well, that was a hard day! after the chaos of being stuck in sundry rivers, we eventually got down to the cycling. Bearing in mind the 5.15 wake up…and the major stone throwing to escape the flood that put us back rather a lot time wise. On this challenge, time always seemed to be very tight!
Like my chest. I was suffering from altitude and lack of smoking…I know. Sounds insane, but the less you smoke, the more you cough and I was smoking about 5 or 6 a day – amazing!
Last post from the Moleskine :
"I have a constant hacking cough and shortness of breath.The girls have rallied round and supplied cough sweets and Chest Eze [the latter didn't help at all]. The doctors are about as useful as a third buttock – to be honest, I am [at this moment, in my distress] not impressed. They must have realised we would suffer from chest / lung complaints due to the altitude, but they are rather blasé and I feel that they think that because I smoke, it is not serious. I KNOW it is, as I never cough from smoking. Ever. I don't draw the smoke into my lungs - so I am quite worried about my breathing. But the other girls have the same problem, even Vicky is coughing – so I let it ride. Oh stupid decision!
The problem started when we were riding amongst the Matatus – we were literally stuck in a traffic jam – one that gouted diesel fumes at random intervals. I now appreciate the UK obsession with MOT's! Anyway, once we arrived at our hotel, we were both [Vick and I] coughing our guts up. I was given an inhaler by one of the girls [thank you!] but that didn't help. And because it didn't, I knew I had a chest infection – I sat waiting for the Chest Eze to work. It didn't [even though I took a double dose, against the manufacturers advice!]. I sound like an asthmatic. And feel like one.
I am so tired I can barely write [my scrawl becomes almost illegible here] just spoke to the FH thank God, and Vick managed to speak to Ollie and Grace – so we both feel a lot better. But today was truly horrible.
It involved a 'bronze, silver and gold' challenge. Of course we all wanted to achieve gold. But the bronze section was so difficult that we had to call it a day. But we wished we hadn't, as the girls who achieved the gold told us that the bronze was the most difficult bit! Grr. We did the bronze in the midday heat [madness!] and it was so hard. So, I don't feel bad that I didn't get to gold. I just feel disappointed – if we'd known it was easier we'd have done it – but hey ho…we did what we could at the time. And we did well.
I am so proud if us for making the bronze stage – the hills were far more suited to a Tour France pack than a well intentioned, charity fund raising ordinary bunch of women. The climbs were steep, the shade non existent and the sun was ferocious.
BUT. The views were amazing and so was the team support.