A week day off work is a pretty good start. When the forecast predicts fair weather, no snow or wind and you drive north under spring blue skies with the radio on, you know it’s going to be good. When you hear the new David Bowie track, it feels pretty special. And when you’re spending it doing tri stuff with Lesley and Al it’s a great day.
Brownies baked and bike loaded along with kit for all weathers, it was a relaxed drive up the A1 and I was soon at Lesley’s place ready for a catch up, jaffa cakes and then meeting Al and his friend, Michelle.
First stop was the pool for a swim and we commandeered a lane to ourselves. After an initial couple of lengths where I set off too fast, I chilled out, relaxed and pretty much stopped counting, just going with the flow, stopping and starting after 100m or so, trying out a couple of drills and watching the swim styles.
It was nice to take advantage of a 25m pool though (I usually swim in a 20m) and I did at least one 400m set, but it was a decidedly leisurely swim and I was surprised at the distance recorded on my Garmin, even allowing for a couple of discrepancies where I didn’t touch the wall because the lane was busy.
My stomach had been rumbling in the pool and it seemed a long time since breakfast, so a quick bite of cake, and a banana scoffed as we were getting bike ready filled the gap for a short cycle round to see Lesley’s lovely mum for more cake and chat.
Refreshed, we set out again for a longer ride this time. A mercifully flat route for those of us lacking bike miles this year and an easy pace along the country roads, past a wood full of snow drops and in the distance the blue sea and the big rock.
Easy chat and taking it in turns to ride up front, together and in different groups. It didn’t matter that I fell behind on anything like an incline, I was never too far away and as the ride went on I felt very happy to be on my lovely road bike, clicking easily through the gears and enjoying the experience.
When the question about carrying on a bit further or heading home came up, we all made noises to keep going, it felt so nice to be out. But at the turn around, I began to regret it slightly as we faced into the wind and hit a couple of uphills. With shoulders and back tensing and the back of my knees tightening, I was starting to feel weary on this, my longest bike ride of the year to date. But there really wasn’t too much further to go and the up was rewarded with some down and a nice little burst of speed towards the end.
Once off the bike and changed into running shoes, any aches and pains were forgotten in the pleasure of trotting up the road beside Lesley. We’d said nice easy pace and kept chatting throughout, but managed 9 min mile pace, which is a bit more than easy, especially after a long bike ride,
The day had galloped away with us and it was half past four by the time we sat down to refuel with soup and bread and the most glorious light and moist chocolate and beetroot cake. What a feast!
I didn’t want to leave, but time marching on and a call from Gary to check I was okay prompted me to pack up. Under darkening skies, a bounteous moon rise lit the way along the coastal roads and back home after a brilliant day.