March 14, 2016

SERRL E123 Road Race Chilham

By Andy.

Paul kindly offered to drive, he wouldn’t accept any petrol money and he even bought me a tea after the race. A standard hour in the car for a serrl race. We left at 7:45 not too early, but i’d had a late one the night before. This tends to affect motivation to hurt oneself when hard efforts are required.

Before the briefing Steve asked if I’d weighed my self recently. My wife has gone on a lactose free diet so rather than let them go to waste I’ve been steadily eating all of the deserts in the fridge before they go out of date.

I’ve recently started a new job. On Friday I had a ride in an ambulance after working in a confined space with some noxious gases. One near death experience a week not being enough I’d agreed to race the Chillam e123, a national B, with Paul and Barny.

The sun was shining but a 4 Celsius north east wind was blowing. About a third were in shorts, a third in knee warmers and a third in Longs. I’d gone with Longs which was comfortable for the majority of the race

Paul suggested we check out one of the significant hills for a warm up, mashing down and back up that served as an ample warm up. Lining up behind the lead car, I wasn’t the only one shivering while we waited for the off

Once racing a steady stream of motivation came from simply trying to avoid being dropped.

I took about 5 gels, one before the race and about one every hour during. I finished two 750ml bottles containing sugary supplements too. Carrying this much felt excessive pre race but ultimately worked out well.

The strategy was just to try and get round, the odd opportunity arose to get away but I’d missed all of the important ones, probably because they had gone when the pace was mental. The average pace of the bunch wasn’t horrific, I’ve put out higher numbers for longer, albeit when much fitter and in summer. Doing this kind of race usually results in a new PB on the mean maximals chart.

Taking a conservative approach helped to complete the course. The lack of base miles over winter was less helpful. Not training for this distance being one of the most important factors. On the final climb I was dropped by the handful of riders that hadn’t been dropped or finished already. Finishing the 140k beasting had exceeded realistic expectations this early in the season.


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