The sun was shining and the air was crisp as I clipped in my bike shoes and began cycling away from my home last Sunday morning. Having spent the last 7 weeks injured this was to be my first proper outing on the bike since the New Year and I was curious ‘just how much fitness i’d lost?’. The plan forthe day was to keep the session short, cycling up the constant easy incline from Clonskeagh in South Dublin to the bottom of a steep hill that leads to the Blue Light pub. At the top of that hill I’d turn my bike towards Wicklow and some more climbing. Not hardcore climbing, but that steady ‘you knowyour working’ kind of climbing!
The first 5Km of the bike was nice and easy, just a slight incline to warm up my legs. Time to reacquaint them with the road again! Before I hit the bottom of the climb to the Blue Light pub I already realised i’d made a rookie error with my gear. I was wearing too much thermal ger for such a warm day. Chuck in a bit of climbing and I was in for some serious heat!
I hit the bottom of the Blue Light climb and thought back to the first time I found myself staring up this hill. It was 3 years ago and on that first occasion i’d had to stop my bike halfway to catch my breath. Then last year while I was training for Iroman I found myself zipping up the same hill, with my hard earned fitness fueling me up the incline. How would the climb be today I wondered?
Before long I found myself out of the saddle, breathing hard and with my tongue hanging out of my mouth. Judging by the concerned looks on the faces of a couple I passed andf the fact that my Heart Rate monitor said 175 bpm, I could confirm that I had lost A LOT of fitness!
This was a great session that took my up to Glen Cullen and then Glencree before turning back toards home. A good first day back in the saddle and a lot of work to do!