13 March 2014

My Journey on Two Wheels

Well, it is 2014 and your Mummy has changed quite a bit over the past 12 months. After I had you my Thyroid (a strange but, seemingly, important gland which controls, I've learnt, pretty much everything) broke. I got fat and I wasn't very happy for a while. I had also made it all the way to 35 without ever having done any exercise. That was just me. I didn't like sport. I liked fashion, literature and art. But I suddenly realised that almost as much as I liked those things, I also didn't like being fat.

So, I went on a diet and lost a bit of weight (which I'd done before) but it was hard and boring and unsustainable. It wasn't going to change a lifetime of feeling fat and not moving more than I needed to. Your Daddy was pretty keen on cycling. I was mildly interested in the Tour de France and loved the Giro D'Italia (mainly because I love Italy, but the cycling was creeping into my psyche as well).

2009 Giro D'Italia

So, about a year ago, I got a pretty blue Pendleton and started pootling around our village. I just needed a bunch of gerberas in my basket and the image would be complete! On my first time out I did 1.5 miles and nearly passed out. After about a week, heart rate back to normal and I was good to go again. After that I went out a few times a week, scared of roads..and cars..and pigeons..and combine harvesters..and very unfit. I worked up to about 5 miles involving going 4 times around the block and sometimes venturing to the edges of the village, where the hills began, and then turning around and coming home again.

Me & my Pendleton, Summer 2013

Then you and Daddy went out and got me a Giant road bike as a surprise. Your little face was a picture as you shook with excitement and told me you had something to show me. Things had got serious. No basket for gerberas on this machine, although I still think that may work....

I bought myself a turbo trainer to try and get fitter as the nights drew in and winter arrived. I built up from 5 miles to 10 miles and learnt interval training techniques from the 3LC Road Race DVD. My fitness had increased so much that I managed to complete the DVD (in a sea of sweat and tears) which was quite some achievement, for an ex-fat girl who hated all sport.

Me & you after a hard turbo training session, Feb 2014

Then at Christmas time we went for a ride around where I grew up in Norwich. I managed 20 miles. 20 MILES! ME?! I felt a huge sense of achievement. I am still doing the turbo training and toying with entering the Newmarket Hilly 100 event in the summer. I am not sure if that isn't a little ambitious but we all need goals! I took a very rare day off work this week to try and cycle a hilly 50 mile route to see how I got on. Your Daddy came with me to make sure I didn't die (or get lost which was more likely). It was probably the hardest thing I have ever done (apart from giving birth to you!) but I did it. I was nearly sick on two hills and got over emotional and nearly cried at the end but....I wasn't actually sick and didn't actually cry so, all in all, a success. I (and everyone who knows me) would never have believed it would have been possible.

My constant motivation

So, you might say that cycling has changed my life. It has certainly changed my health and fitness. I have a new respect for professional cyclists. The hard work, dedication, motivation and discipline that they have to have in bucketloads to do what they do is inspirational. I am going to work hard to try and do the 100 mile event. If not this year....maybe next year....and I look forward to the day when you will be able to ride along beside me, with flowers in your basket. 

Before my epic 50 miler this week 

I love you always.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! What an achievement! I want to go and get a bike now. You look amazing! Well done, so inspiring. Thanks for linking up #ChallengeYourself