Mind over matter. It’s nonsense really because in the end the body will raise the white flag of surrender regardless of what the mind believes is possible. Today though sees a minor victory for physcological strength over what passes for my physiological state these days. On a cold but sunny day it's a case of taking advantage and setting a target. So despite the lack of distance in my legs and the extra poundage around my middle, I figure that 100km should still be achievable. And for 70km up the Exe valley to Dulverton and then onto WInsford before turning for home, it feels perfectly reasonable. Of course it is slow going, but then all I am looking at is distance and heart rate, working solidly within the fat-burning zone (and boy is there fat to burn) so that doesn't bother me much. What does bother me is the final 30km, each one ticking past inexorably and accompanied by tightening, aching legs. Slowly, slowly, the number trickles up. Sadly, coming down the hill into my village it still reads just 97, so after two circles around the block, feeling like a ten year old on Christmas Day testing out his new wheels, I head off down the lane to The Barton Cross. On the way I pass two elderly couples with white hair and walking sticks, each perched by a bridge watching the river tumble past. It is something that C and I have done on many occasions over the past eight years and I immediately begin to hear Simon and Garfunkels’ ‘Bookends’ sighing in my head. I’m not sure if it’s the cold or the exhaustion, but my eyes water as the screen finally reads 100.