I suppose the best way to start is to say I DID IT!! I DID IT!! YAY ME!! Yesterday I cycled 66 miles (106KM!) through the New Forest, at an average speed of 14.2 (the .2 is important!) miles per hour.
The day really started the night before, when I picked the kidlets up from school and we drove to where Paul works in Basingstoke (half way between our house and my parents house) and met my parents for a kidlet drop off. Once my parents had taken them back to their house for the night, I waited for Paul to finish work and then we drove home together. So very weird to be in a car without children. Even more weird to be in a house without children. Everything was so very quiet, almost as though the house was missing its heart beat - an unconscious noise needed for daily life!
Anyway, Paul takes cycling prep very seriously, and since I didn't feel 100% certain about my ability we decided that food was going to be key to fuelling me round. So we spent a nice evening pottering around, sorting food into transportable quantities and making sure we were ready for an early start on Saturday morning. The rain poured down over night, the wind was so loud it woke me up several times and each time I wondered if the weather was going to be hideous for the ride.
However, the morning dawned dry, if cloudy, and very cold. Totally managable - a big relief if I'm honest!
I so completely exhausted last night, I was in bed half an hour after the kidlets! But I was (and am!) so so pleased with myself. 66 miles! Such a milestone for me. I was trying to explain to my Dad that I love being on my bike, and once I'm out I don't really notice the time or the miles done, so I didn't really notice the 66 miles slip by.. Does that make sense? When I run I clock every half KM and wish myself to the end, but cycling isn't like that. Yes I was dead at the end, yes I was pushed to my absolute limit and I so so pleased to reach the finish, but its only served to make me think I can absolutely train for 80 miles in the spring and 100 miles next autumn.. Yesterday would have been so much easier for me a few weeks ago. Yet more proof of the ease with which training slips away.
Many thanks to my amazing parents for having the children and giving them such an exciting sleep over. Missed you yesterday Daddy, I hope we can do more events next year.
Huge and massive congratulations to Emma and Kay for completing their chosen ride yesterday. Absolutely gutted to have missed you at either end, but that doesn't detract from my pride! Well done. Seriously Emma, new bike, new goal.. I need you with me!
Paul. What can I say. I loved cycling with you yesterday, and I loved all the time for talking. As ever, you 'manage' me like a pro and always know what I need - even when I'm not entirely sure what I need. Love you x x
So, now then Rach.. 2 weeks til the next one! Which looks to be a little tougher.. Less miles, more hills..! Clanettes, have a look at the South Downs route here! I am on it like a car bonnet...!