With age comes wisdom. 

I turned 30 on May 6th. Not old. Not even a scary age, but a landmark none the less. I looked back on my 20’s of which the first 50% was fuelled by terrible choices, terribler tequila and terriblerer dietary decisions. The last 50% was fuelled by free Haribo and new bikes! 

With plenty to look forward to, I was relieved to have a bit of time to relax after London. 

However…. Last weekend, my throat became ‘a bit sciency’ and I felt literally as though someone had found an off switch. Zero energy. Zero awake. Zero sparkle. 

I lamented on what I’d pulled my body and mind through over the last few months. Redundancy, uncertainty, the small matter of a marathon. All of these things (and more because #feelz) had clearly suddenly sunk in and my body gave up. 

But it’s ok because I was also about to get stuck in to the Etape on the 8th….

By Monday it was pretty apparent that I had quite a nasty bout of tonsillitis. Plagued in my formative years I knew the signs and tried to kill it with fire* but it had other ideas. 

(*vitamins and rest) 

The out of hours doctor (who used her Galaxy S5’s torch to check them…) decided that I should be put on 10 days of penicillin. “We always prescribe 10 days” 

I have never in my life been prescribed 10 days of Penicillin. But seeing as my medical degree is mostly 11 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, and googling any symptom I ever experience, I thanked her and started taking them. 

Clearly the infection had gotten it’s disgusting claws in deep. The Penicillin may as well have been Haribo. 

My GP rolled his eyes on Wednesday, gave me a decent dose of a different antibiotic (which will now be known as The One That Makes Me Want To Hide Inside Forever And Not Move) and it’s got rid of the majority of the Petrie dish that had appeared in my throat. 

This week of sofa-dwelling and insomnia left me with a decision. I hadn’t really told anyone but I was desperately dreading Etape. I’ve no doubt that my legs could go the distance. But my back still struggles after a break from the saddle and I didn’t want to start my new job (YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT I GOT A JOB) on Monday with a gait like An Old and still nursing tonsils like golf balls. 

I decided to withdraw and I am not gutted. And the fact that I felt like a weight had been lifted told me everything I needed to know about how right that decision was. 

The 3am start would have been atrocious. Much less the 81 miles on a carbon road bike with less than 6 hours in the saddle this year so far. 

It was the best choice. 

There’s always a certain amount of unease for me going into any event I don’t feel 100% ready for. But life is too short to do anything you (and your body) don’t want to do. It’s not a case of chickening out. Sometimes you have to look at what you’ve achieved, how you’re healing and think about the impact of endurance sport on the body. 

Happily, I was spoiled rotten on my 30th. My family have gifted me with so many thoughtful presents that it was quite overwhelming. 

I’d also like you to meet my new bike (she is as yet unnamed). 

Weighing decidedly less than my faithful Diamondback (which weighs almost the same as my Mini) and with suspension and the most amazing spec, I was straight out on her this morning. Nothing too energetic but I DID get a QOM!

So 30 is looking like it’ll be fun! Here’s to throwing myself (gently) down the side of hills! 


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