Posted: 30/07/2015 at 20:14
I take my timing chip and watch off whilst the strippers do their bit and run into transition. Quick rub down with a towel and try to get my arm warmers on, they’re not rolling up over damp skin so I put my waterproof jacket on and head for the bike. I consume a gel and a mini malt loaf and I’m on my way.
First part of the bike seemed to be going okay but I was aware that my jacket was blowing up like a barrage balloon. It was mild and dry at this point so I stopped at the Pirate feedstation and Teapot 1 helped my get the jacket in my rear pocket. Back out on the bike feeling much better.
I consumed the mini malt loaves first (they were on top) at half hourly intervals. I didn’t drink much though, I wasn’t thirsty so had to force some down me whenever a feed station prompted me to do so. I started on the powerbars – which I had cut in half. The first couple were a bit tricky to open up. The greaseproof paper had really stuck and I found myself trying to nibble it off the bar before I could eat it. I gave up after the third one and just kept picking up bananas and energy drink from the feed stations.
I noted that my heart rate was around the 155 to 160 mark. I knew this was higher than optimal but didn’t feel any worse than my long training rides. I was loathe to pull back…
It started raining at 50 miles in but I wasn’t cold so carried on without my jacket. I played cat ad mouse with a couple of blokes around the north loop, back along the A road and southern loop.
At mile 90 I started losing feeling in my hands. I stopped at the last feed station and a kindly marshall lady helped me put my jacket back on (I couldn’t feel my fingers).
I set off again very warily. I was stuck in a big gear as I couldn’t change it due to the lack of feeling. It occurred to me at this point it was a bit dangerous as I couldn’t brake either. Sure enough I then came to a slight decline with a sharp left hand turn which I couldn’t make. I went straight across the road and planted my feet in the verge before hitting the hedge. I heard lots of shouts behind me. I know that I was lucky there was no traffic. I thought about calling it a day but though there was less mileage to ride now than I had to run later. So I set off again.
Coming in to HPP down that little ramp I put my feet down like a 5 year old to stop the bike. It was a relief to hand it over to a marshall.. 6:41:32 seventeen minutes better than last year. I’m happy with that