Melbourne is turning on it's first real winter in a long time. It's freezing cold, often wet, and very windy. Not the kind of weather that's conducive to getting in the k's! I've taken the HTFU pill a few times and whilst I was glad I did, I was also thinking I was crazy when some of the bunches have had as few as 6 show up!
But when the race numbers go on, everyone just gets the job done.
For the first time ever, there was to be seperate Womens Grades. Both A & B. There were 13 registered for A, and 23 for B! An amazing turn out for B grade women.
11 started our race, so there weren't too many to do any work, and there was no where to hide!
Saturday was Freezing, it was wet, and yep, a bit windy. I just couldn't get going, rolled turns the first 20 or so k and started struggling a bit. The head was wondering WTF was going on, and the legs weren't being very helpful..
In the end, Jo and Jenny got away and stayed away.. Kendall and Nic were away, we brought them back.. I got away on Kendalls wheel but couldn't hold it and ended up back in the bunch so exhausted I couldn't even pull a turn.. Kendall stayed away solo, and the rest of us rolled in as a bunch, me at the back as promised after not being able to work the last 15k.
Went to the hotel to check in and rest, and ended up depressing myself thinking of how bad I went. I was ready to pack it in and head home. Thankfully Blair was at the same Motel and knocked on the door to tell me we were all going to the pub for dinner. Crappy TV movies followed, then putting the TT bars on the bike for the ITT in the morning.. Time to sleep and forget about the bad day!
Day 2 - double day. 8k ITT (Mostly uphill), again. legs felt shit, did a crap time, but was in a better headspace after a visit to the local bakery in Lancefield for a Pink Iced Jam Donut and an Apple Cake! Too much? probably.. But I think it's part of what saved me for the next day!
The afternoon road race was cold again. It was 3 laps of the same course we'd done 2 times yesterday, so we knew it well..
I started with the deadest legs I think I've had since the week after Canberra. They just wouldn't wake up and I was skipping my fair share of turns which was getting some head shaking from the girls.. after about an hour they started to come alive a bit, but not enough, as yet again the attack on the KOM went over out front and this time due to some dubious team tactics, Kendall was off the front solo and stayed there. Jen and Jo were next to go, and the top 3 were sorted again.
Another pub dinner, this time a bag ass rissotto another crappy TV movie, and off to bed.
Day 3 - decided it was time to bring out the big guns, 4 x crumpets with PB&J.. Feeling rather full I packed up the car and melted the ice off the windscreen (it was 1!!!!! degree!!).. The temp dropped to -2 on the way to the race start, but it was a clear and sunny day which was a plus. I decided to overdo it on the clothes and be warmer and not risk being cold.
Jumped on the rollers for the last time this weekend for a quick warm up, and was surprised that I felt better on the bike than off it. The aches went away and my legs seemed to be turning in circles rather than squares!
Didn't want to get too excited, as it was likely as soon as the pace went up they'd die again.. but the whole first 60-70 minutes I didn't skip a turn and was feeling comfortable.
Jo punctured along the way, and Jen was having dilemas over being nice, and trying to race, in the end not doing too much to make it harder for Jo to get back on.
The first QOM sign came up with 1000m to go, and I knew this is where the move would happen. I tried to stay up the front on Jo and Kendalls wheels, and when they went I tried, but I just didn't quite have enough. Added to the fact my quad was violently letting me know it was about to cramp at any second
So it was the same 6 left again in the bunch, we all worked at getting to the finish as quickly and nicely as we could..
In the end, I had a miserable first 2 days, wanting to quit, not wanting to be there, and just generally questioning why I thought I was any good at this cycling thing, and the 3rd day turning that around and making me remember that it's going to take patience. I've only been doing this for a few months, compared to others being in the sport for years.
It'll just take some time.