Monday, 30 September 2013

30/09/2013

Commute:
I've said it quite a lot, I think the best indicator of performance is performance. Given the level of my goals, I try not to get too much more involved than that, a tough ask given my penchants for data.

This said, there usually comes a point each year where I believe a slight nudging of the weight side of the power to weight scale will aid my performance. It always sounds like a great idea, but with it comes some challenges.

That ever so slight change in mental attitude brings about a change to how I see food. If you haven't had the pleasure of being near me during a meal, it's safe to say I'm not afraid of it. When weight becomes a goal, food must be resisted, I have to question every hunger pang, and hollow feeling in my legs. Do I need to eat, or am I just conditioned to? The number on the scale becomes inexorably linked to self confidence, I check what I weighed the previous year, I compare, I (over)analyse.

I suppose it comes down to this. Performing well is fun, I enjoy it immensely when I can make a difference in a race and/or put my friends in trouble. Watching my diet to achieve an efficient system is not fun. Right now, sitting at the end of an exhausting training block, a few extra kgs on the scale the result of a few diet choices, I wonder if I've found the right balance.

D: 7.6km
A: 33m

PMPW: 96kg

Sunday, 29 September 2013

29/09/2013

Mt Donna Buang -  Mt Donna Buang - Mt Donna Buang:
I wasn't feeling super fresh, but Jimmy had doubled my vertical yesterday, meaning I had no valid excuses and should just get on with setting up my bike and leaving a musette with fresh bottles and food at the base of the climb.

Without any warm up we turned into the climb and started the hour or so journey up to the top. It wasn't earth shatteringly quick, but it was the first of several. On went a gillet over my sweat soaked jersey for the descent back to the start of lap 2.

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This time up I rode basically solo. Early on I accelerated to go single file and give a car some more space to pass, looked back and found I'd gapped Jimmy and Chris. So I went on with it, aiming for 340W all the way to the top. It was a struggle, me legs weren't coming through smoothly, and 90rpm wasn't easy. Still, with spurts of out of the saddle riding, I got myself to the top in as good a time as I could do with my body and brain. I hoped for a sub hour ascent, but I had no idea, I'd have to check Strava later.

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The final ascent I rode with Jim and Chris again. Jim was fading, so the 4th ascent we'd considered at the start of the day was taken off the cards. I pushed on on my own at the 3km to go mark and emptied out what I had left, it wasn't much.

Now that I'm home and see my times, I'm not super happy with the day. My times were worse than ones I set in 2009/2010. I know my training load has been pretty big the last few weeks, and I haven't had the greatest diet or recovery the last few nights... so maybe with a bit of diet control and extra sleep I can get back in front of this form curve.

Strava link.

D: 110.3km
A: 3,402m

PMPW: 97kg

Saturday, 28 September 2013

28/09/2013

Hell Ride - Yarra Boulevard - Yarra boulevard - St Kilda East:
In hindsight I went into today with the wrong attitude and a nice backlog of fatigue.

I expected the shit weather (huge crossies and the threat of rain) would keep a lot of riders away... and everyone that did turn up would be happy for some two up action. The first part was right, the second, not so much.

On the cross tail assisted journey south DK got bored and went off the front. The next 40 or so Km, the bunch chased pretty hard, leaving anyone not pulling a turn strung out in the gutter contemplating the best way to get teeth marks out of top caps. I was in that latter group of people, the ones re-assessing life goals.

When we got to Frankston, DK still up the road, I pushed forward so I could get over Olivers cleanly. Matt Boys and a few others kicked clear, and I worked to minimise the damage upto and along the false flat top. When we hit the next hill Jeremy Cameron hit the front and proceeded to squeeze the pace up and over my abilities. Halfway up the climb up to Canadian Bay I dropped the wheel in front of me, only making it around Mt Eliza because of the lights at Mt Eliza Way.

With all that enthusiasm on the trip down, I was certain that everyone would go two up for the way home. It was only logical... but also incorrect. DK sat on the front for most of the trip, dragging the bunch into the head cross, a tail of blokes wagging behind his massive quads. I kept myself in the initial echelon so I didn't have to worry about the centre line, and on the one time I got swarmed at some lights, I simply rode up the outside, pulled a 30 second turn then drifted back to slot myself in a few riders from the front.

On the way to 2nd breakfast and 2nd/3rd coffee DK stated we were going to the Yarra Boulevard to get up some Kms and some vertical. I was not enthused, but after being effectively called soft by a triathlete we passed, I was committed. In the end it wasn't too bad, I was able to distance the big boy on our trips up Yarra St, which is always nice for the confidence.

Strava link.

D: 149.1km
A: 1,426m

PMPW: 96kg

Friday, 27 September 2013

27/09/2013

NRR:
I was going to git up some trails this morning, but someone had to cancel on me (for valid reasons), and instead I grabbed the roadie and went for a trundle and a coffee.

I spent a bit of time on the front of the bunch, I've grown not to love being at the back of a big bunch (though at the Warny I'll have little choice at times), and it was the easiest place to slot myself.

Strava link.

D: 44.1km
A: 177m

PMPW: 95kg

Thursday, 26 September 2013

26/09/2013

Commute:
There was a point on my way to work, where the wind was so strong I was slowed to 10km/h... while going down a 3% grade.

I thought about getting on the trainer this arvo, but I'll ride tomorrow morning instead.

D: 5.7km
A: 123m

PMPW: 97kg

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

25/09/2013

NRR Long:
There weren't many rolling turns from Mordi to Franga, I wasn't super keen to be pulling them either, but did my bit to at least get us through to Carrum, before slipping back into the bunch for a sit, and a chance to scoff a gel. What I wanted from the ride was a red hot go at the hills, to see if I could get to the top of Two Bays on or near the front.

So, just like fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate and hate leads to suffering, expectations leads to nervousness. I've been feeling better and better on the bike, and I had a load of caffeine in my system... so when the pace started fairly moderately it was hard work to keep controlled and just stay on wheels saving energy.

I slipped up the side of the bunch into around 4th position as we hit the dip at the start of Canadian. This was the perfect spot for watching Oscar Stephenson hit it hard on the middle of the first ramp. Thankfully for me, we were several riders wide at this point, the process of getting into a single file meant the severity of the attack was lessened, giving me time to get up to speed and find a wheel to follow. Severity lessened or not, it still hurt like hell, 183bpm flashed at me a few times before we reached the relative safety of the false flat... then others counter attacked and any illusions of control were removed from my mind. I was a passenger on a pain train, the best I could try to do was hang on until the ride stopped. The data says my heart rate only got down to 180 before it was time to kick up the final ramp to the top, at the time I didn't know that, I knew I was hurting, I also knew what to do to get it over and done with quickly. Stand up and go hard.

2.3km later, my heart rate was down 45 beats and it was time for the Two Bays climb. The pace got serious at the first speed bump, then ramped again as the road steepened. I tailed off the front few riders when Cam McDonald, whose wheel I was on, tailed off the wheel he was on. From there I was basically setting my own pace, Cam got ahead for a bit, then I got past him, then Lucas got past me, but these were minor distractions to trying to keep my legs spinning and my power from slowly deteriorating.

In the wrap up, I think I came through in around 6th or 7th, but Oscar was off the front of a few lads, then I was dangling well off the back of them. My time up Canadian was a PB, and Two Bays was the same as this time last year. I'm feeling pretty good about all of that. I've got some weight to lose to get into the same shape as last year, and I still feel like there are fitness gains to be made.

Strava link.

D: 95.1km
A: 515m

Commute:

D: 18.8km
A: 69m

PMPW: 97kg

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

24/09/2013

6am NRR:
On Sunday I said to myself I wouldn't ride on Tuesday (in case you're not following along, that means today, or yesterday if you're reading this tomorrow). Last night I decided to do it anyway, and just sit in, you know, to see what it felt like.

I'm pretty sure I will have mentioned that sitting in something like Northy makes me cheeky. Today was no exception. I took great delight in pushing mates off wheels and / or leaving them out in the wind.

By the time we got back to Black Rock, I was bored of screwing with mates tactically, and decided to see what I could do physically. I rolled to the front and tried to ride everyone apart up my favourite roller. It wasn't perfect, but it's a starting point for post warny crit training.

I wanted to play in the spring, but lights and legs in the train meant I had to hit the front from the corner before Glen Huntly. I did what I could to push the wind until past the canal, but it was only in the low 50s speed wise.

Strava link.

D: 46.0km
A:173m

Commute:
I was watching a video on theage.com.au, a piece about the state of racism in sport after a year where Adam Goodes made a stand. Anyway, there was a quote I liked, it went something a lot like this.

"The road ahead looks straight and clear and easy, but you travel on it and there are bumps all over the place. These experiences, we hope, count for something. So it does make a difference. If we learn some things, then we can grow from that and make a difference."

D: 25.1km
A: 272m

PMPW: 95kg

Monday, 23 September 2013

23/09/2013

St Kilda East - Sandringham - St Kilda East:
DK, Wilko and I met up for a gentle roll and a coffee. We planned for SlackRock, but turned at the top of the hill just after Sandi to avoid having to come back up the other side.

Then on the way back a detour around Inkerman meant we were forced up the Barkley st hill to Alma. I don't know how long it is, and I know it is a bit of a poo even when fresh, but it almost made me make a hyperbolic statement to describe it.

Strava link.

D: 34.1km
A: 147m

Commute:
Here are the Strava stress scores for the last few weeks.

Week starting 12/8: 679
Week starting 19/8: 220
Week starting 26/8: 290
Week starting 2/9: 642
Week starting 9/9: 732
Week starting 16/9: 598

The first one is the one that tipped me into sickness for two weeks, but since then I've had some cracking weeks and seem to be holding up ok. I'm still super unsure about what my form is going to be like for the Warny... but I'm progressing, and that's good.

D: 13.3km
A: 100m

PMPW: 97kg

Sunday, 22 September 2013

22/09/2013

St Kilda East - Yarambat - Kinglake - Christmas Hills - St Kilda East:
Though we didn't do the planned threepeat of Kinglake we certainly got a solid day in the saddle. Out via Yarambat and Arthus Creek, across to Kinglake then back some of my favourite punchy numbers.

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I didn't feel too special early, DK was giving me the old half wheel treatment, but by the time we got to Hearns Rd I'd woken up, and had a challenge I was ready to sink my teeth into. Those rollers are brutal, but I'm digging the steep pinches and the way that everyone's forced to really muscle them... and muscle is something I have.

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I wasn't as suited to Kinglake, I started off with DK, then sat on his wheel, then yoyo'd off his wheel, then eventually I had to find my own groove at a slightly lower intensity. The time didn't set the world on fire, 22 minutes something, and a slightly lower heart rate than the perceived exertion suggested I should have. Over a feed in the Kinglake bakery/cafe we decided to abandon a repeat or ascent from another side, opting instead for a route back home via some punchy hills of what the boys called my loop.

These felt pretty good, something I could sink my teeth into, you know, push hard on the pedals for a few minutes then admire the view and the damage done to mates.

I'm not going to lie and say I felt fresh as I rolled into home, but I almost felt better than when I'd rolled out 8ish hours earlier.

Strava link.

D: 157.4km
A: 2,923m

PMPW: 96kg

Saturday, 21 September 2013

21/09/2013

Midlands Tour:
I was pretty nervous about this race, and in hindsight for very good reasons. There were some bloody strong riders, and the 2nd course (the circuit changes halfway through the race) had a hill that deserved respect.

I sat in for most of the first half, working for position in case any of the teams really light it up in the breeze, keeping DK near the front and occasionally trying to flick him clear.Eventually, I think it was on his 7th or 8th attempt, DK got up the road with Nick Squillari, and the bunch settled a little and set about a steady tempo to limit the losses to the two TT boys off the front. I rested my legs, knowing that soon enough we'd be detoured onto the longer course, the 6km one with a 2km of climb, a km of dirt and a k, maybe a k and a half of block headwind.

The first time up the climb I was in trouble, dangling off the back as we hit the dirt, and only getting back on halway up the start finish straight after chopping off with one of the Skoda boys. The next time up I had a bit better position, and the pace was a fraction easier. It was well above my threshold, but I got it done and started to think maybe I'd make 5 or 6 laps (out of 10). Incorrect, the 3rd lap, while pushing over 500W I was in the usual world of hurt... and then the pace surged again. Put another way, there were gents not happy with the 28km/h we were doing up a 5% ramp and wanted to go faster. Freaaaaks!

Between the point where I pulled the chute and the finish line I had a little think about my day and decided that pulling out was a bullshit idea. DFL is better than DNF and all the jazz. The climb was a solid little number, and I figured I had paid money for the right to ride it, so I was going to ride it as often as I could.

Strava link.

D: 85.1km
A: 887m

PMPW: 95kg

Friday, 20 September 2013

20/09/2013

Commute:
The last week or two I've been quite concious of what and how much food I put into my face. Why? Power to weight and creating a more efficient machine.

It's an odd one, I try hard not to fall into populist superficial mindsets about how I look, but even still I often find it difficult to disengage ideas of self worth from the number on the scale and my body fat levels.

I got myself down to 91kg for the Warny last year, that seems unlikely and unwise for this year given the time I have left. What it is however, is a good indication of the dedication I had last year, versus this year. This sort of feels like a BMC year... you know, have a good year, get on a team (BMC) then achieve bugger all until it's contract time again.

D: 6.9km
A: 34m

PMPW: 95kg

Thursday, 19 September 2013

19/09/2013

6am NRR:
I think we had 10 dudes total this morning... and 2 of those joined us on the road. I've mentioned it before but the ugliest weather days make for the politest rides, today was no exception. Two up, waiting when we got split by lights, another guy and I actually dropped back to pace on those who were caught out by the red.

This all suited me just fine, I wanted the saddle time, but not too much stress before Midlands.

Strava link.

D: 46.9km
A: 205m

Commute:

D: 7.9km
A:46m

PMPW: 96kg

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

18/09/2013

NRR Long:
I felt feisty this morning, I can only assume because I'd had two days off the bike in a row for the first time in a while. Whatever it was, I was a cheeky boy as we rolled south, handing out my opinion like a party member before an election.

The good pace down, decent group of dudes rolling through, continued into the hills. No that's not right, it kicked up as the gradients did. Kars and Baden Powel pushed me well over threshold, but still felt ok. The highway was solid, and I probably should have moved up because on Canadian I just couldn't quite cover all the gaps left by exploding riders.

Still, I set a solid time and managed to get myself back onto the front group of 8(ish) before the bottom of Two Bays.

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Not long after this photo, the gradient went up, the pace went up, and I went back. There were a few guys around me to help with pacing, but I struggled to get a good rhythm, at one point swapping to the big ring to see if I could just SE it, nope.

The way home was again solid turns, anywhere from 8-20 guys rolling through at a pace that took me to that place where the thought of one more turn hurts... but you do it anyway.

Strava link.

D: 94.8km
A:534m

Commute:
Despite the day turning to absolute poo, I rolled a lap of the lake after work. My backpack's rain cover flapping in the wind, despite the best efforts of the strong elastic around the edges of it.

Horrible weather is kind of peaceful. There's hardly any other riders, and there's barely any sound... you know, other than the roar of the wind in your ears.

D: 10.7km
A: 78m

PMPW: 95kg

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

17/09/2013

Commute:
During the 8 or so hours of pedalling on Sunday, Moody raised an idea that blew my mind.

The box... you know the bad place you go to suffer... is just the outer box. His theory is that it's a babushka of boxes. In other words, it's possible to push harder, to dig into an even nastier place... and maybe another one after that. O_o

I kind of want to see what the wall paper is like in those places.

D: 28.1km
A: 203m

PMPW: 97kg

Monday, 16 September 2013

16/09/2013

Commute:
I was going to pull out the rollers tonight, get the legs spinning through, obviously I didn't, or these comments would start with the title "Rollers".

I'll likely take it easy tomorrow, but at some point I have to get my brain back on track, last weekend is done so there's no point thinking about it any more, it's on to what's next. Northy Long on Wednesday and Midlands Tour this weekend.

D: 6.2km
A: 25m

PMPW: 97kg

Sunday, 15 September 2013

15/09/2013

Amy Gillett Super Gran Fondo:
So, the Amy Gillet Gran Fondo.... twice.

The ridiculous idea of doing the AGGF loop twice started a few weeks ago for me. I got a message from my mate Ryan, it went something like this. "Just putting it out there.... Amy's grand fondu...... [Darren] Baumy and I are doing 2 laps.... Join us!". Obviously this was a ridiculous idea, one any sane person would be wise to decline. So after the promise of a coffee between laps, I pledged I was keen.

Back to today, most people were obviously sane and only doing one lap. This meant that their needs and mine were going to be wildly varied, but somewhere in the overlap was an opportunity for me to sit on wheels and get the first lap done as quickly as possible with as little effort as possible. I set off with the 2nd wave of riders and followed wheels as Wilko and the Llama bridged us over to the first group. From there I slid my way up until I found riders who's skills I was comfortable with, and enjoyed the benefit of others pushing the wind for me.

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When we turned into the bottom of Skenes Creek rd, I pulled to the left with Moody and set about setting about while everyone else played games with each other up the climb. Yeah.... nah.

From there to the end of the first lap, I didn't feel any pressure, I made sure I saw as little of the front as possible, then wandered my way up the back of Mt Benwerrin, regrouped with Ryan and Baumy, then headed to Lorne for a coffee and a smoked salmon omelette.

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The second time around... David Baker joined us for the full loop and Dan Strauss came to Skenes Creek. I expected I'd go to a really bad place somewhere along this loop, but by keeping my eye on my power number(s) I stayed within myself and got the job done. 330W, that was the number I tried to stay below for the climbs, far enough below threshold that I didn't fear cramps, but decent enough that the pace didn't slow to a crawl (though my cadence did).



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Dark place or not, it was a very different experience to the first time. There was more time to look around, more time spent chatting with mates, and this time we stopped in Forrest for a bowl of coffee and a chat with the kind folk that run the brewery. I looked longingly at their frosty taps, "beer is filled with energy" I told myself, but as convincing as I was (I'm pretty convincing) I knew that any amber draught that touched my lips would spell the end of my endeavour.
Km by km we got closer to the end, but for me it wasn't until half way up Benny, a gel slowly trickling through me, that I started to feel that the end was inevitable. I pushed on to the rolling hill section with a grin on my face. That grin was only to be surpassed by the one on the trip back down to Lorne. Not only was the job totally done, but that descent is one of my favourites.

Strava link.

D: 244.3km
A: 3,476m

PMPW: 97kg

Saturday, 14 September 2013

14/09/2013

Hell Ride:
I wanted to get a few hours in the saddle and a decent kms total. I wanted to check my fitness against a well known circuit and to put a lot of coffee in my face. I wanted a ride I could smack turns or hide and save myself. In other words, I was keen to do the Hell Ride.

I rolled early, ensuring I was up the front while we had a marked and unmarked police bike escort. The unmarked bike was pretty cool, I've never seen one before. Anyway, cool or not, they make the bunch (and me) edgy and I don't like hanging around edgy riders.

As things settled down past Patto river, I turned my thoughts to what I wanted to do. I thought it might be nice to try and bolt up Oliver's the way I was late last year. When it came time to ride the pinch I found myself swamped, so took a sit. That was pretty much my lot for the hills loop, I sat on wheels, closing gaps in front of me over the next two rises and generally felt comfortable even though I was at or above threshold.

The sitting in continued on the way home too, our policemen mates didn't rejoin us so I kept myself comfortable in the top 30 riders. As these things go, my mind tends to drift and fantasise when I'm out of the wind... "I might go for the sprint" I thought to myself. So I did, working for possition from Mordi onwards, doing my best to read the flow of riders around me and find the perfect wheel that would deliver me to the line. I was perched on Forbsey's wheel, waiting for him to unleash, getting super nervous, when I realised he wasn't kicking. So I ran into the little gap I'd left and flew out into the wind. Booney was clear off the front, but with gritted teeth, I was able to close the gap and easily pass him, rolling through for a clear victory to the sign.

I'll take a win, even in a less than full strength bunch.The power numbers were good too, a nice 1573W kick and only a slow deterioration until I shut it down at 45 seconds.

Strava link.

D: 95.3km
A: 389m

PMPW: 97kg

Friday, 13 September 2013

13/09/2013

Commute:
The legs a bit hurty, likely a hangover from yesterday's surprise suffer fest, and possibly a bit of nervousness about the AGGF on Sunday.

Oh well, I've been doing all I can to stay ahead of the recovery curve, in bed at 8:30 the last couple of nights, and I think tonight will be the same again.



D: 7.0km
A: 33m

PMPW: 96kg

Thursday, 12 September 2013

12/09/2013

6am NRR:
This one hurt more than it felt it should, though thankfully the Strava Stress Score backs up that it actually was tough. I think maybe it was a bit more of an attacking style, or maybe more of a gap and bridge situation, but the plan to roll turns most of the morning went out the window. I just did what I could to stay in a good position and survive until it was time to pour delicious coffee into my face.

Strava link.

D: 46.0km
A: 208m

Commute:

D: 13.8km
A: 117m

PMPW: 96kg

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

11/09/2013

NRR Long: (sort of)
I had a mechanical issue that curtailed my ride this morning. It's disappointing, but I suppose these things happen some time. Pulling away from some lights in Chelsea I heard the unmistakeable sound of a spoke popping, I pulled the chute, flipped around and rode solo home.


Strava link.

D: 55.2km
A: 170m

Commute:

D: 17.1km
A: 100m

PMPW: 98kg

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

10/09/2013

6am NRR:
The forecast must have scared a lot of riders as it was a fairly small bunch that rolled out. It was small enough that most people kind of mingled unsure if we should go, so roll out time was 6:01, I know, I know, that sounds like such a trivial thing, but for this ride it's pretty noteworthy.

I rolled turns for most of the ride, they weren't killer, but the headwind home certainly loaded up the legs while you waited for the next guy to roll over the top of you. I think that in general, most people were happy to just be out, getting some riding done. Sitting in or softer turns being better than opting to turn the alarm off and sleep in.

Strava link.

D: 46.5km
A: 210m

Commute:

D: 12.4km
A: 100m

PMPW: 98kg

Monday, 9 September 2013

9/09/2013

Commute:

D: 5.8km
A: 26m

Rollers:
I needed to spin my legs out and get the muscles firing in a decent sequence. It's unlikely there was any chemical leftovers from the weekend, but in my mind I still think of it as flushing them out. Anyway, my normally process on the rollers is to sit up and let the legs go around beneath me. This works ok because the bike is very stable, and also I can read or watch tv while doing it.

Today, I decided to ditch the distractions and work on a variation. When my legs started to flow smoothly, I dropped to the tops and began the process again. When that was working, I slipped into the drops and worked on getting things smooth there too.

It wasn't easy, and I had to reset a few times, but by the end of 15 minutes I felt in all three positions, so I ripped them up to a good clip and called it a night.

D: 6.8km

PMPW: 98kg

Sunday, 8 September 2013

8/09/2013

St Kilda East - Kinglake - Kinglake - Kinglake - St Kilda East
This was a combination of the utmost civility and pure pigheaded brutishness. An 8am coffee rendezvous on one side of the equation, and big ring repeats of Kinglake on the other.

Joel 'Smax' Strachan lead DK and I out through Plenty and Yarambat, and introduced me to a killer of a rollercoaster called Heard Rd. Oh it's an evil little minx, the 2nd to last hill just cranks up and up and up, leaving you standing and barely able to pushing your smallest gear for the last 20 or 30 metres at 20+ percent.


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Heading into the bottom of Kinglake I laughed as I realised all 3 of us had it in the big ring and were obviously intending to push strength efforts up the climb, yet none of us had discussed it. So that's how it was, three big boys, three big rings, bugger all cadence, and a long climb. DK sat on the front for most of the first trip, and up until the saddle I was comfortable... possibly too comfortable as I decided to ride around him and set the tempo myself... and then unceremoniously die in the arse.

The next time up was big ringed again, and the final time we span the little ring. Heh, I say span because my legs were telling me it was a decent cadence. In reality the cadence was around 70-75rpm. Far from the most efficient for climbing, but as best as my body could muster at the time.

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After a feed at Smiths Gully, we turned for home, opting for the least hills and easiest gradients for our sore and hollow legs. I was pretty happy, even though I got dropped on two of the three ascents, I'd just pushed out a long ride at a solid pace. That wasn't possible a few weeks back.

Strava link.

D: 164.3km
A: 3,408m

PMPW: 98kg

Saturday, 7 September 2013

7/09/2013

SKCC World Champs:
There were moments today where I had visions of victory in my mind, I pictured coming round the corner into Drysdale road in a select front group, fighting for the wheel that would deliver me to 75m before the line.

Sadly, that's not how it played out. I was feeling good through the first lap, but I was poorly positioned into the 2nd lap and got shelled. I formed a group with Wilko and a few others, working hard to catch more riders who were off the back of the front bunch... only to get shelled from them at the same spot.

Ok, so that wasn't ideal. I was disappointed with myself and my fitness, pretty much convinced that I'd be useless at the Warny and thus not even enter it. Then I saw my power numbers. My 50 minute power was some of the best I've achieved in the last year, given they were achieved on the flat rather than on a climb... well it's left me in a very weird head space about where my fitness is at.

Strava link.

D: 65.9km
A: 361m

PMPW: 97kg

Friday, 6 September 2013

6/09/2013

Yarra Trails & Commute:
A quick pre-work foray for a bit o'dirt. Greasy, rutted, rooty, sometimes washed away dirt around Studly Park, then the gentle humming sound of knobbies on tarmac.



Almost at work, post coffee stop, I could hear some honking behind me. It didn't sound like it was aimed at me until the honker passed and made sure of the fact. The driver was circling his ear with his finger to let me know I was crazy. As far as I knew I'd been a very well behaved road user, so I caught up to him at some lights and asked what was going on. It was then I was informed that he was concerned I didnt have control of my bike because I was sometimes riding without hands and drinking a coffee. He, on the other hand, was driving a ton of steel while smoking a cigarette. I leave you to spot the irony yourself.

D: 25.5km
A: 289m

PMPW: 97kg

Thursday, 5 September 2013

5/09/2013

Commute:

D: 5.7km
A: 148m

Rollers:
The plan was simple, sit on the rollers until my pedal stroke smoothed out. It looks like that took 15 minutes, during which time I read a couple of chapters of my book and started to sweat a little.

D: 8.4km

PMPW: 97kg

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

4/09/2013

5:45am NRR (Long):
I'd heard the 5:45 long bunch was a winner, so figured I'd try it out. My thoughts are still a little up in the air, the fastest rider (Jeremy Cameron), was split from the bunch on the way down by lights. I wasn't at the super pointy end anyway, I was pretty much pack fodder for most of the ride. Sitting in, and looking at a heart rate a few beats higher than a few weeks ago, all while going a km an hour slower than a few weeks ago.

The over under threshold work on the way home is good for my fitness, but it's not good for inspiring confidence. I should have been able to punch with the first few riders up the hills and roll turns the whole way home. I didn't and that makes me worried about SKCC champs this weekend... and the Warny in a month.

Strava link.

D: 95.0km
A: 527m

Commute:

D: 6.3km
A: 27m

PMPW: 95kg

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

3/09/2013

6am NRR:
Things were going well, I was pulling turns, putting myself squarely in the box, and then I blew a gasket along Nylex straight and tailed off the bunch just after Lower Dandy rd. I found some boys who'd been split by lights and rolled turns home with them, but my HR never got back up to threshold levels again.

That put a bit of a damper on my confidence. Last week I was feeling like the legs were good and as soon as full oxygen levels were re-achieved I'd be dandy. Today it felt like I was breathing properly again... and I failed.

Oh well, it's done now, tomorrow is another chance to get back on the horse to see what I can achieve.

Strava link.

D: 46.6km
A: 200m

Commute:
I rolled a few extras to keep the legs moving, and remind my body what it means to pedal.

D: 17.7km
A: 179m

PMPW: 95kg

Monday, 2 September 2013

2/09/2013

Commute:
The Mountain Bike World Champs finished up in South Africa overnight, and adopted Melbourne boy Paulie Van Der Ploeg came away with rainbow stripes in the Cross Country Eliminator. It's put me on a high that matches how I felt about Cadel riding into Paris in yellow a few years ago.

Maybe it's an extension of rediscovering how fun dirt could be, maybe it's that I've trained and raced with Paulie before, maybe it's confirmation that Aussies aren't just good roadies and trackies, that they can ride the dirt too (our downhillers have done alright for a while, but xc has only really shown it's head again recently with Bec, Dan, and now PVDP racking up results this year).

Whatever the reason I'm at unreasonable levels of stoked today, you should watch the finals here (all heats and finals here), and ask the big man to sign your (man) boobs next time you see him.

D: 30.0km
A: 255m

PMPW: 95kg

Sunday, 1 September 2013

1/09/2013

Rest:
The only time I touched my bike today was to pack it up for the flight home back to Melbourne. Sad panda.