My trusty bike, what a ride we had! Can you see my medal? On the handlebars to the left of the number

Post 50 mile ride photo.

I know I kept that under my hat bar telling my clients that I work 1:1 with or you have been watching my Facebook live posts, that’s because I only entered the ride 3 weeks before that actual event.  Yes, I was Last Minute Ali on that one!

So what happened?

With only 3 weeks before the event, training was at an all-time LATE STARTING, but I got out there and practiced as much as I.  Starting with 14 miles in Finsbury Park, I headed to Richmond Park for 3 other practice sessions 26, 32.5 and 45.5 miles.  I was happy, there were hills, I ate whilst riding, drank whilst riding, any soreness was minimal and muscle strength felt great.
I was really happy with the shape I was in.

Come the day though, it was all quite different.

Richmond Park has lovely road surface, now I know the terrain and each training session had been sunny, cold but sunny.

We set off from Lingfield Park in Kent on the Wiggle Kent Classic, a completely new location.  The 50-mile route was unknown to me, it had been raining ALL night and started raining as soon as we set off, and the road surface wasn’t nice and even that I was accustomed too.  Fortunately, I was with 2 friends and we decided to stay together the whole time.

The rain stopped, it marginally brightened, the countryside opened up and it felt glorious and we were all having a great time.

Then the weather changed again, more rain, cold wind, our shoes were full of water, and gloves were dripping and our extremities (hands and feet) were feeling the cold.  It made the cycling tough!

When we reached the point where the shorter ride peeled off left or carrying on for to 50-mile route we took stock of our situation, our coldness, it was our first big ride and we made the best decision and took the shorter route of 28 miles.

Stopping at the food station at just over half way and chatting with other cyclists buoyed our spirits and the hot water and coffees warmed our insides.  We headed off towards the finish which actually seemed to appear relatively quickly and was a sight for sore butts!

What could I have done better?

  1. Spent more time in the saddle, even going for shorter 30-45 minute rides.  My body needed more experience.
  2. Spent some time riding in the rain, not ideal but as with running being prepared for any eventuality is key to no surprises on the day.
  3. Sometimes the best decision doesn’t feel like the right decision, always in the back of your mind, you may think I should have stayed the distance, in this case, we made the right decision.
  4. Planning training/practice sessions other than my usual is a great way to get more experience
  5. Practice cycling downhill, practice getting my body in the best position for it and building confidence in that area.

Has it put me off?

HELL NO!!  I have really enjoyed cycling, the feeling of freedom, out in the fresh air, being in the countryside…..this is only the beginning, I’m a runner and a cyclist now 🙂

How does this relate to you?

Have you ever done something on a whim and expected to get better results?  Leave it to the last minute and then hit the unexpected?  Often I see this with people wanting to improve their fitness, health and wellbeing and including weight loss.

The trick though is to make it more about you, tweak it so it works for you, follow your path and KEEP GOING, keep practicing, keep showing up, keep celebrating the small wins and reflect on what you could have done better.

Too often we want the instant gratification and to achieve results in the click of the fingers, but that is not where the understanding of ourselves lies unless we have seriously engaged in the process enough to make that happen.

Connect with yourself, connect with the joy of your result, and celebrate when you feel it for real……..I know I will.

If you need help, please get in touch.  Life is too short to struggle on your own