On August 2nd it will have been a full year since I rediscovered cycling and in that year a lot has happened. Back then, my goal was to ride 25miles a week and more often than not, I would struggle to reach that in 4 rides. Now, it usually takes just two rides to achieve that mileage (and if I try, and really wanted to, I can do that in one).
So what else has changed in the last 12 months?
Obviously my fitness levels have changed dramatically. This time last year I was incredibly unfit which consequently affected my asthma. The slightest exertion would leave me breathless and wheezy. I would have to stop and catch my breath every mile or so. The slightest cold would rapidly turn into a raging chest infection as my lungs were to weak to fight it off. Things have changed considerably since then and I (stupidly) don’t even take my daily preventative inhaler anymore. (Yes, I know I should, as precaution is better than cure, but I honestly just forget, as I rarely *touchwood* have any symptoms.) Anyway, much to my delight I can now happily ride a fair few miles without the need for stopping to catch my breath.
Another major change is that of my body shape. My general tendency to be really lazy and my insatiable sweet tooth left me overweight, but since then, without changing my diet or giving up the sweet stuff, I have lost at least a stone and visibly shed a few inches of my thighs and tum. I'm looking forward to buying a pair of jeans the next size down - when I can be bothered as I hate clothes shopping.
So now I am a happy lassie indeed. Colleagues keep telling me that I must be really fit now, but I am the first to admit that No, I am just MUCH fitter and healthier than I was, as I was very unfit. There are still plenty of improvements to be made and I look forward to continuing to develop.
So whats next for my cycling rediscovery? My aim is to continue increasing my mileage with longer rides. Unfortunately, as we live in a very hilly part of the world, upping the ride length will inevitably increase the amount of hills in my ride. Currently I can do about 12 hilly miles comfortably.
Finally, as you all know, at the start of the year, I treated myself to a sparkly new bike after outgrowing my lovely hybrid and since Ted’s birth he has greatly improved my riding technique and I even made a smooth transition to clipless pedals. Trouble is, now I've seen the impact of having a lighter bike, I want to take things even further and get an even lighter and speedier road bike and watching the Tour de France just exasperated this desire. Anyone wanna buy me a nice new carbon road bike? Pretty please?