When it all goes wrong...
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...