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

 

 

Training ride to the most south-westerly in Europe

I managed only one gentle cycle ride out this past week on holiday in Portugal. The hotel rented out mountain bikes – they were okay but the hotel staff seemed seemed surprised when I asked about a borrowing a helmet. I guess I have become used to wearing one now, from hating them just a few weeks ago. I rode out before breakfast while everyone else had a lie-in (even though 2 other lazy monkeys had their cycling gear with them!).

The journey was good – lovely and quiet – too early for the tourists – just the locals – and me! There were little markers on the way with messages such as “so far, so good” – right by the road so you would only see them if you were on a bike or on foot.

It was a beautiful sunny morning at the hotel, but in under 5 miles the Cape (St Vincent) was misty and cold. You couldn’t see the lighthouse, just hear the foghorn! No wonder they need the lighthouse there!

Under 10 miles in total but at least I did something! If you spare a little to help The Prince’s Trust.. you’ll be contributing to helping 50,000+ young people this year. Thank you!

http://www.justgiving.com/andrealouisedavis

Mist at Cape St Vincent near very big cliff drops!

Mist at Cape St Vincent near very big cliff drops!

Foggy, misty morning but you can just see the lighthouse on the left!

Foggy, misty morning but you can just see the lighthouse on the left!

Me at Cape St Vincent in the mist!

Me at Cape St Vincent in the mist!

Lighthouse the day before

Lighthouse the day before


Today I confessed my weight to …

… an old friend.  One that I hadn’t contacted in a while. The old friend has been with me since the start of my journey 2 years ago. The friend is myfitnesspal.com!

I told my old friend my new weight goal, my current weight and how much weight I’d like to lose per week. I was rewarded with a calorie goal per day and an updated weight graph.

My goal is stated – written down – always an important thing for me and I have a date (and a reward) in mind. I will track my food and activity. Day 1 is complete. I am focused. It was good to make friends with my old pal again.

Wishing you a wonderful day!

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Just say no to the unnecessary chocolates!

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!

2 days down, 7 to go … and the outlook is sunny!

Outlook is sunny

I am focused. The light is officially on. It’s 2 days into the final 9-day push and all is well. I have curbed my eating, restricted my calories, am drinking more water and have been to the gym.

The ‘X’ stone 11 goal is definitely achievable now with 7 days to go until my birthday – and I might even get into a new dress that is hanging up at home that has never been worn 🙂 (Deliberately bought in a smaller size as a goal to get into!) I’ll be trying it on every day to see if there is any progress – and – I know you shouldn’t really get on the scales every day, but dear friends, I may not be able to resist to ensure progress is continuing! Just got to keep up the good work and not be distracted. Focus, focus, focus!

P.S. Am still addicted to watching the US Biggest Loser on Sky on Monday evenings. Bob and Gillian are still trainers in this series – and they are pretty awesome when it comes to motivating weight-loss. The contestants are heading towards the final few weeks and it’s definitely helping me stay motivated – they are doing their final pushes too. This is my favourite part of the series, where you see the before and after shots – the transformations can be amazing! It helps me, anyway!

A wobble on the 4-week push … refocus, refocus, refocus!

Well, unless I chop a leg off, I don’t think I’m going to make my 4-week goal. I’ve had an enjoyable week and I DID resist the egg-buttie-breakfast-run on Friday, but then it went a bit downhill from there. I had my Mum round for the evening on Friday – dinner-and-a-movie-night. I was all determined to have a healthy dinner. She was a bit later than planned, so I convinced myself I needed a glass of Sancerre while I waited… and this simple decision began a weekend off the diet.

What’s encouraging, though, is that I can view a weekend off the diet in perspective. It simply is a wobble, not the end of the world. It’s true, I haven’t lost weight in the last few days, so no progress made to the 4-week push since last week – but the important thing is not to continue in this vein. In previous years, I’d have just carried on – eating and drinking what I fancied, regardless of the consequences. In fact, let’s be honest, that’s how I used to eat every day! So I must have learnt something this past 10 months or so!

Time to refocus: So now it’s the 9-day push! I recognise there is only so much I can do in 9 days. It’ll probably take me 2 days to get back to where I was on before the wobble. I think the very best I’ll be able to achieve in 9 days is to get to ‘X’ stone 11 lbs – above where I wanted to be, but still would be an acceptable loss across the 4 weeks and – importantly – it means I am still going in the right direction. (And no, I’m not publishing my actual weight to the world – even I have my limits as to what I’ll share across to the world!)

So, it’s back to reducing the calories. Later this afternoon, Wayne and I are off to the gym – I’m going for that ‘X’ stone 11 goal!

 

Yippity do-dah; Zara and size 12 Jeans!

Time to report in on the previously documented four-week push. So far, so good. A little wobble (involving a certain Mr Pinot Grigio, scrummy bar food and some 10-year old Port last week) but still managed to lose weight in the week overall. So just under 3 weeks to go now for the final push!

Super-busy at work with multiple deadlines. In the denial* days, I would have come home from a long day and hit the wine (I deserve it) and food (I deserve it) as some kind of instant gratification and my reward for getting through a long day, long week, blah blah blah! This time, I decided that I would just have some healthy food (which was on-hand luckily – the secret is in the planning) and that I didn’t need the wine – so I could stay true to my four-week final push. And – yippee! – I managed it.

I felt a little wardrobe update was called for, as I was last at this weight in 1995. So shopping, we went. Pre-‘project-Andrea’ I couldn’t shop in places like H&M and Zara. So I ventured in. Cautiously, I tried a couple of things on. Happy days – they fitted! I can’t tell you how nice it is to be free to shop where you like, because you are not restricted by your size. It’s extremely motivating. So a rather summery peach-coloured jacket was acquired and worn to work this week.

I also did some online shopping as I wanted some new jeans. Size 14s arrived (Size 10 USA). I tried them on straight away. They were too big. What? Surely I can’t be a UK 12?  Re-order online. Size 12s arrive. OMG. They fit! They fit! Cue singing around the house! Now, I am not naive enough to think that all size 12s are created equal, some are obviously bigger than others, but I am so happy, happy, happy about this.

It’s funny, I obviously know I have lost weight, but my brain hasn’t quite kept pace with my physical appearance – it’s like it needs some time to adjust to the new me. I have had some lovely comments from my friends and colleagues this week. I don’t know why in particular this week, maybe it’s the new jeans and jacket in the right size? Who knows? What I can say is that it does help that other people are noticing – and it makes me even more determined to keep getting closer to my goal and ultimately keep it off. Thank you to everyone who commented – it really does help! 

And finally, gym this morning to kick-off the weekend in a good way – which, shock-horror, I really enjoyed. So, it’s definitely been a good week overall, and I have a few key ‘lessons learnt’ from it:

  1. If you have a goal – document it, set a timescale and take the first step to achieving what you want.
  2. Pay someone a genuine compliment – maybe they are looking good or maybe they have been good to you – so thank them for being so nice – it really can make a difference to them.
  3. Recognise the small successes you are making towards your goal – if it your goal seems a long way off, one step towards it is better than one step away from it.
  4. And lastly, If you have a wobble, it’s okay, we’re all human and it’s just a wobble – just get back on track as soon as you can.

Have a fab few days and be good to yourself!

*denial = denial that there was a problem