Friday, 29 May 2009

My Legs are Revolutionary

Hmm I need to blog, as the embedded youtube clip from Melburn Roobaix is now covering my list of links. Not that I have much to say (hence the lack of blogging), except that my legs are still revolutionary (yes, I facebooked that as my status in the last 24 hrs) and I am still upright. Life goes on...

If I had a cute picture of my cat, my dog, or my horse, I'd post them up just to fill space.

I am back to predawn training sessions (part of my tuffenupprincess plan), now I have my trainer in permanent residence in a warm, sheltered space - it's still freakin' cold in the early morning dark, but not was cold as if I were totally outside. I remain frostbiteless (no joke!! the chillblains are BAAAAAAAAAAAAD).

Four months to go before Worlds, but who's counting. I'd like another two months please....

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Saturday Smackdown

This morning I finally downloaded the PT data from Saturday’s D Grade Northern Combine race at Kyneton. After smacking out between 42-45km in the first 10 km, I was dropped when the pace picked up to high 40’s going up a rise in the road. My legs were shot and little did I know then, but the start of a pinching something in my back was also brewing. So the stats proved what I was seeing (and feeling): average speed for the first 10 km was 41.6kph, average heart rate 89%, threshold power (sitting in a bunch of 20???? No way.). Sure we had a tail wind, but this was D Grade for goodness sake, and the road wasn’t that flat!

After giving up the struggle to get back on, (and being told the group would slow up any minute now – yeah right, joke of the day. Nice one Nath!!) I went into time trial mode, seeing how long it would be before E Grade caught me. It took the 3 pinkos faking it in E Grade another 12 km or so fly past me (up a nasty hill), and then another kilometre or so until the others came dribbling past, just before the E Grade turn around point – my cue to jump ship and follow suit! By this time, my left hip, leg, shoulder and tricep were giving me massive grief, and the power drive out of the left leg was pretty pathetic. Guess I shouldn’t have ridden the big chain ring for 20km. Oops. I was slowly winding back into survival mode, dealing with the pain from my back, the pain from the hills, the pain from time trialling, and the soon to be pain from the heavy headwind (and more nasty uphill) on the return leg.

It was a long 25 km back, and I stopped halfway up the major hill to stretch out my back, and to stop the pain (there’s that word again. Did I mention: pain) in hip and tricep for a few seconds. I rode a lot of the way back one handed, trying to ease out my tricep. Add the joy of a strong headwind, and it was character building to say the least. As a training ride, it was brilliant, as my race, not so. As a circuit to ride, and a Combine to ride with, I’d rate both highly, and hope to do it again. D Grade was large enough to be split into 2 groups, and the standard higher than I anticipated (I also suspect some ring-ins). Asking people how they went after the race, the stock answer was: I finished. I guess that sums it up: a smackdown course.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Workout of the Week

To finish off the Marty A Go Go session on Monday night:

1 set of 20 lunges and 20 squats with weighted olympic bar;
1 set of 15 lunges, 7 squats with more weight on the bar followed by:
10 jump squats with dumbells immediately followed by 10 hop drops with dumbells,
immediately followed by 10 jump squats and hop drops without the dumbells, immediately followed by 5 of the same with the dumbells, immediately followed by 5 of the same without the dumbells.

OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 4 May 2009

Footscray CC Women's Crit

By the weekend, I was pretty much over coughing up the chest lurgy that plagued me all week. So on Sunday morning I ventured over to the other side of town for my first crit in over a year. Footscray CC is running a Women’s Crit on a regular basis over Winter, so my plan was to support that initiative by racing it. That was the plan! I started in the Women’s group and ended up in D Grade, lapping the Women and finishing several laps after them.

Lap one was a sedate get to know the group, and the track. In the middle of the dog leg section on Lap 2 Prime Real Estate decided to attack, scoring me my peak HR for the 55 minutes of racing at that point. It was a really weird place to attack (a short length in between corners) and a weird time to do it. It wasn’t successful, let’s put it that way. The next couple of laps were ok, but my cornering skills (or lack there of at speed) were making me waste energy catching up the few bike lengths I was losing out of each corner.

Lap 4 and D grade came through over us, as we came out of a corner. I had the double whammy of losing distance through the corner, then losing my group in the midst of D grade. I wasn’t going to miss the rest of the race after only four laps, so I rode up to one of the D grade mentors, and asked if I could join in. After a bit of a discussion between him and the other mentor, the ok was given. After a few laps watching me corner, Instructor Phil took me by the hand and coached me through the rest of the race, with particular attention on position through corners at speed. It was a brilliant experience, and I am very appreciative of the time Phil spent with me. Thanks Phil!!!

Riding D grade was a hell of a lot easier than riding in the women’s bunch (sorry girls): smoother, more consistent, steadier. When we lapped the women towards the end of the race, I was a bit surprised, because it hadn’t felt that we were going that fast. I suspect the girls blew themselves up, because they were truly crawling when we passed. Two laps to go, I pulled out as the ring-in of the group. I am planning now to make it a regular gig on Sundays: great venue, good bunch of people, nice vibe, excellent training.

Downloading the stats for the ride last night, I’m happy with the numbers; my fitness and speed were not limiters, just my cornering skills! After some poor performances in the last few months, it was great to see that my form is actually ok, and I have some reasonable strength in my legs, more than I thought I had. Next week I’m putting my corner-friendly race wheels on!