Why on earth does time go by so quickly these days...

Why on earth does time go by so quickly these days..
It was only last week I updated this website and now its like nearly 4 weeks later - what the?

After the SOLO 24hr champs at Easter, I made the decision not to go to the Australian Marathon Champs at Avoca.  I seriously could not be bothered with more logistics of travel and accommodation.
meredith_road_race.jpgGreat decision by me - did a road race at Geelong Cycling Club on the Saturday and social ride with Ben, Norm and Peter at Forrest on the Sunday, followed by movie, dinner and coffee with many peeps in the big smoke(Melb).coffee_in_melb.jpg

From what I heard the course was gruelling to say the least, when I hear that I was mildly disappointed to not be there, the more people are whinging the better I ride.

So the next weekend I did have to go away again. Off to the Tour of coleraine.  A 3 stage, 2 day road race.  With me was Calum and mum Marie, Ben & Tom.  We stayed in Hamilton and drove the 30km to Coleraine each day.
Apparently there were some hills and loads of open country side resulting in lots of wind. Yippee.  Not too good at hauling my load up hills in comparison to mountain goats like Lisa Jacobs, I was thankful for the wind where I could grit my teeth, dig deep and watch others suffer.
Race 1, 70km or so of some nice climbs, steep climbs and loads of rollers. This first race caught me off guard. Forgetting I was in a "road race"often, I would be working my way back up the bunch as occasionally I found myself at the back.  Ooops, NO, thats not a good spot and up I would move to a safer place.
Of course the strong climbers pulled away early on and a second bunch formed.  Thankfully I was in this for a short period, where we splintered off again.  Stephanie Hansen and self worked hard constantly to catch them, until eventually with about 15km to go they left our sight.
Caught by Melina and Hannah, our group thankfully become 4 as we pushed into the strongest head wind up on a ridge line for km's on end.  My lower back was starting to feel the strain.
A good day in the saddle and loads learnt from this race.  Next one, being the Crit, I was not going to be pushed around so easily again.

Next race, 12 lap crit
around streets of Coleraine. I dont really like Crits, have to think ahead CONSTANTLY for the entire duration of the race.  I mean your HR is up, your legs are burning, your brain is just wanting to take a chill pill and there are wheels everywhere, not to mention that horrible squeal and smell of carbon brake pads on carbon wheels - YUK!
So I decided that I have had to concentrate on worse things for longer and it really was easy and just be a bit aggresive.
Nothing special to report other than my move on the outside being shut down by Felicity, being blocked in when I took the wrong side of the bunch, having No legs for sprints, but managing to avoid a crash, stay with the bunch and be more assertive.

Race 3, Day 2. I was amped for this one.  I knew I was getting stronger and smarter. I was looking forward to seeing what played out with the lead girls and teams.  But I knew I did not want to be a passive passenger in the race either.
So early on up the controlled start climb, I just looked around, seeing what girls were doing what and how everyone was looking.  In my opinion many were looking a bit edgey, sort of like me I guess, wondering if anyone would bother trying to break away on the long gradual downhill before our first left turn.
No one did, but the pace went up and down, working groups changing constantly.  At this stage I was staying up in the top 10 girls trying to not be the last rider - ever.
Took the wind for Claire a few times, at least that gave me purpose and reason for being on the outer.

when we turned left, the rollers started again, small narrow country road, no one sure who should be up there.  Eventually I got sick of the team tactics, being shut down every time I tried to move up, so just went wide, and put myself in the front 5-6 working group.  Now it felt smooth and I could predict and see everything going on.  Aaahhh...who cares if I do more work now, at least I am not dealing with surge, block, brake, rubber band effect.
Eventually I found myself on the front with all the riders strung out behind me, the first KOM must be up soon I thought. So swung off and sat up doing 20kmph, everyone still sitting behind.  So I go even slower, and eventually someone goes up front on her own and I grab her wheel.
The first KOM was about 40km in and time to be dropped, but not by much.
worked my butt off with Amy and Hannah to get back on the main bunch on the next straight.  (good training I was telling myself) Once we caught them there was a left turn and before us was the ZIG zag climb.  Dropped again, but Amy and Hannah waited up top and for the next 15kms we worked together until on one very open section both riders started to wane.  I saw someone up front about 500mts and could not tell if they were female or a D grade mens rider from that far, but thought I would have a crack at bridging the gap.
I told the girls this and put my head down bum up and locked on the drops and thankfully it was a she!
The girls never came with me and were about 200mts behind.
I told Melissa that we had two choices, either wait for them or go for it ourselves and if they catch us then great, we will be 4.
Mel was a bit hesitant, as she had been on her own for ages.  But convinced her to just for it with 12kms to go, what did we have to lose?
The distance grew between us and the others and it was a good feeling to be working this hard at the end of the race.
A much better finish today - 8th overall and not at all far behind the lead girls, only 3 mins behind the winner. 

Had a great time and I do think I like these stage road races a lot, thats what I said after Tour of Bright.

Another week flying by now the decision to be made-do I go to Dirt Works in NSW this coming weekend for the 100km MTB race???  After much research and offers of assistance for travel and lifts etc...I decided to hang out local.
Great idea, I was totally exhausted from the road racing and dont think I could have handled it all.
jess_rock_hop_may_2010.jpgInstead I did the Rock Hop 6hr MTB enduro at Upper Beaconsfield.  Great training and a great course and I won!  So a much better investment of time and effort.

We have a WOMENS MTB Skills camp on this weekend, so will be training others not me.
Whats next?  Bendigo 6hr Enduro, a road race or two, Chase the Sun 5hr at Lysterfield in a pair with Brad and then the Forrest 6hr solo on home turf.
Off to take Soxy boy (fatty) for a walk now and enjoy the lovely morning here in Forrest...over and out.