Monday, March 3, 2014

The CyclingTips FebFifteen roundup

I had these wonderful plans to complete the CyclingTips February Fifteen Strava challenge, but they fell apart quite quickly - during the first ride in fact!

Ride #1: Annandale GirlRide


I left home 10 minutes behind schedule (at 5.10am) and so cycled into the city via Toorak Rd, bummed about Melbourne Uni checking out the new buildings and all the bike parking that had been installed since I graduated, and made my way to the group ride meeting point for 6.30am. There was just one, Caz, ready to ride (not unexpected as the ice hockey gold medal match took precedence for a Canadian rider), and I wasn't really fussed where to ride. Although we settled on taking in some hills as they're fun (once completed) and I needed the practice.

We headed out west - passing Brimbank Park, going up Annandale Road (which was burnt to a crisp during the recent bushfires, although I chuckled at a tiny patch of grass that had survived the fire and then taken on all the nutrients from the burnt grasslands so it was a ridiculously vivid bright green), approached the airport and then headed back into the city. The sun was popping out at this time, and it made a nice ride pretty damn pretty. That's my butt in Caz's Instagram snap. It was a bit past 8am when we rolled to the end of the ride and had a coffee at The Brunswick East Project.

In hindsight I should have followed Caz and taken Blyth Street east (as this becomes Separation St and can easily access the Koonung Trail). My plans unravelled at this point - I wanted to improve my Strava time up Studley Park Rd, so I headed south only to return north to hit the Koonung Trail. Now the Koonung Trail is slightly uphill as you head east, and for some reason I just struggle along the path! My planned 3-hour ride became 4.25 hours, and I was definitely feeling the combined effects of Annandale Road and the previous day's hilly long run.

Time tally: 4.25/15 


Ride #2: Maling Room Ride

I didn't go out for ride until Thursday! Gasp! I debated whether to just stick to the Breeze Ride and then join the Maling Room Ride recovery ride the next day, or to do an extended Breeze Ride and take Friday off. Completely off - no running or riding. Instead the Breeze Ride was cancelled (no Breeze leaders that day), so I went for a Maling Room Ride with the Cheese group. But I had a couple of problems:

  1. The previous day's 16km long run had not caused any leg soreness so I felt fine until I got onto the bike and started pedalling and realised that my legs were dead.
  2. No other cheese-types came out to play! 

So I was chasing the Mice (and then the Rabbits and Mice) for most of the way. Thankfully the traffic lights slowed them down a bit, and I rolled up to the Maling Room with two other Mice. I did some extra riding pre-MRR, and also took a longish way home to avoid main streets and to grab more coffee beans for home, so I added 2.25 hours to my tally for the week.

Time tally: 6.5/15


Ride #3: Westerfolds parkrun commute and some errands


Friday ended up being an enforced day off - I needed to get some bloodwork done for an autoimmune checkup, which involved fasting for 12 hours (so no pre-vampire ride) and (as usual) ended up with me having a useless left arm. So my next ride was to and from Westerfolds Park for parkrun. About halfway through FebFifteen, and Sunday's ride was looking to have to be seven hours long! :\

I'd experienced a chainring shifting problem during the morning, but that was easily fixed by adjusting the tension of the shifter cable as I rolled up and down the street outside home. I added that time to my FebFifteen tally, found that I was out of saline and so cruised over to the local shopping centre. Why is my local shopping centre so close?!?!

Time tally: 8.25/15


Ride #4: The Great Train Race Recon Ride

I knew that I wasn't going to make FebFifteen by the end of the previous day, 7 hours just wasn't going to happen! I had planned to do a reconnaissance ride of the Puffing Billy Great Train Race run course at some point, and the weather on Sunday was perfect for a not-too-hilly trip into the Dandenongs. I didn't get the route quite right, but did enjoy myself out there, so I'll have to have another go of it in a few weeks. 

Time tally: 12.1/15


Three hours short! After my 16km run on Wednesday I felt fine, and I started to consider moving my long runs to Saturdays (to incorporate parkrun as part of the long run) and backing that up with a long ride on Sunday. Although during Thursday's ride I discovered that this would be impossible for my current level of fitness - it was a relatively short ride and I really didn't enjoy my time on the bike! Bah.

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