I went to the rowing club alone today: OH crushed his finger on Friday, so is out of action for quite some time. Because I cannot guarantee that I will be there on Monday evening, due to work, They took us out in an oddly rigged boat today, two sculls and two sweep oars. I thought it would be all ‘sidey fernenced’ as my mum used to say, but actually, on the back of all the other coaching I have had, it was relatively easy to pick up, once you are used to the odd one sided action, that involves legs, back and shoulders, all much more wholly than sculling (two ‘oars’). the boat balancing (when you put your oar flat on the water) is much more a team effort, when you only have one of them. That made me want to grip onto the sides of the boat for dear life, at times during this morning, but I am pleased to report that I still have managed to NOT have an impromptu dip in the river. PHEW!
This afternoon was track masters training. NOTE TO SELF: don’t do these two things on the same day ever again! Today’s session was in view of the public: ECK! There was a craft fayre in the velodrome (in the space in the centre of the track) so all the public could see what we were up to.
The 94 gear that I now have on, with the completed two wheeled bike made my legs fatigue a bit at times, but I still need to practice high cadence. I just can’t seem to make my legs rotate fast enough to stay anywhere near the other riders. The ‘warm up’ is always a joke, and I ignore that now and do my own thing.
Today though, we were doing team pursuit formation racing. the idea was a four person team did a rolling start from high up the boards on the starting straight. To begin with, I am still not convinced that the tyres I have brought in from outside are that good on the track. Any tiny bit of doubt = disaster on banking as steep as this. Thus, I am going to have to have some serious words with myself here.
Added to that, apparently I am riding in these sessions with a number of cyclists who have pro coaches, and several age group champions. That all means that I come away wheezing and still can’t keep up. the formation riding was fine, when I was on the front, but if I was anywhere else, it was all I could do to keep the riders on the same straight as I was on!! I know Rome wasn’t built in a day but flipping heck, I didn’t think it would be this hard.
The next task was a kerin, riding behind the motorbike for ten minutes, bnot a proper kerin, but the bike got faster and faster. I completely ballsed it up the first time, I didn’t know I was meant to be on the fence to start, and by the time I figured that out, I lost the bottle to cycle vertically up the boards, which meant I had to start from the bottom, an instant disadvantage. I came away a solo rider, and completely fecked off.
OH reminded me that if this was easy, everyone would do it. How could I expect to be instantly good at it? This is nothing like road cycling, and completely nothing like triathlon cycling. He said that I should aim the next time, to get onto the back of the bike instead of staying down on the bottom. then stay on pace for 3 laps.
I DID actually listen and that was my aim the next time. Again, though, I didn’t know when the bike was starting, or how we were meant to start. When you have no idea of the track lingo, you are always in the dark, where everyone else is usually in the light!
I saw the bike coming, I wasn’t in the right position but this time I thought ‘bugger it’ and tried my hardest. The bike came past, I saw a gap, and dived up into it. I was on the pace line at last. I had riders in front and behind. They were coming round me, over the top, on the banking and on the straights, but I gave it everything that I had and managed to JUST ABOUT hang on for around four laps, before I had to cave in and come down off the racing line, and give my lungs a rest.
It has been a while since I worked at this level, I was asthmatic coughing for a few hours afterwards. I haven’t had that for years. I will need to start using my powerbreathe again I think.
I came away feeling peeved, I am never satisfied. BUT, small steps forwards. In my case, first I have to master the mind battle, and then get my legs rotating!