The month of February started pretty well to be honest, I landed in Girona on the evening of the 31st January, so the 1st February was my first ride of my 10-day block in Spain. Typically, after just being shorts weather for the previous two days there, I fly out and rain is forecast! The first day was just a 3 hour endurance ride to spin the legs after my long travel day and a group of girls set out on a steady group ride at 10am (apparently this is early for Girona time?!!). We managed to get in 2.5 hours before the rain hit for the last 30 minutes, not great but better than the snow at home!
The next day was a double day, a ride with sprints and then gym in the afternoon. Sprints are definitely my weakness being a time trial engine kind of rider, so it was good to focus on some improvements with Tom watching. Day 3 was the sunniest day so far, clear blue skies and a solid 10 degrees warmer than at home! I rode with Lucy and she showed me some good climbs around the area, including Hincapie and Els Angels which had beautiful views, (although hard to look at while doing threshold efforts)! Day 4 wasn’t so lucky and with rain forecast again the group ride headed out relatively early to try and beat the rain. I think we managed 3.5 hours out of 4 of successful rain cloud dodging however got caught in the last 30 minutes coming back into town. Post ride, we had a speedy shower and then headed over to BikeBreaks Girona – Dave and Saskia’s house for a BBQ. We had some amazing food, and the local delicacy of Calçots were in season. Certainly good for recovery!
Day 5 was a much-needed rest day. A short recovery spin was planned however I decided the sensible option was to hibernate inside in the warm and not get cold and wet outside. The next day I had 3 hours with some 20 minute efforts and luckily the sun came out again. These were meant to be max repeatable efforts and I did them up a popular climb called Sant Marti Sacalm. These went surprisingly well, and I came away happy with how my legs were feeling and the numbers I was doing making it a good training session, topped off with meeting Lucy at La Fabrica post ride for a coffee and cake in the sun – perfect!
Day 7 was a pretty hard session with tired legs from Tuesday, so once the ride was done I ate lunch then had a nap without setting a timer – a dangerous game! Thursday was also a hard day with 4 hours on the cards. I set off heading south towards the coast to hopefully café stop at Dulce Pikika Pasteleria, a well known cake shop in Platja D’Aro. However, after only an hour of my ride it started snowing! I kept going with the thought of cake at the front of my mind for motivation but as the snow started falling heavier and heavier and I started to climb I knew it was time to turn around when even the pros started telling me to turn around after finding it too dangerous themselves. I quickly aborted and followed the main road back to Girona, and then added another loop on away from the snow afterward. I was very grateful for my warm shower! Friday was my last day in Girona, so was an easy spin and then a gym session before packing my bags ready for an early start the next morning to catch my flight.
After a great training block I unfortunately arrived home tired and being susceptible to illness, not being great when my dad, sister and boyfriend were all ill. I picked up the inevitable illness which then turned into a chest infection. As I write this I had 10 days off the bike completely and a few easy days but I am now back to training properly, albeit on the turbo, due to the crazy snow weather the UK is experiencing at the moment! I have had to push back my racing season a few weeks missing out on Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Le Samyn des Dames and Omloop van de Westhoek so I’m pretty gutted with all of those being UCI races, however I’ve had a lot of support from everyone at Epic Coaching and also at the Dave Rayner Fund so I am now excited to hopefully move out to Belgium, and start my season on the 11th with a kermesse in Ooike!