The Holy Grail

I've done it! A 25.

You cannot understand the emotion as I rolled along after the finish, trying to get my head together to punch in the instructions on my computer. It said 25.20, with at least 5 seconds to take off at the start and then time after the finish. I was hoping to get into a 25 but not nearly go out the other side. I just could not believe the time. When I got back to the HQ I found out it was a 25.13. I still can't believe it now.

My goal at the beginning of the season was to get into the 26s for a 10 mile Time Trial. I would never had believed in January a 25 would be achievable.

The Bike

I had a great response on Facebook and Twitter and I would like to thank everyone for their support, tips, advice and congratulations through out the year. A lot of people asked if I used a Time Trial bike or used a Time Trial helmet. I don't. I only have one bike, my Dave Hinde road bike is my Winter, Summer, Training, Race and Time Trial bike. I don't have a skin suit, I don't have a Time Trial helmet. I simply put on tri-bars and race in my kit. Until I get a house in the New Year, I won't be getting one any time soon either.

The Warm Up

The day started off pretty well. The night before Becky and I were babysitting so it was pretty relaxed, drinking lots of water. I had an hour lie in and got up earlyish to have some porridge and get out on my bike. I did a 10 mile flat route in a light gear to get the legs going, then a couple of 1 minute hard sessions on the bars. Back at home I did some stretching for half an hour, concentrating on my hamstrings and drank a litre of Electolyte. I weighed myself. I've lost 6kg since I had lost rode the course, down from 92kg to 86kg.

Once I had done some tweaks to my bike and oiled the chain I got changed and with just over 2 hours to go I had a Weetabix and headed out to the HQ. I like arriving early. Luckily I was able to park next to Rich Munro, a good friend from the club who has helped me with my Time Trialling and got me through Llanberis. He moans to me, I moan to him. I had an hour and half before my start time so I caught up with a few other people, relaxed and got ready.

The conditions were pretty good, sunny and a light wind. I cycled to the start with Steve Thomas, an excellent, very powerful Time Trialler also from the Weaver Valley who has had an amazing late season. I rode to the start to see if we're on or ahead of time. Unfortunately Rich had a technical and had to wait for a later time. He later posted his second fastest ever time in the 24s.

I went to warm up, to do some harder stuff to push my heartrate up and found that my legs felt sore, heavy and tired. I couldn't believe what was happening. I gave up doing much more, chosing to ride lightly and got the start with 2 minutes to go.

The Race

Any worries of the sore, tired legs soon vanished. I started off in a stupidly small gear, nerves getting the best of me. But smashed down the cogs immediately and was soon cruising at 30-33 mph. I felt good, it felt nice. I got to Chelford roundabout and felt so good that I pounced out of the saddle, leaning the bike left and right. The stretch down to the turn felt really nice. Turning over a big gear, breathing was a bit high but soon calmed down. In parts it felt like I was floating. I tore round the next roundabout and headed back for home.

The second, return leg is more up hill and last time was energy sapping. This time it was still tough in parts but I kept a good speed, never dipping under 20mph. I knew my data was good, the speed was much better than I had done before but I needed the legs. Last time I had rode the course, going through Chelford and over the railway bridge was heavy going this. This time it felt ok, I punched over Chelford roundabout again. The half a mile to the finish seemed like forever, my legs were literally gone, my heart was screaming and I just stamped on the pedals. I could hardly ride after the finish, swinging from side to side. I had dug deep.

I have one last club 10, on Wednesday and then may be a 2up 25m TT at the end of September. It will be then a month of easy riding in October before getting back on it in November building up the miles for Llanberis in February. Thanks to everyone who has supported me through 2012, especially Becky (who was joined today by Buzz the dog) who never once doubted I could do it.

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