The week between our team training weekend and my first races of 2014 flew by in the blink of an eye. I’ve never known a working week to pass as fast as last week did!
After some acupuncture I had a few days of feeling wiped out and so emotional for no reason. I was craving heat, comfort, my duvet and feeling massively sorry for myself. It’s not the first time acupuncture has had this effect but I was a bit concerned with it being so close to racing. I hadn’t helped matters by doing an early morning turbo session on water and electrolytes. I’m not sure I’ve ever sweated as much during a turbo session before, and despite 2 750ml bottles in 1.5hours, I was so dehydrated after the session. I think its safe to say now that my training has ramped up its time to start using Osmo active hydrate during every session!
I began to pick up a little on Friday thankfully, and the feeling was replaced with excitment and some nerves. Friday was spent packing, cooking meals for the weekend, physio exercises and my usual pre race spin on the rollers. Oh, and work too. I tried not to think about the weekend too much as I was over excited as it was and it was just a waste of energy. I failed.
Saturday was an early start with a quick stop to pick up some cake at the local chocolate shop / cafe for my coach. I arrived with plenty of time to kill before the crit race which was 45mins + 5 laps. I had lots of coffee and water during the journey, followed by Osmo Pre-Load. Pre-Load is something I’ll only be using in my priority races, stage races, when its mega hot (ha, in Scotland this is rare!) or during intense short races (like a crit) where I might struggle to take on board fluid during a race. Having tried Pre-Load in training, I’m confident it works and that it makes a difference, but I’d never tried the full dose so my first early season races are a bit experimental as I try the full dose to see what works for me.
The early morning ice and frost gave way to rain, which then cleared to sunshine! It was still cool though so I opted to wear my team gillet for the race – what a great piece of race kit, thank you Bioracer for top quality kit! The crit race was fun, and despite it being our first team race of the year, we worked well as a team with good communication. Eve took the win and primes, I was 3rd and Jess 4th and 1st junior. Thanks to Total Cycle Coach for sponsoring the women’s race.
After a cool down it was time for a much needed coffee before heading further down south to my coaches house where I was staying for the second weekend in a row (thanks for hosting me!). My recovery time included my physio exercises so it wasn’t exactly all that relaxing, followed by Natural Hero’s hot ginger rub and elevating my legs for 30mins as I tried to stay awake, with the 4 hours of travelling having caught up on me.
Sunday was a 50km road race on a circuit that more resembles a crit race with primes at laps 10 and 5, its wide, with one section into the headwind and mostly flat. The start sheet had 74 women on it which was exciting to see. I was glad the rain stopped so I was able to get in a decent warm up on the rollers.
I had Pre-Load again. This is the full dose and I’m now happy it works for me in races, and when combined with Active Hydrate in my bottle, I was hydrated despite not drinking for the first 30mins of the race as the peloton was sketchy with touches of wheels, various shouts and screams and a crash – so I decided I’d keep both hands on the bars until it settled down.
It was another great result for the team with Eve taking the primes, Jen winning the bunch sprint finish, Eve and Sarah in the top 10 and Jess just outside the top 20. I was 18th and pretty upset with my own result having got cut up in the sprint finish when a rider changed her line mid sprint and I pulled / strained something in my leg as I reacted to this. Even the team result couldn’t cheer me up as I didn’t leave the race feeling I’d done the best I could as a result of getting cut up but I guess I can be thankful I stayed upright. The drive home wasn’t fun and I was in agony any time I had to put weight on my leg, but I really enjoyed my recovery drink of Osmo recovery with espresso in it – it kept me wide awake and full of enery for the 4 hour drive home. I’m lucky to have a great support team around me and my physio George gave me some advice on the drive home. So far I seem to be able to cycle ok so I’ll just see how I go this week in training before racing at the weekend.