No Rest for the Wicked

It seemed like SUCH a good idea at the time…. Entering Etape Caledonia and then getting a place in VLM. What’s 81 miles in highland Perthshire, 14 days after a marathon?!

C’est ne pas un problem! (If one has trained adequately) Because the cycling should provide excellent cross training for the running. Provided I can do either at the same time or really at any point in the run up to either of these events.


Somewhat miraculously and despite injury woes and life-induced stress, I surprised myself at London with a 5:20 finish. At least I have endurance in my legs. And a little left in my mind…

My worry is my arse. My poor under-trained arse.

It’s covered a measly 407km in the saddle since January. I’m not going to sit here (comfortably in my chair) and wish I’d been less injured and sick (I wish I’d been less injured and sick). Instead I should focus on the fact that I know at least 50 miles of the 81 I’ll be covering. The loop round Loch Rannoch and the subsequent climb up Schiehallion were part of the Aberfeldy Middle Distance Triathlon route in August. (Remember my epic race pic? Well it’s being used to advertise the 2016 event!)

So it’s not the route that’s freaking me out. Nor is it nutrition. My wicker basket* will be proudly attached to my bars beside my garmin and fully stocked with pastries** and sandwiches***.

* Bento box



The fear of arse ache is real. Also there is the small issue that comes with enjoying being a solo bikist. Riding en masse terrifies me. Though not as majestic or hairy, I’m very much like a nervous horse while wobbling along on my Stella. I scare easily and will need to be VERY careful not to be too twitchy when surrounded by other cyclists. If I fuck up my own day, I can live with that. I couldn’t live with fucking up someone else’s race!

Descents are not my fave. Climbs are fine. I enjoy them, in fact. But descents, which usually follow a climb in Scotland, are not so enjoyable. Despite what my self-conscious lady brain would lead me to believe, I do not have gravity on my side, and I’ve yet to master braking hard without flying arse over tit into my wicker basket of pastry heaven. Actually that doesn’t sound too terrible…

81 miles is fine. It’s not scary. Coming last isn’t even scary anymore. Just like Ross from Friends, I am fine….. FINE.


I’m hoping that by Sunday afternoon next week, my endurance adventure for 2016 will be done. I’ll be able to relax and get back into the sports I love so much at a pace that suits me. That, or find a sofa and NEVER LEAVE IT AGAIN FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

Not one to not have a plan, and still with an unshake-able love of cake that requires regular calorie-burning to accomodate (I really truly love cake),  I hope to build on confidence in corners and downhill through mountain biking (srsly). I’m looking forward to getting my running back on course and getting my CSS back from 1:55 to 1:45/100m in the pool in time for the Great Scottish Swim later in the year. And I’ll continue to build on my excellent strength improvements with coach.

I am keeping EVERYTHING crossed that the weather for this years Etape Caldedonia is better than it was last year. Scottish isn’t even enough of a description. Biblical would be better. Even if it just rains instead of being wet AND windy, then I’m fine with that. But PLEASE NOT BOTH.

On a positive note, I have been very pleasantly surprised at my recovery post marathon. If I remember Edinburgh’s aftermath, I was unable to bend my legs for several days. And stairs were out of the question for well over a week.

Somehow, I got on my bike on Tuesday. I “nipped” up some stairs quickly on Wednesday. I’ve been so OK that I keep expecting to wake up one day and not be able to move…. It’s almost like my body has FORGIVEN me. In record time. If it wasn’t for this bizarre sore throat and uber-tiredness I’d be off for a run today!

It’s this remarkable recovery that’s slightly unsettling. I think I’ll be spending this week not telling my arse what is about to happen to it.


2 thoughts on “No Rest for the Wicked

  1. My biggest fear ahead of the Etape Caledonia wasn’t the distance, but the sweep bus. I reckoned I would be pretty slow and was terrified of slogging it out for ages, just to be told I had to stop. Thankfully, I made it to the end, but there was a moment on Schiehallion in THAT weather when I would have been delighted to see the sweep bus and would have gladly got on it!

    Good luck for next week. Fingers crossed for decent weather.

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