I’d always planned to write up my first race of 2014, with Wokingham Half being an early introduction to my season designed to remind me of pre-race nerves and hopefully post a good time to prove to myself that all the training I’ve been doing to improve my running is working. Running has previously been by far my weakest discipline, and hopefully this race would show me that the balance had been redressed at least to some extent.
A couple of days of lighter training had me feeling ready to go out and smash it by the Friday before the Sunday race. Target times had been set and kit choices worked out, and the “twitchy” nervous feelings I experience before every race were beginning to set in.
A ping in my inbox at 4:30 on Friday afternoon announced that my weekend plans had been scuppered – the race had been cancelled as the course had gone from “slightly flooded” to “completely underwater”, with further heavy rain predicted for Saturday.
Since changing sport to triathlon I have always thought my pre-race feelings were a little different from how they were in the bad old days of rowing, and Friday afternoon confirmed that. Rather than feeling secretly relieved that I didn’t have to go and fail yet again to live up to my own and others’ expectations, I was genuinely disappointed.
Having had the obligatory moan about not being able to race, I quickly started plotting how I could get more training benefit out of the weekend than I would have done if I’d raced. Not having to save myself for Sunday meant better training on Saturday, and not having to travel meant more time to train on Sunday.
So I embarked on a weekend featuring…
The brick session I’d planned to replace the race was interesting – a decent turbo with a bit of strength work thrown in, followed by a 90 minute run in Richmond Park. My terrain notes say “trail / mud / grass / up to my knees in flood water” … for some reason I didn’t hit my half marathon target split!
Another piece of the jigsaw of preparing for race day is what has been termed Working On The Bikes… this generally involves Ed more than me due to his superior bike knowledge, patience, spatial awareness and ability to not screw things up. Something always seems to need doing and this weekend was no exception.
I’m tired and sore but pleased with a productive weekend. This afternoon and evening has been focused on recovery, or “sitting around and eating” as it’s otherwise known, ahead of the last hard week of my training cycle before a few days of lighter training…