What an amazing weekend!!!! The idea of putting on a long cycle so you earn your beer really makes it taste so much better!
First let’s rewind to last week. After Kyle SMASHED the Westhill 10k (he won by FOUR minutes and managed a 32.47 on a hilly course and lack of training!), my chest was tight that evening 😦 Monday through Wednesday I was having similar symptoms to when I had my lung issue diagnosed (I fainted coming out of the shower and had been struggling for breath) so I went to the doctor on Wednesday (this was super difficult as the receptionist kept telling me to get off the emergency line when I took it as an emergency) and she was worried so wanted me in again on the Friday. On the Friday I had a different doctor who told me to go straight to hospital.
Sound familiar?? This is exactly what happened last year. Anyhoo, 5 hours and multiple tests later, it was confirmed there are no (more) blood clots and I will be ok. Still not too convinced but I was glad to have all the tests done just in case. I took a couple days off last week but weirdly I feel better when I’m exercising…
Ok so that was Friday, this is Saturday…
(Beer entry + hospital band = typical Debster stylin’)
Our cycle crew were myself, Kyle, Tom & Jeremy (those boys are amazing cyclists despite being predominantly runners so I was scared they’d have to wait for me) and we ended up staying within a couple minutes of each other the whole time and, apart from the death that is Cairn O Mount BOTH times, we were chatting for pretty much 3 hours solid!!
It was an early start (we were logistically challenged so the POA was to leave our car at Mum’s, Keith was driving us (he has a fancy bike rack that we need to look into) as he was doing it too albeit in a different wave (his lesson learned was if you have never done Cairn O Mount and haven’t done >1 hour cycling in 2016, you probably shouldn’t enter a 70 mile CoM double), then he takes our bikes back afterwards and we train to Aberdeen and stay at Tom’s) so we were up at 6am.Registration was a little frustrating but the volunteers were non-stop and had probably only had a couple of hours sleep from the previous night’s beer fest, so we didn’t mind the long wait too much. Those in an earlier wave, however, were a little apprehensive. We got off on time and we made our way up the hill out of Stoney towards Banchory.
All you have to know is that Cairn O Mount is one of the UK’s toughest climbs! And we were doing it from each side within a 70 miler! It wasn’t too warm at the start but the sun really came out after the first climb so the only difficulty was the wind! There was a small section after going over CoM the first time where it was so windy we were all just taking our turn at the front and no one was talking. At that point (about half way) I wondered if the wall was coming. I was fully expecting to bonk given I haven’t done any long cycles, bar a 3 hour turbo, since the start of the year. Luckily, none of the guys had either so you can imagine the banter between us!
The jokes as we were approaching CoM the 2nd time (going up the steeper side this time) kept me going. If I had been alone at this point, the hill along with the headwind could have meant I got off and walked up the stupid thing. Note: you could have walked past me at certain sections on that bad boy. Kyle’s chain came off and walked past us all at one point.
I kept picking people from the earlier waves off as I made my way up the final climb. Jeremy caught me (grrr!) before the last hair pin but I had ran out of gears and at that point was going side to side to stop me falling off!
(at the top – the 2nd time!!)
The refreshments stops came at the perfect times and were filled with sandwiches, sausage rolls, homebakes…you name it they had it! I deffo ate more than I burned that morning!
The final climb was the Slug Road before decending down into Stonehaven again. At this point JK made a huge surge and smashed us all, so he will forever more be known as the Slug Champ. From that point, the 4 of us regrouped and smashed it back down to Stoney! We were pleasantly surprised at the strength we had for 4 hours of cycling!
Coming in, the goodie bags we received were amazing (Tshirts you could actually look cool in, waterbottles filled with fuel samples and a beer token with free glass) so we picked them up then went straight for beer! They were gone in an instant!
…Then 6 hours later we were still standing!
We got changed in minutes using the swimming pool next door and there were fish and chips and burgers right there, so we hardly had to move (our legs thanked them for this).
(Slug Champ’s bike was the last one to go!)
Tom actually had to go into WORK!!! He also ended up CYCLING there!!! What a trooper! He met us for dinner that evening back in Aberdeen but he hadn’t eaten AT ALL post cycle and still managed to function. Major kudos to him.
Speaking of kudos, can I brag that I now hold the QOM for the CoM, AND that my time is faster than Noodles’!?!?!?!?!?!?!?
We also think I came in 1st lady but a) a lot of people entered the long route but did the shorter one so that screwed up the results, b) I don’t care because it was a fun long ride with beer!
The train to Aberdeen was fine, but Kyle and I were now homeless as Tom was away, so Slug Champ kindly offered us his entire flat and he stayed at Ginie’s (her legs are too long, svelte and beautiful to do the cycle, plus she is on FORM right now running-wise, so joined us for the sensible option of just beer and is keeping herself for Lairig Ghru this weekend!)
We all went for Thai food and were in bed at around midnight – it was the perfect day!
The following day, our hangover cure of choice was a long trail run up Hill of Fayre. I dragged Freyja along and what the 2 of us had agreed as a 10k easy run, turned into a 12 miler! The boys were showing off at the front but us girls were fine taking it easy (if you can say that going up a steep gradient for 10-15mins at a time) at the back!
(them views though)
This was followed by copious amounts of Dominoes pizza and chicken fillets. I was HANGRY!!!
On Monday it was the summer solstice, so what better way to celebrate than with a late (way past my bedtime since Game of Thrones already had me up longer than anticipated!) walk to pick elderflower and make gin! Ok I lied, Kyle did everything and I stood there in my snowman pjs with a bucket. I look forward to tasting his recipe in a week!
(Although the commute sucks, Alford is gorgeous!)