After a 7year break, I decided it was time to have another go at the 3 Peaks Cyclocross race. I entered with a vague feeling of 'I'll not get in anyway', but started training - just in case...
Then I got accepted and it all became real again, not just something to talk about. I just sneaked in under the 4hr mark last time, I want to do the same again.
There, I’ve said it.
My colours are nailed to the mast.
Ok, face facts, I'm 51 and too heavy, not by 'normal' standards, but by Simon Fell carrying a bike standards. So, cut out crisps, biscuits, cakes and all that non essential stuff, easy, doesn't cost anything, it's just willpower. Next, up the intensity, I can't train big miles, I just don't have time in my work/life balance. Nasty draggy hills, steep just do-able hills, long evil loose gravelly hills, techy should be on an mtb hills and some 'on the drops' speed work all go into the weekly itinerary.
Running: I've looked back at my old split times and I'm going to have to speed up on the carries. So, more hill running, it's not about the miles, it's about steep ‘blood-tasting’ hills and letting my cyclists shortened hamstrings know that they've got some lengthening to do. Ouch.
The fun bit was treating myself last year to a new cross bike. The ancient Kona Jake The Snake had been brilliant, but was now only fit for mudguards and winter miles. Time to disc up and go all 1 by. With an eye to maybe having another crack at the 3 Peaks, I'd decide on a Santa Cruz Stigmata - stable handling, vibration damping carbon frame, discs ‘obvs’ and 1x12 with a super wide ratio SRAM set up to try and get a little bit further up Pen-y-ghent. Tubeless Stans cross rims and tyres to be decided….
Now it's early July, I'm on family holiday in deepest France and confirmation has just come in (had to make an exception about checking emails on holiday) that my very ropey CV has somehow been accepted. This is a long relaxing holiday, time to unwind, drink wine, eat cheese and generally muck about a bit with the family in the heat. We always bring the mtb’s for a bit of Alpine xc/dh fun, but this year I'm also packing the nice roadbike and a pair of running shoes. Not ‘training’ as such, just grabbing some early morning road rides and the occasional run when I can - and avoiding crisps.
Wife says I'm skinnier and yes I do look ridiculous in the obligatory French swimming pool ‘budgie smugglers’ - cyclists tan an all. Suits me.
I'll hopefully come out of the hols in some sort of shape ready to start ramping up the pain through August.
Happy summer fellow 3 Peaksers!