Monday, 7 April 2014

Recovery Week = Bruise Week

I have just had 2 weeks of recovery post Ironman and to be honest, I have really taken things very very very lightly.

Prior to the end of Daylight Savings (Sunday 6th April), it was pitch black even at 7:30am. I was going to commute into work on several occasions but that was out the window with last minute work commitments. I also wanted a few days of sleeping past 7:30am whilst I know, before the crazy-o'clock alarm starts again. Sleeping hasn't been the best either, I am finding myself waking up several times with high heart rate and stressed.

Not only has my triathlon training on holidays, so has my eating. It started pretty much the day after my Ironman race where I had a maccas breakfast the day after. I was still craving the salt and the fried goodness of a couple of hash browns. One of my most notable holiday eating was last Friday where I had 4 hot jam donuts for dinner at the MCG when I watched the Hawks thrash the Dockers. I realised that night that I haven't had a jam donut in about 4 years!

General entries for Ironman Melbourne opened on 1st and 3rd April. A few people wanted to step up to the full Ironman distance from the squad. Each with their reasons on why they wanted to do it. As long as they realise what they are signing up to, not only what you have to get yourself through on the actual day but the months and months of training involved, they should be right.

On Saturday 5th, I had my first Cyclocross experience ever! I have had my CX bike (a Giant Brava SLR2 named Betty) since Dec of last year. I have only ridden it around the neighbourhood and used it to commute to work once. I didn't want to break it out on too much off road use as I didn't want to break myself prior to Ironman day. Boy oh boy, CX is hard work. The session started off with a warm up lap of Darebin park and that 3min ride contained more twists, turns and bike skills than I have ever had in the 33 years of my existence. We then worked on the first thing which was dismounting - I had this down pat as it is the same as a triathlon dismount (which I actually don't do myself). It was then dismount followed by carrying the bike over a barrier. Now I am really short (156cm) with disproportionally shorter legs and longer body and so carrying a bike above a barrier is actually hard work when the barrier is as high as my knees. It was hard for me to run and hop over the barriers whilst carrying my bike.

When we moved onto the re-mount part, this was where my whole confidence fell to pieces. My seat is high (as I use it more for commuting than for CX riding) and so when I have my inner thigh on the seat, I have a very sharp angle on my hips. I was instructed to jump onto the saddle but I am not moving fast enough (CX is all about grass, dirt and mud) that I fall onto the ground rather than gracefully onto the saddle. I fell over about 4 times that morning. I am doing so many things wrong. I am adamant on mastering this so I will need to adjust a few things on my bike - lower the saddle, remove drink cages, before I do more practising. The removal of drink cages is so that you are able to put your hands along the down-tube to carry your bike over your shoulders if you need to climb stairs or a muddy/sandy incline. We finished the day off work some cornering skills and then practiced mass starts. Lets just say, I am really bad at re-mounts, I am still cornering with a bit of hesitation and I don't have that eagerness to start the race off super fast (high heart rate - what what?!). The guys and gal from Dirty Deeds are super friendly and I am looking forward to the season.

Although I couldn't master the re-mount, I had a fun day and learnt heaps about the CX bike. I did enjoy riding around in the park and I will do more of it this weekend and over the holidays. With regards to racing - I am in two minds. The races does look fun (been spectating for about 3 years now) but I know that my skills are no where near what it takes to race. I know that I have the endurance but I do lack the speed and bike skills.

Photo Courtesy of Dirty Deeds

My body started to ached the next day from the multiple falls  and I am sporting some really awesome bruises but I am eager to do more riding. I rode the bike to the Mordialloc triathlon race on Sunday morning and rode home along the dirt path along the main Beach road.

I haven't done any running of any sorts since Ironman. I don't know when I will start. For now, I am going to attend a few swim sessions and doing more cycling for the month of April.

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