After studying 24/7 for exams last week (which inevitably meant doing minimal training), I got back into the swing of things with a solid week of training. It is always a bit of a shock returning to hard training, even after only short breaks. Getting back to hard workouts was frustrating as my body had to remember what this feels like (and it didn't like it at first!), and by the end of the week I was totally exhausted.
On Sunday I entered the Windsor park crit race, my first crit race in about 2 years. I wasn't really sure what to expect. It was a short (900 m), flat square that we rode around for 40 minutes plus 5 laps to finish the race. I have no idea how many laps we ended up doing, but my corners got pretty good by the end! It didn't start quite like I had hoped... the pace was high right from the start, and I hung on to the back of the pack for about 3 laps, then got dropped : ( . For the next 20 minutes I was soloing and suffering through, and being lapped by the lead pack didn't exactly help my confidence. But, when a group of 3 riders came by me I stuck on their wheels and worked with them for the remainder of the race. Once I had someone to draft, the race became a lot more enjoyable and I wasn't struggling to keep their pace. This race was a good eyeopener for me and let me know where my bike fitness currently is. It was also good practice for olympic distance races in terms of racing hard for an hour and riding with unfamiliar people. I am looking forward to doing more crit races and am hoping each one gets a little better.