Cycle 100 miles? Yeah, why not!

Once upon a time, a girl had a bright idea. This is how it began:

Back in the depths of winter of November 2015, I thought: “I need a new challenge for next year. Hmm, what’s that Ride London-Surrey thing all about? Oh look, they have a 100 mile Sportive in the summer of 2016. Let’s sign up for that. Wayne, Wayne, shall we sign up?”

Wayne: “What? You want to do what??? 100 miles on a bike! Without an engine?!”

You want to do what

Wayne: “You want to do what??? 100 miles on a bike! Without an engine??”

Anyway, after not much deliberation at all, we signed up for the ballot for a place each.

Like the London Marathon, we knew that this closed-road ride through London and Surrey would be oversubscribed, especially as it was created  as one of the legacies from London 2012, where some of the route was made famous by the Olympic cyclists. Hmm, that should have been a clue right there. (Just say no!)

We were virtually certain that one of us would get a place and one of us would need to apply for a charity spot. On no evidence whatsoever, we guessed that I would get a place and Wayne would not. A deal was struck: the one who did not get a ballot place would choose the charity to support. The other would raise funds as well – we were in it together. The other thing we knew was that we would probably need to update our bikes – he has a mountain bike and I have a hybrid with front suspension. Too heavy and no good for our first (last?) ‘century’!

There followed a period of not much at all. And not much at all to do with cycling. From December to February, we did virtually no cycling, except for a very few holiday cycling miles over the New Year. Which also involved cakes and cappuccinos. During this time, typical conversations went:

Him: “Go for a bike ride?”

Me: “I’m not going out that rain/cold/sleet/hurricane – are you mad?”

(Repeat)

So to February 2016. The mail arrived from Ride London. One addressed to me and one to him. Yep, you guessed it, I got a place and he didn’t. So after a little bit of prevaricating and pretending he was not going to sign up, he chose a fantastic cause. Marie Curie – who look after people living with a terminal illness. As Wayne says “I lost my Dad, referred to by many as Mr J, in 2005 to the Big C, I witnessed at first hand the care and compassion of the nurses that helped both him and my mum in the final days… truly amazing people

Enough said. That’s it then, we were signed up. At least we still had 5 months until the day. Plenty of time for training, right?

And now we are just 6 days away from cycling the 100. We’ve had some stupid questions (how many bananas can I eat in a day?); many cycling-related purchases;  ‘aha’ moments and, of course, dramas along the way.  If you want to follow along, I will be putting pen to paper over the the next few days and sharing our experiences as we head towards the longest cycle ride that we have ever attempted and biggest climbs we have ever, er, climbed.

We’d love to raise over £1,000 for this fantastic cause which would mean that Marie Curie could provide nursing for someone in their own home for 50 hours. If you would like to support this cause, we would be super-grateful, as would Marie Curie: JustGiving: 100 Miles of Pain

 

 

A stressful day tested my resolve!

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Work yesterday was stressful. Not like life or death stressful. But stressful nevertheless. I was constantly interrupted so that I couldn’t get anything of substance done. It was unfortunate, but I did need to react to the interruptions for long-term … Continue reading

4 changes of clothes before breakfast!

So I set the alarm for 5.30am but somehow didn’t leave the house until 7.45. Why? I couldn’t find what I thought was a flattering outfit to wear for work. This is not for lack of choice, but simply due to the bit of extra padding my dresses are tighter and shorter – they rise up due to the extra around the middle and bottom bit. So that’s why I tried on four outfits before I was happy enough to leave the house!

That’s one of the things I disliked so much about being heavier – the care needed to disguise unflattering lumps and bumps. And conversely, one of the things I loved, loved, loved about being lighter – being able to have much more choice about what to wear. Plus … early mornings are not my best time in the day so those few extra minutes in bed were fabulous! 

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Shoe choice was equally lengthy - one must get the silhouette right!

Having got over the clothing dramas of the morning, I did manage to successfully complete day 2 of the new ’13 weeks to the beach’ mission. My food diary is complete and pleasingly I did not feel hungry or deprived on 1,200 or so calories a day!

Good luck to anyone trying to do something similar!

Until next time.

Spring Equinox and sun – a good time to reclaim good habits

It seems there’s a feeling amongst my friends and me that now is the time to get healthy – so I’m back on the blog! Yesterday was the Spring Equinox and represented day 4 of my own reclaiming of healthy living habits.

I’m re-evaluating my goals (some that have been mislaid in the few months… ahem!) and will be setting some new ones. I’m going to start with a review of the past few months and what’s gone well and what has not.

Stay tuned and let me know if you have similar challenges or questions.

Happy Friday! And happy good habits, too.

Happy Birthday to me (!) … the 4-week/9-day push ends well!

I didn’t quite make my original 4-week goal, but I got so close! I did drop a little weight overnight so I can happily report that I am the lightest I have been for 20 years! And I did make it into a dress that was too small for me 4 weeks ago… and even my Mum commented that my legs looked slim!

Here we are out for a very lovely lunch today!

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I loved lunch! It was delicious and very special! I couldn’t manage all of my dessert, though (poor attempt!) but it definitely didn’t stop my enjoyment of the whole day

I’ll be taking a diet break for a few days, and I expect to increase a little weight over the coming days, but I am not going totally wild! I am planning to be back at the same weight in one week’s time, all being well.

New goals need to be set when I’m back. I’ll think about what I want to achieve in the next few weeks. That will take us to the middle of June and one whole year since I started this healthy mission. One year! I can’t believe it’s been such a long time, it has flown!

Thanks for sharing my journey with me… I wish you a wonderful day, evening or morning… wherever you are!

36 hours to go in the 4-week focus…

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36 hours to go in the 4-week/9-day push. In the last 36 hours, I achieved the 9-day target and my gym goals 🙂  The problem with achieving your goals is that you then need to set some new ones! So, new gym goals have now been revised and the programme revised with some even more evil-sounding exercises … including way too many squats for my liking!

It didn’t dawn on me until I was driving home that in my new programme, my repetitions have increased by 50 percent! Wah! Okay, okay … that’s the 6-week goal. But still … wah!

Breaking things down into smaller goals works really well for me – into manageable chunks that don’t seem too overwhelming – both in terms of time and difficulty. It’s amazing what can be achieved when fully focused on a short-term goal. It seems silly to even say it, but the short-term goal thing is so obvious, yet so effective.

4-week focus … time is nearly up. From a weight-loss perspective, I may  be a pound or two adrift from the four-week goal, but you never know what might happen in 36 hours!

In any case, I’ll be able to enjoy my birthday in the knowledge that it’s all in the right direction. One step at a time.

Good luck with your own goals, whatever they may be!

9-day push update, slightly obsessive scale usage and boiled eggs

Super-quick post tonight.

I’m so pleased that I have digital scales. They measure increments of a quarter of a pound or 200 grammes.

Yes, I am getting on every day, and so far the scales are going in the right direction, even if is a quarter of a pound down a day. I fear I may be slightly obsessed though, as I took the scales to an overnight hotel stay with my other half earlier in the week. Sorry, Wayne!

So sticking to the diet IS tough, but seeing the scales go down is great motivation to stay on track. And also knowing it’s only for a short while, then I can stablise again.

There are 3 of us in the team at work trying to lose a little weight, so that definitely helps that there is not so much ‘naughty’ food around to tempt us.

And finally, thinking forward to next week, for our birthdays, we normally bring in cakes, donuts or other goodies to work. I think I’m going to have to bring some healthy snacks in as well next week! Healthy suggestions welcomed, as I don’t expect anyone will welcome a hard-boiled egg as a snack!