Liz Randall's Cycling Blog - a life behind bars

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

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

7 more days at work...not that I'm counting

The lists are endless..things to do, things to pack, things to buy before I go, things to achieve before I go, things I want my patients to achieve before I go....etc etc etc. going on a long holiday really brings out the anal retentive in where did
I put my list of lists?!

For example..for 7 weeks my husband is going to HAVE to be in charge of looking after the cats..normally his only contact with them is when he's asleep in a chair, which is when he becomes the bed for 1 or other of them..two sleepers sharing a chair.

Both cats are very fussy about what they will eat..Flea eats dry food, Pippi doesn't . So tonight after work and before I go to Jeff's garage for an hour of kettlebell heaving sufferfest, I will go to the shops to buy 10 boxes of dry food and 84 small can of Fancy Feast cat food (but NOT the Tempting Trout one cos she refuses to touch that one!)... cats rule, right?

Then there's making sure that all the programmes I need to record my training/holidays are on my new for the powertap, the Garmin, the helmet cam..the digital camera, the phone.....need I go on?!..oh and the favourite websites.

Training this week is "volume" and since its still dark here, which entails what feels like endless time on the trainer in front of the TV..thank god for DVD recording..last night's boring 75 minutes was helped along the way by watching le tour ,and Cadel in particular, grind up the Tourmalet and Hautacam.

Since I've had the Garmin on the bike, I now have a better understanding of the gradients that these guys race up. I've always assumed that the difficulty was in the gradient I realise that its not ..its a combo of the gradient, the length of the climb, the kms they've put in before plus the speed they have to do it in order to be at the front. What am I twitting on about ....even the grupetto would be twice the speed I can manage......

A couple of years ago I rode the 21 hairpin bends of the Alpe d'huez. It was in early September, the week after being in Austria at the World Masters Champs. We stayed in one of those very individual French hotels
in Bourg d'Oisans ..the sort that wouldn't be allowed to function in any other have to have been in one of them to appreciate what I'm talking about...think rickety lifts, really weird plumbing, an ensuite in a cupboard, a breakfast that isn't worth the name and an evening meal that defies description; I lost weight that week..its no wonder the pro teams take their own chefs.

Anyhow the weather was starting to go belly up and it was freezing cold going up. I was not expecting it to be quite so cold and so was somewhat underdressed ..I had to clench my teeth in order to stop them chattering. The climb up was frankly boring...I was by myself and there were very few others on the climb, mostly MTB'ers. The thing I noticed more than anything else when comparing it to our somewhat pathetic climbs here was that it got
seriously steeper at the hairpins...

I had planned to ride Galibier and Les Deux Alpes too but there was something wrong with my front wheel which caused going downhill to be downright dangerous
and with a glue on tyre and hidden nipples it was essentially unmendable in the short time I had there, so regretfully I had to call a halt to those plans. I'd sorta thought we'd go again this year..or maybe the Pyrenees, but Belgium and the Spring Classic cobbles won out..

My final TT race here in Aus is this Saturday, this race is hilly and I plan on racing it with the disc instead of the Powertap....if only to see how it feels, since its new and has only been raced by Alex at Calga a month or so ago.

Chapeau to my coach for managing my training so well that I can manage 3 TT's in 3 weeks..(well, 2 in 2 weeks so far) something I would not have managed before. However having said that, I am also packing in quite a few extra zzzzzzz's. I have entered 2 TT races in UK, both while staying with my coach and both which she is also racing. Now THAT will add an extra incentive to push the boundaries a bit further...for both of us.

While "over there" in order to lessen my luggage, I'm hiring a powertap and training front wheel from Bob Tobin. A
great service for a very reasonable price and given the more stringent weight regulations that are a part of today's air travel, rather necessary.

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