It’s been almost four months since Chain Reaction.
I’ve done a few casual rides but nothing big, nothing steep and nothing fast. The days are dim, cold and wet, and I’m low on motivation to turn a pedal over. Even if I was keen, between moving house, the three kids, a smaller, dingier home and a holiday to Noosa (which was great), there hasn’t been much of a chance.
I went to see Edmore to relieve some tightness in my right lower back / flute yesterday and he pointed the finger at weak, tight abs. If you haven’t had someone stretch your abs for you, I don’t recommend it, but it did the trick. The prescription is, as usual, more strength in the places required to counter overdevelopment in the quads.
3 x 20 tower crunches
Since last post:
- Three more months of training.
- Selling the house.
- The actual Chain Reaction Challenge: the best, and hardest, yet.
- Buying a new house.
- Henry and Geoff make a successful Everesting attempt on Mt Pleasant.
- A diminished desire to ride, but unlike past years, not extinguished.
- A return to some very basic, strength and conditioning in an effort to make amends with some serious on-the-bike over specialisation (with hilariously DOMS-ey results).
Mt Pleasant, Pigeon Bank / Menzies / Kreuses and home.
The plan was to get out early before the heat kicked it. Turns out the heat don’t sleep, with 33º on the clock at 5:30 a.m. I didn’t even zip up.
Dave and I agreed on a short, punchy lap before turning in for a double espresso over ice. I could barely speak with a sore throat I’ve been struggling to shake off, but managed a 2nd fastest time on the Peak MtP KOM.
I did almost spew at the top, and from then on it was struggle town for a bit.
A spoke that’s been making a gentle ping each time I climbed on the bike the past week or so finally let go before we got back to the main Yarra Glen road. My back wheel now has a serious side to side whoop in it, but on some level I was glad to have to baby it back to the Zen Den for for coffee.
45 km 2:00 hrs 971 m
I set my alarm for 6:00 with the idea of getting 3-4 solid solo hours in the bank. I woke up at 6:30, with Fee poking me, and realised I must’ve set a weekday recurring alarm.
Although I was tempted to roll over and go back to sleep, I did get up to head out for something shorter. I was sluggish up to the top of Henderson’s Rd. By the top of Bonds I’d scaled back my expectations to a couple of laps of the Mt Pleasant circuit. By the end of the the KOM segment I was ready for home, with absolutely nothing in the tank.
It’s been a rough week at work, with some last minute, heavy-duty reconfiguration of work and, harder, my mental attitude toward it. It’s hard to explain just how fatigued that can make you, but I was full of cortisol this morning. Not even my favourite air, the crisp kind full of the promise of a hot day, was able to perk me up.
On the right hander into the creek crossing, just before the KOM start line, an older guy binned it hard behind me. Probably broke his collar bone. Two other guys had him sorted and sent me on my way, but it did sour the mood.
Rolling back down through Eltham, I remembered that the slow lifts are supposedly great for soaking that shit up, so I finished up the morning off the bike and over the bar.
29km 1:16hrs 490m
2 x 20 1H KB Swings e.s. @ 16kg KB
6 Deadlifts @ 60kg
10 KB C&J e.s. @ 16kg KB
6 Deadlifts @ 60kg
10 KB Snatch e.s. @ 16kg KB
6 Deadlifts @ 60kg
10 KB Swings @ 24kg KB
6 Deadlifts @ 70kg
20 Renegade Rows @ 12.5kg DBs
76km 3:05hrs 1,296m
At the end of a hard week, feeling tired, I had a big dose of heavy legs and CBFs to carry into the hills. With DC training the house down, and several others riding for survival in March, I took Jarrod out into the short sharp stuff. The idea was to bag 100km and a lot of steep vert. The route was Mt Pleasant, Stony Ck, Pidgeon Bank / Menzies / Kreuses Rd, Alma, down Cherry Tree to Hurstbridge and then back up Flat Rock before heading home via Bell’s Hill and reverse Mt P.
To hit 200 for the week I rolled back to Heidelberg with Jarrod which, of course, obliged us to do Burgundy St.
I didn’t quite make the kilo, although Jarrod did. I never felt great, and the pace was never spectacular, but at the same time, it wasn’t ever bad. That’s good.
Next week I’ll lie way low and ramp it up again the following three.86.8 km 3:47 hrs 1,813 m
I went to bed excited for this one, with a plan for how I wanted to ride the loop tomorrow. Bonds Road at 85% to kick the legs into gear. Steady to the KOM line, and all out from there to the end, fireworks or no.
This morning was the first time I’ve ridden the loop in control; with enough strength to ride each hill to the top and take the dips as recovery. Until now it’s been a paced ride the whole way, or burning on other peoples’ pace — up or down.
I bagged a PB on the KOM segment by a good :12s, despite losing a few seconds caught behind a slow descender on the downhill. The icing on the cake was PBs for both Bonds Rd and Pony Club in spite of not being full gas on either.
37 km 628 m 1:18 h