I’m not sure you ever get over a health scare mentally. It causes you to question your body all of the time. You are always thinking ‘what if…’

Today was no exception and I went into this race paranoid about a pain in my chest/upper back that came on yesterday.

I tried to push it to the back of my mind, not wanting to talk myself into a bad race and I told myself I’d pull over if I felt really bad. Before starting I FaceTimed Lillie and made sure teamie Marianne knew that I was wearing an ICE bracelet, you know ‘just in case!’ 🙈

Within 5 miles I had that familiar gripping pain around my chest and upper back but not only that I watched my power drop at an alarming rate. I never for a second considered that my power meter might be playing up. In my head all this confirmed was that I wasn’t very well.

I spent the next 10 miles grappling with what to do because I couldn’t hold 145w!!! My thought process went a little something like this… ‘how do you DNF a TT if you have to cross the finish line?’ That will class as your finish time surely?’ ‘Will I need to get off and walk?’ Followed by ‘What are you going to do if this happens in a few weeks during the 100?’ ‘You are going to finish the 100 no matter what.’

So I carried on, found a bit more of a rhythm and focused on my average speed which was pretty decent at this point. Once I got my head in the right place I realised if I could hang on in there I’d be on for a PB!!

The return leg was fast so I tried to stay aero and consistent (at 145w 🤣). The finish was getting closer and my average speed wasn’t dropping too much, I just couldn’t find any more than 160w in my legs. Unbelievably I crossed the line in 56.49 which gave me a 2min 45 sec PB. Thank you to Sharon Clifford and the other lovely lady who picked me up off the floor at the finish. I think the relief of finishing in one piece was a bit much.

I’m over the moon that I won the mental battle and came away with another PB! Thanks to Daniel Barnett for getting me in the best shape of my life and for telling me afterwards that my power meter wasn’t working properly. Special mention also to Dave Triska who (again) provided some much needed post race health reassurance. High maintenance moi?? Dunno what you are talking about…

Thanks to Liv Cycling UK, CEP Sports UK, Science in Sport and The Hampton Gym for their amazing support. Thank you also to ICE ID UK for the bracelet that I never leave home without.

(Photo from Tues because I look like a drowned rat in today’s snap)