Milestone 129 Mile Cycle
by IronjediMay 2nd 2013
Training is going well...........well I think it is. But I am feeling a little tired in the leg department.
It is always the way, the weather improves and you get out on your bike more, you then begin to neglect everything else, breaking down all the hard work done with all the running and swimming you have done in the rubbish weather that we have had recently.
So an opportunity arose to go out with a group who were coming over to Exmoor for a recon on the Ironman UK 70.3. They were to meet up at the cafe, cycle the 2 laps of the bike course. I knew it was going to be hilly having raced here previously, there is something like 52 hills in 56 miles. There is a cheeky climb up from Exebridge and then basically 10 miles of climbing back towards the finish through Morebath.
My day began at 0630 leaving the house on the Blackdown Hills, that dilemma about what to wear, what to bring? The sun was out, there was some wind and it was pretty cold. Saying that I am a bit a whimp when it comes to the cold. So I wrapped up warm and stuffed everything else in my pockets. Including a couple of 9 bars. 9 bars I hear you ask, not the illegal sort but a wholesome energy bar packed full of goodness and no chemicals. At 222 cals per 40 g bar they are a pretty good source of energy. I have moved over to these as it tastes more like real food and is better on the stomach.
I cycled through Tiverton and then followed the River Exe up onto Exmoor, and onto the route at Morebath, I had forgotten that these hills were pretty steep. As I climbed through I thought to myself that I would have to climb this three times today, oh deep joy. The headwind was against you for the whole run back to Wimbleball Lake.
So arriving at Wimbleball lake with 35 miles already under my belt, I grabbed a quick coffee and sandwich met up with the others, all seasoned cyclists and Ironmen. Off we went 56 miles later with no punctures we arrived back safely at the cafe at Wimbleball. We ended was what a beautiful ride with the sun shining, great company and no rain, lots of wind and hills however. Coffee and cake and then back on the bike for the last trek home alone. At this point I felt quite jealous of the guys getting into there cars. I was offered a lift but declined. Stupid decision?
The ride home was fast and it was only in the last 10 miles climbing back up onto the Blackdowns that I felt a little tired. Running out of water did not really help. Still arrived home in one piece, and needless to say I hit the kitchen cupboards and just started ramming whatever food was accessible in, it was like a scene from the cookie monster on Sesame Street we went out to friends for dinner that night. I had two full helpings of dinner and felt content with what I had achieved. 129 miles done, in real terms that was nothing and on the day of the race, or days of the race I will still have another 100 to do, plus a double marathon.
Onto my next cycle challenge next week, three days of cycling from Devon to Surrey, Surrey to Surrey checking out Box Hill for the Ride London recon, and then Surrey to Devon. should clock a few hundred miles!