This weekend was my first 24hr race – in a pair up on the Mendips for the CLIC24. It’s a charity event and not a race. Most events that say they’re not a race are just that, but this isn’t. It didn’t have that kind of vibe and that suited me.
As a training weekend we decided to do 3hrs, 3hrs, 6hrs, 6hrs, 3hrs, 3hrs. The first 3hrs were fine – 3 laps of the course. Then 3hrs off and then 6. It shouldn’t have been a problem but it was the hardest 6hrs riding of my life. It just rained and rained and the moors had become bog and no matter how many times I did the course I couldn’t find a line.
All night I struggle on, heart rate higher than it should have been, too proud to walk anything. I collapsed in my tent for a 6hr rest and felt the pain and exhaustion swell over me and was so glad to be wrapped up warm.
That’s when I realised I was getting a cold. My head was spinning and I couldn’t breathe. I got ready for my final 3 laps with trepidation.
The first lap in the cold misty morning was hell. I was shakey and shivery and had no strength despite my legs feeling fairly fresh. My heart rate was low and I knew I was getting ill. So I walked all the boggy bits, up the steep hills and ground the pedals slowly, breathing steadily and dying to get back in to my tent for a lemsip. To my amazement my lap time was pretty much the same as it had been all night when I rode everything. How annoying! I learnt afterwards that my teammate who had been doing laps about 5 minutes faster than me had walked/jogged all the tricky bits all night!
So not a great start to my 24hr racing career but many lessons learnt about essentials to take to make life easier…