Training Over

Well, I’m just in from my last training ride, so that’s it. The next time I park myself on Claudette it’ll be the Great Notts Bike Ride on Sunday. Tonight I’ve just done a gentle 4.5 miles, mostly on the flat, having picked her up from a pre-event service. Had some troubles with my seat slipping but I guess that’s just been the opportunity for me to raise the saddle anyway, something I’ve been thinking I’m ready for for a little while.

Here’s some photos from a little sit down and ponder moment I had this evening at the amazing Attenborough Nature Reserve. I’m so lucky to live close to such a fantastic place. And now it’s easily cyclable!

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I’ve been thinking a lot this week about progress and how far I’ve come in a very short time. Today is exactly day 40 since I picked up the bike and my fitness levels have improved amazingly quickly. I’m still not going to be able to do the Tour de France. or even the Tour de Yorkshire, but I’ve been looking back on some of those earlier rides and remembering just how ill I felt after a tiny 2 mile ride, admittedly in the cold rain.  It seems hard to believe that tonight I was comfortable to think of more than double that as an easy leg stretcher! I’ve been tracking my rides on my phone but have now started to convert them to one of my favourite things – a spreadsheet! I can begin to chart my rides to see my progress!

Terrific news for me at Slimming World last night after a, frankly, disappointing few weeks. I lost 2.5lbs and got Slimmer of the Week! I’m now at 39lbs in total, so there’s a lot of motivators to keep me on plan – just a pound away from 40lbs, 3 pounds from my 3 stone award and 6 to be down into another stone bracket. It really helps me to have small targets to aim for. With the amount I have to lose the only way to tackle it is in small pieces and therefore small victories. My one worry about this week is that with the bike ride I know I need to keep my energy levels up and as Wayne told me, I could use up to 2,000 calories on Sunday doing the ride. But I’m not Bradley Wiggins so the whole protein shakes, drinks additives thing is out for me. I am conceding that I may need something so I’ve bought some Nak’d bars and some flapjacks, but I’m hoping that bananas is going to be enough. I’ve pre-ordered food for after the event, just got to do my best to stay on plan but fuel my body sufficiently to perform and recover.

And I also started to think that I need something to aim for to motivate me. So, I’ve entered another event, a 35 mile Sportive – which apparently is a race! It takes place in September in the Peak District so I need to be on top of hills by then!



I think today, for the first time I’ve actually started to believe that I may be ready for the 25 miles next week. Through one thing and another, life, including Race for Life, has interfered too much this week and prior to today I’d only managed one 45 minute ride, and that was by getting up early and being out at 5.15AM!

I still feel so nervous and doubt my ability, so I’ve been sticking close to home, in case I get somewhere but then don’t have the capacity to get back.

Still, today that changed, and I decided to throw out my reservations and explore the Erewash Valley trail. I can access this (mostly) off road resource in a 2 minute cycle from home but it really had been too scary up till now. All went well initially, and I made it to Toton without incident, but then managed to lose the trail on the way to Long Eaton somehow. I think I lost it somewhere around watching kids playing in the river and ponds – brought back so many memories.

Through my amazing map reading skills, somehow got to national route N6, got back on track, then lost it again. However, my detour meant I got to enjoy Trent Meadows nature reserve which I never would have done had I kept to my planned route. Fortunately, I relocated the trail there so I finally reached my planned destination of Trent Lock.

What a beautiful, peaceful ride by the Trent it is from there back to Attenborough Nature Reserve. It was teeming with bird life, damsel flies and even a tiny frog crossing the path, fortunately I managed to avoid it with my tyres. The sun was shining, it was just glorious!

So surprised though, how much the cycling takes it out of me. Pulled over by the visitor centre for a 15 minute break, to refuel with my Slimming World health extra A and B choices and to take on some water. Definitely needed it by then! It was lovely, on a picnic bench watching the ducks and giving hubby an update before heading home.

Made another little map reading error so will aim for the right route next time, as this one ended up on School Lane which I started the hill on but had to push the rest of the way! However, by the time I got home I’d covered 10.91 miles, in 2h04. So I’m not going to win the Tour de France but I may just be able to cycle 25 miles next week!

Tomorrow morning I’ve booked on my first accompanied Sky Ride, just an easy 4 miles at Wollaton Park, I think that will be enough, given my last RideWise session is on Monday and the plan is a 6 mile ride then too.

Oh, and the bike has a name! She’s called Claudette. Seems to suit her.


Maybe this will be the week my weight losses kick in. I’m rather disappointed that in the last few weeks I’ve increase my exercise substantially, yet in 6 weeks lost only 3.5lbs, and 2 of that was in one week! OK, I’ve not had a gain either, but still?

I did, however, measure myself which was a bit more positive. 3″ of my chest, 2.5″ off my waist, 5″ from my hips, 2″ from my thighs and 1″ from my arm, totaling 13.5″. Just got to keep faith and not lose heart, everyone tells me 6 to 8 weeks so let’s hope they’re right.

Going to try and catch an hour now before the England game kicks off at 11pm.

New Beginnings

Well, yesterday I met my RideWise trainer, Wayne, for the first time. How amazing is it that they come to your home, give you their time, and all for free? Wayne’s been a massive help already. We went onto a quiet side road and he helped me start to make sense of the whole gearing thing, taught me about road positioning – that was an eye opener, and even taught me the right way to get on the bike and set off!

He’s also chock full of really useful information about cycle routes, organised rides and organisations for the beginner cyclist like me. I’m astounded just how much is going on out there!

It was a brilliant introduction to road cycling, and while I already know that long term I am a mere leisure cyclist, I need to be confident and competent on the road, to enable me to get to the off road routes without having to lump the bike into the car each time.

So, I even went out in the rain today, only 2.5 miles but it’s so hard on the roads and the hills are virtually killing me. But with more practice I’m sure I’ll reach the stage where I can cycle the whole way and not have to dismount and push.

My niece also came up with a great suggestion for a bike name – Tallulah! I think I love it but I’m going to sleep on it anyway.

And more great news at Slimming World! In the week where I saw my niece for the first time in a few weeks to be greeted with “Auntie Cath! How much weight have you lost? I can really tell”, and also where I was punching the air in the changing room when trying on the dress for my friend’s hen party, and had to ask the assistant to find me the dress in a smaller size! Yes, I’ve also had a 2 pound loss, giving me my 2.5 stone award, and 36 pounds in total. I am stoked!

Off to Cleethorpes with the family tomorrow for some beach fun, fish and chips, arcades and ice cream. I think I’ve earned it!