I’ve not been feeling my usual perky self. In fact, I would go as far as saying that I’m feeling a bit “run down”. Generally, I’m a hugely energetic person, but I’ve been feeling positively sluggish and my riding is suffering too. Witness my recent laboured ascents of Col de Vence. My nutritionist has made a few suggestions which I’m happy to follow. I sense I need a day’s peace and quiet but I’m not going to get that anytime soon.

I was feeling so tired last week, thanks to my beloved’s snoring the night before that, after dropping him off at the airport, I went and sat on the beach, in the warm sunshine and enjoyed a quiet hour with the newspapers. This is the first time, since we moved here 6 year’s ago, that I’ve just gone and sat on the beach.  Of course, I could have gone home but as I was due down the club in an hour, it wasn’t worth considering.

This general fatigue has manifested as a continuing lack of form on the bike which I’m at a loss to explain. I’ve stuck rigidly to the training programme and the new regime. I’m long since over the cold, and my allergies have been nowhere near as bad as last year. My mileage this year is similar to last, however I haven’t climbed as much. This was partly due to the colder weather in March and April, and completing fewer brevets than at the same time last year. I missed La Charly Berard while we were in Roubaix. La Louis Caput was rained off and I didn’t finish La Lazarides.

My coach, initially worried that I’d overtrained (as if?), counselled building more base mileage and, with the warm sunny weather continuing over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been more than happy to oblige. I’ve stuck to my tried and tested routes, to better enable direct comparison. In addition to which I’ve completed a number of longer rides; specifically, Tuesday’s attempt at La Kivilev’s 175km ride which went well. In fact better than anticipated, so maybe my elusive form is slowly returning.

Saturday, I’ll be riding the 100km course of La Vencoise. Actually, I’ll be riding 130km as I intend to ride to and from the start. You see, I find it very difficult to head up an average 7% climb for nearly 11km with only a 1km warm up. I think I’ll do much better if I start by following my usual route. At least that’s the theory. Sunday’s pointage takes us to Menton and then up and over Col de la Madone. I’m sensing I’m going to enjoy the following week’s rest.

With only a couple of weeks to go until the day of the Kivilev, everyone involved in it’s organisation is pretty busy. The baking is going well, in fact I recently whipped up a trial batch of post-ride cookies. My English pupils love cookies and are willing to eat any of my experiments. I combined a couple of recipes to produce banana oaten cookies, containing both fresh and dried bananas. They were a huge hit and evaporated in minutes.  I made a second batch for everyone at the Kivilev Commission meeting. The older boys gave them the thumbs up too. A number of my available club mates keep asking me if I have any single girl friends who cook as well as I do. Of course not, anyone who cooks that well’s bound to be married I say. They shake their heads knowingly in agreement. So if any of my female readers can cook well, like cycling and are single, do drop me a line.

My LBS rang me up. The man from UPS had tried to deliver the Kivilev t-shirts to the club but there’s rarely anyone there during the day. He was round at my LBS making another delivery and asked the owner for advice on how to contact us as he only had the club’s phone number. The owner rang me. Now while Tom III is more spacious than you might imagine, there’s no way I can cram in eight large cartons, each containing 100 t-shirts. To be honest, I couldn’t even get one of those cartons into the car. My LBS took them in overnight and the Treasurer picked them up the next day. To thank my LBS owner and his trusty assistant, I dropped off a few of my cookies. They too gave them the thumbs up. The recipe is now a confirmed hit.

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