And we’re in July! Supposedly summer, although I’m yet to really see evidence of that in the UK, and the month of the biggest challenge I have undertaken yet – RideLondon.
I’ve had an ongoing inner debate with myself as to whether to actually tackle this race this year, after it took me 5.5hours to complete London to Brighton, an average speed of 10mph (including stops). Everyone has to be off the RideLondon course by 17:30 on the 31st July, in time for the elites race, and I just wasn’t sure I would be able to cover the 100 miles in that time.
I’ve also only got 4 weeks to build up my endurance from 54 to 100 miles, and with a week in Spain for the Sally Parkes Yoga and Meditation Relax and Restore Retreat (which I’m definitely looking forward to!), that only leaves me 2 more weekends to get in a couple of long rides – with a slightly dodgy knee, I didn’t really know if it would be sensible.
However, to defer would cost me another £50-odd pounds for next year’s entry fee and would definitely make me slightly annoyed at giving up on my goal!
After turning to the amazing fitness Facebook community to share my concerns, I have been reassured that with the closed roads, and the first 40 miles being basically flat, I am more than likely to be totally fine. And if not, then the organisers simply divert slower cyclists to a shorter route with three diversion points listed on their website. I would like to think that wouldn’t happen but it makes me feel slightly better that I could take one of those and still finish, albeit not the full 100 miles.
Now it’s just a case of figuring out the logistics of how to get to the start line and trying to squeeze in at least one more long (60mile?) ride before the big day – I think that planning a route that distance is the hardest part, as I don’t know the roads around me well enough to know which are less busy and more cycle-friendly. Let me know if you have any suggestions!
Other exciting news this month is that I’ve started running again – yay! I’ve actually not run at all for 3 months, with my last outing being the Hyde Park 5k on 3rd April. This was partly intentional to give my knee a rest while I worked on strengthening my leg muscles, and partly just because I’ve been busy training at the awesome MyPTstudio and cycling, and haven’t had time. The variety has been great – it’s always good to mix things up – but I have missed the mental escape that running offers, and the ease with which you can train. Just being able to go out the front door and run is so much easier than organising a weekend bike ride!
I’ve done two 30 minute sessions so far with no ill effects, and while my lungs are definitely going to have to get used to running again (hello Miss Wheezy!) the legs are actually surprisingly ok. I’m feeling positive that if I am sensible with my training, then the cross-training (cycling) and strength-training will help me to build up the distance with fewer problems this time around.
GREAT NORTH RUN
Which is good as I’ve already got two races on the diary for September! I’m tackling the Great North Run on 11th September, and am also really excited to be doing the Finsbury Park Women’s Running 10k on 25th September. Both should be amazing experiences for different reasons. The Great North Run is the largest half marathon in the world with 57,000 runners completing the distance, so much so that they show it on TV on BBC1 – I will have to wear something super eye-catching so people can try and spot me! It’s definitely more hilly than any other race I’ve done, but with so many runners and supporters the atmosphere should be pretty special.
WOMEN’S RUNNING 10K
I volunteered at the Women’s Running 10k in Brockwell Park last year, and ran the Finsbury Park race in 2013. These events are solely for female runners of all ages and abilities, and there is a 5k option in partnership with This Girl Can if you’re not ready for a 10k yet. They are such fun, with a really supportive and inclusive vibe and I love hearing the stories of all the amazing women who are tackling the distance – whether as their first race, their first 10k or to get a super speedy PB!
If you fancy doing one of the Women’s Running events, then you can use the code MWWR16 to get 15% off. You get a medal, technical t-shirt and goody bag too!
With that in mind these are my July Goals:
- Attend the Sally Parkes Yoga and Meditation Relax and Restore Retreat – go for a couple of runs somewhere different, add yoga back into my life and enjoy a mental detox/reset.
- Continue to slowly reintroduce running, once a week.
- Go on at least one more long bike ride before RideLondon (and try not to panic).
- Complete RideLondon to the best of my ability, and enjoy the experience!
What are you up this month?
NB: I have been a complimentary entry to the Women’s Running 10k in return for sharing my training and race experience on my blog and social media.