Lead up to the SOLO 24 hr National Championships

06 April 2009

As I write this, the rain is falling and I have the fire going.  My dog is sitting at my feet on the heated tiles and I have a warm latte sitting on my desk and I even managed a sleep in until 8am.  Mmmmmmmm....so nice to be relaxed and not in a rush.

Since winning the MT Buller MTB Festival on the 21st and 22nd March I have had some intense training and fun times.

The very next weekend we had a mass congregation of cyclists come for a 140km road ride on Saturday, dinner Saturday night and a MTB Epic on Sunday to Lorne and back.  It was a tiring but fun weekend.

Saturday saw 7 of us start the ride around the Otways, stopping at Lavers hill for coffee and Apollo Bay for lunch, we could not have asked for a better day. The sun was shining, with a slight sea breeze.  We arrived at Apollo Bay to the sounds of Bay Fest, a music festival held in A.Bay.  After a light lunch and a compulsory Coke, we proceeded up Skenes Ck climb and back to Forrest.  This was the first time Calum had made the entire distance and he added a few more kms to equal 150km.  A lazy afternoon sitting on a blanket eating dip and bikkies and talking crap with Liz and Calum, Adam finally arrived. 

6:30pm and a group of around 18 -20 of us ate at the Forrest Guest House and stayed around the fire for a couple of hours afterwards. A fantastic night, thanks all for coming

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We had planned for a sleep in on Sunday with a 9am start. 

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A group of 19 were ready to tackle the hills to get to Lorne with the promise of a 10km downhill, there was a reward to work hard for.  Including a lazy lunch at Lorne.  Imagine on a beautiful Autumn day trying to find a place for 19 hungry Mountain bikers and their bikes to eat???  We made our return via the easiest hill out of Lorne, and I can tell you my legs were dead and lead like.  I know a few others were complaining of the same ailment.

The 10km descent that provided such joy was now an arduous slog uphill.  I decided early on to go small chain ring and change gears from 1st to 4th in my rear cassette and just take it cruisy.  It proved a good tactic as I gradually pulled past people like they were standing still.  Oh but I was still hurting, the legs just would not feel light and free for one second, they just throbbed the whole way.

Once we got to MT Cowley at 679mt above sea level, there was some undulation along the ridgeline, but then the most rewarding downhill along Thompsons and then Haydens Tk.  72km later we sat out front of the Forrest Milk Bar with an assortment of icy poles and soft drinks to reward our pains.  ARgghhh!  What a weekend.

So after a cracker weekend like that you would imagine 2 weeks out to the Aussie Solo Champs that I might need to start tapering, well not yet.  Wednesday 1st April, Phil and I went for our fortnightly "tour of Great Ocean Road" ride on the roadies.  Instead of my usual 125km I had told Phil that I would be riding around 185km with no coffee stop in Lorne.  He was a little scared!  Phil Anderson - Scared?  He claims he has no long distance endurance anymore!!!  What the??

Anyway, the day was a ripper, sun and sea and smiles all round.  Jeremy joined us from Wye River and rode to Lorne and back instead of racing Super Vets in Geelong.  The ride up Benny was fun and fast and descent into Deans Marsh smooth and speedy.  Arrived back in Forrest and bought some drink at the shop and escorted Phil back to Skenes Ck.  Of course I had to return home as well.  So this little diversion added 65km.  Total of 185km ridden and 2700mt of climbing over 6 1/2 hrs riding time.  Thanks Phil for a top ride.  You are a great training partner.

Saturday 4th April we had a skills course at the You Yangs and another great day on the bike.  These girls we had for our level 2 course were so "into" improving their skills, it was a pleasure to teach.

Back to the You Yangs on Sunday for the final round of the State Series XC - racing Elite Women, I amazingly came 1st.  Feeling fit and fine, with a few more days left of purposeful training, I am about to race the Aussie Solo Champs.

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I will talk next week and fill you in on how it all went.