Sunday, 9 September 2012

My insane goal - 6 weeks in

So in July I woke up and decided that I would try an experiment: give myself 6months to go from a sloth to a race snake. 6 weeks in and my fitness is getting there. For the first time ever, I am training without getting sick, I am riding harder than before and I am having a blast!

The last 3 weeks I have raced every weekend. Weekend 1 was an unplanned race called the Randfontein EPR. Was 120km ride. It was tough but I flew! Up until 70km I was flying!! Then I hit a wall. For 30km I suffered. I couldnt get any nutrients in my system so my energy levels plummetted but I just kept going. 1pedal stroke at a time. Was so tough but I was not going to quit. I have been told I am hard on myself and that day I was beyond tough. My muscles and body were asking to stop and not move, they said they needed carbohydrates, my stomach would not obey. My body just wanted me to sit on the side of the road, the sweep vehicle went by, they said please. My mind said no, said I had carbo loaded and I had fat I could use. I screamed at myself in my mind to keep going. And I did. At 100km my body listened to my mind and found fuel from somewhere and I suddenly got a second wind and started flying. Was a bit too late but was a good feeling. It was a long ride but crossing the line to the sight of wonderful friends who were there waiting. Thanks Barbs, Kyle, John and Jarek!

Then came Dome2Dome. This was a key race for me as this was a fitness test for me. Was so nervous for this one. I set myself the goal of 4hrs but honestly believed that was pushing it and I would have to push from the start to achieve this goal. Race day came and I parked at Sterkfontein Mental Institution (quite fitting considering the route we were about to tackle). After a long wait it was time to get in the pens and go. I managed to get in a fast bunch after the 1st real downhill. As I was trying to catch the bunch, I found a guy struggling and offered to help him get the bunch. Later in the ride he told me he was so grateful as he didnt think he wouldve finished if it hadnt been for me. Anyway, the bunch was a fast one led by a group of riders in pink polka dots with "queen of the mountain" on the shirts. I helped as much as I could out front and enjoyed the speed that a roadie bunch can do when working well together. The bunch sped along for a good 50km beforebthe bumps of the cradle got too much for some and I managed to get in a break of a few guys and myself. I ended up doing a fair bit of the work and at one stage when it was just 3 of us and me doing all the work, I started getting grumpy. I turned to the next in the line and asked him to work but the response I got was not expected. "I am enjoying the view". Was glad I could provide a view but having help wouldve also been nice so I just upped the pace which hurt my legs but had the desired reaction and he was forced to work.  The last hill came and I remembered Andy's words where he told me if one crosses the finishline with anything in the tank, you havent raced hard enough, so I used the last of my gas and climbed those 3kms. In the end I klapped my goal with a time of 3:34. Way better than anticipated!

I continued training in the week and out a good few kms in to build on the benefits of D2D. On Saturday I went out and did a very slow 112km road ride which considering I had a race the next day, was dumb but I enjoyed the distance. Then, today I headed out to do Spring Classic 45km. Was not expecting my legs to be so shattered! But, I pushed as hard as I could and did a mediocre ride. Was very technical and hard - unusually hard for a 40km - but was food training.

With 3 weekends of racing in a row done, I am going to take my 1st real rest week in 6weeks.

For these 1st 6 weeks I have done:
43:07:25hrs riding
10450m climbing

After my rest I start building up to the next marker but for now, I am posting this, grabbing food and hitting the sack.