How to say no to a race you’re not ready for!

Me in the Rás

Ok so I thought it was the right thing to do and inform everyone how I have ended up on the start list to do the Rás here in Ireland starting Sunday.

For those of you who know me you will be aware that I haven’t raced this season.

I’ve been riding my bike for 8 – 10 hours a week for the last 2 months but just from a lifestyle/enjoyment point of view.

Prior to that it was a lot of gym work alongside my studies.

I’ve felt that other areas needed work and racing just hasn’t been in the mix.

Well… Until I got drunk at a family wedding last weekend.

A family friend and our current bike sponsor at Planet X Ireland Morgan Fox was at the wedding.

Morgan will lead the planet X Carnac team at this years Rás and halfway through the night he mentioned he was stuck for a rider for at least 4 days.

I deliberated for a few hours…

The alcohol certainly didn’t help my decision-making skills and I eventually said ‘yes fuck it, I’ll do it’.

So the Shay Elliott (a hard hilly race in the Wicklow mountains) will be my first race of the year and I start out in the Rás next Sunday as my second.

What the hell was I thinking!

I’ve ridden with Anthony all year and I know what I’m good at and I know what I’m not so good at – which is pretty much the opposite to his attributes.

It’s no surprise though – fatigue resistance comes with training through fatigue!

Last time I rode the Rás I targeted a podium ride and was in that position until I crashed out.

Back then I wasn’t a climber by nature but I was somewhere around the 73 – 75 kg mark and had a threshold in the very high 300’s.

I’m now 83 kg and have a lesser threshold by a long margin so you can get a picture of how the climbs are going to be this year.

So lets just say I’m not really prepared for something like the Rás – something shorter and much flatter maybe – but not the Rás.

If you don’t believe me check Anto’s Vlog capturing my 21 different emotions on a hilly ride the other day…

Not looking great is it.

My head v’s legs

When you’ve ridden at a half decent level your mind plays tricks on you or you trick yourself to thinking you were the same rider as you were before…

This is not the case and I’m under no illusions of the absolute beating I will receive from lads that have trained all year.

You simply don’t get away with it if you don’t have the work done.

I have an old training diary that’s all hand written and before the Rás in 2013 I had written ‘the work is done you’ve nothing to worry about’.

Haha contrast that to this year ‘ you’ve nothing done and everything to worry about’…

Round up

Look I have no idea how my body will respond to the stress and I will continue to ride as long as can.

I haven’t felt the initial speed of a race in a while and I won’t lie I’m a little apprehensive about it when the flag drops next Sunday.

While it’s going to be torturous I’m there to enjoy it as I have done riding my bike the last few years.

If it gets passed that point I’ve no shame in holding my hand up and saying I didn’t put the work in to be here – but at the same time I’m not one to give up that easily.

I just want to clarify that as a coach what I’m about to do goes against everything I believe in and preach – so there’s never been a bigger case of ‘do as I say not as I do’.

Anyway 1 week until D-day – I shall keep you as informed as I can on my travels.

It’s a cruel sport and I’m a glutton for punishment.

Aaron B.

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