Sunday, September 19, 2010
And she rode!
Ok, so in the face of a storm the size of Australia I will admit to wimping out of a ride yesterday morning. Well, the predictions were for severe gales. What can I say? Instead I ran for 45 minutes with Duck and Sarah. During the whole run I felt absolutely hideous. My legs were dead and I felt slow, slow, slow. We were supposed to be running up Aro Valley and back via Kelburn but I just didn't have it in me. I turned around at the base of the hill and ran back to Freyberg.
By the time I got there the wind was getting up and I wasn't confident of not being blown off my bike so I retreated to the gym and did two RPM classes. I didn't feel good about my decision, but I made up for it by flogging myself and finishing sweaty and with very shaky legs. It was Release 48 day, which meant I got to hear the same tracks twice, but it also meant that there were two trainers teaching. The first class was taken by Jude and Stephen, and the second by Justine and Stephen. Yay - three of my favourite teachers! Add to that packed classes full of people in a good mood, and most of whom knew each other, and you have a recipe for an awesome workout.
Of course I later discovered that the wind, while certainly up there, didn't reach severe level. In fact I'm pretty sure I've ridden in worse. So when I woke up at 7am this morning and it was gorgeous outside, well I wasn't going to make the same mistake again.
I knew that the Gearshifters would have done hills on Saturday, and I knew what that probably meant. My mission now was to not let myself talk myself out of doing them myself. I'm a bit bad that way. I start out all keen then I somehow find myself doing a gentle spin round the Bays. A gentle spin around the Bays is not going to get me round Taupo.
So it was that I started out from Oriental Bay, a girl on a mission. The wind had gotten up already but it could have been worse. I started out sitting on the tail of a small pack of riders training to complete 40k of Taupo each. I left them behind at Evans Bay and headed off up Mt Crawford.
I'm sure I've gotten up Crawford more quickly but to my surprise the climb itself didn't feel too bad. I'm not sure I ever got into my comfortable climbing rhythm, but I certainly didn't kill myself either. It didn't seem to take that long to get up to the prison, where I stopped for a quick drink before heading off down the other side. Halfway down I nearly t-boned an elderly woman in a late model silver car. She pulled up to a stop sign on my right then decided to check only her right side before driving straight across the intersection. Luckily I have a loud voice and my "WHOA, WHOA, STOPPPPPP!" got through to her. She stopped just in time for me to go swerving past. I joked to a couple walking past that I was certainly awake now and kept going.
Down the hill and back onto the waterfront. I turned right and headed for Lyall Bay. I wasn't breaking any speed records but I wasn't concerned as my main energy today was reserved for the hills. When I got to Lyall I stopped again for a quick bite from a Power Bar and then it was up Sutherland Rd, otherwise known as that stupidly steep, OMG I can't believe I just CHOSE to do this, climb. I swear it nearly killed me. I swear that about three quarters of the way up I was panicking thinking I was going to have to stop and that I wasn't going to be able to unclip and that I'd fall off. However I didn't stop, I didn't fall off, and I didn't die. At the top I paused briefly to consider my own mortality as evidenced by the pounding of my heart, then I turned and cycled back down again. Rather anti-climactic really.
I had one more climb on the schedule for today. I turned up Queen's Drive and headed towards Newtown, turning right at the base of Mt Victoria up Alexandra Rd. I don't know whether I found a second wind somewhere or what, but I think I fairly flew up there. If I was following the schedule to the T I would have done three hill repeats before climbing to the top, but I decided doing all that on my own counted for enough effort for the day. I cycled my way slowly back down the narrow winding roads on the side of the mount and made it safely back to my car.
I love how proud of myself I get after a bike ride like that. It's hard to explain exactly how many demons I needed to tackle to get out there and do it. I'm also happy that I don't feel overly tired, in fact I feel quite energised. When I got home I cooked corn fritters with bacon and avocado and I could tell I'd burned some calories before they were amazingly good.
Now all I have to do is work out how I can get my long run mojo back in time to do the half marathon in a few weeks. Erk ....