Sunday, November 17, 2013

Update part 4 - Body says no back in Ireland

Upon return to Ireland I was feeling crap and depressed, but put it down to just being tired from the racing and a severe case of post stage racing blues. I had no motivation and could barely train. To perk me up, I went to do the Tour of Connacht in the west of Ireland. I had a great day on day 1 racing against the men, even though I suffered, but paid for my efforts on day 2, where I suffered even more. I just couldn't understand why I was feeling one day decent and one day so crap.

Racing in Ireland
After the Tour of Connacht Ryan and his team had signed up for the Suir Valley 3 Day. The SV3D is held in the Suir Valley, based in Clonmel, a town that I hold in good memories after winning my first Road Nationals there last year. In addition, the organizers of the race are great friends and always put a huge amount of work into making the SV3D an even bigger and better event, together with Leisure activities and sportive rides for the less competitive. So, I had signed up for it too, hoping that the intensity of the racing against Ireland's top male cyclists would help me break through this block I was experiencing in training. Unfortunately (or maybe luckily?), this race turned out to be the last nail in the coffin. Again I suffered like crazy on day 1, I couldn't push myself and barely got myself over the hills, so I decided to pull the plug and drop out. (I think this is the 2nd time I didn't do this race - the first time round I decided not to start to focus on finishing my PhD - maybe next year will be my 3rd time lucky? I really really want to finish the race one year). On the plus side, Fiona Meade held up the women's flag in the SV3D with a fantastic performance. It was great to watch the crit through the town of Clonmel, and having a chat with local cycling legend Sean Kelly. Unfortunately my husband Ryan crashed in a critical moment in the crit - luckily he could simply take a lap out and rejoin the front group, but his scars are still visible today.

Racing with Ryan in the Ballinrobe 2 Day - Photo Credit Pawel Sadowski

After pulling out of the SV3D after stage 1, I took 3 days completely off the bike. Something was seriously wrong. It wasn't that I didn't want to train, it wasn't a motivational issue, I did want to train and go out and ride my bike, but I just couldn't! I was intimidated by even my recovery rides and just didn't feel physically capable of doing any long or hard rides. I went to my doctor and got a blood test done, but at that stage the results didn't show anything too far out of the ordinary. The funny thing was that I WAS able to sometimes push myself and put out the power, but each time it was a HUGE amount of will power and effort required and it always felt like suffering. After the few days off I started back into training, always afraid of loosing too much fitness if I give myself too long of a break. And I did have good days too, as shown in stage 1 of the Ballinrobe 2-day, as described in my blog post here, where, due to the peculiar circumstances of mixed-gender racing I managed to win all 3 jerseys (yellow, sprinter, climber) on the first day and hang on to the sprinter and climbers for the whole stage race, with Ryan nearly holding on to yellow on the last day, but loosing out by a mere 7 seconds.

1 comment :

Paulo Gonçalves said...

Nice blog!

Paulo Gonçalves