It’s not just the sight of wild flowers on the Yarra Trails that informs me of the coming spring. It’s the pain in the legs after a hard week of training in preparation for the Melbourne to Warnambool.
If I’m serious, there must be pain.
Yesterday, the long North Road Ride had me severely in the blender by the time we got back to St. Kilda…
When Trent, Shawie, Gus, Duke and I sat down for coffee at Cafe Racer at about 8.30am (yes… 8.30am!! – normally not back til much later), it was one of those situations where you all just sit down, look at each other and know that everyone is thinking, “Well what the F%**k was that!?!”.
It was one seriously hard, seriously fast ride and we all felt it (especially after the Sunday, the Hurt Box and the Crowie session). We’d basically been hammered by two riders most of the way; the young David Kelly (who we predict may win the Warny!) and the older but relentless Danny Kah. I won’t forget the lone attack Danny put in heading out Nepean Highway through Mt. Eliza. He put two hundred metres into the bunch heading uphill on Nepean within about a minute.
But even Danny was tested by the young legs of Dave on the route back. Sitting second wheel to Dave for about five k through Seaford area, I felt I should really roll through and give him a break at one stage. I did so, but then had him flick through to jump back on the front after less than a minute! “Thanks – glad I could help you buddy,” I say – as he proceeds to do about another 5k on the front at 50kph. The pain at second wheel was unbelievable.
I used this ride to ‘practice’ my desire to experience more pain. On as many occasions as I could handle, when pushed to the limit with screaming legs, I pushed the envelope just that little bit further to see how much I could take. On at least one occasion, Neal did that for me by grabbing the back of my saddle so I could tow a nearly nother me! I found it was amazing how I could actually keep pushing the barrier further and further. And guys like Dave and Danny (and Neal) provided me with the perfect opportunity! Fair dinkum – it was so bloody hard… and good.
So tonight, I needed the extra motivation of the excitement of my first mountain bike ride since returning home from Sydney. I took the hoot of a commute at a reasonable pace, enjoyed not pushing too hard, threw in an extra lap of the boat houses (on both sides) and linked all the dirt to home. Love it.
My comfortably sore body is looking forward to a bit of a lie-in tomorrow morning (to 7 at least!) and a rise with the kids to get one to school and spend the day with two other sickies.
The inner trails are looking pretty good at the moment I have to say. Let’s hope the rain doesn’t hit like last year to flood the river and destroy the trails.
I’ve had a ball and it’s time for sleep.
Tuesday – 70k solid SS road – 1 hour Crowie session
Yesterday – 120k ridiculously hard North Road Long
Today – 2.25hrs of solid SS MTB