Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dampened enthusiasm

Its been a while between blogs as I haven’t been racing and training doesn’t seem to warrant writing about…unless anyone is interested? I used the quiet time over Christmas and New year to do some bulk k’s that will hopefully carry me over the next few months. I usually enjoy this type of training – working on the bike tan, eating your body weight in jelly snakes and lots of thinking time. Its also a great chance to do some bunch rides with friends when I don’t have specific efforts to do. Unfortunately it rained non-stop in Brisbane for 2 months which sucked the fun right out of it.

Now I’m a north Queensland (Cairns) girl and am accustomed to a tropical summer, with the frequent warm downpours which keep it so green up there, but I can say I have never experienced rain like this. Just constant, unrelenting, pelting rain. The only comfort I could take was that it was warm and on my MTB rides I practically had the trails to myself.

After two months it was really getting me down. I read Ivan Basso’s blog where he mentioned that his measure of motivation was his willingness to get on the bike in poor weather. Well I’m not sure even he could maintain his enthusiasm in these conditions, and I know that mine was waning. Friends would turn up at the cafĂ© in work clothes, having abandoned the hope of getting a dry ride in until Autumn, while I would turn up day after day alternately soaking wet or covered in mud. I got asked “what the hell are you doing training in this rubbish?” to which I replied “it not raining where my competitors live, so I still have to ride”. I did not miss one ride due to the weather, but I’d stop enjoying it weeks ago.

My last long wet ride was the Tuesday it all went pear-shaped up here. The turn-off for my hill efforts was underwater and I almost got stranded on the wrong side of a flooded bridge. Over the following week, well, I’m sure you all saw the TV coverage. Ironically, as the river kept rising we were having some of the nicest summer weather yet. I felt terribly guilty continuing to train while people were losing their houses, but I figured there is flood and famine somewhere in the world everyday and we just get on with it – so on with it I got. After losing one of my clinics and having most of my clients trapped in their own suburbs I also had a bit of spare time too.

So with a bunch of k’s in my legs and not feeling especially fast I’m looking forward to some short, sharp efforts to bring me up for National XC champs. I’ve also finally committed to the Cape Epic in South Africa at the end of March so I’ll be calling on the muscle memory of these base k’s to get me back to Cape Town in one piece.