Yesterday was the Bentley/Farnham TT (H25/8). I went somewhat better than expected.
In short : 01.03.22 – 6mins20secs faster than last Summer on the H25/8.

The course is not totally flat, it has some drags and a few descents, but it basically consists of riding between two roundabouts, you can’t go wrong, and the road surface is generally good. The day was a little windy, but nothing nasty – though I did feel myself being blown about on a couple of occasions, which made me question how safe I would be on those Cosmic Carbons I want so badly..

Last year, on the same course, I did 1.09.48. I was aiming for 1.05.00 – but that was the absolute goal, I would have been happy just to see a 1.07.00.

11miles in, there is a roundabout – I wanted to get to it by 00.30.00. I checked the Garmin at the time, and was bang on. I was helped out by passing my Dad on several occasions – it makes a big difference passing someone who’s routing for you. I also passed Geoff on the roundabout, who gave me a huge cheer which made my legs push harder.

The next miles where made up of goals- get to 15miles in Xmins, 20miles in Xmins. I forget all the goals now. What struck me was that the road seemed to be blurring into this awesome swirley grey ocean, I didn’t feel like I was working all that hard, it felt more that the road was pulling me along.

From 15miles, I was totally confused – because I was minutes ahead of the goal I’d agreed for myself. Same at 20miles. I genuinely thought my Garmin might be broken, so I just carried on pedalling and hoped it was telling me the truth.

Long story short, I finished in 01.03.22, beat the Redhill CC 25mile Womens Record, which I had hoped to do by the end of Summer – but not in April!

I wouldn’t say I think it is a good time – there were women there knocking out some amazing rides – but it was a damn good time for me. With only one year of TT behind me, I hope I’ve got a lot more to give.

I will add that I now have a TT helmet, and I’m on my very own Roo (who has shared many turbo hours with me), as opposed to the (very generously lent!!) Specialized Transition. Arguably some of the improvement is less than physical – but over 6mins off a time in one year, I have to admit, is a lot more than I expected. I was basically ecstatic.

True to what I promised myself, I added a transition run, and unlike the last post-TT run, it felt almost – dare I say it – good. I had planned 5k, but to be honest, I was desperate to check my time (my Garmin said 1.03.24 but I still didnt believe it) so I only managed 2.5miles – but it was a decent pace.

There was some painfully fast women there, one who I’ve seen kick my ass at a few events clocked 1.01.?? – but more amazingly – one woman from Drag2zero.com got 54mins – but that is basically beyond human. I knew this one wasn’t about getting in the top 3 – it was a chance for me to genuinely measure improvement. This year, vs last.

I suppose that is why we all do this, why we get on our bikes or strap on trainers and plunge into skanky cold pools when we’d rather be sitting on the sofa. A new PB demonstrates accomplishment, and that pretty much epitomises satisfaction, if you ask me.

All I can say, is mission accomplished – I just hope I can keep it going throughout Summer!

I am an NCTJ qualified journalist and copywriter with a year’s worth of experience as a local hack, and just under two years’ of experience working in the marketing department for a highstreet retailer. I currently work at Cycling Weekly, previous to this I was the editor at Total Women's Cycling. I do a little freelance writing alongside my job, and have written for Runner’s World, Triathlete’s World, Sussex Sport, Basingstoke Gazette newspaper, the Brighton Argus, Steve Hart Photography and 2LK Design. I blog to record the activities in my life which I don’t want to forget when I’m old and wrinkly (let’s hope the internet never melts down – but it seems safer than a notebook) – to let old friends and family know what I’m up to, and because I enjoy playing with words. I’m always looking for new projects – and you can email me should you ever need someone with an energetic passion for word doodling. Email: michelle.arthurs@gmail.com Twitter: @RideWriteRepeat Instagram: @RideWriteRepeat

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