For the first time in an eternity I managed to make it round the traditional four laps of Richmond Park without dropping back a group. Admittedly, I trundled into the car park a fair way back from the group after hitting my limit up the final uphill bump of the session but it still counts as an improvement.
I’m trying to get determined about giving up smoking again seeing as I’ve become a dreadful “occasional” smoker who sneaks a couple a day and a few when I’m out with friends. Unfortunately, until I can focus on my cycling goals, it’s proving far more challenging than the last time. In part the problem is that I feel stronger than I did last time I gave up and so the desire to stop is weaker. I’m sure once I tuck into the training mentality again I’ll find it easier. I’m going to give it a crack this week and see how I go.
After the ride there was the usual banter over coffee about goals for next year. I’ve laid mine out now and I think this will be my plan: Tour of Flanders 140km in April, Beaume de Venise (featuring Ventoux) in June, Etape in July as my distance challenges. Then Tuesday night series at Hillingdon as my weekly racing and Sunday Surrey Hills for training. I think that’s plenty to be going on with for the moment.