CycloFran

cycling adventures and beyond

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Whoa, ho, hey!

Yesterday, a story broke on Facebook: Lee Fancourt, the arguably best contender to win this year’s World Cycle Race, was disqualified.
A reminder: the World Cycle Race serves both as a framework for people wanting to go for a Guinness World Record and as an independent race. This is important. You need to apply directly to GWR in order to have a record ratified. They will ask you for details of your route and provide you with a list of the things you need to do to verify your record. These are, for example, keeping a detailed log book, collecting photo evidence and collecting signatures of people along the way.
They also provide you with a list of the rules.
This means that whatever happens in the World Cycle Race, what really matters in terms of record breaking is GWR and their rules.

Lee wasn’t robbed of the World Record. He is still free to apply to Guinness World Records with all his evidence after he completes the circumnavigation. The disqualification from the World Cycle Race does not impact that. It just means he isn’t going to place in the World Cycle Race, which he originally didn’t even have on his radar anyway.

Now, the people at Guinness are fairly strict. Other people have applied for circumnavigation records before and were shot down. Thomas Grosserichter, who did it in 105 days including all transfers in 2012, was denied the record, otherwise he’d be the one to beat right now. This was because of three things. First, he drafted behind his support vehicle. I do think that is unfair and in the set of rules I received, it is specified that drafting is strictly forbidden. But apparently this wasn’t in the rules he got (see, they do evolve). Second, he had trouble verifying his mileage. It came down to 120km (!) which weren’t recorded by his GPS. This goes to show just how important it is to use multiple methods of recording distance.

Finally, and this is the most important in this discussion, he took one overland flight and three overland buses (in California and Mexico respectively).
This was seen as a breach of the “unbroken line” rule. Simply put, you’re not allowed to skip any overland portion unless you have to. Lee was disqualified mainly because of this rule.

But when do you “have to”? Clearly, when there is an ocean in the way, or a country you’re not allowed or able to enter because it is a war zone. Rivers, too, when there isn’t a bridge. If you have an accident or are in need for repairs, you may of course go off the route. But then you always have to return to the place you last stopped, however hard that is. But what about abominable road conditions, issues with finding food and water, serious accidents, and anything else you could think of?

It becomes messy at this point. Messy and emotional.
I expected there to be some turmoil on Facebook even when I first read Lee’s own posts on Facebook on how he had taken a taxi to Kolkata and how he was in a hotel currently and was being picked up by an airport taxi later on. Side note: the latter would have sufficed to disqualify him in the eyes of Guinness. 
But I was a little disappointed to see just how fervent the responses were. A lot of “Fuck them”s. A lot of vitriol. Against the people who decided he had broken the rules. I find that incredibly unfortunate and unfair. If people are unhappy with the rules, they should lobby Guinness World Records directly – after Lee has submitted his evidence.

I would like to appeal to everyone who is upset to reconsider their aggression. Turn it into something positive instead. Make it a point to donate for Lee’s charities. Accept the unfortunate fact that Lee has broken the rules and that he was given the choice of going back to where he stopped cycling, but didn’t. It doesn’t make him any less of a great cyclist, but he needs to reconsider choices like that when he goes for the record next year as he’s already posted on his page.
Because I’m with Mike Hall on this one: other riders have faced very serious issues before. Sean Conway was hit by a truck and broke his back. He managed to get back on his feet and continue his journey after a few weeks, and he started it by going back to where he had he accident. Mark Beaumont, who rode through Pakistan and Iran and should get bonus kudos for that was forced to get into his levy’s truck more than once but always made them go back to where he last stopped cycling. I imagine that’s a tough task, practically and psychologically.
So the upholding of this rule should also be done out of respect for all the other who’ve previously done the circumnavigation. They, too, faced difficulties, and they, too, were ‘disqualified’ when they didn’t follow the rules. You can’t overlook a rule for an individual. It wouldn’t be fair.

 

 

An analysis of failure

When we fail, it isn’t always possible to pinpoint the exact thing that went wrong. However, we can look at everything that happened and use it as a lesson to improve.

As you all know, I barely stayed in the World Cycle Race for one week. After six months of planning, training, raising funds and getting excited about seeing the world again, my journey stopped abruptly and I wasn’t able to get back on the road. I had acute tendonitis on both achilles tendons, but more than that, my ankles had swollen to twice their size. I couldn’t pedal without excruciating pain, clicking out of the pedals was almost the worst part, only surpassed by going up hills. Unfortunately, none of this can be avoided when cycling. Furthermore, I didn’t have the means or possibility to get ice and decent rest every day, I had barely been making it to bed before 11pm every day, mostly I didn’t reach my accommodation until the late evening. I’m sure other people, other cyclists, aren’t fazed by tendonitis, but I simply couldn’t take the pain anymore – and I was worried about permanent damage.

I’ve had problems with the right ankle, which was and is worse, before. In 2012, I traveled around the world. As part of that six month long trip I did a lot of hiking. I hadn’t had problems until hiking for four days through the Grand Canyon, where on day three my right ankle started to hurt quite a lot and turned blue on the inside. It was rapidly swelling up and I was slowing our group of four down. Luckily one of them stayed behind me the whole time, keeping me company, but it still wasn’t much fun. I switched from my hiking boots to Five Fingers which made it better for a while (and yes, my hiking boots were well worn-in, tried and tested over many other hiking trails) but I was extremely relieved when I made it out of the Canyon the next day (and promptly burst into tears). Upon arrival a friend got me a cold Coke and I hobbled into the car.

See, that’s the thing. I got into the car. I was able to rest up a bit after this. We went on to Zion Canyon and I took it easier for a few days, doing fairly light hiking and icing my ankle frequently. We did two hikes in rivers (The Subway and The Narrows) which helped a lot.
But I was always able to stop and rest for the rest of the day. I didn’t have this possibility on this trip.

I never got that ankle checked out because I didn’t think anything of it. The problem never really returned. I switched to lightweight hiking shoes for the remainder of the trip and never had problems again, not while hiking up Cotopaxi and not while doing the Abel Tasman Coast Track entirely in Five Fingers with a 15kg backpack.
So I didn’t figure it would be a weak point for cycling.

I had only started cycling in August of last year. At first, I rode a horribly outdated (but beautiful) steel bike that belongs to my Dad and which made my fingers go numb but got me into cycling. When I bought my current road bike I had a fitting in a shop. I thought that’s good enough. That, combined with just testing and trying, sufficed to find a very comfortable position. I never had problems with my feet while training. Not over short and punchy distances, not over long distances, and not on crazy hill repeats with Juliana in Naples. On the contrary, my body had started to adapt.

On top of the cycling I trained with a brilliant personal trainer and my muscles were (and are) actually quite strong, especially the posterior chain. Right to the end I improved my performances on the Deadlift, Squat and Bench press (okay, no legs involved there) and scored high on the Functional Movement Screen.

So what did it? Why did I have to stop?

A few things came together. First, an apparently dodgy ankle. I’m working on finding out exactly what’s wrong with it. Second, I didn’t cycle enough in the weeks leading up to the race. It was cold, I was too focused on sorting out everything else (immunizations, funding, logistics, arrangements for our apartment while I’m gone,…) and doing all kinds of things.
Third, the first days in the race didn’t actually go very much to plan.

On my second day, everything that could go wrong eventually did.
I got up and there was no one at the hotel, thus no breakfast. I grabbed two croissants from a bakery but couldn’t find any coffee. I eventually saw a McDonald’s upon leaving Calais but I didn’t want to stop again after just starting out. I completely forgot that it was Sunday and I was in France. This was my first big mistake. I didn’t carry any food, wanting to just rely on roadside stops. Generally, this actually works perfectly fine in Europe. But not on a Sunday in France. My Garmin sent me through beautiful small villages and there was nothing, nothing at all. I didn’t find food for almost six hours, burning almost 4000kcal in the meantime on top of my normal metabolic rate of about 1600kcal. So I had burned almost 6000kcal already and only eaten less than 1000kcal. Even with my fat reserves – even at less than 20% body fat I’m not exactly “thin” – this doesn’t work. By the time I found food I basically stumbled around. I could no longer put in any effort on the bike.

In the meantime, I had also had mechanical problems. I was trying to adjust my seat position a TINY bit and the screw broke. After much consideration (losing about an hour) I did manage to fix it with part of a latex glove and some zip ties, but I wasn’t able to fix the seatpost in my usual position, it was slightly higher. I rode in this higher position for about 200km more.

Around 7pm I finally found real, hot food and was barely able to eat it. I was shivering and it was dark. The town I was in was still about 45km from where I had booked a hotel, but there was no way I would make it. I had been struggling against a head wind all day, rode in a different position and was cold.
Unfortunately, the town didn’t have any hotels and the next town, 15km away which may have had a hotel was straight up a hill (I found out the next day that it would have been about 400 more meters of climbing). Luckily, I was carrying camping gear! I started in the direction of the town at first but had to call it quits on the climb. Defeated, I descended and found a campground that was technically closed. I set up camp behind some uninhabited mobile homes and went to sleep. It rained all night. Since I didn’t wake up from it I couldn’t re-tighten the guy lines and woke up with the wet inner tent hanging into my face. Lovely.

Of course this meant my down sleeping bag was also wet. I packed up, found the campground owner and paid for my night there. Then I fought my way to the next town, stumbled into a McDonald’s and had coffee and breakfast. In the meantime my boyfriend had found a bike shop in Amiens (another 30km) and considering that I had wet camping gear and the weather forecast had more strong headwinds in store I decided to call it a day in Amiens and redo my route there.

The local bike shop fixed my bike – I now have a bomb-proof seatpost clamp on there, it may not be pretty, but it’ll take the strain – while I had coffee and booked a hotel. I checked in, unpacked everything, had a much needed shower and ate A LOT of food. My spirits were quite high.

The next day I did 205km from Amiens to Reims.

It was too much. I was very sore by the end of the day and couldn’t walk down stairs anymore. This should have been a warning sign. It was a great day though and I don’t really regret it.
Over the next days, the climbing never let up and I never once had a tailwind, only headwinds, all the freakin’ time.

So let’s recap. I’m relatively new to cycling. I didn’t cycle enough in the weeks before the race. It was quite cold (around 0 to 5 degrees in the mornings, going up to about 11 to 14 during the day eventually, but with strong winds), there was a strong headwind. My seat position was messed up because of a mechanical problem. I didn’t get enough rest or food and I pushed too hard in the first days. All of this together eventually led to the catastrophe.

Am I disappointed, angry, sad? Yes. Also embarrassed and frustrated.
But above all, I don’t regret a single turn of the pedals. I said before the race that if I broke my leg within the first week, it would still have been worth it.

And I stand by that. It was worth it. From the moment of deciding to do it to the moment of deciding to scratch, it was worth it. I have met so many great people, I have never been fitter and more athletic in my life and I’ve finally found a sport that I truly love. Cycling has made me a happier person, and all this in only half a year!
The whole experience also made me realize what a great life I have. I’ve been battling with finding my passion, finding a job, finding something that makes me feel worthy. I thought everyone else had it all just because they have a job. The grass is always greener on the other side, and having failed to complete my Master’s degree (by my own volition though) I thought that this would be the ultimate end. I failed again. I can’t get anything right, eh?

But it isn’t so. I keep trying. I keep getting back up from disaster and I haven’t given up.
While I may not have found a cool job, I have everything else. A beautiful home. Family and friends who love me. A healthy relationship in which we’ve now lived together for almost four years. A ton of experience abroad, friends all over the world. An awesome “timeshare horse” with a great community. And I live in a great city, too!
Basically, that is more than most people have. I should feel fortunate and I do. This did play a role in stopping I admit. I had a life to return to. A place to call home. I didn’t have unlimited time for this race – not because I had restraints from an employer or such, but because it isn’t a life I actually WANT to be away from for more than I need to.

So in the end, everything will have happened for a reason. I still love cycling and I think there are great races in my future. I decided to still do a long-distance race this year, the Trans Am in June. This means I’ll have done at least one leg of the World Cycle Race. I am also aiming to cycle 20.000km this year. It may be a lot less than what I would’ve done, but it is still a lot of cycling in a year! Maybe I’ll do even more, who knows.

To all my sponsors big and small I would like to say Thank You. Your money wasn’t wasted. It enabled me to go as far as I did. Buying kit and covering cost for visa fees and logistics swallowed up a lot of the funds and in the end, I actually had to start using my own savings before the end of the first week, so you can rest assured I’m not going around spending your money on something else now.
Without your help, I’d have never made it to the starting line.

I would also like to thank everyone who encouraged me to do it, everyone who posted on my page and told me to go on, everyone who simply clicked “Like” and showed me that people care. You were a huge boost to my morale.

A special thanks goes to Juliana Buhring. I would have never signed up for the race if she hadn’t encouraged me to. Her guidance and help was most relevant and imported. I hate to think that I’ve disappointed her, but I know she understands. I look forward to racing with her soon and I’m just happy to have gained a new friend.

A well rounded athlete

There is no use in training muscles to perform singular motions since it doesn’t teach them to coordinate properly. Well coordinated muscles lead to better stability and reaction, minimizing injury. Thus, even when you’re training for a big race such as the World Cycle Race, there is no use in ONLY cycling.

As you know I’ve been working out twice a week, courtesy of my trainer Florian, who has been whipping me into shape quite successfully. Today I got the chance to try out how functional the training is.. turns out, very!
We participated in a Biathlon workshop in Ruhpolding. Of course I was put into the beginner’s group (good choice, actually) since I hadn’t been on cross-country skis since about age 10 or so. I’ve never been a naturally gifted skier but I’m also not a total klutz. We learned how to maintain our balance on one ski (whilst moving, imagine that), push off, break,… all very nice in theory, all very difficult in practice.
In the end I did manage to skate for a while and even get some decent form for a couple of paces, but it never lasted very long. The classic technique is too ingrained into my skiing brain. The shooting part was actually kind of fun, though I did have to do a lot of penalty loops… 😉

I keep on waiting for my muscles to be tired but the truth is, though it was exhausting, my muscles aren’t really exhausted. It was amazing to feel how much stability I now have in my core. I’ve never felt this strong in my life. Let’s hope it can translate to all the strength I need on the bike! Today in three weeks, I’ll already be on my second day in France…

…and the countdown begins

22 days. Let me repeat that: 22 days. Until I set off from London. 
This seems unrealistic (that’s what I always say to my personal trainer when he shows me some new exercise). 

I stopped blogging when I took the news over to my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/willcycleforfood … I felt that more people were interested in short news clips than in my ramblings. Nevertheless, some people asked why there aren’t any new blog posts, so here you are, folks. 

Since September, when I decided to enter in the World Cycle Race, a lot of things have changed. I bought a ton of stuff, the apartment has turned into a bike storing facility, or at least it feels like it. My bike lives in the living room. I constantly stare at it, trying to imagine spending 5 months on it. I wiggle parts around, practice changing tires and tubes – I hardly get any punctures, so I don’t have a lot of routine – or just think about what I could optimize about the bags and stuff. 
I work out twice a weak usually, gaining strength, building up muscle mass. By now I actually have a pretty strong core and am starting to complain when I don’t work out. Abs exercises have started being fun. Fun, I say! 
When it comes to nutrition, I have adopted the system of “eat more”. I’ve lost barely any weight (6kgs since August) but probably a bit of body fat since my measurements have gone down. During the past months I picked up eating meat again (I barely ate any meat for many months), but noticed that my joints really don’t like it, so it is back to tons of veggies and beans. 
On top of all the normal food, I also forced myself to learn how to like sugar. I don’t usually eat sugar, I find most sweets quite disgusting. When I was training with Juliana she basically forced Torrone down my throat after training and it really does make a difference to have some quick carbs for recovery. A hit of sugar, combined with something more long-lasting (like protein, hence chocolate milk for a recovery drink) makes the phase right after exertion a lot more enjoyable and eliminates the after-workout bonk that I used to get quite often – when you hang over the sink shoveling orange slices into your mouth, it is a sign of not having eaten enough. 
With the help of an excellent doctor, I’m now almost through all of my immunizations and have a great set of medication for the road. One more shot to go and then I can barely fall victim to fatal diseases. Rabies was the most important one, Cholera (which, as some studies suggest, also prevents a large portion of travel-related diarrhea) and Influenza are also quite valuable additions. 

But it is the planning that is really starting to get to me. I am an excellent planner, in fact, my friends and family know me as the organizational nazi (they don’t always mean that in a nice way – I tend to get really upset when things don’t work out as I planned them). But the logistics involved in this race are huge. Have you ever tried doing day-to-day planning for a 29.000km trip including finding out about accommodation, road quality, weather and wind patterns and costs? It is tough, even with the vast world of the Internet at your fingertips and the aid of guidebooks and, finally, people who’ve been there and done it. 

However, all of the planning will mostly accomplish one thing: I feel like I’m prepared and not completely jumping into the unknown. I’m sure lots of my day-to-day plans won’t work out the way I planned them. That doesn’t matter, I’ve grown more tolerant and flexible (yes, really!). 

One of my biggest concerns has been what to bring. After all, it isn’t very nice to realize on the road that you’re missing some important pieces. In my opinion, a race is not a place to try out something completely new, I wanted to be able to test everything beforehand. 
To that end, I’ve been very happy so far with my Revelate Designs bags. I train with the bags on to get used to the handling and dynamics (and the added weight). Small things like repair equipment I’ve been using for a few months now and am familiar with it. I have figured out most of the common ailments my bike may have and am able to fix most of them. I just got new shoes so I have to wear these in over the next weeks, but my butt has conformed to the bibtights I got and my saddle is well worn-in, too. 

More tomorrow! 

 

Winter is tough

After the short respite from winter in Napoli, I returned to Germany with high spirits. The weather was said to be great for cycling, cold but not quite freezing and sunny during the day, yet I found no time to make use of it, unfortunately.

Right after returning, I focused on being pretty for the company Christmas party, then I did a training session in the Gym, horseback riding, and three days after Italy, went to visit my brother and his family in Hamburg. There, I picked up a nice head cold which basically sidelined me right until Christmas. Fun! 🙁

But of course one needs to get back to business after the holidays. Though I managed only two hours outside today, my toes were freezing, my nose running and my skin red and dry. This will be tough training over the last two months until I set off to cycle around the world (finally).

What goes down must come up

Yesterday, I felt quite smug about our 150km-day (I still do), done in 5:50 hours and with a more than decent average speed for a long time. Here is one lesson I have learnt since the start of training in September: build your strength up and speed will follow automatically. The stronger you are, the faster you will go with the same effort. Speedwork is just that – going faster without actually using more energy. There are two ways to do speedwork outside of the gym: intervals and hills. Hills are like killer intervals, and today we did a serious hill repetition workout.

It only lasted 2:30 hours (for me), but now my thighs are toast, I’m tired, and craving dinner already. Remember that last hill I told you about, the 13 Tiers of Pain? Today, I did it 6 times. This is equal to about 18km of pure climbing and an elevation change of just about the Stelvio Pass. I’m ready to climb the Alps (with a couple of stops to stretch).

The feeling I got from finishing these six goes was incredible. No one has ever said that I am determined because I tend to be more of a quitter. But I did not quit and I did more than I thought I could. When Juliana is happy with my performance, I know I am on the right track. It gave my ego a long needed cuddling.

In fact, the whole Boot Camp Napoli did. From learning how to not get killed by Neapolitan drivers to learning to fold a pizza correctly, it has been a great time. Juliana pushed me far beyond what I thought I was currently capable of. It felt good to be praised, and nothing is more fun than training together when you don’t have training partners at home.

Tomorrow, I must leave this beautiful place and its warm sun, but not before one last Italian dinner. I am already thinking about what to take home with me (Provola!) to recreate some of the after-ride goodness. On Friday, I will throw my now slimmer body into a pretty dress and attend a company Christmas party, and then work out on the weekend. It seems that cycling conditions are actually perfect in Munich right now and I am determined to make use of it. Now that 80km feels like a slow day, I really have to find some new routes though…

This was on our first day training, my very first encounter with this hill – I remember how hard it was last week and how much easier it felt today (for the first 5 times, mind you).

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Will cycle for food

Oh, how I love the fact that when you have cycled for a few hours, you can basically eat whatever you want and not gain a gram of weight. My thighs are slowly solidifying – makes me sounds like a stick of butter, but it is true – and all the food I keep on stuffing into me goes to building muscle. So far, Boot Camp Napoli has made me lose weight, which is amazing considering the amounts of food I eat.

Perfect. So, what did we do the last few days? After doing hills for four hours, there was a break day, which was much appreciated. We did girl stuff (shopping, mostly) and ate our own body weight. On Friday, we did a long day – 135km and quite a few hills, too. It was an amazing cycle, a little outside of Napoli where the roads were luxuriously smooth and the air not as stifling.

Saturday we spent kayaking on the Mediterranean, a great upper body workout, and relaxing in natural Hot Springs afterwards. No cycling on Sunday either which was a proper rest day, meaning we sat at the beach, had a few beers and read a book. Everyone needs days like that.

Today, it was back to the bike. Somehow, we really felt that it was Monday. First Juliana got a puncture (bless my thick 28mm tires, they have so far taken the beating without a hitch), the drivers were exceptionally awful, we cycled into the wrong direction to Decathlon, then Decathlon didn’t have what I wanted which was new gloves since mine are falling apart,… Luckily, the rest of the ride went smoothly after an exceptional Espresso. The steeper hills didn’t feel quite as bad as last time I did them, and if I pushed myself more, I managed to even go up a bit faster and not drop below that discouraging 10km/h line too many times. Good times, I am actually getting stronger!

Tomorrow will be a long day and apparently, Wednesday will serve to test my stamina when it comes to that bitch of a hill. We decided to call it The 13 Tiers. I would like to add ..of Pain. If I make it up 7 times, I am deemed a strong cyclist. Honestly, I am more worried about making it more than twice.

Thursday I fly back home to a flurry of Christmas parties, horseback riding, strength training and family visits. Once December is over, it will be time to focus completely on cycling, and if this means 8 hour sessions on the turbo, so be it.

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Jack and Jill went up the hill

Today, we did ‘hills’. This is code for arduous climbs over and over again. Basically, we descended to sea level (about 1000 meters of altitude if I am not mistaken) and then climbed and climbed and climbed. Every strenuous climb was followed by a sweeping descent, sometimes with amazing views of the coast, and there even was a sightseeing break to see some Roman ruins. Still, it took everything I had in me today.

Apparently, I have more strength in my legs than I dare believe. Otherwise I would not have made it up every single time, without getting off, even when it would have been faster to walk.

Yes, it was hard. Yes, sometimes my thighs were yelling at me to take up competitive video gaming or any other activity that doesn’t involve pushing yourself so hard all the time. However, the pushing is the fun part about hills. It hits the sweet spot, that area that is just beyond what you are able to do. Without the sweet spot, one does not become any better.

Juliana asked me, after a big lunch of a Mortadella, Antipasti and Mozzarella Sandwich, “More hills or straight home?”. Remember, home means climbing a bitch of a hill. She basically asked me whether I wanted to torture myself, or torture myself a little more.

I chose more hills. Why not test your limits once in a while? After four hours of climbing hills, I was done. A bit of Torrone, some magnesium, lots of water and a hot shower, that is all I had in me to do after that. Maybe I could have cycled on, but only on a straight road for sure.

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Cycling, Napoli style

Since winter has grasped Munich with its icy fingers already, confining me to cycling indoors which I hate, I flew south yesterday, following an invitation extended by Juliana Buhring. My bike survived the flight quite well even though I hadn’t put it in a box (thanks, Lufthansa!) and after a lovely evening with great food and wine we went for our first ride. 

Training here isn’t only about the weather, though I appreciate the sun and 15 degrees celsius quite a lot. It is just as much about learning to survive on the road. German roads have spoiled me, and while there are some fairly irresponsible drivers back home, nothing compares to Napoli. Traffic laws are more of a recommendation. Drivers will swerve in and out of lanes without so much as a glance. And the potholes are like deep sea trenches. 

But Juliana is the Queen of the Road. She waves and roundabouts come to a halt to let her pass. She yells and even the most annoying driver will stop. I’ve been told that it doesn’t always work, but generally, my best bet is to stay close to her and copy all of the waving and yelling like a crazy person. 

After cycling 75km, she announced that we’d return home via a 12km ascent, covering about 700m of altitude. Not exactly alpine conditions, but exhausting nonetheless. I’m proud to say that while she basically rode in circles around me, I did not have to stop and get off and it only took half of an energy shot to get me up there. The reward was, well, reaching the top of the hill, but also amazing ocean views, a hot shower and the couch. 

Check back tomorrow to find out what it means when Juliana says we will “do some hills”. 

Changing up my training

Exciting news! I am lucky to be sponsored by a personal trainer who just happens to work at my physiotherapy practice. It will be a huge advantage to work with a professional to increase my strength and flexibility, all the while looking out for my joints, ligaments etc. And it already starts this week!

This will probably mean changes in my training routine. I don’t mind, it is good to change things up. In the meantime, I’m going to split my training into morning and afternoon sessions. Today, this means a 1hr easy spin on the turbo (done), horseback riding and then a 1hr interval session on the turbo trainer again.

The first snow fell last night, so until I’ve got spike tires I am truly confined to the turbo (and Italy 😉 ). It doesn’t look like the weather is going to change for a few days. Cycling aside, I LOVE the snow. I’m already excited to go for a ride outside, bundled up in warm clothes, my horse’s nostrils letting out clouds of steam, the fresh snow in the forest…

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