It has truly been a cycling weekend for me - which is just as well as I bloody well needed the activity points to offset all the food!
Got a phone call from Ed (my fitness buddy) yesterday morning telling me to get my arse out of bed so that we could go cycling. He cheerfully informed me that the ride was "only 20 miles", and that it would be fine, since it would all be pretty flat.
"Twenty miles????" I squealed!
So with some trepidation I ventured out and we started off up the Worcester to Birmingham canal.
We blasted along the first section doing a real cardio workout for the first half an hour - averaging a blistering (for me anyway) 15mph average. It was challenging but a good feeling and we kept going with fresh legs. When we hit the bottom of the 30 locks (up) Ed mentioned he'd only usually gone up the first couple before turning back, so we said we'd see how we got on - and then realised we'd actually done all of them and were at the top (and that wrapped up a nice session of interval training on all the little climbs up). It was only then that Ed slyly mentioned that actually we'd already gone 12.something miles out from our starting point and what did we want to do now? Stupidly, I suggested making it a full 15 miles before we turn back, so on we went, having to slog up a hill over a canal tunnel, over some fences (bike-slinging as a new sport anyone?), down steps (and back up) and running over a busy dual-carriageway.
Eventually we hit the 15 miles on the GPS and turned back .... and then it occurred to me how far we'd come, and how far back it was!!! Needless to say, the say the return journey felt a lot harder even though we were now running slightly downhill most of the way, and the last 8 or so miles were a pure test of endurance as our hands, bottoms, backs and finally legs started to tire. I was so glad to see the car!!! A Tour de France rider I will never be!
Just time for a quick drive home, jump in the shower, shove some food down my throat to keep my stomach from eating itself before dinner, and then run for the train to start an evening of birthday celebrations in town (ever tried running in 5 inch wedges? A comical sight, believe me!). Despite having a banging headache for most of the evening, we had a fun night out, and thanks to the efforts on the bike earlier, Pizza Express wasn't a complete calorie killer, although maybe the crazy dancing later helped with that too.
Actually, I was feeling pretty good about myself last night - I just felt that I really looked good (for me) and I felt comfortable about myself. I really need to work on my confidence though, because I then find I feel uncomfortable when I get attention from guys, as I don't quite know how to deal with it! D'oh!! Like being an awkward teenager all over again!
Apparently, I am a complete glutton for punishment, as I also arranged to go on another bike ride today, despite being distinctly saddle-sore after yesterday's 30 miles. Today's venue was lovely, sunny Ashton Court and a nice single-track trail with my friend Hannah (my neighbour Jon's girlfriend). Hannah had never done single-track before, and it only being my second attempt we took it at a nice easy pace, stopping to let faster riders past. It was really good fun - sections of twisty, fast, bumpy riding interspersed with lots of gossip breaks - my kind of cycling!!
We rounded off the day with Mexican at the lovely Las Iguanos in Bristol. And even a well-deserved slice of chocolate banoffee pie, at approximately 25,000 calories a mouthful!! Got to love exercise, as those lovely activity points even soaked up that decadence!!!
Be interesting to see what the scales say tomorrow!
Sorry - this turned into a bit of epic post!
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