I was dropped after about three miles and was lapped twice before the end. The legs never seemed to turn and the lungs never seemed to pump. The heart rate, however, was as high as it has ever been. Final placing: 28th out of 29 finishers. Winner: Robert Moore of London Phoenix.
The race was made more interesting by the snow. Half a mile from the circuit there was none. By the time I arrived there was a ‘powder coat’ all the way round. The localised nature of the weather meant that a good sized field had turned up and most of them stayed for the delayed start. The grippy surface at Hillingdon (plus some excellent work with the salt by the Imperial RT) meant no slipping and everyone stayed upright. At the finish my beard was encrusted with ice.
Why was I so rubbish after making decent progress over the last couple of weeks? Negativity I think. I have been reading a lot about sports psychology this Winter and I think that I’m now more positive and focussed about my riding. But not today. The last few days have seen a few niggles (snot, sore throat etc., the sort of thing everyone has at this time of year) and I’ve let it get to me. Being generally positive is great, but when the pressure builds, it’s not enough. You need specific positive routines and/or scripts when the going gets tough.
I wonder what scripts the 27 guys in front of me were using?
Photographs courtesy of LondonCycleSport. You can just see me (green jersey) on the left of the second one.