Monday, 4 February 2008

Change of plan

My weekend was taken up watching the juniors race State Track titles at DISC, in my role as one of the state selectors. Somewhere in between I managed to get in some training. Saturday I simply rode over to DISC, via the scenic route, but cut my allocated kms by a third, just because! I’d planned to do a couple of loops of Yarra Boulevard, but when I finally got there, with back pack and all, I simply couldn’t be bothered. I was still tired from ergo the night before: that’s my excuse and I am sticking to it. A coffee and croissant at Degani’s for second breakfast was therapeutic though.

Sunday – well Dear Reader, you know what I had planned! A change in my tight schedule (ie ride, lift into the ‘drome with Coach) meant that the original ride just wasn’t going to fit. So I reworked my ride, which included the 1:20 in the big ring, but meant no ride with Madam Hour. But by the time I actually got out of bed (5.30 am instead of 5) my reworked ride wasn’t going to get me to the velodrome for the first gate release of the day either. So another change to the route was made over breakfast. Lucky I am flexible! I ended up doing a loop Madam Hour and I have ridden as our before work ride, with a little variation to add some kms. With Coach’s words from Friday still rattling around in my head (ie now that we have changed workouts, you still need to keep up the strength work so you don’t lose what you’ve gained) I put in some hard work up the hills. Highlights include: big chain ring up the Ringwood hill to Heatherdale Rd and hitting a red light. I couldn’t be bothered dropping off the big chain ring, so did a nice, chain creaking standing start on the hill on the 53 x 16. Fortunately, I know some powerful anglo-saxon phrases that helped with that effort.

Second highlight: Heathmont Hill, my favourite. I usually crawl up that hill in the little chain ring at about 15 kph or so. Yesterday I thought I’d test out my new powers of hill climbing, and sped it up a little. I sat around the 20kph mark, feeling pretty pleased with myself, despite the sweat, spit and snot flying as I neared the top (not pretty), sounding like a clapped out steam engine. Then, as the pain really set in, and it was looking messier and uglier, some cool cucumber guy glides on by, asking me without skipping a breath how I am. What!?? How the hell do you think I am I thought to myself. Then I see his nix: Nunawading Tri Club emblazoned across his skinny little butt, still gliding by me, off into the distance. He added a bit more chit chat then realised that I wasn’t up for conversation, and headed off down the other side of the hill. Pride and ego dented (so much for feeling pleased with myself – I was so simply crushed and put in my place by a fresh daisy of a triathlete!) I hit the accelerator and caught up on his wheel as we began the second (easier!) Heathmont climb. I lasted about half the length of the hill then let go. I was gone. But he knew I had caught him up, and that’s all that mattered.

On the way home to collect my back pack and head back out, I ended up riding another local infamous hill, instead of taking the slightly easier (shorter but steeper) alternate route, having missed the turn off thanks to brain fade. As I got to the intersection of the climb, a small bunch of Middle Distance Club riders rolled through the roundabout and started up the hill. I sat behind them for a couple of metres, and realised their pace didn’t suit me, so I lept around them and took off up the hill. Halfway up the climb, pace off thanks to the rise in the road, I heard voices, and, taking a look, realised that the group was gaining on me. After Mr Tri 10 or so minutes earlier, I wasn’t going to let this group past me, after motoring over them at the start of the climb. So I hit the gas, and accelerated (slowly) up the rest of the hill away from the group. It’s not something I’d recommend at the end of a mini hillfest ride, not up that hill, but remnants of pride needed to be kept intact! I think the group felt my pain, took pity on me and let me go. Needless to say, the ride on the bike path to DISC was more sedate, apart from the bit where I blasted off some bike path Cippolini who was annoying me, when his ego wouldn’t let me pass. But that’s another story…..

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