Before I shattered myhip socket, I had planned to race my first 24 hour solo this year. Sadly that wasn't to be. I did however manage to fight my way back to reasonable form and did five races, reaching the podium in each one. The highlight of the year was completing a 12 hour solo at Bontrager 24:12 in Plymouth in pretty difficult conditions and placing 2nd. The Mountain Trax crew were out in force with the boys team also reaching the podium in the men's 12 hour race and everyone (especially team director John) doing a great job to keep the wheels turning in the team pit.
|Relieved that the mud-bath was over!|
Despite leading for the first 8 ½ hours, the mud and a torn tyre took its toll and the top step was a step too far. The aftermath involved a lot of time cleaning some very muddy kit!
After Bontrager I took a well-deserved rest. I'd been training for nearly a year – almost as soon as I was out of hospital in one form or another – trying to get back my fitness and working on rebuilding the strength in the damaged leg so it was time for a break. I rode my bike in the Peak District, caught up with family and friends and generally had myself a nice little rest.
|Glorious riding in the Peak District with AQR|
|To the hills! Luchon in September|
By the end of September, I was ready to get back into a training routine and what better way to kick start this than a week in Luchon with my brilliant coaches Kate & Ian Potter of A Quick Release Holidays on a coaching week.
We climbed hills, we practised corners, we worked on our balance, we practised switchbacks and we went down some big hills. Big grins all round – a fabulous week away with a great group of riders.
October rolled around – the days got shorter and training began in earnest. The goals for 2013 have been set – a 24 hour solo and possibly a couple of 12 hour solos later in the summer. For the first time in a long while I decided to join the gym – access to a range of cardio machines, a 50m pool and various classes seemed much more enticing than the turbo in the dark, dank and cold garage!
I'm nearly 8 weeks into winter training now – it's hard but rewarding and I'm really enjoying the variety that Kate builds into the sessions. I'm not allowed to run anymore so we are mixing in walking, swimming, aqua classes and a range of other cardio work alongside bike sessions and core/balance work. Plenty of different sessions to keep me amused!
Today I took up the challenge and made it official. I have now entered 24hrs of Exposure, taking place at Wasing Park in May 2013. It's just over 6 months away – I can't wait!