My first sportive and I struck gold. There were actually more open pubs than hills. Hooray !!! So whilst we had a lovely cycle around the Oxfordshire countryside on a sunny Sunday morning, nipping into pretty pubs for coffee and comfort, (and a reluctant confession from Matthew that he ate a bacon sandwich when I was in the loo) a great day was had by all. Matthew even decided to amble comfortably around the 30 miles with me rather than the 60 mile route that he'd planned and was heard to comment later that I clearly hadn't found it challenging as I talked for the entire 30 miles; politely suggesting I may not have 'pushed' myself as hard as I could have. I must admit that my aim is always to reserve as much energy as possible. Simon, my personal trainer despairs that I rarely sweat in our sessions and it's usually a noteworthy event associated with the ringing of the PB bell. After a 1500m swim this week I was chatting away to the local swim coach and asked him what I could do to swim a bit faster and he suggested that I actually just TRIED to swim a bit faster. So that's the agenda this week to actually try to get a bit puffed out and sweaty and see if I keel over or anything. Can I swim,bike or run faster? I really don't know as I inevitably always try to keep something back for later; just in case. I rarely, if ever, finish my exercise sessions exhausted, I could nearly always go again (although I never do). I think I'm scared of running out of beans before I've finished the distance so I only ever do 'just enough' to get through whatever I've planned with the least possible effort. I think I'll call it 'reserved' effort !
I'm actually flying to Greece at the moment for a few days break so I have the perfect opportunity to exercise everyday, eat and sleep well; so there is no reason not to test the theory. I've survived my first Sportive and have got my swimming back to a respectable distance. But I know that I need to go much, much faster to make the cut offs in Zell am See, particularly on the new bike course. So I've got to get used to feeling a bit puffed after training and getting used to a bit more speed. I'm not really convinced that this is one of my better ideas!