Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Training is treacherous

Well it has been a while between updates, and for the most part it has been a hit-and-miss month training wise. Work has dragged me down somewhat and consistent 7am meetings in the office do not help morning training sessions, and shitty days at the office don't help motivation for afternoon ones... hence I have missed a few that I should have made. Now it's time to make up for it this month.

I am recently back from the first Tri Training Camp of the year down at Wollongong with the Bondi Fit crew. A little sore and fragile although not defeated!
The weekend was great all in all. Had a good 85km ride Saturday morning with Spot's group up past Jamberoo including one good climb then stopping at a little coffee shop on the way back for a pretty mean bacon and egg roll!

Went on a little sprint out of Jamberoo with Spot and a random (but very nice) guy who joined us in Jamberoo. We broke away and had a really good ride for 20km or so before backing off and re-joining the pack. Was good to be able to tuck into the aero bars and stretch the legs out, really makes me wanna drop the coin on a tri-specific bike now...! Com'on Tax man!!
Although with every positive there is a negative, as a result of taking on the boss, I got a love tap into the faster group for Sundays ride, which made me second guess my efforts... although without pain and without someone pushing I won't improve, so why not!

Saturday arvo ramped up with a run-swim-run combo out past the Wollongong Harbour. It was a nice run with a bit of trail and a bit of road with a couple of small hills to beak it up. I definitely went out to hard (I can hear the taunting already) and paid the price later. My knees held up quite well and I didn't get any pain through the tendon which was a nice change, although the ITB's were still tearing at the side of my knees and causing some good pain by themselves... But thats something that I can work on fixing, so not such a dramatic problem.

The swim was a nice short spurt around the harbour in still (albeit murky) water. Couple of loops which felt good. I felt quite quick as well which was good. I really like that wetsuit!

The run back was rubbish. Haha. Cramping up, ITB's felt like they were going to either snap or tear my knee out of my legs... Slow and painful was that experience... I even got hassled when I made it back, with suggestions of having to find me a get the glow sticks out... ha. ha. ha
I have to get these knees fixed!

Roller, roller, roller... that was my Saturday night... straight outta the shower, onto the foam roller, it hurt so good. Pub for diner with the mob, then back on the roller... Hoping that it would prove it's worth thinking ahead to the 120km ride that loomed Sunday...

Sunday morning came and man did I not want to get outta bed! But suited up, loaded the fluids onto the bike, packed some Mountain Mix and Energy Gels into the bike bag and rolled out to the carpark, to find a bunch of sore triathletes and a few sporting a bourbon headache from the night before (glad I dodged that one!)
Scotty was feeling the effects of the night before so handed us the coastal road instead of the highway which was music to everyones ears, although thats where the good news ended... Our pace was good for the run over the new coastal road out of Wollongong, managed to hold the pack well enough, although as we started the climb to Stanwell Park my good vibes were shattered! That's a shitty hill.

We regrouped at the park and then set off for the ride through Royal National Park. there was a little climb into the park but then some well received downhill sections that enabled me to catch and pass some of the guys at the back of the pack (knowing I would be watching them go past as soon as we started to climb again...)
There are some serious hills in the park. I need to spend time on the bike climbing. Seriously.
As expected I watched the guys (and girl) scratch past me on the climb up to Audley but held hope that I might be able to reel them back in on the descent.
After 50km of riding (just under 2 hours) I saw one of the group heading back. Magic. Just around the next corner was another and we decided to call it and head back, knowing the rest of the pack was well off in the distance.
I held on to the two of them for the first part of the climb out although soon enough had to let them go and fend for myself. I thought I might catch them on the descent back down to the Waterfall turnoff but came up short, partly due to an impromptu meeting with a cliff face, the bitumen and the traffic barrier....

I was only 2 corners away from the bottom of the descent (well 1 and a half) and was carrying some good pace. Too good. Coming around the right hander the road dipped away and all I saw in front of me was the apex of the next left hander which happened to be a nice section of rock... I couldn't shave off enough speed to allow me to turn any harder so when I left the bitumen and hit the dirt I decided I was going to take the cliff on... From what I can remember I grazed the cliff with my left hand and arm, managed to keep the bike somewhat upright for a split second which must have been enough to get me back onto the bitumen, then lost it from underneath me, hit the deck and slid 20 or so metres across both lanes and came to rest at the traffic barrier in the oncoming lane.

In the short time of about 3 seconds I had already resigned myself to some form of serious injury, I thought for sure I would be an absolute mess.

I estimated that I hit the wall at about 50km/h (I can confirm this now with the data from my trusty Garmin at 49km/h).

Incredibly afterwards I picked myself up and dragged myself and my bike into the gutter to assess what had just happened and what the damage was.

I tore my left glove to pieces, grazed my knuckles and grazed my elbow. That was it. Wow.
I think I became religious for a moment there.
My bike was sure to be trashed. Or not. I pinched the front rim, tore the tyre and took some bar tape off... That was it... Well at this stage anyway. I need to take it to the shop and have them look at it to make sure the frame is ok...

I tried to change the tube out in the front tyre to keep going, but with the tear in the rubber I was left stranded. I called for a taxi to get me home. The rest of the crew filed past eventually and all slowed, although I was beyond their help so waved them through and let them carry on their next climb. Two of the lads came through a few minutes later, looking like they were going to burn their bikes, stopped "to make sure I was all good" and used the time to stretch some very tired and sore looking bodies! They carried on shortly after and I got my taxi ride back to camp (all $150 of it!!!) although considering my luck I took it in my stride and didn't let it get to me.

So that's pretty much the story of my weekend. I'm sore, bruised and a little battered now, although all in all very happy that I went along. Besides getting stuck in some shitty traffic on the way home due to Cronulla copping a hiding in the NRL it was enjoyable!

Now, to get the bike into the repair shop and to start getting my tax sorted... Hrmmm... so many choices... Did I hear someone say something about the new Specialized...?

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