Yesterday was my 3rd race of the winter season. Basically these are the emotions that went with it. Normal anxiety prior to race. Increased anxiety on the start line. In the middle of the starting pack was scary, mostly men surrounding me. Should of gone to the edge. What if there is a pile up in front of me? What if I can't keep up? Go! Pedal furiously, heart already up to near its maximum. Hanging on in there, I hold my place ok. My special racing Bont shoes feel super. Get through the technical woods, relieved not to crash. I have no idea where I am in the race. Barriers are high and feel hard.
Feel sick. Reached my limit. What am I doing here? I am not doing very well. I'm moving too slow on these open bits but need to back off as feel too sick to push harder. My back hurts a bit. These laps are really long. People cheering pleases me, distracts me from the pain and lack of oxygen in my muscles. I bet other people are feeling fine and not struggling. I have a strong word with myself, the feeling will pass, just keep pedalling. The bell rings. I feel great! I push hard and even run up the hill. One last effort. I ride the steps, passing a woman running, the euphoria carries me all the way to the finish.
I love my little Kinesis bike with its second hand tubs. Can't breathe. Exhausted. Delighted. Fabulous feeling of achievement. No idea where I came, don't really care, I did my best. Both the physical and mental strength need to be worked on. 6th lady out of 18. I'll suffer again for that.....
Thanks to Chris Meads and Jack Chevell for Photos.
Thanks to Bont, Lazer and Kinesis Uk for important accessories