I’d had few steady weeks. Some intervals, a club TT, a ride in the Hampshire 50 to an uneventful 1:54 which’d got me a ride in today’s TT. More importantly, I’d bought a brace for my ankle to wear at night and keep my achilles straight. Suddenly I was back in the running game and, having missed the English half-iron champs at Grafman because of a stupid achilles strain, was looking like I might be able to do Cotswold226 after all.
In the meantime, I was chasing a fast 50 to back up my 3:56 100-mile time and the Newbury 12-hour. The forecast was looking a bit dodgy – very hot, but with thunderstorms bubbling up all over the south of England. I took a punt that we’d still be racing – with being back into my running the training log was looking nice and full so even if today was a no-show, I still had the miles in the bank and a rest day to boot.
As it turned out we escaped the thunder, but the weather was very, very warm. I untaped the vents in my aero helmet for all the good it’d do, and set off at the same sort of power as I’d ridden the (much, much cooler) Hampshire 50 a few weeks previously. The first 25-miles went OK, and then the heat came down. I finished my bottle way before 35 miles, and the last 12 or so were just purgatory. I knew though, that with heat and low pressure the air would be thin and however weak I’d be feeling, I’d still be travelling quickly. And so it proved. Despite my power dropping off a cliff in the last 10-miles – although not as badly as some – I managed to hang on for a bit of a kick in the last 5 miles and record a 12-second PB (beating the time I’d set in timetrial.co.uk colours on the old A34 course in 2002). A new OCRC club record too.
At 25-miles and starting to feel the heat:
(thanks to Davey Jones for the photo)
Everyone was gasping at the finish – I should’ve carried a spare bottle to the finish, rather than having to ride back to my car for a drink, but no matter, I was very, very pleased with that ride!