Monday, 5 May 2014

The Fear

This Saturday I shall attempt to rode the Old Roads 300 Audax. The number 300 is significant, if inaccurate; the route is actually 308km, or 192 miles in old money. And it's round Devon, where it's quite hilly, and Somerset, which despite the famous levels has some chunky hills too.

So I'm afraid, very afraid, for a number of reasons...

First, I've hardly done any riding so far this year. Running - yes, riding - no. So there'll be no worries with basic fitness, but I'm anticipating the back starting to complain after about 2 hours, the backside after 3, and the shoulders after 4. I'm not particularly worried about pain in itself, but I just hope it doesn't get unpleasantly bad. Which it might, when the previous furthest I've ever ridden in a single day is 152 miles.

Second, there are no bailout options, no shortcuts, no broom wagon. Once we're out there, we've got to be self-sufficient. 

Third, the weather forecast; it's looking showery and breezy at this point, though there's scope for that to improve or deteriorate yet; I'm obviously hoping it'll be the former.

Fourth, as well as a lack of riding, I'm not convinced that a marathon (literally) training run last weekend, and a few two wheeled pootles this weekend represents the best preparation. I managed 3,500 feet of ascent both on the run and today's ride, but nevertheless it's all a bit feast or famine. It's part of the problem of working away during the week - it doesn't allow the kind of consistent midweek training that builds a good base for these mega-events. Ho hum, it is what it is. 

Finally, however, by far the biggest reason I'm worried is the fear of failure. At the start of February I didn't manage to finish a mountain ultra-marathon in the Lakes, and I'd hate to DNF two consecutive events. Fortunately, I'm riding this Saturday with Mendip Rouleur; he and I have achieved some great things (for us) together on two wheels, so I'm hoping we'll spur each on this weekend. Wish us luck. I'll report back on what happens next time.


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