Now that the bike is properly adjusted it’s been a case of getting out there and working towards the mileage I need to do for the Vitruvian. So last Monday I headed out for a long cycle with the intention of doing just over 40 miles on the bike. It was pretty windy when I headed out, but I figured that wind on the hilly bits would be a bit like riding up harder hills! 🙂
I’d planned a route that went out to Wymondham and up the hilly bits, turned off at Hingham and headed back to Wymondham to repeat the hills again then out through Hingham and back through the Rocklands to home. It was certainly a struggle to get up the hillier bits with the wind blasting into me, but I was pleased to get to the top with only once having to change into the easier cog. Unfortunately the wind got stronger and stronger as I went round the route – checking the weather when I got home I found it got up to over 20mph with gusts of 32mph 😮 The wind seemed neverending, and my hopes that if I was cycling into the wind one way must mean that I would get it pushing me along when I was headed in a different direction never seemed to come to fruition; it was either a headwind or crosswind from the right all the way round.
By the time I had done the hills for the second time I was starting to get very tired; my average speed having dropped by several miles an hour from doing the same bit earlier, and I was starting to ache. By the time I reached Hingham I was starting to get a lot of pain in my right shoulder, which was causing me to periodically take it off the handlebars to get some relive from the pain. I started to have a discussion with myself – in my head rather than out loud! – about carrying on or whether it was safer to call it a day. It’s a hard call as there is a chance that it could be that windy on the day and I’d have to put up with it then, but on the other hand I was in pain with no pain killers to take and I was becoming concerned that my right shoulder was getting worse and cycling along with one hand on the handlebar and nowhere near the brakes isn’t really the best safety policy in good weather nevermind when it’s very windy.
A couple of miles out from Hingham for the second time, I pulled over and had a bit of a stretch to see if that would sort my shoulder out in case it was just that I was doing more mileage than I had been rather than the wind. Unfortunately this seemed to have no effect at all and I pushed on for another mile almost in tears from the pain, before taking the decision to call Andy and get him to come and pick me up. It wasn’t the easiest decision to make, but I really was starting to feel that I was putting myself in danger with being on the road. I pulled over and called Andy, telling him where I was and he said he would come and get me. I told him I’d plod on slowly a bit until I could find somewhere better for him to be able to pull in and then wait there for him. It was really disappointing to have to call him, but it’s the first time I’ve had to do that, and it was much better than me having an accident or damaging my shoulder so much it put me out of training. Even more disappointing was the fact that I was probably only about 6 miles from home, but 6 miles or 60 I don’t think I would have made it back safely.
Once I was back at home I took some ibuprophen and then had to consider whether it would be best to skip running club that night. I do use my arms a bit when running, although the pressure on my shoulder would be minimal. I was keen to go as it was the last in the Ed Burton 5 mile time trials, held in memory of a long standing club member, and I was hoping I could knock a few minutes off my last time. I had a few hours to decide though, so thought it was best to see how things went in the afternoon and then make a decision from there.
By 6pm the ibuprophen had kicked in, the wind seemed to have died down considerably and I decided to take a chance on going. 🙂 I knew the route having done it before, and figured if I got problems I could start walking and get Andy to come and pick me up. In the end I ran round with a lovely chap from the club called Rodney who is in is 70s and who used to triathlons about 25 years ago! 😀 We had great fun trotting round together enjoying a chat and the evening sunshine wearing the commemorative t-shirts we’d been given to celebrate the last race in the series. I didn’t achieve the faster time I’d originally hoped for, being about 1:30 minutes slower in the end, but considering I was doing it on tired legs from my cycle I was more than happy with that. And I really enjoyed the run round with Rodney, who really is a most interesting gentleman! 😀
The next day was a different story though, and I felt achy and tired. I think this was more from the effects of the wind that having done a cycle and run in one day, as I’ve done that before. My shoulder still hurt, so I decided to give swimming a miss and gymnastics was definitely out. In the end I ended up taking a few days off, although how much of that was due to the hard session on the bike on Monday and how much was that I was just shattered and needed some rest is debatable.
Back to normal now though and managed 47 miles on the bike yesterday 😀 Had been planning on doing just over 50, but it turned out hotter than I expected and I ran out of drink and was starting to get thirsty so cut a few miles off. Will take a large bottle as my second bottle next time instead of two small ones, but another thing learnt that will help on the day when I do the Vitruvian. It was the longest ride I’ve done and I tried to eat on the bike as I will on the day and that seemed to be ok so am pleased about that too. The only thing I’m disappointed about is that I seem to have lost speed since I got the new gears put on the back and currently it’s going to be touch and go if I make the bike cut off 😦 Still a little time to work on it though and it may be a case of still getting used to the gears. Time will tell and I guess what will be on the day will be so no point in wasting energy worrying about it 😉