Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Break’s over! To the hills!

Last week I rested and recovered from my 2 races at the weekend. To say I was feeling a bit spent on Monday morning would be to massively understate how terrible I felt. My whole body hurt, particularly my legs and my back. Luckily I had yoga that evening and that helped greatly, as did liberal application of Anit-flamme. Tuesday and Wednesday I just chilled and Thursday I had yoga again. After another fantastic and challenging class I was ready to get back on the bike and what better way to ease into it than to practise the short course track with Michelle. *

* Better ways could have included laps of McLeans or Bottlelake on the singlespeed, a leisurely ride up Rapaki and across the traverse, sifting Flying Nunn repeats or even shuttlez.

It was a tad blusterous on Kennedy’s Bush and up on Siberia it was freezing and howling. I decided to go full on for 20 minutes and see if I could break the 5 lap mark. The wind quickly put pay to this plan as I was struggling to pedal down the steepest sections. After 18 and a half minutes I’d managed 4 laps and my throat and chest was agony. It didn’t bode well for Sunday, but I try to ignore boding where ever possible.

Friday was much better fun. Lovely hubby and I put some new, wider Kore bars on my bouncey bike, at the suggestion of the fabulous local supplier. He was right! We also tweeked the suspension which was set up waaaaay too hard and moved the brake levers and shifters around, all of which resulted in a much more stable and fun bike to ride down a hill. Which is what I did and met up with the girls for some shuttles. Frist run down Vic Park and my brakes and shifters weren’t in the right place so I adjusted them for the second run. The second run we went up to the Nun, where I hammered my legs by forgetting to put my seat up for the climb. The Nun was flowing sweet and we had a great ride down to the Kiwi. I love my new bars. The down Vic park and grins all round. Amongst our party was a lovely Vorbette from the tree covered north and it was fun showing her our trails, which are somewhat more exposed, rocky and full of wonderful corners than she was used to. However this didn’t stop her riding fast and well, it is so great showing the trails you love off to others.

Saturday I spent the day watching horsies race round and drunk slappers stumble over. I enjoyed the horsies a lot, and got my yell on regularly to try and urge my horse into the money. Unfortunately my horse choosing skills leave a lot to be desired and it was not a financially successful day. It was fun dressing up though.

Sunday was short course again. After Thursday’s efforts I wasn’t feeling optimistic and was also worried about running into children on the course. Because of this I was determined to get a good start so I could have a clear run down the singletrack on my first lap. This part was achieved and I steamed into the singletrack in first and blasted down, with my usual insane grin fixed firmly to my face. I needn’t have worried about being held up by children too much, I’d gone out far too hard and was destroying myself wheezing up the first climb and everyone streamed past me. I was held up a bit on the singletrack, but not much and then Megan zoomed past me on the hill climb like I was standing still. That woman has mad-core skillz to come down and race at great speed on a track she’s never been near in her life. I’d catch up with her on the singletrack and then she’d pull away again on the climb. In the forth lap I got badly held up by a number of elite riders who were pre-riding the track, but managed to get past eventually and also past Megan in the chaos. I felt stink about passing her like that and was pretty happy when she went back past me up the climb. I didn’t hear anyone telling me how long there was to go at the top so I figured I must still have loads of time for another lap and headed out. I pushed hard down the singletrack and headed up the climb thinking “Thank god I don’t have to go out for a 5th lap”. I was so knackered that I had no idea how many laps I’d done and when I heard the hooter sound I thought it was the 3 minutes to go signal. After I’d collapsed at the end my husband informed me I was really close to getting my last lap in and I was horrified I’d only managed to do 3 laps, talk about pushed past the point of comprehension! As it was, I got 4 laps again and was 30 seconds off getting that magic 5th lap. Next week is my last chance so I’ll have to be more strategic about my start and not destroy myself in the first minute of the race.

Looming large on my calendar is the Moa Hunt, only 11 sleeps away. I don’t usually count down to races in sleeps, but the Moa is the day before the Pearl Jam concert and that is ONLY 12 SLEEPS AWAY! The excitement I feel about this concert cannot be contained within a mere blog so I’m not going to attempt to quantify it. Back to the Moa. Being so close and being made primarily of enormous climbs I’m heading for the hills to sharpen my legs up for the task of breaking the 4 hour mark on the Moa. Admittedly that’s only 3 minutes faster than last year so shouldn’t be too much of a big ask. Hopefully I’ll do it in 3hrs 30, but I’m not overly confident about that goal, I’ll just have to see what the day has in store for me.

I’ve started out this week with a new commute via Kennedy’s Bush Rd and then down the Croc. This gives my legs a really good work out hammering up the road and puts a big grin on my face with its yummy switchback descent. I’m off to do Nun repeats tonight so that should give me more hill climbing kilometres in my legs. I have big plans for the weekend, but that’s another story. Stay tuned!

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