Saturday, 26 January 2013

Karen writes: Write off last week

I've been sick.  It's a head-cold and while I've tried to be sort-of sensible about taking it a bit easy (except for last weekend), the cold wasn't shifting after more than a week. I'd had a day in bed and a total of 4 days off training.  How can I be an Ironman if I am incapacitated by a cold?

Today I finally got back to training, it was a decision that was kind of "should I...shouldn't I", but there comes a point where doing nothing stops being an option.  The 130km long ride was actually planned for an annual leave day yesterday, Friday, but I wasn't feeling too good, so this morning I was out the door before I could second guess myself.  I had my new aerobars with a flash big waterbottle thing (I'm copying Kate) mounted on them to try out so I headed to Clevedon then out to Kawakawa bay into the beautiful morning.

The new flash water bottle
I think being out on the road training sends me a little bit loopy.  Down on my aerobars was pretty good, much better than my previous experience and I quickly found I wasn't concentrating on them so hard but could let the mind roam a bit.  Not very far in this instance, the first thing I noticed was the musical notes coming from the front of the bike depending on which direction the wind was coming from.   I experimented with blowing across the top of the waterbottle and straw to see if I could play a tune, but the noise came from somewhere else, two distinct notes.  Took a while to figure out that the source was a series of holes on the underside of the aerobars and the noise got stronger as the inevitable wind came up.  Cool huh, musical cycling!

The next thing requiring thought was the proximity of the stiff drinking straw to my face.  I wondered if anyone had died of trans-nasal brain puncture using one of the things but figured out eventually that any event traumatic enough to send the straw up the nose with that much force that would be likely to be fatal for other reasons.  Note to self, shorten straw.

So I learned a bit about my new equipment, like the water bottle has a small removable compartment which you can freeze, this was fantastic, kept the 1 litre of water really pleasant for the first couple of hours.  I could refill the big bottle really easily by just pouring in a smaller bottle from the top, that will be handy for Ironman.  I learned you cant drink when not down on the aerobars, the angle is all wrong so if I took in a gel for example, it had to be in a place on the road I could safely change to aerobar position.  I figured out that water sploshing out from the drink bottle was just as bad for my old bike computer as rain so that needs sorting out. After a couple of thoughtless near misses I learned that I can get away with some things on my bike sitting up normally, things like shifting position, taking a foot out of the cleat to stretch, CANT do those sorts of things while using aerobars.

All in all I had a good morning, tried out salt capsules instead of electrolyte drinks which seemed to be easier on my stomach, stopping for a flavoured milk drink at 60km works magic for energy levels but I'm still bothered that milk is only described as being suitable for recovery, not during training, cant help but wonder if there is something I am missing about this.  Didn't take enough gels but made it home feeling pretty good. All on for a big run tomorrow, hopefully I'm back on track again.