Sunday, June 1, 2008

Recovery week/Kenilworth and Montville Stages/End of the Giro

It wasn't an eventful week, the one that just gone. That is until today when a small group of friends got together to do some training in the Sunshine Coast area for the coming Tour.

But first, about the week in which training was basically non-existent, which scared me a bit as I am so close to one of my main events this season. Basically, the cramping incident last Sunday put me off the bike for 4 days. On Monday morning I noticed how bad it was as I was having a hard time just walking around at work. So I call the 000 (911) of cyclists and made an appointment to see Alex Frederiksen, our massage therapist and friend. Luckily, he had some time for me and the hour of pain was set for that afternoon. The massage was great but it did hurt (as it always does) and we did find the spots where we believed some damage had been done to muscle fibers. Special care with those points were taken... Yes, a little more pain but with a few gentle stretches I left the table feeling good.

The next day, well, I didn't feel much better. In fact, my legs were a lot sore still. All symptoms of a extremely hard ride and poor hydration when muscles got heavily fatigued and levels of electrolytes, minerals, CHO and other needed substances got way too low. No bike again, not even an easy spin on the trainer as I just wanted those little tender spots to get better.

I had a light spin on the trainer on Thursday but could not reach the hour. The legs were heavy and the mind just didn't want to collaborate. I had no idea of what was going on but I had the feeling I was going to get sick, as in a flu or a cold. Friday morning came and I couldn't get out of bed. A little panic was starting to settle in... I had less than one week to the start of Le Tour.

With all that drama happening, the weather in SE Queensland also turned to s..t. There were huge storms and lots of rain 200 km to the North and heading our way. -Forget about bike riding and lets just go to our favourite Indian restaurant for a nice early dinner (hot curries will fix anything)!

Saturday. We didn't feel great so we went shopping for a water filter (old style ceramic filter just like the ones my parents had when I was a kid) that Sandra has been wanting for ages. For all the right reasons, she always hated the taste and colour of the tap water we sometimes get in Brisbane. I just think we are going to get healthier and faster!!!!

So training last week: non existent!

Kenilworth Stage and Montville Climb

Comes Sunday (today) and I was up at 4:50. And super excited that the rain had gone and that in less than a hour I was going to be meeting a few friends to drive to Kenilworth, around 120 km North of Brisbane, to do the new course for the stage 2 of the Tour and the climb to Montville. A bit of a chat here, a drive back to D.W.'s house to get his cycling shoes and another chat there, it was 8:05 when we set off to do the 34 km loop (the races will be two or three laps).

Well, it was Sunday morning and I didn't have to go to work, I was not in too much of a hurry.

The ride was great, we had country roads in good condition, very little traffic, a terrific landscape and a nice bunch of people - 5 riders and 1 driver (David is the proud owner of a new motor vehicle and was pretending to be our DS). The course was undulating at first, it did become fairly flat for a while, a couple of lumps and we hit the first climb. Nothing major, but we could see that we were heading to a valley and had to do a few more climbs to get over a mountain and back to the township. There is an elevation profile in the link but I am not sure if it is right.

I took it easy for most of the ride until the last climb (16 km out) where I pushed a little bit harder to see how my legs would react. And guess what... you are right, they were fine and I enjoyed the test. From there, we came down this steep descent and the last 5 km were basically flat until get into town for an up hill finish. It was great to do this ride before the race. First of all it was fun to ride with a bunch of nice friends and secondly, I know now that even with some tough little climbs in it, the stage will finish with a sprint of perhaps 5 or 6 riders. A solo break away would not work with such a fast descent and another 5 kms of flat road to town.

Back in Kenilworth, we were quick getting in the cars and heading off to Montville for our stage 2. We took the Obi Obi Road, driving through Kidaman Creek and Mapleton. Now, those were climbs. I think there were more than twenty kms of climbing on that road with lots of 10% sections. To me, that should be used as a climbing stage!!!!

In Montville, we were equally quick getting off the cars and on the bikes. The bad weather was starting to close in again and we didn't want to get too cold on the way down. I took a bit of time as I wanted to wear everything I had for the descent even knowing I was going to carry the extra weight on the climb.

A couple of kms to warm up at the botton and we were off at 10:43 under a fine rain. I started it quick but not hard on the first 1.8 km of flat(ish) road, did the first 500m of up hill on the 53 but decided that spinning was the way to go. 39-17t to 39-23t was the range for the entire climb at around 80 RPM and averaging 23+ km/h to reach the top in 20:14. The HR reached 165 and averaged 158 bpm, which I am happy with.

I got to the top first and turned around and back down to reach the others and motivate them on the last couple of hundred meters. By that time, it was all misty and a couple of minutes after the last rider reached the village the rain really started. Great timing, now it was a matter of getting changed and heading to one of the cafes for a something hot to eat.

Another hour on the Highway and home by 2 pm to spend the afternoon with Sandra (she didn't make the trip this morning) and have a quiet evening.

A great time on the bike and good news with the legs that felt fresh and ready for next weekend!

The Giro

Well, it is ending as I write. I must mention the talented Sella once again, a third stage win is something to remember. Also, how well Contador has been racing by maintaining such a close look on Ricco. That is Stage Racing. And Mr Simoni who keeps fighting when the roads point upwards...

All brilliancy to me.


Chris said...

That sounds like a bad episode you had with cramps. It must be nice to have a massaging friend. I haven't had a massage in years. Best wishes.

Sev said...

Well, I am jealous.

I ironed for 6 hours straight on Sunday at work.

At least in my head I didn't leave the saddle once in that 6 hours...


Groover said...

You should have kicked me out of bed on Sunday morning. I wish I would have come with you. I'm looking forward to a long weekend of racing with you.

AMRcyclist said...

Thanks, Chris. It has been many weeks of prep. for this one (with ups and downs). I hope it all comes together now.

Hey, Scott. We will organise some training rides for those who like climbing. So, keep ironing and we will let you know!

Hi Groover, it is going to be a great weekend!!!

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