If you live in the South of England and looked out the window yesterday evening, you'd probably think that that you would be mad to get on a bike and race. Thinking of getting on a bike and racing in that weather when you didn't feel 100% was another kind of mad... idiotic might be a better word.
Anyway that's what I did last night at Portsmouth Mountbatten Track. I rode to the ferry, not feeling great. I got on the ferry soaked. I got even more soaked cycling to the track, then I sat around in the track room wondering what I was doing and thinking that I probably shouldn't race as I didn't feel great.
But I did... and unsurprisingly felt like a bag of spanners. There was nothing there. No power. No strength. Just a high heart rate and a disturbing amount of vomit in my mouth. My legs were like blocks of lead. I haven't been feeling great for a few days; with an eye infection and a sore chest, I didn't feel particularly ill, just drained like my body was trying to fight something off.
A week or so ago at Mountbatten in the same race with more riders, I had sat comfortably in the bunch and been in the breakaway. Yesterday I was struggling to hold the wheels. After a group of five went off the front and got a lap up, and then another group of several riders went I began to lose heart. I couldn't get in the breaks. I didn't have the power. Now the top ten places and all the points were essentially taken I saw little point in continuing to hammer myself into the ground and making myself even more ill. I pulled up, got off the track, and rode to the ferry. Sometimes discretion is the better part of valour. I'm taking a few days off the bike to recover from this underlying illness; hopefully to come back stronger in a week or so.