|Looked warmer than it was.. Brrr!|
Two mad things happend immediately as we left.. The kind that with hindsight I can almost imagine happend in slow motion, but actually obviously didn't. The first was with my back. It always seems to come down to my silly back these days! There were a few cables across the start line, inside a big black cable cover to make them safe and we had to ride over the teeny bump that they made. I didn't angle myself very well and managed to jarr my back within the first half metre of the ride. It was a different and very distinctive kind of pain, the kind that you know really isn't right and is much more than just an ache. Pretty daunting with 50 miles ahead of you!! Paul and I are still arguing the merits of my decision to ignore it and carry on, but carry on I did. The second mad thing was the cold in those first couple of miles. Going down the hills at speed was painful, there is no other word for it. I had fingerless gloves on and to keep my fingers on the metal of my brakes for what seemed like an eternity took huge amounts of determination - more so than the decision to go with the ride after the jarr of my back.
|Paul and I leading the peloton! (Emma is just behinid in yellow and blue)|
On the homeward stretch and it had finally warmed up!
The finish line was amazing, my parents had brought the children to see us in and 2 of Emma's sisters were there with her nephew and some pom poms and I don't know about anyone else, but I felt like a returning warrior and totally invincible! At registration in the morning we were given a timing chip for our helmets and my official ride time, incuding stops was 05hrs 07mins. According to Pauls bike Garmin, which didn't include stop times, we did it in 04hrs. We averaged 12.6 miles per hour, which astounds me given that we didn't really get above 11mph on our training rides and the size of the hills on the day!!
I am so hugely proud of myself. Emma and I reminisced on the way home in the car about our little 9 mile bike rides last autumn and my mad suggestion to cycle in a sportiv and set ourselves a big goal. Doesn't seem real now. What is real is that I now want to do 100 miles. Scrap that, I need to do it. 50 miles wasn't as hard as I thought it would be (get me!) and I know 100 miles would push me to the limit. Thats for next year though. The rest of this year is about triathlons and RAB, plus I'm not in a rush, the challenge will still be there when I'm ready for it.
Sadly 4 days on I'm really struggling with my back. I have pins and needles down my leg into my foot and shooting pains down my thigh. I can't lift Niamh and don't trust my leg to hold my weight. I have injured my L5 (5th lumbar) disc and it is bulging onto the nerve which is creating all the pain. I start physiotherapy next tuesday. On the bright side I have 12 weeks until my triathlon and I now understand the joy of completing such a challenge and barring amputation or similar, there is no way I won't be ready!!