It has been a long time since my last update and a lot has changed!
Me and my husband Philip are expecting our first child in September, so 2018 is a year where I will not pin a race number on. My ambition is to return to racing in 2019 so at the moment I am still living like a professional athlete.
Despite being 27 weeks pregnant I am still able to train most days and I rest and eat like I always have. When I was training to race I would usually do between 17-22 hours of training a week, now it is more like 10-15. I do not do any intervals anymore and I measure my heart rate to make sure that I am just riding steady. I feel the most comfortable when I am riding my bike and enjoying the fresh air. I do not know how long I will carry on riding on the road, I am taking each day as it comes. I have heard from a few women they were out riding their bikes the day they gave birth, I am not sure I would get this past my husband but never say never!
As i am not racing, I have lots of time to enjoy other things. My dad John and my brother Nick both rode through France and finished in Monaco last weekend. What an achievement! Previously I wouldn’t have been able to commit to being at home to see them arrive, however this year without a race schedule or ever changing team commitments I was able to enjoy a weekend with them. I am also really enjoying the process of just riding my bike, I am able to take in the views and not constantly analyse how my body is feeling and performing. It is nice to step away from the pressures of professional sport and appreciate cycling for all of the reasons that I am sure so many of the members of the club enjoy.
I am apprehensive about all of the challenges that will come with a new baby and trying to juggle a career in sport, but the over riding feeling I have is of determination and excitement. I feel incredibly fortunate that in my comeback year we have a local World Championships to look forward to. After the sleepless nights and struggle to return to fitness this is just the kind of motivation that I will need and I am sure it will make all the difference. I think the build up to next years world champs has already started, I was very proud to see so many Otley jersey’s on the route of the TDY, it was the first race I really felt like I was missing out!
Keep up the riding everyone and the enthusiasm for cycling in our town and community will be sure to explode even more in the coming years! It really is a great time to be a cyclist 🙂