Run Review: Wheels | Eclectic Cake: Run Review: Wheels

Friday, 19 April 2013

Run Review: Wheels

Breaking out of the normal routine is great for body and mind, so when my family holiday in the countryside finally arrived I was definitely ready for some relaxation. Unlike my husband's idea of relaxing, however, I was planning walks, bike rides and sneaking on the giant trampoline that came with the holiday cottage.

We often have different ideas on what counts as fun or relaxing (he considers jumping off a platform and swinging around horrifying!) but, convinced that a couple that sweats together stays together, I persuaded him to get bikes for Christmas. Of course the weather has been abysmal since then – I've only managed to drag him out for a quick trip for food - so when we arrived in dark and soggy Dorset I was pretty gutted that we may still not get to use them. But, right on cue, the weather brightened the next day.

A couple that sweats together, stays together.

Feeling like a kid at Christmas, I bullied my husband out of bed, gave him one bite of toast and forced him onto his bike. Keen to get going I jumped on mine and headed straight down the steep drive towards the road to find that my break wasn't working! When I finally realised that in fact I had two sets of breaks, one of which was working, I stopped to find my quick-release wheel was on the wrong way! The family threw around various conspiracy theories, the most popular being that my husband wanted to get rid of me to go back to bed – this is highly likely! But as that plan failed, I survived and he still had to cycle, he gave me a lecture on bike safety. The number one lesson being that I should use my back breaks before the front ones, unless I wish to do a bit of flying.

Armed with my new safety knowledge, I won't be flying over these!

Lesson over, it was time to hit the hills and start tracking our ride with my new Strava app, which maps your route using GPS whilst recording your speed, distance and elevation. I was in my element! The views were beautiful, the air was fresh and my husband was by my side.

Until we hit a 'real' hill. The only word I could muster was "knees" as my companion disappeared up the slope and my progress almost came to a holt. I'd like to think my legs struggled because I've been injured for so long but I get the sneaky suspicion that actually my legs were never conditioned for this. My muscles burned as stubbornness to not give in pushed me up the hill. Then, at last, the top! Relief! ...Until the next hill, that is. And there were a lot of them! My trusty app tells me that on our two rides during our holiday we tackled overall elevations of 344ft and 399ft. So, although we only travelled 15 miles overall, I think that's pretty good considering I haven't ridden a bike since I was 14!

Our route on day two
And it turns out my husband enjoyed our little adventure too. (Being ever so slightly competitive, it gave him a boost that he could easily beat me up the hills.) Which happily means we'll be hoping on our bikes again soon!

It's under five weeks until race day and I still haven't been able to run. That is unless chasing my 3 year-old nephew 10 metres towards a road to retrieve him counts? In that case, it felt good! Oh, and not forgetting the mini victory gallop I did to celebrate good bike ride weather. I also escaped Alcatraz and swam Mount Everest! That is all.

I also swam from Alcatraz to the San Francisco Bay!

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