Went out yesterday and did 28 miles. It's basically the reverse of the Warren Wood one:
Aberdeen, via Warren Wood, and Portlethen
It was tough. Certainly up to Warren Wood (where incidentally I had to get off and walk for 20 yards up that bloody hill) I constantly thought about turning around and going home. I came along the Deeside railway line (where incidentally there seemed to be a better quality of people - one couple whom I was passing stood either side of the line and shouted 'Go!' as if to start my race for me, as I went past!) which had turned into some evil wind tunnel. Just checking the previous days forecasts it was pretty windy. Checking on the graphs - the time I was out it was about 35mph! I was seriously struggling. I can't decide if it's because I didn't have enough to eat (4 biscuits and a medium banana), or if I didn't have the legs, or the wind was really that bad on the railway line. I've been quite lazy this week and only had two gym sessions, but really didn't think there was that much of a change. I managed to propel myself forward enough to get to Lairhillock Inn. The head waiter (I assume he was the head waiter, he poured cola with panache) invited me to sit in the restaurant in front of the fire, I was initially going to go in just for a wee and a cola but they had some soup on. Cullen Skink is truly the food of champions, because after a bowl of that I felt far more restored.
Heading back out the last half was much easier. I think because I now had the wind slightly to my back, though there were a few times when it came hitting across me and nearly knocked me off the bike. I took a slightly longer route back - though it seems like it wasn't that much longer, perhaps adding another 3 miles or so.
Things I think I need to do:
I really need to get this eating thing down. I'm struggling to eat something decent before I go out. I'm not really a breakfast person, but I think one of the protein milkshakes might help, at least enough to give me something to work off. And perhaps if I'm going further than 20 miles some extra carbohydrate powder in my camel pack. Just to keep me topped up.
Start hill training. It's getting lighter in the evening so I should begin to head out one evening a week, or even early on a Saturday for an hour or so.
Heart rate watch. Am I actually working out properly on the road? Am I pushing myself on the road? I'm not comfortable pushing myself as much as I should on the road as I always think other factors are more important (for example yesterday I didn't hear a car coming up behind me- due to the sound of the wind - on one of the narrow country roads, the guy had to toot so I could take to the edge in order that he be able to drive past), and I don't like distracting myself, what happens if a car doesn't see me, I don't see a ditch, I have misjudged the corner, and my reaction times are slow? But could I push myself further than I do? Am I playing it a bit too safe?
The first half I second guessed myself on my decision to go out, especially up to the first 10, so I am glad I did go out, did that wee bit extra and finished. It was a beautiful day yesterday. The country side was bright with sunshine and the sky so blue you saw it reflected in crows wings. I saw a group of ponies snoozing in the sunshine, three standing with their bums towards the sun. I almost joined them.