“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” Lou Holtz

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." Confucius

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Yesterdays' TT and do you believe the word or the picture?

Last race til Trento!...the  Geelong CC TT at Paraparap

Yesterday's ~24km TT was once again at Paraparap and was THE coldest race I have ever done...as someone who has a tendency to get overheated while racing, it was the first time I have ever raced a TT in arm warmers and I was seriously considering leaving the leg warmers on. 

The course was a 2 lapper with the start  being directly into a headwind which made cranking up the speed a challenge.  I opted to start in big chain ring, but soon shifted down.  I worked hard and came in as 2nd female, not too far behind a young triathelete chick on a very groovy bike.  I managed to beat the person who crushed me timewise last week...yay!

The sad thing is that I managed to wipe all the data from my Garmin and so have nothing to pour over, no charts to look at, no minute analysing of where I could have gone faster etc etc.  All I know from scrolling through the data on finishing is that my HR was where it should have been for at least a part of the race and that I took 41.07.  

This is a bit slower than last time, which given the start location and the weather is understandable. The weather?..see above and the start?...well, on the previous time I raced the 2 lapper it was located further back from the headwind section and so you could take a fair amount of speed into that  section on both laps rather than this time where you had to generate speed from a standing start on lap 1 into what was a significant headwind..something I found difficult.  Sounds good doesn't it!...shame I haven't got the data to prove the hypothesis.

TT at Trento
This from their website:
" The course starts with a rolling descent between kilometer 3 and 7. Then riders follow the magnificent side of Lake Cavedine to start a 2km climb between km 16 and 18. The rest is more or less flat on wide open roads. "

So the course, which actually appears to start with a 2.5km climb(!) and which is 24.7km  in total apparently, if we believe the above,  has  4 km  downhill and 2km of climb..the rest being "more or less flat"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

??? a spin doctor's version of the truth!  a veritable lesson in how to soften the blow, cos to my eyes on this rough guide  at least 11km of  the course is tilted up!!
12 days and counting.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

TT at Harcourt

Billed as a 20km race, a minor communication issue meant that our race turned out to be 25 km!

The previous day I had 'scoped the course and pegged the turn around to be somewhere near Pollards Road ..a choice that was underlined by the road sign declaring Harcourt to be 10km thataway!

 I finished the race very disappointed in myself since, although I was very aware of the difficulty of the course I failed to do an adequate warm up and consequently ended up in hyperdrive  far too early, having to back off in order to survive.  My disappointment at my finishing time therefore had nothing to do at all with the added 5km and everything to do with my poor judgement.

In hind sight I didn't do as badly as I first thought and hey...it was a  tough course...harder for me than the Kew Boulie due to the length of the hills rather than their steepness....because they actually weren't all that steep.

Knowing how tired I am after a TT race and given the length and anticipated severity of the course, I opted to stay up near Bendigo for another night and so the next day took advantage of another beautiful clear and crisp day to go for a happy happy rural ride.  Sticking with race wheels, since changing from wide  Zipp Firecrest wheels to ordinary width wheels challenges my poor mechanical skills, turned out to be a bad idea both for my hip pocket and also my knees.

'cos while not concentrating as much as I should, my front wheel disappeared into a deep pothole..well ok that's not 100% correct... I almost saved the day but didn't quite react quickly enough.  As soon as I hit the lip I knew the tyre was doomed and so threw out the anchors before it was done for me by the rapidly deflating front tyre..  A catastrophic puncture from which there was no return.

Although I knew where I was, I had no idea at all how far I was from Elphingstone and so was relieved to find a guy working in a paddock who was able to give me the local taxi no.

I guess I should have sat and waited but there was a chill in the air and I preferred to keep moving.  Walking in cleats while waiting for the taxi, even for a brief time/distance (prob 1km), is not to be recommended and  not only  'cos it wrecks the cleats.  My knees have been  a bit twitchy since then and so my training has had to ease off a bit.

Cost: $30 taxi ride, $100 new tyre+charge to glue it to the rim, new cleats, sore knees.
Plan: learn to change brakes to fit narrow or wide wheels.

Flying out 2 weeks tomorrow...not that I'm counting of course.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Analysing gear selection

During the May version of my Kew Boulevard TT I managed to drop my chain causing me some anguish as I was trying for a PB on that course.

Somewhat later I discovered   plug ins  for the SportTracks program which allow me to spend hours of  fun analysing all/any of my rides to the minutest detail.  Eye rollingly boring to some, but fascinating to me for time trials and next year I suspect, track training and racing...although clearly  for the latter not the gear selection plug in I'm about to talk about!

A quick proviso is that any gear selection program can never be 100% accurate as there are too many variables, but at least it gives an idea of what one is doing.

So, comparing gear selection of my May KBTT race against my June KBTT race, where there is a total time difference of ~25secs, it appears I cross chained 34/12 for 2:06 mins in May and 2:45 mins in June.  Add to that I also crossed chained the other way 50/27 for :31 secs in May and :25 secs in June...tsk tsk. Of equally eye rolling/mind blowing boredom to most is the discovery of the gear combos I failed to use:

May chart (click to enlarge)

June chart (click to enlarge)

Is it any wonder then that in May I dropped my chain after hooning downhill to the roundabout, turning and then grinding back uphill without too much thought about my gears.  The cure came from 2 directions...
1) mindset...think, you idiot...and since that's not always possible
2) practical..buy a 

Item picture
Deda Elementi Dog Fang Chain Catcher

There are prettier looking chain catchers but they require a braze on front derailleur which I don't have.  Actually now I've got the dog catcher in situ I can forget about 1  ;-))))

While I'm not sure this is of interest to anyone other than people who have raced it, check this  out:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-ZN87-vjtc   personally I'm just jealous that he doesn't have to change down to small chain ring .......but then I'm not a 35year old male.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Kew BoulieTT

3rd race here for me this year..the first 2 were blighted by mechanicals..either the saddle fell off or I dropped the chain!  Today....no mechanical issues..and I did a good time (for me) but I must be tired or about to be ill(!)as my HR would not get anywhere near where it should be.  So my time was better than last month, but  that was when I had to hop off the bike and replace the chain, so it should have been better..I have to wait for the official time to see what the difference is.  There was no 30 sec person  but I passed my minute and 90 second person just before 3/4 through the race.

 The weather here in Melbourne has been cold and wet for quite a while now, so we were very lucky to have clear skies and an almost dry road. In fact the early starters,of which I was one, had major difficulty  with sun  directly in our eyes for parts of the course..so much so that on the first lap I went right over the only badly dropped utility /manhole cover there is on the course, ending up with my helmet and glasses in a slightly different place than where I 'd placed them!!  By the second lap the sun had risen enough not to be causing problems.

This time round the race organisation had1 plus and 1 minus...the plus was that there was a coffee van, the minus was...no toilet on site, despite having been booked.  The coffee van was very, very welcome  and I was mightily entertained to be asked by the owner..."do you want coffee with that long black"./ Clearly a man distracted and working hard!

Other bits of news.....after losing quite a bit of weight I went to Bodyology to be assessed for fat %/body composition in the BodPod and am officially ...."lean".  I was also given some guidance as to how much I could eat in order to maintain the weight I'm currently at...this latter always being an issue when you drop quite a bit of weight....not only the paranoia of not wanting to put it back on again but also the issue of genuinely not knowing what calories your new body composition requires on a daily basis.

Checking out the World Masters Championship website, I noticed that a) you can race the event with a day licence...so CA's email reminding us to get an International Licence (at great expense) can be ignored and b) they don't want you to wear any thing with rainbow stripes on.  I asked the question about this and yes it's correct.... those of us who are former World champions and are entitled to wear rainbow stripes on collar and cuffs have to  race in gear senza rainbow stripes.  There is a deal for us to buy Australian gear made specially for the event by Scody, but given the cost, the fact that ordering via the internet you can't be 100% sure of the sizing and also that you can only wear Aus race gear occasionally, I'll go for a new Blackburn CC skin suit first.  Now will I be able to squeeze into XXS or XS..the only ones in stock!

Next TT next weekend at Castlemaine and then a final hit out at Balliang the week after. Desperately looking forward to going OS...not only for everything Italy and Austria have that we've not got here, but also to get out of this miserably cold weather.  Weight loss=loss of insulation!

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Random home and ride pix

Mel  cyclocross racing

Alex ironing...a ding out the guitar he was making!!!..not clothes...never clothes!

Flea enjoying the warmth of straw.

 a genuine reason to turn around?

weird pix a second later  when the sun peeped out from behind the clouds.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

No racing this week..so a couple of random pix from the interweb

The TT race I was due to do tomorrow has been changed into a road race...thankfully I rang up  a day or so ahead of time to check...! 

So no racing, just heaps of feral training, working, eating, sleeping, Italian lessons and shopping for jeans.  The latter being a major issue since if I find a pair that are comfortable on my thighs and calves, they are about 3 sizes too big around the waist and hips and need 30 cm cut off the length!!!


Hard to tell it's him, what with  the mud and full face helmet, but I'm reliably informed this is Ben on his way to winning his 3rd  downhill race out of 3 starts  in the no longer young but not quite old yet class(!)...always has been and always will be  a  really skilled rider.

these  are 2 that have caught my attention

so true!

Will do!..not long now