The ElliptiGo European Championships, Aix Les Bains, France
When I finished The Go Trek in July there were whisperings about me entering the first official European ElliptiGo race. Honestly, I was a little tired and thought ….no!
Then after a good rest, a sign (!) and realising that I would be in the area (well nearby, I was climbing Monte Rosa in Aosta two days before the race) I thought that maybe I could enter. After all it would be brilliant to see everyone and with 3074 ElliptiGo miles under my belt I was sure to be able to at least have a good Go!
Five rides out on the ElliptiGo and climbing a 4,500m peak between The Go Trek (which finished July 6th) and the race (Sept 1st) was my training program. Well, less training program, more just what I’d done.
I arrived in Aix Les Bains the night before the race and had a lovely evening catching up with people and meeting other ElliptiGo’ers who were out for the race too. I was nervous, I’ve done plenty of endurance-based activity but racing isn’t something I have a lot of experience in. I needed a plan!
The race, I discovered was a 21km route up, that’s up, a mountain, Mont Revard 1,562m.
I have a Suunto watch with a heart rate monitor and decided that I could use that as a guide, if I worked at 70-80% of my maximum heart rate, hopefully I could sustain that effort and therefore pace for the time it would take to get to the top. I had to keep my heart rate below 170bpm. The question was, would I be working too hard and burn out too soon?
I was worried, I thought I hadn’t done enough specific race training and had pretty much convinced myself I wouldn’t do well before the race had even begun. This was clearly the wrong attitude!
I had a word with myself the morning of the race and decided to sort that out, I told myself I could do well and that I should give it 100%. I muscled my way to front of the pack at the start of the race, the gun went off and so did I! I was in the leading half of the pack. My heart rate shot up straight above 170bpm…
I knew I had to address that quickly; I had to slow my pace, however, I was battling with two guys to hold my place. One got ahead but the other didn’t and I knew that psychologically this was important, I thought if I could stay ahead of this one guy and start to pull away I would get away. It took a while but I managed to lose him… Then I had my sights set on the one who’d overtaken earlier. He was now well in the distance but I was after him!
I got my heart rate to 168bpm and found a rhythm; I calculated how long each kilometer was taking me and worked out that if I maintained my speed I could finish in 2hours. I was half way…
I had two goals; to catch the guy in front and over take him and to finish in less than 2hrs!
My mind visited some interesting places during that second half, I just needed to keep turning my legs and keep Go’ing, pushing hard all the time. With 2km to go I was right on the tail of the guy who’d overtaken me and slowly, slowly I got closer and closer until I got past! Then I went for it and made the finish in 1hr 58mins.
I was the 1st woman to finish and 10th overall. It had been a very tough race and I was happy it was done…
…I was also very excited about my work of art trophy!!
Here’s a short Punkt video I made at the end of the race.
Big thanks to Eric Bouvier who organised the event.