It is that time of the year again, when hanging on to fast bunches is a real struggle, or an impossibility! It is all to do with that "off season" stuff, or strength training I do. This time, been three months of a very low kilometer count, as well.
How to fix that? A race at Lakeside (1 hour in a hilly circuit) and a fast Zupps bunch ride, I thought. But, like my start of any other year, I got dropped in both... But that should be OK, I needed to go through the physical and mental pain and just get the intensity and the legs turning a bit faster.
This morning, to test myself, I joined Sandra's McAfees Ride, which includes a 6.5 km/300 m elevation dash to a look-out. Because of the heavy europe layer I am carrying, and saving for next month, I (kind of desperately) even emptied my second drink-bottle before I passed the street sign at 5:34 am. From there, the ride was full of those moments when we feel a bit sick and think of turning around.
And after some uncomfortable eighteen-minutes-ten-seconds (Strava time) I was at the look-out on Mt Nebo Road. Slower than my best time of 16'18" a couple of years back, and on the R3, but a surprising fast time, if I may say so.
I don't have the power data from those earlier rides to McAfees and Nebo but I can see some good numbers from this ride - an FT(20 min) of 3.98 w/kg. That's always encouraging.
With the date of our departure getting closer, there are lots of important things to do (I've been told). Training time is limited. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing because it is very important to stay rested and healthy in preparation for the contrasting (freezing) riding weather we are going to encounter in Europe. Short(ish), medium intensity rides are in the menu for now.
Perhaps, one more dash to McAfees...
And what else?
Well, I am officially unemployed. Or, I am officially a pro-cyclist because I will be paying myself to ride a bike for the next eight months. To mark the occasion, leaving work that is, I put together a video of my last commute, something I did on-and-off for almost seven years. Rides that, undoubtely, made me a better cyclist.