Monday, June 2, 2008

Andorra World Cup - post race feelings

I feel broken :)

I will post my report in the next day or two. I'm not quite in the happiest of spirits at the moment as what should have been a great race was not to be. I loved the course, and the legs felt strong, but cramp once again ruined my race.
The course was super! Although very tough in places the single track was so much fun. You couldn't help but giggle all the way round....except on those seriously steep climbs when you just needed to concentrate on breathing. There were rocks, roots, switchbacks, steep shoots and even a gondola ride to the start of the course.

Unfortunately the rain set in and grip was an issue on certain sections of the course, but considering how much rain swept across Andorra on Friday night I thought the course held up well. My stomach on the other hand didn't. I couldn't have asked my legs for a better start. The bike handled beautifully up the technical climbs and the descents were just like my favourite trails here in Luchon...I couldn't believe how many girls I passed early on considering I was once again gridded at the back of the pack. I was riding hard, but it was a comfortable hard, if that makes any sense. In other words I knew I could maintain that pace. Half way round Neil Ross the Aussie coach called out to me to keep it steady. There were still 4 laps to go and I knew to save myself a little for the laps ahead. I was riding with girls I normally don't see until the very end and was just having one of those days where I felt Super! But it wasn't to be becasue my darn stomach cramped up. I'm upset because those 'super days', when you feel invincible, don't always come along when you really want them to.

Towards the end of the first lap my race was over. My stomach cramped up so severely that I was forced to stop and just sit on the ground like a babbling baby. I watched all the girls pass me and tried to get going again, but I was in agony. I have never cried on course before, but the pain and the frustration took its yes I'm officially a wimp!!!!! (I'm really taking my frustration out on this key board right now).

I decided to get back on the bike and try and ride one loop. I thought I would have to pull out, but deep down I didn't want to. I couldn't ride hard, but the pain started to subside a little so I carried on and managed to overtake some girls. This kind of motivated me to keep going. I couldn't attack or ride hard, but I could spin I did. After three laps my stomach felt like I had done a thousand sit ups, but my legs felt fresh. I really wanted to try and push it as I was still overtaking a few riders every now and then.

I was on the fourth lap and expected to be pulled, and pulled I was. I found out later that I almost made it round to start the 5th lap, but it was race over for me from the moment I stopped. I finished in 46th position, which is best world cup result so far, but in actual fact that position means nothing. I always try to look for positives as well as all the areas that need to be improved upon, but at that moment in time I was gutted! In fact in this moment in time I am still gutted!! I just want my stomach to stop playing up or at least if it has to play us wait until I'm not racing. I loved that course and I just wasn't able to race it properly.

After speaking to Neil and Emma Coulson who is a physio, I'm starting to think it may be a muscular problem, rather than a dietary problem. I used to think it was from eating to close to the race or eating the wrong food, but it's almost like the pain of sciatica, but in my stomach. I'm returning to the UK this week for a couple of weeks of racing, but more importantly for me at the moment to get some treatment. Hopefully my mysterious belly ache will be solved sooner than's hoping :).

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