Well I woke up on Saturday not feeling TOO bad, so in my usual silly manner, decided to start the race.
As we arrived the drizzle set in, and it became apparent that we were going to be TTing in the pouring rain! Damn English weather!
First up was a 4 mile TT/Prologue.. 3 laps of a cicuit called Hog Hill, which was pretty nice and fast, with a bit of technical and a killer of a hill every lap. Came so close to puking, but wasn't completely shattered with the time I did. Of course would have liked a better prep and to not have been sick, but it could have gone worse. Avg Hr of 183 for the just over 10 minute effort left my face a bit pink for the next hour or so! Kara Chesworth, recently selected for the Commonwealth Games team won the TT, with Natalie Creswick who i'm staying with coming in 2nd!
Spent a few hours just chilling at the cycling centre with the other girls, eating, resting, eating and more resting, and then it was time to kit up again and warm up for the afternoon's Crit race. Held on the same circuit, just in the opposite direction, which meant we got to go up a different killer hill!
GC was close between the top 6 or so from the TT, so with 2 sprint primes & 2 hill primes both worth valuable seconds, the place was set to be on. I felt surprisingly ok for the first 20 mins of the race, but then things started to go downhill from there. With my HR through the roof again, and the leg shattering climb each lap, I lasted until about 34 mins into the hour long race before my legs just detatched themselves from my body. From then it was a solo 4 laps until a few other girls who'd been dropped earlier managed to catch up to me, and then it was just hold on with everything I had left!
Up the front of the race, the finish came down to a bunch sprint with no one being able to get away. One of the Rapha girls took the win which pushed her in to top spot on GC, with a little reshuffling of the other top GC places.
Headed home on the train to try and get a good nights sleep, and crossed my fingers that the efforts hadn't put me further into a hole of illness!
After not a great nights sleep, I got up feeling really drained. Had a very slight cough, and ummed and aaahed about starting the whole way to, and then all the way up to 30 mins before the race. Then I basically just decided - why not? And jumped on the rollers to try and warm up.
What a mistake that was!?
On the first hill in the race I blew completely and then did a couple of laps of the 10mile course with Claire and Katie from Rapha just to get a few k's in, coughing and spluttering the whole way around and generally feeling crap.
Watching the finish was fun, it was so tight that no one knew who'd taken out the overall until preso's! Anna Fischer from Max Gear ended up winning the last stage, and taking out the overall win by just 1 second to Kara, Emma from Rapha slipped from top spot down to 3rd.
Even though I had a crap weekend in racing and health terms, it was heaps of fun to be out there seeing the racing in England! It's just dissappointing I couldn't race to the level that I knew I could.
By that afternoon I'd half lost my voice, and for the past 48 hours I've been the same. I really need to learn to not do things when I'm not healthy enough to do them!! One day I'll learn I guess.
Now to make sure I get better in time for some racing in Belgium this weekend. Which I think will be an absolute disaster, but hopefully I'll come out of it a bit fitter!