I've been back at home for just over a week and it's been so nice to catch up with friends and ride our local trails: Puddletown forest and Wareham forest. It's been a long season so far and I've been feeling both physically and mentally tired for the last few weeks. I've had a reasonably light training load this week and last week, so I should be ready and fully focussed for more high load training next week.
Last weekend I substituted my normal interval session with a local XC race, pushing myself hard when I'm mentally tired is so much easier when I'm racing other people on fun trails. The Southern XCs are a really well organised series that deliver great courses, and this one was no exception with lots of nice twisty forest singletrails, short power climbs, bomb holes, roots and drops. Whoop :D Two trips over the bars within the first 10 minutes led me to believe that I was possibly a little too enthusiastic! Thankfully the girls behind were all very civilised, waiting for me to pick myself up off the trail before passing through ;)
Jo Muden (left) and Natasha Barry (right)
A highlight of the race was having the opportunity to chase down the masters men who set off a few minutes ahead of the ladies. I was particularly hoping to be able to catch and overtake the boys from RideBike, but Stu King retired from the race just before I had the pleasure and Jon Hayes was too fast, finishing 30 seconds ahead of me. I'll get you next time Stu and Jon ;) It was also really cool to have the Vet men from RideBike cheering us all on and giving value time gap information. Driving home afterwards and then heading off to our local tandoori restaurant finished the day off perfectly.
Although it was a little odd for a race to be over in an hour and a half, I loved it. So with my 3rd XC under my belt I’m heading off to tackle the National XC Championships in North Yorkshire on Sunday. It’ll be great to catch up with everyone from the UK race scene :)