Sun’s gonna shine on everything you do

I’m a busy bunny this week, and squeezing the riding in feels just like that – a squeeze.  Which is not an ideal frame of mind for riding.  But with the forecast deteriorating rapidly, the sun shining, and another gym session not appealing, I was determined to squeeze it into today somehow.  One major factor in making it all work was arranging to ride with Martyn at 2.00pm.  This meant that everything would have to be done by then, otherwise I would be letting someone else down, which is not an option.  It also stopped me from being lazy and opting for the gym/babysitter option instead if everything went pear shaped.  As it turns out everything went swimmingly.  Well, not swimmingly, because the weather remained dry and warm and pleasant, but I can’t be bothered to try and come up with a more appropriate adjective 😉

First up this morning was my follow-up appointment with my nutritionist/dietician which was oddly unsatisfying.  I should, post Maratona, start the process of working out which specific foods are my IBS triggers.  Well, that’s the plan.  It all seems like a lot of hard work to me, and is going to take ages.  You can only re-introduce one food at a time, over a three day period – small amount day 1, double that day 2, double that day 3.  It either proves “safe” – in which case you stop that food, and move straight on to trialling the next.  Or it doesn’t, you get symptoms, you stop that food, wait for everything to settle down again, and then move on to the next.  The idea is to end up having narrowed down which foods trigger you, and discovered foods that you can eat to expand your diet, make it more varied, and more healthy.  However this is all just IBS management.  It doesn’t fix you – and I’m big on fixes, and solutions, and conclusions.  Although the elimination diet occasionally fixes people, it sadly hasn’t fixed me, and neither am I quite as improved as she would have liked.   The low FODMAP diet has been a very good thing in many ways – in that most of my symptoms are greatly reduced when I’m strictly following the diet.  It does make it virtually impossible to eat out, or to be catered for though, which can be a little depressing.  However the pain element remains somewhat unrelated to the diet.  It may yet prove to have been related to my use of NSAIDs (ibuprofen to normal people), and just mean that my insides haven’t healed up yet.  Or it may mean that it wasn’t that at all, and I will need to have my consultant look further into that if, in the fullness of time, it hasn’t gone away.  I am still no wiser as to why I have developed IBS, or to what the long term prognosis or effects of it might be.  My nutritionist describes IBS as a life altering thing, and it appears to be precisely that, irrevocably.  As if that wasn’t enough, it seems quite likely that something else is going on in there too.  Marvellous :(.  I have to admit to have been being a little bit ostrich about it all, just following the diet, and sort of hoping that somehow it would all go away.  It may well be time to start taking it a little more seriously, getting my head around it, and making an effort to eat properly within whatever my limits turn out to be.  Apparently rice cakes, ham, and white wine, do not a balanced diet make 😉 *grin*.

I didn’t really have time to get depressed about all that then though, I’m saving that for later (now?) when I can wallow properly, because I had places to be.  It was time for a little retail therapy, of sorts.  Back up the motorway – my half an hour appointment was an hour’s drive away! – and into Tescos at Weston, for various bits and bobs, including the all important lactofree milk, and nutella.  I made it home in time for rice cakes and ham for lunch – lazy as ever – and a quick carb induced siesta before getting up to get ready to ride.

The weather had returned to grey blanket by the time I arrived in the Square, but it was a very warm grey blanket.  Layers in the singular only, legs out and everything.  Novel.  We made our route up as we went along.  Martyn, having come from Brent Knoll, was clearly far more warmed up than I was, as he was off!  I felt the strain for a while, partially because I always forget that the reason I feel crap for the first half an hour or so is just because I haven’t warmed up, not because I’m not capable of keeping up.   You’d think I’d know that by now wouldn’t you?  Having said that – remind me to stop letting fast fit people join the ACG – a girl could get tired of being continually outclassed!  Eventually I got a grip and settled down into it more happily, and we nipped around the Levels in fairly swift fashion, whilst still managing to chat at the same time.  This probably means we weren’t trying hard enough, but I was supposed to be taking it a bit easy, what with the long and hilly Dartmoor Classic on Sunday.   That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.  Having been a cow last time, this time Martyn was showing off some very fetching new kit from, in a distinctive mustard yellow, which is apparently an Eddy Merckx thing.

Our improvised route was relatively flat – with only Mudgely Hill on the way out, and Winscombe Hill on the way back.  According to Strava I didn’t even do those well, ho hum…  Bl**dy Strava! 😉  Mind you I’d probably have gone up them even slower if I hadn’t had those segments lurking in the back of my mind.  Somewhere in between the two hills, on the Christon road, we came across this fallen giant.

That was once a BIG tree – proof of just how bad the weather has been around here lately?  Or is it a sign?  No, that’s not a sign, this is a sign! 😉

‘Rah – I got another sign in there! *grin*.

I may have broken my two hour rule, but it was a close run thing, and even though I went all the way down the bypass and back into town from the other side to stretch it a little, it wasn’t to be.  I guess if I add on the couple of minutes here and there when Bella wasn’t up and running, it was close enough right?  Besides, I blame it on our speed – it would have taken longer if we were slower! *grin*.  I got my ride in, and as a result I’m feeling less squeezed all ’round – thanks Martyn! 🙂

Cycling time: 1:51:56 hrs
Distance: 32.08 miles
Avs: 17.3 mph.
ODO: 14482 miles