Friday, 31 July 2009

Tour de Fife, jour deux

These lactic-acid loaded evenings are not making for the most restful of sleep. Last night I was dreaming that I wanted a bath but it was full of visitors' coats and I had to move them all aside before I could fill it. Sigh. Don't even have a bath really.

Last night's race was the Chariots of Fire race on the beach at St. Andrews. The sand was smoother and more hard-packed than I had imagined and I almost regretted not wearing road shoes (I dug out my aging swoops that did well at the Sandy Slither) -but further along the beach there was some soft sand and I think the grips on the Swoops helped.

I took off more steadily than the previous night as my tired muscles were slower to respond but probably ran more evenly as a result. Psychologically, these long flat races where you can see where you're going are the toughest. I did everything I could to simply not think about it and keep on keeping on. There was a fair breeze in our faces on the way out and my mouth was as dry as the Sahara.

The turn was a relief in some ways as we got the wind behind and made our way back onto the firmer sand but then there were no more excuses and there was nothing between me and the finish line except time, distance and air! I passed a few women at this point, I think my off-roady legs possibly dealing with the sinking sands better than the more sprightly road runners but sadly seeing me pass must have perked them up and they passed me again at a pace I wasn't going to attempt to match.

I was aware of Jennifer Cruikshanks, an U17 Anster Haddies runners, who I'd passed at half way, gaining on me so I did my best to keep the pressure on. I dropped her for a while (you could see who was behind you by this time by the shadows stretching out ahead on the sands. Beware pony-tails!) but she came back at me just at the line so it was an all-out sprint. Found some strength from somewhere and just kept her behind. She is something like 6 seconds behind me in the tour now.

The tour itself is shaping up. Sadly I've dropped off the end of the V40 ladies. There are a triad of them all within seconds of each other and about 3 minutes ahead of me, so it should make for interesting competition for them. As there's one FV40 prize there's little chance of them ALL falling by the way-side, so my aim is just to turn out the best tour I can!

Tonight is the uphill time trial, which I'm secretly quite looking forwards to. On Fife ac website its compared to the alpe d'huez in the tour de france. I know it was the Ventoux that Tom Simpson died on in the tour but I shall be thinking of him. Too much brandy and was it cocaine? might do for me too. (Or this could be Red Rooster, the co-op's version of Red Bull) (I might have my stories mixed up. I went through a tour obsession and read all the books about doping scandals etc.)...and caffeine suppositories. I haven't seen any evidence of doping so far on the tour but I will stay vigilant.
In the meantime I have a day off so its time for all the household chores we have been dodging by being too busy. Peter says he's working. Probably off sleeping in someone's garden...

No comments: