I knew the Kirroughtree Hillbilly Duathlon was going to hurt. I knew that subjecting my less-than enthusiastic, relatively-untrained legs to a fast 10k run then a fast 18k mountain bike ride wasn’t going to be easy but I also knew that the journey back to full racing fitness was going to involve lots of pain and suffering.
Bloody hell I worked hard yesterday. About 7k into the run I was almost sick. Once I got back to the transition area and I’d finished my ridiculous dressing-up competition, tripped over my own feet, nearly crashed my bike into all the other bikes (there were a lot of bikes still in transition which I assumed was a good sign) and then got going again time was really starting to get on.
I’ve ridden the red trail at Kirroughtree loads of times in the past 6 months. It’s my local loop. But this time was different. Unsurprisingly the run had used up most of my energy and enthusiasm but I had to carry on – THE WHOLE TOWN WAS HERE to witness me dying on my arse. So off I went, all sweaty, potty-mouthed and quite dribbly.
A voice in my head was screaming “This first climb has definitely got steeper!” and I remembered that I’d spent the previous afternoon riding my road bike with Lee so that probably wasn’t helping either. But riding road bikes on near-empty Galloway roads with your mates is fantastic, while running still sucks.
I was pretty sure that I was catching some people up but who knows. The run had completely ruined my normally smooth pedal stroke so while the effort was high, I was probably crawling along.
None of that mattered now anyway- my calves were starting to cramp. I’m not a regular cramp sufferer, but I know what it feels like seconds before a muscle spasm so I know when I need to immediately back off the power and start to soft pedal to avoid an embarrassing, painful and inconvenient problem.
My right calf went into a massive spasm anyway, soft-pedalling or not.
I got off the bike when it happened the second time and had a bit of a stretch, using my 10 grand, super-light, race-winning, pro-level magazine test bike as an ironic leaning post while more people rode past.
When I’d finally got going again I soon got cramp again, then someone crashed into my leg with their big fat clumsy front tyre. Cheers!
Thankfully all good things come to an end and as I freewheeled back to the finish line, I considered taking up snooker. Then I thought of the high-quality kicking I’d just taken and the fact that I’ll be a tiny bit stronger as a result. The next few weeks and months are going to be about ‘taking a good kicking’, in fact the next one is a another short course mountain bike race on Wednesday, situated in picturesque Bolton….
No running this time.