Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Miserable Mayhem

It was probably never going to be a good idea.

On the surface of it I felt great after racing 24hrs at Exposure.  Last year it took me months to get back on the bike, this time I was having to hold myself back after a couple of days.  I had one or two niggles but wasn't that to be expected?

I was good, I rested and didn't ride much at all. 

I didn't get carried away with my idea, I canvased opinion on whether two 24hr solos in a month was do-able.  Half said I was mad, but they say that about one 24hr event.  Others said go for it if I felt ok.

So I did.

But I don't think I was ever convinced.  I didn't get stressed in the week before the event.  Not, as I tried to tell myself, that I was relaxed as it didn't matter, it was an extra race, I was training; but because I was pretending it wasn't happening as I knew my body wasn't up to it.

I realised afterwards that I'd been hoping that someone that I would trust would tell me not to do it.  I couldn't make that call myself as that would be giving up.  24hr racing is mind over matter, giving up is not conducive to 24hr racing.

Right from the start I knew my body wouldn't be able.  My legs wouldn't go and my back was in spasm.  The muddy, grindy climbs and lack of free flowing trails didn't help.  I changed bikes for my second lap for a different position and started again.  Just relax go with the flow.  But there was no flow to go with.  This wasn't a head thing, my body just wasn't close to being ready.

In hindsight perhaps I should have been less 'good' in the time between the two races.  If I'd done any kind of half decent ride I'd have realised that I was far from being ready.  It's easy to feel good when you're doing nothing.

People asked before whether my head would be in it to do two so close together.  I'm not sure, I didn't get to put it to the test.  If this had all happened at 3am then maybe it would have been an issue, as it was pulling out was the easiest decision I made about the whole race.  Physically I just wasn't able.

And what have I learnt from this? I still believe 24hr racing is mind over matter but knowing when something is too much is a skill I don't have.  Next time I should listen to myself before going through the rigmarole of preparing for an event. 

Luckily my team mate Ant had a better time with a stonking performance in the male solo race, here's his report.

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