Today was round five of the Mud Sweat and Gears Eastern Series. I had not raced since round four which was a month ago, so I was nervous going in as I felt under pressure to get a good result in order to keep my top three national ranking position.

The was however my first race for my new team WyndyMilla which I was really excited about and a little nervous feeling I needed to put in a good result for them as well as myself.

The day started early leaving home at 6.30 in order to make it to the Secret Nuclear Bunker location in Essex in time to ride the course and warm up.

We arrived at 8 and the temperaturMSG round 5 starte was already 18 degrees, it was certainly going to be a hot race. On riding the course I decided to take the B line on the second technical section as I didn’t feel confident about the A line. On reflection I think this was the right move to make, however on another day I’m pretty sure I would have been able to ride this. This has prompted me to work on my technique for steep drops which involve cornering. Luckily on speaking to the other girls in my category we had all made the same decision not to take the A line, which meant no one had a time advantage. Lucky me!

The course was 4 miles of flowing sections of wooded single track mixed in with gruelling, energy zapping tracks alongside farm field. I found theses hard purely because of the heat. I found myself being overtaken by Jenny (FW CC) on one of these sections and I found it hard to stick with her as her 29” wheels seemed to roll over the bumps a lot easier than my 26”.

MSG 5 Card 1 219 webI found myself in third position fighting to pull back second in my second lap.  I gave it everything I had but couldn’t seem to close the gap and regain second place, which was disappointing.

By my third lap the heat was really draining and I felt like my legs were tiring quickly.  I gave one final push in the fourth lapping but knew my lap time had dropped off. I felt the two girls in front of me had a real advantage both having carbon fibre frame bikes.

I finished in third position picking up 45 points towards my ranking, which was good but not great.

MSG 5 Card 1 218 web

I used my new Garmin for the first time to track my race and found the data really useful (see here – link) however I had not set it up to be able to see my heart rate and feel this meant I was going on how I felt instead of how my heart rate was which I think potentially made me not push as hard consistently as I can. I will be setting it up properly next time.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Stats: My Maximum Heart Rate was 186 and my Average 169.