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Tour O The Borders in the bag!! Katy’s Journey – The Last Blog

Published September 18, 2017 by in

Here I am sitting reflecting two weeks after the big event Tesco Bank Tour O the Borders 2017 and I cannot believe it’s all over.

The day before the big event I took my two little girls down to the event village on Tweed Green in Peebles to register for the ride. I walked into the tent to a round of applause from the volunteers which made my day. It really made me feel like people were aware of my journey and it made me appreciate that I wasn’t just doing this myself but doing it to inspire others to get on their bike too !

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We then went over to see the Odlo team who are one of the sponsors, Gareth very kindly gave me a new kit to wear on the day, I was given new bib shorts, the official Tour jersey, arm & leg warmers and new gloves ! I was overjoyed with my new kit…I cannot thank these guys enough for their support. I felt amazing on the morning of the Tour and very comfortable. I can highly recommend Odlo’s range. My bottom felt fabulous the next day!! The girls had great fun too they were given balloons and other fun items to help cheer me on during the ride.

I was very aware of fuelling my body properly as it was going to have to do an awful lot of work the next day… I ate well and drank lots of water to stay hydrated. I ate porridge for breakfast with fruit and honey. For lunch I had paella and dinner I had macaroni cheese made by my lovely husband Colin. I had a super early night ready for the extremely early morning.

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I was up at 5:30 to get my porridge into my tummy. I got myself dressed in all my new gear and woke my family for kisses and cuddles. I was on the green for 6:40 to see my brother in law John off. My heat was No 10, we got ourselves in the right holding pen ready for our turn to leave. I was really very nervous at this stage but knew there was no going back and all I had to do was complete the course without any disasters. And after months of training and hard work I completed the tour in 6hours 51 minutes. I cycled the whole route with my training partners my Dad Keith and our friend Billy. We chatted when we could and gave each other encouragement when needed. I have to be honest and admit it was me that needed a little encouragement at times. I felt like I really struggled about half way, knowing that I still had miles to go and hours on the bike. In my head I was shouting “I can’t do this” and “what the hell am I doing, I don’t ride bikes!!”

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My Dad could tell I was struggling so he cheered me on and got me through my brick wall moment and thankfully the next food station was just ahead so I knew I could refuel and stretch my back and shoulders. I had more than enough energy food with me but I found it really hard to eat. I don’t know if it was nerves on the day but I found it very hard to chew and swallow. My banana malt loaf just went round and round my mouth until I forced it down followed by water. I am convinced it was the Forsyth’s Macaroni pie that got me through the rest of the ride. That and a mummy cuddle from my Mum who was volunteering as a marshal at the bottom of Witchy Knowe.

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The course was brilliant, I have been lucky enough to do lots of my training on the route so I knew exactly what was a head of me the whole way round. If you’ve never been round any of the route you must check it out… even the dreaded Talla climb is worth experiencing once in a life time and yes I did walk up it and I’m not ashamed in the slightest.

Coming over the finish line with my Dad and Billy was brilliant, I was given a massive hug from Fiona one of the event organisers from Hillside Outside and she had a tear in her eye which made me a little emotional!! She gave me my medal for completing the biggest challenge of my life!

I still cannot believe I have completed this challenge, it has proven to me just how important exercise and fresh air is. I feel great and as a result of all my hard work I have lost around 6kg of fat and replaced by lean muscle. To relate to everyday items I have lost the equivalent of 24 packs of butter…yuck…what a thought !!

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So my final thought or message is you can do this too….don’t get me wrong it requires a few adjustments to family life but we can all make time for ourselves. I am really bad at putting things off and thinking I’ll do that later or another day but sometimes we need to put ourselves first and just do it… so dust of your bike or trainers and get out there and get fit!!

Thank you so much to everyone who has made this possible for me, including Phil Mack from Peebles Physiotherapy  who’s training plan kept me on the right track throughout the six months training for the Tour O The Borders.

If this completion runs again next year I would highly recommend everyone entered for the chance to change your life!

Katy xx