The most common question asked of me in the past couple of days as everyone’s bodies start to tire is how does this compare with IRONMAN.
The two really are very different, one is completed in a day, the other has been 14 days. But in short despite LEJOG now starting to take its toll on my neck, back, hamstrings, glutes, IT band etc etc…this really doesn’t compare to IRONMAN.
I believe anyone with the right bike, the right gearing, some training, motivation and a good reason Why? can do this trip, and I would encourage anyone that has that motivation and that why? to make their dream a reality because it is achieveable.
An IRONMAN however is a whole different ball game in terms of base fitness, in terms of the six(+) months training regime and the pain on the day.
LEJOG has been a challenge don’t get me wrong, 14 consecutive 80 mile cycles takes its toll, but the fitness has not been my problem, but the stiffness & tightness in my back & legs is my weakness and has to become my priority if next year’s IRONMAN is to be a success.
Day 13 then, we left Inverness in a very chilled and relaxed tempo and pace, first crossing another major bridge – Kessock Bridge – which separates the Moray Firth and Beauly Firth.
As we then followed the waterside along a beautifully quiet towpath we revelled in the still sunny morning and the smell of the seaweed and considered how lucky we had been with the weather. We haven’t seen rain since Dartmoor and our route today seemed the only part of the UK not being deluged with storms.
Our route was again a sensory overload as we overlooked the Eastern Coastline and hugged the waterways that make up this stunning coast.
At times the farmland and quiet country lanes reminded me of France, and then we’d come round a bend and be hit with magestic views of waterways and as we headed further north the managed lush farmed land started to giveway to more barren & open moorland of the far north of Scotland.
We cycled through Lairg with its 21km long loch and this is where we were to return to our B&B for the night, however the cycle actually ended today at a single building outpost called The Crask, where some were to stay and our bikes would be kept overnight.
The journey from Lairg to The Crask was like no other, the land was empty of livestock, trees, wildlife, just a completely barren & open moorland for thousands of acres with mountains as a backdrop. This part of the cycle had me nearly at breaking point, the route was flat and barren for 12 miles, into wind and every part of my body was sore and wanted to stop.
Eventually it ended with a pint at the Crask, a minibus trip back to Lairg, dinner and I now wait for Nikki on a delayed Easyjet flight to Inverness who has a 90 minute drive once she clears the airport. We’ll all be sore and tired but fundraising continues to climb, and with over £400 received today we top £4600, which is just terrific.