I have been planning my training around recovery, good nutrition and more recovery. So that's working. I haven't done the thousands of kilometers that everyone is doing in preparation for The Race. So, I should be fresh. But what's going to happen on the day?
If only I could know the answers...
Well, things changed a little after I spoke to Brian Ferris, a Grafton to Inverell veteran with 26 starts. As I expected, and in some way hoped, he had arranged for a few guys to meet and do a long ride. Three of them preparing for The Race.
I called Peter, who has done the big race twice (or more), the night before to see what he was doing. Yes, he was doing Brian's ride and he was also doing a longer, harder ride on Sunday...
- I'll see you tomorrow, Peter!!!
Wednesday came and the five of us left Zupps as the sun came up. And without much talk, we started our journey North. We headed towards Strathpine and Petrie, where we turned into Dayboro Road. This is a good stretch to get warmed up for the 7 km Mt Mee Rd climb to Ocean View (350 m) and beyond.
Mt Mee, as it is known, is another one of my favourites (Yes, I do have a few). At 5-6%, it gives the rider few alternatives on how you want to do it. Having the new shorter cranks, I chose to test them by riding out of the saddle for most of the climb (apparently a disadvantage of having shorter cranks). So, big chain ring and out of the saddle this time...
Then over Mt Mee Village, on a beautiful undulating road, climbing another 220 m. Down the other side on a fast descent and left on D'Aguilar Hwy. Through Woodford and Peachester, with a couple of efforts and another climb followed by a 12 km descent. Great riding all the way to Glass House Mountains Village for a snack.
The scenery was just breath taking as we rode trough forests and sighted some of the famous volcanic crags of the Glass House Mountains.
Distance: 200.5 km
Time: 6h 57min
Ascent: 2145 m
Just 190 km and 5.5 km from home! I could not stop so close to the 200 mark so a loop of the Jinker Track gave me the extra kilometers to reach that highest number ever...
Loosing a race
A couple 1 hours spins on the rollers (Thu & Fri) and the Club Road Race Championship was next. Well, that could be a long story but I will make it short and just give a little description of how to mess up a sprint.
The race was at Elimbah, a 17 km loop with 115 m of ascent, most of the groups having to do three laps. I started in a group of six which got disintegrated after 10 or 12 kms. Because of the strong wind, I tried to hold the group together for a while but someone had a different plan. I followed his move dropping the rest of the guys.
From there, it was matter of sharing the work as evenly as possible and making sure there was something left to react to an attack or for a sprint at the end. Very few words were said for the 40 something kilometers. The pace was identical for the three laps - 36 km/h. I thought I could push it to 38 but wasn't sure if I was able to drop my riding mate, he was the more experienced of the two.
The course profile and my HR
Before I knew it, we were in the final three kilometers. I started calculating how many short turns we would make each other take before the sprint. He gambled by taking a longer turn which persuaded me to overtake him with one kilometer to go.
Because of the terrain, I could not see the finish yet so I kept looking and increasing my speed. My time to gamble came with 300 m to the line...
HR, speed and elevation of the finish
But I forgot one thing: the wind. As I accelerated, I kept my line and protected my mate (the dark rider) all the way to the finish. Stupid mistake!
A different Zupps
Still feeling good on Sunday morning, I managed to leave on time to do the Zupps Ride, usually 90 km. Anything more than that would make me too tired for the rest of the day and for work.
After chatting to a friend for a while, we found ourselves strugling at the back of the 80 plus bunch, which became a bit messy with the increase in speed. I decided to move to the front and with the legs begging for a workout I decided to keep going and break away from the bunch.
The move turned into a real break as the group decided not to react at first. Then, one guy came across but he didn't last as I used him to take a rest and then speed away again. I was never going to succeed but I wanted to use it as a good work out by staying away for as long as I could.
And that was it, helped by a young rider called Sam, by a couple of traffic lights and a small crash in the chasing bunch, I stayed away for 12min 45sec or 9.2 km...
A great way to finish my week.
Week 10: 457.5km/16h12min