I have lasted the first week of the Australian training camp here in Canberra as we Aussies focus on the main event....The World Championships!!! I have to keep reminding myself that I will be representing my country as it hasn't really hit home just yet. My last blog focused on the travelling antics and prep of making my way to Oz from my little home in Luchon. I have been tested in more ways than one this week, and am feeling the mental and physical strain that is all part of the job. I'm feeling tired, but I know that is how I'm expected to feel....even when I struggle to walk up one flight of stairs. I still remind myself that I want heavy legs! I want to feel tired! I want to hurt....as Ian always reminds me 'pain is an emotion and emotion is to be enjoyed' . So yes I'm hurting with a smile on my face or perhaps an upside down grimace, after all I'm in Down Under Land.
Today is my first day or proper recovery and the first time I have explored a little bit of Canberra. The day was sunny, but quite chilly as it's still winter in Oz. Canberra is a cyclists haven, and there are specially designed paths and roads for cyclists to ride on safely. I have just returned from a lovely chilled out ride with some of the team and am supposed to be doing some AQR work whilst I have the opportunity, but I will start with my blog and then try and focus on the work that has been slowly mountaining up whilst I have had a week out of the AQR office.
I'm relieved that I got through the last four days as they were pretty intense. I have enjoyed the testing in the lab which is unlike any testing I have had before. I have also enjoyed checking the course out at Mount Stromlo and training on unfamilar terrain. What I have seen of the course so far is unlike any trail I have ever ridden. The sand stone rocky sections are quite technical and although I'm coping with the technical climb ok after only a couple of times on it, as soon as I start pushing it too hard I find myself making clumbsy mistakes and losing balance. There is one steep section called 'Cardiac Climb' which speaks for itself and then there is the famous 'Hammer Head' that I have heard so much about from all the Aussie racers who have had the opportunity to race on the course already. I haven't got my head around Hammer Head just yet as we haven't had a chance to look closely at line choices, but that's what I have to look forward to tomorrow. I can tell you there is going to be a fair amount of brusing and crashing on this section of the course as it is very testing and will only become more testing when fatigue settles in. There are some really fun and flowy sections on the course as well....and plenty of jumps of all shapes and sizes, including a huge drop of and a couple of gap jumps. Tomorrow I look forward to looking at these sections more closely and perhaps with a first aid kit near by just incase. I already have a few holes in my knees from some silly crashes at the slowest speed you can imagine. I was trying to work out which line I should take....too many decisons later and I was head over handle bars eating dirt and bleeding. I was having a shocking day yesterday even though my legs didn't feel as bad as I expected them to....I just had no balance. I even fell off a log ride that I cleared easily the day before.
Well I must dash, well perhaps hobble as the legs are in no dashing mood. Dinner calls and then I really must do some work before Mr Potter fires me from my role as AQR secretary.
Hope you are all in biking good spirits and I will return soon with further KP updates on the lead up to the 2009 Mountain Bike World Championships.
Cheerios for now
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