I always need a goal, I love training but I need something to work towards, the goal that gets you out the door when you just want to relax at home, that same goal that allows you to turn yourself inside out when you just want to ride easy. In recent years my goals have included qualifying for the World and European Triathlon and Duathlon Championships, running a marathon, running a faster marathon (!), getting a sub 25 minute 10 mile time trial, doing a circuit race……..This year my main goal was getting my ‘Cat. 2’ British Cycling race licence, and trying to go sub 25 minute again for a 10 mile time trial……..oh and also to see if I could qualify again for the World Championships (duathlon this time).
Achieving my ‘Cat 2’ British Cycling Race Licence.
British Cycling have different levels of races for which you need different race licences to compete, all riders start off as ‘Cat. 4’ to get ‘Cat. 3” you need to achieve 12 points and once you have a ‘Cat. 3’ race licence you need to get a further 40 points for ‘Cat. 2.’ If there are 10 racers or more then there are full points available, 10 for a win, 8 for second and all the way down to 1 for 9th and 10th.
I got my ‘Cat. 3’ race licence a couple of years ago so when thinking of my goals for this year it seemed liked a nice target to aim for ‘Cat. 2.’ I put together my race calendar early in the year and started racing in March. Over the last couple of years the number of local races for women has really increased so I was hoping I wouldn’t have to travel too far. My first race was Harvey Haddon 2/3/4 on 30th March, I came 9th and so it began….1 point of the 40 in the bag! It was going to be a long summer of racing if I was going to get just 1 point a race!!
My next race was at Mallory Park in early May, they vary the circuit at Mallory, this race was clockwise and incorporated the hill just leading up to the finish. There were some very strong riders on the start line and there was an attack from the start which I managed to stay with but coming to the end of the first lap I changed down on the hill and my chain came off! I quickly got my chain back on but I was miles off the pack. The commissaire said I could ride with the leaders if I didn’t interfere with the race, you are no longer allowed laps out so I was essentially out of the race, but I knew I could never train this hard so decided to carry on riding. I rejoined the lead pack on the next lap, it was a very hard race with lots of attacks but I stayed with it to the end, dropping out before the final lap to stay out of the way on the finish. I was gutted to have been out of the race so early but was really so pleased I’d been able to stay with the group of Cat 2 riders right until the end, that would give me confidence going into my next race.
May was a busy month for races:
- 12th May – Darley Moor 3/4 – I came 7th and got 3 points, things were looking up, now a tenth of the points in the bag!
- 15th May – Harvey Haddon 2/3/4 – 6th this time and 4 points.
- 31st May – Litchfield 2/3/4 – 5th and 5 points – I was liking this trend of higher placings!
June was going to be the last time for a while that I would be around enough to race with holidays and conferences coming up, I had to make them all count.
- 9th June – Darley Moor 3/4 – 4th and 6 points, the trend was continuing, podium next???
- 19th June – Harvey Haddon 2/3/4 – 4th and another 6 points, the trend has temporarily (?) halted!
Fast forward to August….I was starting to get a bit anxious that I was running out of races, I still needed 15 points.
- 7th August – Harvey Haddon 2/3/4 – 5th and 5 points.
- 18th August – Darley Moor 3/4 – 4th and 6 points…….was the trend starting back up?! Just 4 points needed going into the last race of August at Leicester…….
- 26th August – Leicester Castle Classic 2/3/4 – 5th and 5 points.
- 41 points – what a season! I’m over the moon to have got my Cat. 2 race licence, 40 points seemed like so many back in March, I still can’t quite believe I’ve done it! One of my proudest moments in sport so far 🙂
I LOVE racing! I always drive to races thinking ‘why am I doing this?’ I always feel like this, why???? But it’s always worth it for the exhilaration. Riding together, looking out for one another and racing is just so much fun. Everyone is so supportive despite the fact we’re all racing each other. Highly recommend it to those that haven’t raced.
Sub 25 minute 10 mile TT
10 mile TT’s hurt! Leicester Forest CC run a summer evening series of 6 time trials on the A46 in Leicestershire. I’ve been doing these time trials for years and have only once gone under 25 minutes. Most of the times I’ve recorded have been 25’s but that sub 25 is quite tough to get! I could only race two of the events due to managing one event and being away for others. The first week I managed 25:05 and more importantly (sorry Lucy) beat Miss Sturgess, my nemesis, the one I’m always looking out for, always wanting to beat and I was second fastest woman. The second week I managed 24:52, was fastest woman and again beat Lucy! Very pleased indeed with both those times but especially the sub-25 minute, my second fastest of all time!
10 mile TT’s are all about hurting yourself, being able to beat the little voice in your head that says ‘just have a breather’, being able to constantly push harder and harder than your body wants to whilst every muscle in your body screams at you to just slow down, just a little! But in your mind you know you’ll be gutted to miss that sub-25 if it only meant 10 seconds, 30 seconds more hurt! Its just a mental battle and I often think that the difference in time is down to the strength of your mind on that night, not whether you are slightly fitter or slightly better prepared physically.
So all in all a successful season so far, lets see how the World Duathlon qualifier goes………
I wouldn’t be where I am without an amazing team to train with, read all about them here.