I have to say it took quite a lot of courage to go out for the group ride today, after last week. I've not had the best of weeks with very low mood, culminating in spending the afternoon in bed yesterday, and I did wonder about just staying in bed this morning. But I'd woken up at 11 minutes past 7, in a panic that it was actually Monday (it wasn't) and it was difficult to drop off again after that. Originally, the plan was that Mr Tuna would come along for some moral support, but then our outhouse roof fell in, so he decided to stay at home to carry on fixing it. So I set off on my own, leaving barely enough time to pootle 4.5 miles to the ride start (I always go much slower on my own), particularly given that my shoe lace got entangled with my toe clip and I had to stop and disentangle myself.
It was a small group today, including one lady who'd only come along because she thought that she'd be slower than me (following my apologies in the Tri Club's facebook group last weekend). She wasn't but she was very nice. Everyone else I'd met before and they did their absolute best to make me feel comfortable on the ride and was super supportive. (Fr'instance, the ride leader would occasionally ask if the group was ok, and then ask me if I was ok!). This time everyone made sure that I didn't get left at the back; apart from a couple of downhills where everyone overtook, I wasn't at the back at all which made me feel a lot better, especially as there were only 6 of us and I barely took a turn at the front at all. Additionally the first 1/5 route was the same as the last two weeks, and then the next 1/3 was a route that Mr Tuna and I have done before, and then a new bit, before a final 4 miles along roads which I am familiar with. I do enjoy seeing the countryside as well as having the chance to chat to people. I felt a bit more comfortable with the toe clips this time, although there were a couple of awkward moments, and I don't think it'll be too long before I want to give my clipless pedals a go (although I will definitely need overshoes at this time of year!). By the time I got home my bottom was sore (unusually, this hasn't happened before) and my back was stiff (as ever), but I'd cycled 40 miles in 3.5 hours at an average speed of 12.8mph apparently. Although I'd not sure how much I trust my Strava app as it claimed my top speed was 34.5mph. Not a chance!!
No beginner's ride next week; dependent on the weather, Mr Tuna and I may try to crack 56 miles. Not in one go - it'll be a round trip with a stop at our favourite cafe before the last 14 miles home. Should be do-able, so please cross fingers and toes for a dry day, as I'll feel a lot more confident about next year's 70.3 if I have that distance in the bag (even if I don't have it in the bag in a 4.5 hour time!).