Monday, February 05, 2007


Time to weigh in again on the training I guess. It's been nearly a week.

Looking back, last Tuesday I commented that I expected a big hill ride on Thursday night. I believe I commented that I thought we'd be going up to the prison. Oh, if it were that easy...

Following Tuesday's effort my knee was starting to grumble, and I had enough sense to take advantage of the lovely evening and go home for a rest day. I promised myself I would spent both Saturday and Sunday at the pool to make up for being lazy.

On Thursday morning Duck continued to work my upper body and core, and reassured me that we were not riding up Maupuia Road that night. Silly me, I trusted her and accepted the denial at face value. I spent the day floating on a little cloud of relief, convinced the evening would bring nothing more taxing than a brief run and a leisurely flat cycle around the Bays. And that was a good thing as far as I was concerned, as my legs were still shot from the previous week's madness.

Which is why I had to fight the urge to slap the Duck at 6.00 at Freyberg, when she blithely informed us we were cycling up to the summit of Mt Victoria. And not from the comparatively gentle Newtown side. We were starting at Carlton Gore Rd, ground zero, and we were going the whole way. To the top. And then we were going to go for a run. And then presumably we were going to roll back down the hill again, tumble into the sea, and hang there limply resembling the jellyfish we would by then have become.

Now, two things: I am not confident riding hills, and I am not confident using my SPDs. In particular, I have a morbid fear of riding up hills and not being able to unclip and falling over in front of a car and dying. And, partly because of this fear, I suck at riding hills, because I give in too easily. In short, I wanted to cry. I wanted to throw my toys and go home. But once was enough, and I didn't fancy getting bailed up in the women's toilets at Hope Bros again for a heart-to-heart. So there was only one thing to do, and that was get on my bike and get moving.

By the time we got to the point where we had turned and headed back down hill the week before I knew I was in trouble. Somehow top gear seemed to sneak up that much sooner. And then Duck made the tactical error of yelling out from behind me that it was about to get steep, and I did what I expected of myself, rode a little further, turned a corner, saw that the steepness kept on going, spotted a flat driveway in which to turn into, pulled in and unclipped.

Still, I made it around two thirds of the way up, and I didn't ass off my bike and kill myself. So I should be happy with myself, because just the fact I even tried was HUGE. And, as Sarah's been pointing out all week, the hill is even bigger than my angsty-Pipness. Hamish is in awe that I even made it a small way up. And when I got to the top (riding the last couple of hundred metres) I got off my bike and ran around the summit road at a pretty good clip, without jelly legs. And then I got back on my bike and rode back down again.

Going down was ok, despite going the wrong way and having to get off at the Monastry and walk down the pedestrian access to Oriental Bay. Driving home was a bit scarey though. I was mentally and physically shattered, and I'm sure I was a danger on the road. Hamish was good enough not to let me loose in the kitchen, and we both thoroughly enjoyed our Hell pizza when it eventually turned up.

I'm feeling a lot more confident with the clipping and unclipping now. I just have to remember that my pedal often turns upside down when I push off, and that I need to flip it to clip in. Once I got that sorted I was clipping in and out much more quickly.

It sounds mad to say that I got up the next morning and did an RPM class, but I did. I missed having fresh legs, but I dutifully turned up the dial and went hard. I even followed that up with a Body Balance. My big Body Balance revelation for the day was my shoulders suddenly opening up and getting into some kind of parallel alignment in the warrior poses. Finally - some progress in that area!

I'm ashamed to admit that fine weather, bacon for breakfast and a trip to Petone to buy a barbeque put paid to any exercise on Saturday. An achy IT band didn't help either. And then Sunday was spent in the Sanctuary chasing my birds. The breeding season is coming to an end, and I had a strange sense of this being the last time I would visit a number of the nestbox sites. As a result I made a conscious effort to take note of everything I loved about each location, and to commit it firmly to memory. I was in the bush from 9am till 4pm, and I enjoyed every second.

A gorgeous evening and lamb chops on the barbeque put paid to a Sunday evening swim, and somehow I managed to avoid the gym and the pool for the whole weekend. I was still a little worried about my knee, which was still achy, so taking a break probably wasn't a bad thing, but I was wishing I hadn't eaten so much by the end of it all.

Today the knee seemed to be on the mend. The weather has continued its late spring run, and for the last three nights we've slept with the windows and blinds wide open. We're lucky enough that our house is private enough for that little luxury. It's rare that the wind dies off enough to stop our wobbly old sash windows rattling when they are open, but there's nothing like the scent of the trees lining the ridge below us wafting up on the night air, and the soft thud as cat after cat enters and exits via the window sill.

I woke at 6am to a welcome sunrise, and pushed myself a little harder with the weights, mixing it up a bit and focusing on technique. Dale and I ran around checking out Brian Tamaki, who was seriously weirding out the other gym punters, as was another guy with an 'absolute absintence' t-shirt on. There must be a religious gathering in town.

The gorgeous Wellington day continued, and work was interupted by a welcome fire alarm right on morning tea time. Forty minutes spent sitting in the sun outside Rise drinking Kawakawa tea. Nice! Nobody doing any work because we were all seriously regretting not taking the day off ahead of the Waitangi Day holiday tomorrow... even better!

Sarah and I met up after 5 and walked to Xtreme to get changed, then set out around the Bays for the Newtown 10.6km route. Let's be kind and blame the heat, and let's just say it wasn't one of the quickest runs we've ever done. I for one was quite happy for the leisurely pace and regular breaks. It was a joy to be out there with a running buddy, enjoying Wellington on a good day. Although the prevailing Southerly was a cruel joke. Where was the tail wind when we needed it?!

One Love tomorrow, Women's Multis tomorrow night. I still want to do a short hill run on Wedneday, and then it's Duck and Women's Multis again Thursday, RPM Friday, and a Scorching Duathlon on Sunday. Which means Saturday will have to be active recovery - a swim day in other words.

Aahhh, training.... Joy!

1 comment:

Michelle Fry said...

I loved reading this because I can identify with the IT band aching, the fear of being clipped into bike petals, and the general effort of working out very hard. But, the part I liked best was this bit: "As a result I made a conscious effort to take note of everything I loved about each location, and to commit it firmly to memory. I was in the bush from 9am till 4pm, and I enjoyed every second."

I admire people who make a point of looking for and savoring beauty in nature.