Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Nine and a half weeks

Nine and a half weeks. Doesn't get any better on repetition.

And the same can be said of the film. When Mickey Rourke first instructed Kim Basinger (pron. Bay-sing-er) to take off her dress in the frankly risible eighties art-core porn film of the same name, he probably knew how unkindly posterity would smile on the scenes he then committed to celluloid. But he could never have known the amount of suffering that banal flick inflicted upon a waiting world would be roughly equivalent to that I'll be submitting myself to in the same two-month period. At the present rate, the ending will be just as disappointing.

So with a woefully inadequate amount of time left before the big day, how far have I come in my quest? I suspect not far enough. I haven't ridden more than 60-odd miles in one sitting. I haven't cycled up anything approaching a mountain. I don't have thighs the size and density of a tree trunk. I haven't got down to my 'race weight' yet. I haven't managed to buy a spare wheel for my bike to make the turbo training swap-over easier. I still don't really have a bike that's entirely suitable for the task in hand, nor any real chance of procuring one before the big day since the housing market is as flat as my impending route profile isn't.

And all the while, demands on my time seem to be mounting like the gradient of the Alpe d'Huez. To get anything like the amount of training in that's required, it looks like I'm going to have to start getting up at five in the morning. Meanwhile, work gets busier and I'm required to stay later. Pressure, pressure and then some more in case I haven't got enough.

But let's look at some positives. I've still got my health. I can get up hills easier than before. I'm way better at changing tyres. I can now fit into that new pair of Edwin jeans I bought around six years ago but rarely wore due to my expanding waistline. And I have raised hundreds of quids for charity, which is pretty much the whole point really.

So I'm resigned to it being something I'm unsure I'll manage. There is no time to get myself into the shape I'd need to be to approach it with quiet confidence. It's anyone's guess whether I'll get round in one piece, never mind if I'll quick enough to avoid the broom wagon or the closure of the last climb. All bets are off. From here on in, I'm dealing in unknowns.

At least, as Don Rumsfeld would say, it'll be something I know I don't know.

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