|Time check before it all got rather hard|
After the first time up I thought I’d nailed it and felt pretty good, despite the really poor road conditions and cold temperature. My breathing settled as I took the second left to start the long descent back to the start. The second time along Hungry Hill was turgid; particularly at the bottom and despite moving pretty slowly I was absolutely at my limit. Gradually I got into a bit of a rhythm but I felt very rugged going up. The last, bumpy descent merely prolonged the agony and although it was the fastest time that I've ridden the course, it was only a handful of seconds.
This was in stark contrast to the following Sunday, when I ran the Quicksilver Hampton Course Half Marathon. Over the last month I'd managed to get a couple of long runs done that were in double digits for the first time in 6 months or so and I was eally excited about running uninjured and pinning a number on. I wasn't sure what my speed endurance would be like but I thought something around 1:30 was possible, so I settled myself 50 metres or so behind the 1:30 pacer and sat in. The first half went by quickly and comfortably and I gradually reeled in the pacers, until I was literally tucked in behind them. I should have stayed with them but I thought I'd push on a bit as I was feeling so good. Big mistake! Within a mile I was blowing hard and after being with a nice group being sheltered, I was now out on my own into a stiff headwind heading back to the finish. I was really hanging on over the last couple of miles but I kept my pace constant despite a big increase in RPE, but I was delighted with 1:28:56.