>Embracing your inner chimp


My inner chimp is back (I’m lucky – my team mate ran into his inner gorilla yesterday).

<< Can you see my inner chimp trying to get out? I’m a stone heavier than this time last year. Photo by Keith Shorten

This morning I woke up with an aching back and a stiff neck. Then I managed to to pull a muscle between my shoulder blade while brushing my teeth. This kind of stupid pain is either an early indication of a virus or tension. A virus means rest, tension means deal with it.

I’m hoping for a couple of decent performances this weekend, so I guessed that tension was the issue. Unfortunately the muscle pain is real, so ibuprofen was the first step. The accompanying neuroses (I can’t lift my bike, how will I drive there? Everybody hates me) are not based in reality. I calmed down – an easier morning.

I know that the next few weekends are about delivery – all of the events so far have been leading up to the next few weeks’ races. Today’s 10m TT at Bentley (organised by the Hounslow and District Wheelers) should be my first sub-24 minute time of the year. This is why the bloody chimp is on the warpath.

I arrived at the HQ early and had a long slow warm up – to get the blood pumping through my back muscles. The day was warm and the wind light – this could be a fast day.

Now, so far, putting the chimp in his place was a good idea. But the little guy’s uppity for a reason – he wants to burn adrenalin. And now he might be useful. I hit the start as hard as I have all season – not out of control hard, but still pretty committed. There are a couple of drags to the turn and they seemed to go on for ever. The ‘climbs’ after the turn are shorter, but need a bit more oomph – they can really knock your time if your get them wrong. The first one went okay, but I messed up the second one. Luckily the chimp was well onside by this time and I really attacked the last two miles.

23:56 – season’s best. I was initially disappointed not to get a PB (haven’t had one since 1983), but in retrospect it’s not a bad ride. I’m wrecked now, but I hope to recover in time for my 5am alarm call and tomorrow’s ’25’.

Race stats: Time: 23:56 (25.07mph). First 5 miles: 12:35, second 5 miles: 11:21. Top speed: 34.5mph. Slowest mile (2): 2:42 (22.22mph), fastest mile (9): 1:59 (30.25mph). Average HR: 162bpm, maximum HR: 172bpm. 39th of 68 finishers. Ave. cadence: 78rpm. Winner: Wouter Sybrandy (Sigma Sport) 20:05