The count down has started: six weeks to go

I can’t believe how fast this year is going. I wanted to get this blog up and running a long time ago, but it’s taking me ages despite my alleged skills with computers. I think it’s pretty much ready now, although you wouldn’t have thought so about an hour ago if you heard me shouting at my laptop!

Over the next few posts I’ll quickly give a month by month summary of what I should have already blogged about. But first of all, I’m going to start with this weekend as it was the first real test for my Ironman training: I took part in the Challenge Dauphine cyclo-sportif which is a cycling event which takes place each year in the Vercors mountains just outside of Grenoble. It’s a tough event – especially for gravity challenged riders like me – where competitors must ride 173km over countless cols totaling 3200m (about 10000ft)  of climbing. Ouchy ouch!

Alternative sports drink: Cotes du RhoneIt’s a great event and one I would recommend to anyone who is a keen cyclist. The race took me just over 6 hours in the end, and I hit the wall big time with 15-20km to go. When I crossed the line I was very wobbly and had to head straight into the food tent! I was not a pleasant sight, but the copious quantities of food and wine (Wine I hear you say? You have to love the French!) resuscitated me pretty quickly.

I was quite pleased with my performance: I’ll never be great at these events as I am simply not a good climber, but I did feel pretty strong and even managed to beat a few people up some hills. The only downside was my poor food judgment – I needed to take extra food to survive the final 20km. It’s absolutely critical that I get this right on race day, so this is a good warning for me to eat more during the event (note to self: one energy bar per hour is not enough).

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