For the first time since 2010 I’m genuinely excited about a bike race. In 2010 I beat all the goals I’d ever set myself on the bike. Since then I’ve been floating around, trying different things, hoping to find a new challenge to motivate me. I’m competitive, and I like to keep fit, so having a target or goal is good for me.
I’ve tried running, duathlon, sportives, and just riding for fun but none of them have got me fired up the way I am now about my first Cross race.
I bought myself a cross bike a couple of months ago when we moved down here. I needed a new winter bike and it made sense to get one that I could ride when the weather got bad. I’d always been intrigued by cross, but had never done more than watch the odd clip on You Tube.
After a week or so of getting used to the bike, I downloaded a cyclocross training plan from The Sufferfest and since then I’ve been getting myself race-fit as well as spending a fair bit of time doing skills sessions. I’m now pretty good at getting off the bike, at carrying it and running with it, even jumping hurdles, but I suck at re-mounting! More practice required….
I’ve also been doing short runs, no more than 20-30 minutes with lots of sprints to simulate racing. My calves don’t like it, but it’s only for a fe weeks as the Scottish Cross season runs from October to early December. I can deal with that.
And so we’ve arrived at the day before my first race and as I said at the beginning, I’m pretty excited. This feels different from the pre-race nerves for a time trial and actually quite different from a road race. It’s only 40 minutes of effort, albeit flat out, but that’s do-able and the training for races of this length is also manageable – it doesn’t take over your life like TT or RR training can do.
I’ve done my race prep ride, the bike is ready and I’m pretty much packed. Tomorrow I’ll be up at 7, porridge & coffee for breakfast, then pack up the car and head for Clydebank for Round One of the Scottish CX 2013 season, my first race in COG Velo colours. Bring it on!