Saturday, January 31, 2009


This week has been solid on the bike, with a lot of other stuff going on. I got to the long ride of the week, and I had NOTHING. Really. I just looked at the data, and my av HR was 118. Setting new levels of sluggish. The legs just didn't want to turn.
I reminded myself why I was doing it - in theory a little hurt now will save a lot in canmore.
There better be something at the end of this rainbow (actually I think there was coffee - as I swear this rainbow was ending at our new favourite cafe in Samford for mid ride snacks)...
Looking back lots of stuff has happened. Annabel started school, Gareth went to hospital for another hand op, work was busy. In addition, two of my rides were harder in terms of terrain. Hills hills and more hills. My nutrition was ordinary - I am sure I missed a meal or two. I wonder if this is enough to make me feel this fatigued?

Tomorrow is a day off and I am hanging for it. Time to rest up and eat, eat, eat. Next week is even bigger, and there is a race on Sunday. Hope I find somewhere to drop off the nothing or the dusk to dawn is going to hurt. I might just have to put some of it in TR's jersey pocket as he not only took me the 'hilly' way back today (laughing and pointing at his wheel screaming GET ON) but also decided I needed some 'extras' and took us the long way back. Training partners. You thank them later. Much later.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Today was the first day of testing. The idea is to repeat the test at the end of each recovery period and hopefully see improvement. If the improvement isn't there, time to tweak the program. I chose a short simple roadie climb - the back of mount coottha. I have not ridden that climb for over a year. I have not timed myself up that climb for more than 2 years. 2 years ago it took me 12 minutes.

I know I am fitter than a couple of years back but the decrease in my time shocked me. This morning was a LOT quicker. 8.50 is my baseline.

Took my time on the descent today. In recent news a number of semi-famous cycling chicks have bitten it HARD on their roadies. My descending is improving and it is tempting to hammer. I am glad I didn't - second corner had debris the WHOLE way across the road from our recent rain. For some reason I didn't even register it on the way up. I did however register the memorial for Perko. That slowed me down too.

Best sight of the morning goes to the hippy chick riding her clunker up the climb barefooted, hairy legged and still in what looked like her pyjamas. She was a smart hippy though, as she had her helmet. And she fairly hammered back down. Classic example of someone riding for the pure joy of it (or the 'shrooms hadn't worn off yet). Either way she was having a hoot, Amen sister! WE RIDE BIKES.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Recovery weeks are good for two reasons. Obviously there is time off the bike for your body to recover and absorb the load - and after a hard cycle that is awesome. But perhaps more importantly in recovery weeks there is more time to spend with family.

With the self focus of riding, it is possible to forget what these guys are doing for you. With kids in the mix, your partner does have to be prepared to take charge of kid minding. I try and minimise this by getting up before everyone else and getting out but still - long rides on the weekend will take me out more than half the day. Not only are these guys missing you, but often I will return home from a ride to find Gareth and Annabel have been baking for me - this week was blueberry and raspberry muffins! Does it get any better? It is great because to know these guys are thinking about me and 'into' what I am doing makes the difference in how I feel heading out the door. There is nothing worse than a hard session, knowing that there is also pressure from home to be at home instead of training. It can be the difference between pushing through the ride or pulling the pin.

Thanks Guys!

Monday, January 19, 2009

classic sights.

The long ride of the week is always a time to catch some sights, and with a slow easy on the cards photo ops were the order of the day. Highlights from our Sunday roll included the ultimate roller setup for any discerning cyclist. All you need is a univega conquest sitting on a state of the art cateye ergo. HILARIOUS. Could only have been better if the owner was in sight!!
The out and back to Redcliffe is a great ride; traversing boondal wetlands which apart from the stench is quite picturesque. I've never taken the time to check out the lookout before so we stopped and climbed up. Why is there always a massive head in the way?
Redcliffe is also quite nice, except for the bogans in cars and howling headwinds in ALL directions. There are times when the hornibrook bridge seems never ending. Today was not too painful though as I think I am starting to get stronger. I particularly liked these pelicans hanging out in the kids playground. Waiting for some little unsuspecting kid with a pack of twisties for sure...
Again TR was there to keep me company. We are hoping to suck some others in to ride with us (trickle, fly!) but if they can't be convinced no bother - we will ride anyway. It is a long road until July but the work has begun!!!!! Shut up and pedal.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

week two: settling in

So this week has been better. I am nowhere near as tired, and my legs are getting in the swing of regular riding. I am waking before my alarm. I have had some great rides, including a visit to the goat track and mount glorious with Pete and Nick. Nick had just returned from an alpine camp around falls creek and showed us exactly how strong he was whenever the road turned upwards. The only time I saw the guys was descending.... it would seem my skills are improving there. To test myself I attacked one particular part on the way back from glorious that has tighter turns, continuing with a push up the next hill and was surprised how much I put into the boys. Okay, so 198 bpm is not exactly an E2 ride, but I got to learn how to attack.

I've been catching up on mechanical stuff this week too. Swapping saddles, cleaning brakes, and learning how to set up stans tubeless for myself (thanks to pete's home visit lessons.... I have already learned the basics of chains and dodgey 'get me home' field repairs which came in very handy for our team during XPD.
Team mate Andrew, one of the RAAF's finest really enjoyed having a girl fix his bike. And then remind him about it for the next 400km.
Spokes hanging off everywhere, in the middle of nowhere - only one way out!

I need to make a call about riding the dusk 2 dawn shortly as entries will close in a day or two. I am not too keen to hammer out too many long solo efforts prior to July. Haven't ridden the new track at Canungra yet so maybe I should. Off to India the following weekend for work though - so maybe I should be around home.... maybe a pair entry??

Monday, January 12, 2009

week one: send help.

Week one: Smashed.
A full nebo is one of those great measuring sticks. Some days you ride up there and it feels good. No burn, so strong, attacking the climbs, big gears. Owning that trail. And other days - well, it owns you. On the weekend I got PNWED. Big time. Every hill hurt. I figured I would warm up. I didn't. I tried attacking the hills, getting angry and getting up and over. Didn't help. I listened to MattDog give me advice on how to train (thanks Matt!). Didn't help. I seriously wanted to have a girl moment and throw my bike in the bush and cry. There was a lot of nothing on that ride, and it talked to me the WHOLE way. But I hung on and soon enough (actually NOT soon enough, maybe we can say eventually) we were rolling into the cafe at the top. MDog said we 'rode a good, solid pace'. We certainly left TR and Bubble in our wake discussing the finer points of their personal nothings. Translated into mere mortal speak means it was probably one of the fastest ascents I've ever done despite feeling so bad. I settled down on the way back and rode conservatively keeping to a nicer E2 heart rate. EDIT: TR wishes to note that he was behind us as he stopped to chat to other riders on two occassions. I, for one, believe him.

I backed up with a great gap creek roll yesterday afternoon. I expected to feel bad, but to my surprise I was ok. I think the company helped - Deefa, MC and TR are always entertaining. The Dentist claimed another and despite claiming a 'step off' only, TR took an awful long time to emerge from the bushes. TR says: "does my head look big in this?"
Deefa says " I am just pleased you are taking the attention away from my oversized melon".

So I am sticking to the plan, which involved getting out for today's session solo. I've always enjoyed breakfast outdoors anyway... out the back of samford somewhere seemed as good a place as any. And how good are those Winner's bars???

I'm in.

I pressed "register".
I clicked elite.
I paid my money. Done.

In July I will be an Aussie racing in Canmore, Alberta at the 24 hour World solo championships.
Somewhere near here...
It is time to be honest about preparation - it is the first step in putting a plan together. It is not always comfortable but it is important to base your approach on fact or you are stuffed before you start. So where am I at - how much riding have I been doing?

FACT: not much, to f@ck all.
FACT: how often, 3 maybe 4 times a week.
FACT: how long, some of them so short that I am not sure they even count - the coffee has taken longer.

I think I have been racing more on determination than preparation.

So it goes like this......
1) Don't cheat.
2) Don't drive to the start of rides; ride!
3) And most of all, hit 5 days a week riding consistently.

New program in place, and kicking off pronto. The making of the puppet has commenced.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

shut up and pedal.

Rides at the moment are to no particular plan, though I do have one in the offing.
Today saw a lazy ride from Samford to Dayboro and back. I know it was lazy because my average heart rate was 136. That is definitely on the edge of the lazy zone for me... focus really was on finding this great brekkie in samford.... $4.50 french toast and a smoothie to match my gloves....??! now THAT is rocking.

But all that is about to change. Now.
This morning I received an email that has kicked in the attention.
I have been granted an elite slot for Adrenalin - the 24 hour solo world champs, based on my performance at Kona. It was what I have been working for, and what I said I wanted.

But now that it is here, the doubts come...
'can I afford it, should I spend that money on something else'
'am I good enough'
'will I get over there and FAIL big time'
'will I even enjoy it?'
'do I want to go through that hurt?'
'what if I have a massive crash overseas??!!?'
'how will get a support crew/ how will I do it without a support crew'

I rang my bro to chat through the nerves.
His advice was priceless and somewhat to the point.