Racing Round-Up

Prior to my current enforced rest period, this is what I’d been getting up to racing wise: –

5th March – CC Breckland Open 10 Mile Time Trial: First TT of the season – and it felt like it! I went OK finishing in 26:36, so about par for the course and time of year. Nothing special, but I was also being careful given my eyesight continues to deteriorate slowly and the UK roads are  full of pot holes anyway!.

Good early test (Photo: Paul Coulthard)

6th March – Dunerunner: I was a bit unsure whether to do this event given my back problems. Could I actually run 10k? A slow 6.5k was the furthest I’d managed since Chistmas.. I thought I’d give it a go. At this point I didn’t know the full extent of back issue and was just trying to return to normal.  In hindsight it could be argued this was a terrible idea, but I’m still glad I did it over-all. The event was held on a new course at Holkam that can only be desrcribed as ‘challenging’ (think tree roots, tree stumps, over-hanging branches, ups and downs and lots of sand of course!). I made it to the finish (possibly to the surprise of the event organiser!) having avoided falling by walking sections and felt pretty fresh. The back was OK too – probably helped by all the soft sand we ran on. Jill was out there volunteering too at what proved another great event.

Slogging it out along the North Norfolk coast

12th March – Brandon Parkrun: I started off jogging around with Jill, who was volunteering as tail runner (dressed as a Clone Droid from Starwars to celebrate Brandon’s 4th Birthday!). After a lap I  stretched my legs for a few faster k’s to move through the field. A few minutes later it was time for coffee and cake with some of the other runners and volunteers – that’s the great thing about Parkrun, it’s very sociable!

Dressed for the occasion

19th March – Mulbarton Parkrun: This was purely to gauge where my run fitness was at. I ended up with 22:41 for 15th place, so not overly quick for me and not fast enough to compete in the bigger races I had in mind. I seemed to struggle to maintain a good posture with my core feeling a bit disengaged. It was however the same time as I did on 10th December (my birthday) on the same course prior to my back going into meltdown so maybe OK. It’s a 5 lap off-road course with something like 8 or 9 corners each circuit, so perhaps not the fastest of course anyway.

Multi-lap off road course at Mulbarton

26th March – Track2Tokyo Day 2: Jack Peasgood and I did day one in November. On that occasion I had a serious case of man-flu and maybe shouldn’t have ridden. This time out I was feeling a million times better. We took to the boards of Derby Velodrome on the Matrix track tandem for a 200m flying TT, 1km TT, 4km pursuit and some tandem match sprinting for the race-training day. We went pretty well over-all although maybe not much faster compared to November, but it was good to be fastest in the 4k again!

Track cycling: More fun on a tandem!

29th March – C.C. Breckland 5 mile Time Trial: The first mid-week club TT of the year, and as the clocks had only just gone forward it was just a 5 mile blast due to limited light. In fact it was a dull day and riding out to the event after work I was a bit concerned at how dark it was beforehand. It didn’t get any worse thankfully, otherwise I would have swerved it and consoled myself with a cup of tea and some cake – I don’t do cycling in the dark! In the end I was 4th in a time of 13:06. Room for improvement certainly, but a good start.

1st April – Inflatable 5k: The East of England show ground hosted this event which I did with Jill. The course was strewn with a myriad of inflatable obstacles (including slides!). It was good fun, but actually quite tough! We had a busy as Jill volunteered at Brandon Parkrun again (and I stood about chatting).

Parkrun posing in our Sportlink Kit with Baz Hipwell

2nd April – Diss Duathlon: I like this race. It’s local, well run by Tri-Anglia and I know the course well which helps. I didn’t enjoy it that much this time out though. My back was pretty sore by the end of the first 5k run. I then had trouble clipping into my pedals having apparently damaged the cleat in transition resulting in a stop on the roadside for DIY repairs.  It was very sunny (generally a good thing I know) and this combined with all the bushes and trees etc. caused a lot of changes in light conditions which I find very hard. I more or less just plodded round the 30k bike leg with my heart rate 30+ beats below normal – safety first! The second 5k run was also challenging as my back had got worse during the bike leg. Once on two feet again my legs felt weak (not tired). Things improved as I ran to finish something like 8 minutes down on my 2015 time. Post race my back was giving me the impression that the whole thing had been a bad idea, which this time around it probably was!

Diss Du: Run-Bike-Run fun and games

5th April – CC Breckland 5 mile Time Trial: I made the slightest of improvements to go 13:01 for 6th place in this race…a whopping gain of 2 watts compared to the previous week.  If I kept that rate of progression up I’ll still be pretty average by the end of the season:-)

Since then I’ve bailed out of several other races to let my back recover, but hopefully I’ll get in some more events later in the season.


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