Sunday became a sporty day. The sun was out and I headed out on my bike early. I had a 12-mile ride on my training plan and it HAD to get done.
I chose my old favourite route, along the Cheshire lanes. When I started getting back on the bike last summer this route was perfect.
Not far from home, quiet-ish roads, no real hills to contend with and I could do it in about 45 mins – enough for a newbie in the saddle.
It was lovely to revisit it. The first ‘hill’ (more like dip) in the road felt easier than it did six months ago when it left me crawling up at a snail’s pace.
With hindsight 3/4 leg tights were optimistic. Two layers and a gilet kept the top half warm though, and once the legs started to move, I forgot about the cold bite in the air.
I wound my way to Alderley Edge. Then I had a decision to make: I was far off my target if I just went home. I took the hard option, Artists Lane, a mile-long climb which, having done it previously, is no easy route.
At the bottom of the climb I met a friendly older gent who was up for a natter about the hill. He was doing it twice on his training for Coast to Coast. I suggested he went first and off he went.
Meanwhile, I spotted this next to me at the side of the road:
Yes random wooden bear carving.
So, feeling plucky off I went, and remembered how steep it is. I caught up with the man, followed (not slipstreamed!) for a while, before he got off his bike and waved me on. I did it! What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
I turned around at the top, opposite the Wizard Pub:
View from the top:
I whizzed down the same hill back to Nether Alderley, through the village of Alderley Edge and back home. Job done. 21.6km with 170 metres of climbing. The sun shone and I was back by 10am.
Next, to the other task of the day: the swim. We took the kids to the pool, taking it in turns to do lengths. I did 16 lengths of front crawl in 10 mins.
An afternoon of gardening in the sun completed a fun and tiring weekend. If the triathlon was over two days I reckon I’d be fine. The countdown is on; three weeks to go.
Day off today, phew.