The first ’50’ of a season where I’m toying with the idea of moving up the distances (100 miles – 12 hours even). What sort of endurance have I got? How will my back and groin stand up to the longer distance?
I remembered a lesson from last year: don’t ride an event the day before because it will tire you somewhat. Unfortunately I didn’t remember a lesson from this week: if it’s cold (and it was 7 degrees C at the start), cover your knees.
My target was to beat last season’s 2:10:19. The day started with a mistimed preparation. I rushed to the start with only a couple of minutes to spare – no warm up (admittedly, not such a problem with a ’50’). I kept it moving okay except for the section between Holybourne and the finish area (covered three times). Approaching half way I miscalculated my progress and had settled for a 2:12+. It was only when I checked the clock at 25 miles that I realised I had done a 1:03+ and was still on target for a decent time.
However, the cold was beginning to tell. By 30 miles I had lost feeling in my right foot and the left started to disappear soon afterwards. I slowed slightly in the second half and finished with a 2:08:33 – almost 2 minutes faster than last year. That’s my 5th fastest ’50’ of all time and the 3rd fastest since 2008.
After the finish the cold really hit me and I was in a bit of a state for a while. I think I’ve recovered now! I have medicated myself with wine and Cadbury’s mini-eggs.
My back is sore (so much gear in the skinsuit back pocket doesn’t help) but saddle sores were avoided by the liberal application of Assos chamois cream (“almost as good as axle grease” – JP). It’s expensive, but it does seem to work. Maybe I will ride another ’50’ and a ‘100’ as well.
The photos are from blinkmanphotos – many thanks. I look as if I’m riding in a hole because my lower back doesn’t curve. I think the saddle height is correct.
Race stats: Time: 2:08:33 (23.34mph). First 25 miles: 1:03:53, last 25 miles: 1:04:40. Top speed: 36.1mph. Slowest mile (11): 2:53 (20.81mph), fastest mile (49): 2:14 (26.87mph). Average HR: 155bpm, maximum HR: 167bpm. Average cadence: 76rpm. 58 of 100 finishers. Winner: Laurence Harding and Stu Dodd (both http://www.drag2zero.com) tied with 1:47:43.