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First DNF for a while

Fatboy's picture

By Fatboy - Posted on 10 November 2014

Re: This ride meeting: 
2014 Highland Fling
Did not finish

The Fling is my favourite event of the year and was the reason I kept getting out of bed early each morning over Winter. 3 weeks ago, as I was building my last pyramid of training for this race those familiar razor blades in the throat hit me. Doh! My chest cleared a couple of days before the race so I decided to have a go despite my throat & sinuses feeling crap.

I dragged my sick wife out of bed with one of our kids and off we went. We arrived for a pretty quick registration at 6am then couldn’t believe how few cars were parked at Ferndale when we arrived. Normally we are about 20 rows back but this year about 3. Must be a small field. My goal for the race was 5:30-5:40.

I started back in the chute and had decided to take it easy in the first loop then smash it hard in the 2nd. I rode the first few km behind a husband and wife team – she was glued to his wheel and it was clearly their strategy for the race. She got a podium! I realized the stage was different to usual as we passed the point we normally turn left down to the water and started climbing instead. I felt strong despite my illness but when the first group of Elite riders smashed past like they were full gas trying to drop each other at the 19km mark I was shocked and started thinking I wasn’t going as well as I thought. At 21km I heard Cooper screaming in panic as he approached us in the single track and both he and English went past absolutely on it trying to catch the leading elites. At the 23km @antsonline passed in a group of 4 looking comfortable. I arrived at the end of loop in just under 1:20. I was a little concerned as my goal was 10min better than this.

On the road to Wingello I jumped onto the back of a freight train then watched as the lone Jenny Fay freight train passed as though we were standing still. Class! I was feeling good for the first 10km until half way up a climb when I felt my rear wasn’t right and someone behind explained how much my rear tyre was moving on the rim. AAAAAAARRRRGGGHHHH! Same as last year! I walked to the top then examined it to find a pin prick hole in the sidewall so laid it on its side so the Stans would do its job then inflated it and off I went. As per last year it started messing with my head. Every time I felt slow I’d be looking down wondering if it was the tyre so I kept jumping off and checking it. Occasionally I’d hit it with a little CO2 then off I’d go again. The farther I was into the stage the more I was doubting my fitness and focusing on my throat as I watched my ave speed dropping from 22 to 17km/h. I recall loving that new single track with slow tight downhill turns followed by never ending uphill switchback where my tyre was deflating making it go forever.

With about 10km to go in the loop I came to the conclusion I was in for a 6:30 day and gave up, thinking my health had screwed me over. I just spun the wheels to transition where I decided to put a tube in but needed tools to bash the valve out and my wife’s help fitting a tube then after about 10mins I finally decided to just go home.

As it turns out, I all my mates who normally run around 5:30 were an hour slower so I wasn't doing that bad when I pulled the pin. Paying for it today though. Can hardly breathe.

Next year…

philberesford's picture

Sounds like it was tough for everyone. An hour off your targeted pace is a tough pill to swallow particularly with a sore throat. I'm guessing the pain in your throat distracted you form the the pain in your back tho, but I won't ask how that was Eye-wink No Fling for me this year, considered it, but have done sweet FA training. Judging by the times and the comments coming in I think it was probably for the best. Maybe next year.

jp's picture

That's a shame about getting sick Craig. There's been so much of it around and I've been paranoid for weeks, to the point where I was on 5g of vitamin C a day in the last few days before the race.

Still you have the base fitness from your training, so once you're back on the bike you'll be smashing it!


Fatboy's picture

While the course was slower, the new sniggle was awesome. There was one section somewhere around half way that flowed to the valley floor then twisted back up the other side that was frustratingly slow but really nice to ride.

I'm managing my back now pretty well Phil except on tight switchback where I still struggle but no problem at the fling. After your ride at the convict I expected to see you back at the fling!

JP - I was drinking echinacea liquid & olive oil extract like water over the last couple of weeks to keep the damn chest thing away but... Saw the Dr today. Have infection plus bronchitis and am now on antibiotics. May explain my struggles. Or maybe I wasn't pedaling fast enough?

hawkeye's picture

Its been a bad year for respiratory illnesses.

Hope you're feeling better soon.

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