In follow up to recent blog about my experience at the first virtual Revolve24 24hr challenge, I thought I’d share five things I’ve been asked and have talked about this week.

So here’s my Five Q&A’s on Friday;

“He who has a WHY to live for can bear almost any HOW”

A great quote by Nietzshe and one I’ve found to be very true.

While I rode I had the Pace cycling jersey they kindly gave me hung up next to me along with some photos of the children enjoying their lessons, which Lacey at Pace sent me. Visualising the goal and having a reminder of why you are putting yourself through this things is incredibly powerful. With a good enough reason why, we can achieve almost anything and I really do believe that.

Seeing the children, who each face different challenges associated with motor disorders, smiling and having fun playing musical instruments is hugely motivating. The more I challenge myself, the more I put myself through the more I hope it inspires you to donate – to help Charities like Pace and Action4Youth continue to do what they do. They help bring out the potential in these children and young adults, they put a smile on their faces and that’s priceless. Sadly that isn’t free though and government grants only go so far – for Pace, 50% of their costs are met through fundraising, that’s why it’s so important to support them.

“I don’t know how you can ride indoors for that long”

Neither do I.

It’s hard, of course it is – but that’s what I’ve come to enjoy about what I’m doing. Whether you your cycling a 100km or a 100miles, running your first 5k or marathon, whatever you are doing there will always be times when you hate it, when it feels like you are so far from the end, when you think of all the excuses you could tell people about why you stopped.

These are the scratch card moments, where the challenge reveals what we have inside us.

I love the mental battle – it’s been a constant feature in my life, the ongoing internal monologue, the fight against the my own demons and self doubt, the perceived weaknesses. When you push yourself to the edge of your comfort zone, that voice and those feelings become amplified – winning over that intense desire to listen to that voice is a pretty powerful drug.

That and you just sort of ride in to these things, after 6hrs I wasn’t sure I’d be able to maintain my pace, my thighs were sore and I just felt like I wasn’t really enjoying it. But, once I got passed this feeling, knowing that in reality it couldn’t get an awful lot worse, I began to find a bit of a rhythm.

All that said, my original planning had allowed for more breaks (I was being cautious and despite knowing I’d have to ride harder for it). In actual fact I stayed on the bike far longer than I planned and expected. The natural break between rides, where you switch to the next track in the sequence provided a brief minute of respite that actually really helped, physically and mentally, to break the ride up. Totalling it all up I was off the bike for around 50 minutes out of the 24hrs.

There are things that actually make these long indoor challenges easier, if you look at the positives. It’s super easy to keep on top of your nutrition on an indoor event, you can set your food up next to you and just keep picking. On top of that it allows for more variety as well – you can eat things that wouldn’t survive squished in to your jersey pocket – a winner for me is my homemade Liege waffles topped with Peanut Butter and Banana.

“Did quitting coffee work?”

In case you missed it, I wrote a blog about how I was giving up coffee ahead of the Revolve24 race. But did it help?

Well, in a way yes and I’m not sure. If I was out on the road I would have absolutely had a coffee, but during Revolve I was so worried about my stomach and not flaring up any issues that I didn’t have one. I opted instead of the controlled caffeine hit from Mission’s Yerba Matte Green Tea. The beauty of these teas is that they are just as good cold – I threw a tea bag in a bidon, covered the bag with a hot water, swirled and then filled it with cold. I then had an easy to drink caffeine hit. It definitely helped in the early evening but by 2-3am I was flagging and needed to bolster this with a ProPlus.

For me this is something I’ll take forward with all my endurance rides and races I think, the fact that the tea tastes great, is gentle on my stomach and is a known quantity of caffeine is a big win.

“How’s the Recovery going?”

I’ve had the week off this week, off training not work, so I’ve just been making the most of being able to relax and unwind. I’ve been looking after my legs with some foam rolling (have a read of my review of the Pulseroll vibrating foam roller – it’s a great piece of kit) and hot baths, which has been a big help. I’ve written a couple of blogs and also put some thought in to the events and challenges I might take on next year. Mentally I ready and excited to get back in to some training again from Monday.

While I’ve been resting, getting some quality time on the PulseRoll has definitely helped ease my sore muscles

“What’s next?”

Ah, the most frequently asked question…

For this week (and maybe next) I just want to stay in the moment – I’ve tried so many things, I’ve taken a lot of shots that have missed. For once it feels like I met my own expectations, like I didn’t let myself down, I want to stay in that moment for a bit, to enjoy it for what it is. Because, do you know what, it feels fucking awesome.

Look, of course there is a next thing – that’s what keeps me motivated, to find the thing that will try and break me. At the moment they are just ideas that I need to work on.

Thanks for reading and if you’d care to donate and support my efforts to raise £4044 for both Pace and Action4Youth I’d be very grateful

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