Peloton Watch
  Emily Nelson Blog: Don't call it a comeback  
  November 19th 2018 By Emily Nelson  
  Emily Nelson during London Six Day. Photo: Supplied
  I don't want to call it a comeback but riding at London Six Day felt like my comeback! It was technically my second race back from injury, but it was the first one where I felt like myself again.

The last time I wrote a blog it was about my trip to Canada, which happened to also be my first races back after about a month off the bike from injury. I picked up some decent results and felt like I was part of a race again! Since then everything went drastically downhill. I ended up having six weeks completely off the bike followed by nearly a month of limited training to build back up. It was pretty bad for my head and legs to get that taste for racing again, to have it snatched straight off me the moment I got back to the UK. A mixture of the long flight home to Manchester and probably doing too much racing too soon, left my body in a state where it was inadvisable to continue riding. I was completely gutted, but health comes first over everything else, so I did exactly what I was told to do and I didn't touch my bike.

Fast forward 12 weeks from my flight home from Canada, and I did my first track race since Commie Games at our National Omnium Championships. It was a bit of a shock to the system, especially as our national champs are usually just as fast or faster than World Cups and you're racing a mass of Olympic Champions, Commonwealth medallists, World and European Champions rather than a handful. I made it round though and finished in a respectable eighth place. I came away happy with where I was at, but I knew I had a bit of a way to go to make selection for any World Cups.

Two weeks later I raced at the Six Day in London with a chance to race a strong international field. I felt much stronger than at our Nationals and it showed. I picked up fourth overall across all the events over the three days and didn't finish outside the top 5 at any point! I also got my first chance to race in the World Champions stripes in the Madison events. It was a very proud moment for me, especially in front of an extremely enthusiastic home crowd!

If I've learnt one thing from the last six months, it's that it is easy to just go through the motions of an elite athlete. Getting through the days and not realising how lucky you are to be doing what you're doing. I woke up every day wishing I could be back training. I watched all my teammates go off and race C1's, Europeans and World Cup Track events, wishing I was on that flight too. For months my only goal was to be back riding, and through this I have a new found realisation of how much I really love to train and race and how lucky I am every day that I can.

I am writing this on the plane back from a team training camp in Portugal. Although I wasn't allowed to do the full amount that the other girls did, I got stuck in and did my biggest training block yet with no ill effects!

In less than two weeks time I will be in Berlin at my first World Cup of the season and probably super nervous for the team pursuit! It will be my first time in the line since Commonwealth Games so I'm a mixture of apprehensive and excited about what I can bring to the team! I will also be racing the Madison there pairing with Laura Kenny for the first time! I'm excited to be back pulling on that GB skinsuit and to be getting more racing opportunities. So bring it on!!
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