Liz Randall's Cycling Blog - a life behind bars

"With ordinary talents and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable"

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Hour record just a memory now so please change to my newer blog

 hopefully loads of pix and tales of derring-do

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

What's in a word?

The word "trainer" means different things to different people. 

To me it can be:
1. your coach or
2. the thing you put your bike in/on when you have to do your cycle session indoors. 

It was this latter meaning that I had in mind when I read the following email subject line from and nearly sprayed my drink all over the monitor.......

Garmin Edge 705 GPS-enabled Cycle Trainer

Now I know that when on my trainer in my back room  the SRM read out has shown that apparently I've climbed  a small hill(??!!??), but FFS I thought...who needs a GPS when statically grinding away indoors?

Friday, 12 March 2010

This link, with the exception of racing comments for this coming up  weekend, mid April for the Masters track nats and later in August /Sept the Worlds and National Masters Road races,  is where most of my new posts will be. 

Phew...long sentence!

Thursday, 11 March 2010

State Track Champs and other things

These are on this weekend and stupidly I entered the Scratch and the TT....well at least I wasn't stupid enough to have entered the pursuit...I knew I wouldn't be up for that!  I'll definitely front up for the TT but  probably not the scratch..if for no other reason that I should be out on the road doing mega miles...not just a 10 min sufferfest on the roundy roundy round.  The weather will dictate I think, if its anything like last weekend I'll be more than happy to be indoors.

Just like any marathon effort, I'm struggling physically after my March 1st effort...I've developed right knee pain and am just generally stiff and creaky and also unmotivated.  I'd better start improving as I have my pre-holiday stress test next week.

My exploits on the track re the hour seem to have caught the eye of some Italian riders on facebook  and I'm now friends with them and can practice reading Italian on a regular basis.

Its now only 42 days until I fly out to Italy and I just hope big time that the incredibly crap weather that we keep hearing about goes away pretty damn Jens factor drops to basement level in cold and wet weather.

and...I have just 27 days left of fronting up to work...right now I'm excited...maybe later I'll be sad, after all I have worked there since 1985.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Reflection on my Hour Record Attempt- a week later

a self evaluation and therefore no doubt skewed!

With 2 hour attempts under my belt, I'm delighted and somewhat relieved to report that particular monkey is well and truly off my back. 

After my first attempt I was keen to try again...which is not how I feel now.  What I feel now is that  the mark has been made in the's a soft record and there's at least one person I know who will no doubt give it a go and will smash it...and good luck to her.  Records are there to be broken and if I *ever* do this again it will be as a 70 year old...but please, please stop me when I start talking about it!

So while the World record  will go fairly rapidly, the Australian one will stay a bit longer, if only because there aren't too many female 65-69 year olds racing in Aus.

There was quite a difference in the training and execution between my 2 attempts resulting in a more planned approach this time round.  I walked away this time knowing that I had nothing left in the tank and that my physiological limiters have a lower set point than my mind!  does that make me disappointed?  Well I'd have to say slightly as I had set my sights on 150 laps and despite the comment above I think  I am capable of that, but in the end you can only do what you can do on the night.  

My memory of the ride is that I motored (perhaps too much) for the first 20 minutes  then struggled then returned.  While struggling and seeing Carl walking the line closer and closer to me as I got slower, I'd have to say that only determination and pride kept me going...and the fact that there were people there cheering me on.  

The second 20 minutes is a bit of a blur, I had neck ache, was very thirsty and wanted to vomit...(but where!?).  Then my right leg started to cramp, followed a bit later by my left leg but it was nowhere near as bad as during the previous effort.  I can't recall too much about the last bit except for Alex spruiking "Go Liz!Go Liz! GO Liz! Lawrence told me later many of her "style" signals were ignored...they weren't ignored I just didn't see focus was very narrow.

For the technically minded I rode a 100.8 on 170 cranks  ie 52/14......last time it was 51/15 (or perhaps 52/15).  I can't "spin" for any length of time and so  needed  a bigger gear and ("spinning " for me is anything faster than 85rpm).  To maintain the speed I wanted I needed a cadence of 80-82, when struggling I dropped into ~78rpm.  My bike weighed in at 6.828kg.

So that's it folks...huge thanks to my coach, Auriel Forrester, my crew on the night-Carl, Lawrence and Alex,  Greg, the UCI official, the timekeepers and the CSV rep, Rhys.  Even bigger thanks to those of you who came to watch and cheer...had you not been there I may well have given up.....

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Fund raising

A part of the Italian trip I'm doing in May/June is to fundraise for the Oncology Children's Foundation.  This is a charity that funds research "in pursuit of a cure" for cancer in kids.

I anticipate it will take me a while to raise the minimum required..$1800, but I've started already sitting for a couple of hours at the local supermarket, smiling and chatting to all and sundry.  I've also got red wristbands to sell and am thinking maybe later in the year running a roller derby (that's a cycling competition on training rollers..not one of those feral roller skates murder fests)...although that will take a bit of organisation.

For those who'd like to donate but don't get to see me in person, here is an online site you can use: 
and any$$ put into this site will be attributed towards my obligation.

New blog

I'm adding another blog which will run in tandem for a while and then take over.  A change in direction requires a change in blog...

It's name is:

I'll post when the change over happens.

ps...yet another dead rat...this time under the computer desk .
My heart rate shot through the roof and it took a while for the adrenalin surge to dissipate!

Friday, 5 March 2010


Me to Ben  last night via SMS  " Hope you had a good recovery day"
Ben to me..instant response(!)...."It was an 80 km race today"
Me..."whoops! got that one wrong! did you go?"
Him....... 6th
Me...brilliant, proud of you!

So Ben and Ryan came 6th and 7th on the day, are lying 6th and 8th overall and are leading the pairs competition by about an hour.

Ben and Ryan are "Team ayup", but I was very disappointed that the ay-up facebook page was only mentioning their solo rider's successes, so I did the interfering mother thing and posted a msg asking them why no mention!!! 

For the non cyclist "ayup: are lights for cyclists ...both road and MTB and are very very good.  In fact, I'm borrowing a set of Ben's light for Italy; my eyes take an age to change over when moving from sunshine to dark...even in that small tunnel on the bike path near Bourke Road and some of those tunnels through the mountains are very long and full of cars etc. Last year someone came off and broke bones when they disappeared into a small pothole, a fate I don't fancy happening to me.

The bike is developing cobwebs but I've promised it an outing tomorrow afternoon.  Today I'm off up into the country to pick up some equipment and tomorrow morning I'm fundraising for the Oncology Children's Foundation.   

The ocf fund research in"pursuit of a cure" for cancer in children and as a participant in the the Italy tour  I'm asked to fund raise  for them.   If you feel you'd like to support them and don't get to see me in person please visit my "hero" page   

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Ben's excellent adventures

This is the profile for the race Ben's currently riding and they're  just about mid way.  Ben clearly has a liking for the number 7 or perhaps 8 since not only in this race, but also in Wildside a while ago that's where he seemed to end up on the day.  For this race he's been 7th for 3 stages and 8th  for 1 stage and is currently sitting in 6th overall  with he and Ryan  leading the pairs competition by about 30 minutes.

Me? well I'm still to get back on the bike.  I had planned on riding a bit on  Tues, or Wed or today or tomorrow, but in actual fact haven't and wont until  Saturday afternoon.  Well, maybe its for the best , I do tend to overcook myself.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Ben's racing the Mountains to Beach

Ben is currently flying the Randall cycling flag in an MTB stage race taking place in NSW...the DT Swiss  Mountains to Beach race.  He's paired up the his mate Ryan and they're racing in Ay Up colours (I think).  today's race is the "Ay Up Dawn Raid" so they're racing in the dark finishing at sun-rise followed by a cruise to the next accomodation and the rest of the day is for R&R.  I sure hope this elevation chart is an exaggeration of the truth!

Currently he and Ryan are leading the pairs classification and he's sitting in 7th over all.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010


I'm deeply into my 2nd glass of wine as I write this, so if it sounds slurred I hope you'll unnershtand!!

Recovery has been inneresting..firstly last night I couldn't sleep..I was dehydrated, had swollen glands in my throat and was, as my mother said many. many times in my childhood, "overtired".  I tried to sleep but kept waking up, so in the end gave up,  got up, made coffee and accepted the inevitable.

Today's planned car service complete with lazy ride into and out of work was hijacked by ASADA asking me to be at a footy club in the south of the city by 0945.  At this point I was just tired and snoozed happily while waiting for them.

After the drug test (completed easily and successfully) and the drive up to the north of the city with the paperwork, I went to work.  There I accepted congrats and  plaudits..I especially liked my manager getting down onto his knees and bowing deeply!   All were impressed with my recovery..ha! if only they knew.

I'd  revised my plan for riding the road bike which was that I would ride FROM work today and INTO work least that was the plan until about 15 minutes before the end of work when suddenly, very suddenly I became very very very +++ tired and sore.  Even the thought of cycling made me feel quite  ill.

So today I'll be in bed very early..tipsy as well as tired,  and hope to get a decent sleep followed by a full days' work and then  a massage on Thursday.

Next race is the track  States in 12 days time and the  track Nats in April. and  I have to make a gigantic switch from the hour to the 500m TT, while sinultaneously  building up the long distence touring kms. 

Crazy?  YUP!

Time for a more considered evaluation of last nights sufferfest

I had hoped to get a good night's sleep last night  but an epic fail took place.  Aching all over, with glands up in my throat and with a thirst to rival the Sahara sleep was just not going to happen until I'd drunk Melbourne's water supply dry.  I finally managed to get to sleep at about 4 or 5 o'clock only to wake again at 7am.

The drug testing unit were unable to attend last night,apparently they are stretched to the limits with staff being over in Vancouver  at the Olympics so I was spared waiting waiting waiting for ages while my body reluctantly gave up fluid and instead have an appointment at 945 at some place in the south of the city.  After I've done the deed and had the papers signed I then have to drive to the north of the city to deliver them to the official in charge.   What this has meant is that I've had to delay last night's adult fluid celebration and also be a bit sparing with the amount of coffee I drink this morning. It also means that my plan to get my car serviced today and gently ride into work has been hijacked.

I've had a  look at my files in both WKO+ and SRM and have seen that the amount of time when I was struggling to keep the lap time on the money was from about 21.5 minutes to about 27 minutes, after which I managed to keep closer to my schedule until  cramps hit me first in my right leg and then more severely in my left.  During that ~ 7 minute period, not only did I lose rhythm/cadence I also was not riding a good line which didn't help the cause at all. I was pretty smooth most of the time but my speed over the final 10 minutes is very choppy, from memory I'd feel ok so speed up but couldn't maintain it.  The blue (kph) dotted line is set at close to my final total and so you can see where I really dropped the speed..I think the pix might enlarge if you click on it

Luckily for me I had a good deal of vocal support from cycling friends and acquaintances, work friends and family and this barrage of support every time I rode down the front straight helped me punch through the difficult times. 

 Huge thanks are due to my trackside crew..there was Carl walking the line keeping me up to date with my lap by lap progress and Lawrence the style queen helping me to keep shoulders down, stretch, pedal in circles.....all the things that disappear under pressure.  And finally there was son Alex, who initially was a bit reticent when I asked him to use the microphone to stir up vocal support, but who rose to the task admirable demonstrating totally  unexpected haranguing skills! 

Thanks also to all who came to support me.  Any hour attempt has an element of sameness that doesn't really grab the onlooker and so the fact that you came to watch, support and cheer is very, very much appreciated.  Amongst the spectators were a couple of prime candidates for an attempt in their age grade and they can rest assured that whenever they make their bid for glory and agony I'll be there urging them on. 

In other and equally important news, Ben is going well in his race , he's sitting in 8th place and he and Ryan are leading the pairs competition by a whisker.

Monday, 1 March 2010

quick post before I fall asleep

all done and dusted...149 laps...just one lap shy of my goal...I got into some difficulties at around 20 minutes...??hunger flat...worked through that then got cramps in both legs at about 40-45 minutes which took a few laps to resolve.....more later..sleeeep now

Morituri te salutant

....well metaphorically dead  not actually! so eat drink and be merry for this evening I suffer.  There... I've managed to get 2 cliched statements  into 1 sentence.

Huge thanks to all of you who have sent me messages of good luck and support.   Sadly quite a few have said they can't make it to the velodrome on the night, so those of you who are going to be there need to be of good voice!   If there aren't very many people there to provide crowd noises I might have to crank up the music to an even higher decibel level and  I've asked Alex to add another job to his list...that of being in the stands yelling loudly.

So now I've stopped counting down the days as there are just 11 hours til the sufferfest I've managed  to sign up for yet again. Please can you all stop me in my tracks next time I start talking about a 3rd attempt?  Please?!  

Actually the experience I gained from the first attempt has been of great benefit and has allowed me to avoid some of the organisational pitfalls plus a deeper understanding about what I can and can't do and how I need  my concentration to be 100% and how it is is adversely effected by my handlers talking to me.  Actually, I think I always knew that since I seem to go deaf when doing TT training efforts and have frequently found myself slowing down while trying to work out what exactly  had just been yelled to me....

New count down: I have 34 more days of fronting up at work.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

and here's me thinking I speak clearly! or how pre race nerves got the better of me

I just got off the phone with an automated voice at Ticketek..I usually buy my tickets via their  webpage but this time it wasn't allowing me to buy anything, so needs must.....

I was trying to buy 2 tickets to the show CATS and this is how the conversation took place a few minutes down the track:  

Automated female voice..what day would you like to go? 
Me: March the 7th. 
AFV: sorry cats is not in Melbourne on July the 12th. 

I then went through the whole thing again and when she asked what show I was asking after and  I said "Cats, in Melbourne"  she then went into a spiel about the Melbourne Cricket Ground.....WTF???????   (Geelong football club are the "Cats" I guess that explains that little mystery)

Anyhow at that point I'd had enough and took great delight in telling her what a total moron she was and hung up.  

Ticketless still, but feeling alot better!


Today's temperature of 18-20 degrees is one that I function very well in but sadly is not really warm enough for good times on the track...but fingers crossed  tomorrow will be warmer.

Training today was s'posed to be 20 minutes spinning on the road bike, but instead I opted to ride Jens on the outdoor track to see if I could discern anything different what with the small padded parcel of fishing sinkers stuck in the seat post.  I couldn't so mission accomplished.  Thanks Ben. Sadly for me, Ben is unable to be trackside tomorrow as he is taking part in the DT Swiss Mountains to Beach Race which is a 5 day/11 stage mountain bike race from Thredbo to Narooma.  We've exchanged "good lucks"!

While circling around the Blackie track I came into rather closer contact with a bird than I like.  This idiot bird obviously had found a choice morsel which it wasn't going to give up as 3 times it flew up from the same spot as I passed.  Well, I say idiot, but clearly it had some learning capacity since each time was less dangerous for both of us....either that or there were 3 different birds.  The first time it flew up very late and passed between my wheels and under my pedals.....there was a very small collision and on the next circuit I sorta half  expected to see a carcass...but no.  Next time round it flew up from the same spot on the grass, but this time just a little bit ahead of me and the final time it was up and away long before I reached it.  

Excuse of the year..sorry folks..can't do the attempt I got knocked off the bike by a bird.....yeah right!

28 hours  23minutes to go

Saturday, 27 February 2010

It's Saturday

Training: Road ride later today (massage at 9am)

Tasks: Yesterday  Ben and I got Jens'  weight issue sorted with an elongated parcel of fishing sinkers stuffed into the bottom of the Schmolke seat post and kept there by a plug at the end of the post.  Got it all together again and it came in at 6.8kg exactly.  Now lets hope the official weighing machine agrees!  Can't currently think of anything else I need to do.

And for the rest of the time between now and when I leave home for the velodrome.......hmm not sure.  Watch the early rounds of the Melbourne Cup on wheels at DISC, go to the cinema, watch DVD's, do the right recovery/taper stuff ie rest up/keep off my legs, think longingly  about after the event and finally get anxious and indulge in worrying about a small niggle in my left knee and the sneezing I've been doing the last 3 days....

I also have to keep well clear of Phil who has returned from Morocco with a stomach upset.

and there's only 58 hours to go