18th March 2012, Challenge 1 of 6 - Hethersett 30/60 Cycle Challenge (Norfolk).
Today I started my '6 challenges in 2012' for the Alzheimer's Society (justgiving or text GOLD51 £2 to 70070) and today's challenge was a 60 mile bike ride. I set myself a goal of completing today's challenge in 4hrs 30mins.
I arrived at the start line nice and early (8:30am) so I could get a good start, which meant I was able to get away in the very first batch of 20 riders at 9 am sharp. This turned out to be a perfect, although very fast, start as most of the riders in the first 20 were 'club' riders and had every intention of getting away quickly and getting some very fast early miles in. This was exactly what we did and although some of the very fast riders broke away, a few of us stayed together as a group and soon found ourselves averaging around 17 miles per hour.
I had prepared well for today, by doing a practise ride last week of 36 miles, a mid week 7.5K run and a personal training session Friday night, to focus on my core muscle group and by the 30 mile/half way point I was going strong and not ready to stop. Just over 10 miles later however, I could feel my feet getting numb and the base of my spine aching so I took advantage of an official rest point at just over 40 miles, taking on some extra fluid and enjoying some jellies. I knew that then that it was time to push hard for the last 20 miles and finish in a good time. I blanked out the pain and the heavy legs and pushed on. I have to admit I hit a mini wall at 56 miles where we had to climb a hill for approx 1 mile, but I knew I was nearly there and I knew I had cycled faster than I could have ever planned. I crossed the finish line at 12:45pm just as the rain started, my official time for 60 miles 3 hours 45 mins (possibly the hardest 3hrs 45mins) of my life, but I couldn't stop smiling.
I collected my medal, my certificate, my banana and my bottle of water and I found a wall to lean against and a new found mate to take my photograph.
My next challenge and number 2 of 6 challenges is the North Norfolk Half Marathon on Sunday May 13th at Holkham Hall, my training now needs to move in to distance running!!!!! (I will keep you posted)
I would like to thank my main sponsors Plumbase (National Plumbers Merchants) and Viessmann Boilers (Domestic and Commercial Boiler and Renewable Energy Manufacturers) and DAT1 for supplying the kit.