February started with a week away with the family at Centre Parcs in Elvingdon Forest. It was good to have a break from work but I managed to swim every day and cycle with the family. I also took along my trainers and did a few small runs.
Week 2 and it was back to the grind so to speak. I started with the Cross race at Herne Hill, three days of commuting doing 115 miles , a swim session and then finishing the weekend off with the hardest cross race of the season, the LCCA Team Champs at Great Walstead School, Haywards Heath.
I finished 39th out of 80 riders in the Herne Hill race and was pleased with how I rode.
The Team champs was the last race of the cross calendar for the 2010/2011 season and was being promoted by my own the club, Crawley Wheelers. Having got there at 8am in the morning to help set the day up I was rather tired by the time the race was approaching. Last year I had marshalled so this year it was my turn to race (well take part at least!).
I had a good start and was in the top 20 hitting the second left hand corner, this was straight down and then a uphill slog. I lost quite a few places as the course was really muddy and tough. I persevered and managed to get my rhythm by the 2nd lap but was done in the 50’s by now. The race got harder and harder per lap as the course got churned up. Our team placing was 12th out of 22 teams and my individual placing was 66th out of 99. I was glad that was over by the time I came through the finish.
Week 3 and after the cross race I was determined to up my fitness for the forthcoming Time Trial/ Triathlon season and get more miles under my belt. Again I did 3 days of commuting at 130 miles, my weekly morning swim session and finished the week off with the Dave Borsma Reliability Trial run by my club.
Basically a reliability trial is different distances on a specific route where you chose the time you want to achieve the ride in and get a little card stamped at various locations along the route. The longest route was a 62 mile route from Horsham over the Ashdown Forest, up the wall (Kitts Hill, 24%) and back. A group of us rode from home up there hoping to complete a decent 100 mile ride for the Sunday.
The group set out as one about 20 riders but soon split up along the way. After 2 punctures on the rear wheel and a split rear tyre I had to call it a day at 62 miles, I was gutted and was feeling fit enough for the full length.
The last week of the month saw me getting in 140 miles of commute mileage as well as a club Time Trial on the last Sunday of the month. It was the Hilly 21 miler and it was hard going from the off. It had been a few months since I’d been on the TT bike and pushed myself that hard on the road. I finished 3rd with a time of 1:02.20 and an average of 21 mph and a top speed of 41.5 mph. With the ride up to the race and the ride home I slipped in 63 miles for the morning and finished the month off feeling pretty fit. Let’s see what March brings!