Memoirs of a MAMIL #3
The SCODY Three Peaks Challenge isn’t for everyone, and back in 2011 it certainly wasn’t for this MAMIL. But 2013 saw a lighter more determine MAMIL returning for redemption.
Starting weight March: 78kg
Three peaks. A true epic. After failing in 2011 left frozen and miserable, pledging never to return, I was back for redemption. This was one of the key milestones in my program leading up to Italy, mentally and physically.
The two weeks before had not been the best for the MAMIL (yes, sometimes I like to refer to myself in third person) as critical and stressful work deadlines got in the way of saddle time. What little training I could squeeze in had to focus on quality, not quantity.
Training tip: You can’t cram missed sessions into the last 2 weeks, but you can mentally train by visualising the event.
Luckily, the weather was absolutely spectacular on race day. There was sun, more sun and plenty of heat…43 degrees of it actually. Going across Happy Valley Highway (a road named by Hades himself) with zero shade, melting roads did the damage. It was also the furthest point of the course. Creeping at 15kph on flattish roads, I was destroyed, wanting to give up. I calculated it would take my wife the same amount of time to drive down from Falls Creek with road closures and detours as it would to continue.
I pushed on, grovelling and suffering massive cramping for the final 100km (including walking up Falls Creek multiple times). 13 hours, 14 litres of water, 10 gels, the worlds best icy pole in Mt Beauty, one set of cleats, a week’s worth of training effort in single ride, I FINISHED!!! Proving that taking the time to train physically and mentally makes all the difference.
Tip: if you have consumed a great number of gels it’s highly recommended to give your partner a peg, or sleep in a different room, due to their side effects.
As part of the program for the year, supercoach and I put the UCI Perth event on the calendar. This would be a great logistics test for the Worlds by having to take two bikes, organise accommodation, transport. A huge advantage was that the race program was exactly the same as Italy’s would be in September: Individual Time Trial on the Friday, with Road Race on the Sunday.
Riding the Time Trial course on Thursday around Rottnest Island put a smile on my face; fast, flowing roads that reminded me of home. On the Friday, rain got in the way, with the start ramp not used after a couple of people slipped and fell off. There was a bit of wind on the back part of the course which also contributed to slowing times down a touch. All in all it was solid Time Trial, hitting all of the figures I was aiming for: finishing in the top 50% of my age group, averaging just under 42kph. But, the Road Race didn’t go according to plan.
Firstly, I was caught up in a bunch fall on lap 2. Thankfully, there was no damage to myself or the bike. The race was technically over, but I decided to fit in some good training, racing a few laps around a closed course before catching the afternoon flight back to Sydney. After 6 laps, I was travelling comfortably, coming down a descent at about 55kph, when *WHACK* an instant jolt of pain on the inside leg of the knicks, right next to the “padding”.
I looked down, expecting to see a Crocodile Dundee style knife sticking out of my leg with blood spurting everywhere. Nope, a tiny domestic bee, surely thinking “this fast moving flower isn’t giving up much pollen…”.
Dictionary.com defines embarrassment as: “to cause confusion and shame to; make uncomfortably self-conscious; disconcert; abash.” After the Road Race, I define embarrassment as: sitting in the public first aid area, in lycra, asking the first aid officer (male) for a huge bag of ice to place on my lap for 30 minutes.
Weight (end of June): 72kg – 10kgs lost since Christmas Day!
Hours of training from March to end of June: 148
20min power: Dec – 264W. July – 307W (16% increase)
Big Macs burnt: 4 (or 80,000kJ)
Next week, balancing the Tour late night compulsory viewing and training, plus some of the methods involved to help with dropping the weight.