After a week off with COVID and a week recovering, I feel I am back to normal with my fitness. That’s not to say everything is plain sailing. Whilst I had recovered, we still had cases of COVID in the household so I had to avoid V-Sprint Club runs, we have a rule in the club that if there is COVID in your household you can’t join any of the club activities. Only on Saturday this week did we finally rid the household of the virus, so next week I’ll be able to join the Club runs again.
I had some normal training rides this week, but 2 stood out. Thursday night to Worcester and todays Sportive – The MAD MARCH HARE. That’s not the only thing that’s standing out, the new kit is certainly grabbing peoples attention a few people I don’t know have been taking photographs and all my friends have been commenting on how fantastic it is.
Thursday is one of my favourite club rides, a short sharp ride from Bromsgrove to Worcester and back as a fast structured group, in the winter months its normally a little slower but we still look to average over 18 mph for the ride. But for me this was not a normal Thursday as I couldn’t join the group as we still had COVID in the house, it was the same for Andy, so we set out on the same route 10 minutes before the group ride left fully expecting to be passed somewhere on route and come in behind them.
As we headed out to Worcester it was just like a Tour de France stage you watch on GCN. Andy and myself were the two man breakaway working as hard as we could together with the Peloton closing us down. It was a flat out ride all the way, when we came out of the loop at Worcester City centre, the group were just going into the city. We couldn’t rest though, we still had to push to the end, a tail wind helped and we arrived back in Bromsgrove still ahead of the group and having an average speed faster than the previous weeks ride. Andy said he was struggling to hang on on the second half of the ride “next week” he said “I’ll be riding with the group, it will be easier than trying to keep up with you !”
Now I know what it must feel like to be in a breakaway, you are trying as hard as you can but know there is a stronger group behind you, there is no dropping back in to the bunch to take a rest you just have to keep going. I wont be riding the Tour21 ride like that, we are not riding to race, we are riding for Cure Leukaemia, making sure I conserve as much energy as I can will be key, but its good to know my FTP is unaffected by my illness.
Today was the MAD MARCH HARE, a 66 mile sportive from the edge of Birmingham out in to the edge of Worcestershire, a very hill route with 6500 feet of climbing. I met a Richard, Dave and Dan from V-Sprint at 6:45am and rode to the start where we were joined by Aidan. Leaving the start at 7:15 it took us 4 hours 26 minutes, normally we would expect to cover that distance in less than 4 hours, so it shows how tough the route is. I was the 1st woman back, and 28th overall, the second woman was 10 minutes behind me. The credit goes to the men, (and two ‘boys’ who are a quarter of my age!!), who kept the pace going and pushed me harder than I would have done on my own. Thanks to Vitxcycle.co.uk for the prize of a month supply of nutritional support product specifically for cyclists. The product is not so much for the ride itself, which is being supported on the Tour21 by HI5, but vitamins etc. to support my diet. With less than100 days to go the start in Copenhagen, keeping my energy up is vital so this was a great prize to win.
With a 7 mile ride to the start, I was already at 75 miles, so made a longer route of the ride home to boost my mileage up to 100 miles. I’ve heard so many stories of even the fittest of people suffering the after affects of COVID for weeks after, so its good to be back to normal.