I've had it for a while. It came from a shop called Mountain Warehouse, and was reduced to about tuppence in the sales, possibly because it says it's a size 18 but fits me (generally a size 14 or 16 on top) pretty well. It's grey and a darkish fuchsia pink; possibly not the colourway I'd have chosen first, but it makes me nicely visible to traffic, and (as I said), it was cheap. I've also acquired gloves, and I've been wearing knee-length baggy shorts this week and feeling almost like a proper cyclist.
I've noticed that I seem to be a lot more noticeable than usual when I'm wearing the "proper cyclist" kit. Over the last few days:
- Several waves and smiles from other cyclists, mostly togged up in much more impressive cycling gear
- Happy hen-nighters leaning out of the windows of a pink limo at one in the afternoon, calling "Keep pedalling darling!"
- Smiley young man at traffic lights with Afro hairstyle and American accent: "Live strong, lady!" (This is really not the sort of thing people tend to say to each other on the streets of Edinburgh.)
- Wolf-whistle from guy in van.
I haven't been feeling all that attractive lately. Over the last few weeks, I've had to accept that the numbers on the scale have gone up a bit, and it isn't just a random fluctuation which will go down again next time. It's not very encouraging.
I know that some of it could be muscle from all the cycling - my bodyfat percentage has stayed much the same, and my thighs and core seem to have firmed up a bit. But my eating hasn't been fantastic, and there is definitely squidge on top of the muscle. Things have been a bit stressful* and busy lately, and there's been chocolate at work, and that's not a very good combination. I need to take in grapes or something to nibble instead, but I keep forgetting because I am pathetic sometimes.
On the other hand, I have now had my last podiatry appointment for a while, and my feet seem to be working well with the orthotics. Unless I develop another problem, I don't have to go back for four to six years - and I don't have to go through my GP again if I do. I can just phone the clinic and make an appointment directly.
In preparation for the Last Podiatry Appointment, I got myself to Run and Become and bought myself some new running shoes so I could get the podiatrist to take a look at them. Unlike the last pair, these were properly fitted; they have a neutral footbed (not one designed to correct pronation) but the insole lifts up and the orthotic fits underneath. As with the ordinary shoes I've bought, it was a bit tricky to find shoes that were both deep enough to take the orthotic and wide enough for my duck-like feet, but I'm fairly confident.
I have yet to take them for their first run, partly because it's got to be a trial run on the treadmill just in case they aren't right and I have to swap them. The plan is to pay for a single session at my old gym and see how I do, and then join the beginners' group in the running club I used to belong to at work. That's if I haven't lost my ability to do this in the year I've been off. Wish me luck.
*The stress probably deserves a post of its own, but the short version is that J is still having problems with depression and OCD, not sleeping well, and finding it very hard to leave the house to go to work in the mornings. Not good. I am pretty busy with work and coursework, and I'm not able to provide as much support as I want to. No doubt this too will pass...