Friday, 29 August 2008

World Champion - Again

Yesterday I got a brief email from Mdm Hour: "I won the TT".

So out of that I translated: I am World Masters TT Champion.

Awesome news, that made my day, and my week.

Congratulations Liz, you've worked bloody (I'm being polite) hard for it, and deserve the stripes.

Woohooo :-D

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Ouch

Training is Ouch, and it's only Wednesday. I guess after a couple of weeks coming up to speed, something's gotta go Ouch. Unfortunately so far this week, it's been me. I need to get some endurobitch happening, and suck it up big time. It's too easy to roll over and cry "I can't I can't - too hard!", particularly when you're tired. Hope Marty is ready for some aggro in the shed tonight. [bares teeth, snarls] If I repeat it enough to myself, it'll work! (Surely?)

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Soft legs

Training over the last week has seen some more PBs on the bike and in the A Go Go Shed. In some ways, it’s not hard to be PBing, but it also means I am getting stronger and fitter. I’ve moved beyond my A Go Go strength from June and am getting it back on the bike.

However, the down side is, after 2 beefy sessions with Marty, plus on the bike, by the time I went to face the 1:20 on Sunday morning, my legs were totally shot, and beyond even being decorative. It would have been quicker (and less painful) to walk up it than ride. So I turned my steed and headed for home via the scenic route along Maroondah.

My only salvation was passing some old hippy dude out on his pushie. When I heard a familiar voice behind me, I realised actually knew this grey haired hippy dude, locks flying in the breeze. After some chit chat and telling me off being soft, he then asked why I had to ride so hard. When I asked what do you mean?, he replied that I was hurting his legs! All I can say is his musta been hurting real bad, as he'd just made a case of pot, kettle, black! It made my day, anyway.

Monday, 25 August 2008

Crumbs

Well, Mr Legs and I have officially gone our separate ways. Me, I'm still married to the bike, planning to live happily ever after. Hopefully that will start with this year's Worlds.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Metal Man Racing: Round 4

I don’t get this metal man. I think he cheats. Another PB, a decent PB this week (2.47 min faster), and the shiny man still beats me across the line, but by less. I’m going to start taking note of his time, because I think although he is paced at the same watts each week, his time changes. Something funny going on here. Anyway, it’s only a matter of a week or two now before I nailed rustman’s butt, unless Coach thinks I’m getting too familiar and comfortable with the course and sends me off to do an edited Hawaiian Ironman! (Coach: note - edited course!! Thanks :-) )

I got up this morning and did another good session on the bike, and am feeling that I’m back to where I left off in June, albeit with a stronger core (which is now kicking in and doing its thing) and better looking abs ;-). Those abs will be sorely tested tonight, with another round in the A Go Go Shed. Marty has got some special workouts devised, now that Worlds is only 8 weeks away. I can’t wait!

More Olympian Moments


photo from today's The Age Online
photo by Steve Christo




For me, there have been two stand-out performances of the Games, although my viewing has been limited. I’ve already mentioned Nicole Cook’s aggressive finish of the road race, and this morning, I got to see Sally McLennan’s 100m hurdle finals from last night, in slow motion, and the inevitable post race interview. Her speaking-to-a-TV-person skills are raw, as she speaks literally what’s on her mind. And it works. Some people should never open their mouths without rehearsing their script, but Sally speaks and it’s amusing and engaging and charming. I grinned at her enthusiasm when she asked the reporter “Did you see that? Did you see what I did?? Did you see my start???” Yes, Sally, we all saw it – you are on national TV!

But that’s not what impressed me. It was her incredible self-backing, and her lift when the American favourite stumbled; that fraction of a second that saw Sally surge, taking advantage 110% of a micro-moment within the race and finishing that same hunger that drove Nicole Cook. That was awesome.

So, what about Anna Meares they are all asking me at work. I don’t rank Anna Meares’ performance last night as stand out. But her guts, grit and determination over the last 7 mths to get to the Olympics are. Full respect.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Am I Dead?

or died and gone to cycling girl heaven.....

My blogging has not been as prolific over the last few weeks. People have been emailing me asking if I’m dead! It’s not from lack of things happening, just that if I told you, I’d have to kill you. Seriously, it’s been a case of how well can my body hold up to a normal training regime - ok that seems to work; let’s see what happens when we start to raise the bar. It’s 8 weeks til Worlds, and 6 weeks til Coach and I make a final decision about whether its worthwhile me going or not. We’ve already decided what events I’m definitely not doing, as they’ll simply be a case of add 1 cup of water, 1 egg, mix and bake. I’m not prepared to be a pink-iced cake ready for eating by my fellow competitors. The competition will be fierce, aggressive and blistering and my fireproof suit is rather thin at the moment.

Last night I was lucky enough to catch the finals of the men’s team pursuit, the women’s points race (how DID Kate Bates get that ride???) and Anna Meares doing enough to make it through the sprint qualifying rounds. I’m glad McGee was ditched for Luke Roberts in the ride-off for bronze in the TP. The team was tight and smooth, but just not fast enough, with the newly invigorated NZ training strategies obviously paying off. Word is they have been chatting to the Brits, and it seems that they paid attention. And of the Brits themselves: how awesome was their ride? 3:53:314 for a new World Record, taking nearly 3 seconds off the previous record. That’s seriously sub 1 minute kilos, including time for the start. Freakin’ fast, and beautiful to watch.

What was not beautiful to watch was Kate Bates’ D grader ride of the points race. It was frustratingly amateurish for a (former) World Champ in that event. She kept losing position, seemed to lose concentration and focus, and was all over the shop, basically. That’s how I ride on a bad day! And I have a good excuse! There seemed to be no drive or real motivation in her ride, and her attempts at winning points seemed to be just for the hell of it, or like a last minute thought (OYeah, shit, that’s what I’m here for!) How much she wanted to be there, I’m not sure. Perhaps she was just overwhelmed and had stage fright. Who knows, but I think she is capable of much better.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Metal Man Vs Where are the Watts, Woman?

Success at last. No, metal man beat me again, but this time he had to wait a bit before he finally passed me on a downhill section. Perhaps it's Mr Legs in disguise?? Anyway, I scored a PB, in my 3rd attempt at Metal Man Racing. Don't know what happened last week, because I was 3minutes slower, used more energy/KJs (cos I was 3 min slower???) and only marginally less watts. Whatever it was, I hope it was a one-off and my PB is a sign of improving health and fitness. Last night's effort was weird: it still hurt (finishing with a 7% climb) but it didn't seem as bad as the previous weeks. I think I was recovery faster from each climb.

Coach did his coaching thing from the sidelines: keep pressure on the pedals on the downhills; you need to keep your watts up on the downhills, that's how you'll beat Metal Man. Keep your watts up! Your watts are down! What are you doing with your watts???????? (insert resigned sighing and eye rolling).

Me: I'm in survival mode Coach! You're lucky to see my legs spinning round! It hurts!! It huuuuuuurrrrttttsssss!!! Bugger Metal Man!!!! Come on little leggies!! Where's the friggin' finish line???????

And for some more fun and frivolity, I'm off to the A Go Go Shed tonight for a midweek blast of muscle-crunching power antics. Bring it on (and hand me a protein shake please).

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Metal Man Racing

Another quiet week on the training front: Tonight I have another bout with the shiny metal man. Last week he whooped my butt good and proper but tonight is a revenge fight. Burn metal man burn!

Last week I learnt the moral of spending 3 days at work-related show n tell fests and drinking from very small glasses. By Saturday I was very flat and tired (no tiggergal this week for Marty) thanks to a massive dose of dehydration. The highlights of the week have been slogging it out on the trainer (thanks to the weather) racing both road races in Beijing (how massive was Cancellera’s bridge to Roger’s group?); witnessing the absolute raw hunger on Nicole Cooke’s face in the final metres of the women’s road race; and playing with the cat.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Don't Pounce the Bounce

The body is a strange, weird, wonderful bit of kit. How it copes with and recovers from injury, illness, stressors, training etc is fascinating for the so-inclined. Watching my own recovery is an ordeal in excitement and frustration, and some anxiety, and this weekend was a case in point.

Saturday morning I was bouncing around the house (literally, as you do), changing the lyrics to suspect rock songs played on MMM (you know the ones – 80’s and 90’s anthems from Barnesy, Kiss, Midnoight Oil, Bon Jovi etc Mr Legs has poor taste in music). So as I was singing odes to building muscles in Marty’s shed where the men are soft and the women do shred, accompanied by air guitar and furniture surfing, Mr Legs was texting Mr A Go Go suggesting a full on session was in order to unbounce the bouncing tiggergal. Bad move sucker!

So as I lapped up the increased workout (lifting more & harder than I did the weekend I got sick, which in itself was a PB session), Marty was pushing Mr Legs just that little bit harder than Mr Legs really wanted to go, and occasionally checking in with me “Are you tired yet?!” Nope! While I was amusing myself jumping back and forth over the Olympic bar on the floor, waiting for Marty to say go, he was attending to Mr Legs, encouraging just another 20pounds out of the lat pull down machine. Mr Legs staggered out of the shed sore, and he’s still sore. I don’t think he’ll will be texting Marty on a Saturday morning again hehe. Don’t pounce on the bounce!

It’s taken 3 weeks (4 sessions) to get back my S & C form, which I am really stoked about. I can feel my strength and verve has improved and I can see it on the bike… for a couple of hundred metres before I die bigtime. And of course, I have little speed to speak of. My peak watts are lower than they were, but my cardiovascular is recovering very quickly from efforts. Sunday Mr Legs, Mr Univac and I rode my pre-work loop taking in Heathmont Hill. I was able to take the hills a little better than the previous weekend’s efforts, and recovered faster, but am below par in terms of speed & endurance up the hills. But I still managed to drop the guys, particularly on Heathmont. I suspect Mr Univac was providing moral support for Mr Legs each time the road went up.

A few hours later at DISC, my attempts at flying kilo efforts were grim and painful. Mr Legs was the pacemaker(pretty bloody good for a sore bloke!), and we were swapping turns. I don’t think I could have done it otherwise. I’ve never been so relieved to sit a wheel, Mrs Coach, with my glutes screaming at me by Lap 3 each time. It’s a bit like physiotherapy – you have to go through some pain to get back form and functionality. The only thing is, with racing, you know there is more pain beyond that to look forward to. I’m just waiting for the pain addiction to kick back in and override the fear of flaring up my friend the EB virus again. So I am stoked to see some rapid improvements (ie recovery), frustrated that some aspects of my physiology are slower to return to form than others, and anxious about overloading myself too soon and losing all that I have gained in the last 3 weeks, plus some.