Living the dream….

Well to be fair, living the dream was only for 4 days but what a 4 days!

Having made the hard decision to withdraw from the Nigel Measom stage race due to no race bike, I was looking forward to a good training block. Easter in Scotland isn’t usually known for a heat wave; in fact last easter I was racing in Aberdeenshire past snow drifts and feeling quite ill from the cold weather. This easter the sun shone (my garmin showed it hit 24 at one point) and although I may have been lugging my winter bike around, nothing could wipe the grin off my face as I enjoyed 12 hours of training over 3 days in the sunshine. In a s/s jersey and shorts. In Scotland. In April. Epic! I even managed to sit outside eating a “recovery” ice cream.

Friday was spent mostly getting lost, just over 4 hours of ride time, around 120km, with a lot(!!) of hills and an accidental interval up Redstone Rigg. It was accidental because I ran out of road before my interval finished so decided I’d just push on and finish somewhere on the climb. Much to my surprise, I ran out of road on the Rigg too – I’m pretty sure that’s something that no-one has ever said before going up it – its a climb of over 8km, hitting 17%! My interval finished somewhere on the descent. I was pretty happy not to have noticed the extra weight of my winter bike, especially as I’d done a gym and core session before riding. I stupidly managed to get sun burnt as I hadn’t realised quite how nice a day it was going to be and soaking in a salt bath stung a little – I was glad to reach for some cooling Natural Hero peppermint spray to cool my legs down, and that I had pre-made my recovery drink so it was icy cold by the time I got in – Osmo Acute Recovery with almond milk and espresso. Nom Nom! Safe to say I was looking forward to that when I got home. Cafe stops: 1 (um, pre ride!) Shots of espresso drunk: 3 x double espresso. Bottles of Osmo Active Hydration consumed: 5. Home made cake eaten (made with quinoa its my ride fuel): 4. Hours of sleep 10.

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Saturday I headed out for my local chaingang and my usual group (dubbed fast 9.40) had a lot of 9.30 regulars in it (this is the bunch elite/1/2 men train in to put it into perspective and the one i’ve been trying to hang onto for the last 3 weeks with varying degrees of success ranging from a mere 4 mins – in my defence, i took 2 turns in the chaingang in that 4 mins and we averaged 45kph with a max speed of 56.5kph on a flat road with an incline in it – to a whole 30mins!) I was happy to have good legs today and to be able to contribute to the pace aside from one ill judged missed turn that led to Tom who was sitting on my wheel yelling “get on that wheel” as I thought about how much nicer it would be to sit up instead of suffer! It was a good motivation boost because if I got dropped, I’d be taking him with me so I dug deep, got back on the wheel and moved up. I eventually sat up at the turn at Direlton to head off for some hill power training on my own, getting home 3.5hours later with another 95km in my legs. Shots of espresso drunk: 2 x double espresso. Bottles of Osmo active hydrate consumed: another 5. Number of ice creams: 1. Ride food: 4 bits of quinoa cake and an eat natural chocolate and coffee bar.

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Sunday I woke up to yet more blue sky and sunshine. Perfect! 4.5 hours later, another hilly 120km later with some more intervals = sore glutes and hamstrings as I crawled painfully up the last 16% climb on the return leg home. I was dying for a coffee by this point. Tired but happy with the improvements – my glutes and hamstrings are now working most of the time on a ride which is a big step forward! Very happy to still also be able to sit on my saddle comfortably after 3 long hot rides – thank you Bioracer for brilliant kit! Shots of espresso drunk: 2 x double espresso. Bottles of Osmo active hydrate consumed: another 5 (15 in total over 3 days!) Ride food: 4 bits of quinoa cake and a banana. Number of gels / bars consumed over the 3 days: 0. It’s amazing the difference proper hydration makes to fuelling. Hours of sleep: 10.

Monday. The Edinburgh haar made an appearance but today was a recovery spin which I always do on the rollers to keep intensity low and controlled. I spent the morning in bed reading a book about power – so I can get my head round the different ways the Total Cycle Coach is using to torture, sorry, coach me with. :-) I put off my spin until the afternoon and then fell asleep! When I woke up it was sunny and I contemplated rollers in the garden but decided I’d live the life of a pro for one more day so carried on being properly lazy until bedtime only venturing out to the local cafe. Hours of sleep: 10. Cake eaten: 1 (chocolate and hazlenut) Shots of espresso drunk: 2 x double espresso. Cafe stops: 1.

The perfect weekend.

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