So after a crazy start to the year travelling the world riding and racing my bike it's back to reality. It's 4 weeks since my disappointment at the 24hour national championships and the whole experience left me physically drained. Hindsight as they say is 20:20. I shouldn't have ridden the 24hour race, the 12h race was a much better option and I'm certain I would have come away with a medal but the 24hour national title is what I wanted and I was willing to take the risk to get it.
So after almost a month away I set my targets on a new goal... work! I've been working for USE / Exposure Lights for almost a year now and full time (ish!) since September. Upon my return I've started a new role within the company. During the winter months when light sales are at their peak I will continue to help organise the orders/dispatch department but my new role comes to the fore during the summer months. I'm now helping out with the marketing side of things and am in charge of keeping the company website, facebook and twitter pages up to date as well as helping out our sponsored riders, keeping them supplied with product and making sure we get our publicity back in return. As well as marketing I'm also helping out with sales too. This is the exciting part where I get to visit dealers and help promote our products within shops. The added bonus is that I also get to go to events we sponsor to represent USE / Exposure and most of the time get to race too! (I think this could nearly be counted as being pro!)
After just writing all of that I've suddenly realised why I've been struggling for form lately! I seem to have become extremely busy with out realising it! After two weeks rest post 24h national I jumped back on my bike eager to capitalise on my massive early season and build some form ready for the summer races. The opposite seems to have happened though. After a promising threshold session where power numbers were encouraging I was confident. But then I just never recovered. A whole week to recover from a training session isn't quite right. The the cold came, one of those ones that lingers for ever, not bad enough to really affect normal life but just bad enough to ensure anything more than an easy spin makes it worse. How frustrating!
So I eased off hoping to recover in time for the Gorrick 100 race. I felt ok they day before so decided to race. Another mistake! The gun went off and I found myself struggling on the start straight. Not good but I convinced my self that it was because of the lack of riding recently and that I'd come round after an hour or so. My theory was correct and after a slight wrong turn on lap 1 my legs came round in the second hour. I moved from 11th position to 7th position in a lap and felt nice and strong, racing the Cape Epic does wonders for the legs! Entering lap 3 I was feeling good and pushed on trying to close the gap to the riders ahead. Entering lap 4 things started to go wrong. The power left my legs on the steep climbs early in the lap and I couldn't get the gear spinning on the flat fire road sections which I seemed to be fast on the previous laps. Then the snot filled my head and the head ache began. Bad times all round. Riders caught and passe me once more and I felt worse and worse.
I don't like abandoning races but I felt that continuing would only make things worse. That's 2 abandons in 2 races now, not a good statistic really. I think any results in the next month need to be forgotten and some form and health found. Work will fill the riding void though! I have an exciting road trip to Scotland next week to visit dealers and attend the Selkirk MTB Marathon. Maybe some Scottish trail center action will spring my legs and body back into action, I sure hope so!