Riding like a girl: The Fred and me

“What about the Fred Whitton?” Kate asked.  I’d been explaining my quest to find big hills to cycle up in preparation for the Alpe d’Huez long distance triathlon in August 2018.

“Fred who?” I replied.

As she told me about the UK’s toughest cycle event – 113 miles with 3900 m of ascent incorporating the steepest passes in the Lake District – my interest was piqued.  Yes, this was definitely what I needed.  I resolved to enter.  Nothing to do with the fact that the New Year’s bells were about to chime, or the effects of prosecco. Continue reading “Riding like a girl: The Fred and me”


Week Four: Allergic to training?

Returning to Edinburgh after the training weekend part of me was keen to keep up the good work.  But another part of me – my skin to be precise – was decidedly against the idea.  In the pool sessions over the weekend people had asked me whether I was having an allergic reaction to something, based on the red blotches all over my back. Continue reading “Week Four: Allergic to training?”

Week Three: Schiehallion


This week was a complete turnaround: I got through everything on the training plan (third time lucky, but hey), found a beautiful new bike (a Bianchi Impulso), managed to focus at work, and conquered Schiehallion: my cycling nemesis for this year.  All-in-all this was the week that I sorely needed, and it felt great to be getting back into the swing of things. Continue reading “Week Three: Schiehallion”

Week Two: Getting back on the horse

Week two didn’t live up to the high ideals of the training plan. I now realise this was inevitable, but it took me a while to get my head round that. And to go a bit easier on myself about the implications of the setback.

Physically I had a lot of bruising on my legs, and my shoulders and neck had a permanent stiffness that wouldn’t go away. But I felt surprisingly OK when running and swimming, so thought I could keep these up as planned even if I didn’t have a bike to train on. My ankles felt a little tender – they must’ve got a jolt when my bike shoes were ripped out of the pedals during the crash – but they soon got back into stride. Continue reading “Week Two: Getting back on the horse”

Week One

I’m writing this at the end of week two, and, for reasons that should become apparent, week one seems a long long time ago. I embarked upon my 19 week training plan with a slight sense of dread, and a real fear that I’d bitten off more than I could chew.  My usual week tends to involve a swim and a run or two, and maybe a cycle at the weekend if I can’t find anything better to do (which I usually can).  So how was I going to fit in three runs, three swims and three cycles? Continue reading “Week One”