Friday, 30 May 2008
Hippy comment stolen from rollapaluzza cycling club forum:
"Yeah, I finished all three days.. yesterday made last year's "epic" Dunwich Dynamo feel like a frickin commute! Trees were down across the road, motorbikes were stalling in the middle of streams of water going across the road, there was a 25% descent and even with brakes locked on I was still beating the 'new river' that had formed on the roadside! Fucking mental!"
Day 1: 156th from 792 finishers (5:42:08) Distance: 153k, 2297m
Day 2: 214th from 426 finishers (7:00:37) Distance: 166k, 2264m
Day 3: 58th from 121 finishers (6:19:19) Distance: 160k, 3069m
Overall: 46th from 97 finishers (19:02:04)
Awesome work Hipshtar! Four weeks until Londres a Paris.... Looking good :-)
Thursday, 29 May 2008
Boring but it's the guts of what we do. And I'm doing it. So this week has been rather tame, as will next week and the week after I'm sure. It's the hard bit of training, because it's not that exciting, but it still hurts. Riding to work more regularly has sparked things up a little, and means I don't have to drag my butt home trying to psych myself up to train, because, well, I've already done it by the time I do get home. Sweet!
Some encouraging signs are the rising bar graphs on my power profile. Means something is working I guess!
Wednesday, 28 May 2008
That's not something that'd be high on my agenda after doing two Alpine Classics separated by a mini Alpine Classic. Plus Day3 was in "torrential rain and hideous winds" to quote the man. Check out the profiles. Obviously he is delirious from the effort, although he can still string a sentence or two together (it's a ruse)!.
Well done Hipshtar!!! Now look after yourself this week, ok?!
Monday, 26 May 2008
It was our 23th climb of the day, I’m sure, and my quads and glutes were at failure point. You do realised there is a more direct way to Deep Creek Rd than this bullshit way you’ve taken us, I snapped at Mr Legs. He just grunted and said you can go that way if you want, pointing towards
It’s not the first time I’ve gotten sulky and surly and felt like pushing people off their bikes when I’ve been hurting out on the road training. It won't be the last. Pity it rarely happens when I’m racing. Why is that?
Saturday was another session in the A Go Go shed, this time with a couple of rowers. Those rowing gals are serious, and seriously scary. Or perhaps I am truly a weed. Anyway, a couple of rounds leaping out of squats, bouncing at the top of squats with hefty dumbbells in hand, throwing medicine balls around, bench pressing, cable twisting, jumping on boxes with weights got my legs into fatigue zone, ready for a couple of hours riding in the afternoon – not. I had planned to ride over to the A Go Go shed, but another frosty morning was a good excuse to opt out. Next time I’ll suffer the pain of early morning artic chills than do my ride after an S& C session – it’ll be less painful in the long run!
Sunday’s ride transitioned from 75km “cheese” ride around Gruyere etc, to a Kinglake ride, to a city loop ride, finished off with some short nasty hills in the final 15 or so km home. After Saturday’s efforts, and some big chain ring work into the city and over the Boulie, by the time we were well into the hills behind
Friday, 23 May 2008
A report in today’s CyclingNews notes that Gerolsteiner’s Andrea Moletta’s father has been detained by police for transporting a very large quantity of Viagra (82 boxes) plus other “unidentified” substances whilst heading to the Giro d'Italia. Perhaps in response, or perhaps not, Gerolsteiner has removed Andrea Moletta from the Giro d’Italia.
What is interesting about this is the reported use of Viagra for improving performance at altitude – cycling performance that is. Apparently some people who do not immediately respond well to altitude do have positive (normalising) improvements after using Viagra. I’m sure their partners will agree.
But think about it: riding a TT such as the one on Monday from San Vigilio di Marebbe to Plan de Corones heading from 1,200 up to 2,273 metres above sea level with a raging hard on – how can that be effective for race performance?
Checking my power profile for this month, it’s a bit weird.
I’m currently revisiting aerobic mileage plus strength development plus some road racing (ok.. all of 2 races), so one would expect my 5 min and FTP values to be increasing, and my 5second and 1 min values to be dropping, or at least maintaining. Instead, I’m getting the opposite.
Perhaps it’s my fast take offs at traffic lights (or more like suddenly hitting the pedals after a stint of not pedalling ie slacking off) and attempts to power over small lumps in the road? My legs certainly don’t feel as though their neuromuscular capacity is increasing! In fact they feel incredibly slow and dead at the moment. Go figure.
Thursday, 22 May 2008
Why did I ride to work this morning? If I didn’t have light failure yesterday (10 minutes into my ride) I wouldn’t have had to endure the blood-freezing cold this morning ie weekly commute to work+ long training ride accomplished. The first 30 minutes of the ride were pleasant enough, but as I reached the Dandenong Creek path, the chill began to smother me; my fingers began to suffer that screaming pain as blood and nerves freeze through, and your hands become useless, unflexing, numb paddles on the end of your arms. 15 minutes later my toes began to follow – there goes my 3 year track record for avoiding chilblains.
The middle 30 minutes were slow and painful. Slow because my body and brain were beginning to stop functioning properly, and the bike path was black bitumen (poor visibility). The final 30 minutes were a relief (kind of) –I was back on the road and moving the blood around my body again, but I had to keep telling myself to focus and stay alert. I’ve been at work 3.5 hours now and I am still recovering from the bone-snapping cold. It will probably take me til lunchtime to start feeling normal. So much for thermal gloves and windstopper thermal socks. I think the only thing that saved me was my neck warmer which I wore up to my nose. During the coldest moments this morning, I was thinking of Hippy in
Wednesday, 21 May 2008
How good would it be to have campaigns like this locally?
I'm pretty lucky that I don't see or cop much grief when riding the roads (why should I be lucky?? This should be the norm!), but it's that 1% you get every now and then that throws you, drives up the adrenaline, arcs up the defences and makes you realise that it's a mean nasty world on the bitumen, and you are only ever millimetres away from injury or death.
I do believe however, that there is a major deficit in non-cyclist road users' knowledge of what cyclists can and can't do on the road. One of the biggest ignorances is being able to ride 2 abreast, particularly on multi-lane roads. Drivers just don't get it, mainly claiming impedence. Funny thing is, if the 2 abreast cyclists were a tractor, slow-moving truck etc, the road rage wouldn't be flung around as it is. I actually made this point to a woman once, who had abused 2 of us riding on a back road into Geelong. It was a quiet empty road (apart from her, and us), and part of the Otways Classic (the original Otways Classic) so well sign posted. Unfortunately for her, she got stuck at an intersection, which gave me the opportunity to tell it to her like it is. When I made the tractor comparison, she wound up her window. That's one way to end a discussion. I think my point struck home.
The ongoing campaigns regarding cyclists' use of roads are aimed at cyclists, which in actuality make victims of cyclists by providing education on how not to be hit by cars, and continues to undermine cyclists' legitimate use of roads. Let's have some balance, and aim some of this education at motorists on how to avoid hitting cyclists, and on promoting the road as a shared and shareable space for a range of transport modes.
Monday, 19 May 2008
Well it’s official, I am truly a track rider. I just can’t hack even short road races these days. I made only 1 lap of the Castlemaine circuit of the Country Rd Champs, and it wasn’t even freezing cold, and raining melted snow as it was the day before for Metros. It was windy however, and combine that with the surging pace from the get go and the hills, well, let’s just say it hurt. And I’m still hurting from it.
I was dropped 3 km into the 30 km loop. My only consolation is that I saw the Elite Men’s race totally fracture at exactly the same point in their race ie 3km into the first lap. Fortunately not long after 2 other women were shelled, and I had 2 rabbits to chase, about 500m apart. I passed one of them about 8 km later climbing the hill just before
I crawled through the next section of the climb, which totally finished me. I could barely pedal the downhills, I was that feeble and pathetic. The final 5 km were even more pathetic, I was totally drained. I’d just finished 15 back to back pursuits. As I pulled into the finish line, Coach was laughing at me. I don’t blame him.
Friday, 16 May 2008
How this is going to work with Eastlink's planned open day, hosted by BV and Cycling Events Down Under, ie the circuit will be packed full of recreational cyclists, pedestrians and accompanying dogs, prams etc, beats me.
Might be a good way to celebrate my birthday that weekend.
Brain: hey legs! How’s it going down there? You up for a move or two in this race? Let’s go! I’m going now!
Legs: Man, you gotta be kidding me… you make us do hard slog during the week, shifting weights up and down, pedalling up long hills, pushing big gears for minutes on end, and then you lie in bed reading books at night when we should be asleep, and expect us to work for you now?? Sheesh get real.
Brain: Come on legs, we gotta go! I’ve started this move, now it’s time for you to back me up.
Legs: Bloody hell! What do you think we are? Robot machine legs?? We hurt, we’re tired and we ain’t doing nuthin! (Legs stop working) Cop that beeyitch!!!
Brain: Stupid feckin’ legs. I’ll show you… (Brain overrides legs, instigates neuromuscular meltdown phase 1) Cop that legs!
Legs howl and scream.
Legs stop working altogether, and continue to uphold my teschner's reputation.
Legs: Make us! You don’t appreciate us. We don’t even get a thanks, or a rub down, or nuthin’ afterwards. You think you can do it all, well buddy you better start paying some bills or else you’ll be having to think about how to play bowls.
I’m still racing D grade for another week.
I love the concept of excuses. When people expect a level of performance, and you fail to deliver, they demand an excuse: What happened?? What was going on out there?? So you provide one, or two, or even a couple if they are small ones, because accumulated they equal one big one. But of course, providing an excuse (or several) is then usually derided ie that’s just an excuse! You’re full of excuses! It’s a no win situation.
And so it was last night. Let’s put this into perspective: it’s club racing, mid-week club racing. I’m doing a strength training block (read no legs); club racing is just training. What’s the big deal if I can only hold a 100m attack this week? Why do I need to excuse myself for racing poorly? Please, just accept it and get over it. It happens, I’m training.
Thursday, 15 May 2008
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
We race at 11.25 am, with the Masters 5/6/7 men and the U19 women. Great - Carly McCoombe and Shannon McCurly, Marquessa Jelabart etc etc. You get the idea ie I need to buy a second pair of legs - one pair for each lap of the course!
The forecast is excellent: wind, rain and a top of 15. At least we shouldn't get the hail forecast for the Metros on Saturday - suffer in your nix Metro riders :-)
I have no idea of what to expect, not having ridden the course before, and with my limited recent road racing experience. I'm sure Mrs Coach will have some advice.... I'll be bringing out the Eurus and also using the powertap to get some data. I'm assuming this is the same course that will be used for the Masters Road Champs in August. Better bring a change of very warm clothes, a thermos of soup and a towel!
The last few days have been quiet – spent yesterday sleeping off this virus that has been pestering me, and the sleeping seems to have done the trick. Back on the bike this morning without too many hassles.
Saturday, Mr Legs and I ventured over the other side of town to finally have a session with the EveryReady Bunny of strength and conditioning, Marty A GoGo. Marty is one of those gems, balanced out by another gem in his partner Linda. It’s never a dull moment with that pair, and they are very generous and vibrant people. We have been talking for too long about Marty A GoGo coaching our strength and conditioning and so on Saturday we did actually make it over to the A GoGo gym-shed for a 40 minute session of lifting, bending, some more lifting and some jumping around for me. Marty strung together some regular exercises for me, making compound activities that I hadn’t tried before, then stitching those together in a neat circuit that was an overall workout, minimising time spent whilst providing bang for the buck.
I’ve done a fair bit of gym work over the years, and have strength and conditioning training (an almost qualified coach), but am a novice to plyometrics (read the books yet to actually do any). Without prompting, Marty added some plyo work into my routine, which including jumping on and off a 20inch bench. It may not sound like much, but when you’re straddling it, and haven’t lifted yourself off the ground like that since kid-dom, then it can be a little intimidating. I kept thinking about what would happen if I missed the bench or tripped. Needless to say I didn’t, (fear of embarassment will do that!) and was able to do a number of reps without much effort. Seems I have more power potential than I realised.
As well as being Footscray's C Grade Crit Champ 2008, Marty A GoGo is an excellent coach, and watching him at work, playing around with exercises to see where we are at, reminded me of how I approach training horses and their riders, by feel based on what you are seeing in front of you, rather than following set routines. The man knows his stuff and I'm looking forward to seeing how this new element in my training, ie taking weights work to another dimension, pays off.
Friday, 9 May 2008
Last night I hit the racing boards at DISC for the first time in nearly 2 months. Numbers were down, but D grade was still a sizeable field. My legs have been heavy this week, after a ripper week last week. I’m not sure if it’s the weights I’ve been doing, or not recovering from the weekend’s riding, late night reading (The Road by Cormac McCarthy – a must read) or a combination of the above. I wasn’t sure how I’d go, but as feeling pretty confident that I would be able to uphold my reputation of getting in the way and causing some trouble.
Race 1: Scratch. On the front, lead the group out onto the track, rolling along at a comfortable clip. It takes a while for
Race 2: Point score. Not looking forward to this. I’m still not recovered from my solo effort of the front in Race 1. There is not much time between races because of the small fields and the combining of A and B grade ie 2 races of recovery before we are on again. Mini Me Coach tells me to roll with the bunch for the first 2 sprints then disappear. I say that’s what I normally do. He replies: No, no (you idiot!). After the second sprint you disappear off the front, not off the back. Once more I am the leadout gal, but this time I cruise. I even hang back so I don’t lose the bunch this time. Nice and steady, mainly because that’s all my legs and lungs will give me. So far, racing has been like riding the big chain ring up the 1:20 so I am happy that the sprinter/s are keeping their energy levels down. I expect to get totally blown away in the first sprint, and spend no energy to go with them. Fortunately they hit the brakes hard immediately after crossing the finishing line and I roll back on with out any effort at all. Thanks guys. I love wannabe sprinters and old masters. Second sprint is the same deal, but this time, without increasing effort or pace, I roll straight past them all to the front. Slack buggers. I am level-pegging with the one of 2 other females, and I know how she likes to race, true sprinter style hidden away til the final half lap. I also know she is competitive, so decide to play a bit of a game. I let my wheel slide just in front of hers. I get a bite, and she responds. I move up again in front of her, and she comes back at me. I have a giggle to myself – too easy. We keep this little egging game on, picking the pace up as we do, until the final lap, when I hear “huphup!!” from behind and a young guy hits us over the top. Egged girl takes off but she is too late, being too distracted by our little game. I let them go, with nothing left to ride hard, stagger back to the rollers for a cool down.
Race 3. The derny is still waiting for its part from
It was an interesting evening. I wouldn’t normally attack off the front at the start of a race, but the opportunity was there, and I wanted to see where my legs were at, and where the bunch was at. At one point I thought I may be able to make it across and lap the field, but very soon after thought, I realised it wasn’t going to happen. That manoeuvre screwed me over for the remainder of a short night – 3 races in an hour. But it gave me the hit out I needed after a lacklustre week of training. I drove home feeling that I haven’t made any progress in the last few months, still struggling to finish a D grade race. But I reminded myself 6 months ago there is no way I would have attempted what I did in race 1, let alone give it a red hot go, and then try again in the final race. If I had ridden that first race conservatively, I would have been fine and finished with the bunch. I also would have been bored and annoyed. Who knows, I may try it again next week – joke Mrs Coach!
Wednesday, 7 May 2008
Monday, 5 May 2008
For the first time in a while, I had a very relaxing weekend. Usually a weekend spent in Boolarra is hectic/frantic – too much to do, too little time to do it, with several hours lost to just getting there and back each day. This weekend, I couldn't be bothered and just wanted to enjoy being there! It was mission accomplished.
It was mission accomplished.
Friday night, I suggested to Mr Legs we stop on the way down on Saturday to race with our club, Warragul. It’s been well over a year (if not much longer) since I’ve raced with the club, and I am keen to get in some racing with them this season, mainly because of the shorter distances (<50km)> It's our only flat course.
Mr Legs and I were in the limit trio, with Dave “The Axe” Axford. Karen Munro was the only other woman racing, and she was in the next group at 6 minutes, where I really should have been (if not for the bigger group to ride with). Limit was at 12min, and in the end, that was about 2 minutes too many for them ( I think they were have an easy day). We started off in heavy rain – basically we rode into it. Fortunately it only lasted a lap, but it set me up to ride hard, mainly just to keep warm! A few km in and on the first hill, Mr Legs was up front taking his turn, but was too slow for my happy pace. I rolled on by, and by the time I’d reached top of that climb, both Dave and Mr Legs were off the back, and I was out the front, winning the race. After the hills and onto the (falsely) flat back straight, Dave caught up with me after I slowed a bit, and we swapped turns all the way into the hill section Lap 2.
As we rolled through corner 1, Lap2, I was off the back of Dave, and said cheerily to the corner
Friday, 2 May 2008
A work colleague sent this photo through as one of a series illustrating some of the dilemmas of translation. I don’t think she realised the relevance, but needless to say, I think most of us have seen this sign at some point climbing hills , in the middle of efforts, or slogging for kms into a headwind (up a hill of course). When I first saw the photo, looking at the hills behind, I thought "Yeah, no kidding."
Thursday, 1 May 2008
I am going to dummy up some files for my races in Sydney to pop into WKO, to help break up those smooth flat lines in the Performance Manager. I have no data from 16-24 April. With a week off, this is partly unavoidable, but it also means I have 4 days of important data missing, thanks to being “powerless” (haha) on the track bike.
I caught myself several times riding home yesterday glancing at the PT, checking what watts I was putting out, knowing I was meant to be working within certain zones, rather than just letting the route do it’s thing in taking care of my efforts. I’m becoming more aware of watts rather than HR, and of actually working during rides, rather than “knowing” a particular ride will put me in a particular HR zone. It's also useful when riding uphill into headwinds (as I was yesterday afternoon). Such impedances are no longer to be dreaded, but become numbers on my PT poota, coloured lines on the WKO graph, data points on maximal power graphs, scores to be achieved, PBs to be collected, fatigue registered, performances calculated and accounted for – little daily fetishes for control freaks and the obsessed. My upcoming road races are not competitions but opportunities for data gathering and adding to my growing collection of data files. I guess some people would just call this training!