Sunday, January 4, 2015

A nice start to 2015

Things were looking pretty grim at the end of last year, like the air had been let out of all of my tyres. A good distraction from running has been continuing with regular cycling (tyres fully inflated). After volunteering at the Hartley Challenge and watching the riders ascend to Charlotte Pass, particularly a very large chap who would have done it hard up any hill, I set myself the challenge to ride some hills. Like running, hills on the bike are not my forte! So this was no easy challenge. Each year Canberra has an event called the 5 Peaks Challenge (soon to be the 6 Peaks Challenge if they get approval for Diary Farmers Hill) which involves riding up the various 'hills' around Canberra. People pay money to do this! Could I manage to ride up all 5 peaks? With the ever looming fatigue in the background, I took the simple approach of starting with 1 peak and building up to 5 over several weeks. It made sense to do the hardest climbs first, where possible and then finish with the easier peaks. Week 1 - Stromlo; Week 2 - Red Hill and Stromlo; Week 3 - Mt Ainslie, Red Hill and Stromlo; Week 4 - Black Mountain, Mt Ainslie, Mt Pleasant, Red Hill and Stromlo.

Mission accomplished - Garmin shows all 5 peaks ascended
The good news is there have been no major signs of fatigue. Sure the legs were well and truly trashed for a few days following 5 peaks, but they recovered. Even better, with the start of 2015, I've been able to do a series of 11k runs and feel okay (factoring in it's been HOT and there were some hilly sections in the runs). I'm not sure what to make of this recent improvement in form. Is it a secret present from Santa, being relaxed after some time off work or is it the lack of vino since NYE (the liver needs some time to recover!)? Wouldn't it be great to be back to normal?! Alas, there have been times over the last few years where things have looked positive only to see the problems return. I remain ever hopeful, but ever wary. Lets see what the next few weeks bring :-).

4 comments:

  1. Really hope this is the "turn the corner " moment. Silly to say, but take care & pray like crazy. Let's hope 2015 is your year. Best of good times ahead.

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    1. Thanks TF for the kind sentiment. As a woman without religion I'll forgo the praying. Wishing you good times ahead too :-).

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  2. Nice going Janene! Only now can I appreciate how hard cycling up hills is - you did well on the training 'run'. I'm thinking the reduced stress must have a lot to do with how you're going. I noticed a similar thing when I had the 3 weeks off work at the end of the year. Balancing hydration with wine would help too ;)

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    1. Thanks ET. Yes cycling up hill is tough. Those that completed 43 repetitions of Ainslie for the 'Everest in a day' fundraising challenge are amazing! I could only imagine doing more than one rep with more granny gears! Even then it would take some convincing! I prefer long climbs with less of a gradient. Not sure I consider myself stressed, but it sure is nice when you don't have to get up early every day for work. Even after 3 days back I'm tired again!

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