If this is the first page you have landed on then you are stepping into my TCR journey somewhere in the middle, check out what has come before:

I’m not sure if today truly counts as a day of my TCR, it is the day that I scratched from the race. I had slept until I woke up in Bratislava without an alarm and stayed in bed until I got up. I had figured that my best chance of staying in the race was to to let my body and mind do it what it was going to do without interference. I feel somewhat better this morning about my ability to carry on, in fact my body still felt good but my mind had started to experience a creeping sense of numbness over the last couple of days. This isn’t an unfamiliar feeling but I have carried it with me whilst cycling. I managed to shake that a bit. That being said, I had convinced myself that I needed to make it to CP3 today to have any realistic chance of getting to the finish in time for my flight home on the 15th. I’m not sure that was strictly true and whilst it may not have been that helpful it was where I was at.

On the plus side, I got back on my bike (little victories!). This was far more than I had expected to be doing at a certain point the previous evening. I stopped at a petrol station after rolling out of Bratislava and don’t really remember much else before rolling into Nitra where I would stop for good. I know that I didn’t really enjoy there landscape and the roads I was riding through, my experience of them was of them being quite uninspiring but that probably says more about where my mind was at than the geography. I must have stopped for food and water somewhere over those 89km but I don’t remember doing so.

When I rolled into Nitra there was a a disconnect between my mind and body, my legs felt they were in good form but my mind didn’t want to make them go anywhere. I was consciously making each pedal stroke happen which was exhausting. To my surprise there was a Specialized Concept Store in Nitra which I sat at opposite of at a bus stop eating some bits I had with me. It was early afternoon I think and I found myself looking for somewhere to stay. I knew that my race was over, that I had given in and was not going to fight it anymore. My race ended at a bus stop in the middle of day with no material factors pushing against me, my struggle with my mind was invisible but very real.

The following message I sent today, I thought it was a good reason to feel sorry for myself at the time but looking at it now I reckon it has some TCR spirit in it.

Was going to give up last night so a booked a hotel with a pool but this morning tried to ride a bit more and now I have a shared shower

It is important to say that I had an amazing time riding this TCR and would relish the opportunity to do it again, and other races. I have definitely been bitten by a bug for it. I scratched and I’m okay with that, I was happy to lose to my mind because I often lose to my mind and I think it will be a struggle that won’t ever really be over and won’t ever really be won or lost. It was the thing that would mostly likely fell me going into the race so I feel I prepared well and identified the challenges I would face.

On those days I struggle to get out of bed or can’t get out of bed at all I can hopefully remind myself that when I can get out of bed I can ride a bike pretty well.