Thursday, January 29, 2009

20 Years of Being Rubbish

The National Championships came around in January. 6 weeks after the start of the agonising back pain and the cough and god knows what else. In truth, this cough has wiped out too many members of the club but I really didn't expect to come last. Yet with this face, it's fairly obvious what was going to happenIt didn't help that on the first lap, I found myself sandwiched between two other competitors. The gap closed and left me lying on my back in the mud. On the next lap, in exactly the same place, I was trying so hard I cycled into a bush and floundered again. Being rubbish.

The next week took me to Reading on the Saturday where I felt obliged to race to defend my silver medal position in the Wessex league. On a points basis, Lauren had taken my silver medal place but, if I rode and she didn't, I would be back in the running. So I slobbed my way round this...like this...
to achieve this...
I have to get some pretty wellies too really but Yay, I got beer! After 45 minutes of racing I realised I was feeling just fine. I raced every inch of the race, always catching someone infront of me and only letting one person get by me. If I'd felt like this last week at the nationals, I might've stood a chance of not being last.

The next day I woke at 6am and told TSK I had changed my mind about going up to Derby for the final National Trophy round. By 8am I was leafing through the programme for the day wondering if we could make it. I concluded that we could so, 5 hours later I found myself standing in a line-up with 20 others.

At least the Reading course was just soggy-muddy, the Derby course was gloopy-muddy and every turn of the wheel dragged clumpy handfulls of mud into the wheel to the point where it would not turn.

The strategy was developed in my mind to run anything that had any leaves on it. Because this was most of the course, the strategy worked and I had no trouble completing the running race since I didn't have to rely too much on the cycling muscles I used the day before.

The race flew by as I gradually passed two of the women I was racing with. I had a little bit of trouble with my gears. As the derailleur filled with mud it pushed the mechanism into my rear wheel in bottom gear but I coped with it so when TSK called to me to change bikes I ignored him feeling that a lighter bike covered in mud was better than a heavier bike covered in mud. The next lap I switched to bottom gear and behold, irrevocable damage was done. I shouldered the bike and ran about 250m to the pits to retreive the clean one.

I shouldn't have worried about the heavy bike because in its clean state it was a dream, like suddenly steel became titanium. All that mattered to me was the two ladies behind me had been lapped by the leaders and would therefore forever be still behind me and so I finished the last lap last and I crossed the line last - but not last of all.

This weekend we went skiing in Switzerland to get rid of the end of season blues. It worked wonders. Time spent with friends who make you laugh so hard your face and tummy hurt. TSK and Fi tried playing in powder. Brian fell over lots and we were derogatory about Tim.

Then I got home and got flu... 20 years of being rubbish. Let's see how long it takes me to get rid of this one.

1 comment:

Just a Girl said...

Congrats :)

And stupid sickness, what the heck! *sniff* *cough*