Challenge Almere Half – Testing the Limits

Tomorrow will be the penultimate race of my 2018 season. It’s been a crazy one, full of all kinds of ups and downs. I barely feel like the season has started and we’re already at the end! 

99_m-100832874-DIGITAL_HIGHRES-2235_068632-19178258It’s been a whirlwind week, burning the candle at both ends has really taken its toll on my body and my mind, but I think I’m finally starting to move through that and feeling rested again. 

Some of you will have seen the social media storm I uploaded yesterday. I had yet another double flat on the bike which ended up in a €80 taxi home and another £40 tyre to add to the credit card bill. 

In a lot of ways that relaxes me – it wouldn’t feel normal if everything didn’t go wrong in the few days immediately prior to the race. 

But in other ways it leaves me very stressed, anxious. I haven’t had much trust in the bike this season, it’s let me down more times that I can count. My form has been the best I’ve ever had, and my legs have come ready to party. But the machine just hasn’t played ball.

And that’s completely out of my control! 

32_m-100832874-DIGITAL_HIGHRES-2235_025566-19178191In tomorrow’s race I’ll be applying myself to the full in every moment. I’ll give it my all and the pointers indicate that there’s a big performance in the legs. If the bike gets in the way of that, I’ll have to adapt and do what I can to get round, or add it as fuel to the fire for Barcelona. 

The course is flat, potentially fast, and probably windy. I’m excited to sink my teeth into it and mix it up in yet another stacked age group field.

I chose this race 4 weeks out so that I could test the legs and test the limits. I want to know just how far I can stretch myself, before it all caves in. This season I’ve always said in these big races, I’d take the risk and roll the dice. Risk finishing at all, for the chance to perform at my best.

For this reason, I’ve decided after all the faff with the bike, wheels, tyres and inner tubes. That I’m going to be racing without a puncture repair kit. I’m going to carry an extra bottle of fuel meaning that I should be able to complete the course with entirely my own nutrition.

I’ve chatted to Joel, and we’ve agreed, this is the strategy we’re taking. So if my tyre does go flat, I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to panic. I know that’ll be the end of the race.

Yes, I’ll probably spit my dummy out, and yes I’ll probably throw a strop. But it’s just fuel to the fire, and if the bike happens to be the limit – we’ll reconsider the strategy we’re using.

There’ll be more races in the future – and I have no doubt it’ll come together at some point.

DSC_8950I’ve got a game plan, it doesn’t differ too much to normal, and I know exactly what I’m capable of. 

At this stage all I want is a smooth, event free race. Do what I know I can, and finish with a smile beneath the grimace. 

You’ll be able to track me on the challenge website by clicking —> Here <—  and I’m number 2121 – doing the middle distance. If it doesn’t work, challenge also have an app! and the website is http://live.challenge-family.com.

Same old story – don’t panic when I’ve left the water last – panic if I’m doing well!! 

I’ll see you on the other side, and hopefully do a live race report on Facebook shortly after I finish, don’t miss it!

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