Wow what a year 2014 has been. Getting married and our amazing Wedstock celebrations in Belgium, an exciting new job, plenty of cycling success and still a honeymoon in Tanzania to look forward to!
Last November I put down the following targets for the 2014 season on our club forum:
|Posted: Mon Nov 25, 2013 17:25 Post subject:|
|1) Win (or at least podium) at Nat12Hr TT and Nat 24Hr TT2) Break women’s club record for 25 mile TT
3) Top 3 ranking within my category in SEWTTS and Top 10 in LWCR
4) Club 10 sub 23min
- I didn’t ride the National 24hr TT – our wedding got in the way – and the National 12hr TT didn’t go as well as hoped, but I still came 3rd.
- I broke our women’s 25 mile TT club record three times. The old record from the mid-1990s stood at 58:49. This was then lowered to 56:53 by Maryka in June this year and I subsequently reduced it to 56:46, 55:31 and finally 53:34.
- I came first in my SEWTTS (South East Women Time Trial Series) category – but will likely be bumped up a category next year. I didn’t ride a single LWCR (London Women Cycling Racing) event in the end focusing on time trials instead.
- I managed to lower my club 10 time to 22:37 (G10/42 North Holmwood course) but only rode on two occasions.
- I really enjoyed riding my bike this year, especially once I started to get the hang of handling the Shiv.
And then there were all the other unexpected additional highlights and successes:
- My sister also got married this year, which meant more reason to party and more opportunity to see my family (as we are all in different countries these days).
- My husband can no longer be referred to as a non-cyclist and has even expressed an interest in learning how to fix a puncture (but not practised yet..)
- I didn’t perform too shabby at the other National TT distances I entered, coming 8th in the 10 mile, 9th in the 25 mile (despite it being just a week after the 12Hr), 5th in the 50 mile (my first attempt at the distance) and 8th in the 100 mile (despite problems with a see-saw saddle and cramp).
- I broke most of our women’s club records, including some that had been standing since the mid-1990s. The only club record I didn’t beat is the 30m TT. I was going to have a go at that distance in early October, but unfortunately the event was cancelled because of heavy rain and wind.
- I managed to achieve my additional end-of-season goals of riding a ‘21’ for a 10 mile TT and even a ‘53’ rather than the targeted ‘55’ for a 25 mile TT, admittedly by riding fast courses on good days, but still achievements I am proud of, especially as I only ‘flipped the switch’ to training for shorter events at the beginning of August.
For my first year on the TT bike, I am also very proud to have made it into the ‘all time fastest list’ for all distances I attempted, currently ranking:
- 16th in the 10 mile all time fastest list with my 21:13
- 8th in the 25 mile all time fastest list with my 53:34
- 7th in the 50 mile all time fastest list with my 1:51:37 (done on the hottest day of the year)
- 12th in the 100 mile all time fastest list with my 4:01:11 (also my 1st 100 mile TT ever)
- And 6th in the 12Hr all time fastest list with my 252.636 miles achieved last year on my road bike.
- There remains just the 30 mile and 24hr to add to the list.., both distance I haven’t yet tried (for UK TTs that is).- see link for full overview of all-time fastest list.
And finally possibly my biggest success this year – I won the Best British All-Rounder (BBAR) competition.
For those not familiar with the BBAR, it is annual British cycle-racing competition organised by Cycling Time Trials and aimed at finding the time trialists who can claim to be the best over a range of distances. It ranks riders by their average speeds in individual time trials, over 25, 50 and 100 miles for women and 50 and 100 miles and 12 hours for men. The competition dates back to the pre-war years and has been won by legends such as Eileen Sheridan (my hero!), Beryl Burton (25x between 1958 and 1983) and more recently Julia Shaw (4x). And now me 😀
My times for the BBAR this year were 53:34 for 25 mile, 1:51:37 for 50 mile and 4:01:11 for 100 mile, resulting in an average speed of 26.586 mph which is amongst the highest averages in the history of the BBAR (but much of that is probably related to the excellent conditions we have had this year). See link for full BBAR tables for 2014.
This definitely wasn’t a target at the start of the year, but a very welcome ‘icing on the cake’ as I referred to in an earlier blog. Happy days!
What is not apparent from the ‘bragging list’ above, but perhaps even more important is all the small gains I made such as increased confidence and comfort on the TT bike, improved power, more disciplined and focused training regime, learning to listen to my body and knowing when to back off or when to dig in… There is still much progress to be made, but some things have definitely started to ‘click’ in 2014.
So now it’s time to turn my attention to other things in life I have neglected during the season (e.g. DIY, we have only done up 1.5 rooms since moving into our new house more than 2 years ago..) and spend some more time with my husband in the weekends, going for long walks, catching up with friends and family etc.
I have a few ideas about targets for 2015, but above all I just want to keep enjoying riding my bike and improving along the way 😀