Sunday, December 2, 2007

Back in the Saddle

In the last 3 weeks after the race, I've been in the pool a few times, been for a short run, and been for a hike. I've been reluctant to get on the bike mostly because all I have right now is my race wheels, and they're simply not meant to get beat on on a daily basis. I also don't have my normal riding clothes yet either, so at the moment I'm full-on race gear geek status. Awesome.

Alas, IMNZ is 12 weeks away and it's time to get going again. I woke up yesterday and my legs were still absolutely worked from my hike 3 days prior. I'm obviously still firmly in recovery mode, whether I like it or not. So I decided to go for a nice recovery ride and explore a bit. Famous last words...

After paying 7NZD apiece for some CO2 cartridges in Qtown, I headed out for what I thought was a nice flat 40k each way to Glenorchy, a tiny town at the foot of Wakatipu.

I could tell right away that my legs were in for a rough day, and then the climbs started. Much like the ride around Tahoe is not flat, the ride along Wakatipu is also decidedly not flat. I was in my last or second to last gear for many of the climbs, and I've still got the climbing cassette on the bike from Silverman!

I should have stopped and taken more pictures, but this will have to do:

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(the view over Wakatipu towards Glenorchy)

40k came and went, and Glenorchy was nowhere in sight. At just about exactly 50k and waaaay later than I expected, I rolled into town and hobbled off the bike in front of a little cafe. I had a quick lunch, as it was now going to be tight getting back to work by 5pm.

I left Glenorchy and made the unpleasant discovery that I had already ridden downwind, even though my legs felt like it was upwind on the way out. Uh oh. For most of the climbs coming back, I was out of the saddle at under 5mph in the 27 gear, quads and calves screaming with every pedal stroke.

I normally walk to work. Not today. I hit my place at 4:41, parked the bike out front, showered, brushed my teeth, and dressed, and got back on the bike at 4:51, Monty's shirt flapping in the wind, pedaling $5K of carbon fiber in freakin' flip flops. I got to Monty's at 4:54 and walked downstairs dressed at 4:59:15.

So the flat 80k recovery ride turned into a steep 100k "recovery" ride. It's the hardest ride I've gone on in a loooong time. Strangely enough, my legs feel better today than they have in the last few days, so no worries, I suppose.

As an aside, I am supremely motivated lately. It's obvious that 3 weeks is not ample recovery time from a hard race effort, but I'll be OK soon. I'm ardently looking forward to putting in some hard weeks. I just found out about a little sprint race the day after my birthday, so that will be a welcome return to racing after this recovery period. All in all, I am in a very good place mentally these days, as I've simply started to realize what I'm capable of in the cozy little world of triathlon...

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