The last couple of weeks haven’t been the greatest and left me with lots to think about. My confidence on the bike took a massive knock after making the same mistake twice. Cycling is 40% physical and 60% mental. I am someone that often struggles mentally.
I was at home for a couple of days and went for a solo hundred miler. It was windy all day and the route was just up and down all day. It is really emotionally and physically draining to be constantly up and down all day, no respite no time for recovery. I ended up getting off and walking not once, not twice but 4 times. I have not got off my bike and walked for over a year. I find it really demoralising to get off the bike and walk. If I let it, it would reinforce the “you are fat and unfit” thoughts that I have. These thoughts won’t get me anywhere. I know that I am the fittest that I have ever been.
Last year the Etape finished at the top of Tourmalet where there is a statue to Octave Lapize. All the training I was doing last year was focused on seeing that statue with my medal around my neck for having completed the Etape. This mental image kept me going during those moments when I was low, however due to my accident I didn’t even get to start the Etape. This year I have no idea what is at the end of the Etape or where it finishes. I was looking at the route and couldn’t help laugh when about half way through the route and the highest point is Puy Mary which bought a smile to my face.
When I was out on my bike today I had several thoughts going through my head. One of them was about that questions “how do you eat an elephant? one step at time”. People often ask how I lost 8 stone, thing is I never thought of it as “8 stone” I thought of it as little tiny steps. Having started at 20st 7lb my first aim was just to get below 20st, then to have lost a stone, then to have lost 10% of the weight that I started at. It was only when I got to a healthy BMI that I realised that I had lost 8 stone. Losing 8 stone is a mamoth task as is cycling 210km and I need to apply the same mentality to the Etape. I need to break it into managable chunks.
The other thing that I realised that made me smile was that I realised that no matter how negetive I am there was always be something positive in me, my blood.