Some mornings you can kind of tell it wont happen for you. But with the rain hammering off the bonnet of the car and the trees bent at right angles, I had no foresight that Kilotogo event "The Rut" was going to be such a long and tough day for me.
However, within 3 miles I was dropped out of the group I started with and despite a mate waiting a couple of times for me up to the first feed, it was apparent that I was going badly.
In my mind I was just trying to get to the 32 mile mark and that first feed station knowing that I would be able to get a lift back from there at some point. There was no fuel in my tank and the harder I tried to worse I went.
But seeing the wife and her parents there to cheer me on encouraged me to at least try and get to fifty miles. I could barely get over 14.5mph and my heart was racing at over 150 bpm, having said that I was still quite positive as I set off from the village hall for part two.
Every yard of the course had to be earned as the rain and wind got ever worse.
I had made the decision before 50 miles that I would be making the finish however long it was going to take. And it did take ages...
As rider after rider rode past me I just ignored trying to keep up with them and concentrated on riding within my limits. The final hour was a surreal experience with my mind wandering and analysing why after so much training and so many good rides this year my strength had deserted me on this day.
I was eating and drinking whatever I could find and after toiling up the long final climb I freewheeled back into Oakham and over the line.
It is the first time in ages I can remember having "one of those days" where the more effort I made the more my speed came down. To be honest after 10 miles if you had said to me "you will get to the finish" I would have laughed at you so at least there is something to be taken from the experience.
Here is the route in its gory detail...