After a bit of a confidence boost in my last race with no back pain and feeling normal, I was slightly happier heading down south to race the last in the CDNW series.
I arrived in Lancaster in sunshine and was able to sit up my rollers outside which I really enjoy. I was happy to feel good during the session and settled down for the evening with Osmo Pre-Load Having experimented throughout the season with 1 or 2 doses of pre-load, I now find that 2 doses (the night and morning before) suits me best for racing especially if i’ve been training up to the race. Now that things are falling into place physically (literally, my pelvis is no longer rotating and the massive curve that was in my back as a result of the rotation has gone), i’m noticing the effects of the buffering from the double dose.
Leaving Lancaster in full sunshine, we set off towards looming dark clouds and it was raining by the time we arrived. We also arrived just as the men’s race was finishing as it had been stopped early due to a 4 x 4 driving into the 3/4 peloton, thankfully everyone was able to walk away from the incident.
After far too much faff about layers, I was drinking more Pre-Load and applying a combination of Natural Hero Hot ginger rub
with baby oil to keep the muck off my legs before warming up inside on the rollers…and with the men waiting in the main hall, the women were reduced to warming up in the corridor beside the toilets! Road racing at its most glamourous…
Team 22 were well placed in the GC with teamies Jen and Eve sitting 1st and 2nd. I was in 10th despite having missed 3 out of the league races. We were due to have a full team out riding but Jen was ill, so we were looking to secure Eve’s GC.
After a nicely paced neutralised start, the race was on. I was happy to be feeling good and most importantly, having fun and enjoying racing again. Its amazing what raising my saddle height has done for overall feeling combined with my back pain easing. It was a course that suited me, with two rolling climbs and twisty sections, we had great support on the course with team sponsor Ken from Bioracer out to cheer us on, Graham taking photographs around the course, Jen and hubby Paul cheering us on through the prime sprint (every lap) and Colin following in the car behind. The only downside was the amount of crap on the roads in several places, and i made sure everytime we passed the sections of road i had my mouth firmly shut to minimise the chances of getting ill after the race through accidentally getting any of the muck in my mouth. The race was safe for the most, aside from the bunch going full gas down a twisty descent only to turn the corner to find a tractor in the way and then almost a standing start up the climb, and an incident with a car deciding to pull out in front of us and then pull into the side to let us passed.
Despite attacks, it came down to a sprint finish with Gina taking the win, Eve taking 4th, myself 6th, Jess 9th and Sarah 15th. This meant our final GC was Eve in 1st, Jen in 3rd, Sarah in 9th and myself in 10th so it was pretty cool to have 4 of the team in the top 10 GC. We also cleaned up the prime league too.
After the race I was wary of getting ill, so the first thing I did was down my Osmo Acute Recovery made with almond milk, a shot of espresso and a dose of glutamine in it (for immunity and gut health), and then there was yet more glamour as we were washing our legs in the kitchen sink with baby wipes so we could be slightly respectable before our end of season team dinner. I think it took longer to clean the muck off my kit (3 washes and a 2 hour soak!!) and my bike than it did to race!
As for me, my back is continuing to progress well with almost no pain at all. I’m now at a yoga/pilates class every week at Meadowlark taught by Boddylanguage which is really helping the final stage in my rehab. It has been pretty tough though and i’ve been very sore after it – after a 2 hour workshop I could hardly get out of bed the next day. I have also realised just how tight how tight my hips are with lots of cycling and sitting down at work all day. But I’m also seeing rapid improvements after only 6 classes in total, and have worked up to doing an assisted headstand even if i was a bit scared and my hip flexors were stopping me walking my legs further in and felt confident enough to do put my legs on the wall at 90deg during downward dog. The class is giving my body the movement it’s been craving and I feel a lot more balanced, as well as having fun in the class! On the bike I’m seeing improvements able to climb more like more normal self although I’m somewhat behind on where I should be, and was pleased to survive a day riding with Graeme and Bill, having asked them to smash it on the climbs and I had to sprint up everyone after them – i think my legs were reduced to jelly after the 1st hour!
I’m still unusure when my season will end as I can race every weekend until the end of September in Scotland but I feel I need to draw a line under it at some point although I’m a little reluctant now that things seem to be falling into place! But the positive is that i’m going into the winter with a much stronger base and body to work from this season which will mean a much better season next year. Team 22 has some big plans for next year with new sponsors and riders, new target races and coffee…more on that to come!