Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happy Blogday to me!

Yep, today is my blogday. My blog is one year old so where are the presents?

Unfortunately there are no presents because it turns out my weight goals were a tad unrealistic; well a complete fantasy. However I have learnt that the weight thing really doesn’t matter that much, not at the level I race at anyway, that level being rather low. I know that my diet is very good, and that once I can get back into a routine my fitness will keep getting better. This year I’m going to let my weight take care of itself. So no shiny new, lighter bike for me, but I am happy with my achievements so far, even if my new and improved ability to break myself has hindered my racing ability for the few past and coming few months. Now its time for some new goals, but I have a problem. The one thing I can’t stop thinking about seems so far beyond me I’m almost afraid to write it down.

I really want to do the Alpine Epic. 5 stages. 4 days. So very huge and scary.
Stage 01 - Mt Somers to Inverary 35km, 800m ascent. So that’s almost the Moa Hunt right there and that just about killed me.
Stage 02 - Inverary to the Rangitata River 35km, 1250m ascent. More climbing than I’ve ever done in one day (lets be honest, more climbing than I’ve done in 2 days), and that’s with the previous day in my legs already.
Stage 03 - Rangitata River to Rangitata Gorge 17km, 500m ascent. A time trial, straight after stage 2, sounds like a piece of cake? Doesn’t it?!
Stage 04 - Rangitata Gorge to Sherwood Hall 84km, 2000m ascent. Oh. My. God! Two Thousand metres of climbing inside 84ks of riding. Cue insane laughter.
Stage 05 - Sherwood Hall to Tekapo 72km, 1750m ascent. As if stage 4 wasn’t bad enough, this is beyond crazy. Day 4, stupid amounts of riding inside the legs and then another 72ks and 1750m of climbing. It’s just not right. Even pootling round the Redwoods in Rotorua I was knackered by day 4.

But I can’t stop thinking about it. It’s such a huge challenge, so far beyond my current capabilities, it would be such an awesome achievement. The thing is, I just don’t know if it’s realistic. I’m currently less fit than I’ve been in the last few years, but I’m hoping once I can ride regularly again that my fitness should spring back pretty quick. Is a year enough time to go from struggling through 80kms with a net altitude lose to doing day after day of big climbs and big kms? I think I’m mentally tough enough to do the training, but who do I get to train me? Will my gammy knee, and now gammy elbow, be up to carrying my heavy bike up hike-a-bike sections? Am I setting myself up for huge disappointment?

A part of me just wishes this idea would go away and I could settle down to setting some challenging but realistic goals like doing the Molesworth in under 4½ hours , completing a 6 hour solo at the McLean’s Island Day Nighter, completing the Canterbury XC series next year (assuming there is one) and doing the Moa Hunt in under 3 ½ hours. Maybe I could throw a new race into the mix, like completing the Lake Tekapo Pursuit, 90kms in the middle of winter? Or head up to the North Island and be part of a 4 man team for the Moonride or maybe a 2 person team for the Day Night Thriller?

So many questions. For my blogday the only present I want is advice. What could my goals be?


CrazyChris said...

I think you know my opinion of hills, so the fact that you are even considering this makes me think you're mad! That's 6.3km of ascent, the same distance I ride each day from my house to my office on the flat. That's huge! You're insane.
As for Run79 in Tekapo, I've done that for the last 3 years, and will be there again this year. I love it, a great scenic tour, much prettier than Molesworth.
Training? You need a straight jacket! But the other thing to consider is what aspect of the riding do you love the most? If hills are your cup of tea, then do it by all means, but if you are more into sifting and lurking (like me) then stick to Molesworth Muster, Rainbow Rage, Run79/Tekapo, 6/12hr events, that sorta thing.
Hills? Madness. Take 4 vodkas and have a lie donw.

Michelle said...

2-up team for the DayNighter FTW! ;-)

Tinkerbell said...

Thanks Chris, and while I by no means love hills, I don't hate them with the passion you have or even the venom I previously did. The Molesworth was good, but the lure of backcountry riding is soo strong. Yes vodka may well be the answer! :)

Tinkerbell said...

Michelle, you are on!! woot!

MtbCat said...

Hills are great. For that much climbing you get some good downhills! :-) Lynne and I trained properly from November to race day (but I think we might have better off starting training properly in September) but the main trick for me was doing hard efforts one after another and forcing my body to realise that yes, it is possible to get up and do it all again after feeling like there was no way you could ride your bike again the day before.
Doing a 6 hour or even a 12 hour prior is good endurance training. The best thing about the epic is that it's back country riding at it's best. We crossed 16 properties and had a vast variety of terrain and I felt we went right back to mountain bikings beginnings when we all had hard tails, no fancy gear and tons of enthusiasm.
Would I do it again? You bet! But it's a big training commitment and you need a great team mate - ideally one who is well matched to you fitness and personality wise.
Cheers Cath