Icknield RC 100M TT, F1/100. 3:56:10

Wow, what a morning. Standing nervously on the start line I shared a good luck or two with Steve Batsford, off two minutes in front of me. It was cold (it wasn’t quite 6:30am, after all), but very still, and looked like it was going to get warm and fast.

I’d had a bit of a set-back with my running 10 days before when my right achilles tendon (the one I always have trouble with) started to get very sore after a couple of runs – it came on very quickly. Looking back, the only things that I’ve changed recently are the haematoma that came up on the same leg last month (the bruising’s still there) and a move to short, high-intensity intervals on the bike. It seems likely that the latter has put too much strain on the achilles, in combination with the running, and it’s cried enough. It puts my preparation for Grafman half-ironman (English Championships) on the 8th June in doubt. Cycling was still OK, at least.

Off the start I was soon into a good rhythm, keeping a careful eye on power to be sure not to overcook it, although I knew I’d inevitably fade a little over the second half. To be honest, the first couple of hours were a bit boring. I’d set my bars a bit higher for comfort and I wasn’t in too much distress from my back or shoulders. I was trundling along at just under 50-mile TT power, sipping my carbo drink and watching how everyone else was doing. Halfway passed in 1:57:10 – pretty good!

OCRCHowardW533<- early on. Camelbak still nearly full, bottle between the bars and gels taped to the top tube (photo thanks to Davey Jones)

Over the second half I started to feel that I should be pushing on, not letting my power drop off too much. The morning was warming up nicely, and the wind was still calm so although I was tiring my speed stayed nearly constant. I had my two energy gels in the last 1h20 just to give me a bit of a boost and then we were off the main road and onto the finishing final 15 miles. I still had enough left in the tank for a final push to the line, despite feeling like I was about to cramp up, crossed in 3:56:10. A new personal best by 1:21 and an OCRC club record. There were some very happy faces back at the HQ, we’d had near-perfect conditions.

It seems likely that this’ll be the last running of the F1/100 in this form – traffic lights are going in at the roundabout in the middle of the course, so it was a great way to sign off racing here.

Garmin Connect data HERE. Full result HERE. I’m in the Oxford Mail HERE (81 seconds though, not 81 minutes!)