Team Fitique: Road to Mallorca
Posted on 04 May 2016
Well, this is my last blog before the race. I’m afraid I haven’t been doing them quite as regularly as I promised.
I’ve just packed up my bike (with huge thanks to Danny of Hoops Velo for patiently explaining how to take it apart and pack to avoid damage), in the biggest bike box I’ve ever seen and am flying off to Palma tomorrow morning. Talking of the bike box, thank goodness my husband Peter is coming with me as getting to the airport with such an enormous case is going to be a challenge. Those much more experienced than me say it is best to take your own bike to these events. I’ve done all my training on it and it was fitted for me, so worth the slight palaver of getting it on the plane. A rented bike will not fit me as well, is unfamiliar and frankly, as I need all the help I can get, transporting my bike is the least of my problems.
These last few weeks have been spent quite focused on my training plan. I have tried to stick to it religiously. I’ve become a familiar part of the Hampshire Countryside and now know most corners. As Spring has arrived, it’s actually been such a pleasure cycling and being outside. We live in a wonderful part of the country and despite being only 45 miles from London, there are still lots of out of the way roads and villages where peace and quiet rules. Being out of the car connects you much more with the countryside – the smells, farmers rushing to plant new crops whilst the soil is in perfect condition, beautifully rolled grassland for the cows who have just come out after a winter inside, and most recently the bluebells. How could I leave these till last – they have been quite unbelievable this year. Enough! This is a bike blog not Countryfile!
I’ll be on the bike anywhere between 3.5 and 4 hours on raceday so getting nutrition and liquid on board is important. I’ve been practicing changing water bottles on the move and, as I won’t have any pockets on my oh-so-attractive-all-in-one cycle outfit (no imagination needed!), I have to tape energy bars to my bike frame or slide up my shorts! At least they’ll be at body temperature!
A healthy diet has been a bit of a challenge. The sweet potato has become my friend (baked with a bit of olive oil and herbs in the oven in big batches and then kept in the fridge to pick on). An avocado a day which I love and lots of chicken. Can’t say the weight has fallen off but hopefully my muscles are in good order.
Without any doubt, the absolute best bit of this whole process has been the encouragement and warmth shown to me by friends and family who seem genuinely pleased and proud of me. I know this challenge would not be a big deal for some but for me, it’s been massive. I’ve never done anything like this before and have had to find an inner discipline which I never knew I had. I even gave up alcohol for the last month!! I’ve been incredibly touched by their kind words, enthusiasm and encouragement.
If I have learnt one thing from this process it is that having a goal is key to motivating yourself. I would say to anyone, whatever size, weight or fitness ability, find yourself a goal which is a bit out of your comfort zone, sign up for it, tell your friends and go for it. You will be amazed at what it does to motivate you and the feeling of satisfaction you get will be enormous.
Last but not least. I really want to raise money for charity whilst doing this challenge. Please click on the JustGiving link to see more about the charity and why I’ve chosen it. I’m doing this in memory of our dear little friend Robbie Keville who so sadly died (aged 10) in February. https://www.justgiving.com/Rebecca-Caplan
Wish me luck!