As far as weeks go the last couple have been pretty action-packed …..on 6 July I headed to Holland to race the ITU Premium European Cup at Holten. A disappointing swim/drown/boxing match, a snail-esque bike, but a good speedy run meant I came home in 5th. I performed rather better at the post-race party where my funky chicken dancing was world class.

This race will go down in history, not for the John Travolta dance moves or for the post race, world class Mr Whippy ice cream, but because it was the day that Calvin and I finally went our separate ways. It had been on the rocks for a while. He only wanted it big. I was keen to have both small and large options. He was too old. I prefer a younger model. Bits were falling off. I like my ‘ride’ to have all the parts in good working order…….. It was time to give him the elbow and trade him in for a lean, mean fighting machine: and what could be better than a brand spanking new top of the range Cervelo Soloist. I have even ditched the trademark US$5 saddle-cum-sofa for a go-faster ISM black number….Now that is going to be a smooth, comfortable ride!

No sooner had I taken the Cervelo for a spin I was packing it up and heading to the World Long Course Championships, in L’Orient, France. The 3km, two lap swim went much better than previous sinkings – and my new Blue Seventy wetsuit fitted me like a rubbery glove. (However, I think I displaced half the lake with my belly flop dive as we jumped like lemmings over the pontoon onto lap 2). I came out of the swim in 8th and hopped aboard the bike, but for some reason never really got going – but I guess it always takes a few rides to really bond with a new partner. No excuses or beating around the bush though. My bike performance was crap, and I slipped back to 11th. Onto the 20km run I just went as hard as I could. Luckily jelly bike legs were replaced by run legs and I slowly overtook the girls in front, working my way into 5th by the 15km mark. The support from the crowd was superb. Not just the Barmy Army GBR supporters, but everyone that lined the streets. Unfortunately there weren’t enough km’s left to catch the others and I crossed the finish in 5th. It was a great day for the GBR girls though, with Leanda taking a well deserved gold and Catriona the bronze. Great result…….!

I am fairly happy with how it went – but I know that I should have done better on the bike. If I had, it may well have been a GBR one, two and three. But hey, it’s a learning experience and I take comfort in the knowledge that I definitely have a lot more to give……

I want to say a huge WELL DONE to all the GBR age groupers, and especially my best mate Georgina Ayre who wins the prize for having an even slower T1 than me……but who had the satisfaction of flying past half the field on the run……..
And thanks to Alex the team physio who waved her magic needles, made me into a human pin cushion and worked miracles with my gammy leg……

Oh, and in case anyone is in the market for a geriatric, antique ‘closer to the bottom than top of the range’ bike (circa about 1600’s – same era as the penny farthing) then feel free to put in a bid. I will take cash, cheese or chocolate.