Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Recovery Week

This week is recovery week. And, my mission is just that. I crashed and burned big time at the end of last week, scraping through Friday’s ergo session (good to know I was able to do the strength effort though!) and then falling in an exhausted heap Saturday and Sunday. It’s interesting to watch my attitude to the bike and racing change as fatigue sets in. Last week I was keen and excited, and have been for quite some time This week I really don’t want to know. I am really struggling physically and mentally but I also know that once I have recovered (I promised myself no more 4.30 am starts this week after this morning’s attempt) I’ll be hungry again. The Bendigo Madison Carnival is a little over a week away and I am looking forward to it. Nationals are 7 weeks away and my feelings towards it are like a project presentation for work: I am looking forward to putting together all the work I’ve done since Worlds, and giving an account of that. I’ve still got a way to go in terms of where I want to be, but if I am fresh then it should be a respectable account.

On another note, I’ve discovered some long lost horse-riding muscles, after a 10 minute ride Monday evening on a client’s horse. The old mare is tough and can be difficult to ride, but she looked after me (it’s been 18mths since I last sat on a horse) and gave me snippets of what she knows and is capable of. I expected to be somewhat rusty, but it felt like I’d not had any time out of the saddle, and it was a bit of a relief to show that the coach can walk the walk, as well as talk the talk. I also like to have a bit of a ride to see what a pupil is dealing with, so I can be more understanding of both horse and rider, and then more directed, when I instruct.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Training Not Racing

Thursday afternoon, driving from work to the velodrome and I am thinking: I don’t feel like racing tonight. In fact, I am over racing.. but I suspect it’s the thought of lining up next week at Vodafone at the Sid Patterson/Aust Madison Champs carnival and lack of recuperative sleep that’s making me feel that way. But I do feel like training, so I take myself to DISC to train, while everyone else is racing.

Scratch Race: I am tired, very tired and flat after 4am mornings and a couple of late nights. But for some reason I decide tonight is attack night. Sitting in the bunch, I know Alan “Sandy of the Devilish Chuckle” Sanderson, one of the Master Trackmen, is sitting behind me, babysitting some newbie youngsters from his club. As the person in front of me peels off from their pull, I hit the accelerator, feeling rather chuffed with myself for timing my attack with Sandy directly behind. Coming through for the lap, I realise that the whole bunch is still behind me, so I pull off and see young Melzy of the Dancing Legs on my wheel. Crap. Not what I expected or wanted. Where did Sandy go? I roll around for a couple of laps, then 3or 4 laps out, without even thinking about it, I launch myself again from the out the middle of the pack, on to the blue line around the banking, then use the slope to gain some speed to accelerate to the front and try for a breakaway. Well the breakaway didn’t really work, but it sent people yelling and scrambling, and made the bunch work a bit harder for the finish than they otherwise would have. I was surprised that I was able to launch myself at all, but it wasn’t anywhere near as snappy or decisive as it would have been if my legs weren’t lying in state in coffins.

Pointscore: Mini Me Coach gives me some suggestions as to riding out the pointscore. I find myself up the front in the early laps, and decide to accelerate early. The bunch is still with me so I then back right off down the back straight, then pick it up hard again, just to see what would happen. I knew full well MiniMe Coach’s words ringing round my head were definitely NOT what I was doing! I successfully managed to blow myself up and I retired from the race before the second sprint.

Motorpace: I was feeling good going into the motorpace, sugared up on jelly dinosaurs, and was lucky enough to catch the back of the bike on the 1st lap. I rolled down the back where it quickly got very messy with the newbies getting in the way or distrupting the flow. One new guy in particular, who was meant to be off the back, decided he would sit above me on the blue line and block me from moving up and forward. He was about to cop an earful from me but slid out the back at that point. I stayed at the back letting people slot in, mainly because I was worried about moving forward underneath riders as they fanned up the track. It just didn’t feel safe. 4 laps to go, I moved forward to midfield above the pack, getting ready for the bike coming off at 1.5 laps. Sandy and a few others come up with me, and I was happy to sit. But the momentum of moving forward set the sparks flying and trigger happy campers began “attacking” before the bike left the front. By the time the bike did leave the track, I had nothing left in the speed department, and rolled around for the finish. The race was messy, very scrappy, and we had a fall low on the home straight as the bell rang. I veered up high, and in doing so shed a bit of speed that I didn’t regain. I am surprised that’s the only fall we had, and it was a result of misjudged eagerness in acceleration.

I was happy with the way I rode. I was tired with non-functional legs, but I finished well and was able to make some moves. A good night’s training I reckon.


I had an official complaint yesterday afternoon, from one Big Ted of Playschool fame. He commented on the amount of dressage commentary in this blog. Well Mr Ted, or is it Mr Big?? all i can say is, go play with Jemima. Your mate John will be in on that. I am sure you'll find her hanging around the sunny shores of St Kilda with her fellow drag queen mates, and I hear she is good fun, despite what the New Idea says about her antics on set at Play School (which I am sure you know all about). It's my blog and I'll blog what I want to... ;-)

Thursday, 21 February 2008

The re-birthing process

Browsing the Fyxomatosis site, I came across this excellent photographic essay, featuring track/fixie personality Brent of Brunswick CC, creating what will be one stunning paint job on a BT. Can't wait to see in it the flesh

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Another one

Caroline and me (and mystery 3rd rider) heat of the Ladies' Diamond, 2000m

Pics from Ararat

Caroline and me: 1000m wheelrace heat. Check out my new club skinsuit (that's me in the orange helmet). Ours was the fastest heat of the 1000m wheelrace heats.

The Man is Back

No, not that man. This man. (photo stolen from the interwebby using google)

Reading Cyclingnews today, I see that Supermario is out of retirement and racing the Tour of California, for the newly formed Rock Racing team – a very appropriate team for Cippo. It somehow cheers me in a very perverse way to hear of Cippo’s return. I think the sport is a little less colourful without his suited funkiness, as well as his prowess on the bike. I won’t be surprised if he lasts only one season (or less!) but I’ll be enjoying his comeback until then.

Monday, 18 February 2008

What kind of carbon?

Coal not diamonds.

15 hours of travel and waiting at the venue for 3 races. Sometimes you wonder why you bother. My heart wasn’t 100% in it on Saturday, combined with the heat, a grumpy Mr Legs, and just feeling flat and tired (which is probably why my heart wasn’t in it. I lose it mentally when I am tired).

First race was a 1000m wheelrace heat. 4 laps flat out. Caroline Page and I were off limit, and I found myself “stuck”, not able to get around Caroline. Each time I came off her wheel, I’d get halfway and then not be able to go any further. If I’d laid off her to gain some running space, I could have wound the gear up and hit her at speed, rather than trying to accelerate beside her. It was never going to happen, so I resigned myself (frustratedly!) to sitting on her wheel for the whole race. The only satisfying thing about that race was it being the fastest of the heats.

The second race was the heat for the big one. 2000m and with some fast girls behind, I had two options: ride it like a pursuit and hope I had enough speed at the end to make it through with the top 8 into the final, or go like a cut cat from the start and see how long I could hang on for, while putting some hurt early into the others. I opted for the second, particularly as I was off limit again with Caroline and didn’t trust myself to not get bogged down trying to pass her again. Once I was up to speed, the next 2 laps felt fantastic – smooth and fast, like I was literally flying, airborne. After that it was a matter of trying to hold it together until fatigue ground me down. It worked until the final 2 laps, where I began to really lose momentum. Lap 7 I was sitting in 8th spot, but unfortunately didn’t realise it, and I let the lactate take over and was passed in the final lap. I am not sure I could have held off, but I would have given it a bit more in that final lap had I realised I was sitting 8th. So my goal of making it to the final will have to wait another year. The only consolation is that a number of girls commented on my initial launch, and how tough the race was, so it seems that goal was achieved.

The final race was a scratch race, and it was great to see we were able to have 3 grades. Half of my field had raced the final of the Ladies Diamond a few races earlier, so I expected some fatigued women and a slower, or less aggressive race. I was wrong on that count, with Leah Patterson attacking early on. We caught her up fairly quickly, then Melzy Felmingham and Emma Waldron went to work. As I pulled off the front after a turn, there was a small gap behind those 2 who were sitting behind me. I slotted in and thought if I could hang in here, we’d be set. But it was not to be and the race got pretty scrappy after that. I really struggled with the corrugated surface, which bounced the bike all over the place. I fought the bike, the track, the other girls and just became more and more frustrated with the whole thing. Lap 8 I again swung off the front, and mistimed my re-entry onto the back and missed the group. Going into the bell lap, just off the back, deciding how much effort to put into getting back on, a single thought ran through my head: I am too old for this shit. I sat up on the back straight and let them go. Some days you should just stay home.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Dressage in 2008

It’s been 5 years or so since I stopped competing in dressage, and when I stepped away from the arena, there were long- raging debates about the good and bad of a training method called rolkur, made famous by a multiple world champion, Anky Van Grunsven. Personally I despise this method – it does nothing for the horse but provide the potential for mental and physical damage, and does nothing for the rider but make them look brutal and ignorant.

I’ve started giving dressage lessons again, so I decided to browse the interwebby today to see where things are at in the world of dressage. It saddens me to see that nothing has changed, apart from some terminology. Rolkur has been dressed up now to be called “hyperflexion”. Reminds me of hypercolour but without the humour. It’s now been included in the FEI (International Equestrian Federation) guidelines as a legitimate process. So, in five years a controversial and barbaric training method has been sanctioned by the peak international organisation. In five years, my beloved sport has retrograded 500 years.

Reading a report on the latest Global Dressage Forum (a recent biennial event), I see the conversations surrounding dressage remain closed, locked in the past, defensive. At least now some international dressage judges are willing to admit that judging of the sport is at best ‘subjective”, if not incredibly opinionated and political. At least this can now be publicly stated.

Any debates about cycling, and the problems with my other beloved sport pale when reviewing the state of modern dressage. The absolute question that must underline everything we do with our horses is this: will this benefit the horse? Will the horse be happier/healthier mentally and physically at the end of an encounter with me? I am not sad that I no longer compete in dressage, such is the level of ignorance that still abounds within the sport, not just locally, but at the highest levels. I am stunned that instead of progressing, incorporating current research into animal psychology, physiology, exercise physiology, biomechanics, animal husbandry etc that instead the sport seems to have least stuck itself in the mid 1990's and is looking back into the dim past, instead of ahead towards more rewarding animal-human interactions.

Ladies' Diamond Stakes

Tomorrow is the Ladies’ Diamond Stakes at Ararat. Usually they are part of the Christmas Carnivals, but due to some gaps in the calendar created by the loss of the Leongatha and Warragul Carnivals, they have shifted away from the Christmas time slot to a later date in the season.

The Ladies' Diamond is one of the richest wheelraces for women in Australia, and certainly tops the mark in Victoria. It’s a prestigious event and the quality of racing reflects this. Last year’s final was one of the better finishes I have seen at state level in women’s racing. I hate to say it, but sometimes watching women’s racing can be dull and dry, with the girls playing it safe instead of giving it a good hard crack. Funnily enough, when a $3K diamond ring is up for grabs, sentiments seem to change.

The field is big – 31 entries. I’ll be the oldest woman out there, and if I make it to the final, I’ll be stoked. I am expecting to be off limit again, with the hard task of being rabbit for as long as possible, then holding on to the finish whilst quietly imploding on paralysing acid build up in the quads. Hopefully I’ll have some other rabbits to work with, to help delay the inevitable and keep me in the race a bit longer.

The last couple of days I’ve been underdone and trying to avoid some bug that’s lurking around. Thanks to a ridiculous week of meetings, travel, work stress, lack of sleep, I haven’t been on the bike since Wednesday. It’s making me edgy and anxious missing training days, but I know if I had pushed through, I would end up off the bike at some other point later in the week. I haven’t raced for a couple of weeks, and haven’t been on the teschner in that time, so am feeling a little nervous as well, wondering if I will have any track legs for tomorrow. Best bet is to just go out and enjoy it! And.. I get to wear my new club kit which I picked up a couple of days ago!

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Road to Roubaix #2

Road to Roubaix - the movie

Set for release later in the year: The Road To Roubaix

Playing with WKO+

I have been playing with the demo/trial version of WKO+ (aka Cyclingpeaks) using my own PT files (all 2 of them) and Hippy’s files (all 2 of them). Apart from some irritating nuances with uploading files, it's looking like a pretty handy application. Already I am getting a good feel for how the Performance Manager in WKO+ works. It’s a really useful tool for tracking stress levels/responses in an athlete, and so will hopefully be an excellent tool for me to keep tabs on Hippy’s workloads as he prepares for some major cyclosportifs over the UK summer. Normally I wouldn’t blog about someone I am coaching, but I think in this context, Hippy won’t mind!

Hippy is working towards the Londres a Paris Cyclosportif in June. It’s about 200km per day, for 3 consecutive days. Ie massive! Cyclosportifs in the UK are quite competitive, so not only do we want Hippy to finish in a reasonable state, but we want him finishing with a reasonable performance as well. My problem with the Hipstar is his enthusiasm and exuberance for riding, and riding hard. Reining him in is going to be a challenge ie making sure he has plenty of recovery in amongst the volume and quality work. I imagine that with WKO+ I will at least be able to point to the yellow line of truth in the Performance Manager to support any recovery demands I make.

And of course, the same applies to me, but that’s not my problem, that’s Coach’s!

Monday, 11 February 2008

1:20 Attempt 2

After crashing big time on Friday in the training stakes, I took the day off and recovered. I then rearranged my training on Saturday to include my precious ergo efforts (if I don’t do them, I go backwards – it’s true!) as well as some more kms to take me up to my set mileage for the day. The efforts were excellent – I hit target, which I probably wouldn’t have if I did them on Friday. Mr Legs and I then headed out on the Eastern bike path, taking in a loop of the Boulevard. Feeling good, I used the big chain ring to effect on parts of the uphills, which alleviated any residual doubt I had lurking from my sad effort up the 1:20 on Thursday.

Now that Madam Hour has outed me, I can confess that I picked up my shiny new PT wheel on Saturday night, beautifully built by Madam Hour’s younger son, who is a resident mechanic at the bike shop Spoken. I was keen to test it out on the 1:20 ride we had planned for Sunday, curious to see what kind of output I could manage up the Big Hill, and to help set a draft functional threshold power reading.

I don’t often ride with a HR monitor, unless I am doing specific HR workouts, but I put it on yesterday, to see how it would work in conjunction with the power readings. My max HR was 209, matched by a max cadence of 215, both of which were achieved going down the other side of the mountain. Needless to say, I’ve never seen my HR over 178, and it certainly wasn’t yesterday, particularly not going downhill. So there are some small issues of validity and reliability to be sorted out.

The ride up to the base of the Big Hill was fairly straightforward, until some old dude thought he really needed to be in front of our small group of four (we had passed him earlier rolling along the road). Normally I wouldn’t bother, but for some reason he really gave me the irrits. Turning onto Mountain Highway, I was on his wheel. I am sure he didn’t even know I was there. Halfway between Bayswater and Dorset Rds, I pulled out and blew him away. He made a feeble attempt to come along, but gave up pretty quickly. Yup, the training is working! Even the strong man in our group (no, not Mr Legs) had a hard task latching on to me.

At the base of the Big Hill, rolling along with Mr Legs, I decided to have a crack at the big chain ring – what the hell, and it would be fun to see the readout later. Unfortunately it meant I rode away from my beloved (note to self: don’t forget Valentine’s Day!) which I really hadn’t intended as I said I’d keep him company up the hill, and I figured I’d only be able to manage his speed on the big ring. Yup, seems like the training is working! I rode the hill faster than I did on Thursday (not hard to do!) and managed to pick up speed in the last 2 km without meaning to. My speed was similar to my regular small chain ring effort (which is average jo-blo speed for that climb). I rode by HR, normally I ride by “feel” ie perceived exertion (which means it's harder than what I did yesterday). Keeping it at threshold meant I felt “comfortable” with the effort, as comfortable as one can be at threshold ie I knew that I wasn’t going to blow up, and that I’d make it to the top without having to ditch the effort. The 53 x16 felt good, whereas the 53 x17 was too easy when I was sorting out a gear in the first couple of hundred metres. I was pretty pleased with myself when I got to Sassafras, but was also happy to roll along with Mr Legs to Olinda. The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful, a few surges uphill to test the guys and keep them on their toes, and some max cadences and HRs, the likes of which I’ve never seen before (see above).

Now I just have to get my head around the software, and start to collect more data so I can post pretty graphs.

Friday, 8 February 2008

National Track Champs

Currently the national track titles are on, and I have been trying to find a way to make some kind of comment and report. Brain failure due to fatigue and just being in the wrong city have made it hard for me, but now I find someone has done a job better than anyone could do...

USA's Jame Carney, a frequent visitor to Tasmania during the Xmas carnivals provides comment here. You'll need to search the FGF front page for his daily commentary across the meet.

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!

Monday, 4 February 2008

Victorian Junior Track Team

With the National Track Titles commencing today, it was a great experience to watch the juniors race over the weekend at State Titles. We do have excellent talent in Victoria, some obvious, some hiding away about to grow and bloom. I saw some very dedicated riders, and their supportive parents, who work hard behind the scenes to help keep the sport running, as well as providing the resources for their kids to do their very best.

The team was announced at the end of the championships, and it’s a good mix of the usual suspects and new. I am really looking forward to seeing the team gel over the next 6 or so weeks at training, and hearing about their performances at Nationals after Easter. There are some raw talents that should polish up well, and our potential teams pursuit four should be very strong contenders for a place in Sydney.

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…..

One tough bastard

Late last year, Warragul Club stalwart and champion racer, Geoff Thommo Thompson, was hit by car while out training. He was in a critical condition for quite some time, and when he finally made it out of the hospital, I think many of us were very relieved for this quiet, highly respected man.

Browsing the club website today, I read the race report from the weekend, as I do. Needless to say, I was very shocked, but very stoked to read this:

Special mention needs to be made of the effort of Geoff Thompson to be back riding. Thommo was hit by car travelling at 100km an hour on the freeway less than 6 months ago. He was airlifted to Melbourne in a critical condition with broken legs, femur, ribs and vertebra as well as other internal injuries. He was in a medically induced coma for two weeks. Such are his recuperative powers that within 4 months of the accident he was back on the bike. The day after they took the neck and back brace off he started riding on the road. Saturday was his first formal race back. He raced off scratch and finished second overall. Welcome back Thommo.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Weekend Forecast: Sunny and Hills

The last few days have been spent recovering from the weekend: Friday’s ergo took more out of me than I expected (ie I’ve decided to skip any racing this week thanks to being bloody tired! I’ve also managed to avoid some scheduled early rises for the same reason.). Tuesday’s ergo felt better than Friday’s (wouldn’t be hard!) but no gains were made on numbers pumped out on Friday. Time to shake the body up with a change to the stressors inflicted. New program has arrived!

Planning the weekend’s riding over a couple of sms with Madam Hour has resulted in a very early start scheduled for Sunday for a Tour de Hills of Evil Intent aka Tour de Rural Industries aka Tour de F*&^%ing Undulations , with a return time that will get me to DISC to watch Day 2 of the Junior State Track titles. When I expressed some anxiety and trepidation about the ride (apparently Madam Lash is taking me up THAT hill) the tart reply referenced my current performance on the ergo. Actually, I am more worried about having to get up at 5 am on a Sunday! Secretly, I think Madam Hour is wanting to whip my butt just to remind me of the natural scheme of things, ie her superior strength and speed, and the consequences of eating cheesecake, as she is an abstainer – it’s been a while since we’ve been out on a ride together.

I am also concerned about THAT hill, only as I am not convinced that Madam Hour will 1) be able to get us to that spot accurately and in a timely manner, and 2) return us home from that spot accurately and in a timely manner. I may yet print out a map – Madam Hour is good with pictures. I also suspect I’ll be hammering up the hills to avoid some wisecracking snaps that will be resulting from this blog post.