So what does a girl who's been suffering with a serious lack of mojo, do over Christmas? She goes racing on Boxing Day with the e/1/2/3 men at the local crit.
I had a couple of very bleak weeks in the run up to the end of term: work, training and life all suddenly at odds with each other. I seemed to be working incredibly hard, not feeling quite up to par and having to contend with a very stressful move. For the first time in a very long time I had no real drive to get on my bike.
I had met up with old rowing friends, had been involved with the new London Women's Cycle Racing League, had a (wonderful) 30th birthday and kept glimpsing my mojo return. Only a couple of weeks ago I still felt like I was suffering. Asking me if I'd like to race over the festive period, my friends were met with a flat refusal.
So what changed?
I suddenly switched a gear. Supportive voices kept telling me to take all the pressure off myself and try and relax. One very sensible friend pointed out that in terms of my riding I shouldn't feel that I have anything to prove (especially not in December). Oh ... and I watched "Kill Bill", I'm a bit of a sucker for "chick takes on world and comes out on top" flicks. Ho hum.
The race at Hillingdon made me realise that the fire is slowly coming back. The photo confirms that! I think that having London Cycle Sport's, John M cheering for me, plus the support of a friends 3 year old, "go Charlotte! go!" helped a huge amount. For the time being the training is good and I enjoyed the men's race.
Oh ... and thanks to Jo and Sam for making me sign on and giving me a couple of pushes to ensure that I got to the finish xxx