Monday, January 26, 2009

The View from - er...The View Of My Bicycle [COLUMN + VIDEO]

It's been a mixed bag this weekend. Some good stuff and some crappy stuff. I'd love to have reported on The Fast One for this column; it's a 106km race, mostly downhill, from NASREC in Johannesburg to Vanderbijl, and it's perfect for me because it's flat and fast.

Unfortunately on Thursday I started to feel very bleh [watch the video], went to the doctor (who put me on R400 worth of medication)and then proceeded to feel even more kak. By Saturday I was still tingly and thick-headed, with a tender throat and swollen ear passages. Even so I did a 60km ride, easy, and later in the day a 5km run. I handled it all okay, although I felt like I was chugging on 2 cylinders, instead of 6.

This morning, number safety pinned to race jersey, my bike already in my car, Zipps pumped and attached, speed sensor in place, water bottles frozen and energy bars ready - I woke up... Legs felt quite sore from Saturday's meagre exertions. I took my resting heart rate in bed. 45bpm. Not bad at all. But I didn't feel convinced that 106km, plus I had to cycle back, was going to do me any long term favours. So I bargained with myself that I would do Berg en Dal - entries close today though (26 January).

Enter here.

Meanwhile back at the ranch I have finally moved into the garage slot - with slot being the operative word. In order to get my car in I have to retract the mirrors. Each entry and exit is going to have to be with the sort of precision of a spaceship dock. I have used a some dirt to 'draw' guide lines to direct the entry and exit. One slightly sleepy morning or a bit tipsy on wine and it will be tough not to scratch it.

The defective lights have also been sorted out. Suffice it to say, none of the important stuff - like a lease agreement - has really been sorted. The plot is thick but let's leave the treacle for now.

A story that has touched a lot of people, including me, is about the Brazilian model who died a pretty horrible death thanks to a simple bacterial infection. Read about it here.

Also inspiring is Lance Armstrong's comeback. He didn't win in Australia, but he put in a solid performance for a guy my age who comes back into the thick of it after a 3.5 year hiatus. Though, to be fair, I don't think Lance sat on his butt much during those 3 years.

I intend doing the same this year, and thus felt really frustrated this weekend by my physical malaise.
I have a few goodies in my toolbox which ought to shake things up this year:

- a new training strategy incorporating HITT (High impact training technique - this involves speedwork)
- a high degree of double workouts each day of the week
- the use of diet to bring about Optimum Health/Performance. This includes the awareness of avoiding allergenics such as bread-based wheat etc.

Once again, I maintain that our highest pursuit ought to be health, because from optimum health comes performance, intelligence and ordinary happiness. One particular form of health that I aspire to is fitness. It's not as peculiar or particular as it sounds. It's not special in any way other than that it is not it's opposite state - fatness. Which are you?

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