Weight-loss Challenge Progress

Stage 1 - 4 kg down!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Congratulations Mr Keenan

My long weekend started with celebrations for my best friend, Adrian, who is now a teacher. Saturday was therefore, a day off the bike which worked out well :)

For the first time in a long time I was excited about a hills ride. Sunday morning I met up again with SPR who always manage a good turnout. We headed down Albany Hwy to revisit Carawatha, last time I thought I was going to have to get off the bike and this time I was actually looking forward to testing my legs. I managed much better. After that we headed up Carradine - the neverending dead road which still gets to me. I think I had the most fun on Churchman's Brook Rd, where there are quite a few fast downhill sections. I had fun on the power climbs and even managed to steal the win for first to the top, just.

The rest of the ride was a little bit of a blur. Pete took us around Pickering Brook for a few bonus climbs on our way to coffee and swapped Mundairing Weir Rd for something a little steeper. I tried to stay with Davina on her efforts but didn't quite manage it.

After coffee we made our way down Welshpool Rd. I tested my power at the top and was almost immediately sorry for doing so, made my best recovery and was sitting on Blake's wheel when Pete made his move. I couldn't go with Blake and he took the win.

It was a good day - you know you've worked hard when you experience the post flog glazed eyes, slurred speech and brain drain (also described very well by Davina on her blog).

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Me likey

I have been watching way too much sex and the city...

My re-introduction to racing was going to be the State Team Time Trial Championships. My training has been a bit hit-and-miss lately so I was a little concerned about staying with the team. The weather was not the sunshine and blue skies that I was hoping for but the rain did hold off for most of the race.

My warm up time seemed to disappear way too quickly and before I knew it I was on the start line. A quick tactic check; short turns, use the road for the best drafting ability and have fun. We were off.

Well, the wind almost knocked my socks off from the start, it was unbelievable. I had warmed up on the trainer and didn't realise how bad it was. I had been training in the wind all week but this was horrendo. If it wasn't in your face it was across you. If you thought you'd got a handle on it, whoosh, a huge gust would remind you exactly who was boss. Plans and strategies were slowly going out the door as we just wanted to stay alive. I half expected the race to be cancelled with the conditions at the turn around point. It wasn't until we turned around that we gained any advantage from the wind. Even then because the course had us turning every 7 kms the advantage didn't last long. I had a great time coming back with the wind. I really got to wind the bike up and felt like I could have powered along all day. I don't know if I was delirious at this point but it was the first time I'd felt like I really loved the new bike and I couldn't help but tell the other guys. I was having fun.

We made it home as a team and in one piece. I hear quite a few of the other teams were blown off the road during the race with a few people having to pull out. Unfortunately for the juniors the wind was at it's worst just as they were starting.

For my first longer TT it was a good learning experience. We weren't on the podium but I felt like I had won in my own way. Looking forward to next time!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

All the gear and no idea...

Today I tested my new ride. I was excited, nervous and hopeful that I would be able to feel the difference so that I wouldn't feel guilty about my bank balance. Straight away I could feel the difference in the handling. Much more responsive, which is dangerous if you are unco like me.

It was another windy day which meant that I got to really test my handling skills. My cornering skills are lacking and I was a little bit concerned about turning into the wind.

I did what any good beginner would do. Unclip. Except I couldn't unclip. Shit. The last time I couldn't unclip I was lucky because I was on grass and escaped injury. The time before that I had stopped unexpectedly at an intersection for a truck and a car and toppled over with the bike on top of me. Everyone was super concerned for me, they probably thought I'd had a heart attack rather than a lack of skill. Both times I jumped straight back up, embarrassed, so I don't really know why I'm spilling these stories to the world. In my defense, I am yet to meet someone who doesn't have an embarrassing story about an unclipping accident.

Luckily I had tried to unclip before I had come to a complete stop. I was on my new bike, with new shoes and new pedals. So, a tip for beginners: test out your gear before you test out your gear on the road. I didn't even think about checking the tension required to unclip. A few options went through my mind. Keep riding. Try and find a wall or a tree or something to lean against. Undo my shoes while riding. I kept trying my shoes and eventually unclipped my left shoe. I thought if I can do it once I can do it again. So I clipped in again and kept going.

The other aim of the ride was to try out my time trial bars. I couldn't believe the difference they made. Huge! Apart from getting used to the position and steering, my main problem is I am slightly allergic to the pads - my arms turn red and itch. I''ll have to find a solution to this problem so that I'm not driven crazy by itching next weekend.

My right shoe is still attached to the bike.

PS. I borrowed the title from the Triwa forum.

It was not entirely my fault although maybe I could have figured it out a little earlier. I got the shop to put my cleats on the new shoes and being speedplays, they aren't seen very often in the shop. Turns out the left cleat was put on the right shoe and vice versa. This meant that the shoe could be unclipped relatively easy by turning the foot inward and not in the usual fashion. Doh!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Goodbye old faithful

A special request for a blog on today's efforts from anonymous - you'll have to introduce yourself next time...

I was dreading the morning training ride that I had booked with my Time Trial team mates. I was restless all night and could hear the storm. My legs ached. I was not looking forward to it. The alarm went off much earlier than I have been accustomed to but my preparations for the day went smoothly.

I drove up to Duncraig to meet Bryce and the Symmetry Cycle Coaching crew and the weather wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. We headed down towards the coast to do some time trial efforts of a short loop. I then remembered that my pedal was basically hanging together by a thread. I had bought new pedals but was reluctant to put them on my bike because my shoes needed replacing as well. And I forgot!

Here we take a side step back in time...

This weekend I kinda said thankyou and goodbye to another girl in my life this week - La bambola.
She will still be out and about but I have welcomed another girl into my life. The last time I bought a new bike it was because I had got a flat tyre and didn't have any tubes. This time my pedal broke, my stem was loose and I needed a pick me up. She's black and white, maybe a lil silver but about half the weight. Yes folks, I have managed to get some more carbon in my diet!! I won't be competing with the other guys at the coffee shop for honours on bike glam. I have bought a TBE Amiata, which was an incredible bargain and the only carbon bike remotely in my budget. I also needed new shoes, I've managed to crack my current pair and well, I need some TT bars for the race next weekend. I have learnt recently (ha!) how to shop. Boy, have I learnt how to shop!

So - look out for me on the road with my new ride coz I'm going to need some pics to put up!!

Back to this morning, it was incredibly windy. Cherie was playing with her zips, and was not having a fun time. I think most of her day was spent ensuring that she stayed on the road. Me and bambola were coping ok. I was enjoying the efforts, well except for the one into the wind when I really thought I was going to crack. It was good to practice because cornering and rolling through can easily loose you time.

After the training I enjoyed a lovely afternoon with some friends at Little Creatures. We discussed fluff and mastered winking. Creatures make some really awesome pizzas and salads - I highly recommend, sadly no tiger prawns today but they are great as well.

Will let you know how I go in the hills, fingers crossed!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Defeating self-sabotage

Guilt for not training properly is terrible. Haven't had the best start to the week. Monday I headed out for Darryl's track session again. I lasted longer behind the motorbike and I think when I change my gear ratio could last til the end. Afterwards I was completely wrecked. I guess it could have been the lack of sleep on the weekend and bad food intake but I cut the session short and drove myself home.

Tuesday sucked as well with my hills session in the morning not going so well. I decided to "save myself" for the track that night but a combination of teaching going late and the car battery going flat kept me away from the track.

It took some psyching up and some bad morning television to get me on the bike this morning. The session went well despite the sprinkling from the skies. I like TT efforts and the refreshing feeling that you are left with when you're finished.

Get on the bike!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Be careful what you wish for

Make a wish.

What did you wish for? I was presented with this opportunity this morning and the series of answers that popped through my head were very interesting. I have to admit the cycling-related wishes took a lil longer to come to mind than everything else. It brought me back to previous posts and my struggles to stay motivated on the bike long enough to really hurt myself.

In some ways this week has been easier than the last and in other ways harder. I have had a much better week on the bike, a full week of training completed with a focus on sprinting. Monday night I attended my first track session with Darryl and D's "handsome girls." The girls were very welcoming and made me work hard. Saturday I caught up with my old group one more time before I venture with the fast paced SPR next week.

Sunday hills ride - my hardest and most dreaded ride. I got up early and had enough time for some long needed bike maintenance before I headed out. We were to go up Greenmount, through Parkerville and across to Mundairing Weir. All the way out to Midland my legs were aching. I wasn't really feeling the love for the bike this morning. I didn't snap out of this thought pattern and my climbing really suffered. A couple of the girls managed to do SE efforts up Greenmount which encouraged me to get out of granny gear. Just before Parkerville, Bec told me about her knee niggles and wasn't sure if she should continue on the ride. We had been going for a while now and I had wanted to go home from the bottom of Greenmount. So I kindly offered (hahaha) to join Bec on the way home. Almost immediately I regretted wimping out but I was happy that I had completed the time scheduled any extra would have been a training bonus. I know I need the hills but I also have to sort out the clouds in my head.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Captured in my fatty gear

Thanks to Pete for taking a pic of me in my fat cyclist gear. It was just after we'd climbed Kahuna and I was wishing that I had a fat cyclist pint glass.