Tuesday, 2 January 2007

It's only a hill

To start the new year off on the right foot and I decide to take my bike out for a quick spin on New Years Day. Next January 1st I will hopefully be far more organised.

I have a basic understanding of human physiology, how the body reacts to training, and how to prepare for peak performance. Unfortunately this was New Years Day. In the morning. Obviously I was dehydrated (how can drinking make you dehydrated?) and suffering badly from a lack of sleep. All the indicators were bad for training that day, but it was New Years day, the first day of the new fitter, healthier, faster, leaner me. So of course I had to go out on my bike and set myself an example for the rest of the year.

Just a gentle ride out I thought, just for an hour, 30 minutes out then turn round and come back. Easy.

I did all my preparations, filled my water bottle, and off I went. Ten minutes down the road, my mouth starts to feel dry so I reach for my drink. Problem is, I can't reach all the way back to the kitchen where I left my bottle and it's contents sitting by the sink. Do I turn around and go back to get it? No of course not, it's my first session of a brand new year, I can't possibly show any weakness. I fight these thoughts of turning back and carry on.

It was actually a very nice ride through the country-side until at 29 minutes and 30 seconds I reach the bottom of The Hill. At first I didn't realise it was The Hill I just thought it was a hill, quite steep, but just a hill. But there was no way I could turn around at the bottom of a hill and head for home. That would be seen as giving in and could end up setting dangerous precedents for the year. So I jumped up out of the saddle and started to wizz up the hill. Then I turned the first corner on the hill and realised it kept going and got steeper. Oh dear. Just keep going to the next corner. Oh no, there is more and it's getting steeper again.

This is a hill that I am sure many of you would laugh at, it certainly wouldn't qualify as a mountain stage anywhere, but in my dehydrated, unfit state it was agony. I sat down, dropped into my lowest gear and just kept pedalling. My legs were fine, my lungs were not. The road twisted and turned up the hill, never showing me the top or letting me see how far I had to go. Just keep going I thought, I can't possibly let my first training session of the year end with me having to get off and push or even worse turn around halfway up a hill. So I kept going, so much for my nice little potter about. I am sure my breathing could be heard a miles away and was probably frightening the wildlife for miles around. But I had to keep going.

I am glad to say I did make it to the top and I managed to make it home afterwards. But I am suffering for it today. I'm also looking forward to going back there next weekend.

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