Sunday’s venture into the world of cyclocross was a family affair with both Betty and Bella joining me on my trip to the race. Upon arrival I hastily signed in, paid my £11 fee, and headed out on my sighting lap followed by a 10 minute spin on the rollers.  The sighting lap really did bring home the difficulty of the course which was actually ok apart from a bloody great big long steep muddy hill. I am sure the courses in Belgium are not that hilly!  Maybe not but this is England where the hills are a little bigger than the lowlands and all I could do was consider what strategy I should adopt……I settled on survival.

I started off hard I made sure I had just a little extra in reserve, drawing on experience from running events I have raced in the past I figured I would pass a few people later down the line as their strength waned.  I also did not really have a choice but to hold back with the big hill hitting us like a muddy wall almost straight away…..

…….my perceived effort level was somewhere close to absolute maximum for virtually the entire race.  There were a couple of sections that allowed for slight recuperation but I would not be surprised if my average heart rate was close to max threshold at just over 180bpm.  That is a shit load of effort for nearly an hours racing and something I will have to get my body used to through more racing, hard training sessions do not come close enough.

…..race over I collapsed on the floor gasping for air.  A few minutes later and a little more composed I felt good, the race had been a great experience and we were all lucky with the weather being dry.  My goals for the day had really been to learn and to try to not fall off, this was only my second race after all.  I certainly achieved my goals, with every race being a learning experience I am sure I will continue to see technical improvements.

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