London to Brighton achieved in reasonable time (cutting out pit stops and luncheon that is...)- it was a glorious day, clear, bright and although the temperature plummeted as the sun set, quite mild.
Had a great time with James who I've known for a while but never ridden with-steely pins that man-who demolished hills that I wheezed up and was good company whilst setting a high tempo that forced me to up my game in order to keep his wheel more often than I'd care to admit.
Other than a dodgy pub lunch which left me unsure whether my stomach was about to implode or explode, my legs felt good after the ride, so even if the very small hills ripped me to shreds so it was a pity to have the ride spoilt by the poor hygiene of some lazy chef. Still, felt good to finally get out there and put a dent in the miles.
I've been so busy getting established down here in London I've not really had a chance to train much-during the week I've been doing small doses of strength and stretches-but other than that it's too frantic with finding work and a flat to be able to. Now I've been offered a 3 month intern in Ales, in the Gard region of France from March-June. Hmmm. Cat amongst pigeons? A little. It would be nice in the sense that going and living in France would be nice, but it would also be financially very difficult and mean passing up better paid work here, whilst leaving my girlfriend in our new apartment. I've been moving about so much over the last few years that I'm a bit lacklustre about the prospect of doing it again too... But that said it would be fantastic for my Etape training even if it shits up every other aspect of my life ;)
Still... need to take a step back from all that real-life stuff to evaluate whats going on with my training anyway. I've been quietly stressing about doing nothing and on Sunday could feel all the heartrate and cadence training done on the turbo was out the window as I tried to pace James, my computer told me my max heartrate on one climb was 199bpm-the highest I've ever seen it!
Getting freaked out and wildly flailing on rides isn't going to get me into the shape I need to be in, but with limited time I'm really going to have to flog myself on really tough interval training at least 3 times a week, with a long ride on the weekend to build up the miles. I figure if I can ride 60 miles just now with ok legs the endurance aspect is most important for climbing-which means losing weight and really being clever about the routines I'm doing as well as allowing adequate recovery time and going at my own pace if I'm riding with other folk.