Day 10 – Thursday 2nd April

  • 20 minutes plus 5 minutes’ cooldown level 11
  • Flat bench and squats
  • Max heart rate = 154bpm
  • Calories = 211
  • Distance covered = 6.76 miles 
  • Total distance so far = 101.97 miles

I’m still on the second bike so I’ve adjusted the level on this ride as well and I’m now at 11 for alternate days.

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Breaking News!

Hooray, I’ve passed the 100 mile mark – and – the new shorts have arrived!

– I’m not sure if they will make me go any faster but they are certainly comfortable. And comfort is a top priority on these punishing hills. My trainer, the illustrious David Morgan, is not allowing any slacking – so much so that I think my hill programme must easily be twice as hard as the actual hills in Scotland! 

The hills range in ‘height’ from 1 block to 7 blocks.  I start off on block 1 then work my way steadily up to block 7, dropping down between each level back to block 1 for a – very short – recovery.  I always aim for 80rpm and it is often over 90rpm. When I’m on the 60 minute ride, the increasing hill section repeats so that I’m on block 7 between minute 55 and 56.  

Whether I’m doing a 20 minute ride or an hour, the middle section is always the toughest. Warming up is fine. By the final section, the end is in sight and I just keep going and I forget how much my legs ache and how hot and sweaty I am. Thankfully David is usually around to shout encouragement through the really tough bits.  

I reckoned I could get through the shorter ride without music so I tuned into the news…………..aaaggghhhhh!  

I left behind Kilmuir and rejoined the A9, heading south again until I reached the tiny village of Achnagarron.  It seems to have gone through many name changes and the strange name apparently arrived from joining together the names of two farms. In Volume 34 of The Ordnance Survey Place Names Books (1871-75), someone has recorded: “This name is much too long to write without plans.” The main claim to fame here is the location of some mysterious standing stones (aren’t they always mysterious?!). At one time it was thought they were part of a stone circle and, at another, the graves of chiefs killed in battle, whilst the numerous cairns and tumuli marked the sites of all the warriors killed. And of course we shall never know.  

The countryside around here shows plenty of hills, so I had better carry on with the punishing hill programmes!