Thursday, 25 February 2010

The return to interval training: Ouch!

Time is absolutely flying. Where is the pause button????!!!! The last month has gone by in a blur and it is now less than a month *yikes* until the start of the one of my biggest adventures and challenges yet: The Cape Epic.

At the end of January Dave and I went along to have a go at a Brass Monkeys 4 hour enduro and it was well worth it. Despite the freezing temperatures and frozen, icy ground the course was really good fun. There were some nice fire road climbs, all of which were rewarded with loads of sweet singletrack descending. It was a mass start and Dave held on to my wheel - well for a few seconds at least ;0) Unbeknown to him one of my aims was to lap him, but he had other plans and managed to get to the finish line just before me (but minus 1 lap).....damn!

We've just come back from a week - far too short - in Tenerife which was really great! I've never had a dedicated training holiday in the winter before and now I am wondering why - well apart from the obvious problem of getting time off work! We stayed at a nice B & B in El Medano and our hosts could not do enough for us. It was a great location because, being at sea level, the only way was up! Waking up each morning to see El Teide was like dangling a carrot in front of a donkey! I absolutely love to climb so making may way up and through the cloud to c. 2300 metres each day meant that I was in heaven! The only problem was that the sheer drops left me feeling like I had vertigo. At one point I found myself wanting to get off my bike and lie flat in the middle of the trail - weird! The scenery was spectacular and so diverse, my only regret is that I didn't take many photos!

Back at sea level after a great ride from the south to the north

The highlight however had to be spending time with James Ouchterlony and his inspiring girlfriend Cristi. James showed us some of his local trials which were super technical in places and at times had me walking. James is one of the best technical riders I have ever seen. His bike was laden with panniers filled with 2 litres of my water amongst other things, yet he managed to hop and jump it around with the ease and agility of a mountain goat! No wonder Cristi has gone from a non-rider to a long distance trekking queen!

Where's the action? Planning the next ride!

Back in the UK the plane landed in the rain, and it's barely stopped raining since! Welcome home! I've started structured interval sessions now for the first time since October. I have to confess that intervals are my least favourite session, but the only advantage yesterday was that I didn't get wet on the turbo trainer! Am I the only one that dreads interval day??? Oh well two more days until I mount the torture machine again ;0)