After all the stress of planning and preparing for the big day (well more like a long-weekend), the actual wedding celebrations were so much fun. Of course I am biased, but it really was the best wedding I have ever been to! This is a cycling blog after all, so I won’t bore you with wedding stories and pictures (my facebook page is full of them if you are interested). I just wanted to share how happy I am at the moment and if you have any doubt about marriage, the party alone is a great reason!
I managed to persuade my husband that my bike was to come along and managed to get a few early morning rides in during our week in the Ardennes, even on the morning of the wedding day 🙂
We came back on Tuesday and on Sunday was my first 100 mile TT, the ECCA 100. Although I did a few rides in Belgium, I haven’t trained that much lately, so wasn’t quite sure how it would go. The course is only a 90 minute drive from my house, but because of the early start I decided to drive up the day before and stay at a local B&B, where I bumped into some fellow competitors. After a good but short night sleep I was ready for my 05:39 start, or was I?
I thought to be clever and use a Camel Racebak on my chest, with the hose pretty much next to my mouth, not very aero perhaps but at least I could drink easily whenever I wanted (see photo when testing during training ride).
Stupidly I filled it with water only. It did warm up quite a bit during the event but somehow the amount of liquid was just enough. I only wish I would have put an energy mix in it or at the very least some electrolytes. I had a gel up each skinsuit leg, but only ate one during the event. 100 mile on just over a liter of water and 1 gel…stupid and no doubt somewhat detrimental to my performance, but hey lessons to learn.
I also cut my start time VERY fine and rocked up with 15 seconds to spare: just enough to unclip and clip in again. At least there was no time to get nervous and wobbly at the start as I usually do.
The first 15 mile or so were on an undulating B road. There was hardly a car to be seen and no wind either. I am not sure what possessed me, but I set off way to hard (averaging 245W or so for the first 20 minutes). I knew Steve Irwin, fellow Kingston Wheeler and much faster and more experienced tester, was a minute behind me. It took him about 30 minutes to catch me.. I guess that says enough about my stupidly fast start.
The course then went onto the nice, fast, smooth and flat A11/A14, initially with few cars, but traffic slowly picked up during the morning as did the temperature. It was good fun in the beginning overtaking a few people, but after a while I was in no man’s land and tried to focus just on the road ahead, my position on the bike and the rhythm of my pedals turning round. When training at home on the turbo I quite enjoy keeping a close eye on my power numbers, but when out on the road I easily get carried away and forget all about it. It wasn’t even until after the race when uploading the data from my Garmin that I noticed for example that my HRM hadn’t registered at all!
At about 89 miles it was time to leave the dual carriage way again and make my way back to the finish along the same B road the event had started along. Whereas it had felt pretty fast on the way out, the road now suddenly felt like riding through treacle. I had felt quite smug approaching the last 10 mile with 25.2 mph average on the clock, thinking/hoping that I might be able to sneak under the 4hrs for my first ever 100m TT. Unfortunately, I saw my average shrinking to 24.9 mph over that last stretch and knew I wouldn’t go under…
I finished in 04:01:11, which was enough to be the fastest woman in the event, shave over 16 minutes off our club record and sneak into the top 10 of all time fastest women for the 100 mile. Not bad for a first go 🙂
Of course, I could write a lot more about how awful my pacing was and so many other things I may have done wrong, but for the moment I prefer to just be very happy with the result and remain on cloud nine for a little longer. June 2014 has turned out to be a great month so far!
See PDF file for full results of ECCA 100 (Steve Irwin also set a new club record of 3:39:34): CTT _ Events _ Results ECCA 100 – 22 June 2014
It hadn’t occurred to me previously (because I thought you needed a fast 10 which I doubt a diesel like me could achieve) but maybe I should attempt to get some good 25 and 50 results for the BBAR?