Monday, October 6, 2008

Feeling Daunted

Slowly but surely I feel like my legs are coming back to me. After finishing my course of steroids my energy took a wee nose dive, but I was feeling back to normal pretty much the next day. My legs were feeling all good but my lungs are well and truly far from 100% and hammering the shit out of them on Thursday after work probably didn’t help matters.

I had a couple of really good road rides at lunchtime last week, although one of them resulted in me getting pelted with nice big bits of hail for 5 minutes, and I even managed to get back to the gym once during the week. Not so good at the gym. Very weak and feeble still and left feeling quite light headed. Will try and get another work out in this week and see if I’m feeling any better. Thursday afternoon I finished work early and headed to McLean’s to see how fast I could do a lap in. Ouch. Sprinted my lungs out and managed to do the 10kms in 28.29mins. Yay. I was happy with the time, but I paid for it big time. My lungs felt shredded and I crawled round the first half of my second lap like a cripple.

On Saturday I went out to McLean’s again to see how my endurance is going. My plan was to do about 3 hours and hopefully 6 laps. I knew I’d be hungry as when I got back from this so I put a nice big roast in the oven and set the timer before I left. Unfortunately the best laid plans, as they say. First lap felt fantastic. I nailed all the fast corners down off the stop banks and had great flow which meant no braking, yay. Got round in just over 30 mins but didn’t feel like I was pushing so that was great. Second lap and I was feeling even better now that my lungs had warmed up and I’d got my lines sorted the previous lap. I felt like I was flying, but didn’t feel like I pushing at all. Then things went a bit wrong. About 2 kms from the end of my second lap my back end went all wiggly. I knew that feeling, flat tyre. I still had a fair amount of air in the back wheel, I knew I had a couple of spare tubes and my pump with me so at the next junction I pulled over and flipped my bike over to do a quick tube change. HA!, as it turned out. Plenty of lovely people offered me help, but I didn’t think I needed it. After persisting with my pump for 30 minutes (30 incredibly frustrating minutes which left me in a bit of a strop) I finally gave up, put my wheel back on my bike and started walking back to the start along the walking track. It turns out its best not to take that fact that your pump works for granted when you haven’t used it for months and months. 30 sandblasted, cursing, and grumpy, minutes later I was back at the wee shop by the carpark borrowing the shop pump and inflating my tyre in about a minute flat. Unfortunately it was only a minipump so I couldn’t get enough pressure in my tyre to make it bead properly, but beggars can’t be choosers. The lovely man in the shop said I could take his pump with me to do a couple more laps.

I’d lost an hour and had to be home before 3 as we had people coming from dinner so I headed out to do 2 more laps in the hour I had left. With my back wheel feeling a bit wobbly I wasn’t flying down the stop banks anymore because I didn’t have much faith in the back wheel to not let go at a crucial moment. I ground out 2 more laps and will freely admit that the last one hurt. Quite a lot. Worrying.

I say worrying because that morning my lovely husband downloaded the Google Earth map of the Molesworth course This picture does not do it justice. It looked like a really loooooong way. With the race now only 4 (eeek) weekends away I’m beginning to feel quite worried about doing 80kms on my MTB. And spending 5 or 6 hours on my bike is really scary unknown territory. I know I’ve done a lot of training for this, but its getting really close now and I’m going to have start having some really big rides and start working the hills, but I just don’t know if my lungs are going to cope.
This coming weekend is the 12 hr race so that will give me 3 hours of split shift riding, hopefully that will help. And then the following weekend we’re off to Rotorua for 2 weekends so I’m sure I’ll clock up so big hours while we’re there. I just hope it’ll all be enough. Gulp.

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