So, it's a been a while.
Last year I kept pedalling but there was something about the car crash circumstances of my business Makepiece that stopped me writing. The short version is that we planned to open a second store, found out the day after our lease was signed that we had to relocate our first store within Hebden Bridge. Cue trying to launch one and move another shop simultaneously. More work and worry than I could describe, conceive of, or even do.
My Three Peaks preparation was hampered. I did what I could (a 40 mile commute whenever possible) but the lack of depth in training showed. A couple of minor mechanicals led to me missing my food drop at Ingleborough, bonking on Whernside and then, brain mashed and panicking, desperate to get down to food as quickly as I could, being blown off the bike at the summit. A ruptured AC joint and a whole lot of woe ensued.
I did manage to take a break from the prescribed three months off the bike for my holiday in the Pyranees with Chipps with the amazing Altitude Adventure. Naughty, and I did feel like making a pact with the devil not to come off on the damaged shoulder. As long as I didn't fall on it, the physio said, riding wouldn't make it worse. I reckoned it hurt anyway so I might as well take in the views and ahem, the technical trails.
Amazing how the brain teasing trails captured my mind completely - blanking out the pain and also the mind-melting worries about the fate of my business.
The unsigned pact was that I would go home and behave myself, staying out of trouble until my shoulder got the all clear in December. Which I (more or less) managed.
The year has turned and I've been slipping between having fun and a little casually interjected training. It's got to the point where I'm going to have to admit to the training. Working out training zones hardly counts as casual (much as I am pretending to myself and to the world that it's all done in a breeze). But I have read many times that always going at full pelt doesn't build endurance - and this is what I normally do. The tendency is my chief suspect for not having the endurance depth to deal with eventualities at the Three Peaks. So, I've been working on skills and pedalling slowly. But with purpose.