Feeling The Burn

Ouch. The burn comes in many forms, lactic fatigue, cardiac ache, lungs fit to burst. I have so far experienced all of these during Tour prep and now have another to add to the list. Sun burn. Not the most likely of culprits during February in the UK but bring your white pasty body to the Philippines and foolishly overlook a usually obscure appendage and you will pay the price!

In my preparation for coming out to see the hard working Gabriella (working over here for 3 months) I worried greatly about the lack of time on the bike and loss of fitness due to my inactivity! I consoled myself however, with sprint and circuit training on the beach, taking my life in my own hands by plowing up and down Filipino roads on knackered old bikes nearly getting run over and by deciding I would prepare my arms and legs for the greatest set of tan lines any cyclist had ever seen. In my naivety and misplaced belief in the durability of my skin I neglected to put any sun cream on my shins.

Now I have been to many places were the sun is very fierce but the Filipino sun is in a league of its own. Within 3 hours of paddling and reading and general beaching about I started to get that wonderful British affliction-lobster legs. I quickly realised my mistake but too late the damage was done. The next 3 days and nights were spent trying to relieve the severe burning sensation in my lower body and stop the inevitable peel. However this was a new type of burn. The blisterer. Shit me! I don’t think anything on the Tour will compete with the bubbling and swelling of my shin skin which then proceeded to burst and drain for a further 2 days. At least the ensuing diarrhea and headaches managed to help keep my weight down so I certainly wont be coming back any heavier than I left!

It certainly didn’t ruin the trip as I just made sure I kept in the sea to keep cool but I will now be packing my factor 30 on the Tour. The Schlecks can keep the tan lines thank you very much! Thankfully I don’t wear a bikini and therefore didn’t have to suffer the same problems Gaby did with a burnt bottom. What a pair!

Home and back to the bike on Monday so I might be in for a few days of trying to regain that momentum. Here’s hoping sprinting like a lunatic up and down a stretch of sand in front of wide eyed Fillipino fishermen was worthwhile!!



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