Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Inferno Race 2

Inferno Race 2 rolled around and it was time for a high speed hit out. The womens solo field was not only large, but contained a few of the bigger names; with Black Sheep (Meg) and Chain Gang (Jo) well represented. I was looking forward to trying a faster pace than my normal 24 hour solo pace, and knew any chance of standing on the podium would need to be earned.

For once, I think I positioned myself at the right spot on the start. Did not get trampled, and also did not have anyone stall in front of me when we hit the first single track or climb. I rolled with Meg and Jo this lap and could stick with them on the more open stuff - but come the single track those two were g o n e. I was riding out of my skin to pick them up again and closed the gap at around the 8km mark. As we rolled into transition, I realised I had probably made a mistake. I had only taken a bottle and needed to transition, but the other two were smart and had camelbaks - allowing them to roll right on through. I caught one more glimpse on lap 2 as they finshed the climb I was just beginning and *bang* gone. There is something about being able to see your competition that keeps you pushing - and once they are out of sight the chasing is somehow harder. Not to worry - time to focus on the pedals.

flying into transition.

OHV and Tailwind turned on an awesome course. It really is some of the best single track we have in SE Qld. I found it challenging enough, and definitely found that the rocky/rough stuff made for an interesting, if not pain-filled ride. I need to ride that stuff more.

in good company!

Finished a close 3rd - managed 8 laps in 5.50 or so.... In truth I had time for another, and would have moved up a place if I did - but I had answered my questions, and was belted in the neck and arms. This time last year, I rode 3 laps at inferno, wanted to die, and got concussion. This year, I rode 8 laps and some of it with my hero (Meg!).

I am getting better. Thanks in part to Steve for the great training programs at uTurn Fitness, Jez at Ride Inn for the machine, and thanks in part to my own hard work.

Now it's all about the recovery... Meg is taking me riding next wednesday, why did I say yes.... 2100' per lap. That's why.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Ok, so I am over the cold and getting with the program. Base is finished. Now it is all about intensity, hills and hard riding. Man - it has been a while and I think I forgot how it can hurt. On the first climb of south boundary road in the rain last week I found myself wondering how I was ever going to complete that session. Immediately in lung busting, leg burning pain. Followed by more climbing the next day at Gap Creek on our plain loop, and then finished off with Coot-tha repeats.

It is for a good reason. 2100 ' of climbing per lap is the reason. And if that don't get me out of bed, and off riding up every hill I can find I don't know what will. So new rules. If it hasn't got a view, it doesn't count.

Sunday's view.

Company helps.
Especially if it suffers worse than you!..... Well done to Adam for his first 100km+ since 8kgs ago, and his first mt mee ascent.

And to TR-Frank for beating me up a climb. His legs were so good on Sunday that he clearly didn't work hard enough during the week and should be disappointed in himself for his lack of application. Don't let it happen again.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Inferno Race One

Having travelled to London and back this week, I was never going to be fresh for this race. Having caught an upper respiratory tract infection this week meant I was feeling terrible. I had gotten over the first few days of it and no longer had the full body aches, or painful lymphs so thought I would see how I felt.

After one lap it was clear to me that racing was going to do me no good at all, so I returned the ridley to it's stable and retired to fulfill pit duties for my WRB fellows - TR, Meg, Winner, Deefa, Nick, and EP.

It was actually great experience to watch an enduro from the other side. Riders would come in with instructions for the next lap - and forget them by the time they rolled back around. As the race wore on it was interesting to see how the mind gets foggy. It was good to understand how checking lap times and providing feedback, monitoring drinking and eating, and generally kicking them out of the tent and onto another lap helped these guys achieve their best. As an enduro racer it certainly helped me understand what I need to tell my support crew prior to the race - in terms of what is effective and what is expected.

My opinion is that as a rider you get to a point where you need your support crew to kick in and make the basic decisions for you. What to eat, what to drink. Don't give me a choice, because my brain does not work. Or if you do - make it a limited one (i.e. one of two). Know roughly how much carbohydrate your riders need each lap, and tell them in simple terms. ' this lap you must eat this, and drink this by the time you are back'. Don't let them go out again until they have.
It is also important to listen and watch and make sure you get an idea of how the rider is feeling and what they might need. Know when to swap electrolyte for water, when to let them into flat coke. Know when to let them stop for 5 minutes and get to know when you can push them. Know the results for your riders so they know if they can stop, or if they need another lap. Tell them they are doing great. In short you need your support crew to be your brain later in the race.

Also know some basic first aid for when this happens....
Bad luck TR. This happens to everyone at some point. It is always nice when someone has a camera to capture it! Although it might feel like a lost opportunity, I think if you review race goals around fuelling to a plan you will realise you learned some skills. Next race plan we can add 'not crashing' as a goal. This will be well timed as I think they are moving Race 2 back to last years course!