It’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one struggling with the vagaries of form and fitness when measured against former glories. The simple truth is coming back after a layoff is very hard. It’s difficult to attain the same level, and even more difficult to maintain a degree of equanimity about it. It’s impossible not to compare a ride with an equivalent from 5 years ago (1hr 04 Vs 57 minutes anyone?) Yet at the same time it’s an entirely pointless exercise because you simply can’t compare the two. Since I started riding in January it’s been a hard slog. I’ve lost a lot of weight in a short space of time, and I’ve made some progress. In short though, it’s a case of trying really hard and not really getting anywhere. It makes me realise how competitive I used to be, and how dampening that competitiveness is going to be central to enjoying the experience of bike racing.
The WTTA course is one of my least favourite hilly events. It’s not very hilly. In fact, it’s so not very hilly that they use three laps as a 100 mile TT. It suits the big powerful boys and girls, and can be ridden in the saddle. The road surface is also very grippy. Lots of chunky A-road stuff. Since the first race of the season I’ve been getting slower each time. I started off quite close to my peers. I’m now drifting out and going backwards. I’m not sure why this is, possibly because I’m not trying hard enough, possibly because I have a lack of training and base, possibly because everyone else is on a sharper upwards curve than I am. By way of an example, someone I caught for three minutes three weeks ago was pretty much the same as me today.
It’s my last race for about 6 weeks so we’ll see what happens later in the season.