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Behind every cloud lies a silver lining!

July 12, 2022   ·  
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This is the 2nd time I have written this blog. The first time it was long and pointless. No need to bore you all with uninteresting facts! 

Last time I was typing in anger on the laptop to write the blogs (honestly watching me using a computer is like watching a toddler, one finger typing, and that finger has got anger issues with the keyboard). Anyway as I was saying, I was heading out for my last preparation race before the French Championships. We went to Basingstoke, it rained heavily for 48 hours prior to the race. The trail had gone greasy, resulting in a lot of people running out of talent in the down hill sections, me included. I even saw people running out of talent on the flat section! When I say, running out of talent, I mean parting company with the bike. It was carnage at its finest. I managed to get around in 22nd place. But there was stacks of non finishers, due to broken bikes, egos or mentally! 

Two weeks later, we headed to France, Serre Chevalier near Briançon to be more precise. It’s a glorious ski resort nestled at 1400 metres of elevation. We found an appartement in the old part of town with our balcony over (or under) looking Le Cop du Granon. Where the Tour de France will be finishing a stage this summer. 

Nancy and I had a great few days rest before the race. It was our first holiday abroad together. 

Race Day

It turned out to be the hottest day ever recorded at this time of the year in France! And it let me know about it.

Before the race, I got my head turned from my usual hydration technique by listening to the news on what we should do etc… unfortunately for me, the news didn’t take into consideration that I was planning to bike up a mountain in 43 degree heat. With hydration being a key factor I added extra water, but didn’t take enough electrolytes to replenish the ones that I was using at an alarming rate. The first 2 and half hours of the race were going great, riding confidently and conservatively. 

After that, things went downhill (metaphorically not literally, Unfortunately) my body started to over heat and all efforts to cool it failed, resulting in hyperthermia. This is a side effect of dehydration and big effort in high temperature, resulting in me getting what I could only describe as bad headache, nausea and even vomiting on the side of the mountain (sorry if you are eating) I managed to make my way up the 2nd mountain to the feed station where I couldn’t stomach any food or more liquid. I continued over the mountain and to the downhill section, where we could literally have gone abseiling it was so steep and technical. I couldn’t think straight, concentration was at a minimum and I was becoming at risk to myself of making silly mistakes….

This is where I decided to pull out, my head had gone, my body had failed me and I was gutted. 

6 months training for nothing, it wasn’t about winning, it was about being the best me! 

I think it’s important to be able to talk about good or bad so I shared my story online! The results were phenomenal. So many people send me private, public message of support and appreciation for being honest and sharing my story. 

People that I didn’t think would. People that I look up to, close friends, relatives and strangers alike. And for that I am grateful. 

This just shows that, even when you feel at your worse, there will always be someone listening. 

So, just remember that! 

We are back in the uk now, and I am all ready preparing myself for my next race and adventure on the bike. Got a cool little project about in July that I will share with you next month. 

Before I go, I would just like you all to check out a project that my local gym (South Moreton Boxing Club) are trying to set up. It’s called CORNERMEN. And it’s aimed to help adult males from the Didcot area that are struggling with their mental health by giving them the support they need! They will be getting ferried, to the gym where they will have access to coaching, see their mentors or just a safe space where they can get involved in a great community environment. But the best bet would be to go to your Google search and check them out. They would love any support you can give them. 

In the meantime, have a great start of the summer and I am looking forward to share next month adventures with you all!

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Katie Range
Katie Range

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