Countdown to the National Relays
I won! I mean, I won a Time Trial! So, it was only a local club 10-mile TT but a win’s a win, right?!
I guess I was tired of getting beaten by ‘TT tourists’ at my local club midweek 10s, so took advantage of a gap in our schedule to visit another club and exact my revenge on them. Bloody TT tourists…
The race in question was hosted by Andover Wheelers and was on the ‘interesting’ P604c course near Weyhill. Unfamiliar with it before the race evening, I drove it twice in the hopes of having a vague idea of what it was going to be like on the bike and where the turns were. I needn’t have worried about the turns (simple course, good signage), but as for the course itself…
After a brief climb and tight turn on a very gravelly corner, the next 4.5 miles or so was net downhill and I averaged 54kph. Great. But what that doesn’t tell you is how scary some of the bends were! Let’s just say I’m glad I didn’t meet any traffic coming the other way.
After that helter skelter, there was a mile or two of undulating-but-straight road until it was time to pay for all that lovely descending. The last three miles or so seeing an average speed of just 36.7kph. Quite a difference!
Anyway, it was fun to ride a new course and coming away with the ‘win’ was an unexpected bonus.
Later that same week I had my first taste of the U48 ‘Latton’ course near Swindon. No win this time, but a half-decent performance that saw me dip under 22 minutes and claim fifth place. Although it’s mainly a straight course, it’s definitely one that you can learn and improve your time on (I had another go at it last week, but the combination of no power – see below – and no HR meant I was effectively flying blind).
Apart from the usual time trials (no open events recently), I’ve been trying to get in some vague semblance of shape ahead of the National Team Relays on August 24th.
I’ve now run Marlborough parkrun four times! Go me… Despite the horrendous winds this last Saturday, I was within two seconds of my course PB, so hopefully that means that I am getting a bit faster on the run. It’s difficult to know what my ‘true’, the Marlborough course is undulating and all on grass. Looking at other runners, it appears to be 30-45 seconds slower than other local parkruns.
Maybe this coming Saturday I’ll venture to either Swindon or Newbury to get a feel for what I can do on another course.
My ankles are still sore the day after a run, but nothing like as bad as they were last year (before I took a break from running). Hopefully if I can keep the mileage down and the focus purely on 5km, I can get closer to my all-time PB without breaking the body again.
I also did my first(!) open water swim of the year. Ridiculous that it’s taken me so long (especially as I enjoyed it so much, and even enjoyed the run around the lake after!), but with the relays only requiring a 500m swim, it just hasn’t been a priority.
That said, the 400m reps I’ve been doing in the pool are consistently under six minutes, so hopefully I won’t embarrass myself too much on race day.
This week, the weather looks a bit dodgy, so I’m going to take advantage of a week’s leave to play a little fast and loose with which time trials I race (there are options on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday).
Garmin Vector 2 woes
A quick footnote on Garmin Vectors. I’ve used Garmin Vector 2s for a few years now (they were warranty replacements for a faulty set of Vector 1s) but I’m now on my third replacement transmitter pod. One pod ‘died’ after the little copper connectors that make contact with the pedal spindle got stuck and no longer made contact. And the two since have both ‘died’ by simply reporting that they are not connected to the pedal, when in fact they are (contacts look fine, all clear and not stuck recessed, new battery etc.). It’s all a bit annoying. Especially as the pedals worked fine on Wednesday’s TT (H10/3, 2nd best time) but were dead for U48 on Thursday.
I’m interested to hear if anyone else is having issues with Vector 2 pods. I can’t really afford to splash out on a new set of Vector 3s (hear some issues with those too!), but it’s getting annoying to spend £50-60 on a new pod every six months or so.