On Sunday we wanted an adventure with Amanda and Scott. Amanda's being cautious recovering from her recent London Marathon effort so she and I were going to go a bike ride together. Scott is recently reinvigorated with Ultra plans and has decided to do Strathaven 50 miler later this year so was up for somethng long and hard up the hills with Peter. (Ooh err matron.)
We went down to somewhere near Selkirk where A and S had scouted out a 36 mile loop for me and A. Before the start of our cycle we dumped off Scott and Peter in a carpark to set out over the hills, with an arrangement to pick them up later at an Inn at the end of St Mary's Loch.
Early in our cycle A and I realised we were on the route of a cycle event, and then it slowly dawned that we were cycling the opposite way round to the cycle route for the triathlon that some of our clubmates were doing that morning. Hoped to see and even photograph them, but it was not to be. 7.5 miles into our cycle just as were turning off onto a quieter country road Amanda's chain stuck a few times and then broke. We had a few tools along but not a chain tool and I have tried to fix a chain for someone when I HAVE had a chain tool before and couldn't see any connection between the tool and the chain and the problem. We had a think for a moment or 2 but once we'd realised that we probably couldn't splice the chain with grasses from the verge, we knew we were sunk as far as our cycling plans were concerned.
What to do then? We kicked around a few options. Amanda suggested I cycle on anyway - but where's the fun in that? Plus, I didn't know the way, and wasn't at my brightest, still a bit stupified by recent night-shifts. At least if we ran back to the van we'd have had a bit of exercise and the day would not have been a write-off. We were both a bit concerned that I was pushing my luck as I was only just getting past my injured leg and I was wearing trail shoes and we'd be running on the road but it seemed the best option so we decided to try it out. A. was wearing non-running shoes too and must have suffered running so slowly (she's much faster than me and I'm on a go slow.) It gave us a chance to have a chat anyway.
Eventually we got back to the van having admired the roadkill along the way. (Varied and colourful.) and went back to pick up our bikes and then onwards to pick up the boys.
We got to the inn (I've forgotten its name) (Tibbie Shiels apparently) and despite not having done very much I've kind of got in the habit of rewarding myself liberally with food for everything I do! So while A. had a parsimonious scone I had apple-pie and warm custard. Amanda was a bit worried by the non-appearance of P and S but I was too busy to worry much. We couldn't get phone signals so after a while went out to see if we could scout them out. Just when we were giving up hope Amanda spotted a blue and a yellow blob making their way at pace towards us round the back of the loch. I lay in wait behind some bushes hoping to surprise and delight them when they came along the path, but they were too hungry and tired to show any surprise at all and barely slowed down. Some beer and some food back in the inn lifted them enough to get a story out of them. Their route had been undulating and hard and despite both of them denying there had been any element of racing both admitted they'd got up the first hill "very quickly". They were now shot anyway.
Home about 7.30 at night. The pile of dishes none diminished.
The next day I was stiff as a board but the problem was particularly in my right hip so I've been hurpling for the last 2 days - but at least its a new hurple. I think the problem is that I put the saddle on my bike up having lowered it during the snows earlier this year and its altered my cycling style too abruptly. I don't think that would normally cause me any problems but my whole system's still a bit tetchy from the Highland Fling.
Looking back recently I realised that I'm often injured or ill in May following a winter of training and some spring event. I might as well just relax.