Saturday, May 11, 2013

Fitter, stronger, faster

THis morning I hopped on the mountain bike for the first time in three weeks. Last weekend Bike Boy was sick and I had other training commitments anyway. The previous week it was blowing a gale - vile weather for cycling.

Today was one of those clear, crisp autumn mornings. The air was cold, but I've bought up big in the online sales and now have base layers, arm and leg warmers, liner gloves and a wind-proof jacket, so I'm (almost) all set for the colder weather. I missed a bargain long sleeved winter jersey on Cell Bikes the other day because I dithered too long and they sold out. I'm still kicking myself. Anyway...

We headed to the park as usual and rode along gravel, dirt and grassy tracks, with Bike Boy leading the way. At the end of the main access road, he swung left. Uh-oh. That's a steep, narrow, downhill dirt track that I don't particularly love. There IS a platform at the bottom of the track, overlooking the Plenty River and the old homestead, which is a good place to take a break before heading back home. But there's that very steep uphill bit to get back to the road...

I love a view!

So after a rest and a drink, we started back up the hill. It's not that long but it IS really steep - and it kicks up just before the top. I told myself I could do it; that after that killer climb in Bright, this would be a piece of cake. I picked my third-lowest gear, and just spun my legs. I dropped down another gear halfway up, saving the last one for the final, steeper section. I was pretty pleased with myself as I powered up that thing!

I flew over the bump at the top onto the flat road and looked down at my gears to change back up ....and realised that I wasn't in my lowest gear at all. I thought I was using my small chain ring, but nuh-uh. I'd accidentally left that thing on the middle ring.

Seems I'm stronger and fitter than I realised. :)

Have you ever had a moment where you realised your fitness had progressed way further than you thought?


P.S. I was grateful that I didn't fall off going down the hill. I'm still having issues with my left elbow from the spill I took in Bright. My GP doesn't think it's fractured (I can flex, extend and rotate with no dramas), but isn't quite sure what's going on with it, because almost six weeks later, it's still very swollen and painful, with a weird pocket of fluid right on the pointy bit. We're betting on a local infection - I did gouge a deep chunk out of it, which is all healed up now - and trying antibiotics. If that doesn't work, I'll have to get some imaging done to see what's going on.

I should post a photo - it's quite spectacular, in a gruesome kind of way...



Debbish said...

Wow, well done... I hate hills and avoid them wherever possible.

I think in the past I've had those moments (noticing my fitness has improved) but not lately!


Kek said...

It's funny, Deb - I'm usually quite aware of how I'm progressing, but this took me by surprise. I think the real lesson is that I underestimate what I'm capable of and I need to start upping the ante. ;)

Sara said...

I have surprised myself with yoga, just when I can suddenly do something I couldn't before.. It's like... 'ohhh, so actually I AM improving, just imperceptibly'.


Kek said...

I admire your yoga efforts, however in impressive you think they may be. Anyone who's the slightest bit bendy impresses the heck out of me.

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