After what can only be described as a very busy May, with the Mallorca 312 and the Etape du Dales, I was exhausted but wanted to crack on with preparing for the next big event the Maratona. But, I’ve been totally taken aback with how much recovery I needed after those events which were so close together.

I spent a few weeks giving myself a very tough time, pushing myself on the bike and being over strict with my diet, when what my body actually wanted was a rest and some good food! Everyone around me kept telling me to have a rest, but it just didn’t sink in. I’d been so damn obsessed with setting an amazing time in the Dolomites, it had become the be all and end all of my time on and off the bike.

Then, being completely and utterly dropped on a club run in the hills, and had a good old sob at the top of the cat-and-fiddle, it finally hit home that I needed to take it easy. There was only one person heaping the pressure on… and that was me! Time for chill.

Luckily I’ve had plenty of opportunity to relax and not be so strict with my cycling. I had an excellent long weekend up in the Yorkshire Moors, one of my favourite places to cycle (more about that here). A wonderful weekend in Bakewell watching the Eroica Britannia and the Aviva Women’s tour. A fleeting cycle and visit to Loch Lomond (will definitely be going back). And found some new climbs round Malham. Ticking of quite a few Top 100 climbs along the way.

Aviva Women

Watching the Aviva Women’s Tour through Chatsworth

This period of recovery has taught me more about myself than the events in some ways. I know I’m stuborn and won’t give in, that’s what gets me through events. But what I didn’t realise is how much I love cycling day-to-day and it’s role as a mood balancer in my life. I’ve really missed just riding my bike, finding a new pub or cafe stop and just generally exploring and chasing better riders than me around our beautiful countryside. Having a rest, takes all that away. I was coming home from work and not really knowing what to do with myself. So, going forward I’ve set myself some recovery goals, I’m going to start swimming again, and running – just to give myself the option of something different to do when I can’t ride my bike. I’m too goal orientated as a person, so this may end up with the tri-suit coming out of hibernation!!

park rash

Park Rash Climb out of Kettlewell – Told “You need to stand up” but I didn’t and nearly wobbled off on the steep corner!

I’ve started to enjoy my cycling again, and finding a bit of form, just at the right time, with the Maratona just a week away now… *checks weather forecast repeatedly*