2011 Streak Day 204/365 (July 23): Cycle - 19.38 miles, Time - 1hr 27min, Weather - blue skies with many clouds
This has been a pretty miserable July, most days have had overcast skies and there has been plenty of rain. Overnight it rained again and when I woke up I wondered if I would have to review my plan of a cycle ride but the clouds scudded by and the blue patches grew larger until the day was bright. As you can see from the photo - perfect for a ride in the Hertfordshire countryside.
When I was out I was passed by a couple of people, dressed in their team jerseys, heads down, much leaner and fitter than me - putting my rather laboured effort in its place. But I knew I could not raise my game. At the moment I am not very cycle fit. In fact I am not very fit at all as everything feels an effort.
If the project for this year has proved anything it is that just getting out each day and doing a little bit is no substitute for a proper training programme. If you want to get fit for a race or improve your times you need to stick to a schedule and incorporate hard, long easy and total rest.
However rest days are not an option in 2011, I can only have easy days. Recently some of those easy days have been so minimal they would count as rest, which I think indicates that I am at some sort of mid way hump. There is a long way to go but it is well past the bright beginning with the feeling of hope that comes with every new adventure. Now is the period of endurance and the sole objective of keeping going.
A bit like this ride.
But the ride also provided a hopeful analogy. Although I felt tired for most of it, something happened to change my mood. About two thirds along there was a long hill, which I was dreading. However I put the bike into a very low gear, twiddled and before I knew it I had found some sort of rhythm. After I reached the top I felt much better and the rest of the ride was so much easier.
So there you have it for this part of the 2011 Streak I have to put myself into a low gear and twiddle