never been one to stick to a helmet brand, but now I’ve tried the Kask it is definitely the most snug on my head. A long standing design with the brand, my favourite feature about it is the retention system (the bracket on the back) can move down to accommodate my long hair that’s always a nightmare to get into a helmet.

5.  Rapha Pro Team Socks – £15

You can always rely on Rapha for simple, but classy, designs. I always love the colours they use and you can’t go wrong with a new pair of socks!

6. Fizik Women’s R5B Donna Road Shoes – £139.99

I am certainly in the market for some new road shoes over the next few months. My Shimano shoes have served me well to be honest once I discovered overshoes over the Winter. Now Summer is upon us I’ll be looking for some shoes that fit my wide feet and have something called a Boa dial so I can ditch the velcro straps…

7. Castelli Viva Donna Headband – £12

A little bit more Castelli to finish things off because I have seen so many women use these headbands! I’ve always used Buff’s to keep my ears warm and my hair out of my face whilst on the bike, but now it’s starting to get that little bit hotter on my rides I’ll be picking up one of these headbands to use. A lot less material than a Buff means I can keep cooler for longer when out on my bike.

 

Destination Bucket List

Sometime in everyday life you lose sight of where you’re going and what you want to do. You get lost in daily routines and following trends. So why not filter out those things for a while and re-focus on what you really want.

Do you want to travel to somewhere new?

Follow a certain career?

Do more charity work?

Around this time last year I took a chance in putting in an application to start on a career path I thought would always be just a dream.  A year on so much has changed for the better. Some days are still tough, but not every dream you work towards is going to be plain sailing. Filter out the outside world and what they’re doing and focus on you. You’ll be thankful you did it.

Familiar with the saying ‘work hard, play hard’? Make sure you do have goals outside of your career and experience as many new things and places as possible. Write them all down and tick them off as you do them, which is what I’ve done with places I want go.

1. Mont Ventoux

Apparently a climb every roadie has to do…apparently it is in some big cycling race. The name doesn’t spring to mind though….

2. Africa to see the elephants…

3. To see/ride horses on a ranch in America

 

4. Monaco

5. Paris for the photos and clothes…

#WorkoutWednesday 25th January

workout-2-peach

It’s time for another #WorkoutWednesday, which gives you an insight into what I get up to in training each week!

Although I’ve already shared some swimming sessions I’ve been trying this month, I just couldn’t not share this one with you! Found in an old 220 Triathlon magazine it helped me push that little bit further than I have been doing in other sessions this month.

Wind back to last October when I decided I wanted to work on my swimming (after a failed attempt at outdoor swimming!), I would find myself panicking a bit when I was swimming. Every time I pushed off the side of the pool it would be a miracle if I got to the other side.

Yet, following a Speedo Fit swimming session with double Olympic Silver Medalist, Jazz Carlin, it was perfectly timed to nip any of my bad habits in the bud before they became to set in my brain! I was basically swimming all different kinds of wrong when I started, but we’ve all got to start somewhere right?

So what training session did I get up to this week in the pool?

Warm Up

10 x 25m lengths (I stuck to front crawl but the 220 Triathlon session said any stroke would do the job!)

Main Set

5 x 100m freestyle, 20s rest per interval (I’m guessing freestyle is front crawl right? Well that’s what I did anyway!)

Cool Down

4 x 50m choice of stroke (I continued with front crawl)

So what’s making me so excited about this week’s #WorkoutWednesday ? The fact that I’ve achieved this months goal of being able to swim 100m! One quarter of the way to being able to swim the swim distance in my Triathlon of 100m!

I genuinely can’t believe the luck I had in noticing the Speedo Fit advert when it popped up in my newsfeed. Jazz Carlin and the Speedo Fit crew were so lovely and helpful. It’s starting to make my big ambition for 2017 of completing a Triathlon more realistic, as swimming was always going to be the biggest wall to climb.

I just hope there’s more Speedo Fit sessions in the future because if there is…sign me up!

Opinions. Not Facts.

“The less you care about what other people think, the better life becomes.”

A saying I’ve heard time and time again, but acting on it is another question. Even more so nowadays with the likes of social media allowing people to post their opinions daily.

Opinions.

Not facts.

Which is what many tend to forget.

Instead of accepting someone’s lifestyle, no matter how much it differs to your own.

Everyone is writing their own story. You might be in one chapter of that story or many. But it’s up to them to decide on that.

No matter who passes judgement on where you’ve been or where you’re heading. Family. Friends. People who barely know you at all. The only person who can write your story is you.

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