‘I thought you had blown it’ Statement by Husband after the race comments on the first 6 hours of the race
‘Are you OK do you need medical assistance‘ statement by a friend after the race at presentations
‘You must be a phenomenal athlete to bring it back from the brink twice’ statement by a male solo competitor
‘Are you OK do you have food’ statement by world 24 hr mtb champion offering me food again (this is not the first time he's offered food every time I see Jason English out on the track he offers me food!)
‘I’m struggling to keep pace with you, you may just have to go’ statement by a male friend on 2nd to the last lap I was trying to take energy from him
‘Where’s your competition xx whats she up to‘ statement by world 24 hr champion
‘I don’t really care where xx is I’m just trying to ride 300km, oh and I’ve learned how to make my bike jump!‘ statement by me to world champion
These are just some of the quotes I will remember from completing my recent 24-hour mountain bike at Hidden Vale. The one that really stands out was said by my competition whilst standing on the podium. It took me back and I was so done all I could do was muster up a smile. It seems as if she had missed the point completely but then she didn’t know my why, my reasons behind striving for perfection, striving for the distance I could ride, striving to never give up and quit. Suddenly it all made sense I couldn’t have cared less about whether I had beaten her or not I had ticked off the objectives for the race consistently and methodically.
From riding at Hidden Vale recently and based on the speed I practiced the laps at, bearing in mind I was riding conservatively due to being out there alone, my husband had calculated how far and how fast he thought each lap should be. There was an extra proviso put in place by Tom (my husband) that if I was unable to take the event seriously, give it my all, strive to attain 330km, practice my eating and drinking and ride it through to the end then Nationals were off the agenda.
People may have been surprised by my dedication and commitment to this race but this was a dry run for Nationals in September. I was to practice my focus, eating and drinking, skilled riding, night riding and to test the bike and test myself. I wasn’t out for a ride in the park. Tom was practicing his job of keeping track on lap times, being available when I came in for stops, managing food and fluid, lights, lube, painkillers, copious amounts of coke a cola, keeping an eye on my physical and mental status and being a wonderful father to Hayley (2 year old).
I gave the race everything and have realised I have a lot to learn still. Thankfully I have a great coach who is willing to help me and also her husband who is willing to impart his advice. I need to make the stops shorter or cut them out altogether somehow this will be a working progress within the next couple of months.
Quitting or ending this race early was never my intention I have been putting so much work and time into this endeavour that I would have done myself a massive disservice, never mind my husband giving it his all, my coach is available for support and advice during the past year, the bike shop for having my bikes running well and anybody who has helped me along the way. I fully intended to see how far I could ride and the exciting part is I know I can go further. 6 more months of strength work, skill preparation, fitness training, and meditations will see another massive gain I’m sure.
This little engine who thought she could knows she can do better and ride further.