You know how I said that you were joining us at the end of the beginning? Well, we're actually back at the beginning of the beginning. Terry's been ill, with something respiratory and green. I've been only a bit poorly, and have used Terry's illness as an excuse to be lazy. So, we are back down to shorter distances for a while, until my poor little brother can use his lungs properly again.
So he's going to tell you all about his mucus, and I'll tell you about the cycles that we've tried lately.
For a few months we had been planning to have a really nice Christmas cycle, a nice fifty miler, with some tinsel on. But that turned out not to be possible, on account of Tezmond's lungs not working. So we just did a very short little ride, that was actually tremendously fun, from my house to Silverdale: just twenty miles. It was on one of those windy days that we had over the holidays, when roads were closed in Scotland, and everyone's recycling was being blown up and down the streets. I didn't really realise how windy it was, and was surprised when we got back and friends said 'you went out in that weather?? You must be mental!' I think they were being dramatic - it wasn't that bad. I mean, yeah, my front wheel got blown about a bit when we were on the coastal roads, but I didn't come off the bike, and I came back alive, which is always a bonus.
So, it was a nice leisurely ride to Silverdale and back, with a nice coffee and cake stop at Leighton Moss. That's a lovely cake stop, the only shame of it being that it's not a bit further away - it'd be a perfect mid-point for a longer ride. But there are plenty other little treasures to find, so we'll not dwell on that.
When we did this particular ride, I think it had been two weeks since we'd been out. And I think I remember being told a few years ago that if you stop training for two weeks (that was when I was 'running') you're really starting again when you go back out. I didn't really think that that would be true, but now I've seen that at my level of unfitness it is the case. I hadn't built up enough reserves of muscle, hadn't increased my lung capacity sufficiently, to enable me to do big distances again after a two week break. The Silverdale cycle is very easy, and even with the very windy wind, it didn't take long. But I was back to being tired again. (Mind you, at one point I hared off down a nice straight road and left Terry for dust - that's never happened before, and probably never will again!) The fifty- and the sixty-milers that I'd done before Christmas had been good for me, and I'd noticed that I wasn't getting tired the day after a cycle any more. That tiredness has returned a bit, which is a little annoying as I'd been doing so well. But this time I know it'll pass quickly, so I'm not deterred or demotivated by it. In fact, quite the opposite: I'm eager to crack on and cycle more so that I'll build my energy levels up again nice and quickly.
Anyway, we tried another smallish cycle at the weekend, just a leisurely thirty-five. Actually, it was quite hard work. Where did we go? Oh, my brain, I can't remember anything lately. Oh yes, Kirkby Lonsdale, to a nice little, err, coffee shop *sheepish grin*. You might notice that we punctuate our cycling with cups of tea, cake, Haribo, and often with nice lunches at nice cafes. It's not that we're not serious about our cycling, it's just that we like to chat, and chatting is best over a cup of tea and a goat's cheese and caramelised onion bruschetta from that nice vegetarian cafe in Kendal. What can you do? Fuel must be taken on for the return journey - might as well chat whilst filling up.
I think that, really, I should be talking more about the cycling and the performance of my bike, and whether or not anything on the bike is clicking that shouldn't be, and whether I got cramp anywhere, and where I got my base layer from, and how waterproof my jacket is. But in all seriousness, there's not much to say at these short distances. My body isn't really hurting yet - I'm eagerly awaiting the start of the pain, that I know will come soon enough - I've not suffered any injuries, my bike is performing beautifully, and nothing has dropped off it yet, I haven't had a puncture to deal with, and my base layer is nice and warm as a base layer should be, and so on.
More cycling will be done this weekend. I wonder whether we might see if we can do a fifty without collapsing. I think it will be good - I'm looking forward to getting on with some proper training now. There's a lot to do, and now, because we've had a break, it feels a little bit like we're running out of time. We want to do our coast-to-coast-to-coast in about August, so we need to be getting up to those bigger distances quite soon if I'm to stand any chance of being fit enough to complete the distance (340 miles, in case you didn't read earlier posts) in 48 hours.
I don't know what's happened to me, but usually I'd have given up by now and have made up my mind that it's all just too difficult - none of that this time; cycling must suit me.
So, let's get on with it.