Why is it harder on the way back?

I cycled to and from work on Wednesday, as planned. The morning ride went fine, even though I could feel my body still having issues with the training I did at the gym on Monday. My legs were a bit stiff and I had an overall feeling of tiredness.  Nevertheless, I did 25.21 km in 1:16:44 according to my Garmin, with an average 3:03/km. Not bad. Incredibly slow for the Tour de France, but decent speed for little me. (Note: the time given is the cycling time only. My Garmin stops whenever I stop for a break and resumes when I start moving again.)

The way back was even more painful: I was just. dead. tired. After just 5 km I was ready to call it quits and call my husband so he comes pick me up. But I convinced myself to just cycle to that bridge 3 km further, take a break there and then decide if I should call the hubby. I made it to the bridge, drank some water, stretched my back a bit and just carried on cycling. I then challenged myself to make it to the next bridge, about 5 km further, take a break, and then see what I wanted to do.  I made it to the bridge and was forced to take a longer break than planned because the bridge went up to let a couple of tall boats pass. This longer break helped me recover better and seeing that I was about half-way, I just kept on cycling and challenged myself to reach one landmark after the other (‘just reach the village’, ‘make it to the end of this stretch’, etc.)… and I made it home eventually. It’s no surprise that I was a little slower on the way back, with 25.2 km in 1:21:29, with an average of 3:14/km. Still, I actually expected my time to be much slower than that!

All in all, I was glad I made it home and proud of myself for not giving up.

The only thing I gave up was going to the gym afterwards. Sorry coach, but there was just NO WAY I could lift even my little finger on Wednesday evening. I’m going Saturday morning instead. They have a spinning lesson around 10:15, which is perfect.

The weather next week seems to be warm, sunny and with not too much wind, so I’ll give cycling to work a try once or twice. I need to get it shape…

Yes, I’m back!

Oh my, oh my, oh my. It’s been soooooooooo long since my last post, which makes me realise how long it was since the last time I did any sport-related activities.

But I am back. With new motivation and a new plan.

I know I’m incredibly late with this but THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH to all of you who voted for me last winter. I’m glad I could share this tale of a virgin athlete with you and that you found it interesting/inspirational/good enough to vote for me. So THANK YOU again!!

As I said, I’m back. Because I need to shed some pounds and because I don’t like the lumpy, lazy person I’ve become (again) over the past year. My fault, I’m the only one to blame. Yes, I was supposed to do all these races and even my first triathlon in July. But that didn’t happen. Lumpy lazy me decided not to go because lumpy lazy me didn’t train whatsoever since the middle of the winter.

To help with my fresh start, I signed up with a new gym. It’s actually brand new and it fits my needs much better than the old one in so many ways: more machines (no more waiting), more spinning classes (at times when I can actually go, too!), closer to my house (no more excuse that it’s far from home), much cheaper (€15 euros per month in my pockets) and the people working there are great. I don’t feel like a number when I go there, I actually feel like I’m part of a big family. I’ve opted for the extra coaching service and so far I’m not regretting it.

I told my coach that I want to do a sprint triathlon next summer. He didn’t laugh at me, to the contrary. I think he enjoyed the fact that I had a specific goal in mind, other than classics like ‘getting back in shape and lose some weight’ like everybody else. His eyes really lit up when I mentioned what I wanted to achieve! Finally, he could have some fun and create a real custom program! 😉 Of course I want to get back in shape and lose some weight. But my goal, what I want to train for the coming months, is to do a triathlon. My training program is specifically aimed at this. It’s my responsibility to make sure I get back to running,  start swimming (I’m thinking of taking a few lessons this fall/winter, just to get proper technique) and keep on cycling/spinning, but at least now I have some help from a cool guy who wants me to succeed. Yes, he’s being paid to encourage me. But there’s nothing like a ‘Good work today, MC!’ at the end of a training to keep you going…

And I’ve started a new diet, too. I love Wei.ght Watch.ers and it has always worked great for me, but I needed something new. I realised along the way that I need more guidance. I’ve found a great book/method and I’ve lost close to 4 kg in just 3 weeks by following their planned menus. More on this new diet here: http://sveltissime.blogspot.com/ (Yes, it’s in French. Sorry.)

Weather permitting, I will hop on my bike and cycle to work tomorrow. I’m not getting back to running just yet, I need to lose some weight first. But if things go the way they’ve been going the last weeks, I should be able to start running in October. Can’t wait! I promised a friend (you know who you are!) to run the 20 km of Brussels in 2010. There’s probably going to be a lot of walking, but it’s a fun challenge to aim at.

To be continued…