Friday, 8 February 2008

1:20 Face Off

I had the car packed with my usual Thursday night track gear, ready to race after work. But by the time I left work, I was feeling dull, flat, tired, just a bit off. All I needed was a yellow line on a power graph to show me I was tired! So I did the rounds on sms to see who would be at track, and with all the important people bailing due to work or other fun, I decided to opt out and train at home. An sms on the way home from Madam Hour gave me a suitable out: at last, the 1:20 face off.

I rode over to Madam Hour’s place, noting that it was a bit windier than I had originally thought – this is going to be fun: hills, a headwind and misfiring legs. My favourite combination. Heading over to the Basin, I was feeling ok, but the legs really did have no grunt or zap in them. They were purely functional and that’s all that they wanted to be. I decided that a big chain ring effort would take to long (and probably be unsuccessful!) for the 1.5 hours of daylight we had left, so opted for seeing how much grunt/speed I could pull out of a small chain ring effort (ie faster than my previous small chain ring effort).

As we rolled through the roundabout and headed up the climb, my legs went into shock and Madam Hour went into warp speed on the big ring. Hang on a minute, where did the old girl get all this speedstrength from?? She’s been doing secret training since she laid down the gauntlet in preparation for punishing me for being so cheeky. Well, that was the last I saw of her, only 500m into the climb, until Sassafras. I pottered on up, in complete unrecord time, only slightly faster than my last small chain ring effort (which was pitiful) Admittedly I wasn’t going all out, just enough to make it very unpleasant, keep the HR up, practice my breathing technique under pressure, and get some (more) burn in the legs. It was disappointing, but I was glad I didn’t race. It would have been a very sad night of racing indeed! It just proved to me what I suspected: I am tired and not in a place to get PBs. Fortunately I don’t need any PBs until April, so I am not too worried.

We had an excellent run down the hill, and I did in fact do some PBs going downhill, riding it more aggressively than I normally do for some unknown reason, apart from it just felt good to get some speed at last. Some consolation I guess! A few km from home, Madam Hour had a mechanical. I would have thought she’d plan for it before the Big Hill, but obviously she realised I was not on form, and knew she’d have no trouble flipping me off her wheel going up, so opted for it in the final kms of the ride. After she arranged a lift home, I left her to slowly ice up on the side of the road, while I headed off into the sunset and rapidly cooling air, keeping the revs up to stay warm. My legs were quite sore by the time I got home, which surprised me. Time to start getting more precious about looking after the pistons, which will drive Mr Legs even more insane than my usual “I am an athlete in training so .. turn the tv down so I can sleep/feed me properly/can’t go out, got to train/am too tired to… “ . Better make sure I don’t forget Valentine’s day next week!

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