That didn’t quite go according to plan. Not that there was much of a plan… but I got a bit of a shock in a race. You usually get them in sport once or twice per year, but it was a hard lesson to me that you can’t just drop into a fell race for the first time in a few months and expect to perform. Add to that a nice relaxing holiday with only a few ‘get me by’ bike rides, and no running at all for 16 days, and looking back, I was heading for a kicking.
The Golf Ball race is a deceptively tough short race. The terrain gets steadily harder to run on under foot and the long, runnable climb that culminates five minutes from the finish isn’t kind to you if you’re on the rivet. Still, I’ve done it five times now and that was my worst result – a minute or so slower than the previous worst, and some four minutes slower than my fastest in 2005.
The graphs here show some clues as to where I faltered, but basically fresh legs at the start were pushed too fast too quickly and they hit me back hard about half way through the race. I was in 11th or 12th place and thought I could hang on and lose 2 or 3 places, but I’d forgotten how hard the last climb was, and I got savaged by plenty of people very quickly.
Anyway – with just over 5 weeks to the 3 peaks cyclocross now it’s just about enough time to turn a fairly good base fitness into the right sort of form and speed, but I’m leaving things tight, and don’t want any nasty hiccups now in the next few weeks.