From my first 10K to the Dublin Marathon and last weekend's Connemarathon, I have challenged myself in ways I could never have imagined. I've loved it. I've learned so much about myself in training. My running has gotten better, I'm stronger both mentally and physically and I am in the best physical condition I have ever been in. I'm ready for a new challenge.
I love having a goal. I love having a goal I can work towards. I love pushing myself beyond what I ever thought possible. Some of my favourite quotes are: The expert in anything was once a beginner, Everyone starts somewhere and The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step... So I am taking some of my own advice and going right back to the beginning.
I have signed up to cycle the Ring of Kerry! Yep... 12 weeks from now (5th of July) I'll take to the Ring of Kerry for the 180km cycle! I've never done the Ring of Kerry in a car let alone on a bike. Last Wednesday, for the first time in over 15 years, I climbed onto a bike and went for a cycle!
Kitted out and ready for road
I'm such a beginner, it pains me! I didn't know how to change gear while cycling. When I got to the traffic lights I panicked and mounted the kerb instead of waiting in line at the lights like regular people do. When I got to a roundabout I came to a complete stop, then moved back through the gears (back down to the start like a car) so when I went to take off, I failed miserably as the chain gave way. In fact, I don't know if you can see in that photo but it wasn't until after the cycle I realised I had the gloves on backwards for the entire cycle.
The end result: 18km in 50 minutes! I loved it... Now I do realise there is a huge difference between a post work 50 minute cycle with some of the guys from the office and a 180km cycle of the ring of kerry, but I'm excited. I'm looking forward to working on and trying something new. I'm looking forward to seeing if I like cycling, if I can make it. I'm sure cycling will pose new challenges (like finding nice padded cycling shorts and dealing with punctures) but hey, whats the worst that can happen?
I'm scared to be pushing running to the back burner while I focus on cycling. I'm worried I may have bitten off more than I can chew - why not start with a smaller/shorter cycle? I don't even own a bike FFS! I had to go out and buy a helmet at lunch time last Wednesday and I borrowed a colleagues bike (Thanks Ger!) for the cycle. It scared me. Cycling on the road scares me. Tyre Pumps, Lycra Suits and Potholes scare me. Its outside my comfort zone - and that's exactly why I'm doing it.
I have 12 weeks. I have to buy a bike. I have to train. I have a new challenge. And as the song goes: It's a new dawn. It's a new day... and I'm feeling good!