Sunday, 5 April 2009

Holy moly...where did that come from???

I've had a week of ups and downs (no change there then I hear you say.) The end of it was to be today's 50 TT (Circuit of the Dales) a hilly (about 2,600 metres of climbing) but beautiful race in the Yorkshire Dales. Having hardly raced at all this year (it is still early I guess) I think I was a little anxious about today. I wanted to train this week but I also wanted a good race today and so I made the decision to rest on Thursday instead of running long, swam 5km on Friday but leg rested and had an easy hrs run on Saturday. I had no excuse, except resting makes me grizzly and rather annoying to live with (Tom will vouch for that I'm sure!) The past two years we've ridden this the weather has been variable, wind and rain or wind and snow. So, watching the weather all week and seeing a little dot of sunshine on the horizon was a joy as you can imagine.

Our good mate Ben G came to stay last night (he was racing too) and we all kicked back in front of the box. Tom was like a child before Christmas and could barely contain his excitement, he just loves racing, absolutely loves it. I was gutted when I rode up a hill about 30 miles in and heard Tom shouting encouragement - he should have been a good 40 mins behind me so I knew he must have had a mechanical :(
My plan was, there was no plan. I just wanted to race hard and see what I had. I knew when I raced The Ballbuster a couple of weeks ago that I was so much stronger on the bike but the course was way too technical for me to see how much I'd improved. Today I had hoped to see that improvement and boy did I do that!
I felt great as Steve pushed me off at 8.48am and off my little legs went over the hills and dales. I was a little worried I'd gone off too hard as I watched my heart rate soar to the merry heights of the high 160's but I managed to reign myself in and maintained a steady hear rate average of 157. Isn't it weird how when the day is going well the pain feels completely different, actually it's not really pain. Last year I rode 2.59.20 and today I rode... 2.40.02, wuhoo!!!! :) :) :) Tom was waiting by the checkered board and I think he nearly died when he saw me, he was expecting me to be about another 15mins. I'm so, so, so pleased I rode so consistently and I felt strong & now I know that all of those miles, all of those tears I've shed when training's been hard, they were all worth it because today I was rewarded for my hard work with the proof that I have improved and that's a wonderful feeling.
Ben G had a great race too, coming back from weeks of time out after his horrendous ear infection to ride an awesome 2.26. You looked adversity in the face and spat in its eye after all of the pain you've suffered with that ear. Today you know Lanzarote is still there waiting for you :)
My husband who is far more selfless than anyone I know in the whole world was the best supporter even though he was devastated to not even be able to start (stem clamp issues see his blog.) He was so excited last night he could barely sleep and there he was giving his all on the side lines cheering everyone on, he is amazing.

Talking of pb's, I wasn't the only one to smash one in half today. Our mate Ian (Ozzer) a prolific Ironman and speedy speedster (but one who never quite managed to get the race gods on his side in the 'A' races) took a whole hour and some to join the sub ten hr gentleman's club at Ironman Australia today. Wow, and double wow, mate we're so happy for you, we knew you could do it and did it you have. It's all yours Ozzer, no one can take it away, can't wait to hear the full race report, happy celebrations :) :) :) You spurred me on as I went out to race this morning Ozzer!

So it's time for bed, 4 weeks of hard training left, and then it's time to see what we've got out there on those Volcanic roads of Lanzarote.

Week Nine's pix are here (very varied this week!) enjoy...

H. x


Mama Simmons said...

Sweet! I totally know what you mean about how when you're feeling good it's not really pain... that's awesome. Congrats!!

Jevon said...

Great ride H... well done.

Debra said...

Fantastic ride H :-) :-)