As I rode to the Herne Hill my legs felt good, although I wasn’t expecting anything I hoped it would mean I maybe wouldn’t fine the race so bad! A good field of riders lined up for the start of the Womens race, with headlights ablaze and some with awesome costumes on. The race started and my red mist set in, and suddenly I was leading with last years winner Claire Beaumont, on my wheel. We straight away started passing the Vet men that had started a minute or so ahead of us. I pressed on legs feeling strong and breathing not too bad considering only regaining my voice fully that morning and dropped Claire. I soloed in manageing not to get lapped by any on the Vets or Juniors which pleased me.
After that victory I was excited for the next round of the trophy in Leicester the next weekend. I began my week of training looking to improve on my fitness level as I now felt fully recoved from my cold. However after a good solid 5 days on the bike riding I woke on Friday feeling ‘crappy’. Even though I had planned for an easy two days just before the Trophy decided not to aggravate this ‘crappy’ feeling and had decided not to exercise at all.
Sunday came and I woke up still feeling ‘crappy’ but nothing worse, I got up to Leicester with plenty of time to sort myself out. I did a few practise laps and found the course ok, with nothing too challenging apart from the slick top layer of mud. My legs felt a bit heavy but that was too be expected after two days of doing nothing.
So I warmed up and headed to the start line, the gun went and we were off. For the first lap I was at the back of a small group chasing the leaders, who were still in sight. In my mind I felt like I could put in a dig and get across or at least move to the front of the group and up the pace, however my legs would and seeminly couldn’t put this little dig in. The frustration mounted as on the 2nd lap I came down hard on one of the slick corners, after putting my chain back on a group of 3 riders came pass with a few of them giving me an encouraging yell which really helped. I jumped back on and tried to get on the back of their group but couldn’t, again my legs wouldn’t respond. After another lap or so and slipping back even further I pulled out of the race.
Now I don’t quit bike races but the frustration was too much for me, knowing you should be able to stay with a group or close a gap but not being able to. I’m also now fighting between being annoyed at myself for quitting and wanting get straight back into training to do better next time (although I woke up this morning completely bunged up and muscles aching). Whilst the voice of reason is saying to rest until I’m fully better, though another rest week will surely result in loss of fitness…fingers crossed for a speedy recovery!