So after spending a chilled and smile-filled weekend visiting Maya, Pauline, Mike and newbie baby Sophia in Dundee, I slipped out for a ride today. The sunshine-ometer said go South and East young man and I was rewarded with a truly glorious day. Sunshine and warmth for the old bones. The aim today was to get some climbing in and to stay out on the bike for 6 hours.
Well, I got some climbing in.
I decided to head down to Cardrona forrest and try to pick up some of the route south towards Selkirk. This would hopefully take in some of the trails used in last years excellent Selkirk Merida 100km Mountain Marathon. However, the initial climb from Cardrona village seemed to be endless (despite only lasting 1/2 an hour) and at the top I was well into the snow line. Fortunately, this was patchy at best until I got to (what I think was ) one of the 3 Brethren hills. Due to somewhat deeper snow, and not bringing a map, I took a bearing with the old Suunto watch-compass and headed north. This eventually dumped me out on the Southern Upland Way which I followed for some time, before dropping down towards Cardrona again. Taking in some of the amazing , if a little cheeky, Cardrona winding, singletrack trails and then finishing with a swipe towards Innerleithen.
Back to the v dub at 5 hours, thoroughly broken.
Several things were learnt.
1) I need to do some serious work
2) I need to put on some bulk
3) I need to do more serious work
People tell me I have lost weight over the last 6 months. In some ways it is helpful, in others (like today) it is not. Within 1 hour I was bonking. That is after having a big bowl of cereal for breakfast and a big meal last night. I have no sizeable glycogen stores. I had to eat almost every hour in order to avoid hitting the wall, unheard of for me. In previous years - even in early season - I would go 3 hours minimum before any food was required.
My strength is poor. Leg and arms feeling it when climbing. My lactate threshold is in my socks. I was redlining after climbing for 15 minutes. Terrible.
For some reason I thought I had better form. I have managed a few 4-5 hour rides this year so far, despite the snow, but they must not add up to much base.
So, plan of attack is to do increasing distance and vertical displacement rides weekly. I have a plane to catch after all...