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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:47 pm

Well, despite my ever blackening hand, general I've-had-a-massive-stack aches and period pains the gym went reasonably well tonight. Worked hard on the rower and churned out the 5x5 required for both squats and rows this week with ease. Sometimes you win. :)

CV - 20 mins hard rowing, 10 mins steady cycling

Squats - Free: 10, Bar: 10, 10
30 kg: 5, 35 kg: 5
42.5 kg: 5, 5, 5, 5, 5

Chins: 5, 4, 3, 2

Bench: Bar: 15, 15
25 kg: 10 , 10
30 kg: 5
32.5 kg: 5, 5, 5, 5, 5

Thumb/wrist today looks like this:
Image
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:35 pm

Wednesday 14th November - Wednesday 'fast' group
MCS fast group. Did my best to keep up with the fast group and managed to hang on for an hour and a half until they started to migrate a little too far from home and I wasn't sure I'd have the legs to keep with them. Good job I headed back when I did though as I got stuck in granny gear so had to do the five miles home frustratingly slow!

Did much better than I thought I would as (bringing out the list of excuses I know) I was sore from the gym, had done a full site day, was struggling with bad period pains and still aching and bruised from Sunday's crash. So very proud of myself for even turning up as I knew it wasn't going to be fun, but I know that one day I'll be much fitter for the hard work.

11.06 miles
354 meters climbing

Thursday 15th November - Ladies Ride
Another fab evening with 5 of us out on the hills. Such great company - it's a really supportive group for all the ladies, I'm pleased the group is going so well. Did ok on the climbs considering the battering my legs have had since Tuesday! Interestingly I am not (and never will be) the fastest up hill, but I can sprint for a few minutes out front on the flat really well. Never really considered myself a sprinter. Must be the DH.

10.63 miles
417 meters climbing
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:40 pm

Friday - rest

Saturday - extra rest

Sunday - XC Cannock Chase monkey with a bit of DH on the trail bikes. Was a great day. Got to ride with some AMAZING riders. One guy particularly has skills of a pro. Amazing. Loved being on the Five, it performed well on the DH once I MTFU'd up and starting hitting stuff properly. Did the work, rode about 15 miles, cleared some stuff I'd normally struggle with on the climbs. Legs felt ok.

Image

Monday - rest, again. Was going to go to the gym, but, quite frankly, couldn't be arsked.
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby kallefs » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:29 pm

Really nice picture! How is the hand/wrist doing?
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:37 pm

Thanks :)

Hand is fine, still a bit black but isn't hurting :)
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:58 pm

Tuesday - gym session.

Warm up CV:
Rowing - 20 mins. Amazing how quickly fitness comes back. Two weeks ago I really struggled to get a 2:22:0/500m average over the 20 mins (always starting from cold, so pace not high overall as the first 5 minutes or so act as a warm up)...this week I got 2:15:3/500m average. Sure, it's still pretty weak on the rowing front, but it is only a warm up - I'm just surprised at that level of progress in such a short space of time.
10 mins on bike

Squats: plodding along regaining strength in the knee slowly. Another 5x5 ticked off. 5x5 with 60 kg by crimbo hols would be nice!
Free: 10, 10, 10
Bar: 10, 10, 10
30 kg: 5
40 kg: 5
45 kg: 5 x 5

Chins: 5, 4, 3, 3, (have put on a little weight so glad to get this number!)

Lat pulls

Press-ups with handles
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:50 pm

Wednesday
Well, got an offer of an easier chilled out ride instead of a beasting off the fast group and, after the gym session, decided that would be the best idea. A nice wee pootle.

Turned out the nice wee pootle was being led by a masochist on a singlespeed. :shock:

15 miles later, I was properly beasted. Did some fun slightly techy trails I've never seen, in the slippiest mud in the dark. Was ace. Had a great time and really put the effort in. Did ok on the climbs, better than last week I think. It was pretty challenging in places just due to the sheer volume of mud and water. Will this mad weather ever stop?

Thursday
Up early for site but managed to get home in time to grab a snooze before ladies ride. The weather was horrendous this afternoon with increasing gales and the texts/messages started coming in as one after another lady bailed out, so I wasn't expecting anyone to turn up. Headed out in horrendous conditions and was most surprised when Sarah turned up! We had another ace evening sploshing down brockhill lane in the puddles and knocked out 10-and-a-bit miles.

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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:52 pm

Friday - rest

Saturday - Long Mynd

Went on a buffday ride for a friend. Absolutely fab day with great trails and company and cake. Crashing, stalling, mincing, mud, rocks, slippy grass, flooding, cute dogs, black rabbits, we had the lot to deal with!

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Despite only covering 17 miles (with about 950 m of climbing) it was a bit of an epic. The weather started cold and moody before turning properly nasty. Riding at 500 m in blowing ice cold rain and fog = brain freeze!

Image

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I did ok on the descents but mostly surprised myself very much at the climbs. For once, my climbing legs showed themselves and the recent hard work felt like it was paying off. I even cleaned the 1 in 4 road climb when all the boys got off and pushed, at least part of the way :mrgreen:

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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:22 pm

Sunday - Malvern Pootle

Got out this morning as the sunshine turned up for a wee while. We didn't have much in the legs, so just had a short pootle 7.2 miles, 360 m climbing. Nice day for photos (and ducks - the flood waters and saturated ground is dominating the Severn Valley)

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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:49 pm

Monday - Gym

Monday is normally the rest day, but I have a horrendous work day in London tomorrow so, considering Sunday was an easy day on the bike, I bought gym session forward. Went straight to the gym from the office ad hadn't eaten too well, but had a pretty good session anyway, got the work done. Still a way off a decent 5x5 on squats, but it's plodding up steadily 2.5 kg a week. Knee feels strong now.

CV - 10 min row, 20 min x-trainer

Squats
Bar: 10, 10
30 kg: 5
40 kg: 5
45 kg: 5
47.5 kg: 5, 5, 5, 5, 5 (easy)

Chins 5, 5, 4, 4

Bench - was getting hungry so just knocked out a few sets with 30 kg
Bar: 10, 10
25 kg: 10
30 kg: 10, 10, 10
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:21 pm

Tuesday - long work day (no training)

Wednesday - Nightride
Thank goodness the fast group wasn't too fast tonight. Had a terrible night's sleep and a very stressful work day. I dread these Wednesday rides, but at least they do get the hard work done in the week and once we are finished, I feel glad I made the effort to stay with the group.

My Garmin is busted again properly this time (bluddy thing has been nothing but trouble) so I am just using my phone atm.

12.29 Miles, 493 m climbing
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:12 pm

Thursday - Ladies MTB MCS Ride
Just myself n lovely Alex made it out in the freezing conditions. 14.11 km. Gorgeous sparkily trails. Worked hard on the climbs again, as I always have to do when riding with Alex (climbing machine!). Got to do some of the more techy descents because it was just us two and Alex is very technically talented on the bike. Always have a great time, she is such a positive happy person, it really rubs off :)

Friday - Rest Day
Actually wasn't much of a rest day as spent it stripping asbestos roof tiles on an arse of a job that was just a disaster start to finish. Felt so stressed when I got home. It was one of the worst work days I've ever had. Still, I only work to ride, so hey-ho, I’m over it.

Saturday - FoD Race Practice
Was looking forward to the weekend to see some friends I haven't seen for ages and just getting out on the big bike....but the first two practice runs were petrifying. The bike felt weird after being on the trail bike so much. The track was slippy. That tree stump was still there that I hit a few weeks back. I had to go and sit in the van and sulk and everything! After a cuppa and a chill out I sneaked on the uplift bus for a full run and to find my flow. Which worked a treat. By the end of the day I was starting to gradually build up speed, helped by some coaching from pro-rider Katy Curd. She did a mini coaching session for the ladies and I learnt a good deal about spotting key markers on the trail. Cor blimy I wish I had known that sooner! Such a useful thing and something I will really work on from now on.

Here’s a photo of us before we started the coaching:
Image

Sunday – Race Day
Got down nice and early to push-up to the top before practice started and then that was it….under two hours to get the track dialled for racing and get my race face on. I know the track well, to ride, for fun. Racing is a massively different kettle of fish. Suddenly every corner looks different, you see top riders on high lines you didn’t even know existed, and putting everything together at speed becomes a real challenge.

I knew it was going to be a very competitive day. 18 ladies in the field! Eighteen!! That’s a huge field for a DH race. One of whom was pro-Katy Curd. My aim is to come within 10 seconds of a pro before I’m too old to challenge them. Once I had sneakily assessed the competition (like everyone does, even those who deny it) I knew I stood a chance to grab second, but that it wouldn’t be easy and I’d need a clean run as there was some top quality ladies there.

First practice run down on Sunday I found my flow pretty quickly and was settling in to it, until I hit the big table at the bottom. The face was extra slippy and I lost the front wheel as I hit it. This sent me skywards sideways and down to earth with a very large thump. Another bad knee, and arm, and wrist….but luckily nothing aspirin wouldn’t take the edge off for the rest of the day. Got a second practice run in and was struggling a bit to get into it and relax after the crash. So I made a practical decision to not worry about clearing the table and to just hit it and come up short rather than have to put a huge pump into a face I wasn’t really trusting. It was a good (albeit it frustrating as I hate not clearing jumps) decision, found my flow on the final two practice runs I managed to squeeze in before the track closed. Thank goodness for the wonderful uplift service that got me to the top without the exhausting push.

So, race runs. Many of the girls at the top were worried by the 20 second starts. 20 seconds is not a lot of time between riders in the women’s category as there is a real difference in speed between each lady. Even I said to the guy at the top that 20 seconds wouldn’t be enough, but he said tough and that was that. Guess what? I caught the women in front just on the bit of track where I hoped to really get an advantage and she would not let me pass for about 100 m. Fricking gutted. I was on a flyer. I swear here and now, if I ever get caught up by a girl on a race run I’ll pull over straight away and let her past. It’s such a shit situation for both parties that could be easily sorted by organisers, and in fact is by some of the better race series, where women are allowed to self-seed, or the slower riders given a bigger time gap before the quick riders come hurtling down behind to scare them out the way. Anyway, got to the bottom and found I was in second, and kept it as rider after rider came down. Even better was that I was within ten seconds of Katy, and I knew that gap could’ve been smaller if I could have overtaken quicker (or not been held up at all).

By the time the second run came, we were all cold, the track had changed from the 280 blokes tearing down it, and everything was running slower. So, even though we were seeded for the second run, I couldn’t make up the time I had lost before and had a sluggish run down to come in just one second faster (I was hoping to make up three or four seconds by not getting stuck behind someone else).

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Still, no-one else seems to worry about the practicalities or time differences, and ultimately I did what I wanted, got second, plus, broke that 10 second barrier to the pros with two rather mediocre feeling runs….. it still feels like there is more in the tank. Fingers crossed one day it all comes together……or maybe not? Perhaps it would be worse to put in a perfect run and not get the result. Racing is weird, it turns me into this competitive horror-person, and yet everyone is so supportive of it. I just don’t understand.

Image

Here's some links to the professional photos (which sadly I can’t afford to buy this time)

http://www.rootsandrain.com/photos/400718
http://www.rootsandrain.com/photos/399388
http://www.rootsandrain.com/photos/399389

This is me dropping into the berm after taking a high line over the roots shown to us by Katy. The focused look in my eyes is because I want to put the gas on, but I am still stuck behind a rider and am trying to spot the best way past.
http://www.rootsandrain.com/photos/399656

I mustn’t forget the most brilliant bestest news ever….got back home to find the most amazing Tracy Moseley had put a ‘congratulations’ post on the local Malvern Cycle Sport facebook page. Fancy that, getting congratulated by the greatest female downhiller of all time. Seriously awesome!

Monday – Gym
Goodness knows what I have done to my knee (the other one, not the one I borked a few weeks back) but it’s a bit borked. Actually, more borked than I realised when dosed up on painkillers. Went down the gym tonight and couldn’t row, run or cycle without really bad pain (you know, that kind of pain where you think, I really mustn’t MTFU and work through this) in the knee cap. Arsicals.

Still, got in a bit of bench etc. Will rest it now until Wednesday and see how it is, if it’s still bad I’ll be at the physio Wednesday evening.

Bench: Bar: 12, 12, 12, 25kg: 10, 10 30kg: 10 32.5 kg: 10, 10
Lat pulls
Press-ups with handles
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:15 pm

Here's a linky to a video for the race - you get to see me at 3:33 and on the podium at the end :mrgreen:

Still glad I got second as actually quite disappointed at my performance on the day. Can definitely ride far better!

Tuesday - long work day

Wednesday - sneaky midday ride after tying up the survey early. Took the HT to Cwmcarn. Knee was hurting the whole way round, but wasn't any worse once I stopped (good!). Did some of the climb on the road because the climb is very techy, and steep, and I struggle with it at the best of times on the HT, nevermind with a dodgy knee. Scared myself stupid on the descents with the occasional ice patches and lack of HT skill atm. Certainly got it back by the end though. I do love the HT, it makes everything feel so lively (death defying!) compared to the FS, but that may just be because, when I've not ridden it for a bit, I forget and hit everything at FS speed :shock: 13.48 km, 344 m elevation gain, 1:28 (with stops for photos n coat off n with bad knee).

Beautiful day for it too :)

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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby downhillingdemon » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:19 pm

Thursday Evening- MCS Ladies Nightride
It had been crispy clear and frozen ground all day.....right up to the 30 minutes before I left to meet up with Sarah and Sophie. Poor Sarah, it seems she always brings the rain out as well! Was a good ride, Sophie is only young (17) but is a whippet uphill, and is going to be a great XC racer, if she decides to take it up next season. Sarah and I plodded along behind her and managed to churn out 14.43 km. In the rain, and wind, and mud. Struggling to keep the ladies coming out in the bad weather, hope we have some decent Thursday evenings soon!

Loving being back on the HT now, tore along my favourite bit of trail, it's just awesome feeling everything through the bike :mrgreen:
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Re: downhilling demon's MTB log

Postby Frostfire » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:08 pm

Nice one for keeping the ladies night rides! Its hard to get people out in good weather let along winter weather.
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