The last 2 weeks since BMBS rd 1 have been pretty full on. Gradually day by day I have felt faster and stronger as I push my body to new levels of fitness. My lungs feel like they are increasing in volume and the pressure I am pushing through the pedals is gradually increasing. However it would be foolish to think that this good feeling would last forever. It would be even more foolish to expect this to last forever, the body just can’t cope with such stress for too long without finally collapsing and begging for repair.
Unfortunately I managed to reach this stage on Sunday morning. I lined up for the first round of the southern Xc wondering if the legs would be ready for some punishment. The answer was quick to arrive. The gun went off and elbows went out as the horde of monsters began the charge of the Xc start. I wasn’t part of this however; I had fluffed the start and was scrabbling around the back of the pack trying to clip my foot in the pedal, whoops.
After the early mistake I began to move up the field and settle in around midway down the pack. As we entered the first section of loamy single track the pace slowed as each rider weaved single file down the path ahead. Some where around halfway through the first lap my mind started wandering, I’m not sure what I was thinking about but it certainly wasn’t about the trail ahead. Suddenly there was a load creak and a line of riders waiting impatiently for me to move out of their way as I lay on the floor blocking their path. Somehow I crashed on the easiest bit of single track on the course and twisted my bars 90 degrees. I reached into my pocket to grab my multitool to correct my bars. Bugger, that was the thing I had forgotten and was niggling the back of my mind on the journey down. Luckily brute force prevailed and I was away again with a new found energy to catch up.
The next 2 laps were a game of pursuit. Gradually I worked my way forward through the pack; however the legs didn’t seem willing to put in the required effort. At one point on the 3rd lap a top 5 position was looking entirely feasible. By the end of the 5th lap it was out of the question. My legs buckled, too much training, too hard for too long. The game was up and I switched to conservation mode.
I crossed the line in 7th position. Not disastrous but I know on a good day a podium was achievable. Now I need to rest to allow my body to heal and when it does I shall be stronger. The big battles are yet to come…