I got half way to the start of The Manchester & District Time Trial Association 50 mile championship and realised that I had forgotten to liberally apply the Vaseline in the right places. This was a terrifying prospect. Checking the time I had left before my start I had no time to go back and apply the copious amounts that I have relied upon all season to keep the chaffing at bay. I spent the rest of my non existent warm up envisioning the horrendous mess I’d be in at the end of the race.
With the impending chaffing on my mind I set off on the first of the three 17 mile laps. This first lap felt worryingly tough and slow. I remember rereading my blog post about my last 50 before the race, in which I had written that the speed wasn’t as high as I had been expecting on the first lap. I took a little bit of comfort from that. The tweaks to my position I had made in the preceding week weren’t feeling good now. My left thigh felt a bit overloaded which really isn’t good so early in a 50.
Before the race I was mulling over whether I would be able to race without a bottle with me and rely solely on Isogels. Keeping a clean frame seemed very attractive. In the end I bottled it in the end and took a 500ml carbohydrate mix. I think this was the right choice. The gel tucked up my short leg didn’t get a second thought.
Uncomfortable and clocking down the miles I got about half way in and something changed. It’s happened a few times now in the longer TTs where I feel like a switch is flicked and I start to feel powerful. It’s as if an energy source is turned on that I don’t have from the start. I think this points to the fact that before my events I simply do not warm up sufficiently enough. In training I have a set routine that I go through pretty much every ride. I need to leave enough time to do this before races. The problem particularly with longer events is that I am concerned about blasting through to much glycogen from just warming up.
Each lap slowly seemed to bring my average speed up towards my target speed for the race. It was only in the final few miles that I hit my target. With my new found power the final 10 miles were quick, covering them in just 21:35. I was pretty pleased to see the final time which was exactly 1 minute quicker than my last 50. I think doing the longer 4hr rides with stretches of tempo riding in them has helped.
I was over the moon when I saw the result sheet and that I was now the Manchester & District 50 mile Champion this was pretty unexpected. Looking forward to the final event in the middle distance BAR the M&D 100.