A couple of months ago, Lou and Graham convinced Sam and I (I needed more convincing) to sign-up for the 38 mile leg of the Wiggle Spring Saddle sportive in Newmarket. Even after Sam had registered us and paid the (not cheap) entry fee, I still wasn’t looking forward to it. However, Lou and I spent every Saturday morning at the club on the spinning bikes. I then usually did 30 mins on the bike trainer one night during the week. After a small freak out at the start of March, I even went out for a whopping 10 miler one Sunday. You would think I would have learnt this was insufficient training after 2012 and 2013 experiences. But no!
We assumed it would be relatively flat, given the location. We were quite wrong about that. The wind was also awful – about 16mph+ according to the weather forecasts. We had barely left Newmarket racecourse before we got hit by a wall of wind. There were also quite a lot of gradual hills which slowly killed my legs. I got separated from Lou just over halfway through and due to a fault with my bike computer earlier, I had no idea how far there was left. At what I think was about 10 miles to the finish, I also had to stop half-way up a hill with agonising cramp in my hamstring, although I managed to stop from getting much worse by stretching at the side of the road. Fortunately, after conquering a couple of rather tough hills in the last few miles, I made it to Newmarket race course. Subsequent analysis by Sam has show (see above) that the 38-miler was actually almost a 40-miler and the true profile was much hillier towards the finish than that advertised!!
So, I have my ‘medal’ and after a bath and a decent dinner, I am still shattered. I don’t intend to move from the sofa tonight!
(Sam did really well though and his moving time was fast enough to be in the silver medal category. Unfortunately he took a 5 min break at the rest stop so we think he’ll just miss out based on the times recorded by our chips. But at least we know he did it!)