Thursday, 27 September 2012

Very wet

It's been a week of working indoors due to the weather. I still got nice and wet commuting though. Tuesday I did my last three peaks training session, very wet and I ended up with one leg thigh deep in a bog. I was still a wimp descending, lots of getting off but I managed two carries without finding it too too hard.

Wednesday my way to work involved a bit of a paddle, I decided on the way home to avoid the shortcut and just ride along the East Lancs.

So Sunday is the three peaks, I don't think its an event I'll ever feel ready for but hoping I will have fun.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Back Cyclo-Cross racing

There was a race two miles from my house, Ali had washed my bike and I had nothing on. It seemed rude not to race. It was hard, I felt slow but I had a good race with Larry (he had fans all round the course) which kept me pushing and eventually I got away from him. Certainly was a good workout heartrate was above 180bpm most of the race.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Kielder100....take 4!

After finishing this race three times and a promise of a special prize for those who had completed it all four times if they finished this year I really had to enter. I really wasn't sure about my ability to either do the distance or manage it fast enough to make the cut-offs. Ali had targeted it as her main event of the year and had done some good training towards it, although the Olympics had kind of brought a halt to it. I on the other hand had a background of a stay in a Psychiatric ward followed by breaking my collarbone and being off the bike for two months. I had been riding again for nearly two months and back at work which led to lots of commuting miles but there had been very little off-road miles. Riding the MTL with Ali a week before had given me some confidence as I had finished the ride feeling strong and rode most of the descents, it had hurt though.

I spent the week before being my usual annoying and anxious self. But I did get organised and have most of my stuff packed by Wednesday night, still meant I had lots of Ali's to do. Work fantastically let me finish early on the Friday as numbers were down at the school I was at so I was home before Ali, meaning that once she got home (she had finished early as well) I was able to pack the car and we were on our way. We were staying at the Youth Hostel this year so arrived and made our dinner while catching up with Norn and Hannah. At registration we found out my number plate had not arrive, I was meant to have one with my name on due to having finished the event three times, so I had a temporary one in case they didn't arrive.

Arriving at Kielder my only real aim was to get round within the cutoffs I had secondary aims of trying to be as close to 12hours as possible and maybe just sneak onto the podium. Due to having finished every running of the race so far I got to start at the front. This meant I spent the whole of the neutral section and the first couple of hours of the race feeling like I was going backwards while all the fast guys came past me. Ali caught me up just after the neutral section and stayed in front of me for a while, I also knew there were two other females ahead of me but that at least one was a vet. At the cross-over point on the course I went past Ali as she removed a layer and that was the last I saw of her.

I reached the first cut-off point with an hour in hand and was feeling confident, I was descending reasonably well and although hurting nothing was too bad. Turning left to head to Newcastleton I spent most of the rest of the race slowly passing people which helps with moral. I made the last cutoff with an hour to go and knew then I was going to finish as I only had 22miles to go and it would take something major to stop me! Like last year I felt reasonably strong on this section. I traded place with a few lads but on the whole I rode on my own. Heading towards the last descent I realised I was not only going to break 12hours but I might just set a new PB (my previous being 11:55 in 2010). I really enjoy the final descent, so much so I don't even mind the bit of climbing joing the sections of singletrack. I crossed the line with a big smile on my face and realisation I would have to return next year!

Turns out I was 3rd female back but 1st senior female as the other two were vets so I made the top step of the podium. Ali had a fantastic race finishing only 20minutes behind me and 2nd in our category. Which made the podium even more exciting. I finished in 11:52:40 so got my PB and was 132nd overall. So next year hopefully I can avoid hospitals for a while!

Thanks to:
  • Cooksons Cycles for the help getting such an amazing bike (Both myself and Ali rode Trek Superflys) and always making sure my bike is in top working order.
  • Mikey at Velocake for the peptalks.
  • Ali for being fab and looking after me as always even though she was racing as well.
  • Work for letting me leave early on Friday and the fact that we are encouraged to travel to where we are working by bike as commuting is where I get all my miles in.
  • Everyone else who has kept me going this year.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Mary Townley Loop

I wanted a last training ride before kielder100 so I persuade Ali to come and ride the MTL. She decided it was more sensible not to ride to/from the start so we drove to Waterfoot and headed clockwise from there. The day was great, the sun shone all day. Some of the trails were very eroded from the flooding they've had in Calderdale this summer. Halfway round we bumped into Andrew from my work, also out on a long ride round the MTL for kielder training, just going the opposite way. A lose cleat bolt was the only mechanical issue of the day.

47miles, total time just under 8 hours and a very tired Ali at the end.

Feeling a bit better about kielder now, although it is over twice as far!

Canal Hopping

First few days this week I rode into work on the road. Thursday I thought I should get off-road again I rode via Rochdale canal. Andrew was riding in from Todmorden so I got on the canal at Rochdal, rode north till I met him and the rode into work. A bit of road and then the Ashton Canal. It was nice and fast, which shows how lazy I am when I ride on my own.

Friday I was back to my usual off-road commute so just the disused canal at Prestwich and a bit of the Ashton canal. But I also rode the Berms to add to the grin factor.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Carrying my bike

I commuted to work on the road today. Then went I got home I headed out on the cross bike over to Belmont then I carried the bike up Winter Hill, slowly. Rode down, slowly and then rode home. Hopefully it will help make the Three Peaks a little easier to complete.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

End of the holiday

Last couple of days were spent commuting in with Mikey (more fun when I didn't have to work after the commute), meeting up with Ali's cousin (a secret tractor fan), riding with Katie, eating cake and finished with an early morning muddy cross ride. We're now home and in some ways the holiday feels like it lasted ages and in other ways it seems really quick.

Now back to reality!