How Not To Prepare For A Race

The year started well, one week in and nearly 500 miles done, including three rides in excess of 100 miles.
It was on the third of these long rides that it all went wrong. I was nearly back, into the last 30 miles, riding through Lincoln when I approached some road-works and tried to be clever, I thought I would take a short-cut through the works.
I headed for the gap between two of the barriers, not realising that in order to stop them blowing away in the wind they had been tied together... Fortunately, I was going fairly slowing, only around 15mph when I tangled with the rope and launched myself over the front of the bike. It fell in front of me and I then landed heavily on top of it, my chest slamming down on the bars.
My first thought was that I had broken a rib, but fortunately this proved not to be the case. I had a bit of a sit-down to wait for the pain to subside before I made my way home.
I could ride a bike OK for the rest of the week, even a quick spin on the MTB on the day after the crash but couldn't run as it hurt too much to swing my arm.

Maybe a cross-country half marathon the following weekend wasn't a good plan but after a a rest day before the race, I decided to give it a go. I got a good start as we headed up the first hill and opened a bit of a lead over the four chasing runners, I held the lead for around 20 minutes as we made our way through the fields to Sapperton and then towards Pickworth where I was caught by the man in second. We ran together along the road section through the village and then turned down the track towards Hanby. It was at this stage, about 35 minutes into the race that the pain appeared and I started to loose places at an alarming rate, about five in the next mile.
I hobbled across the next few fields to Ingoldsby Wood, only loosing one more place by the time I got there. I managed to pick the pace up again as we headed down towards Kirton Wood and then towards the finish at Ropsley, but still lost a couple more places.
I just about had enough left in my legs to win a sprint finish, although this was only for 11th place. 
I was four minutes faster than last time I did this race in 1hr41min (the distance was actually 13.7 miles, so a little longer than a half) but I was 9 places further back, I don’t know if that counts as a good result or not.

I must also say a big Well Done to my team-mate Kate Cook who took a convincing win in the girls race, not that far behind me. I'm going to have pick the pace up at Rauceby!

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