Another solid week of training under my belt... Monday and Friday gym days, Tuesday and Thursday evil spin days (thanks Sadie) and Wednesday night race at Linton Camp filled out the week quite nicely. By Saturday, I was pretty pooped and came so so close to flagging my four hour session that was planned for the day. Figuring the mental anguish and beating I would give myself was far less appealing than getting on my bike in the rain and wind, I headed out late in the day on my Scotts Road, Back Track, Greens Road loop, then added in some extra hills by heading up and back on Ngatere Park Road and Harts Road. I felt OK, but my legs definitely knew they had endured a beating of sorts over the last couple of weeks. I was glad I went out, though.
Sunday was the Santoft Sizzler 5 Hour race. I was super glad we had a race to do because it was a damn sight more exciting than slogging it out by myself in the wind for 3 hours! I teamed up with Sasha Smith and we formed team "Got a Bucket or a Hose?"... I lost an important round of paper/scissors/rock in the car which meant I was to do the first lap, and seeing as the laps were only short, we decided to do double laps. My legs seemed to freshen up as I moved around the track and I was delighted to see at the end of my first lap that my average for that lap had been 19.3km/hr! At the end of the second lap, my average for both laps was still a very respectable 19km/hr. The course was running super super fast so I couldn't take all the credit for my speed, but I definitely felt quite strong, albeit a little tired. It will be interesting to see if I am any quicker after this bout of training when I freshen up with a rest week, or whether it was maybe just the course that suited me. I still have quite a bit of work to do on my technical skills, too.
The day was such great fun. I think Sasha and I would have won the prize for rowdiest team. Every time one of us rode through the pit area, we'd yell out "do a skid!" then grab a handful of rear brake and snake the rear wheel back and forth. Very childish, but highly amusing. For the record, Sasha does much better skids than me. We were also lucky enough to be graced with the company of a couple of Massey exchange students who are mad keen riders, Bene from Germany, and Dylan from the USA, so it was nice to have some company when we weren't out on lap. I can imagine they were thinking something along the lines of "who are these two crazy women and why am I getting in a car with them???".
By the end of the day, we were both feeling quite cooked and I was secretly quite chuffed that I had ridden the starting lap because it meant I had the hard work over with first and then could dig in to my delicious filled potato while Sasha was out on our last lap (although if she had come back 30 seconds earlier, I would have had to pull a lap on a belly full of spud!). We finished in first place in our category on 14 laps and received a gold pinecone for our efforts (actually quite a cool little prize!). Once again, Manawatu Mountain Bike Club turned on a good show. Hope to be back again next year!