To say my training has been up and down since the Great Southern Brevet would be a huge understatement. While the event itself provided a huge learning curve the recovery time following it was also full of learning experiences.
My knee took a long time to get better and then just as it was almost 100% again, a small knock during a slow speed crash on the MTB flared it up and I was back to square one again. This was an ongoing niggly injury that would come back to haunt me at Naseby. Coupled with this, I was struck down with a couple of colds and a stomach bug. The combination of still being slightly immune compromised and Elsie starting day care and bringing germs home meant I never got a good consistent training block.
Despite all of this I rolled up to Naseby 12 hour looking forward to the challenge that lay ahead. I had never ridden Naseby solo and it had also been a while since my last 12 hour race, so I was keen to get stuck into it. Arriving on Friday evening Nick (support crew extraordinaire) and I went out for a bit of a recon on the course before it got too dark. As it turned out, it got too dark about half way around the course so we had to bail early and head back to camp. All in all the course was running well and was the typical dry Naseby ridding conditions. Oh how this was about to change. At some stage during the night it started to rain and when I emerged from the tent in the morning it was clear to see that the track was going to be anything but dusty.
The first lap of the course was carnage with people losing control everywhere in the wet conditions. I was happy to sit back and cruise knowing that I still had a long day ahead. The mud was terrible and I was reduced to only a couple of gears until I finally did a lap on Nicks bike while mine got a clean. Slowly lap by lap the course started to dry out and parts even started to ride really well as it started to bed in.
Around about the half way mark I started to feel my knee and achilles from the GSB. I was holding 3rd place and just focused on hold a 'steady' pace and chipping away at the laps. As the time ticked by my knee was getting more and more sore. By the final 2 hours I was struggling to put any load through it. I was glad to hold on to 3rd place and finally get a chance to rest the legs as I rolled in from my final lap.
All in all a good day out in the mud. Now it is time to put some focused effort on getting my injuries 100%.
Photo credits: St James Mountain Sports