Saturday, November 22, 2008

Yes, I know ...

I know I'm not unfit, I know I'm not lazy and I'm not exactly piling on the weight. Thanks to everyone who told me off. I was just having a bad moment! Hi, by the way, to my Gearshifters readers. I don't think I've said anything bad about you ...

Anyway, there is light! I sucked it up today, HTFU'd and got it done. Funnily enough, a 55km ride out to Eastbourne and back sounded too easy and boring and not really tempting. Even with the wind I knew that I needed a big ride today, and a big ride is what I got! Which isn't to say that today was all fun. There were a few times when I was fighting the wind and Cleo to stay upright. There was one point in particular when I don't know how I managed to maintain a vertical position. There was a typical Wellington light Northerly blowing today, to say the least.

Right then. Today we rode to Paekakariki Hill. I'm not really sure exactly how we got there, but I know we rode up Ngaio Gorge, through Khandallah and Johnsonville, then I think we rode through Tawa to Porirua where we jumped onto the main road and turned a right at the northern end of the Pauatahunui Inlet. From there it was a long 12km climb up to the top of the hill. I've already said I was battling the wind, but that was the main feature of today's ride!

Only a few of us had decided to do the long option, and I was one of the slowest riders. It was a good challenge to hang with the group though and it was, again, what I needed. I really enjoyed Paekakariki Hill. Even though it was a long 12km into a headwind, it really wasn't that hard. It was scenic and gorgeous and on a less windy, overcast day would be absolutely stunning.

I took it slowly going back down because the gusty winds were playing havoc with my ability to steer. At one point I got overtaken by a young blonde woman who was absolutely flying. Lauren was following close behind her, 'chasing skirt'. He insists he didn't realise he was following a woman! We waited at the entry to Battle Hill for the others then stopped off in Pauatahunui for a bathroom break. By this point it was after 12.00 and although I'd taken an extra 5mg of Hydrocortisone before the ride I figured now would be as good a time as any to take some more. Other than the Hydrocortisone I managed to plough my way through both bottles of Peak Fuel and most of a bottle of water and two Power Bars.

The traffic was hairy, to say the least and I lost count of the number of times we were cut off or passed by honking drivers. It was nerve wracking trying to maintain forward momentum in the crosswinds while cars and huge trucks were passing by within inches. I managed to keep my cool, honest! I may have yelled out "hello" to one driver and I may have waved at another who pulled out in front of me, but there was no swearing ...

We climbed back up the hill to Johnsonville that I'd been dreading and it was nothing. At some point I think the Hydrocortisone kicked in, and it was ALL good! By the time we were riding undulating suburban streets on our way back to Ngaio I had taken the lead from Richard and was on a cortisol rush. With Richard shouting encouragement from behind I pumped my way up the hills and, with the exception of Ngaio Gorge (when I had to stop to put my chain back on), I led the whole way back to Freyberg. 101km, done!

So, today I did well to just ride in that wind. I also did well with the nutrition and hydration. However I think the takehome lesson from today's ride was HYROCORTISONE! Heck, I'm going to be popping that stuff the whole way round Taupo. Give me that cortisol kick. I think I'm hooked!

I don't know for certain that's where my little rush came from on the way home. It could be that I was just glad to be nearly there. Whatever it was it felt good and I was a very, very happy Pip by the time we got back to Freyberg just after 1.30. I may, in fact, still be grinning.

And with the week I'm likely to have, that's a feeling I need to hold on to.

Whatever happens though, I know I can rock Taupo. Confidence restored. All systems go.

1 comment:

Sass said...

Good work Pip! That's a mad ride!! I told you your weekend would be hard core enough to warrant you taking time out;p