It was a weekend that CTT had billed as ‘quiet’, little did they know that not one but 3 comp records would be set. Not that I would have called any race with Hayley, Angela and Racheal Elliot going head to head on the V718, quiet. Then throw Anna Turvey into the mix on Sunday at the R25 and it turns into a bloody tough couple of days but you know, women’s racing…
4 hr drive up to Hull. I’d forgotten what it was like to race a 10. The prep to race ratio is just all wrong. One tiny mistake and your race is ruined, your entire day wasted. And f-up I did. Yeah, still not learnt to clip in properly. Still not learnt to take a roundabout faster than 10mph. Nevertheless my form was good enough to take my PB down from 21.29 to 21.06. But I’d had my heart set on going under 21 so there was a massive grump going on. I could tell myself that conditions weren’t any good but when Hayley rocks out a class 19.31, I’ve no excuses. And then a junior well and truly shows you how it’s done with a 20.21. Now that I’ve worked out I’m old enough to be her mother I don’t feel quite so bad.
Quick slice of cake then it was into the car for another 4 hours to Neath. Post race adrenaline and pre race nerves all bundled up into an unfamiliar bed made for a long night and all too soon I was back on the start line with a slightly too soothing voice counting me down.
Onto the slightly rolling SC, then left onto the main road. Speed is good. Down the ‘gift hill’, speed is still good… Speed is too good, I can’t control the bike in the aero position and I keep touching the brakes to avoid silly velocity. After that it was a long slog to the turn. I wish I could remember what happened but all I can say is I worked hard (heart rate was just 2 pips lower than in the 10) but my average speed just kept dropping. At the turn a mid 53 was still a possibility but the Golden Arches signaled a death knell for me as I groveled those last few miles to the finish. I might as well have been going up Mont Ventoux.
Maybe I’d set myself up to fail with some tough goals for the weekend but to not PB was pretty gutting. And a 54.22 suddenly becomes very average when Hayley breaks another record with her 49.28.
So what went wrong? I’ve condensed most of my season into a few weeks so I’m pretty sick and tired of racing now. I could blame Waitrose for not having my preferred pre-race snack in stock (iced Belgian buns since you ask). I could say that Zoe’s been teething and if she doesn’t sleep then I don’t either. Or I could just admit that I’ve done the best I can given my circumstances and it wasn’t quite good enough on the day.
But in the end, this week has made me reassess my goals and my priorities as I can’t keep leaving Zoe at home whilst I gallivant round the country with my bike, it’s just not fair on her #MassiveMumGuilt