Emily #3 – Racking up miles

I can’t believe we’re at the start of a new month already! May felt slightly hectic, but filled with all good things – birthdays, family gatherings, a big project starting at work, and lots of miles on the bike. I also invested in my first ‘roadie’ kit last month. It was about time I got some chamois shorts and now I have them I’m not sure how I ever rode without them.

I finished the first training plan feeling good, and eager to start increasing the milage. This coincided with some glorious Scottish sunshine, a trip away to Arisaig and some new coastline to explore. Riding beside the sea and planning routes based on the best food stops and swim spots was a dream – if this is what road biking is, then this is something I can get behind!

When back in the valley, I’ve been continuing to commute along the cycle path and over to Stow by bike, which has provided some good hill training. I’m yet to master the hill climbs, as getting out of the saddle still feels awkward. But living in the valley provides lots of hill practise opportunities and I’m hoping the more practise I get, the easier it will become. Commuting to work by bike has also helped fit some time in on the bike, as I can’t pretend I’ve been able to keep to the training plan as much as I would have liked this month. I’ve been away from home a few weekends and wasn’t always able to pack my bike, but I was able to pack my trainers. So, this month I’ve been mixing up training with a bit of running, Crossfit, and of course mountain biking too.

The weekend that I was home, I went out and rode the Two Valleys loop with a friend. Riding with a friend was heaps of fun, occasionally pretending we were part of a race and trying to take each other on the climbs. Riding together also gave me more confidence riding on the roads. The route was a great one, with quiet roads and beautiful views. I don’t have a car at the moment, and was intrigued to see how I would do on a longer road ride. So instead of starting from the Gordon Arms, we headed out from Innerleithen and completed the loop from there. We had punctures, head winds and a rain storm as we were getting back, but it was a 70km ride and that felt like something to celebrate. I think it’s the furthest I’ve ever ridden on a bike, and it’s dawned on me that the route for the Touro will be almost twice as long.

I’m looking forward to hopefully finding a bit more routine in June, and seeing what the next training plan will have in store!

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This post was written by HO_Lindsay