Summertime and the training is easy … not! 5 weeks to go

This Sunday we actually had a day that resembled summer, unusual to experience with our variable four-seasons-in-a-day British climate.

We have worked out a 23 mile cycle route from home that is mostly roads (yay!) and quite a few hills (boo!) but I am trying to learn to love hills! I do like them when I am at the top, at least as it’s heavenly to cycle (roll) down them!

We (the man and me) had planned to get up early on Sunday to do our training ride avoiding the forecast heat, but somehow we didn’t manage to get out until nearly midday so by that time it was hot, hot, hot!

I am not very good in the heat, never have been. It seems to have started when I was in Primary School and our class went to do a country dancing display at the Buckinghamshire County Show (how very British!) on a boiling hot day. Sadly I ended up with heatstroke as it seems that my pale English, freckly skin does not much like activity in the humid British heat!

I know this is potentially an issue if the day of the ride dawns and it is super-hot, so I have to push through it. So push through it I did by drinking loads of fluids on the way round which definitely helped. Knocked 5 minutes off the previous week’s cycle time at just under 2 hours, which is pretty okay considering the heat!

Made it!

Made it in the heat!

When we go home we went for a “cool down” (code for cycle to the local pub for a drink in the sun) but the closest pub garden was already full, so we cycled on to the next one. This meant we upped our miles more than we were expecting. Total cycle ride: 30 miles – 23 at a reasonable pace, 7 very slow! On the last couple of miles, I was definitely ready to be home.

This week coming is a busy one – so will be tricky to do any training, but will try to fit something in.  It’s all for a great cause – to inspire young people. Almost a million young people are not in education, employment or training in the UK. The Prince’s Trust need your help to tap their potential and build their confidence. The results can be amazing. Have look here if you have a moment: http://www.princes-trust.org.uk/support_us/lewis_cassidy.aspx

Thank you for your financial and/or moral support to this cause!

https://www.justgiving.com/Andrea-Davis2015/

Signed up again! 6 weeks to go and toothache did not interrupt training!

Yep, so I’ve signed up again to do the 2015 Palace-to-Palace cycle ride – 45 miles of cycling from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle on September 13th. Last year it took 4 1/2 hours of cycling to do it. This year, I’d really like to try to break the 4 hour mark this year if possible.

Unluckily for me for the past 10 days or so, I’ve had toothache! Yesterday I finally managed to get a dental appointment. Penicillin has been prescribed as it seems I have some kind of infection with a few more appointments to look forward to.

Pencillin 20150804_132258

I didn’t let it a little bit of toothache stop me from doing a 13 mile training ride last night! It’s all for a great cause, as the Prince’s Trust does amazing things to help young people in need. They aim to 58,000 young people this year, so every little helps as they say!

If you’d like to donate, please do so here – thank you!:

https://www.justgiving.com/Andrea-Davis2015

10 days to go! Cycling 45 miles (72 kms) for the Prince’s Trust

So it’s 10 days to go and my knees hurt! The other half acquired some new lights for our bikes this week so we could do some evening cycling training (really?!) We went out last night after work and cycled 14 miles around 2 lakes in the pitch black. Pitch black! Not that keen on that I have to say – a little spooky – despite the mega-wattage lights!

The longest training ride we have done so far is 32 miles. Just once. After that, I was exceptionally pleased to be home and on the sofa. 45 miles will definitely be a stretch. And I am still trying to convince myself that I like hills! I love hills. I love hills. I love hills…

Of course, aching knees/shoulders/legs/bottoms aside, this is really all about raising funds to help disadvantaged young people in the UK to change their lives and get into work, education or training. This year, The Trust aims to support 58,000 vulnerable young people, helping to give them the skills and confidence to find a job – for this they need to raise over a million pounds a week! We’re hoping that our Xerox extended team of over 100 people will contribute a massive £20,000 just from this one event – which would be absolutely amazing!

Thank you to those of you who have very generously donated already – you are very kind! If you haven’t, but you’d like to, thank you in advance for your support! Every Pound, Euro, Ruble or Dollar etc. helps! https://www.justgiving.com/AndreaLouiseDavis/

UPDATE: Thank you, thank you, thank you! It took 4 and a half hours but we did it!

My final total was £785 raised – far in excess of what I could have hoped for. As a team of around 100, we raised around £30,000! Seriously, you guys are awesome. Thanks again.

Before - at the start!

Done - 4 1/2 hours - but done!

Done – 4 1/2 hours later – but done!

Snake’s alive – there’s a snake in the grass!

No one mentioned snakes when out cycling! There we were cycling in the beautiful Buckinghamshire countryside and I spotted a coiled up snake at the side of the road as we rode past. I thought it was dead. I have never seen a live, wild snake in the UK before, so it was a bit of a surprise!

We turned our bikes around and approached it cautiously, caused a mini traffic jam in the road (it was a narrow lane) and then the snake moved. It had decided to make a run (slither) for it. Up its little head popped and it started to make its way across the rood – cars or no cars. We were looking for a stick to help it on its way and stop the snake from becoming roadkill!

At this point a man stopped his car complete with gun dog in the back of his car (a beautiful looking German Short-haired Pointer, I think) and asked what was up. So we showed him. He said “no point in killing something you are not going to eat” and promptly found a blanket from his car, calmly picked up said snake with the blanket, took it to the other side of the road into the grass.

The snake played dead. After a couple of minutes it started to move and headed away from the road and into the fields beyond. You can’t say this cycling training business is boring!

You can just see its head on the left

You can just see its head on the left

Off to safety!

Off to safety!

We managed 23 miles with hills that day and the pace was okay considering I wasn’t feeling 100% – sore throat and cold. And we’d like to have done some more but after all we had the Monza F1 GP to watch and I had plans later on with my Mummy.

Surely saving a snake is worth a little donation to the wonderful Prince’s Trust who do amazing things to inspire young people? 🙂

Please donate here if you can: bitly.com/1qK2Bg6

Back on track … nearly!

I am in the pre-contemplation phase.

It’s 13 weeks to a beach holiday so plenty of time to get back on track. Have had a bit of a splurge recently with food and drink.  Have kept off half the weight for a year. So I guess my current weight is my new “maximum, I have to stop now, weight”. Time to stop messing around and get back on it.

Went for a cycle ride at the weekend (then rewarded myself with a bottle of wine). Oops.

Today I am back… let the 13 week mission begin.

image
Dinner was lovely, but now it’s time to rein in the treats.