I’ve been meaning to write a post sort of summarising the LEJOG trip, but for some reason, I haven’t known what to say. There’s so much to say, that I don’t know which parts to leave out.
The easy bits are the favourite parts – such as the last half of day nine, and day two’s leg between Okehampton and Crediton. The camaraderie of suffering together through hardship, followed by the shared joy of success. On the other hand, there’s the effect of being at or above my pain threshold for hours on end.
What was missing, though, was the ‘what now’ part. Apart from the obvious dreams of doing another long trip (around the coast of Ireland, perhaps? Cape Town to Durban, perchance?), I’m really keen to keep up with the cycling. But without a goal to aim at, it’s easy to get into a rut, lose the enjoyment, and let it slide. Especially with winter coming.
And so it was that I gave Strava a spin this Saturday. It’s a cycling training app – it tracks where you go, with average speed, elevation, and all that like many others. But the difference is that it allows other users to mark out a section of road as a Segment, and then keeps a leaderboard of all people who cycle it. Around my area there are plenty of these – I went through four in a morning’s 27 mile ride.
The point is that it adds a little competitive spice to the exercise. I targeted two of those segments as ones that I’d be pushing a bit harder through, and managed to get a second place on both of them. Two others were slightly less remarkable, but next time I’ll focus on them. There’s still a lot of scope for improvement – both of those second places are well off the leader’s pace. But it’s got me something to work towards.
The other thing was something I hadn’t planned on writing about when I started this yesterday, but someone at work mentioned that they’d done a 100-mile ride at the weekend. And I remembered that there are a few of these arranged each year, and I’m definitely going to enter in one or two next year.